What Went Wrong?
It is worth taking a look at what went wrong.
"Ask Coke to ship two cans of Pepsi with every six-pack!"
The Client said that they could not move to the upgraded version of the system unless "The SP performed an industry analysis and benchmark to determine if the System compares with industry standards regards overall functionality and cost effective performance."
This is the same challenge that was leveled at Microsoft when the United States government wanted Microsoft to incorporate Netscape's Web browsing software into Windows 98. Microsoft's response was "This is unprecedented and would be like asking Coke to ship two cans of Pepsi with every six-pack". Bill Gate's response to the Justice Department/State Attorneys General Lawsuit was "Certainly every company in this industry has to keep improving its products very rapidly. That's why you've seen our R&D investment go up by a factor of 10 over the last eight years".
The software suppliers develop their products to ensure that they keep up with market requirements. Customers are expected to do 'comparative shopping' before buying software.
2. Gates, Bill, May 1998 (reported on Microsoft web
3. Gates, Bill, interview Business Week, June 1 issue, 1998