Feeds

PeopleSoft: the real ale analogy

Full-bodied flavour, consumer choice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Opinion Thirty years ago, Britain's pubs were dominated by a handful of major breweries. For some reason that escapes me, these companies seemed to believe that what British drinkers wanted to drink was bland beer that was fizzy and tasteless. From the brewer's perspective this had the distinct advantage that you could not tell one company's product from another's. This had the corollary that the biggest brewers would continue to dominate the market because there was, effectively, no choice.

The most infamous of these drinks (they hardly merit the name beer) was known as Watney's Red Barrel, which was lampooned in both song and print, most notably by Monty Python's Flying Circus.

While it took a number of years, eventually the British beer drinking public - encouraged by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) - woke up to the fact that this brewery-driven market was depriving it of real beer with real flavour, that actually tasted of the malt and hops it was made from, as opposed to the factory-produced pap it was being offered.

To cut a long story short, once awakened by CAMRA the great British drinker made its opinions known and, in the fullness of time, the Red Barrel's of this world disappeared from view and we have seen the wide availability for real ales. Today, in part thanks to new government regulations, even the large breweries produce pretty decent bitter, and access to real ales is as widespread as it has ever been.

What has this got to do with computing? Well, consider the statements from Oracle and others that we would better off with a two-vendor market (SAP and Oracle) as opposed to allowing PeopleSoft to retain its independence - it's a bit like the brewers who used to think they knew better about what we wanted to drink - and got proved totally wrong.

However, it's not really a question of whether there are two or three vendors at the top of the tree: the issue is more about what is going on in the undergrowth. To ensure a healthy industry, whether its ERP software or databases, we need to have plenty of smaller and mid-tier players. While it would be a mistake to say that the major players never produce anything innovative (look at Oracle and 10g for example), it is typically the smaller companies that investigate and deploy new technologies first, they adopt new standards more aggressively, and exploit niches in the marketplace.

So, it's the real ale computing companies that are often most interesting for an analyst like me, and especially start-ups, who have had an original idea and want to develop it. If these technologies are sufficiently successful they will eventually be taken up by other vendors and their ideas will benefit the market at large.

There is one final point to make: yes, you can get a decent pint more or less wherever you go. But, overall, sales of bitter have gone down. Why? Because lager has taken a bigger share of the market. Taking our real ale computing model a stage further this means that Oracle, Microsoft and the other 800lb gorillas don't have to worry too much: there will always be people who like bland, fizzy drinks and do not appreciate a more full-bodied flavour.

© IT-Analysis.com

Related stories

Time called on EC - Oracle investigation
PeopleSoft dumps poison pill rebate
Oracle counters EC competition claims
Oracle pitches EC over Peoplesoft
US DoJ sues to block Oracle's $9.4bn PeopleSoft bid
Brussels to rule on Oracle-Peoplesoft deal by May 11
Peoplesoft spurns Oracle's final final offer
Oracle hikes Peoplesoft bid to $9.4bn

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.