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.
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