Platform Fever

Nicholas Carr writes:

Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies, a supplier of one of the leading software-as-a-service applications for managing customer service, thinks the “platform fetish,” as he puts it, is dangerous. He shared with me a brief essay he’s written that attacks platforms like Oracle’s Fusion, SAP’s NetWeaver, Microsoft’s .NET, and’s AppExchange as either “global hegemony” strategies to “exercise total control over their customers computing environments” or “‘marketectures’ that exist purely to rationalize bad acquisitions.” Grand platforms, in his view, run counter to the real interests of corporate customers, who simply “need business solutions that actually help them compete and succeed in the real world.”

Ultimately, Gianforte believes, the on-demand utility model for IT delivery will combine with open-source software to render platforms irrelevant. As the underlying IT infrastructure becomes a commodity that users neither own nor care about, “the need to create a proprietary technology platform as a competitive differentiator” disappears. “MySQL replaces Oracle. Linux replaces Windows. TomCat and JBOSS replace Websphere and NetWeaver. Vendors that are still trying to differentiate themselves in these commodity businesses are clearly headed in the wrong direction. Yet that is exactly what platform vendors continue to do.”

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.