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How do you increase market share in the cutthroat enterprise software space? By being hypercompetitive. Just ask Mike Borman, IBM's top software sales executive. In October, as Oracle was attempting to close its bid for BEA, Borman said in an interview with ChannelWeb.com, "I am actively hiring people to go kick [Oracle's] teeth in." It's a bold strategy, as well as one that is aimed at keeping IBM's channel partners engaged and profitable. Borman made no bones about going after Oracle accounts and putting them on DB2. His take-no-prisoners approach appeals to VARs who may have been put off by some other areas of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM's business.
"Customers demand innovative solutions to either improve their efficiency or enable them to compete better in the marketplace. IBM is committed to our business partners and the channel to drive innovation that will meet these customer demands," Borman said.
Borman, who oversees worldwide software sales for IBM's $20 billion software business, recently said he believes IBM has better search technology than Google. For now, IBM concedes Google's got the market share. Still, the two powerhouses are teaming up to provide hardware, software and services to bolster computer sciences at universities. And there will likely be more Google-IBM collaboration.
Partnering with sometime-competitors is not commonplace, but it can certainly bring bottom-line results. And that's not just innovative, it's ingenious.
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