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Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-02-09

§ The Top Most Techno Women on Glob…
Co-President of Oracle Corporation, Safra A Catz ranks at no. 15 on the list. An Oracle veteran, she served as an Executive Vice President from November 1999 to January 2004, and as Senior Vice President from April 1999 to October 1999. Safra A Catz has served as a President since January 2004, as Chief Financial Officer since November 2005, and as a Director since October 2001. The magazine praises Catz for overseeing Oracle’s numerous acquisitions — the company’s stock was recently trading near its five-year high. An Israeli, Catz held a key role in $10.3 billion takeover of software rival PeopleSoft. Prior to Oracle, Catz was at Donaldson and Lufkin & Jenrette, global investment banks. A bachelor’s degree holder from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, she later pursued law from the University’s Law School.

§ Microsoft among several software vendors providing sustainability tools
With businesses scrambling to reduce their energy use — both to save costs and limit their carbon footprint — Microsoft and other software vendors are building tools that make tracking environmental data easier. Today, Microsoft is releasing a free add-on to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for midsized businesses. “ERP systems are really good at giving you the financial numbers, but where they fall short is with the environment or social issues,” said Jennifer Pollard, a senior Microsoft product manager.

§ Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX
The Environmental Sustainability Dashboard is a cost-effective solution designed to help Microsoft Dynamics AX customers collect and assess data about their energy use and carbon footprint.

§ America’s Cup court case sails into final showdown
Oral arguments are scheduled for Tuesday before the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany in the bitter case between San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, which backs Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing, and Societe Nautique de Geneve, the Swiss club that backs Bertarelli’s two-time defending America’s Cup champion Alinghi. The case between bickering billionaires who sail aboard the sloops they own — Ellison is founder and CEO of business software giant Oracle Corp. and Bertarelli is a biotech tycoon — has already had two twists as abrupt as a boat turning 180 degrees around a buoy. GGYC is hoping that there’s one more. In its last-chance appeal, the American club is asking New York state’s highest court to reverse the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division ruling last summer that Spain’s Club Nautico Espanol de Vela (CNEV), and not the Golden Gate Yacht Club, is the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup.

§ Shrinking IT Dollars
[DBM-Claim is patently false: in 2001, there were three months with no job posts on The OracAlumni Network. These days, many companies are still hiring.] What are you seeing in terms of cutbacks? This entire budget squeeze may go so far that people will decide to shut down all their discretionary spending–their project spending–for a year or so. We have seen aspects of that in the last downturn in 2001. This one is much more severe and people are in retrenchment mode. They do not have time for any innovations going forward and business-side investments. You may see projects shut down for a year, which makes it very difficult to maintain a skill base. It’s going to be a major challenge for CIOs and it will be interesting to see how they cope with it. Reductions in the budget of 40% to 60% are commonplace in many companies already this year.

§ Hot skills: Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is being taken seriously – and that includes coming in for serious criticism over issues such as scalability. Ruby on Rails is an open source web application framework using the Ruby programming language, and usage has risen rapidly in the last two years. Most industry services have it still trailing PHP, Perl and Python, but catching up fast. Some commentators have predicted a return to the devil-you-know in the uncertain times ahead, with a resurgence of C, Java and Javascript at the expense of the open source scripting languages. But there is currently no shortage of employers looking for Ruby on Rails skills, nor of commitment from major suppliers. IBM was an early supporter, with drivers and adapters for DB2 and other key platforms. Oracle offers a driver, but gives Ruby on Rails less wholehearted support. Sun includes it in its OpenSolaris webstack.

§ Satyam to trim sales force, loses clients: reports
“We are looking at rationalizing employees who provide pre and post-sales services onsite as part of the cost-rationalization exercise,” Hari Thalapalli, Satyam’s global head of marketing and communication, was quoted as saying in the report.

§ SuccessFactors Q4 Results Beat Guidance
For the quarter, the talent management software provider posted revenue of $33 million, beating guidance of $31 million to $31.5 million, and the Street consensus at $31.4 million. The company posted a non-GAAP loss for the quarter of 6 cents a share, a much smaller loss than the 32-34 cents of red ink it had projected. For Q1, the company sees revenue of $34 million to $34.5 million, with a non-GAAP loss of 10-12 cents a share. The Street had been expecting $33 million and a loss of 30 cents. For the full year, SuccessFactors sees revenue of $145 million to $146 million, with a non-GAAP loss of 23-27 cents a share. The Street has been estimating $149.2 million in revenue and a loss of $1.07 a share.

§ Recent MySQL Trends
There is a tremendous upswing in Oracle customers looking at MySQL. A year ago about half the customers were evaluating MySQL, now I am seeing about 90% saying they have been mandated to look at using MySQL for future DBA projects.

§ Ariba, Inc. F1Q09 (Qtr End 12/31/08) Earnings Call Transcript
When we last spoke 90 days ago, Ariba had just posted a record bookings quarter, and we entered Q1 with a lot of momentum. Our software business continues to exhibit good growth this past quarter as evidenced by solid growth in our subscription revenue and backlog. Over the last 45 days, we saw the overall selling environment become increasingly more challenging and with longer cycles. We saw a decline in our services business which had an impact on the quarter’s revenue. We still grew, albeit at a lower rate than expected, and our revenue came in at the lower end of our guidance range. As we said we would do, we took cost actions during the quarter to preserve our operating margins which enabled us to come in at the upper end of our EPS guidance. In short, we had a solid quarter, and we continue to be positioned to deliver profitable growth even in an economic downturn. Let me now walk you through the highlights from the quarter.

§ Fast Implementation Is Key: Q&A With Amdocs Strategy VP Dana Porter
Speeding up implementations is the idea behind Amdocs’ “packs” — modular applications that focus on specific processes such as e-billing. The emphasis on efficiency will pay off now, when the economy has businesses trimming costs wherever possible, as well as later. The operations that are leanest will be able to surge ahead faster when the economy turns around, suggests Amdocs VP of Strategy Dana Porter.

§ SuccessFactors, Inc. Q4 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
This is a momentous inflection point for SuccessFactors. This is not only our fifth consecutive quarter of solid results. SuccessFactors again leads the software and SaaS industry, putting out 77% revenue growth and as we have continued to do every quarter we’ve delivered significant margin expansion. In the last year, gross margin is up 18 full percentage points from 53% to 71%. Operating margin is up almost 100 full percentage points from minus 109% to minus 10. We made a promise to you in November, 2007 at the IPO that we would be cash profitable almost two years from that date. Today we can announce that SuccessFactors turns cash profitable in Q4 2008 in almost half the time we committed to. The whole company feels great about achieving this inflection point early. We have always said that we can get cash profitable at any time and now is the right time. And we will still grow and dominate the large category we created. Along with every other software and technology business we s

§ Bill Gates sells 2 million Microsoft shares
In the past six months, excluding Monday’s filing, company insiders have sold a total of 37.2 million shares for $749.6 million. No shares were purchased.

§ Alinghi, Oracle look ominous ahead of knockout phase
Powerhouses Alinghi and Oracle flexed their muscles one last time before the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series yachting regatta accelarates into cut-throat racing off Auckland today.


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