Blogger Meetup Correction

I had lamented that IBM was late to the party for meetups, but bragged that we were having a meetup at RSDC on Tuesday June 6th from 6-8 at the bar by the escalator at the Dolphin Hotel.

Well, the egg is on my face as blogger compatriot, Ed Brill let me know they’d already done it at Lotusphere. Way to go guys, you flew the flag for us.
So the good news is that IBM is not as behind as I described, and we’re still having ours hosted by Danny Sabbah, with the first round of drinks on IBM. I hope to see you there as there will be plenty to discuss from the first two days of the show and our blogging escapades.

And Steve O’grady, I hope to have fishing pictures by then as I’m going out on Friday to chase Redfish in Titusville with one of my best friends over the years.  Here’s what we’re after.
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We Remember

Today is Memorial day here in the states. It is the day that we remember the 800,000+ who gave their lives, paying the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of America and other countries. Although this is an American remembrance, many from other counties also died for our freedom.


I shed a tear in church yesterday, the first since my fathers funeral. They called up the soldiers who were in either the Army, Navy, Airforce, Coast Guard or Marines and played their theme song. I was very proud to be an American and thought of the many they served with who couldn’t make the walk to the front of the church. It was a wake up call that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We were also reminded that another paid the ultimate sacrifice for us 2000 years ago on the cross for our freedom.

But today is the day we stop to recognize that freedom is not free. It is defended by those who are brave. Many went to serve their country and didn’t return so that we can think and say what we want without a cruel dictator or regime censoring it, and many have tried over the years. I for one am grateful.

I’m also lucky as two generations of soldiers before me served and lived so that I can type this. My Grandfather who was in the Calvary in WWI….
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and my Father who served in WWII.

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I was going through some old clippings and found one from the AP that documented my Dad’s efforts..

proximaty fuse article.jpg

Today at 3 PM, there will be a moment of silence to honor and to remember these who didn’t ask to be chosen, but went anyway. Here is the text:

The White House Commission on Remembrance is an independent government agency whose missions include:

  • Promoting the spirit of unity and remembrance through observance of The National Moment of Remembrance at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day;
  • Ensuring the nation remembers the sacrifices of America’s fallen from the Revolutionary War to the present;
  • Recognizing those who served and those who continue to serve our great nation and reminding all Americans of their common heritage.

So while we splash in the pool, eat at a cook out and enjoy our activities, let us not forget that it was paid for with a heavy price.

My New Favorite Sponsor for Nascar

I was watching qualifying for the Coca Cola 600 and the first car that came out had, no kidding, CatDaddy Carolina Moonshine as the sponsor. What a great combination.

Recalling history, during prohibition, moonshine was run through the backwoods of North Wilksboro, North Carolina by the forerunners of Nascar. They souped up their cars to beat the cops, then boys being boys had to see who was the baddest…

As it turns out, the company only has 3 employees, but the town turns out to help when it’s time to bottle up this years batch.

A good sponsor and a way cool name.

Gearing up for RSDC

All attention for me from now till June 4th is on RSDC in Orlando. We have the next edition of the show blog by execs and analysts (we were the first IBM group to try this last year), we have podcasts. We’ll have the first IBM blogger meetup (see below). So it’s heads down and get the work done which includes all the announcement prep and analyst briefing.

Except that it’s memorial day and I’m going fishing . There is the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500, the Coca Cola 600, all which have to be watched. I’m also going down early to see my Mom for the first time since my Dad’s funeral and I get to fish with a good friend on the Indian River Lagoon.

I also have a ton of followups from analyst briefings, reports and other IBM issues that have to be handled before I leave.

So I’m laser focused on all things RSDC right now with no distractions

High Speed Software, or the real movable type?

