Look Whos Talking: June 11, 2001

The latest chatter on the partner front

Michael Capellas wants to open his wallet. He just isnt sure what to buy. As CEO of Compaq, Capellas is scouring the market for potential consulting acquisitions. In recent interviews with multiple media outlets, Capellas has indicated that Compaq is interested in consulting firms that service the telecommunications sector and retail brokerages.

Capellas has yet to ask for my opinion (dont worry, my ego will survive), but two potential partners come to mind. The first is Bowne Global Solutions (BGS), which develops localized Web sites throughout the world. BGS has a strategy consulting practice, formerly known as Immersant, which serves multiple customers on Wall Street. That expertise could help Compaq, as it tries to more effectively compete against HP, IBM and Sun in the high-end Unix market.

Suggestion No. 2: Capellas should call Lucinda Duncalfe Holt, CEO and president of Destiny, an Internet consulting firm in Conshohocken, Pa. Destiny focuses on the financial services vertical and has a close partnership with IBM. Maybe its time for Compaq to explore a similar relationship with Duncalfe.

> Volera, the caching spin-off from Novell, is set to unveil a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution, which will target the service provider and enterprise market. I usually dont mention new products in this column, but Ive openly questioned Voleras viability in recent weeks. I figured I owed them a little equal time.

> Meritage knows how to celebrate success. The technology consulting firms director of marketing, Steve Robinson, recently sent me a bottle of wine. It was a token of appreciation for including Meritage in our Smart 100 Companies issue. Im not suggesting that you send gifts to journalists (we ultimately give them away to maintain our editorial integrity). However, steal a page from Robinson and send a hand-written note to your best customers and partners each time you win a new deal. In the age of e-mail, a personal message wont soon be forgotten.

> IT spending has cooled off, but outsourcing remains a hot market. Cervalis, Computer Sciences Corp. and XO Communications each have opened new data centers in recent days, suggesting that Fortune 1000 firms wont slow their IT outsourcing activities anytime soon.

Joseph C. Panettieri ([email protected] ziffdavis.com) is editor of [email protected] Partner.