Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-03-31

  • CIO Jury: No cloud in our future
    Following exclusive silicon.com research that found IT leaders voting cloud computing the most over-hyped technology of the year, the CIO Jury was asked whether cloud computing is part of their IT strategy to cut costs. The jury came back with a ‘no’ majority of 10 to two. … However, most CIOs are yet to embrace the cloud, for a number of reasons. For David Supple, head of IT at Ecotec Research & Consulting, security remains an issue. “The security questions are still far too unresolved for us to have confidence in it, and for us to pass the confidence on to our public sector clients,” he said. Despite the comprehensive ‘no’ vote, some CIOs expect that the cloud will indeed play a part in their future tech plans.
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to get award at Cannes International Advertising festival
    Steve Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, will be named media person of the year at the Cannes International Advertising festival in June. Ballmer, who took control of the direction of the world’s largest software companyIndependent News & Media; Lachlan Murdoch; Viacom‘s chairman and chief executive, Sumner Redstone; and the Italian prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi. “This is a time of sweeping innovation and transformation in advertising and publishing and there are incredible opportunities to use technology to deliver more value to both advertisers and consumers,” said Ballmer.
    following founder Bill Gates’s retirement last summer, follows in the footsteps of previous recipients such as Sir Anthony O’Reilly, the former chief executive of
  • Oracle, Alcatel-Lucent settle patent fight over messaging
    Alcatel-Lucent, the world’s biggest telecommunications- equipment maker, wrote a letter in December 2007 claiming that Oracle‘s Data Mining, E-mail Center, Data Guard and other products infringed its patents, according to the Oracle complaint. Oracle sued to challenge Alcatel-Lucent’s rights to any patent royalties on those products and in turn accused the company of violating its patent rights. Alcatel-Lucent countered by arguing that Oracle’s patents are invalid or not infringed. A total of 13 patents were at issue in the dispute, five belonging to Oracle, one to Siebel Systems Inc., which was acquired by Oracle in 2005, and seven the property of Alcatel- Lucent.
  • SAP Announces Availability of 2008 Annual Report and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filing on Form 20-F
    SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) announced today that its Annual Report to Shareholders (including the IFRS audited financial statements) for the year ended December 31, 2008 is now available, and that SAP’s Annual Report on Form 20-F (including the U.S. GAAP audited financial statements) has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Both reports can be accessed via SAP’s Web site at www.sap.com/investor and www.sap.de/investor. Hardcopies of both reports can be ordered free of charge (i) online at http://www.sap.com/investor and www.sap.de/investor, (ii) via phone +49 6227 7-67336 or +1-877-727-7862 or (iii) by sending an e-mail to investor@sap.com.
  • SAP Confirms 2009 Outlook In 2008 Annual Report
    Software company SAP AG (SAP) confirmed a drop in operating margin for 2009, in its annual report released Friday. The company presented the outlook at the end of January when it released preliminary results. SAP forecast an operating margin of between 24.5% and 25.5% for this year, before special- and currency effects. The outlook also forecast one-off costs of EUR200 million-EUR300 million for job reductions, likely to pressure the margin by around 2-3 percentage points. In 2008 SAP achieved an operating margin of 28.4%. Earnings during the first half year, and especially in the first quarter “will be not be comparable to to the very good results in the first half of 2008, before the onset of the economic crisis,” SAP said in the report. SAP also said sales are expected to rise over the medium term, as long as the crisis doesn’t have a sustained impact on demand.
  • Oracle Improves Database Management in New Enterprise Manager Release
    Oracle makes a number of moves to round out the database management capabilities of the recent release of Enterprise Manager. Among them is tighter integration with Oracle Database Vault, the company’s database access control technology. Oracle has enhanced integration between Database Vault and Enterprise Manager 10g Release 5, one of several moves the company has made to improve database administration in the latest version of Enterprise Manager.
