Look Whos Talking: April 2, 2001

For a struggling consulting firm, Scient certainly is getting lots of attention.

For a struggling consulting firm, Scient certainly is getting lots of attention. As we reported last week, Hewlett-Packard recently formed a consulting group, headed by Ann Livermore, and may make a bid for Scient.

But the story doesnt end there. A source close to HP says the computing giant may spend up to $1 billion acquiring several small or struggling consulting firms. The source thinks an HP-Scient combo is a bad move, but says HP wants to bring Scient CEO Bob Howe into the fold.

> FalconStor, a Long Island-based storage startup, is attempting to get cozy with Veritas Software. The man playing cupid is Jeff Finkle, a VC and managing partner at Odeon Capital Partners in New York. Finkle and several FalconStor veterans previously worked together at Computer Associates and Cheyenne Software.

Finkle recently contacted Veritas on behalf of FalconStor, according to Veritas executive VP Peter Levine. Veritas is still evaluating the potential alliance, even as FalconStor pursues additional business deals. Compaq Computer, for one, is said to be taking a close look at the company. The FalconStor team has close ties to Compaq from their days at Cheyenne.

A well-placed source says FalconStor expects to receive a second round of funding from Credit Suisse First Boston. Other investors include Odeon and FalconStor founder ReiJane Huai.

> Visa recently offered me a Yahoo Platinum credit card. The introductory interest rate is 1.9 percent. Tempting, but unlike Yahoos dot-com advertisers, I dont carry a balance on my credit cards and I despise debt.

> IBM has provided a $20 million credit line to Egghead.com. The online retailer says it now has enough funding to survive until it turns a profit. What a unique business plan.

> When Quantum announced strong Q3 results for its DLT & Storage Systems Group, I gave all of the credit to the companys Snap server product line. Portions of the revenue also came from other products within the group, as a Snap spokesman politely pointed out to me last week.

Quantum says the current quarter has been a bit more challenging, but thats the case for everyone these days. I havent supersized a Big Mac meal in weeks.