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IBM Middleware: the world's most valuable software business

With a market cap of about $266 billion, Microsoft is the most valuable software company in the world but the most valuable software business is IBM Middleware.


Software Business Segment

Trefis Value Estimate

IBM Middleware

$103 billion

Microsoft Windows Operating System

$101 billion

Microsoft Office

$83 billion

Oracle Database Software

$67 billion

Oracle Middleware Software

$41 billion

EMC Storage Software

$21 billion

Click to enlarge

Source: Trefis.com


Middleware is a type of software "plumbing" used to connect different software applications that need to share information.  Middleware is commonly used by businesses that have a variety of separate software systems to make information integration easier.  By making it easier to integrate and share information, businesses can work more efficiently and better serve customers.
 
Examples of Middleware in Use
  • A hospital that has multiple software applications for tracking patient information across medical segments can use a middleware database program to more easily share important patient information between applications.  This means that physicians and nurses will be able to access the latest patient information more easily.
  • A customer who views his savings balance online through his bank's website while also checking on the status of a recent mortgage application is benefiting from middleware software which is integrating information from different parts of the bank's operations (savings and mortgages) and delivering it to the website.
 
IBM's has a variety of middleware products, with brands like Websphere, Lotus, Tivoli and Rational, that are used to connect diferent types of software systems.  You see more about IBM's Middleware business here.

Disclosure: No positions

Stocks: IBM, MSFT, ORCL, DVMT