Most IT services players are embracing the Web services movement with various investments and involvement for the multi-million dollar opportunity as well as for competitive reasons, a new study from IDC reveals. According to this new report – which profiles 14 services firms that offer a suite of Web services-related service offerings – growth in the U.S. Web services-based professional services market far outpaces growth in the U.S. consulting and system integration markets.

"In order to capitalize on the multi- million dollar Web services opportunity, services vendors need to form alliances with partners who are actively involved in this market and whose products scale and perform well for their clients business and IT needs,” said Sophie Mayo, director, Web Services Implementation and Dynamic Commerce Services research. “Services vendors must also strengthen their capabilities for delivering on specific opportunities within each vertical industry segment they target.”

Key findings included in the report show that most firms are creating a continuum of offerings around Web services, including consulting, integration, training and support. Some firms have embedded their Web services capabilities within existing offerings, while others provide specific Web services programs. Few others offer Web services-specific managed services. All plan on increasing the number of skilled staff either by training existing staff or hiring additional consultants.

n addition, IDC learned that all the firms profiled are keen on extending or forming new relationships with select technology vendors that sell elements of Web services- based solutions. Interoperability of these elements will be important. The IDC study also shows that the key industry segments targeted by the services firms profiled include financial services, government, manufacturing, business services, healthcare, high-tech and telecommunications.

For additional information about IDC’s Web Services Implementation and Dynamic Commerce Services research, please contact Virginia Lehr at 508-935-4188 or e-mail.

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