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Unisys Predicts 2007 Open Source Trends: Architectural Approaches and Specialized Stacks Will Dominate


Legacy integration and expanded channels will also be keys

BLUE BELL, Pa., November 28, 2006 – According to Unisys experts, 2007 will be the year that open source software attains the architectural backing and distribution channels needed to gain acceptance from enterprise customers as a front-rank vehicle for deploying enterprise applications to drive business growth and innovation at a lower cost per transaction.

Forecasting the year ahead, Unisys executives predict that:
1. Architectural approaches to open source will begin to predominate
2. Specialized stacks will drive a new direction for business applications
3. SOA and standards will close the gap between legacy and open systems
4. Open source providers will boost SI and channel distribution strategies
5. The smart money will be on driving business growth and innovation.

“There are literally hundreds of thousands of open source projects in the world today, and it’s accelerating rapidly in sophistication and acceptance,” said Anthony Gold, vice president and general manager, Open Source Business, Unisys. “Until now, Linux has been one of the most mature and widely adopted elements. In 2007, Unisys sees the entire open source stack attaining a similar inflection point in adoption for critical mainstream business solutions such as business intelligence and enterprise content management.”


Architectural Approaches to Open Source Will Begin to Predominate
While increasingly mature and accepted in mainstream enterprises, open source software – even Linux – too often proves suboptimal for enterprise-level applications if deployed in random pieces. Enterprise computing requires production environments that provide security and even more basic functions such as lockdown, backup/restore and other enterprise computing infrastructure requirements.

In 2007, enterprise open source buyers will recognize the need for that kind of holistic architecture. How they get it is another matter. Few have the in-house expertise to manage and integrate legacy systems and open source stacks to achieve it. Even fewer open source software providers have the enterprise expertise to help them. Increasingly, enterprise customers will turn to systems integrators (SI) who can give them the blueprint to create and manage an infrastructure aligned with their business strategy that integrates appropriate open source elements and optimizes their performance.


Specialized Stacks Will Drive a New Direction for Business Applications
The LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl) stack, focused on general functions such as operating environment and database services, has until now formed the foundation for most open source projects.

The status quo is about to change dramatically. “In 2007, we’ll see a rise in more differentiated open source stacks for specific purposes, such as business intelligence, content management and output management,” says Ali Shadman, vice president and general manager, Open Source Solutions, Systems & Technology, Unisys. “Each specialized stack will constitute a ‘black box’ – a plug-and-play; minimally configurable building block designed to fit naturally in modern data center environments and accomplish a single job from the outset. Such solutions are essential to ease IT management’s concerns about having to focus on integration of open source components instead of developing and managing innovative systems to support growth of their businesses,” says Shadman.

A key development in specialized stacks in 2007 will be the start of convergence for business intelligence (BI). “Traditionally, content management has been divorced from BI and focused mainly on managing files,” says Shadman. “Now we see the two converging in the semantic web.” The semantic web provides a way to gain a holistic view across an entire information set, including both dynamic and static information (e.g., PDFs). It enables more sophisticated data analysis across the business.


SOA and Standards Will Close the Gap between Legacy and Open Systems
Enterprises’ increasing adoption of service oriented architectures (SOA) requiring interaction between legacy and open systems will help to bridge the divide between the two environments, yielding an optimal blend of lower cost and maximum functionality.

With its roots in industry standards, open source software will provide an exceptional value-vehicle for integration of transactions, processes and data as the technology matures in 2007 – especially in complex areas such as high-volume transaction integration between heterogeneous platforms.


Open Source Providers Will Boost SI and Channel Distribution Strategies
Enterprise open source buyers continue to evolve from a visionary, easily serviced constituency to an early adopter and mature-state market with more sophisticated requirements. As a result, open source technology providers will necessarily depend more heavily on systems integrators and specialist vertical-solutions providers to distribute their technology in solutions focused squarely on specific industry requirements. Those who build and create stacks will look to channels to go up-market and create an ecosystem around SIs, value added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to compensate for their own thin resources in technology support and marketing muscle.

5. The Smart Money Will Be on Driving Business Growth and Innovation
Most organizations see open source as a way to reduce costs – for both technology acquisition and ongoing ownership. Many are now using or will use SOA to drive top line business growth, allowing new services to be deployed for new markets from existing applications or as a more efficient way to develop new applications. Unisys expects far-sighted organizations in 2007 to be looking to open source to develop even more of an “edge” to increase their competitiveness and drive innovation.

Unisys Open Source Solutions: Improving Clients’ Visibility into Their Business
The Unisys 3D Visible Enterprise (3D-VE) approach drives Unisys open source solutions. This approach gives clients visibility into the links among the four key dimensions of their business – strategy, process, applications and infrastructure – and enables them to gauge opportunities, risks, impacts and costs that can block effective execution. Unisys consultants help clients identify the most critical business processes that can benefit from open source, and deploy applications and infrastructure using the best open source tools and Unisys services to help achieve key benefits of secure business operations – breakthrough customer service and satisfaction, improved competitive advantage, minimized risks, improved operational efficiency and more effective cost control. The Unisys 3D-VE approach gives clients a deep understanding of what’s possible with technology, along with the critical capability to map it to business problems and solutions to drive tangible results.

About Unisys
Unisys is a worldwide technology services and solutions company. Our consultants apply Unisys expertise in consulting, systems integration, outsourcing, infrastructure, and server technology to help our clients achieve secure business operations. We build more secure organizations by creating visibility into clients’ business operations. Leveraging the Unisys 3D Visible Enterprise approach, we make visible the impact of their decisions – ahead of investments, opportunities and risks. For more information, visit

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