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The age of Equarius

Are you balking at EAI and Web services because you think it'll take too darn long to get up and running? A company called Equarius has a program that may speed the process and spell your fears.

Customers interested in Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Web services may shy away from them simply because they believe testing and installing these technologies may take a long time and the business benefits are unclear.

Equarius Inc. says that is not the case. The Bellevue, Wash.-based integrator this week released Quickstart, a program that helps customer quickly set up pilots and eventually install Microsoft .NET and BizTalk Server.

Equarius helps run the pilot, sets up the infrastructure, and provides some formal training, mentoring and system integration.

IT administrators typically want to install the EAI software rapidly, but it's hard for many companies to run a pilot when they don't know much about a technology, said Burley Kawasaki, chief technology officer at Equarius.

"They are just looking for a tangible place to start," he said.

Equarius staffs the pilot team with both engineers of its own and those who work for the enterprise. The enterprise IT staff is given a repeatable process and knowledge transfer, Kawasaki said.

The pilot generally lasts only about 4-8 weeks, so customers don't have to feel they've bet the farm on Biztalk, he said. But they are actually involving their resources to build skills in a real working situation.

Kawasaki said many customers have the misconception that the process of developing EAI and Web services has to take a long time. "They think it's risky and that you will have an integrator working with you for years," he said.

Tom Harvey, director of systems at Power Resource Managers LLP, an energy supplier also located in Bellevue, said his company tried Quickstart to facilitate a systems development project involving a recent Visual Basic, SQL Server rollout. Harvey said Equarius quickly installed the application and helped IT managers at Power Resources Managers learn the technology.


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