Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-02

  • Long Tail Author Anderson: Free Doesn’t Work As A Standalone Business Model
    Long Tail author and Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson explains why the “zero sum” model doesn’t work alone in this economy—and teases his next book Free—in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. The argument: “free” wasn’t enough before for all but a few and it’s not going to work now without a pay component, whether it’s “freemium”—”free as a form of marketing to put the product in the hands of the maximum number of people, converting just a small fraction to paying customers” or flat out charging for the bulk of goods and services.
  • Google in the enterprise
    Google has some interesting and at times groundbreaking enterprise offerings, but they remain a work in progress. There are happy customers out there, and over time there will likely be more. Google has a role in many enterprises, but it will be a while before the Microsoft dominance will feel a flicker of a threat.
  • Loading Data from Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet Software into Oracle Part 3
    Setting up Viewing of Oracle Data from within Microsoft Excel® Spreadsheet Software In parts 1 and 2 of this blog, I demonstrated how to load data into an Oracle table and then delete the data from within Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet software. The final part of this blog demonstrates how to view the Oracle data table from within Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet software. 1) If you also wish to give the business user the ability to view the data within the Oracle database from within Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet software, then go to the Data tab. 2) In the Get External Data Section, select the “From Other Sources” icon – “From Microsoft Query.” 3) On the Databases tab, select the ORACLE_LOAD (Linked Oracle table) connection – OK.
  • Oracle is considering not extending the contracts of its temporary staff
    Oracle Romania, local subsidiary of one of the world’s largest business software producers, and one of the most important employers on the domestic IT market, is considering not extending the six-month contracts of its staff, according to sources within the company.
  • Microsoft lobbied Obama transition team on high-skilled immigration weeks before announcing layoffs
    The request, part of a policy brief written in June 2008 and posted to the Obama-Biden Transition Project Web site in early January, does not represent a new stance for the company, which has long lobbied for changes in U.S. immigration policy around high-skilled workers. But its posting on the new administration’s transition Web site came at a sensitive time, against the backdrop of layoffs — which hit a “significant number” of guest workers at the company — and pressure on Microsoft by Sen. Chuck Grassley to retain U.S. citizens over similarly qualified guest workers.
  • Microsoft hiring continues despite layoffs
    Even as Microsoft lays off up to 5,000 employees from some positions over the next 18 months, it says it plans to hire an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people in others. Although it needs to cut back on expenses overall, the company says it will keep hiring to support its business strategy in key areas.
  • The Economics of Giving It Away
    Does this mean that Free will retreat in a down economy? Probably not. The psychological and economic case for it remains as good as ever — the marginal cost of anything digital falls by 50% every year, making pricing a race to the bottom, and “Free” has as much power over the consumer psyche as ever. But it does mean that Free is not enough. It also has to be matched with Paid. Just as King Gillette’s free razors only made business sense paired with expensive blades, so will today’s Web entrepreneurs have to not just invent products that people love, but also those that they will pay for. Not all of the people or even most of them — free is still great marketing and bits are still too cheap to meter — but enough to pay the bills. Free may be the best price, but it can’t be the only one.
  • IBM Layoffs – 2800 Cut Based On Age
    The software division suffered 839 job cuts; in the sales and distribution group, layoffs included 20 marketing managers and 9 vice presidents, some of the eliminated sales staffers handle troubled accounts such as Circuit City Stores. The laid-off workers are entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks severance pay, IBM is continuing health insurance coverage and life insurance for up to 12 months, depending on seniority, and providing financial planning, career counselling and up to $US 2,500 for retraining.
  • SAP Named to Global 100 List of the Most Sustainable Large Corporations in the World for Fifth Year in a Row
    In addition to its inclusion in the Global 100 list, SAP has previously been recognized for its sustainable business practices by the index and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, where it leads the software sector (see related Sept. 9, 2008, announcement, “”). SAP has also been named to the Global Challenges Index, which recognizes transparency and anti-corruption efforts (see related Sept. 16, 2008, announcement, “.FTSE4Good For more information on SAP’s sustainability efforts, please visit the area of .Corporate Citizenship
  • The Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World
    SAP AG Software
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