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IBM responds to Microsoft’s campaign(哈哈,针锋相对)
aku1 发表于 2006-4-7 12:53:07

IBM responds to Microsoft’s campaign:
An interview with Ken Bisconti

Ken Bisconti, IBM Vice President for Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software, is clear and direct as he discusses the March 16 Microsoft announcement of its "People Ready" ad campaign aimed directly at IBM. “Microsoft’s marketing campaign is thinly veiled window dressing for its upcoming Vista and Office product launches. Microsoft has announced an ad campaign – it is not a new strategy, nor proof of its ability to improve responsiveness.”

We talked to Bisconti on March 17 to get his response to the Microsoft announcement, in which Microsoft’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, portrays IBM as “mainly a services business whose consultants help companies and then depart” or a company seeking to outsource customers' businesses, "IBM has an army of relatively expensive consultants. They enable their people to run your business."

Bisconti responds, “First, Microsoft is trying to avoid a fact that they know very well -- that IBM is the #2 software products business in the world today, not just the ‘services’ company that Microsoft tagged it. IBM has $15.8 billion in annual software revenue, over 125 million users of Lotus Notes across 40,000 customers, and over 4,000 businesses using WebSphere Portal. IBM is the leader in portal, real-time collaboration and team workspaces. And IBM is tied with Microsoft in the email market. IBM is clearly more than just a services company.”

Bisconti adds, “Microsoft is attempting to reenergize an approach – that of the proprietary Windows and Office computing model – that’s been virtually stalled in the market for several years. In Microsoft’s world, people are 'ready' to use nothing but Microsoft products.”

And that approach runs counter to IBM’s strategy of empowering people through open standards computing models that provide flexibility in approach, operating systems and access methods. “IBM is about on demand, role-based workplaces built on portals and integrated collaborative services. IBM helps customers get hard ROI out of using collaborative services in the context of business processes – an HR portal or an e-procurement application, for example. IBM delivers tailored information and applications to the right people at the right time.”

IBM has defined role-based technology as personalized access to information and business processes. Personalized access can bring together components of applications from many different sources, delivering only the useful and necessary elements for the user’s role in the corporation. For example, a hiring manager may have portlet access to necessary HR, financial enrollment and security records, all tied together with an orchestrated signoff process automated by workflow.

Bisconti adds, "Microsoft is still developing in two- to three-plus-year "pre-Internet" development cycles where they are so tightly intertwined in their proprietary stack that delays in dependent products regularly shift out other products. In contrast, Lotus is using open computing models and heavy software re-use, including aggressive use of open source technologies. We are regularly delivering code in 12- to 15-month development cycles. Microsoft customers on systems assurance plans have little new product enhancements to show for their investments."

Contrast this with how most end users use Microsoft Office. “End users use Office to write documents, to create spreadsheets, and then they typically store their work on their hard drives – all without the aid of embedded collaborative technology and document lifecycle management. What Microsoft users lack is the collaborative context that IBM provides.”

IBM collaborative features include presence awareness to see who's online and available to converse from your desktop or favorite wireless devices, instant messaging to converse in real time, Web conferencing to share a document, application or your entire desktop, or conduct a whiteboarding session – all delivered within the context of what the user is doing.

“Microsoft Windows and Office are attempting to prolong a pre-Internet, proprietary one-size-fits-all computing model,” Bisconti explains. “Microsoft says it provides capability out of the box, without the need for additional services or consultants. It does offer a very rich Office desktop experience – with hundreds of features that are beyond the scope of what most end users need. Since the average user leverages only 20% of the features, it’s bloatware.”

“Microsoft is asking its customers to work in an environment that is not integrated with non-Microsoft applications, one that runs in a homogenous Microsoft environment only. Microsoft cannot deliver the appropriate function to the appropriate user – this is its one-size-fits-all approach.”

Analysts may call it by different names – "high-performance workplace" (Gartner), "information workplace" (Forrester) and "enterprise workplace" (IDC) – but they all recognize the convergence of numerous software markets: portals, email, document management, e-learning, real-time collaboration. They see the rise of computing centered around role-based portals and based on open standards and choice and flexibility. “This is what IBM offers now, with its IBM Workplace family, built on Lotus software, and WebSphere Portal products,” Bisconti concludes

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