Inside IBMs Middleware Kingdom
On its 10th anniversary, IBM Software Group is taking its winning middleware formula to small business.In the software industry, Microsoft Corp. may own the desktop, but IBM owns just about everything else. The Armonk, N.Y., company, which hatched its Software Group 10 years ago, has grown to become the second-largest software provider in the world, behind Microsoft. The reason, according to company executives and industry observers, is due almost exclusively to the groups intense focus on middleware development. Indeed, through the success of its brandsDB2, Tivoli, WebSphere, Lotus and RationalIBM has been able to eschew the applications business and not only focus on but also dominate the middleware space. As Ambuj Goyal, general manager of the companys Lotus Software division puts it, IBMs strategy is "middleware everywhere."
Driving this strategy are the companys five brands, which are designed and positioned to allow customers to build, manage and run IBM software. Rational and WebSphere tools, for example, allow customers to build applications. Those applications can be run in the WebSphere, DB2 or Lotus environments and managed with Tivoli.