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When David And Goliath Come To Terms, One Wonders What The Sub-Goliaths Were Doing

When I read today's press release that ACI and IBM are collaborating to bring electronic payments to a current-day platform from what everyone knows is a legacy system world, I couldn't help but ask where were the giants of Electronic Payments Systems?

First, how about if I define the players:

David is ACI Worldwide at $348 million per year in revenue.

Goliath is IBM at $91 billion per year.

The sub-Goliaths are CheckFree at $973 million and Metavante at $1.5 billion.When I read today's press release that ACI and IBM are collaborating to bring electronic payments to a current-day platform from what everyone knows is a legacy system world, I couldn't help but ask where were the giants of Electronic Payments Systems? Was Fiserv too focused on acquiring CKFR? Was Metavante too focused on going public?

With all due respect to all the players who managed to make their mark on their own, one unwritten law in the books of technology is that IBM governs. For what it's worth, if IBM got in bed with Fiserv, CheckFree or Metavante, I would have yawned. Doing it with ACI tells me there's something else going on that I missed. But I'm in good company because Fiserv, CheckFree and Metavante were taking a nap also. Whatever happens next, one thing is for sure. Fiserv, CheckFree and Metavante lost something. ACI won big time. It just proves that big is not always a guarantee for success.

Stay tuned.

- By Art Gillis www.artgillis.comWhen I read today's press release that ACI and IBM are collaborating to bring electronic payments to a current-day platform from what everyone knows is a legacy system world, I couldn't help but ask where were the giants of Electronic Payments Systems?

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