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Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-03-21

  • Microsoft Ships Internet Explorer 8 Browser
    Microsoft will release its Internet Explorer 8 browser for download on March 19. Security, ease of use, and improvements in RSS, Cascading Style Sheets and AJAX support are key priorities for Internet Explorer 8, according to Microsoft.
  • Will iPhone OS 3 Bring Apple, Enterprise Closer Together?
    The Apple iPhone OS 3.0 will offer 100 new features, some of which will hopefully make the iPhone more enterprise-friendly. Sybase, SAP and Sun Microsystems all recognize the potential value of the iPhone to the enterprise, and Sybase and SAP recently announced a partnership that extends SAP’s Business Suite 7 to the iPhone, as well as to other, more expected, mobile devices. … eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Andrew Garcia reported that, for those who look closely, there are small acknowledgements of the enterprise. OS 3.0 includes VPN on Demand; Certificate Revocation; and Media Scrubbing. Though little will be known about these features until 3.0 is released.
  • eWEEK Labs Examines IBM, Sun Product Synergies, Overlap
    Enterprise IT managers need to be thinking about the product impact of a possible IBM acquisition of Sun. eWEEK Labs takes a look at the areas of synergy–such as database and operating systems–as well as areas of overlap–such as development. In the end, IBM’s services model may be the crux of all product decisions.
  • IBM Can Probably Sell Sun Better than Sun Can
    Insiders virtually all agree: An IBM-Sun Microsystems merger might be very good for both companies and their investors. One of the key elements to this possibility is that IBM will have to market and sell Sun’s IT infrastructure wares better than Sun can, and most eWEEK sources believe IBM could actually do that.
  • SAP, Oracle Scrambling For GRC Dollars
    SAP and Oracle both announced new components for their growing governance, risk and compliance (GRC) technology suit in the past 10 days. GRC applications are typically sold to public and large privately held companies, especially those operating in heavily-regulated industries, and are intended to perform a variety of critical functions including electronic document search and retrieval, ensuring compliance with audit and other financial and industry-specific regulations.
  • SAS starts building for the cloud
    SAS, the world’s largest vendor of business-intelligence software, is planning to spend $70m (£50m) on a cloud-computing facility to expand its on-demand applications. Operations will be based at its Cary, North Carolina headquarters, the company said on Thursday. SAS is privately held and competes with companies such as IBM, SAP and Oracle. In a statement, SAS’s founder and chief executive Jim Goodnight detailed the company’s plans for a 38,000-square-foot cloud-computing facility. The cloud centre will have two 10,000-square-foot server farms, with the first one to be completed in 2010 and a second to be built when the first reaches 80 percent capacity, the company said.
  • Informatica Shaping Up As Likely Acquisition Target
    Ivan Chong, general manager of Informatica’s data quality business unit, explained that different financial services companies can have up to seven different definitions for “price;” it can mean a stock’s settlement price for one and the closing price for another. … These kinds of problems can be compounded when newly-merged businesses struggle with reconciling data residing in incompatible data warehouses and applications. … This kind of technology can be very attractive to technology platform vendors, especially when they’re already likely to have an existing presence in either the acquiring company or the target. It should be no surprise, then, that SAP and Oracle have acquired or built their own data management capabilities in the past several years. And IBM spent approximately $10 billion between 2005 and 2008 in data management-related acquisitions.
  • Microsoft’s Ballmer slams IBM’s potential purchase of Sun Microsystems
    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doesn’t seem to care. Ballmer, who dismisses any new competition, indicated that “Someone must think [an IBM-Sun deal] is a good idea for the rumor to even exist, I don’t exactly get it.” Well, Steve, if the rumor does end up to be true, Microsoft will see a renewed competitor in the server space. You know, the one where Microsoft recruits billions of dollars per quarter through server software sales? Ballmer also seemed to think Sun’s intellectual baggage was too much saying, “You pick up a lot of stuff when you buy Sun … a deal gives IBM a year or two where all they’re doing is digesting it. I relish that year.” That year may be soon, and if IBM and Sun Microsystems do combine, that year could even be 2009. [DBM-I’m warming to this acquisition-the more I think about it, the more I think it makes sense for IBM…]
  • In Consolidating IT Industry, All Bets Are Off
    Polite vendor execs used to call it “coopetition”–the state of tech industry affairs whereby the fiercest of rivals could be the chummiest of partners depending on the circumstances and the market they’re chasing. A more up-to-date and colloquial description of this industry dynamic might be: All bets are off. Some recent evidence:
  • Oracle launches intiative to help partners build new business
    Oracle aims to help partners build their businesses with a new initiative that provides sales training and verification of skills. The Oracle Sales Readiness Verification initiative is aimed at helping partners with proven expertise in Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database and Oracle Grid, providing them with sales training and designed to enable them to go to market with the products. The intention is to drive net new licence and services business for partners, the company stated.
  • Tech Companies Need a Cash Plan
    That is why more should consider a dividend. Oracle Corp., having led the way on acquisitions, declared its first dividend Wednesday. If Oracle can declare a dividend, Apple and Google should follow.
  • Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will reap $230 million a year from company’s dividend
    Assuming the dividend and Ellison’s holdings — currently 1.15 billion shares, the company reported — remain the same, Ellison stands to reap $230 million from the 5-cent-per-share dividend in the next 12 months. That’s in addition to his salary and other perks, which came to nearly $85 million in 2008, according to company filings. Asked to respond to several questions regarding the dividend payout to Ellison, a company spokesperson said: “Oracle shareholders are thrilled and have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our dividend offering.”

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