In Brief

Storage on the Grid; dBASE: Back in Action?; SAP and HP Team for Midsized Companies; Gartner to App Vendors: Go a la Carte

In this Issue:

CEOs Strive for Agility

Of 456 top CEOs polled worldwide, 80% cited the ability to respond rapidly to changing market forces as a high priority. But only 13% of CEOs rated their own organization's ability to respond to changing business conditions as "very responsive," with less than 10% feeling that their companies are responsive to their top three threats. For more, see The Global CEO Study 2004 from IBM Business Consulting Services.

PeopleSoft Partners for System Management

PeopleSoft will publish application-programming interfaces that will let partners integrate their application management platforms with PeopleSoft applications, providing detailed performance and operational metrics. These partners include Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Quest Software, Segue Software, and Veritas Software. Notably absent is NewMerix, which debuted this year with a product designed specifically for managing the development cycle of PeopleSoft applications. NewMerix CEO Ed Roberto says, "We're very excited about the level of commitment that PeopleSoft is making." NewMerix CTO Neil Robertson adds that this alliance is primarily oriented to applications in production stage, for activities such as optimizing databases and performance. "Where we see the next step for PeopleSoft, which is where we're playing, is to extend that to the total ownership experience," Robertson says.

Teradata Takes Wing

Expand Beyond's PocketDBA mobile software now supports Teradata products, making Teradata's core databases and applications remotely accessible for the first time ever. Database and system administrators can now have secure, real-time management access to Teradata data warehouses from a mobile device or Web browser. The partners claim PocketDBA is scalable to accommodate the needs of the Teradata warehouse, and it runs on Pocket PC, Palm OS, new Blackberries, and other mobile devices including smartphones, PDAs, laptops, and desktops.

Kumar Steps Down

As reported in the general news media, Computer Associates CEO and chairman Sanjay Kumar stepped down from both roles amid escalating fallout from an accounting scandal. Three former executives, including the former CFO, had pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction and securities fraud. The three were forced to resign when the board of directors began investigating allegations of questionable accounting practices in October 2002. CA also had fired nine people in its legal and accounting departments as of press time. CA warned in a statement that it could face, "administrative, civil injunctive, or criminal proceedings, including charges against the company and other officers of the company, the imposition of fines and penalties, suspensions or debarments from government contracts."

Sam Wyly, the Dallas entrepreneur and investor who in proxy fights twice challenged the management for control of the company, responded to the Kumar decision: "[Employees and customers] will no longer be led by underachievement and their performance hampered by an autocratic and ineffective top management." Wyly in 2001 and 2002 cited the company's accounting irregularities, harsh treatment of employees and customers, and poor governance as primary reasons that growth opportunities were being missed and the company's stock was in trouble.

Kumar still has a job at CA, as chief software architect.

Belief in the Process

March saw an upswing in venture capitalist funding to business process management startups:




Round Leader


Cary, N.C.

$10 million

Advent International

Lombardi Software

Austin, Texas

$10 million

InterWest Partners


Burlington, Mass.

$6.7 million

Core Capital Partners

A Service for the SOA

BEA has named the problem and a solution for it. The problem: "Web sprawl": the unwieldy proliferation of custom Web applications and disparate portals that breed complexity and high costs. The solution offered: enterprise portal rationalization, or EPR, a combination of best practices and industry expertise to be used in conjunction with BEA's Weblogic application platform.

Focus Groups Become Obsolete?

A company that hosts online communities for Fortune 1000 companies has acquired Senti-Metrics and its Advanced Conversation Analysis software. The software analyzes traffic patterns, social networks, and language trends in online conversations. LiveWorld, the acquiring company, will offer reports to its customers that describe what people are saying online about companies and their competitors, for example.

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
John Abel, Technical Director, Google Cloud
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer