In five years from now, names such as Oracle or PeopleSoft may be talked about in past tense — in the same way as one would today recollect Wang or Data General.
That’s the opinion of Adrian Di Marco, the CEO of one of Australia’s few enterprise software vendors, Technology One. He sees the mass consolidation among large software vendors as a sign of weakness.
“These acquisitions are the sign of desperation,” he said. “There is no gain for shareholders or customers.”
“There are forces occurring in this industry that are not in the interests of the big players,” he said. “There are some technology shifts happening at the moment — and the big players are missing out on that shift. They are too committed to existing technology and too focused on trying to acquire customers.”
Di Marco predicted that some of the best known brands in the software industry would fall by the wayside in five years, just as they had in the hardware industry (consider mainframe and mini-computer vendors) in the last five to 10 years.
“You can be a hero today and a zero tomorrow in this business,” he said. “Our biggest concern is not the big boys — it’s the new companies we don’t know about yet.”