Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-06-23

  • Oracle 4Q Net Down 7.2% On Stronger Dlr, Econ Weakness
    Oracle Corp.‘s (ORCL) fiscal fourth-quarter profit declined 7.2% as the stronger dollar and continuing economic weakness weighed on revenues and earnings. But stronger-than-expected new license sales and continuing cost management helped the company beat Wall Street expectations, giving some comfort that the company is weathering the storm. Shares were up 2.8% at $20.44 in recent after-hours trading, reflecting broad comfort that the company is managing well through the downturn. Oracle’s stock has been rebounding since hitting a three-year low in March.
  • Oracle software sales beat forecasts, shares rise
    New software sales, a closely watched revenue measure, fell 13 percent to $2.7 billion in Oracle’s fiscal fourth quarter ended May 31. Analysts were expecting them to decline about 18 percent.
  • Oracle revenue, profit fall
    For the second consecutive quarter, Oracle announced a cash dividend of 5 cents per share.
  • Ed Abbo is leaving Oracle
    News has broken that Ed Abbo will be leaving Oracle at the end of this month. The “legacy” applications will be organizationally under Thomas Kurian, who already has the Fusion (and other) Middleware products, BI, Fusion Applications, and Tools, and who will doubtless get some of the pieces acquired from Sun.
  • Oracle CEO Ellison Changes Tack on Cloud Computing
    On Tuesday, Mr. Ellison appeared to change his tune. During a call following Oracle’s fourth-quarter results, Mr. Ellison said the company’s Fusion products — software that aims to tie together technology from many of the Redwood City, Calif.-based company’s acquisitions — would be “on-demand ready,” suggesting they would be available on a pay-as-you-go basis. He added that a portion of Oracle’s revenue from Fusion products could come from subscriptions in the future, rather than from one-off sales. Licenses to most Oracle products have a one-time fee, but can be augmented with maintenance and support, which would be charged separately. The comment immediately provoked interest from analysts, one of whom asked if Oracle was now getting into cloud computing. Mr. Ellison admitted the company was getting “a little bit” into the space.
  • Oracle Corporation F4Q09 (Qtr End 05/31/09) Earnings Call Transcript
    Thanks Jeff, well we’re obviously pleased with our Q4 results and with our exceptional performance throughout the year. In constant dollars we beat the top end of our new license guidance, we beat the high end of our total revenue guidance, and we delivered the highest Q4 operating margin in our history crossing the 50% mark for the first time. Once again we grew margins and revenues substantially faster then our peers. We grew faster then SAP in every region around the world including its home base of Europe where our applications business grew 5% in constant currency versus negative 27% for SAP’s most recent quarter.
  • Oracle Corporation F4Q09 (Qtr End 05/31/09) Earnings Call Transcript
    And then of course we’re going into other spaces as well with our Fusion applications which we haven’t talked about yet which come out I guess, we are code complete on Fusion applications. We’ll be announcing them later this year. Customers are trying them out and we’ll start delivering next year. All of our Fusion applications are on demand ready. They are designed to be not only on premise but ground up design to be a [inaudible] service. So we see all of our application software, not just on Salesforce automation but all of our application software going forward being sold in two ways. Both on demand, software as a service and on premise with the same code base and we think we can be the number one applications company, the number one on premise application company and the number one on demand application company. That’s our goal.
  • Oracle’s Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2009 Earnings
    Results were announced on June 23, 2009. * Listen to the analyst conference call Webcast replay (archived through June 30) * Safe harbor statement (PDF) * Q409 Earnings press release and financials (PDF) * GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation table (PDF) * Q409 supplemental tables (PDF)
  • Micro Focus Ups Offer for Borland
    The board of Micro Focus International on June 18 announced that it has increased its cash offer to $1.15 for each outstanding Borland share. This values the acquisition of Borland’s equity at approximately $88 million. On May 6, when Borland and Micro Focus announced plans to merge, Micro Focus was offering $1.00 for each Borland share, which had a value of around $75 million. However, on June 1, a third party entered the scene with an offer to pay $1.20 per share for the Borland shares. In a press statement on the new offer, Micro Focus said, “Further to the announcement made on 1 June 2009, the financial buyer that made a preliminary non-binding indication of interest for Borland Software Corporation has withdrawn from the process.”
  • What is going on in the BI/DW world?
    What can customers learn for their internal systems from the acquisitions that Oracle does and how it deals with integrating companies? A3: Well, my observation, first hand, is that we really invested a lot on data quality. Here we built a system that cleanses all customer data and then gets fed into a single instance for all Oracle leads. We now have this down to a science and it saves a lot of effort and money. Mike added that we do a lot on publishing the lessons we learn from implementing BI EE for example at Oracle. Technotes on metalink for example. The other observation Mike had was really about us choosing what to use, and ensuring customers understand how we use products. When do we use OBI EE and when do we use OLAP, just to name an example.
