by CIO Staff

Top 10 IT Stories of the Week; Oracle-Seibel vs. SAP

Sep 16, 20055 mins
Mergers and Acquisitions

1. “Siebel Buy Puts Oracle in CRM Top Spot,” InfoWorld 9/12. The enterprise applications market keeps on consolidating with Oracle announcing plans to acquire customer relationship management (CRM) software rival Siebel for $5.85 billion. While Oracle’s hostile takeover of another CRM player PeopleSoft was a torturous process, analysts expect the Siebel transaction to be a breeze. The move will let Oracle to leapfrog over the leading CRM player SAP while also bringing it some nifty technology particularly in the hosted CRM business.

2. “SAP: What, Us Worry About Oracle?” BusinessWeek, 9/15. Then there were two, Oracle versus SAP, facing off in the enterprise applications arena. However, SAP, part way through a complete revamp of its entire software portfolio, believes its approach of only making a few very small acquisitions is a better approach than Oracle’s buying in of both customers and technologies.

3. “Gates Debuts New Vista, Office Features At Developers Conference, InfoWorld, 9/13. Mr. Microsoft was on hand to talk up new features of his company’s upcoming operating system and desktop applications suite. Both Vista and Office 12 are due out in the second half of 2006 and Bill Gates stressed the close integration between the two pieces of software to facilitate file and information sharing.

4. “Microsoft Loses Bid to Block Kai-Fu Lee From Working,” Network World, 9/13. A judge has ruled that Google can keep its high-profile Microsoft defector, Kai-Fu Lee, in his new role as president of its China operation as long as he doesn’t recruit anyone from Gates Inc. or use any confidential information from Microsoft. However, Lee’s also not allowed to do work any work for Google in areas he’d focused on at Microsoft, namely Internet and desktop search and speech technologies. The ruling applies between now and when the case is due to go to trial in January, but Microsoft suggested if Google will abide by the judge’s ruling until next July, the pair could settle the case out of court.

5. “Gates On Google. What, Me Worry?” CNET, 9/13. It’s like deja vu all over again. Just as SAP isn’t bothered about Oracle’s predations, Microsoft’s Bill Gates claims he’s not concerned about bitter rival Google, despite all indications to the contrary. Gates believes that Google is currently wallowing in the same kind of honeymoon phase which Microsoft enjoyed back in 1985 to 1995 when the market believed the company could “do all things at all times in all ways.” Meanwhile as the week drew to a close, rumors circulated that Microsoft is either considering taking a stake in Time Warner’s AOL or that the two companies are planning on closer collaboration.

6. “Sun Hopes to Win Back Wall St. With New Servers, Network World, 9/12. The troubled vendor’s praying that customers take to its new “Galaxy” servers in large numbers. Sun readily admits it took its eye off the ball during the dot-com boom effectively surrendering its grip on Wall Street and other financial centers around the world the likes of Dell, HP and IBM.

7. “Update: EBay to Acquire Skype for $2.6 Billion,” Computerworld, 9/12. With Microsoft, Yahoo and News Corp. all expressing interest in acquiring two-year-old Internet telephony company Skype in recent months, online auction site eBay made the winning bid. If approved by all parties, the deal will enable eBay to move into new Web business areas while allowing Skype to radically grow its customer base.

8. “Blogs Can Help Boost a Career Or Sink It,”, 9/13. Ah, the joys and perils of writing blogs, with about 10 million Americans penning their online musings and 35 million reading their ramblings. On the one hand, a system administrator’s blog showcasing his love of technology gets him noticed by higher ups and ultimately promoted, but on the other hand bloggers have been fired from their positions after revealing information they shouldn’t have or for making offensive comments. Investigators conducting background checks now routinely carry out indepth Internet searches on prospective employees in part to check out their previous blogs. Advice for wouldbe bloggers, write as if your employer, or better yet your grandmother, is your intended audience and think of your blog as a tattoo that could follow you around throughout your career.

9. “Can Spies Decypher Keyboard Clicks?”PCWorld, 9/14. Just when you think you’re getting a handle on security concerns, another wrinkle emerges. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say they’ve developed software which can pretty accurately transcribe what’s being typed on a computer keyboard just by analyzing the clicks and clacks of typing. The researchers were able to guess 90 percent of all randomly generated five-character passwords within 20 attempts. The best way to foil any keyboard snoopers? Crank up your background noise.

10. “Vale, HP’s Lew Platt,”  BusinessWeek, 9/12. Hewlett-Packard’s self-effacing former CEO Lew Platt will be much missed, according to many in the IT industry. He died suddenly Sept. 8 following an aneurysm. Management guru Jim Collins describes Platt as the “anti-flash CEO” whose tenure at the top of HP coincided with a stellar growth spurt for the company. Platt exemplified the HP Way management philosophy of respecting each member of staff stressing both workplace diversity and a proper work-life balance.

— China Martens