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NewsForge: Open Source community could learn something from Microsoft's services

Oct 24, 2001, 18:59 (24 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)
"Based on all the negative press coming out of places like Computer Reseller's News, independent software developers and system integrators are ready to declare war on Microsoft. The reason? System integrators are nervous that Microsoft, along with HP, IBM and a host of other vendors are trying to take over the service business.

A recent article by CRN's Steve Burke is among a blizzard of similar pieces threatening that system integrators will begin to walk away from proprietary developers and begin to popularize Linux if Microsoft and the other vendors don't stop muscling in on the service business.

I don't think so.

Unfortunately, I've had the opportunity to watch some of these vendor-based professional services teams in action over the last few months. I have watched Microsoft Consulting Service (MCS) in particular. And -- I have a warning for any independent system integrators who think they could take on these vendor-based professional services teams: A lot of these guys know more about servicing customers than you do. What they have done, and what Microsoft Consulting Services has done particularly well, is pick off yet another good idea from the broader IT community and made it their own. What makes it all the more galling is the fact that the idea of building a service business came right out of the business plans of several leading Linux developers."

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