Vendor See Vendor Do

I spoke at Tradetech Architecture Data Architecture conference this week in London.  It was a surprisingly well-attended conference full of interesting people.  Nice job on this one WBR.  After the last speaker finished blah blahing about real-time risk and surveillance technology (me), it was time to network over drinks.   A guy from an FPGA development company introduced himself to me and said he hoped to sell their framework and custom development to banks to compete with existing vendors.  Since I gave him some free advice, I’ll be democratic and share it with everyone.  Why consider other vendors competitors?  Sell to them.

Sybase doesn’t generally tell me who and they never tell me how much, but I know some of their biggest CEP sales are to other vendors.  I’ve already written about Streambase and a company that didn’t want to be mentioned the first time, so I won’t mention them again.  Look how many vendors are adding hardware acceleration to their platforms.  Fixnetix, NASDAQ OMX’s FTEN (Ted, you’re keeping the CapsLk key alive), Activ Financial, Mantara, etc.

Companies like Lab49 make a decent living helping other software companies develop functionality.  Well, I should say Lab49 makes a decent living because there just aren’t that many firms in the ‘companies like’ statement and there should be more.  Software firms have white-labeled or embedded functionality for years.  But now, the speed paradigm is becoming a big hurdle.  In this space, you have to develop really fast things really fast or you’re dead.

If I were a custom shop with hard to learn skills trading vendors are the first people I’d be trying to sell my skills.  They need them the most, especially some of the legacy folks with a really fat, stable code base and entirely too much process in their development cycles.  The hardware dragons are scaring their customers. If they could swap 10,000 lines of existing functionality for a card, that’s a no brainer to reduce the amount of code they have to support and the number of processors it takes to run that code.  Oh, and I’m not just talking to hardware development shops.  Network appliance providers, monitoring solutions and messaging middleware providers also have potential to augment or replace code in vendor solutions.

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