Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 27th Mar 2012 03:39 UTC
Editorial My previous article analyzed some tech companies and their prospects: Microsoft, Intel, HP, Dell, Oracle, Apple, and Google. This article discusses IBM, Amazon, Yahoo!, Cisco, and BMC Software. The goal is to spark a useful discussion. What is your opinion of these companies? Do they have viable strategies for the future?
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Some comments
by jimmystewpot on Wed 28th Mar 2012 01:16 UTC
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Firstly BMC.. We use a number of their products (the bladelogic stuff mainly) in our organisation. There are a number of major hurdles that I see in that suite of products. 1) Overly complex, 2) Slow release cycles don't keep up with vendor versions (possibly because of pt 1. 3) Difficulty in extending the functionality with a big question mark over cost effectiveness and the ability for those addon's/expansions to continue working cross version (i.e. if you upgrade your bmc tools do your api's remain static, and if they do does your software still work). This is particularly evident in the work flow stuff. I wish them the best of luck, I know in my future I wouldn't in good conscious recommend them to anyone wanting an agile organisation despite what their marketing material says.

Cisco.. by far the leader in routers and switches in terms of sales volumes.. I feel that while the ASR products have taken some of the thunder from Juniper it's still a me too platform. It's playing catch up on the features that Juniper have had for some time. While it is a good first effort it's a huge difference between the traditional IOS and that's a big training difference.. not as much as going from IOS->JunOS but it's still a jump. On the security front it's playing catchup in a big way.. I am in the process of doing a major product comparison between a 7 different vendors security products.. so far there is nothing except price that would keep us using cisco and it's just not good enough in a compliance centric security world that we live in.. Companies like Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks have nailed the solutions pretty well.. where is cisco in that area? their products are a mish mash with what appears to be no global view of how they are all meant to fit together. This is a topic I feel very strongly about.. we use Cisco today for security, but looking at what else is on the market it's almost impossible to justify moving forward. Ironically we use Juniper today and are moving to Cisco for future core projects.. win/lose.

IBM... We are a HP shop, but I have come from organisations who are multi-vendor and HP x86 was the king of the hill until the newer generation of x series arrived.. the 3550 etc which closed the lead that HP had and then over took it.. We had HP come out and give us a presentation on their G8 product yesterday, some of the features in there have been in the IBM products for years.. but then there are some innovations on the HP front and the G8 has the potential to be a really great product.. however the big question is have they fixed the reliability problems we have on the G7? (40% increase in failures when compared to the G6 on an estate of ~3500 servers). IBM are still innovating and there are some interesting things, the big challenge that IBM are going to have is on the software side.. some of their software suites are so overly complex they are very difficult to maintain and deploy and often need heavy customizations to work properly.. that means how do they get upgraded? the answer is professional services.. good for IBMs bottom line but bad for customer satisfaction if your a mid tier business... I think IBM has the best potential out of Dell/HP into the future.. and I can't see Sun.. oops I mean Oracle doing anything positive.. Larry thinks that 99% margins in x86 are normal.. pfff..

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