Congratulations on your recent acquisition of Kenexa for $1.3B. The HCM application market has been steadily heating up and with SAP’s recent acquisition of SuccessFactors and Oracle’s purchase of Taleo, this looks like a good counter move.
Your announcement coupled with the recent news that Apple has become the most valuable company in the world prompted me to write this.
As I thought more about Apple and IBM and their respective positions in the current technology markets, I realized just how different the two companies are today from two decades ago.
Twenty years ago, when I worked for Apple as a young engineering director, IBM was “the” business information technology brand. Apple was nowhere — except in niche areas such as graphic design.
Under Steve Job’s leadership, beginning with his return to Apple in the mid-90’s, Apple emerged from near oblivion to become one of, if not ‘’the’, most powerful consumer — and business — technology brands.
Today, Apple’s products are used pervasively by people — at home and at work – throughout the world. Apple has become the leading mobile platform developers target for consumer and business applications.
IBM, in the early 90’s, was faced with its own set of challenges stemming from poor financial controls, lack of innovation and other issues. Gerstner is appropriately credited with solving these and his successors — Palmisano and Rometty – have continued that success.
Now, IBM’s stock is at a near all time high, more than doubling over the past 3 years. The Company invests in all the right buzz areas: Cloud Computing, Analytics, Mobile, etc. Wall Street is singing IBM’s praises.
Yet, in spite of all outward appearances, I respectfully submit that IBM may be headed toward another very rocky and challenging stretch of waters.Continue Reading …