The Fall is traditionally announcement month in the IT industry and 2005 was no exception. This last wek was typical: at PDC Microsoft announced its Expression Suite of new graphics products overshadowing Macromedias launch of its Studio 8 Suite; Oracle announced its acquisition of Siebel overshadowing Microsofts PDC and the Microsoft Business launch into the SMB; IBM Rational and Sun Java Studio Creator tried to overshadow each other with upgraded IDEs and Cognos with its Suite 8 attempted to overshadow the whole BI industry with its new, completely browser based suite.

The Oracle and Cognos announcements were typical of what is happeining in the software space. In more market segments the industry analysts are now leading the vendors and calling for consolidation, rationalization and standardization roughly in that order. In short from Application Servers through BI-Business Intelligence to Resources Planning the major analytical firms are not willing to do the hard and often thankless spadework of establishing truly beneficial, common IT standards but rather are proposing consolidation and rationalization – code words for a cockfight to the finish, may the vendors who lined our pockets the most – win. So much for magic fighting quadrants.

Of course the magic goose that has spurred the creation of so many analyst houses will be cooked – but who is going to get in the way of a great big consolidation feeding frenzy ? Certainly not all the frantically feeding analyst firms, they have got to fatten up for the following forty months of lean.

So fully expect to see more overshadowings in the months ahead. November should be a vintage month – with Microsoft launching way overdue Visual Studio and SQL Server 2005-going-onto-2006. A number of BI vendors are announcing new products and we will get to see the SOA scene seeded with more Application Server, EAI-Enterprise Application Integration and ECM-Enterprise Content Management offerings – all appropriately overshadowed by rival vendors in the Consolidation Free-For-All.

Good luck IT shops in making your decisions – by sticking with IE through thick and thin, you have proved why you needed the analyst firms in the first place.

(c)JBSurveyer 2005

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