Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-29

  • Microsoft Silverlight vs Google Wave: Why Karma Matters
    It is easy to dismiss all this with, “Oh, the press just loves to hype everything Google and loves to hate Microsoft,” but that cannot explain why even competitors like us are willing to embrace Google’s innovations, but stay away from perfectly good innovations from Microsoft, such as Silverlight? It comes down to one word: karma. Microsoft just has so much bad karma in this industry that I cannot imagine a company like us trusting them on much of anything. Take Silverlight: Microsoft pledged that they will always support Silverlight on Mac and Linux, and on browsers other than IE. Do you really, really believe their promise? Let’s recap some ancient history here: Microsoft used to have IE for Solaris and even had a beta of IE for Linux. That was when IE was way behind Netscape and was trying to catch up. Once Netscape was safely vanquished, Microsoft’s commitment to support IE on other platforms vanished. In fact, Microsoft intentionally pulled IE on other platforms, because it w
  • Google Wave Crashes Over Microsoft
    It also creates the conditions for customers to comfortably shuck off the shackles of installed software — including Office and other Microsoft products — in exchange for truly lightweight hardware like netbooks or advanced smartphones, without sacrificing the richness of their computing experience. If it gets the kind of developer love it should, Wave is just the first of a series of a breakers that will loosen Microsoft’s grip on the desktop, and may also render Adobe wholly irrelevant.
  • EU Plans Fresh Strike on Microsoft
    The regulatory push is focused on a longstanding complaint against Microsoft: that it improperly bundles its Web browser with its Windows software. Rather than forcing Microsoft to strip its Internet Explorer from Windows, people close to the case say, the EU is now ready to try the opposite measure: Forcing a bunch of browsers into Windows, thus diluting Microsoft’s advantage. The sanctions would come from an EU investigation that began last year. In a sign of how rapidly the case is progressing, these people say, the possible penalty has emerged as a key focus in discussions between the parties.
  • Council’s struggling SAP system becomes political football
    A troubled £30 million SAP-based shared services scheme in the West Country has become a political football in the run up to next week’s Euro elections. The SAP roll out is part of a larger transformation programme being managed by Southwest One, a joint venture partnership between Somerset County Council, IBM, Avon and Somerset police and Taunton Deane Borough Council. Southwest One went live with the first phase of SAP, a procurement module, on 1 April 2009, three months later than its planned. However, the roll out was plagued with problems that led to delays paying supplier invoices.
  • SAP Canada executives reflect on 20th anniversary
    AP Canada Inc.’s top executives gathered for a roundtable discussion with media Tuesday to celebrate the SAP AG subsidiary’s 20th anniversary. The Canadian office had a fairly modest beginning in 1989 with about five customers and six employees, three of which are still with the company, said Mark Aboud, president and managing director of SAP Canada. Today, SAP Canada has roughly 2,300 employees and serves 1,200 clients. “I think everyone would acknowledge that SAP is the dominant player in the large businesses. You would be hard pressed to look at a business in Canada over the last few years who made an ERP decision that didn’t go with SAP,” said Aboud.
  • JavaOne conference opens as Sun prepares to exit the stage
    Sun has long presided over a far-flung ecosystem of Java software and related products, ever since Sun engineer James Gosling developed the language in the early 1990s. But the Santa Clara company, which makes computer hardware and software, is being sold to Oracle in a $7.4 billion deal that is expected to become final this summer. Industry analysts say Redwood City-based Oracle is unlikely to launch any radical changes in the Java software platform, which is used in millions of mobile phones and other consumer devices, as well as Web sites and commercial data centers. Sun has made Java publicly available under open-source licensing, and it’s now an important component of software sold by Oracle, IBM and many smaller companies.
  • Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009
    Google Wave Developer Preview presentation at the Day 2 Keynote of Google I/O. To learn more visit http://wave.google.com
  • The Pulse of Software M & A
    Software M&A deal volume has declined sharply and median exit valuations have plunged. For many private software companies, it’s a buyer’s market, and today is undeniably the wrong time to sell. But a good number of others could exit today at a superb valuation, and we have the data to prove it. Problem is, these highly opportune prospective sellers, beaten down by the relentless flood of economic bad news and lower median software valuations, refuse to leave the storm shelter and come to the table!
  • Bing: “But It’s Not Google”
    If they don’t, all Bing will be known for in a few months will be it’s acronym: “But It’s Not Google”
  • Software News Summary
    The search for the search engine’s name was exhaustive. “Bing” is supposed to indicate “the sound of found.” According to CEO Steve Ballmer, the word’s potential to “verb up,” lack of negative connotations and international applicability made “Bing” a strong contender to face off with “Google” (despite the fact that critics quickly realized “Bing” stands for “But it’s not Google.”
  • The Truth About Obama’s “Tax on Outsourcing”
    Perception: Obama wants to tax offshore outsourcing. Reality: In his remarks last week, Obama said his budget will end tax breaks for companies that “ship jobs overseas.” But no one is quite sure whether Obama is talking about companies with captive offshore operations or companies that outsource to third-parties based overseas, or both. “I still don’t know what the President is referring to when he talks about eliminating the tax benefit associated with offshoring jobs,” admits Daniel Masur, an outsourcing attorney and partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer Brown.