This weekend is the Grand Prix of Monaco. A principality barely a mile long, but a tax free haven that sports more millionaires per square inch than perhaps anywhere in the world. It also has fantastic history and equally good names for corners. Nothing against Nascar 3 or Indy 1, but Mirabeau, Beau Rivage and Sainte Devote exude emotion from a race fan that has seen decades of mano-a-mano on this course.  Nancy, there is better shopping here than anywhere you’ve been 😉

Most F1 courses have 100 kilometers of run off at turns for screw-ups or crashes. One wrong move here and it’s into the concrete wall, roughly a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars per wreck.


There are also more computers in this cramped place and more lines of software code and specialty chips than most data centers. They can monitor a sixteenth of a pound of tire pressure from across the city as it inflates due to stress of improper setup. Budgets approach $1 billion including full computer car design, wind tunnel testing at 1/4 scale, aerodynamics and communications capability that rival all but a few countries.

So I wonder, how is it that when they hit a bump between Casino and Mirabeau at over 100 MPH that would knock your fillings out, these cars which are moving software machines don’t miss a beat. For sure they’re not powered by Window’s because there is no Ctrl-Alt-Del in the cockpit.  I wonder if the teams consider uploading viruses to the launch control of their competitors?  Symantec? Norton?  no way.

I also wonder if there is a PHP script that monitors the traction control preventing wheel spin at 19,000 RPM’s? Is there a Perl script that handles shifting at close to a millionth of a second which is the reality of a F1 gearbox? Are the software programmers actually more valuable than mechanics, or are they the mechanics of the future?  It’s likely the Unix center of the universe.
If you think I’m going to be worrying about software while cars scream through the streets of Monte Carlo, with scenery like million Euro yachts and beautiful women in the harbor….


get a life.

Why I gave up the newspaper and don't miss it

I went from 7 days a week to almost cold turkey on the newspaper, and don’t seem to miss it much. I got the Raleigh News and Observer.
There are a number of reasons why:

  • The news was 24 hours late
  • I already knew most of it from the internet
  • I couldn’t believe what they wrote due to poor research or point of view
  • The weather prediction is a crap shoot
  • I couldn’t believe what was written
  • I’ve boycotted all the pro sports that boycotted me because they weren’t getting enough millions and were complaining
  • I get better news and points of views from the blogs or podcasts
  • I couldn’t trust whether it was true or not
  • If there was something I needed from the local paper, I got it the day of off the net rather than the next morning

I know I repeated myself in about 3 of the above points, on purpose.

I now take it on the weekends mainly because they have the coupons for saving money. It makes the subscription about free.

What do I miss?

The daily cartoons that I follow, but even they are on the internet if I really cared. Also, it was handy when I needed to take something to the reading room.

I have followed the decline of the subscription renewal rates for most of the written publications and they are going down faster than a truck without brakes on a mountain. Mostly from the reasons I stated above. My unscientific research looks like it’s a toss up between lack of timeliness and lack of believability now. I’ve followed this trend with the network news and most of the cable news also.

Update:  here is how the blogs discover the truth, and the MSM doesn’t do proper jounalistic research:

Blogger Meetup at RSDC

IBM will be having it’s first ever meetup at RSDC in the Dolphin Hotel at Disney from 6-8 on Tuesday June 6th during the Rational Software Development Conference.

This is somewhat significant as we’re doing a meetup, but you’d expect a blogging company to do these things.   Well, we weren’t the first company to blog either, but we’re in that game now.  I’m just glad I had something do to with something that is a first, which at a company the size of IBM, is tough to do.  In all fairness, Steve O’Grady helped us with it so we didn’t screw it up, thanks Steve – you were a big help.

Additionally, we’ll be hosting a blog during the show for executives and analysts and webcasts with the Rational and developerWorks Executives.

See you there, either in person or in the blogosphere.

119 people died, and not one killed by Jack Bauer…

….on last night’s episode. 107 on a Russian went down to centox nerve gas (a hidden container not previously accounted for), one American officer on the same sub and 12 special forces agents.

