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Re: "Is Nader right?"
Neele; &Hotplace, Microsoft already wedgied IBM into installing its
desktops throughout the company, why should some little dweeb company
like KPMG be any different?
Scott K. McGrath
Neele Johnston wrote:
> Chuck Swiger wrote:
> > But is there any documented evidence that MS used some
> > sort of leverage, hints of retribution, economic threats,
> > threats of isolation, explicit or implicit, to coerce
> > Williams or anybody into using MS against their will?
> Well, I wouldn't call this documented evidence, but there
> is anecdotal evidence being collected by Ric Ford, a
> respected Mac market journalist, on his web site at
> http://www.macintouch.com/hughes.html regarding large
> companies that traditionally supported Macs, who are forcing
> their employees to migrate to Microsoft. The one anecdote
> that I found particularly galling was the following (this
> is quite long -- apologies in advance, but if the
> allegations are true, this is relevant to the list):
> > _"I am using a friends account to send this since I wish
> > to be kept anonymous for fear of retribution. I am writing
> > this to help spread the word about how Microsoft has used
> > unethical business practices to kill off their competition
> > at my current employer KPMG.
> > KPMG has been a big user of the Macintosh platform since
> > 1985. Our consulting group has had a long standing close
> > relationship with Apple Computer. Last year Apple Computer
> > chose KPMG to be their auditor. In 1996 we were about
> > 60% Macintosh, although the Wintel platform was becoming
> > more prevalent(Due to Office 97), the Macintosh platform
> > seemed to be holding ground.
> > This past summer an edict came down from our CIO stating
> > that Apple was no longer on the "approved vendor list".
> > This made it impossible for any Macs to be purchased.
> > Someone publicly asked the CIO why, his answer was "Apple
> > didn't deliver on the promise to sell NT servers" (??
> > Huh ??).
> > One month after this, KPMG announced an alliance with
> > Microsoft. This agreement included a massive change in
> > the firms technical direction. This decision was not made
> > on cost analysis or user requirements, it was made
> > strictly on politics. Traditionally KPMG would select
> > technology based on our business needs. We would choose
> > the technology that would allow our business to run
> > smoothly and efficiently. This is why we chose a Softarc
> > as our vendor for our corporate wide Knowledge Manager
> > (BBS) instead of Lotus. (Click _here_ to read about it.)
> > Microsoft Attacks (How they infiltrated KPMG):
> > Late in 1996, KPMG had spent several months evaluating
> > Intranet software. The firm chose Netscape's suite as
> > the tool set for KPMG's National Intranet (Kweb).(Click
> > _here_ to see the details of the netscape deal). After
> > this announcement, Microsoft began calling KPMG at all
> > levels to find some way in. By the summer, they had
> > secured buy-in from several members of the board of
> > directors, soon after the MS deal was made. KPMG would
> > replace all technologies with MS solutions. This included
> > Macs, Novell File Servers, Unix, Netscape Navigator,
> > Netscape SuiteSpot, and any other technologies that can
> > be replaced with a Microsoft product. We will be rolling
> > out Windows NT Client out as our new Desktop OS (this
> > explains why the CIO said Apple's NT boxes were an issue),
> > Exchange for Email, and NT across the board as our Server
> > OS.
> > Inside the Confusion begins (Just a few samples)
> > (1) Just after the deal was made, many internal projects
> > were canceled (both national and international) with all
> > of the funds begin re-routed to our CIO. (I suspect this
> > money will be used for the costly unnecessary transplant
> > of MS technology.)
> > (2) Our intranet has been developed over the past 8 months
> > using netscape technologies. Tens of applications and
> > hundreds of web pages have been created using netscape
> > specific html/java script code. No one has considered
> > the cost and time to change all of these pages to work
> > correctly with Explorer.
> > (3) Our auditors have been using the Macintosh as their
> > base for years. They have developed highly specialized
> > programs on the Mac for performing their job. Someone
> > asked about what the firms plans for these programs were.
