Larry Ellison and Lionel Richie: Separated at Birth?

Larry Ellison and Lionel Richie: separated at birth? You be the judge …

Just kidding – have a fun weekend …

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-27

  • Oracle’s rose-colored grid vision – all theory for now
    It sounded so good coming from Ellison. Shared resources, automatic load balancing, lowered costs of ownership, minimal investments — all things that grid computing delivers to electric companies would now be available to commercial enterprises, Ellison said. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle centered its grid strategy around its newest database release, Oracle10g, and on the Oracle 10g Application Server. So, was Ellison right? Is Oracle delivering on its 10g promise? The short answer is that it’s too soon to tell, but the long-term outlook bodes well for Oracle. Even industry analysts who have criticized Oracle’s grid strategy say that grid architectures will eventually deliver big benefits.
  • SAP CTO: Coghead’s engineers will help solve SaaS integration problems
    Integration of cloud-based and on-premise applications is a problem that Coghead engineers have paid a lot of attention to, Sikka said in an interview with SearchSAP.com yesterday. With Coghead’s technology, SAP can ensure that customers get the benefits of the cloud without sacrificing functionality.
  • 4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Oracle
    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 125,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, enterprise-software giant Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) has earned a respected four-star ranking.
  • Day 2 at VMworld Europe 2009 – Part 1
    He quoted performance studies using both a heavy OLTP database (using Oracle) and SPEC’s very own SPECweb2005 bench to prove that performance hits are quickly becoming a non-issue (weren’t they saying this last year as well, though?). Oracle was claimed to run at 24000 transactions per second, while the webserver was able to maintain up to 3 billion pageviews a day. Not too shabby compared to Ebay’s average of 1 billion pageviews. The image below displays Oracle’s virtual performance when using 1, 2, 4 and 8 vCPU’s. The green bar is its native performance on an 8-core machine, VMware claims the performance loss is now limited to 15%.
  • Salesforce.com Weathers Economic Headwinds In Q4
    Salesforce reported that sales grew 34 percent year over year to $289.6 million in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $216.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income surged more than 86 percent to $13.8 million in the quarter from $7.4 million in the same quarter last year. For all of fiscal 2009 (ended Jan. 31) the company reported sales of $1.08 billion, up 44 percent from $748.7 million for fiscal 2008. Earnings more than doubled to $43.4 million from $18.4 million in the previous year. For the current quarter, Salesforce is projecting that sales will be in the range of $304 million to $305 million. For all of fiscal 2010 the company is forecasting sales between $1.30 billion and $1.33 billion. The number of Salesforce’s net paying customers increased approximately 3,600 during the quarter, bringing the company’s total to around 55,400.
  • Salesforce.com: Silver Lining on a Recessionary Cloud
    It’s not all gloom and doom in the tech sector: Salesforce.com’s revenue jumped 34% for the quarter, the company announced Wednesday.
  • Salesforce.com – The First Billion Dollar Cloud Company
    Congrats to Salesforce.com on being the first 1 billion dollar SaaS company! Salesforce.com Announces Record Fiscal Fourth Quarter Results * First enterprise cloud computing company to achieve fiscal year revenue of one billion dollars — record revenue of $290 million, up 34% year-over-year * GAAP EPS of $0.11, up 83% year-over-year * Net customers increase 3,600 in the quarter to 55,400 * Net paying subscribers increase 400K year-over-year to surpass 1.5 million * Operating cash flow of $76 million for quarter; $230 million for fiscal year * Total cash and marketable securities of $883 million, up $213 million year-over-year * Company updates FY10 revenue guidance to $1.30 – $1.33 billion

