This sounds to be why we should use Enterprise Distributed system and secondly why only J2EE or which all technology can be made use of .
.What can I accomplish with EJB and J2EE that I couldn't before? How does it influence my business in terms of profitability, reliability, availability and maintainability
Well in todays context where business consists of different parties and we cant rely on 2 tier client server based legacy system which has its own set of problems in terms of scalability, availability wherein downtime is less than 24 hrs, one would preferably go for a distributed system.
Will it reduce the programmers learning time and will it reduce the development time
As pointed out by kathy EJB has become the de-facto standard for Distributed sytems it certainly helps in learning and mastering this.
Is there a similar technilogy around like EJB and J2EE?
.Net is the distributed technology by Microsoft , but being a die hard
Java guy i only have to say this that C# which is the implementation of .Net is 99.9% Java so it doesnot matter if you know Java and EJB one can easily plug himself to .Net too