IBM’s Powerful Strategy: Give Customers the Power
One of the core problems with the technology market is an excessive focus on vendor-centric standards designed to lock customers into a vendor’s ecosystem. This works for a time, but inevitably the vendor then takes the customer for granted and the customer, who is effectively being regularly harvested by the vendor, eventually revolts. The most vulnerable vendor in the market right now is Oracle because it is aggressively force feeding customers hardware that they know isn’t competitive.
In stark contrast, IBM’s strategy around its Power Systems is to open up virtually everything (via its OpenPOWER initiative) and give customers control over what is being built. The company has succeeded to such an extreme degree that one OpenPOWER partner/customer, Google, is overseeing the effort. Having customers define their own solutions isn’t just gutsy, it is brilliant, but it is also only one part of IBM’s strategy.
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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review.