  • The Vivek Kundra controversy: Real and imaginary problems with America’s CIO
    Still, I have a basic concern:Is Kundra too focused on shiny new technologies to devote proper attention to the mainstream of the Federal IT challenge? When appointed, Kundra rattled off a number of laudable priorities for his job, most of which boiled down to making government IT cheaper and government information more accessible to citizens. Kundra turns out to be a big fan of cloud computing and iPhones. That’s all great. But goverment contracting needs to be greatly reformed in the IT area, and saying “Oh, we should buy more commercial stuff off the shelf” isn’t enough. Existing silos of automation offer huge integration and consolidation challenges, and talking about cloud computing isn’t enough. Basically, I’m afraid that Kundra may suffer from the standard problem of not understanding how bad the Federal IT mess really is.
  • Mysql query optimization for ORDER BY.. LIMIT queries
    Recently I was working with a client to support a text-search type functionality on their website. Given a search category and a list of words, the app was to return the highest relevancy titles that matched those words. For purposes of demonstration, assume the ranking was simple, using only an “or” search on the list of words. (So for example, a search of “Green tea” would match return all titles that matched “Green” or “Tea”, and relevancy scoring didn’t need to take into account if more than one word was matched) This was a high-traffic application with upwards of 100 queries per second. The most painful part of this query was sorting the results in order of relevancy. The simplified table looks like this:
  • Microsoft Revamps SQL Data Services (SDS) Cloud Database
    After months of criticism that the test build of its cloud-based SQL Data Services (SDS) lacked the horsepower for enterprise-grade applications, Microsoft is scrapping the effort and moving to a pure relational modelSOAP Web services interfaces.
    instead. Microsoft made the surprise move just one week before its annual MIX09 conference in Las Vegas last month. Ironically, The company announced its cloud-based database offering at MIX08, one year before. The test version of SDS that critics panned was based on REST and
  • Intel Silicon Forum and Webcast
    Paul Otellini: Oh, I don’t know if the Cisco entry spurred IBM. I think cheap Sun price—a low price spurred a lot of interest. I can tell you that Sun was shopped around the valley and around the world in the last few months. A lot of companies got calls or visits on buying some or all the assets of the company. It looks like IBM is in the hunt now. And at a hundred and some odd percent premium, I suspect they’ll get it. I don’t think it had anything to do with Cisco. I think IBM is trying to consolidate architectures. IBM has the strongest Java license in the industry. By picking up Sun—which is the creator of Java—they really consolidate their position not just in Linux, but also in Java. I think the stuff on Solaris and SPARC is likely to see EOLs over time through the IBM acquisition. But no strategic reason for IBM to maintain that except to attempt to convert the very large Sun SPARC Solaris base to power. I think that would be their most likely strategy as part of this. Is it
  • The “Oracle-Free” Zone. Or SAP-free. Or IBM-free.
    Actually I said I was aware of companies which have instituted “Oracle-free zone in 36 months” projects (or SAP or IBM or another large sw vendor). The goal is no new incremental dollars to the vendor (no new licenses, no consulting dollars), move of maintenance dollars to third party providers in interim and migration to alternative SaaS, open source vendors or even custom apps in that time horizon.
  • US cos expect fewer worker visas amid downturn
    The annual flood of applications for visas for highly skilled workers is expected to ease this year, though companies say they will still push to eliminate a cap on the number awarded by the government. Immigration officials have been overwhelmed in recent years for applications for so-called H-1B visas, which let U.S. companies employ foreign guest workers in highly specialized jobs for three years. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting applications for 2010, with a cap of 65,000, on Wednesday. In recent years the number of applications has reached that ceiling within days.
  • Wilbur Ross, 3 others finish Satyam due diligence
    Six suitors, including billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, have inked non-disclosure pacts with Satyam Computer Services, a pre-requisite to do due diligence on the assets and liabilities of the beleaguered IT firm. Of these, four bidders have already done the due diligence and two more are expected to follow suit. Wilbur Ross, engineering firm Larsen & Toubro, IT services firm Tech Mahindra, and a US-based IT firm feature in the list of bidders who have completed the due diligence, said people familiar with the development. This will enable them put a price tag on Satyam.

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