Bonum Certa Men Certa

A unique competitive advantage by controlling API, apps and systems

Category:Secret API Date: September 1991



To: Apps BUMS, Apps GPMs, Aps Marketing, Corporate Marketing, Executive Staff, SMSD MArketing, Systems MArketing, Connie Ballmer, Bruce Burger, Bill Gates, Chris Graham, David Jaworski, Mike Hallman, Lewis Levin, Bob Matthews, Darren Remington, Russ Werner, Tony Williams From: Shirish Nadkarni Subject: Office Systems Strategy Backgrounder Date September 15, 1991

The battle we are fighting is over who controls the next generation applications and system architecture, APIs and services. These go beyond traditional operating system issues to include application integration, messaging, directory services, document management etc. The main competition we face is from Lotus who is now in "Systems" business with products like Notes.


We want to use the Office Strategy as a competitive weapon to achieve the following key goals:

  • Control of the Office System Architecture: As mentioned earlier, we want to control the next generation applications and system architecture and to become the platform of choice for ISVs and customers.

  • Drive penetration of MS applications: We do this by being the first to support the MS office platform so that customers are driven to purchasing our applications because of the superior integration of our applications. Ae also do this by getting customers to build complete solutions which pull in the sale of multiple applications products.

  • Drive penetration of Windows: We do this by getting customers to commit to Windows as the platform for implementing their Office architecture. The Office Strategy will clearly articulate why Windows and Windows networking are essential components of our Office strategy.

    Customers want very much to understand our Office Strategy. It will enable us to gain access to MIS decision makers who make strategic decisions about downsizing and computing architectures. We will be able to exploit a unique competitive advantage that we have in being both an Applications and Systems vendor by being able to coherently articulate unified strategy to our customers.


    Securing access to data: While easy access to information is important, users and organizations need to be protect who can have access to data.


    The primary focus of our sales effort initially will be large F1000 accounts since they already have experience with host based Office Systems and are interested in deploying solutions at the LAN level.


    Certain components of our Office System such as Mail will be sold at the enterprise level.


    IBM's foray into the PC LAN environment with Office Vision has so far not been very sucessful. The high memory requirements, the failure of OS/2 to gain significant market share and the delays in product delivery has essentially caused system failure.


    We believe the msot significent threat we face is Lotus .. As a counter-balance, we will be looking at DEC to be a stratigic partnet so we can fill out our product line and gain access to their large sales and systems integration arm and market clout.

    Full Exhibit