Joint Marketing Deals Look Great, On Paper, But How Do We Make Money With Them?

This is the second in a series of blog posts on the June and July 2013 quarterly earnings announcements of large ISVs in the enterprise computing software market — Oracle®, IBM®, and Microsoft®. Our interest in this topic stems from the clear market shift to cloud computing solutions from long-standing on premises solutions. Clearly this shift has had a dramatic impact on a number of related markets–sales of personal computers, computer operating systems, networking software and gear, etc. So it makes sense to look deeper into it.

Each of our 3 large ISVs pointed to an expected solution to their respective portion of the collective problem either during the quarterly earnings report, or soon thereafter. For Oracle®, the near term solution amounts to pointing current customers to leading cloud solutions from Salesforce® and/or Microsoft®.

As we wrote very early into this blog, in 2011, we have a lot of experience with Joint Marketing deals. These deals work when there is a clear win-win for each participant. One enormously successful joint marketing effort evolved from enterprise business’ burning need, in the mid 1980s, for a method to share then costly laser printers between personal computers and IBM mainframe distributed printing locations. The solution included a high quality, high speed laser printer from Xerox Corporation, an IBM mainframe hardware gateway device, and a printer sharing hardware product. The result was a lot of sales for Xerox and the manufacturer of the printer sharing device and hardware gateway.

But where’s the burning need in Oracle’s deals with and Microsoft? We can’t find one. There is nothing to preclude any of Oracle’s customers from striking their own deals with or Microsoft’s Azure service. Therefore, we think these joint marketing announcements have been crafted to assuage the concerns of investment analysts, than for any other reason. Oracle will have to provide more detail as to the real revenue kicker in each of the deals to convince us of a real step forward.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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