Where is IBM?

IBM sells a lot of software, but I rarely meet its customers. Does anyone know who buys IBM?

I had been wondering this lately, and so have been asking people: who are IBM's software customers? My company sells into a wide range of Global 2000 companies, but we almost never bump into IBM databases or application servers (or hardware, for that matter). I can count the number of times on two hands, yet we often run into Oracle, Microsoft, BEA Weblogic, even Sybase. Rarely IBM.

IBM is doing a ton of revenue in software sales. But to whom does it sell its software?

I asked an analyst friend, and she had the same question (and had heard the same thing from other vendors). I asked a friend at a large competitor of IBM's, and she suggested that IBM's software business is mostly mainframe-based (where we would not compete).

What do you think? Do you see customers using IBM's software with your solution? Please let me know. I'm genuinely curious (and continue to be very surprised).


Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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