Beware big vendors if you care about viability < Real Story Group Blog.Added ByTony Byrne
When I was a pup in the enterprise technology industry, I noticed that some of the best solutions came from smaller vendors. Upon hearing this, my elders would pull me aside and say, “sure, but how much longer will that vendor be around?”
That’s a hard argument to counter, because of course everyone harbors fears about their vendors’ viability. Statistically, most small businesses fail. Software vendors are no different, and who wants to get stuck with an unsupported product? In the wake of the dot-com bust, the old canard, “no one ever got fired for recommending IBM” got replaced with, “at least we know IBM isn’tgoing away any time soon.”
Two decades and much gray hair later, I’ve come to the conclusion that the very biggest vendors can actually carry the highest risks in terms of product continuity. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, EMC, Google, and SAP aren’t going to fail as companies, but they will kill individual products at the drop of the hat. Remember they are constantly buying other vendors, and their own product strategies can shift quickly, due to staff turnover, equity market shifts, or simple faddishness, to which the biggest players are especially susceptible.
I was reminded of this yesterday whenApoorv pointed out that IBM has quietlyannounced that it will stop marketing its Omnifind Yahoo Edition (OYE) search engine, and discontinue support next year. IBM has had a tendency to proliferate different search technologies across its various product lines, so perhaps this sort of rationalization makes sense. Except it may not make sense for those customers who bought into OYE when IBM made a big splash with itfour years ago. Replacing search technologies is no trivial effort.