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John Soat
John Soat
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Politics And Software: Strange Bedfellows

MORE PROOF THAT SOFTWARE AND POLITICS ARE CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH. Expect an increase in defections from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party over the next several months. That thought occurred to me last week when I saw that a PeopleSoft exec had jumped to SAP. Mark Lange is SAP's new head of human-capital-management software (i.e., resource management). Lange had been PeopleSoft's VP of marketing for its human-capital-management software. Way back in his career, Lange was a political speechwriter for a couple of secretaries of labor, as well as for the first President Bush during the first Gulf War.

JUST WHAT I NEED: MORE WAYS TO ACCESS MY SPAM. Wireless E-mail has transitioned in many companies from a nice-to-have to a must-have application, according to study released last week by the Yankee Group. Wireless E-mail is driving the adoption of wireless wide area networking, and the potential market for that application is about 35 million users in the United States, or about 70% of the mobile workforce. "The key for IT decision-makers isn't whether wireless E-mail is necessary, but how wireless E-mail can be deployed and managed cost-effectively," said Yankee Group analyst Eugene Signorini in a statement.

EXPECT A SURGE IN TRAFFIC TO VICTORIA'S SECRET'S WEB SITE, BUT FOR A DIFFERENT REASON. More shoppers plan to make online purchases during the upcoming holiday season than last year, and more money will be spent online as a percentage of total holiday spending, according to DoubleClick's Consumer Holiday Purchase Intent Study, released last week. Also, female shoppers are growing as a percentage of online shoppers, said DoubleClick, a Web-advertising and marketing firm. "Interestingly, price wasn't the most significant driver of online purchases," DoubleClick said in a statement. "The main drivers for the shift online were 'ease of purchase' and ability to 'learn about new products.'" Price came in third.

WHEN A TRANSFER IS WORSE THAN BEING FIRED. XIM, a San Francisco systems integrator, said last week that it's opening an R&D center in Obninsk, Russia. Located 64 miles outside of Moscow, Obninsk is known as Science City, "boasting 12 scientific research institutes," according to XIM.

THANKS FOR THINKING OF US, STEVE. Former America Online chairman Steve Case purchased a majority stake in Exclusive Resorts and will become its chairman, the luxury travel company said last week. The tony travel club gives its members access to a portfolio of private homes that have an average value of $2.5 million. Potential members must pony up a $375,000 entrance fee, with usage fees running from $15,000 to $25,000. In a statement, Case said, "Exclusive Resorts makes vacation homes more accessible and more affordable to more people."

I don't know about you, but those certainly aren't the circles I travel in. I'm more likely to end up in Obninsk, Russia, on vacation than I am at something called Exclusive Resorts. But I'll settle for an industry tip, to or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about politics and the software industry, wireless E-mail, or online holiday shopping, meet me at's Listening Post:

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about John Soat, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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