ZettaWorks finds a home in Canada

Houston-based ZettaWorks, an enterprise application integration consulting firm, is expanding its operations into Calgary.

The company provides e-business intelligence, process integration and wireless applications for the energy, financial services, manufacturing and biotech industries. But given its location, ZettaWorks is perhaps best known for offering information technology consulting to the energy sector.

The Calgary office was christened in January, and given what natural resource the province of Alberta is best recognized for, the decision to expand was easy. “It will be a hub for Canadian operations, but the initial focus will be on the energy industry,” said Shawn Ovenden, vice-president, northern region for ZettaWorks in Calgary.

While the company has not yet landed any new Canadian clients, Ovenden said it will focus its interests on large exploration outfits running multiple applications. Typically, organizations will opt to implement an enterprise integration application if they are running enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management or business intelligence software simultaneously. That’s because the software is aimed at tying all these pieces together in order to reduce costs, he added.

Enterprise application integration is most commonly used to provide unrestricted sharing of data or data sources in an organization. Large companies typically purchase this type of solution because it allows all information and applications to be transferred between systems.

One industry analyst agrees that this type of solution is much too elaborate for most small companies to buy. “Typically, (it’s) very expensive and complex from the point of view of a smaller company. A larger company is in a better position to reap the benefits of these kinds of technologies that may have a large up-front cost. But if there is a lot of integration to do, they can pay you back over a one or two year period,” said Mike Gilpin, research fellow for the Giga Information Group in Gaithersburg, Md.

He added that the market originally took off when companies all faced the common challenges of inserting an ERP system and solutions were created to offset those problems. Now, CRM and Web-based applications have caused similar problems, forcing companies to find a way to solve their integration nightmares.

However, integration woes aside, the energy sector in particular is finding new ways to use the technology. “The big thing in the energy business over the last few years has been the introduction of a lot more trading. Historically, Tibco Software Inc. was used in the Wall Street context to provide infrastructure for trading floors. Now (it’s) applicable in energy trading as well,” he said.

Giga Information Group in Cambridge, Mass can be reached at http://www.gigaweb.com/

ZettaWorks in Houston, Tex., can be reached at http://www.zettaworks.com/