The 2018 Vendor Naughty List!

Updated: Apr 1

Another year, another 12 months of IT vendors reminding us just how much they love us with their "thoughtful gifts." Here's some of our favorites.


Salesforce claims that the “fourth industrial revolution” is underway with artificial intelligence being widely deployed in business operations. To better its own AI product Einstein, Salesforce acquired Mulesoft to integrate large data sets between different Salesforce platforms. As a result, Salesforce has been aggressively pushing Mulesoft and Einstein on all customers, in (a handy) fulfillment of their fourth industrial revolution narrative. Also, they rebranded a slew of products (again), making it hard to find your SKUs and forcing you to buy the “new” version because they don’t sell the “old” version anymore.


IBM’s Watson gamble has largely failed to this point, and the supplier is doubling down on Cloud, particularly the Hybrid Cloud. Red Hat joined IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team as a standalone business unit, maintaining significant autonomy. Supposedly this will preserve the open source nature of the product. We’ll see… Then there’s the sell off to HCL of significant collaborative IP (Lotus Notes, Domino, Portal), which used to be significant chunks of its on-premise enterprise business. Also, IBM missed its most recent FQ’s target, by $300M. The result: an aggressive audit uptick as IBM resorts to sticks when carrots (early renewals of existing agreements) don’t work.


Microsoft hiked prices by about 10% for on-premise products in October, including many of those bundled into O365 such as Office Pro Plus, CALs Suites and some server offerings such as Windows Standard, SharePoint and Exchange. Make no mistake: they‘re kicking the last holdouts to the (more profitable for them) cloud.


Oracle moved their Java SE release schedule to 6-month starting with Java 9, and as of January 2019, Oracle will no longer offer public updates to Java 8. Customers who need access to updates for Java 8 and earlier versions for security and stability, or who need access to commercial features, have the option of purchasing Java SE subscriptions from Oracle. Pricing is tied to volume tiers and requires an annual commitment, but let the buyer beware: the new pricing gets very expensive over time.


Splunk vowed to transition 75% of all customers to a subscription-based model by January 2020. As a result, Splunk sales reps have no motivation to sell new perpetual-based deals to clients, regardless of demand.


Dell EMC came out with new storage products featuring stingier discounts than before, even though list prices have dropped significantly. The new products are basically upgrades to existing arrays, and in a like-for-like comparison, the discounts on the new products are much smaller than clients deserve and are accustomed to.


Before we turn the calendar to 2019, we wanted to pause and say how grateful we are for our loyal and growing client base. We wish you happy holidays and a healthy, prosperous New Year!


Your friends at ClearEdge