Kill Counter

Next week is the 2 hour finale, and since the bad guys have 12 multiple warhead missles and are terrorists, Jack will have to save the world from wmd’s and terrorism in 120 minutes….

I’m betting on Jack. JUST DO IT….

More of my iPod adventures – I need Podcast Alley help

I can’t leave well enough alone. iTunes is manageable enough for me to deal with most of my iPod issues. I’m going to quickly dismiss the music issue as everyone has their favorite way of getting music, or in the case of some of those younger than me, stealing it which to me is wrong, but each to their own.

Podcasting is another issue. Back to the kids, iTunes is one way to get podcasts which I’ve done, but in my listening so far (I have 243 in queue right now), I’ve been directed to podcast alley. The kids say that is “what the cool kids do”. So I went there to check it out and found that this is in fact the truth. I found tons of stuff I can’t wait to listen to, if I could get it to my iPod.

So I went to Sourceforge and downloaded Genesis 7 as a player and I can listen to what I want to as long as it’s on my pc, but of course that’s not good enough for me, I want it on my iPod. So I now have to find an iTunes substitute to load content on my video iPod. Off to iPod Software iLounge and didn’t find the freeware I was looking for, so it looks like analog explorer for $25 is my leading contender.

So I’m hoping that someone has a good suggestion for moving podcasts – both audio and video to my iPod for my new podcasts or from podcast alley.

Podcast's, Sturgeon's Law and the Nordschleife

When I first got my iPod, I thought I’d be listening to my favorite songs and knew that I’d be looking at video’s which I still do. What I didn’t realize was that I’d quickly get addicted to some podcasts.

Before I got it, I made some off the cuff remarks that I’d listen to the Tour de France updates on the plane and technology updates. The part about the Tour is true, when it comes up later this year. I tried listening to a few technology podcasts and quickly found that it was both a lot like being at work, and most of the quality was in the 90% of Sturgeon’s Law.

I quickly went to my old and new interests, those being racing and the show 24 and found lots of other stuff I follow like Karate. Three different Formula 1 podcasts and 2.5 24 podcasts (one is not consistent) and many others come through constantly for me.

Now to the point of this blog. I was listening to The Chequered Flag by BBC Five Live this morning in the gym, and there was an unbelievably good description by a journalist riding in a DTM Mercedes drive by current series leader Bernd Schneider, on one of the most famous stretches of road you can race on, the Nordschleife in Nuerburg Germany located in the Eifel mountains. nordschleife.gif

Tearing through the track at 200 mph, getting airborne, the tail of the car almost losing grip and incredible g-forces. I was jazzed, and this is what podcasting should do for you, get you involved and entertained. It’s worth a listen and it’s the podcast from 5/6/06 if you want to get it. It’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stick up and rip the tag off your shirt.
I get that if you are in college you can download the professor’s lecture if you missed class or need to re-listen, but Puleeze….spare me, blasting through the Karussell or hearing about organic chemistry 411, which one would you rather listen to? For me, I listen to the 10% of quality podcasting Sturgeon talked about that I’ve filtered through to get what I want.And yes, I pedaled much faster during the lap which is 14 miles, 170 bends and breathtaking.

IBM Bloggers, Who are we? – Jeff Jonas

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A little while back, I asked the question, who would you like to see in the next bloggerview? Stefanie Sirc, one of my first ever bloggerview’s suggested today’s interviewee as one of the fascinating people she works with.

Jeff as you’ll find out is like many of the recent bloggerviews, one of the really smart guys who works for IBM, an inventor and someone who can fit two or three days worth of work into one. I found Jeff and his work to be very important and something I take a personal interest in, finding and dealing with bad guys. I’ve included a link to Jeff’s blog below so you can read more on how they use data to deal with things like cheaters in Vegas and how they can put the pieces together to link up events before 9/11.

