Monday, November 09, 2009

Thoughts on Microsoft's purchase of Teamprise

Since I was the first to bring TFS/Teamprise into my company, I've been asked to comment on the Microsoft/Teamprise deal. Though Teamprise and Microsoft have seemed to have a tight relationship all along (and users have benefited from this), I believe combining them makes good business sense. Why? Let me explain.

Large companies, like the one I work for and partially own (tongue and cheek here as I own a small portion of stock), want vendors who have consolidated tool sets that fit their development ecosystems. I've only worked for one company, but I'm guessing that most organizations have two large pillars: Java and .NET. What we don't want to do is buy one tool for our .NET folks and another for our Java folks. Often, a single person works in both technologies so buying two licenses doesn't make economic sense.

TFS along with Teamprise has allowed us to satisfy the needs of developers working in .NET and those working in Java on Linux desktops. One sticking point however has been that we have two vendor relationships to manage. While this has never bothered me much, our procurement department has mentioned that they like to limit the touch points. And since they deal with the myriad of legal contracts and license management (a significant pain point for large organizations), I can understand their concerns.

Buying Teamprise makes TFS a more attractive solution for companies with multiple development ecosystems. Three years ago when I approached our vice president with the TFS proposal, he questioned why Rational could give us everything we needed while TFS required us to buy an additional product. This concern was allayed by other factors (ease of use, migration path, price, etc.,) but it would have been an easier sell if Microsoft had a cross-platform solution back then. I can only imagine this purchase makes TFS more attractive to those on the fence about what product to go with.

Lastly, a note to Microsoft's leadership: In my 12 year career, Teamprise from top to bottom has been the easiest company to work with. Everything from support (Tonya Nunn is great) to development leadership (Martin and Edward Thomson of course), we've had nothing but positive experiences with them. I hope you leverage their close, personal approach to working with customers. They are every bit as important (if not more) to Teamprise's success as the software itself.

4 comments:

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