Look Whos Talking: March 12, 2001

How's the morale at your company? Our staff is holding up quite well during the current economic slowdown, but the same can't be said at many other businesses.

Hows the morale at your company? Our staff is holding up quite well during the current economic slowdown, but the same cant be said at many other businesses.

Take MarchFirst, for instance. In addition to potential management changes, sources say infighting is rampant at the company. Check out quote.yahoo.com and click on "messages" for the blow-by-blow. The latest rumor alleges that employees are fuming over managements decision to end the companys casual dress code.

Imagine a few thousand Gen-X consultants asking each other how to put on a tie, and you get the picture.

> Theres nothing like a heated vendor squabble to keep my creative juices flowing. Contrary to recent claims from BEA Systems, rival HP Bluestone Software says that it was the first company to fully integrate its transaction server and application server. Whos telling the truth? Heck if I know, but Im happy to see a feud that doesnt involve Microsoft, Oracle or Sun Microsystems for a change.

> Information overload is costing companies "millions of dollars" in lost productivity, according to a PR e-mail that I received recently. Heres one way to cut down on the overload: Please dont send e-mail unless you have some real news to share.

> Looks like some Viant executives are more bearish than bullish. Several company executives plan to sell company stock, according to February data from Thomson Financial. The potential sellers include VP and CTO Tim Andrews (80,000 shares), chief people officer Diane Hall (73,500) and CFO Dwayne Nesmith (20,000). The potential sales come at a curious time: Viants stock is trading around $3.16, far below its 52-week high of $44.63.

Admittedly, we were upbeat about Viant last year. But the companys own employees appear nervous about near-term business prospects. One major exception is CEO Bob Gett, who isnt listed among the pending sellers.

> Novells annual BrainShare conference kicks off March 18 in Salt Lake City. I lost faith in Novell when the company bought WordPerfect, during BrainShare 1994.

Still, several impressive partners will attend next weeks show. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young CTO Andy Mulholland will talk about several Internet services that his company now offers. If youre a CNE, Mulholland is a good indication of where Novell is heading.