  • Intalio Acquires BPM and CRM Companies, Launches Intalio
    Intalio, Inc., The Enterprise Cloud Company, today announced the acquisition of CodeGlide, a software company based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and ProcessSquare, a software company based in Munich, Germany. Prior to the acquisitions, CodeGlide had developed a powerful platform for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), including Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation, Customer Helpdesk, Analytics, Enterprise Mashups, and Office Productivity, while ProcessSquare had developed a Web-based Business Process Management (BPM) application used by customers such as ABB, Allianz, and Henkel. Both product lines have been fully integrated within Intalio’s product stack over the past six months.
  • 11 Ways Businesses are Cutting Costs Without Firing Employees
    To hear the media tell it, the entire business world is in flux. But not every company is succumbing to economic despair. While many are laying off employees, closing offices, and slashing budgets, others are preserving employee morale and staying afloat without such painful sacrifices. Following, are twelve ways that these praiseworthy businesses are avoiding layoffs and staying the course.
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Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-28

  • VC Tim Draper Sings & Dances For Startups
    Tim Draper delivered the keynote at the WTIA conference in Seattle. Mr. Draper danced and sang (rapped) his keynote in homage to entrepreneurs. This is not the first time Mr. Draper has delivered his keynote is such a manner. Below are other keynotes he delivered in the same way. On a serious note he called for less regulation and protectionism and more bold entrepreneurs. Draper is famous for his investments which include Hotmail, Skype, Baidu and Overture and he’s credited with introducing the concept of viral marketing via web email to advance Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.
  • Citigroup to stay with TCS, Wipro, drop Infosys
    The Bangalore-based Infosys could see around $25 million of its annual revenues from Citi go to rivals like TCS and Wipro, according to an official at one of these companies, requesting anonymity. Citibank has a $2.5-billion nind-year contract with TCS and a $500-million six-year contract with Wipro. However, since Infosys does not derive any significant revenues from Citi, the company is not expected to be hit severely. Infosys has bigger, over $50-million contracts with top US banks, including Bank of America and American Express. “Citi’s entire infrastructure management, back office and maintenance work is being shifted to TCS and Wipro, including around $25 million worth of contract with Infosys,” the official said.
  • ‘Severance’ package for 10k at Satyam
    The top management of Satyam in consultation with its new owner Tech Mahindra has prepared a list of around 10,000 employees who have not been billed for over six months now. These employees are set to be offered 40% of their existing salary for six months, along with medical insurance and provident fund. But they may eventually have to leave the firm. Non-billable employees have been short-listed as they do not bring in any revenues to the IT firm. Satyam’s revenues have been under pressure as many customers snapped ties with the firm after its defamed founder B Ramalinga Raju admitted to perpetrating a Rs 7,000 crore financial fraud.
  • SugarCRM Releases 5.5 Beta With More Mobile CRM Tools
    Open source customer relationship management software provider SugarCRM has announced the beta release of the 5.5 edition of the application. There’s an online demo version available on the SugarCRM web site. Some of the new features in the 5.5 release include: * mobile studio editor * dynamic teams * enhanced web services framework * advanced password management * themes framework
  • Sugar 5.5 Beta Online Demo
    Build your own installation of the Sugar 5.5 Beta release on our Sugar Open Cloud on-demand servers. These custom installations give you the opportunity to preview both end user features and administration tools. Choose a Sugar Edition to Demo * Sugar Enterprise * Sugar Professional * Sugar Community Edition
  • Stanford and Salesforce.com Present “Project Management 2.0” in Action
    Chris Fry, salesforce.com vice president of Platform Development and Steve Greene, senior director of Tools and Agile Development, present the company’s successful switch from a waterfall system to an agile-based system — from the traditional, sequential system to an emergent, iterative and empirical system. The conversion is one of industry’s largest and fastest agile transformations. In 2006, the seven-year-old software company was growing at an extremely fast pace and experiencing growing pains within the R&D organization. Fry and Greene suggested a pilot program to incrementally transition to an agile-based system. After listening to their description of the proposed changes, Parker Harris, a salesforce.com founder and executive vice president, felt drastic change was needed. He charged the two managers to go for broke, and complete the transformation throughout the R&D organization in three months.
  • HTML5 Could Be the OS Killer
    We’ve heard that story before. Java was supposed to raise apps above the level of the operating system, offering cross-platform “write once, run everywhere” applications that would break the coupling between an application and a specific operating system. Proponents predicted Windows would become less important with the rise of Java apps. While Java has accomplished a great deal, it’s potential as an OS-killer has not been realized. HTML5 has a better shot. At its developer conference this week, Google demonstrated HTML5 applications support inside future versions of its Chrome browser and the future Android 2.0 operating system. Mozilla executives also promised HTML5 support inside the forthcoming Firefox 3.5 browser. Google demonstrated how HTML5 allows tighter integration of browsers and applications, such as its Google Web Elements. Developers will be able to add applications to web sites by adding only a few lines of HTML5 code, much as they already do with Google Web Elements.
