By Heather Clancy
May 6, 2016

Andrew Nusca is a senior editor at Fortune.

Frenemies make the world go ’round, especially in today’s technology industry.

Did you catch the news yesterday? Apple, that decidedly consumer-friendly American giant, and SAP, Europe’s largest software maker by a long shot, announced a partnership to work together on improving the mobile device experience for large companies.

The details—a few iPhones and iPads here, a dash of SAP’s HANA in-memory database there—are a bit like those announced in 2014 between SAP and another enormous American peer: IBM. Then, as now, the companies’ chief executives were photographed smiling broadly together, as if to say: “We shared the same cab on the way over—because we wanted to.”

And for those keeping score at home, you’ll recall that Apple and IBM struck a partnership in July of that year. The subject? Why, mobile applications for big businesses, of course.

Apple-SAP. SAP-IBM. IBM-Apple. Notice a pattern? We are in the midst of a great convening of global tech powers, who are uniting to tackle this mobile-first, cloud-based, data-driven shift in the way large corporations operate.

It is refreshing to see Fortune 500 and Global 500 fixtures teaming up to tackle the big problems. But all this deal-making has me wondering: Who’s left out? When all this settles, who won’t be sitting at the cool kids’ table?

NewCo: TechCo, we have to talk to you.

TechCo: Is cloud computing a carb?

BizCo: Yes.

NewCo: TechCo, you’re using on-premise software. It’s Monday.

TechCo: So…?

iCo: So that’s against the rules, and you can’t sit with us.

TechCo: Whatever. Those rules aren’t real.

Andrew Nusca

Share this essay: Find past editions of Data Sheet.


You May Like