  • India’s IT growth to slow down in 2009
    The research firm’s local analysts said at its Directions conference Saturday, the overall growth of India’s IT-ITES industry will crawl to 10.8 percent in 2009, generating revenues worth some 3,095.73 billion rupees (US$64 billion). Exports are projected to expand 11.2 percent to over 2,000 billion rupees (US$41 billion). Last year, the Indian IT-ITES industry grew 14.4 percent with revenues of US$58 billion (2,790 billion rupees).
  • MySQL Creators Move to Keep MySQL Open
    “Oracle doesn’t know yet what it’s going to do with all the products from Sun and even if they did, they couldn’t talk about,” Feinberg said. That just adds to the ability of people like Monty to create a lot of negative hype about the whole thing.”
  • Infor Flex – The fast track to product innovation
    # Flex Upgrade—Upgrade to the latest release of your current solution with minimal or zero license fees and fast, cost-effective implementation services. # Flex Exchange—Exchange your current Infor application for another Infor solution on a like-for-like basis, for a nominal transaction fee and very competitive services rates.
  • Ray Ozzie
    Video: The Potential of Cloud Computing – Churchill Club, June 2009 Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie, has an expansive discussion on the past, present and future of cloud computing.
  • Flex should also include down, not just up
    But there is no downgrade path. If customers only want a low-touch plan – some bug fixes, minimal number of support calls, regulatory updates – you have to keep paying at full rates. As I have written before, customer needs and vendor delivery speeds (and their support costs) vary considerably making it very hard to justify a single maintenance rate across the product lifecycle – so my suggestion about letting maintenance rates float
  • Infor juices up its maintenance program value with Infor Flex
    On the other hand, by my observation, Infor gets “outsold” by other vendors, even in situations where it is the incumbent supplier. Current economic conditions are likely limiting its ability to more aggressively and thoroughly present its leading products, such as Baan and Syteline. Hopefully, the new Infor Flex program will provide a more compelling value proposition, allowing Infor to win more deals where it already has a customer relationship. I would like to see this program succeed. In these days, customers need more alternatives, not fewer.
  • Infor Flex: innovation or fail?
    Infor today announced Infor Flex, a program designed to keep customers happy and keep those all important maintenance dollars flowing Infor’s way. At first viewing, the Infor prgram looks exciting:
  • Infor Flex Reflects Proactive Maintenance Policy
    The bottom line – Infor Flex provides unique value in a rapidly consolidating market In many recent surveys, the top customer priorities for 2009 include upgrading, updating, or replacing legacy applications. Many enterprises face decisions as to which vendors to keep and upgrade with; and which vendors to jettison and migrate from. Amidst this move to upgrade, many vendors have imposed maintenance support increases or vendor imposed upgrade time lines based on support costs. Infor’s policy adds a fresh perspective by offering choice, value, and predictability. In fact, these new policies may engender good will among loyal customers and be just enough incentive to keep competitors from poaching existing accounts. The only thing that would make this offering better would be flex down options for lower tiered options akin to third party maintenance, but that might be asking too much!
  • What really happened with SAP Business ByDesign?
    Recently, insiders have approached me with more detail about the train wreck BYD is turning into. Here is my summary of what I have recently learned:
  • SaaS BI vendor LucidEra to shut down
    Founded in 2005, the company’s last round of funding came nearly two years ago in August 2007, when it raised $15.6 million in Series B funding, according to LucidEra’s website. It’s customers, who must now either bring their BI and analytics functions in house or find another BI vendor, SaaS or otherwise, include Enterasys Secure Networks, Serena Software, and Parature.
  • Private Equity Analyst Conference | Agenda
    Scaling Down: Is The Venture Industry Finally Headed Down The Right Path? The venture industry exploded in the ‘90s, thanks in part to more interest by limited partners. But as both VCs and institutional investors will tell you, bigger certainly was not better. As more firms began investing, returns fell. Now nearly 10 years after the .com bubble popped, there is a growing sense that the industry is poised to downsize. The time has come, say some, where firms will close down and partners will retire. But just how severe will this reduction be? What type of firms will stay alive and what will it mean for both existing venture-backed companies and those looking to raise capital?
  • Earnings Preview: Oracle to report fiscal 4Q
    Oracle Corp. is scheduled to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market closes Tuesday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.
  • Oracle Of A Slow Software Recovery
    While the past 18 months’ recession has pummeled some information technology companies to the brink of collapse, Oracle so far seems to have almost enjoyed the pain. It’s been lightly bruised, even as its competitors have absorbed far more damaging blows. And Oracle has taken advantage of smaller companies’ troubles to make a string of bargain buyouts. But as the economic climate catches up with Larry Ellison’s software giant, the company’s sado-masochism may be reaching its limits.
  • Lane named chairman of CMU’s Board of Trustees
    Venture capitalist and former Oracle Corp. President Raymond Lane has been named chairman of Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees, effective July 1.

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