Talent search eWEEK: What is your strategy for hiring top software talent?We have a lot of great programs. One is called "Extreme Blue." It takes top computer science students and puts them into very intense summer programs. Students have to write code, build prototypes and produce projects. Programs like that make us very effective in recruiting talent. eWEEK: Does Linux help? Zollar: Indeed it does. Back in the early 90s, when I was responsible for the engineering of DB2, I would talk to engineers we were trying to hire, and some of them would have the reaction, "Gee, mainframe technology was what my dad worked on." I had a roundtable with some Extreme Blue students, and I asked them about Linux. I found a similar thing with Microsoft technologies, and a lot of these kids, they say, "Thats what my parents generation worked on. I want to work on Linux." eWEEK: What kind of technology announcements can we look for this year? Zollar: We think the world is moving toward integration. How collaborative technologies can integrate into business processes like CRM -- thats what people are calling contextual collaboration. For example: If you have a telephone contact center person who is pulling up a customer record, wouldnt it be nice to know if people who know the account are online at that minute? Thats an example of embedding collaboration into a business process. eWEEK: How about supply chain? Zollar: You may want to set up a collaborative place where RFP materials can be sent. Thats what our QuickPlace product provides. In product lifecycle management, the engineering team may need to talk to the manufacturing team in a real-time collaborative setting to see if a wonderful idea being designed in a product can actually be built. Were working with hosters and portal providers to include these capabilities. eWEEK: Can we expect partnership announcements with, say, SAP and PeopleSoft? Zollar: You can certainly believe we are talking to those guys and that we want the result to be value that we can deliver to customers. With the Web services standards that are evolving, its great to have relationships with these vendors. If the vendor is conforming to standards, then its much easier to integrate our software with their products.
Zollar: We believe that talent exists in a lot of places, and we have to compete for talent with the same energy that we would compete for a customer.