Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-04-05

  • AFP: Oracle wins America’s Cup verdict
    The court based its findings on the original deed of gift surrounding the trophy competition, basically finding that the Spanish club was not eligible to be a true challenger because it did not meet all requirements of a challenger. Oracle’s successful argument noted a provision that says a club’s annual regatta must be staged at sea. The Spanish group had not staged one and as a result was tossed aside as a challenger of record. Where an earlier court found language on annual regattas unclear, “we disagree and find the phrase unambiguous”, the court ruled, saying at least one qualifying regatta had to have been staged by a challenger. “Thus, SNG is wrong in its claim the regatta requirement can be satisfied by race time rather than at the time of challenge. “Since CNEV has failed to show that at the time it submitted its notice of challenge it was a ‘club fulfilling all the conditions required’ by Deed of Gift, it does not qualify as the challenger of record for the 33rd America’s
  • Ellison Wins America’s Cup Court Battle
    The unanimous ruling Thursday by the Court of Appeals says San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, which backs BMW Oracle Racing, is the legitimate Challenger of Record. It will negotiate race terms with Societe Nautique de Geneve, the Swiss club that backs two-time defending champion Alinghi. The six judges reversed a midlevel court that found a Spanish association backed by the Swiss club qualified as challenger. Golden Gate is expected to try to negotiate terms for a traditional multichallenger race with single-hull boats, and failing that a rare one-on-one showdown in faster 90-foot multihull boats.
  • The H-1B visa as a job replacement tool
    If the H-1B cap is hiked, will more U.S. workers, citizens and permanent residents be forced to train their foreign replacements? If the cap isn’t raised will Indian firms, in particular, be forced to expand their U.S. work forces? The offshore firms — and their customers — want to avoid both outcomes because of the impact on margins and public relations. As business processes and technology are increasingly standardized, offshoring firms will be able to offer, at the ready, processes capable of quickly forklifting a business unit overseas. The need for direct retraining by U.S. employees may be offset by this. But that’s a story for another day. Regardless of how this turns out, for some U.S. workers that sinking feeling will remain.
  • Salesforce.com And NetSuite Get Chummy
    NetSuite calls it SuiteCloud Connect for Salesforce.com, which is essentially the brand name it created for letting customers know that SaaS integration providers such as Boomi and Cast Iron Systems offer pre-built connectors for the two systems. So is this none-news news? Well, yes, in the sense that it’s not a software co-development story, which is what it might look like on the surface. But if it means Salesforce.com and NetSuite are taking the wise step of showing the world that they plan to work more like partners and less like competitors, it’s important. That would be a win-win for both, but particularly beneficial for NetSuite to get its name in front of more of Salesforce.com’s 50,000-plus customers. NetSuite describes SaaS integration partners’ offerings as providing an “integrated lead-to-cash process” and “deep customer visibility for sales.” NetSuite also appears to be the more committed one in this relationship, and I base this on years of reading press releases: no Sal
  • IBM Near Deal to Buy Sun for Lower Price
    The companies are now discussing a deal in which IBM would pay $9.55 a share for Sun, about $1-a-share lower than Sun previously expected, according to people familiar with the talks. The revised price — valuing the entire company at about $7 billion — would lower the amount IBM would have to pay by roughly $750 million. In return, Sun is demanding assurances that IBM will push to complete a deal even if it faces vigorous regulatory objections to the plan, these people said.
  • US club challenger for America’s Cup
    After 20 months of fighting between the Swiss and American syndicates, the decision by the Court of Appeals appeared to have an immediate impact. Bertarelli, a biotech tycoon, contacted Ellison on Thursday evening to open discussions, Alinghi spokeswoman Daphne Morgan Barnicoat said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Barnicoat had no other details. “It falls now to SNG and GGYC to work together to maintain this noble sailing tradition as ‘a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries,'” Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote. Judges Victoria Graffeo, Susan Read, Robert Smith, Eugene Pigott Jr. and Theodore Jones Jr. agreed.
  • 5 reports say IPO slump worsening
    The report said only 57 companies went public on U.S. markets last year, compared with 296 IPOs in 2007. “Significant IPO activity may not return until later in 2009,” PricewaterhouseCoopers said. Taking companies public is one way venture capitalists recoup their investments in new companies. When that exit strategy shuts down, VCs try to sell startups to larger firms through the merger and acquisitions market. But a third report from the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters reveals that M&A activity has also slowed, with fewer deals and smaller payouts to the initial investors.
  • Some Employers See Hiring Opportunity
    Consider Model N Inc., a closely held Silicon Valley software maker. Kamal Ahluwalia, vice president of corporate marketing, says Model N traditionally faced tough competition for employees from software giants such as Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, as well as smaller startups. “Now, all the big guys are on hiring freeze, and most of the startups are dying,” he says. “In this downturn, we really do have an opportunity to hire the best talent.” Buoyed by rising sales of its revenue-management software, Model N plans to add 30 to 40 employees to its 275-person staff in 2009. In February, Model N tapped Jim Gavin, an SAP salesman in Palo Alto, Calif., to lead sales to big technology companies. In January, SAP had said it would cut 3,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce. The layoffs “put the whole organization on edge,” says Mr. Gavin, who had worked for SAP for three years. He started looking elsewhere. Model N tapped Mr. Gavin through a recruiter he had used to hire employees for SAP. Mr. Gavi

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