Sun FUDs me on IBM's SOA announcements

And I have some news for Sun, and it's not under NDA. IBM gets the business benefits of SOA so much better than Sun that it's not even funny.
Written by Dana Gardner, Contributor

So I take an IBM tele-briefing today, as I do quite often. And the news on SOA and IBM's go-to-market on the business benefits of SOA is under NDA until late afternoon. But an hour before the time for IBM to go public on the announcements, I get this email from a flak at BitePR representing Sun Microsystems. Here is the contents of that email:

Hello Dana,

Later today, IBM plans to announce news around the company's SOA efforts. As you're covering these announcements, please consider the fact that Sun has already been helping enterprises address challenging business integration projects. With over 1.1M subscribers so far, Sun is delivering a complete, secure, and economical Java Enterprise System for SOA business integration.  

IBM's announcement signals its need invest significantly to get its own product line to interoperate and integrate for customers. Today IBM's offering incompatible, dis-integrated, non-standard, and expensive. IBM has a long way to go to reach the level of open, integrated, economical offering that Sun already offers today.  

I've posted some additional points for you to consider below. If you'd like more Sun commentary on today's IBM announcements, I can arrange for you to meet with a Sun executive this afternoon. Just let me know what time works best and I'll arrange.



--Following its August 2005 acquisition of SeeBeyond, Sun combined SeeBeyond's business integration software with the Sun Java Enterprise System to create a highly secure and scalable SOA platform -- the Sun Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS).

--Sun has also already introduced professional services offerings to help further drive greater IT cost-savings and productivity and realize the full potential of SOA. Two weeks ago, IBM announced a suite of governance software to help customers create policies in their distributed computing systems. Sun has had a leading standards-based Registry/Repository product available since last year as part of Java Enterprise System 2005Q4 that has received wide acceptance in the industry.

 --Sun is already giving customers the market agility and ability to align IT with business goals that other vendors simply cannot match. Sun helps customers get faster ROI from pragmatic SOA products, services, and best practices already, with products architected on open standards, open source, integrated technologies ... unlike IBM.  And our innovative subscription pricing offers a complete SOA Composite Application development/deployment platform for a fraction the price.

I guess it's okay to bash the competition. But I have some news for Sun, and it's not under NDA. IBM gets the business benefits of SOA so much better than Sun that it's not even funny. Strange, I never got an email like the above from any vendor except Microsoft, and that was years ago when Redmond was at its FUDdy worst. I guess we can see Sun's next new strategy to grow the company: copy Microsoft marketing circa 1998, plus more storage tape.

Now product for product, we can have a discussion, and I'd say Sun has some strengths. The SeeBeyond-based SOA suite looks pretty good, and customers seem to like it. But is IBM really "incompatible, dis-integrated, non-standard, and expensive ... ?" Based on the large Java licensing fees IBM has to pay Sun, I suppose it is expensive.

Is Sun really "... architected on open standards, open source, [and] integrated technologies" such that it stands out meaningfully from other Enterprise Java vendors? Has Sun fractured Java such that Sun Java is better than anyone else's, based on Sun's own Java license and conformity tests?

Would anyone else care to pick out the hyperbole from the Sun analyst spin missive here? You may want to begin by comparing IBM's professional services capabilities with Sun's. You may also want to focus on Sun's actual "SOA repository" market share. One would think from reading the above that Sun has the planet's best SOA governance and composite applications capabilities and tools. Anyone care to chime in on that?

Yes, we can discuss the products and services. But as for marketing, IBM's may be a wee bit stodgy but it's straight-forward and business-like. But Sun's marketing seems to be degenerating into the ilk of the above FUD email. As an enterprise IT buyer, you decide which is more effective, and honest. And, hey, I'm just "sharing" the news that I got from Sun's media representatives here, folks, that's all. Sun loves the openness of the Internet, and so do I.

Also, look for the above Sun FUD in news stories and analyst reports over the next few days. It should offer some insights into how careful and objective the reporting and analysis goes.

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