Is the IBM WebSphere product family unnecessarily complex? If you listen to the competitors the answer is a resounding yes. But the reasons for this complexity and the impact on users are less clear. A common explanation is that the complexity means that IBM sells lots of consultancy to help implement projects; although this is a good jibe against IBM it is patently untrue. Spending five dollars on consultancy for every dollar of software makes the total cost of the project very high. Even IBM would not survive long if the competitors' ratio was, say, two to one off a lower software cost. It might be attractive in the short term but it is an unsustainable business model. In the worst scenario the consultants would not be from IBM.
A good article dispelling some of the perceptions around the WebSphere family; important because some would try to extend this mindset to Lotus Workplace.  Yesterday's announcement of Workplace Services Express should indicate how focused IBM is on making these products easy to install/configure/deploy...and the new archive installer will make its way from WSE into WebSphere Portal and Lotus Workplace servers.
Link: Bloor Research -- Is the WebSphere family unnecessarily complex? >

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