> > "Use Excel" was the answer. These tools are being thrown
> > away without any plan to replace them.
> > (4) KPMG has had a group of specialized R&D Labs, these
> > labs were responsible for understanding technologies so
> > that KPMG can stay on top of technical advances. Their
> > future looks dim since the MS deal puts KPMG in a position
> > to only work with MS based technologies. At our last
> > management meeting, our leadership said "we don't know
> > what we are doing with the labs" How can KPMG be a
> > technology leader without the freedom to look at the
> > possibilities (other than MS).
> > The MS deal (Gains and losses):
> > KPMG gets:
> > $300,000,000.00+ in future consulting business from
> > Microsoft. (Is that from or with... How much would we
> > get without this agreement? How much MS consulting work
> > were we doing before?)
> > Free access to Microsoft software for consulting purposes
> > (basically a site license for use in demos, training and
> > evaluations, most vendors give us this type of access by
> > signing a non disclosure agreement).
> > Microsoft gets:
> > All desktop technology in the firm (world wide) must be
> > switched to MS technology by the summer of 98 with a
> > total transition time of 3 years.
> > Control of technology in all of the big 4 consulting
> > firms, KPMG was the last one.
> > A 500 person Windows NT practice within KPMG that will
> > help proliferate Microsoft's vision of the future Windows
> > NT.
> > Another battle won on several technical fronts,
> > eliminating more strong holds of the competition.
> > Here are some of the "Leverage" points that Microsoft
> > used during the Negotiation:
> > (1) Microsoft stated that there were other consulting
> > organizations that could be called on to perform Microsoft
> > integration. If KPMG wanted a piece of that pie, KPMG
> > must be part of the team and therefore agree with the
> > terms of the proposed agreement. Otherwise MS would be
> > forced to recommend another consulting organization to
> > perform the work for MS/KPMG clients.
> > (2) MS threatened us with a "Very Public" investigation.
> > MS claimed that they had information that our firm was
> > in major violation of our Microsoft licensing agreements.
> > We have site licenses for some of the MS products that
> > are used internally. Since KPMG's purchases of non-site
> > licensed products is performed by individual partners
> > and projects, it is difficult for KPMG to track (at a
> > corporate level) how many copies of each piece of software
> > we own. The partnership felt it was best to avoid any
> > investigation or possible lawsuit and give in to
> > Microsoft's terms.
> > [Some articles on the KPMG MS deal can be found by
> > clicking _here_.]
> > In conclusion, Microsoft "muscled" their way into KPMG
> > and kicked out many if not all of the competition. They
> > used techniques that can be seen as bribery and blackmail
> > to achieve their goals. Can we say "Racketeering" folks??
> > To the KPMG people out their, I know that many of you
> > are frustrated with the technology decisions being made...
> > remember KPMG is a partnership... If you feel that the
> > decisions are being made in a vacuum, tell your partner,
> > let them know what you think... Partners have the power
> > to make change. Speak up about your needs. If you are
> > more productive on a Macintosh, let it be known !!! If
> > you know that NT is not the most effective server platform
> > for Intranet delivery, tell someone. We all have a
> > voice... let the facts be heard.. You can make a
> > difference!!"
> The element of this that smacks of coercion is the
> discussion of "leverage" that MS allegedly used in
> negotiation with KPMG. MS's ability to align the "Big Six"
> firms to their cause by forcing them to choose to be either
> completely with MS and against their competitors, or be
> completely out of the MS business and face reprisals, is
> one of the biggest issues we need to concern ourselves with.
> This would be an invincible weapon in the corporate market,
> which is where most of the money is. It also sounds like
> they are requiring the consulting firms to violate ethical
> standards by completely compromising their objectivity and
> balance of expertise, if they have not already done so
> Of course, all of this is unsubstantiated. :-(
> *** speaking only for myself, not my employer ***