Page Three

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Robert LeBlanc, general manager of the Tivoli division, said IBM took Tivoli from a $60 million company at the time IBM acquired it in 1996 and turned it into the $1 billion business unit it is today. "We build everything as a set of interchangeable components, and that gives us an advantage over every other software vendor out there," LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc and Goyal said the componentization strategy is what will spur growth and enhance customer experiences by enabling IBM to integrate components of various products into other offerings.

"The best example of that is WebSphere Portal," Goyal said. "There is the Web application server, repository from DB2, and teamwork and collaboration software from Lotus." Future development tools from Rational will include software from Lotus to allow developers to communicate via instant messaging and enable more collaborative development, he said.

John Swainson, general manager of IBMs WebSphere business, said WebSphere came out of three IBM efforts he pulled together in the mid-1990s. Now the title is one of the top two products in the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition application server space.

Swainson said Sun Microsystems Inc. introduced Java but did not address the server space with the language or the platform. So IBM pulled together and came up with some enterprise server solutions based on Java, which became WebSphere.

Mills said this kind of pluckiness exemplifies the IBM Software Group spirit. Although other companies, including Sun, had a leadership role in developing Java and XML, IBM has most successfully capitalized on the technology. "Sun didnt immediately see a business case for Java," Mills said. "We did."

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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