  • With New Software, SAP Aims to Create a Google-like Search Experience
    According to SAP, the new software combines the “intuitive information search and exploration capabilities” from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio with the “high performance and scalability” of SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator software. The result is a tool that “will empower business users to navigate massive amounts of data in seconds, by leveraging indexed data from SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator software.” The new software allows users to enter keywords to find the data they need to answer critical business questions. Veis emphasized that the software can be used by the “lay businessperson” who may not have experience with traditional business intelligence tools; no training or special skills are required to use the system. “We wanted something that was as simple as using Google, that had the same speed of search and was just as intuitive,” Veis said.
  • ‘Rigged’ product demo in SAP suit goes missing
    Waste Management has been asking SAP for a copy of the demo since mid-2008, according to the motion. But in a May 22 filing, SAP said it had the system until August or September 2006, but does not any longer. SAP has “searched extensively” for the system and wants it “as much or more” as Waste Management, since it “will help SAP disprove WM’s fraud claim,” the filing states. In addition, SAP said it has produced ample discovery materials related to the demo, such as its scripts and hundreds of e-mails. In fact, Waste Management should have the demo in its possession, as it was transferred to the trash hauler’s system in late 2005 and early 2006, according to SAP, which demanded in a May 14 filing that Waste Management turn it over.
  • Ingres forecasts MySQL’s demise, releases bundled development stack
    “I think MySQL just came with the package,” said Roger Burkhardt, CEO of Redwood City, Calif.-based Ingres Corp. With Java and Solaris being the obvious jewels for Oracle, Burkhardt sees no economic incentive for Oracle to turn MySQL into an enterprise-class database from the “fairly simple, lightweight” product that it is now. Making MySQL into a more substantial database might have happened under Sun’s reign, Burkhardt said, but as it stands, the open source product hasn’t exactly grown much since Sun acquired it in 2008. Oracle announced last April that it would purchase Sun in a US$7.4 billion deal. It’s disappointing for the MySQL community, he continued, who “didn’t intend this thing to go so far and stop.” Even though the purchase is not yet a done deal, the community has already begun reacting with fragmentation and departures of key open source leaders like founder Monty Widenius.
  • 10 Free or Cheap Tools for Start-ups
    Every start-up founder uses free or inexpensive online resources to get his or her company launched. Chadd Bennett of RetroRazor, a Seattle-based company that sells old-fashioned safety razors, provided us with a list of the tools he found to be the most helpful. First up, he recommends a CRM application. “Until recently, we used a Google spreadsheet to keep track of the retailers buying our razors,” Bennett says. “But we just started using a program called Zoho CRM. I chose it because up to three people on each account can use it for free. Plus, it’s established enough that I don’t think it’s going to disappear. We only use it for our retail clients, not for individual customers, because we have hundreds of them and it would take too long to enter their information into the database.”

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-27

  • The Big Deal: SuccessFactors
    Danish-import Lars Dalgaard runs $112 million (sales) SuccessFactors ( SFSF – news – people ) with zeal and big goals: He would love to see every company track every employee’s performance using his firm’s Web software. That kind of ambition has led some industry observers to compare Dalgaard to Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com ( CRM – news – people ). Dalgaard rebuffs the notion as “infantile.” Here’s his big deal. “My biggest deal isn’t a single moment, but instead something I’ve worked on over time. I’ve created a company where everybody really cares about the customer. It’s hard. You likely had lousy service somewhere in the last 72 hours, but most organizations don’t care.
  • Ford’s CEO delivers new car to Microsoft’s CEO
    “Hehehe! Hahaha! Beautiful, man!” crowed Ballmer as he bounded across the cement to greet Ford (NYSE: F) CEO Mulally. The former Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO drove up in the Microsoft chief’s new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid at an event staged for the media on Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) campus.
  • SaaS and Cloud Forging a New Role for CIOs
    One of the myths surrounding software as a service is the notion that SaaS makes the CIO redundant. While it’s true that businesses replacing on-premise applications with SaaS equivalents will have less in-house infrastructure to maintain, their IT staff still have an important role to play in managing the external resources. In most cases, they will find they not only still have jobs, their work will be more rewarding. Instead of spending their time fighting fires and keeping the infrastructure running, they can turn their attention to enhancing the applications and helping end users achieve a better fit to business needs.
  • SaaS vendor using swine flu to scare up sales?
    “If you can’t go into the office or travel on business what do you do? You can work from home!” the blog said. “Even if you do not experience flu like symptoms, working at home is going to obviously limit your exposure to contagious ailments like swine flu.”
