ABSI - far beyond system integration

On 20 October 2014     By Doubi Ajami      Cloud , Salesforce , Dell

Fond memories of Apple and IBM

dinosaur imageEarlier this week, on Monday to be precise, two mega large IT companies announced their quarterly financial results: IBM and Apple.

Both companies have a special meaning for me and carry a special sentiment in my heart, My first computer was an Apple II back when I was still a student in 1980. Then I started my professional career selling the IBM Personal computer back in 1983. What's more, I built my reputation selling add-ons for the IBM PC (multi-function and emulation cards from AST) and networking solution for the MAC (with TOPS) with my current colleagues and good friends Dany and Laurent.

The results announced by both companies are in total contrast.

Apple soars and IBM plunges

IBM announced a poor quarter with sales declining (for the twelfth quarter in a row). This means IBM is shrinking. Obviously earlier this year IBM divested its industry standard servers based on Intel processors to Lenovo as this market is very competitive and this can explain part of the size reduction. But as  IBM’s Chief Executive Virginia Rometty said, there are more reasons for the poor results.

On the other hand APPLE trumpeted and crushed all estimates by announcing more than 42 billion in sales and more than 8.5 billion in profit (compared to 22 billion in sales for IBM and less than 20 million  in profit, including one time charges, for IBM). What 's more surprising, Apple did it with a relatively limited range of products and services and with the success of its newly announced iphone 6 and 6 plus that literally blew all previous figures.

You are probably asking yourself why the hell is Doubi writing about the results of those two large public companies, what does that have to do with ABSI, and with our daily occupation as a Belgian system integrator, managed services provider or cloud integration partner? Let me quote two sentences from IBM’s Virginia Rometty which rang several bells in my head when I read them: “Our results point to the unprecedented pace of change in the technology industry.”  And  "We've got to re-invent ourself like we've done in prior generations".

Those two sentences are the reason for this blog.

Re-invention for the new IT era

Yes our industry is going through fundamental changes. The Cloud is completely changing traditional IT rules. Companies such as Salesforce, Netsuite, Workday, Conerstone on Demand, Servicenow, Sitecore ... are dictating the new rules in town and you had better re-invent yourself or you will end up as a dinosaur and eventually disappear. I will even go one step forward. Radical changes are happening not only in the technology industry but in all sectors of the economy. It was a subject I highlighted during our last BBQ in September:  the combination of mobile, cloud, social media and Internet of Things and the need to think digital and act more digital are forcing every single company to re-invent itself.

How to make an elephant dance again?

The big question on everyone’s mind is how can you get a big elephant to dance again. Every company will give a different answer: HP decided to split, Dell to go private, Oracle and SAP have opened their wallets to buy cloud solutions. Time will tell who managed its re-invention and who joined the dinosaurs on the list of the extinct.