Microsoft Partners Running to IBM Lotus?
The VAR Guy is rather enjoying his ringside seat at this week's IT prize fights. Cisco Systems started things off by attacking Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. And now, IBM is jumping into the mix with a press release alleging channel partners face "waning demand for Microsoft products." But that's not all.
In the press release, IBM says 200+ Microsoft partners per month are "flocking to sell" the IBM Lotus Foundations Appliance. More than 1,000 Microsoft partners embraced Lotus Foundations in the first five months of 2009, IBM says.
The rather aggressive IBM press release goes on to say:
"According to Microsoft Business Partners, sales of Microsoft's Small Business Server (SBS) software bundle have stagnated due to lack of innovation and partner dissatisfaction with their inability to add solutions and services. Microsoft partners are looking for an alternative that provides SMBs with more collaboration computing power for less money and more reliability in these challenging economic times.
The attack doesn't end there. IBM adds:
"In addition, some Microsoft partners have expressed disenchantment with Microsoft's new strategy of battling Linux encroachment in the SMB market by offering a skeletal version of Windows Server. Named "Microsoft Foundation Windows Server," it can be positioned as a loss leader to up-sell customers a variety of other Microsoft products. Seeing rising customer demand for lower cost, more secure and open source alternatives, many Microsoft partners are looking to sell Linux-based solutions."
Calling for Answers?
Hmmm. The VAR Guy would give Microsoft equal time … but he's getting a bit frustrated with the software giant — which has failed to return multiple phone calls about the uncertain future of Microsoft Response Point, a small business VoIP solution. Still, The VAR Guy has an email into Microsoft PR regarding the IBM assertions.
Yes, The VAR Guy has heard rumors that Windows Small Business Server 2008 suffers from a difficult upgrade path. However, let's be clear: Thousands of partners remain loyal to Small Business Server. In fact, The VAR Guy plans to post a blog later today about a rather successful VAR that's profiting from Small Business Server.
In the meantime, IBM, Cisco Systems, and a growing list of technology vendors smell blood in the water. And they're all seeking to take a bite out of Microsoft.