For the past 30 years, we’ve been taught to buy multi-vendor solutions. The premise was the best tool for the job or security or whatever was the latest marketing buzz. While there may have been some validity in the 90’s, the reality today turns out to only be higher cost and complexity with little or no added value.
With few exceptions, most organizations have a Windows network. However, it is not uncommon to see customers with solutions like Citrix, VMWare, and a slew of security products. Five years ago (a lifetime in technology), such products were leaders and had a viable place. However, now it is simply a software mismatch no different from wearing clothes that don’t match. The difference is instead of looking silly, you pay much more for extra hassle and complexity.
While irresponsible liberal press, greedy malicious lawyers, and hypocritical socialist European Union have been bashing Microsoft, the company has used the last 10 years to lead in security and provide a juggernaut of mature business and infrastructure products. [DIGRESSION: What has any of the rest of the world really provided in software innovation and why doesn’t Apple have to provide a choice of browser and when are Americans going to stop allowing our great technology companies to be maligned?]
The value proposition of each of these offerings is simply for Microsoft, by Microsoft, and at less cost. For virtualization, why learn and maintain another technology and buy additional licensing for VMWare or Citrix with no significant added features? If you’re tired of malware, why not use Forefront for your network security to offer integrated web and e-mail filtering with no clunky third-party push or massive overhead and get relief from spyware too?
There are many other examples that Microsoft offers from accounting to backup. Of course, there should always be choice and every solution should be evaluated on value proposition. Finally, the money question is does your software match or are you going to continue to pay extra for licensing, training, maintenance, and staff?