  • StoneRiver Goes Live on Workday in 38 Business Days
    — Workday Solution Center, announced today, leverages best practices in implementation methodologies and standard configurations to deliver customers the fastest possible time to value. — StoneRiver was formed as a spin-off of financial services company, Fiserv. — The new organization was given approximately 10 weeks to transition its 2,000 employees off the parent company’s solutions, and onto its own HR and business systems. — With a fixed budget and a small internal IT staff, StoneRiver selected Workday for its on-demand delivery model, ability to deploy quickly and scale over time, and low cost of ownership. They also selected Workday as a trusted brand in HR. — StoneRiver went live on Workday HR in just 38 business days. The company has subsequently gone live on Workday’s Worker Spend Management to support expenses. — StoneRiver’s senior vice president of HR, Julia Hill-Nichols, speaks about the deployment in a Workday video interview.
  • It’s Alive — SAP SRM 7.0 in Depth (Part 1)
    At Sapphire, SAP provided their latest solutions marketing presentation on SRM 7.0, keeping much of the positioning they used to market the original ramp-up release. To wit, SRM 7.0 enhancements roughly fall into three pillars, in SAP-speak: procurement excellence, services procurement and foundational investments. Of these, perhaps the most noticeable difference for those who have used an earlier version of SRM, is what SAP describes as a single consolidated view of all P2P activity and one view for all purchase orders and queries. Among other enhancements, once you dig below the surface, SAP touts its new comprehensive services access and management area as well as a new unified work center and power list. There are hundreds of other small features and functional enhancements, many of which I’ll profile and discuss in my own analysis of 7.0 enhancements starting tomorrow. But what interests me most about what SAP is claiming around SRM 7.0 is not how they position or spin its bene
  • Could next week’s JavaOne be the last?
    This year’s conference will begin Tuesday, June 2, at the usual place — the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Held since 1996, JavaOne attracts about 15,000 attendees per year. But with Oracle set to buy Sun for $7.4 billion, will Oracle put an end to JavaOne and perhaps replace it with a Java emphasis at the massive Oracle OpenWorld conference? OpenWorld will be held in October at the same place as JavaOne. Asked what the future holds for JavaOne, representatives from Sun and Oracle declined to comment on Tuesday. A glance at the Moscone event calendar running from January to June 3, 2010, however, does not list JavaOne as a scheduled event. A Moscone representative did not know of future plans for the event. An austere Web page does exist for JavaOne 2010, stating the event runs June 21-24. The page invites submission of presentations.
  • MySQL Cluster – flexibility of replication
    One of the better kept secrets about MySQL Cluster appears to be the flexibility available when setting up replication. Rather than being constrained to implementing a single replication scheme, you can mix and match approaches. Just about every Cluster deployment will use synchronous replication between the data nodes within a node group to implement High Availability (HA) by making sure that at the point a transaction is committed, the new data is stored in at least 2 physical hosts. Given that MySQL Cluster is usually used to store the data in main memory rather than on disk, this is pretty much mandatory (note that the data changes are still written to disk but that’s done asynchronously to avoid slowing down the database).
  • MySQL can be great for Oracle…
    Like many I believe that Oracle would not want to kill MySQL and that steering it more towards the SQL Server market as opposed to Oracle DB could make a lot of sense for Oracle. After all, MySQL definitely competes with SQL Server on ease-of-use and some of the mainstream relational DB features, while for the very high-end features, Oracle is still way ahead (Real Application Clusters, Database Resident Connection Pooling, Backup & Recovery, Data Mining, OLAP). But what will it take to steer MySQL towards SQL Server? Invest in better Windows packaging? Improve performance on Windows? Invest in native management UIs? Build a strong Visual Studio plug-in for MySQL? Make .NET-based applications like Dotnetnuke work better with MySQL? I think it means all of the above and probably some additions I didn’t think of. All that said, I have now changed my mind and believe this is not where the big opportunity lies for Oracle although I see it as a strong secondary strategy and believe Orac
  • More on MySQL Forks and Storage Engines
    Suppose Oracle wants to make life difficult for third-party storage engine vendors via its incipient control of MySQL? Can the storage engine vendors insulate themselves from this risk by working with a MySQL fork? As laid out most clearly in a comment thread to a previous post*, Mike Hogan (CEO of ScaleDB) believes closed-source storage engine vendors can use a MySQL fork without running afoul of the GPL. In a nutshell, what he proposes is an inbetween layer of software, itself open-sourced, that on one side interfaces with MySQL, and on the other side talks cleanly enough to storage engines that it doesn’t infect them with the GPL.
  • TechM gets ready to lay off surplus Satyam employees
    The proposed lay-offs may be done within the next few weeks. Satyam has employees in four bands and is working out a formula that would see maximum lay offs at the junior and middle levels. Gurnani’s statement comes barely a few days after Vineet Nayyar, the CEO of Tech Mahindra and now whole-time director on the Satyam board, declared that Satyam had an excess staff of around 10,000.
  • Five top IT recruitment trends
    While there may be less advertising for senior IT managers and IT directors, the natural cycles of recruitment are still very much alive – as people leave for pastures new, in most circumstances they are replaced. The nature of the current economic climate has certainly changed the parameters for senior-level hiring on a number of levels. For instance, a number of our clients are using the recession as an opportunity to reassess the role of IT within their organisation, and ultimately the brief for their new hires.

