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Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Technology Extortionists At Odds With Business Needs

Vivek Ranadive points to the fact that the Web consumer has a short attention span, so competition is only a snick away and if enteprises are not real time, you are history. That applies to companies as well. I look at IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft as companies of the past. They have the database model. It is only now that they are talking about service-oriented architecture. They have been making big money from global customers for years. Customers are locked in. For any kind of change, they have to go back to them. The world of hardware, software and communications technology has changed. So, the fact that IBM is bigger does not make them better.
Andy Lawrence brings out that Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive astounded some of his rivals by people by his full blooded assault on some of his rivals, including IBM, Oracle and SAP. Vivek sees these companies of being extortionists, who exploit the technical dependency of their customers by over-charging for software that does not deliver technical results. I recently heard Vivek echo such views. He sees that the database architecture of yesterday results in having silos of information. There is no use of knowing you have lost a customer? Enterprises would want to know before they get lost— so that you can win him back in time.'' The current database architecture can’t enable that. Not surprising given that vendors adopt an approach based on helping end-user organizations to buy and to create simple, clear and fair pricing. Ovum found that several phrases commonly used by vendor organisations cause immediate and adverse reaction within some end-user organisations - "sales cycle", "owning the customer", "solution selling" and "value proposition" are among the trigger phrases. One surprisingly common complaint was that the sales staff from vendor organisations did not understand the functionality of the products that they were selling. In some cases, the technical staff in customer/prospects were more aware of the latest product features and functions than the sales staff.Vendors also had a tendency to be "economical with the truth" regarding the ability of their products to deliver specific functionality. I definitely endorse the spirit of Vivek’s hard hitting views –in many enteprises existing technology investments and their pricing models prevent business and CIO's to try out new things. His vision that "Speed is God, Time is the Devil... Forget Return on Investment (ROI), it's all about Return on Minutes are quite the in thing for business today (discount the returns part here - I read it as planned returns on existing tech investments might be seen as less appealing and the competitive landscape of business is changing fast in general - so you have to make investments to stay in the game)and technology investments and solutions should support and enable this transformation in an economical way. Google realised the need for supporting such a thing of late.

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