• Subject: Re: Ebay...
  • From: John P Carr <jpcarr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 20:47:19 -0400

Subject:        IBM's Promised Land

Hi all

Interesting Forum/Story about IBM, servers, and stuff

John Carr



IBM's promised land

Posted by: siteadm
Date posted: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 

As IBM followers prepare to gather this week for Solutions 99, 
in the desert in Las Vegas, Lou Gerstner deserves to be recognized
for leading this lost tribe to the edge of the promised land. 
Since taking the reins at IBM nearly six and a half years ago, 
Gerstner has righted many of the financial woes that had long plagued
the company. He did this by focusing the sales team on solving customer
problems and by launching an impressive e-business campaign that modernized
IBM's image.

But the job of turning IBM around is only half done. And most of the
remaining issues are thorny technology dilemmas. For example, the decision
to acquire Sequent last week will, in the short term, only serve to 
complicate an already confused data center story, because the long-term
architectural relationship between System 390 mainframes, AS/400s, 
RS/6000s, and Intel-based servers is still largely unresolved. 
IBM can't just say, "We'll deliver whatever the customer wants," because
customers also want leadership from their strategic vendors. On the 
operating systems front, IBM continues to woo both Windows NT and Linux 
customers. Depending on the day of the week, either operating system is 
IBM's long-term strategic platform. 

Elsewhere on the software front, Lotus Notes is being squeezed between
Microsoft Exchange as a messaging platform and a wave of Web-based 
corporate portal applications that have collaboration capabilities. 
In fact, although IBM has a broad range of business intelligence 
tools, it has yet to define anything that could be considered a corporate
portal strategy.

Meanwhile, with application servers emerging as the core piece of 
middleware driving enterprise computing, IBM now finds itself competing
with at least 20 other more focused suppliers that are not hampered by
legacy code.

So the question is, will Gerstner really get IBM to the promised land, 
or will some other prophet be needed to get the company to the end of
the journey?

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