the core strength of any business is ultimately in the loyalty of its customer base. it's true for mercedes and it's true for manchester united. a business grows by finding new customers and of course selling additional services to the ones they have. leveraging a company's install base of customers is critical. the model looks pretty simple: the greater the value delivered - the greater the return. however, more and more it seems, the question is where did all the money go? one of my favorite sayings is from my old boss bill zeitler, "the money is laying on the ground, someone just needs to bend over and pick it up!" i'd argue that's true in many cases, except when there is a toll that gets there first. the toll i'm referring to has nothing to do with taxes or governments, but rather with businesses that have a lock in or almost monopoly-type hold on its customers.
in the u.s. community banking sector, isv partners like fiserv see a large percentage of disposable spending committed to paying for licenses with microsoft - making it more difficult for their banking customers to invest in new solutions. companies like sage, who have had tremendous success building a customer base of almost 5 million, recognize that microsoft often collects their taxes before the customer can add new value functions from third-party solution providers. no one is saying these companies don't add value. what is true though is innovation is stymied and companies can ultimately become less competitive because of the high "tax" they are forced to pay.
fortunately, the market always has the last word. open source and industry standards based solutions have many benefits..... choice, security and scalability. open source also offers customers an alternative to paying these high tolls, allowing them more dollars for new investments. the money may be laying on the ground, but it won't be there for long. more and more companies are finding ways to plow it into the solutions that make their businesses stronger. taxation without equal value is not an idea that can sustain itself. history has taught us that...........[Read More]
General Manager, IBM ISV & Developer Relations
Buell 110000QTMG 210 Visits
if it's not an endless selection of on demand movies (by the way, i highly recommend friday night lights), it's the ability to connect wirelessly - instant messaging your office from 36,000 feet above the pacific ocean. on a flight this week to korea, i was amazed at how far and how fast technology continues to move. it's not just about the technology of course, but rather how businesses are using it to attract new customers and lower their costs. it's about becoming more competitive and about driving innovation as a differentiator. the science and technology is available, but it is core building blocks that allow companies to innovate in ways never before imagined.
would it be possible for me to connect my ibm thinkpad to the internet in the air while the passenger across the aisle did the same on another brand without open industry standards? (how about when you get off the plane and your power plugs don't fit- now there is a case for standards!). can a company deliver solutions to its customers if it can't manage the high volume of transactions or ensure they are secure? a recent story in varbusiness about anaconda sports said, " by early 2003, the volume of traffic on anaconda's web site had grown to the point where the site crashed frequently and many of the company's customers experienced extremely slow response times. The existing e-commerce infrastructure, which was based on a microsoft windows 2000 server, could not handle the surging volume of hits." halfway around the world in korea, incruit, an internet employment agency and market leader is experiencing surging demand. they too are wrestling with infrastructure issues as they grow their customer base to over 600 thousand. the solution, a more robust architecture based on java and open standards that allows them to scale and support multiple platforms. standards, scalability, choice: key building blocks of innovation.
as a company - ibm is not about gadgets or hype , but rather the commitment to bring together robust solutions that help our customers become more innovative. championing open standards like linux, soa or eclipse; driving new inventive product breakthroughs as the global leader in patents and business transformation services; these capabilities not only allow ibm to innovate, but more importantly give us the ability to bring value to our clients, helping them as they transform their businesses thru innovation. insurance leader,norwich union uses gps technology to link individual driving habits to insurance rates...creative and effective. we help norwich turn technology into innovation, differentiating them from their competitors.
you see - it is not about technology for technology's sake, but rather about business differentiation. what is it really that sets companies apart in the eyes of their customers? as humans we are attracted to innovation. you can bet that i will fly korean air again if i have the opportunity. their innovation and service equates to a better customer experience.....and i can tell you on a 15 hour flight, that is really worth something!!![Read More]