Well, my "all about the enterprise" friend, this is only somewhat true. Beans, by definition, are a java contruct. They are classes that can theoretically be reused and are 'easy' to connect to. EJB's are an extension of that which adds persistance among other things.
Beans have the capability (given the correct container to run them in), to connect to other languages via CORBA/IIOP. So, essentially we do not require 'beans'. In order for this idea of modules to connect to outside programs (someone likened beans to modules, and that is about the closest perl construct) we need a CORBA implementation (there probably already is one) and a handler series in order to make things work smoothly.