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-26

  • Oracle’s rose-colored grid vision – all theory for now
    It sounded so good coming from Ellison. Shared resources, automatic load balancing, lowered costs of ownership, minimal investments — all things that grid computing delivers to electric companies would now be available to commercial enterprises, Ellison said. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle centered its grid strategy around its newest database release, Oracle10g, and on the Oracle 10g Application Server. So, was Ellison right? Is Oracle delivering on its 10g promise? The short answer is that it’s too soon to tell, but the long-term outlook bodes well for Oracle. Even industry analysts who have criticized Oracle’s grid strategy say that grid architectures will eventually deliver big benefits.
  • SAP CTO: Coghead’s engineers will help solve SaaS integration problems
    Integration of cloud-based and on-premise applications is a problem that Coghead engineers have paid a lot of attention to, Sikka said in an interview with SearchSAP.com yesterday. With Coghead’s technology, SAP can ensure that customers get the benefits of the cloud without sacrificing functionality.
  • 4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Oracle
    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 125,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, enterprise-software giant Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) has earned a respected four-star ranking.
  • Day 2 at VMworld Europe 2009 – Part 1
    He quoted performance studies using both a heavy OLTP database (using Oracle) and SPEC’s very own SPECweb2005 bench to prove that performance hits are quickly becoming a non-issue (weren’t they saying this last year as well, though?). Oracle was claimed to run at 24000 transactions per second, while the webserver was able to maintain up to 3 billion pageviews a day. Not too shabby compared to Ebay’s average of 1 billion pageviews. The image below displays Oracle’s virtual performance when using 1, 2, 4 and 8 vCPU’s. The green bar is its native performance on an 8-core machine, VMware claims the performance loss is now limited to 15%.
  • Salesforce.com Weathers Economic Headwinds In Q4
    Salesforce reported that sales grew 34 percent year over year to $289.6 million in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $216.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income surged more than 86 percent to $13.8 million in the quarter from $7.4 million in the same quarter last year. For all of fiscal 2009 (ended Jan. 31) the company reported sales of $1.08 billion, up 44 percent from $748.7 million for fiscal 2008. Earnings more than doubled to $43.4 million from $18.4 million in the previous year. For the current quarter, Salesforce is projecting that sales will be in the range of $304 million to $305 million. For all of fiscal 2010 the company is forecasting sales between $1.30 billion and $1.33 billion. The number of Salesforce’s net paying customers increased approximately 3,600 during the quarter, bringing the company’s total to around 55,400.
  • Salesforce.com: Silver Lining on a Recessionary Cloud
    It’s not all gloom and doom in the tech sector: Salesforce.com’s revenue jumped 34% for the quarter, the company announced Wednesday.
  • Salesforce.com – The First Billion Dollar Cloud Company
    Congrats to Salesforce.com on being the first 1 billion dollar SaaS company! Salesforce.com Announces Record Fiscal Fourth Quarter Results * First enterprise cloud computing company to achieve fiscal year revenue of one billion dollars — record revenue of $290 million, up 34% year-over-year * GAAP EPS of $0.11, up 83% year-over-year * Net customers increase 3,600 in the quarter to 55,400 * Net paying subscribers increase 400K year-over-year to surpass 1.5 million * Operating cash flow of $76 million for quarter; $230 million for fiscal year * Total cash and marketable securities of $883 million, up $213 million year-over-year * Company updates FY10 revenue guidance to $1.30 – $1.33 billion

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-24

  • Microsoft to Wall Street: We’re Still Spending
    8:12 We’re looking at who did well in 1937 and 1938. RCA is our role model, they kept investing throughout Depression, and dominated when the Depression ended. … 8:19 Wants to reduce MISC opex (legal, IT, HR, etc). Legal in particular is a drain. … 8:23 More Windows Mobile spending too. Servers flat. Enterprise flat. Search & Ad more spending. Entertain & TV flat. More incubation (2% of spending). 8:24 Laying some off but still hiring. You can’t take a videogame designer and move them over to databases (SQL Server.) … 8:27 Windows license is #1. Pirated windows in #2 — tough competitor, great product and a price that’s tough to beat. (Laughter.) … 8:44 IT budgets are “more of an opp than a challenge.” MSFT only has 16% of revenue, ORCL recently raised prices, Steve wants to take share from Oracle. But admits “we’re outmanned” by Oracle’s spend.
  • More IT Vendors Make H-1B Scam List
    Small Iowa communities were used as nothing more than mail drops in an elaborate H-1B visa fraud scheme that allowed foreign workers to illegally work on the East and West coasts while being paid the lower Iowa prevailing rates. Two IT services firms in New Jersey and one in California may be at the heart of the H-1B visa scam, but federal prosecutors warn current indictments are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
  • Microsoft Offers Online Job Resource
    Microsoft on Sunday announced the creation of a Web site, Elevate America, aimed at improving access to job training tools. The site, here, provides resources to help individuals gain the technical skills needed for acquiring jobs, the world’s largest software company said. The economy has shed 3.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007 with about half of the decline occurring in the past three months, recent Labor Department data showed.
  • No Settlement in Oracle-SAP Lawsuit
    Oracle’s rancorous lawsuit against rival SAP will continue for the foreseeable future, as a settlement conference on Monday did not produce an agreement, SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said Tuesday. SAP expects the court to schedule the next settlement conference for sometime in December, Kendzie said. The case is set to go to trial in February 2010.
  • FOX News Poll
    Due to an accounting glitch, Microsoft overpaid severance to some of its workers. Should the software giant ask for that money back? a. Yes (56%) b. No (38%) c. Not sure (6%)
  • Earnings Preview: Salesforce.com
    Salesforce.com (CRM) is expected to report Q4 after the market close on Wednesday, February 25, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET.
  • Satyam gets more H1-B visas than Microsoft
    It may be at the centre of India’s biggest ever corporate fraud now, but Satyam Computer was issued more H1-B visas than any other company in the world except for two of its Indian rivals in the last fiscal. With a tally of 1,917 H1-B visas, Satyam was the third biggest recipient of these non-immigrant visas given by the US to skilled foreign professionals, after its Indian peers Infosys and Wipro in the fiscal year ended September 20, 2008.
  • OSGi Takes Off Among Enterprise Service Bus Providers
    The OSGi Service Platform delivers the dynamic module system for Java to providers and their customers, modularizing and componentizing the Java platform and allowing applications to be adapted remotely and in real time, OSGi Alliance officials said. OSGi technology is a component integration platform with a service-oriented architecture and lifecycle capabilities that enable dynamic delivery of services. Leading vendors deploying ESBs on the OSGi Service Platform include Progress Software, Red Hat and TIBCO Software Inc. These market innovators note the clear advantages OSGi technology provides as a platform for ESBs. Other vendors that are not part of the OSGi Alliance, such as WSO2, also have standardized on the OSGi platform.
  • Former Bush Techie Moves To SAP America
    Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology Robert Cresanti will soon be heading up the Washington office of SAP America, a business software company. After leaving Commerce, where he served from 2006 to 2007, Cresanti worked as a managing director at Ocean Tomo, a bank specializing in intellectual property.
  • Oracle’s Pre-Packaged Play for Public Sector BI
    Last week, Oracle Corp. introduced a new revision of its Oracle Business Intelligence Applications stack, complete with a public service-friendly twist: new BI capabilities — buttressed by pre-fab dashboards and customized ETL schemas — designed specifically for government and other public sector entities. After all, Oracle officials maintain, public sector shops deserve improved insight into their operational budgets, too.