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-26

  • DB2 Connect Gets Better Support for Stored Procedures and Triggers
    Developers who use DB2 Connect to access databases running on System i midrange systems and System z mainframes from applications running on Windows, Unix, and Linux systems will gain better support for triggers and stored procedures, among other enhancements, with the latest release of the software, version 9.7, which IBM announced last week. DB2 Connect is a piece of data access middleware that is used to access DB2 databases running on System i and System z servers. The software gives remote applications the capability to create, update, control, and manage DB2 databases running on host systems using a variety of structured methods, including SQL, APIs, ODBC, JDBC, ODBC, embedded SQL for Java (SQLJ), DB2 call level interface (CLI), PHP, Perl, and Ruby on Rails. One of the key enhancements IBM has delivered with version 9.7 is more robust support for stored procedure and trigger language. The new release brings expanded support for implicit casting, the creation of modules, new fun
  • TwitterSuite – One System, now includes Social Networking!
    The Story of TwitterSuite? In short, it’s a Twitter client INSIDE of your Netsuite Dashboard. If you have Netsuite in your company, then this tool will bring together two of the coolest business tools in one place. Why did you create it? I use Netsuite each and every day, I’ve helped others make better use of the software, and I’ve created all sorts of scripts and websites to help people do their job better with Netsuite. I also love Twitter, keeping in contact with my friends and associates so easily and frequently is awesome, so I decided to combine the two and share it with the world. FOR FREE!!!!
  • Tech Talk Series: Summer ’09 Release Preview Webinars
    # Attend the Force.com platform webinar to learn about a rich set of Force.com features, including: * Force.com IDE update to support Eclipse 3.4 * Display of actual values in charts * Use of a picklist value in a formula without ISPICKVAL # Attend the Salesforce.com Apps webinar to learn about the new Salesforce.com Apps features, including: * Sales Cloud Enhancements * Service Cloud Enhancements * Mobile Enhancements
  • NetApp Chief: ‘We`re Not for Sale’
    In an impromptu Q&A with business and channel partners, NetApp CEO Dan Warmenhoven and Vice Chairman Tom Mendoza assert the storage company’s new strength following the announced acquisition of DataDomain and intentions to grow with the support of integrators and hosted service providers.
  • Microsoft Changes Stance on Virtualized SQL Server Failover Clusters
    Microsoft expands support for virtualized SQL Server failover clusters. The announcement is a shift from what the company told its database customers last year. Microsoft has done a 180-degree turn and decided to support failover clustering for SQL Server running in a virtual machine.
  • Top 3 Big Tech Trends from Sungard CEO Chris Conde
    Chris Conde, CEO of Sungard, tells CNBC the three technologies that are transforming the way we do business. 1) SAAS – software as a service / cloud computing 2) Risk Management and Compliance 3) Data Analytics and Storage
  • Report Debunks BI Usage Myth
    “Despite the vendors’ optimism, the results were disappointingly low … and dropped even further in 2008. Only 7.8 percent (down from 8.6 percent in 2007) of those surveyed said that more than 50 percent of their employer’s employees were regular users of BI applications,” he writes. “The mean is just 13.23 percent and the median an even lower 8.16 (down from 8.74) percent.”
  • Enterprise Applications Go Open Source
    In this eWEEK podcast hosted by Mike Vizard, xTuple CEO Ned Lilly explains how the current economic climate is helping to drive the open-source phenomenon into the enterprise application arena.
  • Conway: I Don’t Twitter, Big On Mobile & New Media
    The Godfather of silicon valley venture capital Ron Conway, who is an investor in Twitter, Facebook, Digg to a name a few said to Bambi Francisco that he does not use Twitter he just invests in them. That is not good for Twitter. Conway has invested in a great number of startups but his biggest hit has been Google (guess it true for everyone that invested in the company). He was also an investor in Napster which he said could have been the iTunes. Today Conway is betting in mobile. He is very bullish on the iPhone app ecosystem, virtual goods and new media.
  • Red Hat Sues Swiss Government Over $39M Microsoft Contract
    Red Hat has filed suit with the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, asking it to cancel a contract for desktop software and services that a government agency awarded to Microsoft without calling for competitive bids, the company said. The contract for standardized desktop software licenses, applications for clients and servers, maintenance and third-level support is worth an estimated 42 million Swiss francs (US$39 million) over three years.

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-25

  • SaaS provides nearly half of Asia-Pacific’s CRM
    Furthermore, the SaaS-based CRM market is dominated by a single vendor, with 41 per cent of survey respondents using Salesforce.com. The bulletin notes that Salesforce.com’s strong market share is due to its long presence in the region combined with its dominance in the global market. The survey also found that 25 per cent of SaaS-based CRM subscribers used local SaaS providers. Some other SaaS-based CRM vendors mentioned repeatedly included Digital China, Gate 13, Microsoft, Netsuite, Siebel and SugarCRM.
