I’m at the IBM Software Group Analsyt Summit today and tomorrow. I am sitting in the keynote, which is being delivered by Steve Mills. The focus of the keynote is IBM’s industry solutions.
I heard Steve mutter the word ‘application’ more in this speech than I have in any other. And he used the term ‘application’ in relation to what IBM is selling. IBM has run away from the perception that they sell business applications, pushing the infrastructure angle instead. But things seem to be changing.
IBM doesn’t offer big ERP, CRM etc., suites, and therefore hasn’t historically competed directly with Oracle and SAP in the applications markets. IBM does deliver ‘industry solutions’, many of which are heavily comprised of packaged composite applications. And guess what: industry solutions, heavily comprised of packaged composite apps, are huge strategies of Oracle, SAP and other business applicaiton vendors.
So, while IBM has historically avoided head-to-head competition with the business applications vendors, is that still the situation?
I asked Steve that question, and he thinks that the situation is unchanged.
I’m not so sure. I see a lot of similarities between IBM’s industry solutions and similar offerings from Oracle, SAP and others. The world may be changing.
What do you think?