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-23

  • Test Center review: Thumbs-up to FileMaker upgrade
    A wonderfully easy-to-use desktop database product that runs on Windows and the Mac, FileMaker Pro is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as departments of large and enterprise-sized businesses. FileMaker is simple enough for the office technologist to set up, and for almost anyone in the office to use.
  • Why Do Enterprise Applications Suck?
    We’ve got a time-tracking system that has a feature where an employee can enter in a vacation request. There’s a little workflow triggered to have the supervisor approve the vacation request. I’ve seen it used inside two groups. In both cases, the employee negotiates the leave request via email then enters it into the time tracking system. I know several people who use Travelocity to find their flights before they log in to our corporate travel system. And you wouldn’t even believe how hard our sales force automation system [is] compared to Salesforce.com.
  • SAP revs up college recruiting effort with new site
    SAP is augmenting its University Alliances program with a new Web portal aimed at bringing more college students into the fold. The site is organized into sections like “faculty club,” “student union” and “library,” which contain content like message boards, case studies, lectures and career resources.
  • ‘Full’ SQL Server planned for Microsoft’s Azure cloud
    Microsoft plans to make a full version of its popular SQL Server database available in the cloud in response to pressure from partners. The company told The Reg it’s working to add as many features as possible from SQL Server to its fledgling Azure Services Platform cloud as quickly as possible, following feedback. General manager developer and platform evangelism Mark Hindsbro said Microsoft hoped to complete this work with the first release of Azure, currently available as a Community Technology Preview (CTP). But he added that some features might be rolled into subsequent updates to Azure. Microsoft has not yet given a date for the first version of Azure, which was released as a CTP last October.
  • Quick Take on Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track
    Stuart Frost of Microsoft (nee’ DATAllegro) checked in, with Microsoft’s TDWI-timed announcements. The news part was something called “SQL Server Fast Track,” which is the Microsoft SQL Server equivalent to Oracle’s “recommended configurations” or IBM’s “BCUs.” SQL Server Fast Track is further being portrayed as an incremental step toward Madison, Microsoft’s future high-end data warehousing offering.
  • Microsoft Looks to Push SQL Server Deeper into the Data Warehousing Space
    The offering is meant to increase Microsoft SQL Server 2008’s scalability up to 32TB and to slash the time and effort required to deploy mission-critical projects. Through balanced configurations, the new reference architectures are designed to optimize all hardware components, delivering up to 200MB per second per central processing unit core, according to Microsoft. The hardware and reference architectures are available from Bull, Dell and HP starting at $13,000 per terabyte.
  • Salesforce.com Named #3 on Forbes “25 Fastest Growing Tech Companies” List
    Salesforce.com [NYSE:CRM], the enterprise cloud computing company, today announced it has been named to Forbes “25Fastest Growing Tech Companies” List for the third consecutive year. Preceded by Google andbiotechnology company Illumina, salesforce.com was ranked as the third fastest growing technologycompany with 40 percent earnings per share (EPS) growth and five-year sales growth of 72 percent.
  • Microsoft U-turn over redundancy pay gaffe
    In the end, though, Microsoft executives decided that swallowing the $125,000 slip-up would be easier than suffering from bad public relations.
  • SAP APJ posts 23% software revenue growth
    SAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) posted 23 percent Software revenue growth, to €594 million. Software and related services grew at 24 percent for the year, to €1.192 billion. All revenue figures in this release are expressed in non-GAAP constant currency terms and all growth is measured against the previous comparable period. While SAP APJ experienced difficult market conditions in the fourth quarter, growing software and software related Services at 5 percent, total revenue for the full year grew at 20 percent, to €1.532 billion.
  • Oracle apps: an innovation free zone since 2006?
    This last point is a good one because the way I read Oracle’s definition of innovation – at least according to the timeline on their own website – is as a series of ‘firsts.’ What is shocking is that list stopped being updated in 2006. You can argue as Vinnie has that Oracle has been innovating by scooping up large chunks of the enterprise apps market. The numbers bear that argument out.
  • Oracle and the art of development and support
    I am sure these new features deliver some utility, but you expect big, bold stuff like Fusion announced 5 years ago. We don’t even hear that word any more from Oracle. Oracle, in my opinion, has forgotten how to develop code. Its top executives are deal makers, not technology visionaries. Worse, when it comes to their acquisitions, they cannot retain or easily replace the entrepreneurial talent. Every person who departs Oracle comments about the mass confusion that comes with such a rapid accumulation of software IP – and Ben touches on that also in his article. The rapid pace of acquisitions has also had a significant impact on Oracle support. Customers report frequent and confusing changes to Oracle’s support policies as so many products go in and out of stages of “lifetime support”. Little has been done to rationalize support across products – other than of course, raise maintenance to 22% The questions every CIO needs to ask as they write maintenance checks to Oracle are: Can m

