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Microsoft Launch Lays Down the Gauntlet to Other Vendors, says Info-Tech Research Group

    Online News published in DMReview.com
November 11, 2005

Info-Tech Research Group, a leading IT analyst firm for mid-sized companies, says that Microsoft signals a new battle in the price-performance war with the simultaneous announcement of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 .

"The game has changed," says Info-Tech analyst Carmi Levy. "Microsoft has made it clear that it doesn't just intend to compete in the application development, database, and business process integration (BPI) space. It intends to dominate firms like Oracle and IBM.

"This announcement is a fundamental paradigm shift for IT in that it moves the price points for sophisticated application development to levels that will force enterprises of all size to take notice. They can't afford not to."

Although Microsoft says each of these tools is, on its own, best-of-breed, Levy says the key benefit to IT lies in the degree to which they are integrated.

"Microsoft's announcement signals an acceleration in the war to deliver combined tool sets that allow rapid delivery of robust and scalable applications," says Levy.

As mid-sized enterprises struggle to accomplish more with fewer resources, they are additionally challenged by increasing levels of competition and more compressed business cycles. Business process integration (BPI) is the new driver of choice for IT.

"Today's application developers must put functionality into the hands of end-users and customers. Applications must be delivered quickly so enterprises can effectively compete, and IT can't waste its time getting bogged down making mundane changes to mundane reports," says Levy. "BPI makes it feasible to put the power right into the hands of end-users, which frees IT up to deliver value elsewhere."

Still, the new tools don't come without risk, warns Levy. Any platform tools decision must be made with care; failure to do so could be costly.

"This is a major change to the way IT develops, deploys, and maintains applications," he says. "Avoid the temptation to simply install the new tools and expect instant results. Plan tools migration with great care. Invest deeply in up-front and ongoing training to ensure your developers take maximum advantage and minimize risk to the enterprise."

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