In "How IBM Conned My Execs Out Of Millions," a former project manager at a major U.S. defense contractor details how a mid-sized contract with IBM turned into a nearly bottomless pit of software and services. It's hard to gauge the story's truthfulness, but the author, Tristan Yates, wrote it for attribution, which was gutsy and makes it more credible. For those of you who read Matthew Clapp's classic "Should a 'Big 5' firm implement your CMS?" in these pages, the story will sound familiar. It should also come as little surprise that Yates' calamity started out as a "portal project." Remember, portal software itself actually doesn't do much at all. After the last PowerPoint slide showing that spiffy portal "dashboard" fades to black, the hard work of integrating content and data begins, so prepare yourself for investing in more software and more services -- often a lot more services. That's one reason why BEA bought Plumtree, and not the other way around.