  • Let The Buying Begin
    Oracle, meanwhile, has $11.3 billion in cash. After engaging in a highly publicized feeding frenzy for years, it has now crossed markets into the hardware world. Oracle is in the midst of buying Sun, and given its past history, it most likely will continue buying. That means Oracle could well be a major force to contend with in the market formerly dominated by IBM and HP.
  • Internode picks NetSuite
    NATIONAL broadband company Internode has started a four-year, $4 million overhaul of its customer-care systems to improve its frontline service. Internode has opted for NetSuite Business Management software as the centrepiece of the new customer system redevelopment. The NetSuite package offers a customer-centric portal to allow customers to track the progress of orders, view the history of their interactions with the company and undertake a range of self-service actions. The technology will also speed up calls and reduce queues during busy periods at Internode’s customer call centre. Last year, Internode’s customer numbers topped 150,000. NetSuite will replace Internode’s internally developed system for recording customer data.
  • U.S. immigration curbs may impact business growth: Wipro
    With the Obama administration turning the wave against outsourcing activities, Indian IT major Wipro fears that restrictions on foreign workers in the U.S. could hamper its growth. IT bellwether Infosys Technologies, too, had raised concerns that curbs on movement of working visa holders could affect its business activities. “Restrictions on immigration in the U.S. may affect our ability to compete for and provide services to clients in the US, which could hamper our growth and cause our revenue to decline,” Wipro said in its annual filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Wipro may outsource work to Egypt
    India, the offshoring capital of the world, is now outsourcing software and back-office projects to Egypt as vendors like Wipro plan to send more domestic work to the most populous Arab country to leverage lower costs and availability of skilled professionals. … “We believe that 20% of our work can be offshored to Egypt,” said Anand Sankaran, senior VP and business head, India and Middle East Business, Wipro. “We are offshoring jobs from Middle East and India to Egypt.” Egypt’s attractive subsidies for creating local employment which includes incentives like waiver on training costs and newrecruit salaries is making it compelling for companies like Wipro to seriously consider sending more work to the country.
  • Interop Raises CIO-Level Interest In Cloud, Virtualization: Video
    Faced with tighter budgets and the relentless charter to find ways to do more with less, CIOs today are pushing harder than ever on their IT vendors and partners to help them uncover innovative approaches and technologies that (a) let them replace old, brittle, and expensive infrastructure with new gear that’s less expensive and is built for openness, speed, and reliability, and (b) give them new capabilities and growth potential in the online-driven global economy. …Here’s the video:
  • Warburtons slices its order processes with SAP
    Since using the new system, which has fax and email capabilities, Warburtons said it had experienced a “dramatic” reduction in time consuming paper processes, and improved the consistency of records. The system is fully integrated with its email. “Rather than each site faxing its own orders out, now all of our orders are going through one integrated system,” said Steve Hammond, IT manager at Warburtons. The company also has an Esker SMS system to allow it to text message staff out on the road with delivery issues.
  • Smart Grid: SAP Connects Meters to the Back Office
    Quick Take: AMI has long promised to provide utilities with information and powerful two-way communication with customers. But AMI by itself doesn’t provide a lot of value without some software to manage the data. As we predicted some years ago, more and more players are converging to provide this vital link between utilities’ operational side and their back office systems. Oracle recently announced its utility solution, and now SAP is doing the same. The real milestone will come when standards are in place that let data from multiple vendors’s products interoperate and communicate with one another. The arrival of a dashboard product is also a welcome sign. Lockheed announced a similar tool last February. The industry certainly needs a product that gives executives the big picture of their operations. We look forward to future contributions to this category.
  • The Underground Oracle VM Manual
    Oracle VM is a Xen-based x86 server virtualization solution that is maintained and distributed by Oracle. Oracle VM is seamlessly integrated across the Oracle stack from the application to the disk. Oracle is continually testing, tuning and releasing new versions of Oracle VM to improve database, middleware and application performance. Oracle VM is an Oracle product not to be confused with the Open Source Xen.org distribution or any other Xen distribution. Oracle VM follows the Open Source model of free-to-use and re-distribute with or without commercial support. Oracle offers commercial support for Oracle VM via the 5Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support program. Oracle VM is distributed from the Oracle eDelivery portal. Oracle has a unique position in the virtualization market as a hardware and application vendor that owns all of the technologies across the Oracle stack. Owning the entire Oracle stack has many advantages, a) integration and management across the stack and b) the ability

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-24

  • SaaS gives small business a big engine
    Yet the founder of In Casa Gifts – an online boutique that sells occasional favours, gifts and accessories for things like weddings or baptisms – not only needed e-mail, accounting and customer relationship management (CRM) software for her virtual business, she also wanted to make sure she maintained control over key platforms. Her solution was to rent, not buy, the software from NetSuite Inc., a key player in the market for small and medium-sized business software-as-a-service – otherwise known as SaaS.
