1. Why was the creation of an independent IBM software group [SWG] strategically important? Note: this discussion should include some view of hardware as well.
The creation of an independent IBM software group (SWG) was strategically important for the following reasons: a) A category of software named “middleware” was emerging in the mid-‘90s. At this point SWG abetted IBM to emerge in the middleware market.
b) SWG was also strategically important for IBM to help focus its software activities and prepare for a new age in distributed networked computing.
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Lee received mixed feedback from different management levels and was faced with lots of challenges. Upper management and development teams supported the idea as they understood the benefits the new platform would bring in. He faced lot of resistance from the middle managers, especially the management of the existing product lines. Coordination between each product group would be very difficult which would make the development of new platform cycles longer. Also, each product groups would end up competing against each other as they try to influence the new platform. Lee did not have direct control over the VisualAge group and he had to figure out a way to convince the VisualAge group to adopt the new platform. Lee was also aware that convincing IBM partners to work on the same platform would be an even greater challenge, as they would have the fear of getting locked in a proprietary platform controlled by IBM.
5. How/why is Object Technology International [OTI] a leverage point in the single platform execution plan?
Building a single technology platform was strategically very important for IBM but Lee faced lot of resistance from the existing product teams and VisualAge group. Lee couldn't count on any internal team to build this platform, as he feared that the team would be biased towards their product and add features to the platform favouring their product. He also felt