Top Line: July 23, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-07-23 Print this article Print

All eyes will be on Computer Associates today, when the software giant announces fiscal Q1 financial results for the period ended June 1.

Watch the CA Scoreboard

All eyes will be on Computer Associates today, when the software giant announces fiscal Q1 financial results for the period ended June 1.

If CA discloses poor earnings, its a sure bet that software mogul Sam Wyly will repeat his call for CA chairman Charles Wang and CEO Sanjay Kumar to step aside and let new management run the company.

Wyly, who has sold two companies to CA, claims that the software behemoth doesnt treat customers or employees well.

Despite Wylys claims, many customers and partners continue to support CAs current management team, according to a survey conducted by Smart Partner.

A whopping 92 percent of respondents said Wang and Kumar should continue to run CA. Only 8 percent of survey participants think Wyly and a new board of directors should step in to manage the company.

Still, the news isnt all good for CA. Fully 52 percent of survey respondents describe CA as "a good company that has some bad business practices."

Smart Partner conducted the survey at CA World in Orlando, Fla., on July 9. The survey included 40 CA partners and 60 CA customers.

For the record: Wang, Kumar and the rest of the CA team were barred from our voting booths.

3Com Takes Manhattan

After a string of poor quarters, its time for 3Com CEO Bruce Claflin to do a little networking.

Claflin will be in New York on July 31 to discuss 3Coms business strategy with Smart Partner and other media outlets.

Instead of competing head-on with Cisco, 3Com has been developing IP-based phones and other "intelligent" devices that reside on a networks edge.

But like many of its rivals, 3Coms business is ailing. Annual sales at the company fell 35 percent to $2.8 billion, for the year ended June 1.

3Com hasnt made much news lately. Claflins biggest claim to fame came at IBM, where he led the ThinkPad development team. If Claflin has another ace up his sleeve, nows the time to show it.

Dive Into Linux

IBM is fishing around for allies to join its new zSeries Linux Partner Program.

Joe Kirschner, IBM sales executive for zSeries channel strategy, says the concept behind the program "is to expand our reach and range of influencers in support of Linux."

The first members of the zSeries Linux Partner Program are Bynari, a developer of messaging products, and Equant, a managed data network services provider.

Program participants have access to IBM sales and technical teams and development-stage products. The program also offers joint marketing opportunities.

NOVL: Buy, Sell or Hold?

Long before Novell purchased Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP), Novells board of directors considered several business scenarios.

At one point, Novell retained Morgan Stanley to evaluate its strategic options, including the possible sale of the company, according to recent SEC filings.

When no buyer could be found, Novell contacted CTP about a possible business combination.

The end result? Novell purchased CTP, but CTP managers—including CEO Jack Messman—now call the shots at the struggling networking giant.

Despite CTPs consulting expertise, Novell is quick to insist that it still needs partners to drive demand for its Net Services software.

Hungry for Business

The consulting market, much like the overall high-tech industry, continues to slim down.

EDS A.T. Kearney unit (400 staff cuts), KPMG (500) and Sapient (390) all have trimmed staff in recent weeks, and theres no sign of a rebound in sight.

Stay tuned for quarterly results from EDS and Keane (July 25), Sapient (July 26) and DiamondCluster Inter- national (July 31).

Bernies Back

Disproving once again F. Scott Fitzgeralds observation that there are no second acts in American life, Robert Bernard, who engineered the ill-fated creation of MarchFirst, has launched a new consulting venture to pursue opportunities in customer relationship management (CRM) and supply-chain management.

The two-month-old venture, called Form+Function, has joined the Solutions Consortium, a group of Midwest technology companies that attempt to act together as one "virtual" organization.

More specifically, Bernards new company will partner with Chicago-based Sysix Technologies, a member of the consortium, to offer enterprise commerce solutions to midmarket customers.

Not coincidentally, this is the sector of the market originally served by Whittman-Hart, the successful client/server consultancy founded by Bernard.

However, MarchFirst, the combination of Whittman-Hart and front-end developer USWeb/CKS, was not able to duplicate that success and went out of business in just over one year. Bernard was ousted as CEO in March.

Adds, Moves And Changes

BMC Software veteran William Austin has joined Exodus Communications as CFO. The data-center provider is under pressure to cut costs, amid fears that the company could run out of money later this year. Ironically, Exodus CEO Ellen Hancock recently pledged $5 million of her own money to Marist College for a research project.

Separately, Paul DiGiammarion, executive VP at Sapient, has left the company. His duties will be assumed by Sheeroy Desai, COO.

Get in the Garage

Hewlett-Packard has aquired Comdiscos Availability Solutions business for $610 million. The deal, which includes Comdiscos consulting team, came as Comdisco filed for bankruptcy protection.

Also, Forsythe Solutions is the first channel partner to enter HPs Software Depot Program. The HP portal allows customers to purchase and download IT products. II


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