  • Top 75 Venture Capital Blogs To Help You Raise Capital
    I’ve built the following list of top venture capital blogs over the past year. Obviously, these are my opinions, and the actual rank gets hairy and more irrelevant after passing the first quartile. If you’re interested in the new venture arena, this is definitely a great starting point. Enjoy:
  • IBM, Intuit Deliver Appliance for e-Mail, Backup, Finances
    IBM and Intuit have collaborated to bring an all-in-one solution that delivers just about everything a small business needs in a single box, with no IT experience needed. The agreement combines IBM’s Smart Business offering, which includes hardware, software and technical support, with Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions financial management software in a pre-integrated, automated appliance. The heart of the system is the IBM Smart Cube appliance, which includes all the fundamental technology required to run a business including the e-mail, calendaring, security, backup and recovery and Intuit’s financial software. IBM claims it can be set up in four easy steps, with no manuals required. The “sweet spot” IBM has targeted for the system is SMBs with between 50 and 500 employees, although the company says the value proposition and automation make Smart Business appealing for businesses with as few as a handful of workers.
  • Twitter Data – A simple, open proposal for embedding data in Twitter messages
    Twitter Data is a simple, open, semi-structured format for embedding machine-readable, yet human-friendly, data in Twitter messages. This data can then be transmitted, received, and interpreted in real time by powerful new kinds of applications built on the Twitter platform. Here is an example Twitter Data message:
  • Satyam mulls rebranding
    It is doing a dipstick survey of customers and consultants and mulling whether to change the name and logo of the company. This process is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks. The new board, which will have nominees of Tech Mahindra Ltd from 1 June, is likely to take this survey into consideration. Satyam’s second focus in this programme would be to reignite growth. The company management is looking at all options to restart sales growth. It is also revamping its incentive programme. This would not only be aimed at getting new customers but also holding back old clients. Its third focus would be to retain key talent. It would now look at adding to a list of 100 employees it has prepared at the time of selling stake to Tech Mahindra. The company’s fourth focus would be on reviewing cost structure and liabilities. Before looking at cutting employee costs, Satyam will look at cutting overheads.
  • Salesforce.com Takes A Hit; Revs, Bookings Disappoint
    Salesforce.com (CRM) this morning gave a vivid illustration of the fact that aggressive cost-cutting to maintain profitability does not necessarily negate slowing top-line growth. The company late yesterday posted Q1 revenues that were in line, with better-than-expected EPS. However, for both the fiscal second quarter and the full year, Salesforce.com offered weaker-than-expected top-line guidance, along with a better-than-expected earnings forecast. Analysts noted that bookings growth decelerated for the fifth straight quarter, and came in below what most had expected. In short, the software-as-a-service sector is proving not to be immune to the downturn, and the stock is paying the price. Here are a few comments on the company from this morning’s batch of Street research:
  • Satyam looking at ways to cut costs
    Concerned over rising cost hitting revenues, Satyam Computer Services on Friday said it was looking at cutting down costs. “The customer front is good, stable. But costs are high… the revenues would be less,” company Chairman Kiran Karnik told reporters here after a meeting with the board members and officials of Tech Mahindra, which is taking over Satyam Computer. The company discussed a host of cost-cutting measures that can be explored. Tech Mahindra Chief Executive Vineet Nayyar said Satyam had 10,000 excess employees in its 40,000-strong headcount. The company was not looking at layoffs. It was exploring sabbatical and virtual bench strategy, Mr. Karnik said.
  • Wipro warns of adverse business impact due to WB disclosure
    IT major Wipro has warned that its businesses could be “adversely” affected due to the disclosure made by World Bank nearly four months ago that the Indian company was ineligible to work with the international lending institution. “Disclosure about our vendor status with World Bank could adversely affect our business and results of operations,” India’s third largest IT exporter has informed its American shareholders and market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission. Wipro has further warned that the “negative publicity” from the disclosure could lead to its existing and potential customers altering their business relationship with the firm.
  • Top honchos quit Satyam BPO
    Satyam is in the news again. There are more exits of some top executives, this time from its smaller cousin Satyam BPO. According to sources, Naresh Jhangiani, global head of HR at Satyam BPO, V Satyanandam, head of corporate services, have put in their papers. Even Kulwinder Singh, head of marketing (Asia Pacific), Satyam, and earlier with Satyam BPO as global head of marketing and communication, has resigned. Interestingly, this comes soon after Fridays statement by Vineet Nayyar, CEO of Satyams new parent Tech Mahindra, that the company has an excess staff of 10,000. However, sources said that this has no connection with Nayyar’s statement as the executives have put in their papers over a month ago. All the three executives have been with Satyam for over four years.

Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-23

  • Analysis of Workday’s capital infusion
    Some of the data points in it suggest that: – total capital raised in all five rounds is approximately $150 million – current capitalization may last and negate the need for future venture rounds – Dave still owns over half of the company … One implication of this financing though is clear: the pre-money valuation on this transaction must have been very, very high. To grab $75 million in financing and not dilute Dave and Greylock’s investment much mean that either NEA didn’t put much in this deal or that the pre-valuation valuation was very high. That said, this deal is a remarkable deal in that so much money was raised with a likely high valuation in this very tough economy.
