Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-03-20

  • IBM and Sun: Is it about the hardware or the software?
    A larger issue is the impact this will have on the $67B enterprise application software market. While many smaller enterprise software vendors might cheer IBM taking ownership of Java, Oracle and SAP may see this as a strategic threat to their middleware and applications businesses. Java became the dominant language for new enterprise applications thanks in part to Sun’s quasi-open source method of controlling Java’s direction, called the Java Community Process. No doubt, IBM would be careful to preserve the appearance of Java as a vendor-neutral standard, but SAP and Oracle may not be willing to tie the future of their billion-dollar applications businesses to a language owned by IBM. Sun wasn’t much of a threat to Oracle or SAP, but IBM is a different matter. SAP and Oracle could attempt to block IBM’s acquisition on anti-trust grounds, or splinter the Java standard by building their own versions.
  • Oracle delivers solid third quarter; Strong dollar dings fourth quarter outlook
    # Research and development spending in the third quarter was $677 million, down 1 percent from a year ago. # General and administrative expenses were $192 million, down from $206 million a year ago. # Operating margins were 36 percent in the quarter, up a percentage point. # Oracle ended the quarter with $8.2 billion in cash and $3 billion in marketable securities. # The company ended the quarter with 86,588 employees, down slightly from the prior quarter. # Database revenue is saving the day for Oracle. In the third quarter, new software licenses for database and middleware revenue was $1.12 billion, or down 4 percent from a year ago. Support and license update revenue was up 16 percent to $1.91 billion. # Applications revenue for the third quarter took a hit as new software licenses were $396 million, down from $451 million a year ago.
  • From the Oracle’s Mouth: Its First Div
    Against the grain of company after company slashing dividends, Oracle announced its first payout ever. The software giant will pay a 5-cent quarterly, for an annual rate of 20 cents, declaring that the dividend policy now will add a new dimension to the way it rewards investors – limited in the past to stock repurchases, acquisitions, and technological improvements. The nickel-a-share will be paid May 8 to stock of record April 8.
  • SQL Worm Slams Web
    An Internet worm exploiting vulnerabilities in certain versions of Microsoft SQL Server and MSDE began hammering UDP port 1434 before midnight on Friday, January 24th, 2003. Dubbed Sapphire by some antivirus vendors and Slammer by others, the worm resulted in massive packet loss throughout the web causing severe latency and, in some cases, made certain sites completely inaccessible depending on the ISP being used. Because the worm affected unpatched versions of Microsoft SQL server and desktops with MSDE installed, download servers from Microsoft were temporarily overcome by traffic as administrators flocked to the site to obtain the necessary patches.
  • Oracle powering towards Fusion
    Expect to see significant amounts of Oracle marketing and development focus during 2009. With product launches, customer testimonials from early adopter programmes, and a host of other Fusion-related noise. However, care should be taken when setting revenue expectations from these new Fusion products, especially the Fusion applications. New business applications take time to gain market adoption and we don’t anticipate the real revenue acceleration to come until 2011 or later. Early success can and will be found by Oracle, but customers will move at their own pace, as is right.
  • Why Oracle Dividends Are Good for Tech
    It’s definitely news when a company run by an outsized ego like Larry Ellison elects to start offering shareholders dividends. Oracle (ORCL), Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Cisco (CSCO) are a few of the companies floating around with the most cash, according to this recent SA article. But Oracle is only the second of the pack to offer dividends (Microsoft was the first). Let’s hope that this will lead to more technology companies issuing dividends in the future, something that would be good not only for investors but for the companies themselves.
  • Coke contract and employees move from Satyam to HP
    Apart from bagging the ERP contract from Coca-Cola, HP has also issued offer letters to Satyam employees who were working with the client. Some of these employees will be joining HP next month. It is believed that Satyam had at least 100 employees working on the Coca-Cola project in its Chennai offshore development centre. Most of them were experts in the area of SAP consulting and implementation.
  • Satyam Freshers Union wants parties to air job concerns
    Under the banner of Satyam Freshers Union, these students want political parties to air concerns over job losses in their manifestos. “We want political parties to incorporate our concerns in their manifestos. We will approach all parties including the Congress, Telugu Desam, Prajarajyam, Telangana Rashtria Samithi and the Communist Party of India help us get jobs that we were offered a Satyam,” said Satyam Freshers Union convenor Varun Podaralla.
  • IBM-Sun deal: Microsoft is in the cross-hairs
    IBM’s impending deal to buy Sun is aimed squarely at one of Microsoft’s biggest vulnerabilities: In the server market and among developers, where Linux has a big presence, and is about to get much bigger. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the deal could help Microsoft, but the truth is, he’s just blowing smoke.
  • Oracle’s Stimulus Package
    One way to read Oracle’s (ORCL) novel announcement on Wednesday that it will start paying a dividend is that after years of handing out money to shareholders of other companies in the form of acquisitions, it will dole out some to its own investors. Word that the software giant will pay a dividend for the first time comes after a quarter in which Oracle acquired just one company, mValent. It was the lowest quarterly total for the company in recent memory, and compares with the shopping spree in the same quarter last year that saw it take home BEA Systems for $8.5bn, among other deals.
  • NetSuite adds cloud product range for coders
    SuiteCloud includes SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN), a developer program for independent software vendors (ISVs), and SuiteApp.com, an online marketplace where ISVs, customers and other users can look for applications that may suit their business requirements.
  • NetSuite rounds out SuiteCloud Ecosystem
    On-demand enterprise applications provider NetSuite today officially launched its SuiteCloud Ecosystem, designed to encourage customers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to maximise NetSuite investments, and make the firm the preeminent platform-as-a-service provider. SuiteCloud is a bundle of tools and services which helps businesses to customise and extend their NetSuite implementations with ease, according to the vendor, and allows ISVs to build applications that meet specific business needs on top of a common business suite platform. The latest additions are SuiteCloud Developer Network, a developer programme for ISVs, and SuiteApp.com, an online marketplace where ISVs and customers can find the applications they need.
  • NetSuite launches application store
    “SuiteCloud’s NS-BOS has a built-in integration advantage over competitors,” he said. “NetSuite provides a [SaaS] application foundation that pure platform providers lack and, most importantly, a pool of thousands of customers already committed to it.”
  • Microsoft preps massive cloud expansion
    “As we move forward in the next couple of months, we will begin running Windows Azure in multiple data centers,” Microsoft’s James Conrad told Mix attendees. “You will have the ability to run ASP.NET and storage in specific data centers…North American data centers are the start, [and] as we move forward with Azure will make it available in other data centers around the world.” The expansion is in addition to the inclusion of business application features from SQL Server plus support for non-Microsoft and .NET programming languages such as PHP on Azure.
  • Microsoft opens Azure to PHP developers
    Specific improvements made this week include expanding beyond managed code to native code support; enablement of full trust, which is how most applications or services are written; and offering FastCGI support to allow PHP development. “Basically, the Windows Server team has done a ton of work with FastCGI that allows Windows Server to now support programming languages beyond just .Net and Visual Studio,” Ketkar said. Through the FastCGI interface, developers can take existing PHP skills and PHP applications and services and run them on Azure. Developers might also be able to run other languages via FastCGI, said Ketkar. Microsoft, though, has done stress-testing for PHP but not for other languages. “There is no reason that Ruby won’t work through that same FastCGI interface,” he said. Are you ready for event-driven business? – watch this webcast. Microsoft’s vision is to open up the platform to more languages, Ketkar said. Microsoft wants Azure to offer a “frictionless” developmen
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