Mills: All of them. Universally, consistently -- whether it's State Farm, whether it's Aetna, Standard Life -- across the board. The reason why is that if you decompose what their business processes do, you can see the patterns. And they tend to be less oriented toward competing with each other from within. At many financial services firms, you compete with your colleagues for bonus money, so you have competitors outside and you have competitors inside. And that's a lot of the reason they've operated like they have in fragmented mode.
Knorr: In this economic environment, are you seeing more demand for lighter-way solutions that deliver at least some of the value of SOA?
Mills: Integration on the glass through portal technology has been a very popular way for government agencies to collaborate with each other for constituency-based services without changing their back-end applications, which they all covet and control.
Knorr: On to cloud computing. IBM has provided the infrastructure for many software-as-a-service ventures. You also provide outsourced datacenter capacity on a one-off basis for large customers. I'm sort of surprised that IBM isn't offering something like Amazon Web Services. Have you ruled that out?
Mills: No, we haven't ruled it out, but some of these business models are challenging to figure out how you make money. Infrastructure on demand is an odd notion, and you also get what you pay for. I have stuff running on Amazon. I have a wonderful contract with Amazon: It costs me nothing, and they guarantee and commit nothing. It's totally symmetrical. I have no quality of service, no security, no privacy, no recovery, and, by the way, if I ever stop running there, they actually will not guarantee that they will return anything of mine to me. It's a 100-percent zero-guarantee environment. A wonderful thing. And they don't charge me anything.
Now, if you're a major bank, how do you feel about that?
Knorr: We only have a couple of minutes left, so I have to ask you this: What do you think about Oracle buying Sun? Now they can bundle hardware and software like you do, just like the CloudBurst Appliance that you just announced.
Mills: Well, they can do that now.
Knorr: They've done that in their alliance with HP.