A long time ago and far, far away, there was a car manufacturer called VMax. VMax cars were powerful and economical, and sold very well to people who liked cars. However over time the managers of VMax realized that it was taking a long time to go and sell cars one by one to each driver. Would it not be better, they reasoned, to target corporations with big company car fleets? This way they would only have to deal with one buyer to sell many cars. The advantage for the buyer was in flexibility: it was much easier to shuffle cars around so that each location had enough cars available. There was also a discount involved in buying in bulk, of course.
However after a while this approach to sales also started to slow down, and the VMax managers sat down to find yet another model. What they came up with was this: in addition to selling to companies running their own fleets, how about also selling the cars to rental car companies? This would give even greater benefits of flexibility to the customers, as on top of shuffling their own cars from one team or office to another, corporate fleet managers could rent cars from these operators for as long as they needed them. This was particularly useful at times of peak demand, when everybody wanted to be driving, but at other times when fewer cars were needed, fleet managers could return the rented cars to the rental car companies and not have to pay for them.
The problem for VMax was that other companies started to supply the rental companies or even start their own rental business: Orinoco became the biggest rental company, while corporations like International Driving Machines or Carspace started to get involved as well. The managers of VMax therefore came up with a new plan: they would build special tracks that only VMax cars could drive on, while models from other manufacturers would have to travel on public roads or build their own.
VMax explained to its customers that this would make their lives easy as they would be able to get cars easily from certified rental companies and be sure that their rented cars would work just like the ones they had already bought. Then they went to the rental companies and pointed out that there were so many VMax cars on the road that there was certainly lots of profit to be made just in selling to VMax drivers, while other manufacturers were much smaller and therefore less profitable for the rental companies.
The problem was that many corporations had been buying their cars from lots of different suppliers for years, and their garages were full of cars from Delphi, Packard, Bell, and others. These companies started to worry that VMax's plan would require them to spend a lot of money to change all their company car fleets to the new VMax models, retrain all their mechanics, redo all their insurance contracts, and all the other thousand and one tasks required for such a change.
The managers of these diverse fleets were happy to find out about Big Magic Cars, who built roads that would work with all their cars.
The VMax people saw this as a challenge, and started talking a lot about how the real benefit of company car fleets was in the large number of rental companies that would supply VMax cars, the smooth tracks that only VMax cars could use, and the ease of obtaining or releasing VMax cars in this way.
I think my little analogy is clear enough. At BMC we are not interested in monocultures; we are eager to work with today's heterogenous data centers, and we see that diversity continuing and even accelerating in the future as different models of public cloud continue to emerge and solidify. Success for us is determined by enabling our customers to make their own choices based on current business and technical situations, instead of being forced down one particular path by a decision they took in the past. To find out how this might work in practice, give us a call or look at www.bmc.com/cloud.