HereÃ¢â¬â¢s an interesting story about a guy who has had several horses shot out from under him by IBM, and has finally decided to fight back.
Steven Friedman is the President of Tampa-based T3 Technologies, which has been in the business of selling IBM-compatible mainframe systems to low-end users for 16 years. For the first 14 of those years T3 worked hand-in-hand with IBM to build out a segment of the market that was too small for IBMÃ¢â¬â¢s own royally compensated sales force to bother with.
But in the fall of 2006 IBM abruptly terminated its long-standing partnership with T3. The trigger seems to have been T3Ã¢â¬â¢s plan to resell another line of mainframe-compatible systems from a hot new VC-funded Silicon Valley startup, the now defunct Platform Solutions.
Overnight T3 went from a booming business with over 600 installed customers worldwide to a company that literally had nothing to sell. Since the Department of Justice had decided in 2001 to dissolve the famous Consent Decree which had for more than fifty years compelled IBM to play nice with competitors, there was apparently nothing to prevent Big Blue from getting away with this egregious instance of squashing the little guy.
August 13, 2008