Earlier this year I wrote, We need more Apple/Google/Amazon “moments”. less IBM “moments”. After reading the twitterstream around Steve Mills, IBM’s SVP and Group Executive - Software & Systems at IBMConnect, I should add HP and Oracle to my list.
On HP: Steve Mills explaining his views of HP's prospects in the future. New direction? Where was this board in 1991?
On Oracle: "The way you compete with Oracle is benchmark, benchmark, benchmark, because Oracle is not tethered to the truth."
Hey, all that is good fun. Ray Lane and Larry Ellison can zing him back as well or better
But it’s things he says about IBM which make me say what I am saying
“#smarterplanet has been one of the best campaigns”
“Mooooove over enterprise data centers. Steve Mills re cloud computing: Why buy the cow when you can just buy the milk?”
Both of them reflect the reality of IBM today.
Smarter Planet is about IBM Services knitting together largely somebody else’s technology - sensors, satellites, analytics etc. If there was a “percentage content made at IBM” sticker on each of those projects as there is on cars, I bet it would be less than 20% .
On cloud computing it again plays to IBM Services. They would love to swap out Dell for Sun for HP for Cisco gear so long as they were delivering to an SLA. And implement SAP or Oracle or salesforce.com. And use their volume to beat down on the product value of the equation.
Is that what customers really need? The ratio of labor and telco services to products in the industry is already dangerously high, and if it was not for innovations from SaaS vendors which allow for multi-tenant application maintenance, and cloud infrastructure vendors which leverage ultra-efficient data centers, it would be even higher.
So, I for one am glad, HP’s board continued its focus on chips and printers in 1991. As the case study on their supply chain in my next books says “It is a massive operation – the largest in the technology industry with over $ 60 billion in components, warehouse, transportation and other logistics costs. The HP machine churns out two personal computers a second, two printers a second, and a data center server every 15 seconds.”
Same with Oracle. I am glad they are focused on chips and code.
Without other’s products, IBM would not have much to sell in services…