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Just as Oracle puts one pricing controversy behind it, the company could be igniting another. Oracle has quietly increased pricing on its named-user licenses for its database and application server products. The cost of a perpetual license for the Oracle database Standard Edition increased from $160 to $300 per named user. The Enterprise Edition database license increased from $750 to $800 per named user. Standard and enterprise versions of the application server increased from $45 to $200 and from $250 to $400 per named user, respectively. Jacqueline Woods, Oracle VP of global practices, says the standard and enterprise versions of the products are closer in functionality than reflected in the old prices, and the new prices correct the disparity. Some customers will have lower costs because Oracle has lowered the minimum number of users for each license, she says. Last month, Oracle dropped its controversial "power unit" pricing scheme, which based license prices on processor speeds, in favor of a simpler per-processor pricing option.

Nice guys don't always finish last. Al Biland, VP and CIO of Snap-on and a genuinely nice guy, has been promoted as part of a recent reorganization under Snap-on CEO Dale Elliott. Biland is now president of the Diagnostics and Information Group at Snap-on. The new group incorporates the tools' vendors auto-diagnostics, Mitchell Repair Information, and Snapon.com divisions. "Biland will lead Snap-on's advances in combining information with instrumentation and the application of electronic, wireless, and Internet-based technologies in diagnostics and other businesses around the world," says an internal memo. Biland will retain his VP and CIO title, but VP of IS Dennis Leitner will take over IT operations.

Chubb Computer Services, a subsidiary of insurance company Chubb & Son, is killing off its IT staffing operation. A spokesman for Chubb says the IT placement business involves about 80 Chubb employees, who will be offered jobs with Chubb or given outplacement services. The spokesman says Chubb Computer Services will continue to "service existing accounts until contracts with customers run out," and that he anticipates it will take several months before those placement processes are completed. Chubb Computer Services includes a professional-services division and a training division, called the Chubb Institute, one of the oldest technology training companies in the United States. The layoffs involve only the professional-services division.

Larry Ponemon has resigned his position as president of security service provider Guardent after only four months on the job. Guardent co-founder and executive VP Dan McCall says Ponemon resigned because "Larry's passion is around technology and tools, and our model is geared toward services." Ponemon, considered one of the leading experts in privacy issues, joined Guardent from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he established the consulting firm's corporate privacy practice. Guardent has made much of its experienced lineup of executive talent culled from companies such as Accenture, Cambridge Technology Partners, and IBM Global Services.

Online broker Ameritrade Holding (home of the $8 online trade) is launching a technology group to integrate the disparate systems accumulated in the last few years through its acquisitions of subsidiaries Accutrade, OnMoney, and TradeCast. The group, part of a wide business reorganization, will be headed by co-CIOs Mok Choe, currently VP of the application development group, and Ray Drury, senior VP of operations in the OnMoney division. Choe and Drury will replace CIO Jim Ditmore, who's resigning to pursue personal interests, Ameritrade says. A multiple CIO management structure isn't all that unusual. Last year, Capital One named Marge Connelly, executive VP for domestic card operations, and Laura Olle, senior VP of IT systems development, as co-CIOs.


I've never really worked with a partner, but I admire the great dynamic duos of history: Batman and Robin, Bonnie and Clyde, Bill and Hillary-wait, I forgot about my wife! She could be my partner in crime. Or at least my alibi. Send her an industry tip, to [email protected], or phone 516-562-5326. Or if you want to talk about management structures, limited partnerships, and dynamic duos of history, meet me online at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post, http://informationweek.com/forum/johnsoat.

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