Bob’s Big Picture technology predictions for 2017

As he has done for years, Bob Cringely has posted his 2017 predictions. Number six ought to be a fun one to watch.

Prediction #6 — Come-to-Jesus time for IBM. The most important 2017 event for IBM will be the retirement at 60 of CEO Ginni Rometty. The future of Big Blue absolutely depends on the actions this year of her successor. If she follows the example of the two previous IBM CEOs Rometty will stick around for a year as chairman before flying-off to paradise in her jet.

The reason I call this a Come-to-Jesus time for IBM is because the next CEO will have a chance to do something different with the company. If he or she decides to break with the past IBM has a chance. If the new CEO takes whatever game plan Rometty hands over and runs with that, then IBM is doomed.

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Maybe just as interesting, in one of his other predictions, Prediction #1, in fact, he talks about the Cloud Arms Race. In it, he only mentions IBM as an aside, with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft being the leaders. I suppose all of the talk from IBM about their cloud, is just that, talk. Oh, there may be some companies in their cloud, but not in the numbers that fill Amazon, Google, or Microsoft data centers.

CloudPro: Amazon WorkMail vs IBM Notes: Will it be a knockout fight?

You see, here’s the thing: no matter what you hear/see at an IBM event or from your IBM representative, there seems to be a disconnect between that message and the one you read on the internet. A chasm, if you will.

The public cloud market has coalesced around three big players: Amazon, Google and Microsoft (and that’s despite what other vendors have to say about the matter).  Of these, Amazon has established a massive lead leaving Microsoft and Google to play catch up.

Wow, “three big players.” Not one starts with the letter “I.” Interesting.

However, when you do read about IBM, it is never flattering. Nor is there any mention of something like “Verse,” since the analysts weren’t invited to ConnectED (regardless, you have to wonder about the amount of work IBM *is* doing with analysts when some/most/all have no idea about Verse). And even if some were at ConnectED (and there were), the number of press releases equaled zero.

And, as such, you get this:

The very fact that Amazon has got WorkMail off the ground (it’s expected to be launched in Q2 of this year) is an achievement in itself and in a week in which IBM got stuck into its layoff, sorry, restructuring programme, it’s a reminder of the nimbleness with which Amazon can move.

IBM itself had its own enterprise mail system but who talks about Lotus Notes these days? It’s still with us (as IBM Notes), but does anyone see it as a contender in a world that’s shifting to cloud. Amazon understands that perfectly and that’s why, despite the caveats, WorkMail is sure to attract a number of users later this year.

Not one mention of whatever IBM is calling their cloud service these days. Nothing about Verse, which is pretty much all that IBM is featuring (to whom?), and continue to point out IBM Notes. I am going to say that, in retrospect, IBM should have killed the “Lotus” brand long before they actually came around and did it. It seems like there is way too much baggage with that name, and it doesn’t seem like it is abating.

Finally, how is it, in an article dated today, that this individual knows nothing about Verse? Especially since it’s been Priority Number One for months, probably a year, with IBM? Perhaps it’s that no one even considers IBM, let alone try to find any message coming out of Armonk?

No one, it seems, but the faithful. As noted by the one, lone, comment.


Link: CloudPro: Amazon WorkMail vs IBM Notes: Will it be a knockout fight?

InformationWeek: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract

“As a threshold matter, IBM lacked any chance of winning a competition with AWS for this C2S contract,” the ruling said, and therefore it lacked standing to claim prejudice in the way the contract had been awarded. The GAO failed to assess whether IBM had the standing to file the protest that it did, said the ruling.

The court also objected to GAO failing to spot maneuvering by IBM’s lawyers. “The GAO failed to address the way in which IBM manipulated its pricing to create a bid protest issue,” it said. IBM “drastically departed from the approach followed in its initial proposal when it came to submitting its final proposal revision” for one set of requirements, known as Scenario 5. IBM had closely questioned the CIA on what it expected from the Scenario 5 requirements. By revising its final bid on Scenario 5, it gained the position to “argue that the agency did not evaluate Scenario 5 prices on a common basis. IBM was the only offeror who appeared to ‘misunderstand’ the Scenario 5 pricing requirements,” the court said.

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An interesting look into business practices at IBM, when $600M is at stake.