The Tenuous Ties that Bind High-Tech Together

One day two vendors are partners, the next they're trash-talking each other. It's all part of the game in high tech.

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As to the lawsuits, Ravin says: "People misread litigation. Litigation is a part of the business process. It's about leverage, positioning." (See: HP's announced lawsuit of former CEO Mark Hurd, Ellison's outraged reaction, and then the "all's fine here, nothing to see" announcement a couple of days later.)

Ravin adds, to show the oddness: "We're helping out SAP with the [SAP-TomorrowNow-Oracle] litigation." That's the same SAP whose business Rimini Street it trying to undercut.

Compare the high-tech world to, say, Coke vs. Pepsi. They're not partners in anything. They're not sharing bottling plant alliances or back-office secrets. They're not anything but cut-throat competitors.

As consumers, we know what we're getting when we select a Coke or Pepsi. With Oracle or HP or IBM or SAP, it can be difficult for a CIO to know he's making the right choice in committing to one vendor's ecosystem of technology products and service providers.

If vendors truly want to be strategic partners with their customers, then those customers need to have ultimate faith in their vendors. Right now, with so much in flux and so many changing sides so quickly, it's hard to know who to trust.

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at twailgum@cio.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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