You're seeing basically a reverticalization of the stacks, like back in the BUNCH days. [Burroughs, Univac, NCR, CDC and Honeywell were mainframe rivals to IBM collectively known as the BUNCH.] You're seeing companies do what they did back then: We've got our own processors, we've got our own OSes, we've got our own services, we've got our own hardware, our own storage, our own app layers, our own management layer. You can buy it all from us. And look how happy you're going to be. And then Oracle came along and said, I've got an idea, why don't we do a horizontal database that runs across all of them, disaggregate what was pricing leverage? And Oracle just went from nothing to gigantic, basically busting those stovepipes.
So then everybody else followed suit. I'm going to be the operating-system company, I'm going to be the database company, I'm going to be the desktop company. I think the same gravity that caused [vertical integration] to fail in [the BUNCH] time will cause it to fail again. The integration is not meaningful. And it gives the vendor enormous leverage.
Behnia: And it's not practical given how much customers have already invested. These aren't green field, brand-new data centers where the customer's going to buy 20,000 brand-new servers and forget about all their 105,000 applications that have been written.
Beauchamp: CA built an incredible franchise back in Charles's [Wang] day just buying up a whole bunch of companies and basically taking that whole space, and saying, if you want one of those, we've got a bunch of them, right? There's nothing inherently wrong with that. It's just a different strategy.
Tivoli almost got it right back in client server. It's just -- the technology didn't really work, and it was client server based -- and some other things. But it was a pretty doggone good story. When that Tivoli framework came out, we looked at buying it. We went into discussions to acquire Tivoli before IBM did, and I was involved in those discussions. I told my boss, if they can do what they say they can do, they're going to put us out of business.
So when I got the keys to the car in 2001, I basically said, let's do this again, but let's do it right this time. Let's not make it a big, heavy framework, and let's break it down into bite-sized pieces. Let the integration occur naturally. When you buy the second piece, it should find the first piece and work together. Not that you can't upgrade this one unless you upgrade this one. We basically just redid the framework thing, modernized it, because it's got to work that way. The world cannot accept hundreds of point products that just manage one thing. It's illogical.
Each new computing paradigm sets up a new set of gorillas. So how big a risk is it that cloud is so different that it's going to open the door to a vendor who approaches management completely differently?
Beauchamp: There's a moment of fear that we experience every time something disruptive and new emerges. Once that wave passes, the next fear for us was: We know cloud's going to be big. We know customers are going to make architectural decisions. We have to win those bake-offs. So we set up a task force across the organization, and we just focus on winning that architectural [bake-off]. So we've got product initiatives. We've got distribution initiatives. We've got marketing initiatives. You know there's support, how we go to market. We're starting to win these deals.