Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-04-30

  • Oracle Purchase Of Sun Yields New Competitive Advantages
    Oracle’s grab for Sun is “an astounding move” that will enhance Oracle’s ability to compete against Microsoft, VMware, IBM, and others, a new analyst report says. The three gems are infrastructure, channel-partner ecosystem, and the missing ingredients to offer robust cloud and virtualization solutions.
  • VMware Lands Two Customer Deals Over $20 Million Each
    Despite overall slumping revenue from first-quarter enterprise license deals, VMware said it booked two of the largest such deals in its history with a major outsourcing vendor and another in the defense sector. The company also released some stats on the number of virtual machines some of its biggest clients are now managing.
  • Oracle-Sun: Jonathan Schwartz Writes His Toughest Ever Email
    This is one of the toughest emails I’ve ever had to write. It’s also one of the most hopeful about Sun’s future in the industry. For 27 years, Sun has stood for courage, innovation, a willingness to blaze trails, to envision and engineer the future. No matter our ups and downs, we’ve remained committed to those ideals, and to the R&D that’s allowed us to differentiate. We’ve committed to decade long pursuits, from the evolution of one of the world’s most powerful datacenter operating systems, to one of the world’s most advanced multi-core microelectronics. We’ve never walked away from the wholesale reinvention of business models, the redefinition of technology boundaries or the pursuit of new routes to market.
  • Who could be the next CEO at Apple, Google, Dell, IBM…?
    Executive recruiters say Silicon Valley companies have always been more nonchalant about passing the torch than, say, banks or manufacturers because they tend to be younger companies, often helmed by their charismatic founders. But it isn’t unprecedented for a tech entrepreneur to have a strong wingman: Microsoft’s (MSFT, Fortune 500) Bill Gates tapped Steve Ballmer as his No. 2 long before stepping down as CEO in 2000. (In some cases the founders may end up as future CEOs: Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) co-creator Sergey Brin could be a contender to run the company when current chief Eric Schmidt steps down.) Sure, founders generally have a hard time letting go even when their departures are expected. Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) founder Michael Dell handpicked Kevin Rollins, president and chief operating officer, as his successor in 2004, only to replace him when the company lost its lead in PC market share to rival Hewlett-Packard. Today Dell has no president or operating chief, and analys
  • Shai Agassi – The 2009 TIME 100
    How will you leave the world a better place than you found it? When Shai Agassi was challenged for an answer, he responded with swift action: he resigned from the business-software firm SAP, declining an offer to be CEO, and set out to help the world end its addiction to oil by transforming cars from their climate-changing, lung-polluting, gas-guzzling design to one that’s clean, affordable and all-electric. The name for his new enterprise was obvious — Better Place.
  • A Cloudy Summit for SAP CEO Léo Apotheker
    For Léo Apotheker, the difference between being the No. 2 executive and being the top dog at one of the computer industry’s most important companies is starting to sink in. Apotheker has gradually been taking over responsibilities at German software giant SAP (SAP) and will become the sole chief executive on May 19 when his co-CEO, Henning Kagermann, retires. “When you’re No. 1, the buck stops with you,” Apotheker says. “You have more power—and you have the sleepless nights that come with it.”
  • The Broken Promise of Software Maintenance Fees
    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of this broken promise, like Lawson’s admission that maintenance fees are what is making it profitable right now and its assertion that this is ok because customers need the company to remain healthy, even if it is at their own expense. Considerable debate has occurred among bloggers and independent analysts regarding Oracle’s ability to provide any innovation as a return on the billions in maintenance it is collecting. SAP announced earnings today and shared that in response to huge (and justifiable) customer outrage it is holding off on its planned maintenance price hike pending an analysis of the ROI customers are to get from the increased fees. Good luck with that. In light of this I thought some hard numbers would be in order, and being a math geek I figured I could take a stab at providing them. It occurs to me that as leading vendors become more dependent on maintenance revenue, as it makes up a larger and larger percentage of their revenue
  • Chiquita Brands International is live on Workday
    — A case study covering Chiquita’s Workday deployment is now available. — Workday has 80 customers, more than 40 of which are in production. New customer profiles and case studies are now available online. — Enterprises continue to replace on-premise solutions with Workday on-demand solutions to achieve lower total cost of ownership and faster time to value.
  • SuccessFactors Announces Record First Quarter Fiscal 2009 Results
    –Cash flow generated from operating activities improves to $2.7 million compared to a use of ($4.0) million in Q108 –Non-GAAP gross margin improves year-over-year from 61% to 77% –Non-GAAP operating margin improves year-over-year from minus 77% to minus 9% –Reiterates full fiscal year 2009 revenue guidance of 30% annual growth; raises non-GAAP EPS guidance
  • In Shift, Oracle Plans More Online Software
    Oracle Corp. is developing a set of online software offerings, an expansion of the company’s use of a business model it has often resisted.
  • Wipro eyes European buys despite weak economies
    Indian IT services provider Wipro Technologies (WIPR.BO) is keen on making acquisitions in continental Europe despite economic weakness there because outsourcing markets in the region are not yet mature. “It’s not a market-share game there yet. It’s more about creating the demand and creating the market,” Chief Financial Officer Manish Dugar told Reuters in an interview.

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