For more on this, here’s a link to Jeff featured on The Discovery Channel talking about spotting relationships amongst thieves, an excellent discussion of Jeff’s work.
What is your job title (and what does that really mean as far as your job)?
I am the Chief Scientist for IBM Entity Analytic Solutions and an IBM Distinguished Engineer. What does this mean you ask? I tell my parents my job is to invent new left hand columns. Here’s what I mean by that…
When organizations want to acquire technology they often place the capabilities/requirements in the left hand column and then the competing products across the top columns. This matrix is then used to evaluate technologies. My goal is to invent capabilities the customer has never even conceived of. Thus when they hear about the innovation, they say “I must have that!” and so it becomes a new left hand column. And they start telling everyone else about it. The best news of all though, is IBM already has it!”

Some work experience/background that you want can tell the readers?
Back in the early 80’s I worked a lot with credit bureaus/collection agencies. These organizations often had “skip tracing” units with trained staff who would use public records (and other tricks!) to locate people who had ducked out on their debt – doing their best to hide. Learning a bit about this technique turned out to be extraordinarily useful when asked by the gaming industry how to keep the unwanted out and later when asked by the government how to detect corrupt employees within.

How do you describe what you do to people who don’t know you or your industry, to the layman?
I help people find a few bad guys … and work awful hard to do this in a way that does not cast such a wide net as to trample the privacy and civil liberties of the innocent. Catching bad guys while upholding our Fourth Amendment values turns out to be a rather tricky activity.

What are good things about your job, what keeps you going?
My job is my hobby. I am constantly trying to figure out how to get more work done and I try to structure my life to be as productive as possible. Of course, I also have to do this in a way as to be a good Dad — I am a full-time single parent of three kids (two still in the house). What is so gratifying is when I get a call that says something like “you should be a proud American today” –then “click” they hang up. This means one of my systems somewhere in government helped in some material way!

What are your hobbies?
I am a triathlete in my spare time. I do several Ironman distance races a year. And while I am not very fast, I always seem to achieve my first two objectives — not being last and beating at least ONE girl! Last year I did two Ironman races, one in Zurich, Switzerland and the other in Western Australia. Because I work so much, I don’t have much time to train – for example, I only swam twice last year (each race) … that’s right no swim training at all! Not only does that make me a slow swimmer, but by the time I get out of the water my arms are so tired I can hardly get my wetsuit off under my own strength! 🙂

What are things you’d like to change either at your job or IBM?
I have so many ideas in my head — inventions, new left-hand columns – that it would take hundreds of IBM engineers to keep up with me. So in the meantime, I have to find the best one or two inventions a year to champion, while the rest lay in wait. As an innovator, this makes me feel a bit under utilized.

Briefly describe what Relationship Recognition is.

Let’s take a retailer for example. When the purchasing agent turns out to be roommates with the vendor — that can be a big problem (conflict of interest) if not previous disclosed. But how would the retailer ever know this? Relationship Resolution detects this by making sense of the data the retailer already has in its arms – albeit trapped in separate database silos.

Does that make you feel like a superhero?
From time to time I’ll suffer a brief “delusion of grandeur” moment, and then shortly thereafter I’ll get utterly humbled. So I’ve basically learned to be very cautious about a sense of greatness. And whenever I think I am at the top of some game, I find another group of people significantly more elevated. For example, I started thinking I was a privacy advocate myself. This lasted less than a month, then I met David Sobel, the general counsel of EPIC. I heard him speak. He was so inspirational and deep. I immediately demoted myself to a student of privacy and realize that is the most I can hope to be.

Where do you see your work going in 5 years, 10 years?
I am really interested in the area of “perpetual analytics” whereby the “data finds the data” and “relevance finds the user”. This is required as we cannot expect users to ask every smart question every day. I see computers beginning to deliver extraordinary new levels of useful information in such areas as improving healthcare outcomes. The trick will be advancing technology so that organizations and governments can compete in ways that stave off the “surveillance nation” end-state. In fact, my latest innovation to become a commercial product is this ability to have computers associate more data for better conclusions while handling only anonymized data. Such a breakthrough, whereby information can be robustly analyzed while remaining in its cryptographic form, may result in a world where it becomes common place to anonymize one’s data before sharing it. This is a better privacy story than prior information sharing alternatives.