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-22

  • Fixing a fiscal fiasco: County software system still not working right
    Today, following a debacle involving a top-shelf SAP system installed by Deloitte Consulting that has cost $18.6 million – or $2.8 million more than expected, while requiring work from a $600,000-a-year team of consultants – Smith wishes the county had taken more time on the decision. … The SAP software package of 15 programs or “modules” cost about $1 million. Deloitte Consulting got an initial $9 million for customization, configuration and installation work, then $2.4 million more in overruns when the county couldn’t cope with what it bought. Other consultants cost at least $800,000. Salaries and benefits for employees dedicated to the project cost $4 million. Equipment and supplies cost $900,000. About $300,000 was spent on training. Although officials signed off on work by SAP and Deloitte as completed satisfactorily, Deloitte’s performance remains at issue. … Hymel agreed: “We’re in much better shape than we were a year ago.”
  • Microsoft overpaid severance
    Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos confirmed the authenticity of the letter Saturday evening but would not comment further, stating that it was a “private matter between the company and the affected people.” He would not say how many people were affected but said, “There was certainly more than one.” Gellos also said that an unspecified number of other laid-off employees received smaller severance packages than they were owed. He said Microsoft was “taking care of underpayments.” Microsoft paid the 1,400 employees it laid off Jan. 22 a minimum of 60 days of salary, plus what it described as a “generous” severance package that varied depending how long employees had worked at the company.
  • Oops: Microsoft Asks Some Laid Off Workers To Send Back Part Of Their Severance
    While the payroll error must be irritating in and of itself to these laid off workers (severance is a sensitive subject), it appears that Microsoft HR isn’t even bothering to explain how it happened (employees are instructed to call the office, which is closed for the weekend, if they want to know the details). Given that it was Microsoft HR that screwed this up in the first place, you’d think they’d at least include the calculations they made and point out where the error took place.
  • Microsoft aims to ‘Elevate America’
    Microsoft is announcing on Sunday a job training effort aimed at giving technical skills to as many as 2 million Americans over the next three years. The most significant part of the program, in which Microsoft is offering free certification and other technical training, is being done in a phased approach, starting with Washington state. The second component of “Elevate America,” available online immediately, is a Web site designed to help people with the basics such as creating a resume and send e-mail.

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-21

  • Oracle Released free 11g Developer Tools for Visual Studio
    The key features of this release are: * Enhanced integration with Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2005 * Improved ASP.NET web developer support * Support for automatic code generation in Microsoft Office projects * An Oracle Database Project to provide source control of Oracle SQL scripts * An Oracle SQL script editor
  • Oracle Updates User Productivity Kit for Enterprise
    The new Oracle User Productivity Kit v3.5 and Oracle User Productivity Kit Professional v6.1 are now available to help organizations retain corporate knowledge and increase end user productivity of all enterprise applications, including non-Oracle applications. Companies rely on the product to help ensure user adoption of enterprise applications and address current workforce conditions – workforce fluctuation, travel restrictions, reduced training budgets, and ROI on enterprise application rollouts or upgrades.