"The value proposition is 'It's better for me to stick with a single-vendor platform rather than having to do the integration myself,'" Heffner says. But users can still mix and match, he notes; for example, an IT shop can use IBM Tivoli products to do SOA management for Oracle software. "That won't become a nonoption," Heffner says.
And even when a buyer gets technology from multiple vendors, there could still be lock-in, Heffner points out: "If I'm buying all these things from different vendors, I'm just as locked in to those individual vendors as to Oracle and IBM."
IT shops like increased integration, say both IDC's Fleming and JPL's Teter. User organizations are interested in standardizing and consolidating on an entire integration portfolio and perhaps also on an application portfolio, Fleming notes, which means that IBM and Oracle have to make sure there are no product gaps. And Teter agrees that single-vendor platforms can offer integration benefits, so users can avoid the trauma of stitching together individual products.
Still, although he understands that both Oracle and IBM rely on strategies of acquisition, Teter laments a lack of organically developed innovation: "There's definitely not enough of that now. And what happens when there's nothing left to acquire?"
This article, "Are you stuck with Oracle's and IBM's middleware control?," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments on enterprise applications at InfoWorld.com.
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