What do you wish you could do now that you can’t and why?
I often feel that the way I see the world and the immense opportunities for improvement are trapped in my head. What kills me is I find it hard to get these ideas out of my head and into the hands of others in such a manner that they get the really big picture I am seeing. That is one reason that I started a blog. My goal has become to speak less and write more.

What is your relationship with analysts:
I brief analysts from time to time. Although names and affiliations are a bit of a blur, Mark Beyer at Gartner and I really see eye to eye!

What do you need to tell analysts about EAS that you’d like them to know?

There is this interesting capability that almost every system lacks called Sequence Neutrality. If Sequence Neutrality is present, the order the data arrives does not change the end-state once all the data has arrived. So many processes are designed to assume that all required data to make the decision is present within the system at the decision making point. But what are the odds of that? Sometimes no better that 50/50! Could that mean half the analytic answers produced by some systems are incorrect? Possibly!

One of my first entries in my blog ( is on Sequence Neutrality. And we are the only ones talking about and delivering solutions in this direction. And it is going to be a game changer when folks realize why it is so critical not only to accuracy, but also scalability and sustainability. Without sequence neutrality data warehouses drift from truth. With sequence neutrality they don’t drift at all. This means no periodic database refreshes are required. That means an organization does not have the wrong answer until the next database reload is completed. This is a BIG thing in itself.

IBM Bloggers, Who are we – Grady Booch


As always, I really like doing these bloggerviews, this one especially. A lot of it is because I get to talk to some of the smartest people at IBM and in this case, the industry. For as much as he’s done, Grady has the right to enjoy celebrity status being an IBM fellow and a leader in the IT world, yet he is very down to earth and we had a very enjoyable conversation. I know you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I did learning from him.

A bit of history, when we first thought of the concept of the developerWorks Blog, the discussion came up that we needed blogger of rock star status to gain notoriety. The first name that came up was Grady. I knew when I started my blog, that this was one of the discussions I wanted to have, now you can too.
Note: Grady is hosting a blogger meetup at the Rational Users Conference June 6th from 6-8 pm, see you there.

Were you a rebel as a kid?
In a different way. I built my first computer from scratch when I was 12. I had borrowed a book called Computer Design, and used it as a manual to create my first computer. I saved my allowance to buy discrete transistors and so I built from scratch. My parents didn’t really know how to deal with me. In addition to the computers, I built my own laser and I was into model rockets. You could say I was a classical geek. In fact, I was a geek before it was cool to be a geek.

I built my computer because I really wanted to program. The computer did four function math and had 256 bits of memory. I thought it would be cool to program so before high school I wanted a job in computers and I went knocking on doors of all the local computer companies, to no avail. I then went to the local IBM sales office and a sales guy sat with me at a lunch table and gave me a book on Fortran. He probably thought that I would go away after reading it, but a week later, I came back with some programs I’d written and I asked for computer time. He got time for me on weekends on an IBM 1130 used by the Amarillo Public Utilities. My first program was a simulation of particles colliding at subatomic speed and a calculation of the release of energy. I still have the original deck of cards. Perhaps the one event that started me on computers was an article in Life magazine about a robot named Shaky built by Marvin Minsky. A few years ago, I approached the trustees at the Computer History Museum in California, urging them to also become a museum of software. While I was getting a tour of the emerging facility, John Toole told me to turn around too look at the original Shakey, sitting in a display behind me. That was so cool and it gave me a pleasant sense of closure.

One thing that my friends and their children are surprised at is these days that I always knew that I wanted to be a computer scientist.

