Last year I took advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program in the US and traded my 1997 pickup truck in for a new station wagon. I looked at Ford, Subaru, Toyota and many other major car manufacturers. I did not look at Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Grady White, Wellcraft or any other major boat manufacturers.
This year I bought a boat – and guess what? I only looked at boat manufacturers, didn’t look at any car manufacturers. Now, I may be narrow-minded – after all, boats and cars are just slightly different forms of transportation… But in general, I’ve found that car makers produce lousy boats and boat companies aren’t all that hot at making cars.
So, I’m always amazed when network infrastructure vendors like Cisco and Juniper build security solutions that try to get us to put their software on our endpoints, and when software vendors like IBM Tivoli or CA acquire and try to sell network security products. These strategies always end badly – it is why the McLobster sandwich and the Nobu Whopper never did well either…
To take this analogy a bit too far, I could have bought a boat-car instead and saved a boat-load (or car-load) of money. Of course, that would have given me the worst of both worlds – which is often what happens when infrastructure vendors acquire security companies.
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