  • Salesforce.com delivers mixed fiscal year outlook: Earnings up, revenue light
    Indeed, Salesforce.com’s outlook portends some choppiness ahead. For the second quarter, Salesforce.com projected earnings of 14 cents a share to 15 cents a share with revenue of $312 million to $313 million. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $319 million. However, Salesforce.com cut its full year revenue forecast from February. It projected revenue of $1.25 billion to $1.27 billion. Earnings will be 59 cents a share to 60 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 55 cents a share on revenue of $1.3 billion.
  • Citi Downgrades salesforce.com (CRM) to Hold; Lowers Estimates
    Citi analyst says, “CRM posted disappointing def. revenue growth of 17% vs. our 22% est. Overall pipeline remains healthy, but lower conversion rates, smaller deal sizes, and lower add-on installed base sales resulted in a FQ1 bookings shortfall and lower FY10 rev guidance. Overall on/off balance sheet def. rev remained ~flat q/q at $1.3Bn despite a 50% y/y increase in net new clients signed during the qtr (3,900 new clients vs. 2,600 last yr) – ASPs were clearly under pressure. It is surprising to see such low conversion rates considering overall headcount expanded by 26% y/y, suggesting the overall macro slowdown has finally caught up with CRM. While we believe the positive L-T thesis is intact for CRM’s leading on-demand offering, stock will likely be under pressure until these negative trends abate.”
  • Salesforce.com 1Q profit nearly doubles
    Sales management software maker Salesforce.com said Thursday its first-quarter profit nearly doubled as sales grew 23 percent, but it again lowered its revenue guidance for the full year, sending shares tumbling in late trading. The company said it earned $18.4 million, or 15 cents per share, during the quarter that ended March 31, up from $9.6 million, or 8 cents per share, during the same period last year. Revenue rose to $304.9 million from $247.6 million a year ago, as subscription and support revenue rose 25 percent to $281.8 million, and professional services and other revenue edged up 4 percent to $23.1 million. The results beat expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who were expecting profit of 11 cents per share on revenue of $304.7 million.
  • Slowdown seen at Salesforce.com
    “Salesforce.com reported a soft quarter, with lower-than-expected deferred revenues and bookings,” FBR Capital Markets analyst David M. Hilal said in a note Friday. Hilal said those factors “overshadowed” better earnings and cash flow. He rates the stock “Underperform.” “Bookings slowed for the fifth straight quarter, and guidance slashed revenue expectations for” fiscal 2010, Roth Capital Partners analyst Nathan Schneiderman told clients. He kept a “Hold” rating on shares, but raised his price target to $36 from $30 on strong earnings.
  • Learning from Satyam: How to Detect Fraud
    Since the criminal proceedings and the restatement of Satyam’s consolidated financial statements are still under way, the underlying facts and circumstances of Satyam’s fraud are not completely transparent yet. Perhaps the strength of the company’s reported numbers concealed the imploding financial situation. Two plausible scenarios arise: One, the cash reflected in the cash and bank balances was fake from the beginning; or two, that the cash was genuine but was subsequently misappropriated.
  • John Chen talks Sybase, Larry Ellison, and Sun
    John Chen, Sybase CEO for the past 11 years, told analysts that he and Larry Ellison have a long history in a talk on analyst day at the New York Stock Exchange last week.
  • Tech companies look for deals as values fall
    Cheap valuations and glimmers of economic recovery are tempting cash-rich technology companies to seek acquisitions, and the second half of 2009 could see some steady dealmaking. Having assessed the damage to their balance sheets — at least for now — from the recession, tech companies from behemoths like IBM to niche players like NetSuite Inc are turning their attention to new growth opportunities.
  • Oracle & Google: Of Goats, Grids and GRI
    This is good news for sustainability truly but it also raises the pressure threshold on both Google & Oracle when it comes to their own sustainability management arrangements. Watch for Oracle and Google to play catch up & we may even soon see both companies publish their own full CO2 footprint as well as set reduction targets just like their customers. We’ll likely too see publication of GRI standard sustainability reports. And for Google this may well mean an advancement of the corporate environmental strategy even beyond the goat herd.
  • To SaaS or Not, Is That a Question? – SaaSy Discussions (Part IIa)
    The third assumption is that SaaS is priced as a utility model, which is almost always false. Although the claim is that companies are only charged for what and how much software they actually use, for most SaaS deployments, a company must commit to a predetermined contract, independent of actual usage. If any company really wants utility pricing, then it should demand that the SaaS vendor charge, e.g., per each sales quotation, order, or shopping cart checkout (in case of using an on-demand sales configurator) or per individual case (in case of using an on-demand case management software). However, to be fair to vendors, it is interesting to note how many customers are still afraid of using this pricing model per se.
  • BMW Oracle to use new boat in next year’s America’s Cup
    Instead, a second craft is being constructed at the team’s facility in Anacortes, Washington State where work started in March. It is intended that this boat, to be named USA, will be launched this summer. The American team, owned by Larry Ellison, has gleaned considerable experience from its earlier boat and has converted that into its newer design. The American team and the Swiss defender, Alinghi, have bases in Valencia, but it is far from certain that the Cup will be held there.