CRN: How do you manage the challenge of going into vertical-market segments? It makes sense at first, but if you peel it back, you have maybe five major product groups, and each of the five has 20 products, and now each will get vertical spins. It's very complex.
Mills: The divisions are not separate entities. It's one architecture, one process, one management system. Nothing's surfaced in this organization without coordination from above. We're not just delivering things for the fun of it. All of these solutions are composites of technology from each of the divisions. It's kind of like baking a cake. The divisions do ingredients and solutions are a composite of the ingredients. You've got to deliver collaboration, Ambuj [Goyal, general manager of IBM Software] has the collaboration dimension. You need transaction control, [General Manager of IBM's WebSphere] John Swainson has that. You need data management/integration, [General Manager of Data Management] Janet [Perna] has that. [General Manager of IBM Tivoli Software] Robert [LeBlanc] has systems management and security. And [General Manager of IBM Rational] Mike [Devlin] has tooling. Each plays their role.
There are certainly buyers out there who buy in pieces, so products remain a valid paradigm of putting things into the marketplace but the shift toward more of an integrated package with more preintegration, more certainty of success in deployment, is building in popularity. We're just baking cakes.
Link:CRN: Interview with IBM's Steve Mills >

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