Redmonker James Governor argues that IBM is too risk averse, large-enterprise focused, and lacks a strong presence at the core of the Internet. His solution to IBM's apparent conservatism (which is how the mainframe obsessed IBM missed out on the PC revolution at first) is that the company should acquire Amazon:
Buying the company could be a transformative acquisition that would bring IBM new opportunities in both business process outsourcing (BPO) and grassroots development. Most importantly buying Amazon would also put IBM back in touch with consumers again, a calling card it lost when it spun off Lenovo, as well as bringing thousands of small booksellers to IBM as customers, expanding its small to medium enterprise footprint. Did I happen to mention that Amazon is emerging as a major software-as-a-service player.
It's an interesting proposition. As a global services provider, Amazon's S3, EC2, APIs and infrastructure as a service is appealing, and could reach an emerging market segment (the Web as a platform) in which IBM doesn't have any presence. Amazon's distribution network and supply chain expertise could come in handy. Capturing Amazon could upset some of IBM's customers who compete with Amazon's ecommerce business, and James offers some objection handling in his post.
In the end though, it's just too alien to think of Big Blue and Jeff Bezos together...that is unless IBM has a radical change in how it views its future business, which is unlikely, and Bezos wants to give up control. IBM is to happy getting the big services deals, like the five-year, $460 million services agreement with Swiss bank Banque Cantonale Vaudoise announced today.