What does the sales cycle look like for middleware? How do end users/customers decide to implement a solution? Do they go to the middleware vendors first and make that choice, or do they go to system integrators who then choose necessary applications and decide on middleware based on that?
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Yes. Middleware is like just about all software components: people acquire it in all different ways. Major vendors all have support staffs that they are happy to rent out to provide soup-to-nuts implementation solutions. Integrators and in-house IT staffs often work from a vendor-neutral set of requirements. Because the marketplace is standards-based, it is relatively easy to mix and match components once a working architecture is established. The main challenge for most companies is moving from proprietary legacy architectures to this structure.
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