Jitterbit bolstered its enterprise integration capabilities Thursday with the acquisition of a Canadian vendor that specializes in electronic data interchange and e-commerce use cases for retailers and their suppliers.
Like Jitterbit, eBridge Connections competes in the crowded enterprise integration platform as a service (iPaaS) market that Gartner estimated at $3.5 billion, after growth of close to 39% in 2020.
Jitterbit CEO George Gallegos declined to disclose the terms of the eBridge deal other than to say it is a "good size acquisition" for a retail iPaaS specialist that has close to 1,000 customers, hundreds of partners and nearly 100 employees.
"The reason why we wanted to bring them on board in a strategic manner is because e-commerce and [electronic data interchange] EDI capabilities are two critical areas," Gallegos said. "While we did some of it, eBridge has taken it to a whole 'nother level and gained recognition for solving those use cases, especially in different types of retail."
Extensive ERP support
The eBridge product portfolio includes pre-built connectors to help customers with integrations between ERP systems such as SAP, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite and Epicor and e-commerce applications and marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Magento, eBay, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and CommerceHub.
Gallegos said eBridge has already addressed many of the use cases with ERP systems, such as Sage, with which Jitterbit hadn't done much work. Examples of other applications where eBridge has more expertise than Jitterbit include QuickBooks' accounting software and Stripe's payment processing platform, he said.
"We can connect to these platforms, but we would do more custom stuff on the fly," Gallegos said. "They have digital processes that are prepackaged and ready to go. So, there's a lot of expertise they've already built into the use cases and a lot of relationships they've built with the companies."
Enterprise iPaaS usage trends
Shameen Pillai, a senior research director at Gartner, said enterprises are increasingly using iPaaS for B2B integration, including with e-commerce marketplaces and EDI networks. Many of those organizations frequently tell Gartner they want to integrate with business partners using modern APIs and traditional EDI side-by-side, he said.
"By adding further EDI support through this acquisition to its existing API support, Jitterbit has improved its positioning to address this growing market demand," Pillai added.
Holger Mueller, a principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research, said Jitterbit was strong on the Salesforce side and, with the acquisition of eBridge, could now grow into a "generally relevant" API integration platform. Mueller said eBridge -- which was founded in 1993 under the name EDI Bridge -- has roots in EDI and other file-based integration options that still power many transactions today.
Jitterbit said the list of retailers that support EDI transactions includes Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Home Depot, Target, Lowe's and Best Buy. Trading partners need to exchange data from disparate systems to facilitate digital processes to track orders, shipments and inventory.
Gallegos said Jitterbit has only occasionally bumped into eBridge in deals with retail customers. He said eBridge tended to serve a client base with an annual revenue of up to $100 million that conducts about 200 orders per month, whereas Jitterbit's customers tend to fall into the "upper midmarket/low enterprise" category with revenue of $100 million to $2 billion.
Jitterbit-eBridge integration plans
The newly acquired eBridge technology will complement Jitterbit's Harmony API integration platform. Customers will soon be able to use the "best of both products" because Jitterbit plans to complete a considerable amount of integration work by the end of July, according to Gallegos.
"Both platforms are API driven, so it's actually going to be fairly easy to integrate the two," Gallegos said. "We'll have the union of both so [customers] won't have to make a decision. They're going to now have an additive set of capabilities."
George GallegosCEO, Jitterbit
Gallegos said Jitterbit, which was founded in 2003 and is based in Alameda, Calif., now has about 500 employees, including its contractors. Dell Technologies recently sold one of Jitterbit's chief competitors, Boomi, for $4 billion to Francisco Partners and TPG Capital.
"Adding the secret sauce that eBridge brings, we'll be able to do a much better job competing even with some of the EDI experts that are out there in the field," Gallegos said, noting that Boomi supports EDI.
Doug Henschen, a vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said the acquisition of eBridge is good news for customers because it would fill Jitterbit's EDI/B2B gap and give them a broader collection of integration options -- the "name of the game" in the iPaaS space.
Carol Sliwa is a TechTarget senior writer covering enterprise architecture, storage arrays and drives, and flash and memory technologies.