What the Big Vendors Did Last Month, And What It Means to You

By Geoffrey James

CA announced Enterprise IT Management (EITM), its vision for unifying and simplifying IT management across the enterprise. CA also announced 26 EITM-enabled products intended to control costs, optimize service levels, manage risk and align IT investments with CA’s customers’ businesses. The products are integrated through the CA Integration Platform, which provides a workflow engine, management database (MDB), shared policies and a consistent user interface.
Our take: CA’s approach is to gather applications from various sources – many from struggling companies– and then shore them up, change their pricing and bundle them together as a suite using some proprietary middleware. If you’re selling CA, the right approach is that CA’s suite is best-in-breed with the whole greater than the sum of the parts. If you’re selling against CA, the right approach is to emphasize that the suite consists of point products that simply have been glued together.

IBM announced the acquisition of Collation, a privately held company whose software automatically delivers information about IT resources, such as servers, applications and databases and then displays the information on a detailed map. This is intended to enable IT staffs to better understand the impact of changes to an IT environment, such as how a security patch can trigger a domino effect of unexpected problems that can bring down an online business.
Our take: IBM has two reasons for making IT more effective. Not only do acquisitions such as this give IBM something extra to sell to its IT customers, but the technology also helps IBM run its own extensive outsourcing business more effectively. If you’re selling for or with IBM, tread carefully because IT managers are wary of technology that threatens to replace headcount. If you’re selling against IBM, build a case that IBM really is trying to outsource your IT clients out of their jobs.

Microsoft announced findings from a report it commissioned from Security Innovation Inc., a leading independent provider of application security services. The report concluded that as requirements evolved over time the Windows platform was more consistent, predictable and easier to manage than Linux. Microsoft also spotlighted some customers that cited reduced complexity and greater reliability as driving their decision to deploy the Microsoft Windows platform over Linux.
Our take: In our experience, commissioned market research reports aren’t worth the paper on which they’re printed. While this might be the exception to the rule, most commissioned reports come from boutique market research firms that are too hungry for business to come out with research that in any way contradicts their clients’ business strategies. The report Microsoft is citing, to us, smacks more of desperation than of confidence in the superiority of Windows. If you sell with or for Microsoft, only use this kind of commissioned market research when presenting to naïve customers. If you sell against Microsoft, question the validity of this type of report and direct customer attention to independent studies that are more favorable to Linux.