When it comes to deep insight on customer engagements and expectations, and the ability of the IT industry to meet those needs, few people in this business can match the expertise of IBM group executive Steve Mills.
And in a recent Q&A interview with TheDeal.com, Mills shared some of that wisdom via a range of opinions and insights covering how IBM evaluates and manages acquisitions, the power of analytics, and the additional responsibility Mills took on six months ago when the longtime head of IBM's software business also assumed responsibility for all of the company's hardware as well.
Among the topics TheDeal.com asked Mills about was Oracle, and Mills offered some compelling opinions on the complex relationship and marketplace dynamics that exist between these two companies that are simultaneously long-term strategic partners and also ferocious competitors.
I'll offer a sampling of Mills' thoughts on Oracle and Larry Ellison, and then move on to other bits of wisdom and insight from the article.
(For some deeper analysis of Mills's outlooks and strategic perspectives, please see our column from six months ago called Global CIO: IBM Top Product Exec Discusses Strategy, Systems, And Oracle.)
The perspectives are particularly germane because IBM and Oracle battle head to head for CIOs' hearts and wallets in everything from databases to middleware to large systems and, more recently, workload-optimized systems, and each of those categories are becoming more strategically vital in today's information-driven world.
These are the two most-influential enterprise IT companies in the world and their approaches, their products, and their strategies do indeed matter.
And while Steve Mills, as one of IBM's top executives, is surely subjective on the matter, his perspectives are nonetheless valuable because they illuminate how the companies think and where they're headed.
Asked in the Deal.com interview about Oracle and Ellison, Mills's response included these remarks: