Partner or Purchase? Lenovo/Nutanix and IBM/Gravitant

Most IT vendors are in pretty good shape when it comes to their traditional focus areas and core customers. That’s partly due to experience—the more you gain, the better you become at expanding those skills—and partly because of the more or less linear evolution of technology. Scalability and performance tend to improve over time, allowing old skills to be adapted to new scenarios and use cases.

But sometimes vendors face a dilemma in how to pursue and exploit market opportunities that lie outside their expertise or product portfolios. When that occurs, further questions arise over developing a new solution or service in-house. The benefits of that approach can be considerable in that the vendor accrues all the returns from its efforts and investments. But there can also be considerable financial risks in this course, along with losing the time required to bring a new solution to market.

Alternatively, vendors can pursue these opportunities via collaborative partnerships or through outright acquisitions. Two such efforts occurred this week – partnering with to develop new solutions, and ’s planned purchase of , a provider of solutions. Both warrant further consideration.

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the .

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