Best in class or Class of one?

Erik Schonfeld reacts to the Oracle hostile bid for PeopleSoft with a discussion consolidation in the industry, conculding that we don't need it.
Larry Ellison Is Just Plain Wrong

Instead of being fed this one-size-fits-all approach ... companies prefer to pick and choose any software they want, from whatever vendor they want, and sync those programs together. As it happens, the software industry is already well along this path with web services standards like XML (extensible markup language) and SOAP (simple object access protocol). Every software company on the planet is adopting these standards, which were designed to facilitate hassle-free communication between applications from different companies.

Presumably, customers want to pick the best software for their needs and use these integration tools to tie packages together. Software vendors, while jumping on the XML bandwagon, would much rather offer the whole enchilada - or as much of it as possible. The end result for the customers is a less-than-optimal situation where they either have one vendor (consolidation / whole enchilada) or many vendors where the integration is less than perfect.

I've seen recommendations from IT pundits that we refuse to buy highly closed software (low interoperability; proprietary data formats). But the people who want to use the software don't appreciate the gravity of the problem. If the software works, why should I worry about how it gets the job done? Counter arguments have to do with the things that are important to the users.

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