Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-07-20

  • Venture Capital Investment Quickens, But Still Down From ’08
    IT investment, especially software, continued to be slow with deal totals only slightly above the first three months of the year. Investors, in fact, put less into software deals in the second quarter than in the first – $696 million versus $715 million. Overall IT investment rose 8.5% quarter-to-quarter but fell 41% below last year’s total.
  • Accentures Symbian acquisition
    But the Nokia unit does not work with business or consumer applications – it helps mobile phone companies with technical assistance such as memory optimization and product testing. So, it is a product engineering play in the mobile sector. Something a number of Indian vendors like Wipro have done for a while.(Wipro, incidentally bought Nokia’s mobile TV software unit in April)
  • Nokia’s Symbian Professional Services to be acquired by Accenture
    Nokia and Accenture have entered into an agreement for Accenture to acquire Nokia’s Symbian Professional Services unit responsible for Symbian OS customer engineering and customer support. The unit provides engineering consulting and product development services on a global basis to mobile phone manufacturers, as well as chip manufacturers and mobile operators. Services provided by the Symbian Professional Services teams include advanced technical support, techniques for enhancing performance, memory, and power, advanced error diagnosis and repair, and turnkey software development services that can be used in a range of technical environments. Approximately 165 people will transfer to Accenture as a result of the agreement. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of third quarter 2009.
  • Microsoft gets its edge back. As in edge position.
    Also, I think Microsoft is trying to compete in way too many markets. Where do we start? * SQL Server * Virtualization * XBox * Zune * Streets and Trips Think of the internal competition for R&D dollars, executive attention. Not sure that is what Kevin Turner calls fun competition.
  • Oracle Academy Expands Software and Curriculum Offerings to Meet Global Demand
    # Educational institutions around the world are rapidly integrating the Oracle21st centuryThe Oracle Academy allows participating faculty to integrate Oracle’s world-class software and curriculum into their courses, enabling students to gain industry-relevant skills prior to entering the workforce. # To meet the increased global demand, the Oracle Academy recently expanded its offering to include the following: * Oracle® Database 11g and Oracle Fusion Middleware products acquired from BEA, giving teaching faculty access to cutting-edge solutions for database management and enterprise application infrastructure. These products are available through the Oracle Academy’s Advanced Computer Science option. * Oracle’s Primavera Project Portfolio Management soluti
    Academy into their curricula to help students prepare for careers. # In the past year, Oracle Academy enrollment increased by 31 percent globally. The program now supports more than 850,000 students in 91 countries. #
  • Has Microsoft switched from defense back to offense?
    However, there is mounting evidence that Microsoft is casting itself as the underdog and going back on offense, as Larry Dignan pointed out last week. Here are the five plays that Microsoft has run recently that make me think the company doesn’t want to simply defend its turf any longer, but wants to move the ball down the field:
  • Testimonials Aren’t Valid Unless They’re Unsolicited
    Yet, as enterprise software buyers asking for references, this is essentially what we’re accepting from the vendor – a note from the prior owner. Several years ago, I started to put together a list of folks I’d rather talk with and I’d love to hear your suggestions as well. These include: * customers who never finished implementation (for any reason) * customers who discontinued maintenance in the last 12-24 months (I want to know the number as a percentage of total customers and I want names/contact details) * customers who are similar in size of implementation to me, but who had exceeded planned implementation time
  • Bet on Office Web Apps Over Google Apps, Analyst Says
    Sheri McLeish, analyst at Forrester Research, says that Microsoft’s expansion of Office will be good for the industry and provide Microsoft with a worthy one-two punch. “If we didn’t have these free alternatives from Google and Zoho, surely Microsoft would not be doing this,” says McLeish. “But all the competition in the productivity tools space benefits businesses and consumers.”
  • Oracle-Sun Tie-Up Changes Everything
    Moreover, Oracle has some of the only applications that can be parallelized to take full advantage of multicore server architectures. That means Oracle can design bundles that also are power-efficient. Buying Sun will allow Oracle to tweak both the hardware and the software–something it could never do in the past–to maximize both performance and power efficiency.
  • The world’s most valuable brands. Who’s most engaged? Ranking the Top 100 Global Brands
    Figure 5: Engagement Scores for the World’s Top 100 Brands Rank Company Industry Channel Score Engagement Profile 1 Starbucks Leisure 11 127 Maven 2 Dell Technology 11 123 Maven 3 eBay Retail 9 115 Maven 4 Google Media 11 105 Maven 5 Microsoft Technology 10 103 Maven 6 Thomson Reuters Media 8 101 Maven 7 Nike Consumer products 9 100 Maven 8 Amazon Retail 9 88 Maven 9 SAP Technology 10 86 Maven 10 Intel Technology 10 85 Maven 10 Yahoo Media 9 85 Maven …
  • Raising Angel Money
    As an entrepreneur you should raise money from the most experienced people possible – period. If you have the opportunity to raise a small amount of money from a group of experienced investors who have a track record of helping companies get from that tricky idea stage to being a well-formed company with a good product and solid market-entry strategy I would take the money – even if it were priced. Worrying about giving up an extra 10% of your company at this stage can be meaningless if the ultimate outcome is either success or failure. Even VC’s think this way, which is why Fred Wilson when describing his decision to syndicate a portion of his invesment in GeoCities to another investor says, “I learned that good partners are worth every penny of returns you give up to get them.” (whole article here if you’re interested)
  • Microsoft’s new mantra: Save people money
    In the most challenging economic environment it has ever faced, Microsoft has made its marketing message about saving people money. How successful that strategy has been should become clear Thursday, when Microsoft announces its earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009.
  • Redmond Releases Code to Linux Kernel Community
    Microsoft, which has been at odds with the Linux community over the years because of intellectual property issues, said on Monday it has released 20,000 lines of Linux code to the Linux kernel community. Available for inclusion in the Linux tree, the code includes three Linux device drivers; it will be available to both the Linux community and customers. It will enhance the performance of the Linux operating system when virtualized on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 virtualization software, according to Microsoft. Code will be offered under the GNU General Public License 2.
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