Thursday, April 05, 2007

Aikido, Retreat or War

I understand that most everyone else in the country is celebrating Maunday Thursday or Passover... I'm celebrating Alec Saunders Day. I suppose the vacation did him some good, as his blog is roaring away these days.

You should check out his analysis of the newly announced Office Communications Server, where he concludes that we now have a world where communications and productivity applications are inextricably entwined. I could not agree more, which really hurts, because I although I deeply respect and fear the Microsoft machine... take your hands off of my Mac or die. Microsoft really has it right this time, and shows that they really do have a trick or two left up their sleeve. In fact, I will amplify Alec's point : we now have a world where the business process and communications are inextricably entwined. At this point, only Microsoft and the Internet world have credible platforms for transforming the business process through communications technologies.

At the end of the piece, Alec talks about three strategies for coping in a Microsoft world. You can practice Aikido, and use Microsoft's momentum to your advantage, you can go to war and hit them head on, or you can retreat and go vertical. Iotum likes Aikido, which I believe is the only decent strategy for any horizontal-looking service. If you have a horizontal offering, you better start studying O-Sensei yourself, because it's the only way to survive. For the others, I would retreat and go vertical, very vertical, and very quick. Microsoft consistently fails in verticals, for an obvious reason : they ARE omnivorous, and verticals are all about focus. You'll be safe there.

For the bigger boys, let me suggest that you go to war with Microsoft. Why? It will amuse me, and all the other bloggers. You will not be so amused, but just like large carriers who are busy hastening their demise with IMS, you don't have very many other options.

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