Sunday, October 11, 2009

How IBM will compete with SAP and Oracle in the future?

Would you like to know how IBM will compete with SAP and Oracle in the future? If so, check out IBM's BPM BlueWorks site. Create an account, and make sure you read the terms of service:
By posting Your Content (or portions thereof) to the Community, You hereby consent to provide Community users the ability to download, print, distribute, perform derivative works or otherwise utilize Your Content.' ...The above licenses granted by You in Your Content are perpetual and irrevocable.
Community users may create derivative works and use them. In fact, you could imagine that IBM would create, under appropriate open source licenses, business processes in their BPM suite, and allow IBM Global Services or customers to use them, provided they run on IBM's BPM suite.

Customers already have such models, created as they implemented their current ERP products in use. Many customers created these models in tools like ARIS or Visio, and it wouldn't take much to migrate those models to BPMN, the standard and open language notation used and promoted by IBM - the notation used by IBM's BPM BlueWorks community.

What would happen if IBM's consultants used this tool, together with a BPMN tool from IBM, to create a library of processes (composite applications) that can run on existing enterprise applications? IBM would be able to build - and sell - these applications to many customers through their services arm. Many of these composite applications would implement high-value, cross-"silo" processes, such as recall management, financial modeling, sales and operations planning. These applications would be designed to be cross-platform, running the process in a BPM system but integrating into "legacy" SAP and Oracle applications.

IBM could either leave the "legacy" applications in place, or replace their functionality over time. IBM could even develop services to allow you to keep the legacy applications in place, managed by IBM at far lower maintenance cost than what SAP and Oracle want from you, and promise you a never-ending library of composite applications to help you drive business innovation from IT. In fact, IBM could promise - and deliver - such applications at lower cost, faster, and with more innovative functionality than SAP and Oracle. SAP and Oracle wouldn't even know this was happening until it was a real threat to their maintenance revenue, upgrade process, and new application sales.

So, is this just speculation, or is this what IBM has been doing now for a couple of years?


  1. If this is what IBM is doing, I know where they can get a vendor-neutral, HRM object model "starter kit" to support their work in HRM apps. Feel free to have them contact me.

  2. Naomi -

    They couldn't find a better source than you! I think, however, they are building their collection based on customer contributions to a degree, but primarily from projects done by IBM Global Services.

    - Dennis