How did your military career help you with what you do now?
So I was self taught until I went to the Air Force Academy. I had many scholarship offers including West Point, but chose USAFA because they had an incredible computer science program. Also, I knew that when I graduated, I would be involved with some amazing technology in the real world from which I could learn. Some of the things I did in my first assignment was to help build systems in support of missile programs such as the Minuteman, Titan and Shuttle. One of the last things I did was work on a range safety system for both the West and East coast military ranges. Through this work, in my early 20’s, I learned what it means to build complex systems. We had hundred’s of thousands of lines of code, running on distributed computers, and so the issues of scale and complexity hit me early.

I’m proud to report that in 1979 I had my first email address on the Arpanet..

Around that time, I was also doing some Ada work and got involved as an instructor at USAFA. I was asked by Larry Druffle who was involved with the Ada Joint Program Office and later went on to found the Software Engineering Institute to consider how one would apply modern software techniques to Ada. It at through this work that I coined the phrase object oriented design.

It has been a long journey for me with in complex software, far before it was an issue in industry.

You say on your blog that you like to read. What interests you in your book selection?

My book listings on my site are mostly professional books. I have a spreadsheet includes all the books and journals I read there. Frankly, one of the reasons I built my current home is that wife and I ran out of space for our over 8,000 books.

I enjoy writers who are good story tellers like Michael Chabon and Terry Pratchet. Right now I’m reading Wuthering Heights, and I just finished reading a book on the history of Islam and another on prayer. I’m attracted to authors who have a command of the language, such as Umberto Eco, and I try to learn from them. As a result, I think I’m a curious combination of a geek albeit an articulate one.

I read more nonfiction than fiction. I like history, especially covering medieval and renaissance periods. In fact I play the Celtic harp.

Why did you become a blogger and How did/does that affect your job?
I started blogging before IBM asked me to. It happened in conjunction with the handbook on software architecture I decided to write. Being involve as a software architect in a multitude of systems in various industries across the world, I wanted to fill a serious gap in the body of knowledge of software engineering, by codifying the architectural patterns that are used in the world. I realized it then that it would be a journey instead of a discrete issue, so thus the blog as a forum for discussion during that journey.

So I began the blog but I couldn’t find any software out there that did what I wanted, so I wrote my own blogging software so I could work on the Handbook anywhere in world. I added an RSS feed to push XML to the IBM developerWorks site, so now it posts to both that site and mine..

What blogs do you read?
This will certainly reflect my political views, but I read Slashdot is also a must have. My Handbook site lists the many that I read from time to time.

Do you like Sci-Fi, for example are you a trekkie?
Yes actually, in my office every copy of Star Trek, the Next Generation, episode so you could say I’m a trekker.

What are your favorite video games?
This is interesting as I just came back from a gamer convention. I just finished Halo 2, and am currently stuck inside the gates of hell in Quake 3. All things being equal, though, I’d rather read a good book.

Speaking of the game community, I’m attracted to it because this is an industry that’s really discovering the problems of building complex software.

Your job Title is IBM Fellow, but what does that mean to the man on the street

It means two things. My role as a Fellow is to invent the future and to destroy bureaucracy, I’m a designated free radical for IBM, and it’s my job to disturb the norm, to think outside of the box, to make people uncomfortable with the status quo, plus have I have a license to do so. It is to IBM’s organizational credit that it recognizes it needs such people.

If you weren’t an IBM fellow, what other job would you be doing, or what company would you be working for?
Now there is an interesting question. I’d probably be an poor itinerate musician or a priest. Baring those more radical career choices, I’d otherwise still be in the software world, doing the same things as I am doing now. My professional passion is how to improve and reduce the distance between vision and execution in delivering complex software-intensive systems.

What are you working on now?
I work on many things, some I can talk about, most I can’t. The Handbook is an important project for me, I spend a lot of time with customers, I help to manage Rational’s relationship with IBM research, and that involves me in efforts about radical simplification and what to do when Moore’s law dies.

