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Savio feeling alone in the dark September 18, 2007

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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CalimeroI was reading Savio’s recent post on BEAS: essentially he suggests that much like IBM, BEAS should move to a bait-and-switch strategy and adopt Geronimo as their black duck entry level offering.

First, Savio goes onto a car comparison to show how BEAS would benefit from a mediocre entry-level AS offering to better fight Open Source competition. While I am not going to comment on Savio’s car taste (vs. mine), I’d like to thank him for the Toyota comparison as it expresses very well why IBM is very wrong with its Geronimo bait-and-switch strategy. Essentially, he states that offering like WebSphere CE and JBoss AS play a Toyata Yaris role vs. the Toyota Camry camp of the Weblogic and WebSphere.

Truth is that JBoss AS is not the Yaris Savio likes to depict. JBoss AS is a full featured mature EE implementation and the numerous ex-[BEA¦IBM] customers that have migrated complex and critical applications to JBoss AS can attest this. From there, Savio’s demonstration is pretty much broken.

What Savio doesn’t realize is the kind of message the WebSphere CE (as in Children Edition) strategy sends to the market: “we have a baby version based on Geronimo and a strong, performing version for the adults – WebSphere. Now, you have to know that we have no real compatibility between the two, so now is the time to make your choice Mr. Customer: are you developing a useless baby app that will never ever evolve in deployment size or are you a smart person?”. This along with IBM’s declarations that IBM and Open Source are the best buddies, is a cognitive dissonance that most people have a hard time buying into. If IBM was serious about middleware FOSS, they would be basing all of their WebSphere product lines on top of Geronimo (and possibly even leveraging FOSS for this). Truth is that such a solution would not work (at least in the mid term) with IBM’s business model and revenue expectations. Hence the dirty trick. So Savio shouldn’t even try to make us believe that “customers benefit, and that’s why we’re all here“: you are just trying to protect your crown jewels, and that’s very fine, you just have to be clear on your real objectives. (Remember, cognitive dissonance is your worse marketing enemy.)

Savio, I understand that IBM might feel a bit alone with its Geronimo embarrassment, but that’s certainly not a good reason to wish BEAS even more trouble.

Onward,

Sacha

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.” 😉

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Comments»

1. Savio Rodrigues - September 18, 2007
2. Stefano Maestri - September 20, 2007

I read both posts,
and I still convinced the main error made by IBM and BEA isn’t in the message or their the future plan. The main problem that drive them to these errors is that they didn’t realize why a lot of customer choice OSS solutions.
What he didn’t realize is Application Server users aren’t housewives needing Yaris or manager needing Camry, but something like an F1 mechanic that prefer a top performance car even if he have to put his hands under the hood sometimes.
We are developer, we prefer to get in touch with developer, and read code to understand where we are going than open a call to the support.
And consider JBoss a Yaris seems to me an opinion of an housewives looking an F1 and saying “it seems to small for my dog”.

3. Sacha - September 20, 2007

Stefano,

This is music to my ears 😉

Cheers,

sacha


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