Goodbye, Tivoli… Hello Open Source?
The VAR Guy rarely writes about industry research reports. You can never tell who’s really funding them. But in this case — involving a showdown between open source vs. traditional IT management software — he’ll make an exception.
First, you likely know the Big Four IT management platforms: HP OpenView, IBM Tivoli, CA Unicenter and BMC Patrol. Those are nice, big, complex, potentially expensive platforms. To put it a bit more diplomatically, customers get what they pay for: Rich, enterprise-class environments that require considerable time, money and energy to deploy and maintain.
Now, along comes a research report from Gartner indicating that customer loyalty to the Big Four IT management platforms isn’t all that great. GroundWork Open Source is out promoting the report, claiming it proves that open source alternatives could topple the Big Four.
Perhaps GroundWork has a point: Roughly 55% of recent survey respondents (106 responses) said they would consider open source alternatives to those offered by the Big 4 (up from 29% in 2004 survey).
No, The VAR Guy isn’t suggesting that GroundWork and other open source providers are poised to replace Open View, Tivoli and the like. And he certainly understands the power of those traditional platforms. Remember, he used to write about OpenView for HP World Magazine.
Still, the IT management market has always had its share of skeptics. And, at least from what The VAR Guy hears, it does seem like customers are eager for alternatives–especially from open source providers.
All that said, The VAR Guy doesn’t know who funded the Gartner report. But he’s enjoying the debate over its findings.