Wednesday, December 14, 2005

We don't all work for Global Services

Microsoft's Rich Turner is being playful again...

He is responding to an email from James Governor about one of his previous articles.

It's a long article and he makes some bold assertions.... I'll deal with a few of the more extravagant claims :-) (from my own perspective, as always.... none of this is an official response, etc, etc)

Firstly, he believes that the forthcoming WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus is essentially a triumph of marketing over technical innovation. I agree with him that our marketing team have done a stellar job of late. For what seems like the first time in a long time, we have managed to consistently describe our offerings, relate them to each other and to wider industry themes - and do it in a way that addresses our clients' real issues. However, it's a little unfair to imply that Kareem's team are also developing the product in their spare time. They're good... but they're not that good!

Rather, there is a lot of real innovation in there that will make this a compelling proposition to a large number of clients. Take one example: this will be the first ESB product in the market to deliver Service Component Architecture (SCA) functionality. *

Secondly, we haven't renamed Message Broker to "Advanced ESB". Of course, we did tinker with the product's name (it's now called "WebSphere Message Broker"). That seems to be something of an annual ritual for this product... I think it's had five different names in the five years I've been at IBM. However, we did do something important in this area in relation to the concept of an ESB. What Rich has noticed is that we now explicitly talk about broker in terms of ESB. To my mind, this is just pragmatic. Like it or not (and I happen to like it), the concept of an ESB is very important right now and we would be doing a dis-service to our existing customers if we didn't make it clear that they're on the right track (for they are) and we would confuse potential customers if we didn't explain to them that they can build an ESB on this technology. In other words, if everybody has settled on a name for a concept, it would be somewhat obstinate of me if I refused to explain how my stuff related. So the bottom line here is that message broker's name hasn't changed in any material sense but we do now make a point of emphasizing how well it allows an advanced enterprise service bus to be constructed.

Finally, Rich makes the mistake of assuming every consultant in IBM works for Global Services. IBM Global Services is a fine organisation but it isn't the case that we all work for them. I, for example, work for our Software Group - in IBM Software Services for WebSphere. I am measured on client success.... successful projects.... "enablement" (a fancy word for how well I help clients become self-sufficient), etc, etc. A very similar measurement model to MCS by the sounds of it. Indeed, if I spend more than a few weeks at a single client, it would be unusual. We, like Microsoft, simply want our clients to be successful with our products. Of course we partner with Global Services where appropriate - that's good for us and good for our clients. But to claim that the world's second biggest software company (which is what we are) exists solely to cross-sell services hours is absurd.

* It's not the first product in any class - our WebSphere Process Server wins that prize


Anonymous said...

Dear Richard,

This comment is unrelated to your article, which of course I don't understand, but I am leaving it to announce that you have achieved your aim: your blog is now ranked first on a Google search for 'Richard Brown'. Considering the popularity of your name and the fact that I recently saw some hair dye in the colour 'Rich Brown', this is a truly marvellous triumph.

Anonymous said...

sorry, I meant 'Richard Gendal Brown'

Richard Brown said...

Cool! Now, if people would only start clicking on my Google ads, I could retire :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey I tried that and found this very interesting site listed as third


How you have changed ;-)!!!

Richard Brown said...