A Long, Hard Battle

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-11-14 Print this article Print

Theresa Lanowitz, an analyst with Voke, in Minden, Nev., said Borland is in for a fight in the ALM space. "Borland is in, and has been in, for a long, hard battle," Lanowitz said.
"In the IDE wars, Borland was a necessary third-party alternative to both Microsoft and IBM. However, in the ALM market there are plenty of competitors to IBM and Microsoft—namely, HP (with the Mercury acquisition), Empirix, Compuware, Serena, CA, etc. And, there are many acquisitions still to come.
"The point here is Borland is not a necessary competitive element in ALM as it was in the IDE market. Borland has generated limited market awareness for its ALM products." Lanowitz said Borland has always been a company based on technology for technology workers. Yet, in Lanowitzs view, the technology worker has moved beyond the enterprise and into the ranks of outsourcing agencies—either third-party consulting groups or offshore providers. "Borland shows little ability to move beyond a technology sell and penetrate the market with their application lifecycle offerings," Lanowitz said. "Additionally, they show no interest in becoming a niche player for outsourcers. The latter of these two options is certainly a place where Borland could shine." Jim Duggan, an analyst with Gartner, in Stamford, Conn., said: "I think Borland has a good story, but has 18 months at most to get the momentum rolling before Microsoft, IBM and HP get their respective ALM campaigns too established. "In some ways the same concerns apply to Serena, MKS, Aldon and perhaps even Compuware. BEA has to get some sort of play going as well, and they dont even break water in this space yet." Meanwhile, as Nielsen must focus on the ALM market, CodeGears Smith said he is ready to take on all comers in the IDE space, including open source and Microsoft. Indeed, Smith said he sees new opportunities for CodeGear to add value atop open-source platforms, to work with and in complement to Microsoft, and to zero in on new opportunities with tools for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) development, and for dynamic languages such as Ruby, PHP, Python and others. The formation of CodeGear "gives the business an opportunity to serve developers exclusively and give them the tools they need to achieve success." Nielsen said that despite having two separate companies, there will be some future collaboration and integration between Borland and CodeGear, including cross-selling opportunities. However, "CodeGear can go out and do some integration with folks like [IBM] Rational, and well be doing stuff with Microsoft around Visual Studio and things like that." And despite her warnings, Vokes Lanowitz, who also used to work at Borland, says Borland is not necessarily a company to bet against. "Tactically, Borland can execute," Lanowitz said. "Years of lean living has bred an incredibly scrappy group of individuals to execute tactically and at all costs. "Borland does an admirable job of truly doing more with less. As Borland makes its way to being a true enterprise purveyor, they must move beyond the mentality of delivering quarterly products to make a goal." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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