Microsoft announced this $500M People Ready marketing campaign yesterday (http://www.microsoft.com/business/peopleready/default.mspx)
Microsoft needs to extract significant revenue from their existing customers. Typically this is done through offering more value, but to some customers lately their promise of value seems either far too expensive or not nearly enough - in either case customers are pursuing alternatives or simply not migrating. You will remember the famous "Customer is a Dinosaur" advertisement in Businessweek: - this is both insulting and evident how important it is to Microsoft that their customers pay, and pay and pay.
How much? Well $500M to let customers know that Microsoft software can be used by People! Blame it on Microsoft Enterprise Agreements?
Could it be that Microsoft is trying to become a consulting company? The People Ready website looks very much a consultants page! Could this be a leading indicator of Vista and Office 2007? Franchise protection? Or is this a good example of being product driven vs market driven? Maybe all of the above!
IBM surveyed 765 CEOs, worldwide from 21 industries, in 2006 and shared their insights on Innovation and other business priorities with our customers. See http://www-1.ibm.com/services/us/bcs/html/bcs_ceostudy2006.html?re=wmys for more details
IBM published the Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) - what our customers and thought leaders forsee (http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/www_innovate.nsf/images/gio/$FILE/GIO_2005_at-a-glance.pdf) - See Irving's blog: http://irvingwb.typepad.com/blog/2006/03/the_global_inno.html
IBM has been delivering solutions to business problems that allows role based execution of business processes for several years!
More recently we have been sharing how IBM has helped companies do special things: http://www-306.ibm.com/e-business/ondemand/us/innovation/index.shtml?sa_campaign=message/1_1/all/makesyouspecial
On Services vs Software - Full of contradictions!
Look at these statements in CNN: http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/breakingnews.jhtml;jsessionid=NQY3ZCVFPUV3AQSNDBESKHA?articleId=183700192
Services firm Resolute displayed SharePoint solutions customized for financial services and aimed at Wall Street firms. Regional general manager Christopher Paradise said the event gave him a chance to connect with top executives from Resolute's target customer base. "Steve [Ballmer] is the draw," he said. "He always brings out the crowd."
Ballmer said Big Blue's vision is to drive business improvement by sending in armies of its consultants, whereas Microsoft's answer is software. "I think there's still a fairly prevalent view that IBM is a technology company as opposed to a services and consulting company," Ballmer said. "That may not be the case."
Where are we heading?
Our customers have been telling us: "we need flexibility and choice, innovations for innovators".
Continuing the "one size fits all computing model" is a vestige of the past! You can't put that genie back in the bottle.
Linux isn't going away. Neither is Java, PHP, AJAX, XForms, ODF, Websphere, Workplace and other technologies based on open standards.
Advantage IBM Workplace (http://www-142.ibm.com/software/workplace/products/product5.nsf/wdocs/workplaceoverview)