• October 24, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Integration: The Great CRM Bottleneck

Opening the SAS Executive Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Scott McNealy underscored the importance of the much-publicized topic of integration in his opening keynote Wednesday evening. In a speech that touted the Sun ONE platform--and criticized IBM and Microsoft--McNealy spoke with no holds barred, saying that IBM and Microsoft are part of the integration problem, not the solution. So why was Scott McNealy speaking at a SAS event? As a SAS Alliance Partner, Sun and SAS, as well as other software behemoths like Oracle and SAP, are clearing a path together toward open standards. It is a strategy that McNealy says will nullify the need for IBM Global Services and Microsoft solutions. "IBM's answer [to integration] is a people answer. IBM Global Services says to its customers 'Don't worry your pretty little heads. We'll stay until one of two things happen: Either we'll get you up and running or you will run out of money,'" McNealy said. Microsoft exacerbates the integration problem, according to McNealy. "Microsoft Office will be a huge reason why we have a major economic meltdown," he says. McNealy argues that Microsoft sells customers pieces of a technology puzzle that do not integrate well with other solutions. Microsoft only integrates with its own technology, creating a "welded-shut strategy," he said. Unlike Microsoft's closed technology approach, McNealy said, Sun Solaris will operate even if a customer pulls the browser off Solaris. The support of open standards, a long-time mantra for Sun, naturally favors McNealy's argument for the Sun ONE platform over Microsoft Corp.'s .NET platform. "The nice thing about an economic downturn is that it forces people to test the old model," McNealy said.
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