Executives are Risk Adverse and Favor Large, Stable Companies

Marco Seiriö asks, To Integrate Or Not? And How? with an underlying message that he thinks it is unwise for RuleCore, as a CEP vendor, to spend development resources on integration and adapters.

I think most small companies in RuleCore’s position would make similar statements for a number of reasons, including Marco’s observation that they are resource constrained.

Unfortunately for these small companies, the flip side of that position is that large software companies with an event processing offering and a complimentary integration platform are favored by most large companies and government organizations.     Remember the old saying that goes something like, “An executive has never been fired by hiring IBM!”   This tongue-in-cheek perspective mirrors the risk adverse position of most company executives.

If you are an executive in a large company you tend to want less contracts to manage, less software licenses to negotiate,  and less companies to try to integrate.   You want large stable companies who will still be in business in 5 years.   You want companies with a proven track record that are part of a larger business ecosystem.   You want companies with a strong professional services organization.  You want companies that can survive the “an executive has never been fired for buying IBM” test.

There are only two companies that fit the executive litmus test that have referenceable customers in the CEP/EP space.  Therefore, it is not by accident that the same two companies happen to be at the top of the list of CEP/EP Reference Customers 2005-2007.


One Response to Executives are Risk Adverse and Favor Large, Stable Companies

  1. I think you describe the business reality of every small company, specially those producing something that will be a critical part of their customer’s business. If you’re not aware of this or just ignore the fact that the reality is different for us small vendors, this is exactly what will kill you. Not said that bigger companies can’t die or kill of a product.

    With ruleCore we are trying to do a number of things with this in mind:

    * We create and sell a very, very focused solution aimed towards a rather narrow group of people. In our case our customer is a “developer of operational business intelligence software”. So our CEP server is a very specialized one, and not for everyone. That allows us to create something of good value even with less resources.

    * We offer things that bigger companies just don’t seem to be able to offer. We are more responsive, you always talk directly to our developers. We give access to our full source code (no, not open source, only to paying clients) and other things that people like with smaller companies.

    * We are more of a partner than a supplier. Our clients can access our source code repository all the time and talk to our developers as we create new versions and they have full control to fork our trunk to create and maintain their own customized version of ruleCore. Using ruleCore as a base to build a more customized solution.

    * We don’t sell directly to end-users. Really I don’t think many small companies have the resources or competence to do this. Just too many verticals to learn. OBI sofware developers are our very small vertical that we like to stay in.

    * Even though we are creating state-of-art software in the soon to be hyped CEP world we can still offer decent licensing fees. No VPs collect money to and a very lean organization producing the software.

    By being small, we also don’t need to provide something for everyone, just something good for someone.

    We also like to think that we are much faster in innovating (in our very small field) than the larger companies. An idea from a client can be implemented in a production ready version much faster than any big company would.

    By not trying to sell the same thing as a big company I think we can find our place in the CEP ecosystem even if we stay small/medium sized. But trying to compete with the big ones would just be waste of time.

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