Yesterday we were officially told that Microsoft's next release of their Identity Lifecycle Manager product (ILM2) would be delayed until Q1 of 2010. I'm sure the decision to delay the product was not an easy one. It has never been easy for me to delay release of a product because I hate to disappoint customers who are waiting to acquire and implement it. As a software vendor I also hate to disappoint my sales force and with Microsoft having a dedicated specialty sales force for ILM2 this must really hurt.
However, as an independent software vendor who builds products that add value to ILM2 we are faced with having to delay release of our products, too. After all, a customer isn't going to buy our piece before they have purchased ILM2. Over the last year we've been under a lot of pressure to ensure that we are making wise bets with our resources (people, money, time) so this delay further hurts us because I could have bet those resources in a different way.
Then there's the whole FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) factor. As long as software is being marketed as slideware it is very difficult have a conversation with a customer about what the software really does. There's a lot of FUD about ILM2. It comes across as "all singing, all dancing" to many. If you sell a product that enhances the logging and audit of ILM2 there will be people who are saying "ILM2 already has logging and auditing" leaving the impression directly or indirectly that a third-party product may not be needed. Until ILM2 is actually in a customer's hands it is pretty hard for them to figure out if they need our product.
I'm sure Microsoft is making the right decision for their customers but it really hurts.
Microsoft, ILM, QSFT, Quest Software, identity management
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