If youve read my musings on Sun and its missed opportunities in the software market which I believe have doomed the company to ignominy what Im about to say will sound familiar. Because HP is really too much like Sun to be anything more than another minor bump in the road for IBM, and HPs enterprise software strategy, or lack thereof, is directly to blame.
Why the comparison to IBM, and why talk about HP in an enterprise software column at all? Because IBMs triple-threat presence in the industry hardware, software and services is not only helping drive competitors like HP and Sun underground. IBMs three-fer is also a major contributor to the strategic thinking positive and negative in the enterprise software market. Its hard for SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft to think about big, paradigm shifting strategies without the WWID What Would IBM Do factor being taken into account as well. Want to change the relationship of ERP software to the database market? WWID? How about reduce the complexity and service requirements for enterprise software? WWID again. Want to create a new market for composite applications? WWID? And so on.
In other words, everywhere the enterprise software market wants to go, IBMs presence is felt, and its opinion is either solicited or divined. Do you think theres a WWHPD factor? Not a chance.
Why? Its simple: HP has no enterprise software strategy, and no services presence. Theres no strong partnerships with software companies, no strategic position in the ERP market, no leadership position in services or on-demand, no compelling reason why the demise of HP tomorrow would wreak havoc on the fortunes of the top enterprise software vendors or even the smaller ones, for that matter.