What do you talk to Sam Palmisano about?

I don’t talk to Sam that much – he runs the business and I’m essentially a geek – but I do work with Nick Donofrio who works directly for Sam, We talk about various customer engagements, improving industry/academic relationships, and various issues of technical strategy.

What is your vision of the future, next year, 5 years 20 years?

Software has been, and will be always be fundamentally hard, In the future, we’ll be facing yet greater complexity . Open source, the commodization of operating systems and middleware, disposable software (that which is created by non developers), the presence of pervasive devices are elements of this growing complexity. Furthermore, the world is flat. No political or geographical boundaries limit creativity and complexity in software-intensive systems, and thus it’s also increasingly a problem of collaboration.

How long do you see yourself doing what you do now?

Until my heart stops beating.

What is your relationship with analysts? What would you say to them?

I have an A/R handler, I go where they tell me to go, What i talk about though is where I spend my time, namely worrying about the future, the primary horizon being 3-5 years out, with consideration of the forces that are morphing us.hat we need to get us there.

If you could write your legacy, what would it be?
There is a question I’ve never been asked before. How about “he’s not dead yet.”

Seriously through, I hope people will have viewed me as kind and gentle man who lived fully.

Everything else is just details.

What’s on your iPod?
Surprisingly, I don’t have and iPod, but I do have 9 Macs along with a Google Mini and two terabytes of storage, on which I’ve ripped all my music. I’m currently listening to Adiemus, , Dead Can Dance, Tori Amos, Loreena McKinnett, and Twila Paris.

What is the final frontier for users?
It’s curious what we do as software developers: at its best, be build things that are invisible. If we do it right, our work evaporates into the background and remains unnoticed, yet still providing socially and individually useful functionality.

Follow the Money, where are the lands to Farm?

We’re in the fight for Partners, middleware, marketshare and mindshare.

There are many things in play. First of all, many of the middleware vendors (Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM) are well established, especially in the traditional geography’s like the US and EMEA. The fight for standards is down to .Net vs Open (or NetWeaver I guess), I think each will have plenty of share, plus or minus some points along the way. The ISV community will have to make a decision on who to partner with or develop for, another decision being made.

So there is plenty of ties here and no clear winner so far, lots of the companies here are neck and neck in the established playing field, so who will take control? The caveat here is the established playing field. The opportunity is in the unplowed farmland which is the emerging markets.

Here is where I’m referring to. The BRIC countries are Brazil, Russia, India and China. Most have no real allegiance to any of the stated companies above, although there is considerable upside for open standards. There are many Asia Pacific and Eastern European countries who also tend to go to open, which doesn’t bode well for .Net or NetWeaver as they are more or less proprietary, Microsoft has a perception problem with monopolistic tendencies, Oracle won’t have a full fusion integration offering until 2007 and then there is IBM.

Sure my view is contaminated as I’m taking the IBM viewpoint, but I’m also a student of history and I’m for competition. I doubt that there will be a dominant player like there is in the operating system space, but I do know that the opportunity is in the masses or the Long Tail of the market. That is the many small players that make up the majority of the marketplace, especially in the emerging markets
Now that I have set the playing field, here is what we are going to do to in this space. IBM is pushing hard to localize the partner programs by region, by country. We’ve checked with the country and area managers to see who is their target ISV’s. We also have a resource that the competition doesn’t have, 40,000 sales reps to help the partners close sales.

So we will fight the good fight for the marketshare points in the traditional space.  The ISV’s and customers will vote with their money and we’ll see who is the winner. The big win for us is the rest of the world, the emerging markets. We don’t see the other companies much there and we’re heads down on that space.

So I doubt that Ballmer or Ellison or Schwartz read my blog, but if they did, they’d know where we are gaining ground and where we are going to do our damage. Even if they did read this, do I think they’d listen? I’ll let you know if the recruiters call soon. I’ll bet that we continue to make progress and they’ll be playing catch up.