Sunday 10 January 2010

Update #4 on OunceLabs/IBM Relationship

Following the previous posts on this topic (see Update on O2 & Ounce & IBMUpdate #2 on O2 & IBM - 02 Sep 09 , Update #3 on O2 & IBM ) here is an update of how the first chapter was concluded.

After some internal debate, IBM decided that the time was not right for them to provide commercial support for O2, so instead of waiting around in IBM land, I made the decision to not accept the contract that I was offered (see why I said NO to IBM for now), which had the practical consequence that my contract with IBM ended on December 31 2009.

This means that I am now (Jan 2009) not 100% booked, which has the positive side effect that gives me the opportunity to focus on the O2 adoption by the community  :)  (btw, feel free to ping me if you have O2 related projects)

In some ways, I don't think that IBM was ready for O2.  IBM is still digesting Ounce Labs, and in some ways, they need to go through that process before they can look at the next generation of what the products should do (which is basically what O2 represents).

From my limited exposure to IBM, Rational and AppScan teams, It looks like they currently don't have the internal structure to be able to fully support the work that has been done at O2, and I think this step (going outside IBM for a while) will probably be an easier way to get O2 used (as a core platform) by the multiple IBM AppScan, Rational, ISS or Jazz products and teams.

That said, a very positive development of the additional resources that IBM is putting into the ex-OunceLabs team (now AppScan Source edition), is that they are now looking seriously at the features in O2 that should be added to their roadmap and eventually into the product (which is what I always wanted to happen).  In some ways, if you are an Ounce/IBM customer,  now is a good time to put pressure on them for your favourite O2 features to be implemented ASAP.

Just to be clear, there are no hard feelings between me and IBM, and we still have a good working relationship (non-paid at the moment).

My understanding is that IBM is telling their customers using or evaluating Ounce (AppScan Source Edition), that if they want some O2 customizations or services, they should either contact me directly or go via the companies that are able to provide O2 customization, services, consulting.

This IBM position is very important to the market, because it clarifies the current situation and opens up the market for companies who want to provide commercially related O2 services  (ping me if you want your company to be part of this group).

In a way, IBM is choosing not to compete directly on this space, preferring to focus their energy on their core products and making sure that the best O2 features are implemented quickly on AppScan Source Edition (and others)

As you can tell, one of the areas I am going to be focussing next, is making sure that there are a number of commercial companies that provide consulting services around O2.

In an interesting twist of events. If one of these companies is really successful in integrating O2 into their services, and, more importantly are able to successfully use O2 to integrate multiple IBM technologies,  that company should become an IBM acquisition target (which could be a late 2010 or 2011 development)