What the Big Vendors Did Last Month and What It Means to You

By Geoffrey James

CA announced the availability of BrightStor r11.5, a set of modular, storage management solutions intended to enable organizations to manage and protect information and storage assets. Built around 13 products, BrightStor r11.5 was “designed to better align storage spending with business value” according to the company press release. The new version is supposed to reduce the total cost of ownership through virtual tape automation and simplified administration of storage assets.
Our take: This is business as usual for CA. The company’s products tend to be collections of point products bundled together and integrated into an improvised product strategy. Software sales reps selling against CA should emphasize the disjointed nature of CA’s product strategy. Software sales reps selling in partnership with CA should characterize CA’s individual products as so best-in-breed that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

IBM released key documents describing the technical details of the Cell Broadband Engine architecture. By opening up a wide set of detailed technical specifications to software developers, business partners, academic and research organizations, and potential customers, IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba hope to stimulate the creation of Cell-based applications. The goal is to establish a community of interest and innovation around Cell, allowing software application developers to rapidly evaluate and use Cell technology.
Our take: We wrote about the Cell a few months ago, warning that IBM was determined to make the CPU architecture into an alternative to Intel. For software vendors, especially in the area of telecommunications, the Cell represents an excellent opportunity to partner with IBM. Longer term we expect to see the Cell penetrating other markets as well.

Microsoft announced completion of the acquisition of FrontBridge Technologies Inc., a provider of managed services for corporate email compliance, security and availability. FrontBridge enforces compliance through archiving, ensuring email availability in the case of a disaster and improving protection of employee inboxes from viruses and spam. FrontBridge will continue to offer managed messaging services for multiple email platforms such as Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and other SMTP-compliant servers currently supported by FrontBridge.
Our take: What’s interesting about this announcement is Microsoft’s apparent willingness to support competing email platforms. Dig deeper, however, and you’re likely to find that Microsoft’s apparent embrace of Domino is simply a plan to migrate Domino users to Exchange.

Oracle announced general availability of Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g, Formerly known as Oracle Files, Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g Content Services is supposed to enable customers to gain control of their enterprise information and policies to support regulatory compliance and mitigate risks associated with poorly managed content. The product includes email, calendar, content services, discussions, presence, Web conferencing and instant messaging. The product also allows customers to structure information according to project rather than by the tool the project workers use.
Our take: This is a rehash of an older product, without much real content. A sure sign of this is the fact that the press release was headed by several paragraphs of better-working-through-technology buzzwords. If you’re selling office products against Oracle, consider using their press release as a reverse marketing tool by sending it to your customers with every meaningless buzzword marked in red with a question mark next to it.