It’s not just Microsoft software that IBM advocates…

Watching the Lotus blogosphere as I do, it has been notable that there have been some really interesting discussions recently regarding the merits (or failings) of IBM marketing, and how often the “left hand doesn’t know what the left is doing“.  On a couple of occasions it has been pointed out that IBM actively pushes Microsoft products via its IGS and Intel folks, and heck, wouldn’t it be more sensible and cohesive if it was Lotus software that was being promoted instead?

Well, it isn’t just Lotus that feels the force of such confused marketing…  Check out this IBM press release from earlier this week:

IBM and Oracle Serve Midsize Businesses
IBM Joins Oracle Accelerate Program and Delivers Industry Solutions
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif & ARMONK, NY – 14 Apr 2008: Oracle and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an expanded relationship to serve midsize businesses. IBM will develop, sell and implement Oracle-based enterprise application solutions developed specifically for midsize clients.

This expanded relationship will significantly extend the market reach for Oracle, and will allow IBM and its Business Partner channel to deliver industry-specific, end-to-end solutions based on Oracle Applications and IBM hardware and services. Building on the Oracle Accelerate strategy and the IBM Express Advantage program, IBM will deliver industry solutions that are packaged, priced and delivered specifically for midsized businesses.

Both Oracle and IBM work to create opportunities and deliver solutions to customers of all sizes. This announcement reflects the value of combining the industry-leading capabilities of IBM Global Business Services as resellers for Oracle Accelerate solutions with the relationships, skills and presence of local IBM Business Partners.

“This agreement represents an important milestone in IBM’s continuing commitment to deliver targeted industry solutions to our valued midsize clients,” said Brian Mitchell, Global and Americas Oracle Leader, IBM Global Business Services. “We look forward to teaming with Oracle to bring innovative business solutions to this important joint client base.”

Imagine how the DB2 (Information Management) folks must feel reading such an announcement?  They work their socks off to produce an industry-leading product (in performance and technology terms) and others within the same organisation actively push the competitor’s product.

Now I’m a realist, and know that there will be IBMers in the “Systems and Technology” group that will be looking to sell more POWER or Intel hardware as part of Oracle-based solutions, and also that IGS probably will be involved in some large scale projects that include Oracle software.  However, as a partner (and indeed a customer) of IBM, I look at announcements such as this and perceive that IBM no longer truly considers DB2 to be a real contender.  They’ve fought a good battle for a number of years, but well, Oracle is just never going to beaten, and so IBM might as well just “join ’em”.  Now that would just be a perception of course, but isn’t that what matters at the end of the day?

Just the same as the ol’ perception that “Lotus is Dead”, fuelled by similar announcements/marketing/sales-speak about running Microsoft on IBM technology or services?

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