Going beyond that to the blur, though…. Once I left Nortel in 2001, founded my own software company and sold that technology to a managed services outfit that was disguised as a software company, the fuzzy boundary between software and service revealed itself to me.

Software performed the really useful function, services, and in particular managed services provided a simple means for customers to acquire the function provided by the software without the hassle of implementing the software, integrating it into the operational infrastructure of the company or paying large sums up front. That's what we did at bTrade – used A4 Networks technology to create a managed service that could be paid for on a monthly basis, without expensive SIs or integration experts hanging around. Customers used their favorite browser to perform the basics of the Item Synchronization service.

At the macro-level, IBM had made a huge transition to services, all the while acquiring software companies and innovating with computers… So, what kind of company is IBM? Services? Software? Computers?

Blurring is about innovation.

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