ASPects: June 25, 2001

Rumors of Xuma's death may be exaggerated, but only slightly.

Xumas Disappearing Act

Rumors of Xumas death may be exaggerated, but only slightly. Calls to the San Francisco headquarters of the infrastructure and managed service provider get a persistent busy signal, and regional offices dont answer the phone. "Have we shut down? Not quite yet," a harried-sounding service representative said earlier this month. "We are currently still around and serving customers." The contact person he provided did not return calls. Mike Davis, until recently Xumas regional sales manager for Southern California, says management laid off almost all employees on June 1, after an earlier work force reduction failed to right the company. "The planning, or lack of planning, was so helter-skelter," notes Davis, who says he was accompanied by the Xumas chief technology officer to a major sales call on the day before the shutdown. Davis says management has not declared bankruptcy and may try to salvage some value from existing customers, but he thinks theyve missed their chance. "Smart customers are going somewhere else quickly," he says.

Take Two

Good company, but the name sounds like an online gossip site. Thats what we said about application service provider eOnline last year. Now the company has renamed itself BlueStar Solutions. Privately held BlueStar has more than 40 customers, a spokesman says, including a recently announced SAP implementation with Color Spot Nurseries, and has added a data center in Phoenix and an operations office in London.

Cloudy Days

Its raining red ink at Loudcloud, but the infrastructure services provider founded by Mark Andreessen says that it has enough cash to weather the storm. Loudcloud lost $60.3 million in the first quarter, deepening a $58.8 million loss in the previous quarter; it will take a $28 million charge due to a previously announced restructuring plan. Quarterly revenue was up 31 percent, from $8.9 million to $11.7 million.