Unseating Another Incumbent – Mr. Netcool

Originally posted on the Zenoss Google+ Page (go ahead, circle us)

Several people have drawn parallels between the movements for democracy in the Middle East and the changes currently taking place in IT. While I do think that the Arab Spring is significantly more profound in the grand scheme of things, the connecting similarities actually are quite astonishing.

In both cases, new technology was a catalyst for driving this change. In the case of the Arab Spring, Facebook and Twitter enabled the people to communicate effectively and coordinate efforts. Further, video phones allowed common citizens a new level of reporting and transparency.

In IT, the tools of the people are Dropbox, Skype and compute clouds (plus many more). All of them are easy to use or deploy (IT-sanctioned or not), as well as difficult or event impossible to stop. All of them are slowly but surely unseating sitting incumbents; Skype has its sights set on traditional VoIP, compute clouds are gunning for VMware or physical servers, and Dropbox is aiming to make file servers a thing of the past.

Similarly, Zenoss aims to be a tool for the people. In our case, the incumbent is IBM's Tivoli Netcool and many more of its legacy friends. As a tool of the people, we make it easy to download and deploy our software. We have to ensure a fast ROI, because people have little patience for anything else, so it becomes critical to our wider adoption. Next, our product is open and extensible, and we have a vibrant ecosystem.

Mr. Netcool (#netFool) on the other hand, has grown complacent over the years. The software is difficult to get ones hands on, and often impossible without an engineer guiding ones every move. Deployments are never-ending and expensive and as a result, ROI is low to non-existent. Mr. Netcool also has grown a belly and has essentially stagnated in terms of product features and updates. Also, his tools that keep him in his seat of power are starting to showing their age. Vendor lock-in, closed source, proprietary technology isn't something many people are still willing to put up with and many are looking for alternatives.

I think the time has come to start a peoples revolution and unseat Mr. Netcool. He's done a good job, but in today's world, he's simply not cutting it anymore -- it's time for someone new to take his place. I hereby invite everyone to vote for Zenoss.

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