Some see the availability of IBM (IBM) Tivoli monitoring software on Amazon (AMZN) Web Services as a sign of the growing strength of the reseller's move into cloud computing. And there's no doubt that it is. But it also shows just how canny IBM is acting when it comes to the cloud. Here's a company that has learned some key vendor lessons.
One of the lessons demonstrated by making Tivoli available on AWS and even DB2 available on EC2 is that vendors have to realize that success means thinking beyond traditional business boundaries. Companies aren't going to become powerhouses if they require that everyone standardize on them, which, if the past is any way to judge the future, will be the Achilles' heel of Microsoft in this area.
The second IBM lesson is use the technology yourself, let people see you using it, and then suggest it to others. Now, this doesn't always work -- there is probably no way that someone could convince me to jab myself with a fork or adopt Lotus Notes, as I can imagine the first and have seen people who were saddled with the second. But, in principle, IBM was incredibly smart to showcase its "private cloud computing environment for business analytics" sporting a petabyte of data to start. And at the same time it announced a product, IBM Smart Analytics Cloud, to let clients do something similar.
Third, IBM has something which is largely due to its long history and size: patience. Cloud computing may have lots of people all hot and bothered, but these folk tend to be selling it, not using it. Business users are more cautious for good reason, because they've seen the "this is the final answer to all your problems" movie several times before. Time, repeated efforts, and first hand-use in-house use of the technologies, not flash and pizzazz, will be the keys to market dominance.
Image via stock.xchng user pryhanen, site standard license.