Are Software Suites Finished?

IBM's announcement that Lotus Symphony, the company's version of OpenOffice, was downloaded by more than 100,000 registered users in its first week, got me thinking whether the value of software suites is coming to a close.For years now, software companies have used product integration as a means of locking users into a given platform.

IBM's announcement that Lotus Symphony, the company's version of OpenOffice, was downloaded by more than 100,000 registered users in its first week, got me thinking whether the value of software suites is coming to a close.

For years now, software companies have used product integration as a means of locking users into a given platform. Microsoft has been a master of this with Microsoft Office, but Microsoft is hardly alone. Every major software company has delivered software suites of one kind of another.

The question that I have is what role will suites play going forward in the world of enterprise 2.0 applications? Do organizations continue investment in suites, be it MS Office or Lotus Symphony, or do they insist on best of breed applications?

I raised this question with an enterprise architect at a major financial institution and he insisted that Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 applications should be purchased separately. this way you can get best-of-breed products. Any information exchange that needs to be done then can be done using RSS in the various products.

If he's right then enterprise 2.0 suites , such as IBM-Lotus Connections, BEA's Aqualogic, or Jive's Clearspace will be met with stiff resistance from folks like yourself. I for one think he's got a point. What do you think?

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