Page Five

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

How strategic is Eclipse to IBMs tools strategy? Extremely. The characteristic of the tools market has traditionally been fragmented, and tools that exist in one environment do not always exist in others. So availability of tools has been different. Developers have to determine if they get to use tools they are comfortable with or do they have to change tool sets and go through another learning curve around a new set of tools. So the phenomenon of openness and heterogeneity and flexibility is either encouraged by open tooling environments or discouraged for lack thereof. So the Eclipse effort was designed to open up the market for lots of participation around a common set of constructs related to a workbench. Your competitors always try to knock the fact that the IBM Software Group relies on IBM Global Services to fix problems with the products. To what degree do you leverage IGS?
To a degree. But theres an illusion in the marketplace that IBM sells its products through Global Services. We all laugh at that. I have 10,000 full-time dedicated salespeople worldwide that sell software and only software—they dont get paid a nickel on hardware and they dont get paid a nickel on services. I have to do that for a reason, because theres nobody in IGS that gets up in the morning thinking about selling my products. They satisfy demand for skill, thats their job. And I have 2,000 people in the software group that do services, in addition to the global services people. And I have those 2,000 people because I have to do all the new product support, and I have to train Global Services. So those 2,000 people do projects as subcontractors to IGS in addition to doing projects without IGS. They also have to enable the other systems integrators. Since IGS is 10 percent of the market, I have to deal with the other 90 percent. Were not IGS-centric. I dont need IGS in order to sell or deploy anything. And in turn they dont need me. We team together all the time, but were not hardwired.
Who do you most hate to see in a competitive situation? Theyre all so annoying [laughter] and they all have different tactics. Companies that dont show up are the hardest to beat. Microsoft is a very challenging company to compete against because they dont show up. Youre competing against the customer people who have bought into the Microsoft story that you can do anything with Microsoft. And therefore the contest is very often not a debate. Increasingly were seeing more and more Microsoft people show up in accounts and we like that. We like to compete head-to-head, our people versus their people because now we believe its a fair fight, in terms of us being able to demonstrate our capability versus their capability with the customer sitting in the neutral chair. Microsoft is uniquely challenging because theyre a marketing machine. Theyre getting a lot of credit for things that they may do in the future that they dont do today. But code talks. I love those types of competitive situations where you show up with your code and I show up with my code and we bake it off. Latest IBM News:


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