Look Whos Talking: March 5, 2001

Whenever I had an extra dollar in my pocket during my childhood, my dad always told me to "spend half and save half."

Whenever I had an extra dollar in my pocket during my childhood, my dad always told me to "spend half and save half." Maybe dad should have been a CFO at a dot-com or an e-commerce company. Many firms only now are tightening their belts. CyberSource, for one, is cutting back on its marketing efforts in order to get profitable more quickly, according to sources at the Silicon Valley company. Recent departures include marketing VP William Donahoo, a Novell veteran whos moving back to Utah to spend more time with his two sons.

> Are your customers happy with your work? If you cant answer that question, give Cisco Systems worldwide channel VP Tom Mitchell a call. Starting this week, the networking giant plans to share proprietary "customer-satisfaction tools" with its top partners.

Allies will have access to customer-satisfaction data—as compiled by Cisco. All of Ciscos management bonuses are based on survey results from customers. Would you have the guts to take the same step in your own business?

> Keep a close eye on Sybases iAnywhere mobile database business over the next few weeks. The company is preparing a "Fast Track to Wireless" initiative, which will allow partners to design proof-of-concept applications for their customers, according to Rob Veitch, director of business development for iAnywhere.

> Hes not selling; hes buying! Gregg Tushaus, owner of Tushaus Computer Services, says he is currently interviewing sources who can fund potential M&A activities. Contrary to my Feb. 19 column, Tushaus says his company is not for sale.

> The Lucent brain-drain continues. Former senior executive Rob Farris has joined StorageWay as VP of worldwide sales.

> EDS has won a $62 million technology-support contract from EBS. Despite the similar initials, this isnt a family affair. EBS provides electronic brokering services to foreign exchange markets.

> I jokingly tell my co-workers that I plan to retire by the age of 40. But the American Association of Retired Persons wants to speed up the process. The AARPs automated computer system sent me a membership card last week. It included movie discounts, travel discounts, and a bunch of other sweet deals. Toss in a free face-lift and some bingo cards, and I might pay the membership fee.