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Stories by Stacy Cowley

SAP continues toying with hosted ERP

Business software giant SAP will move into the hosted software market sometime next year, but getting the product right has proved tricky, according to SAP's products and technology group head, Shai Agassi.

Written by Stacy Cowley08 Dec. 05 11:59

Rocky product launch tanks Cognos' Q3

Analytics software maker Cognos Inc. warned Thursday of grim financial results in its just-ended third quarter, a situation Chief Executive Officer Rob Ashe attributed to a rocky launch of Cognos' overhauled BI (business intelligence) software.

Written by Stacy Cowley02 Dec. 05 16:11

IBM employees play with podcasting

What do you get when you hand 320,000 employees the tools and corporate podcasting guidelines to internally publish their audio creations? In IBM's experience, lower phone bills and better, more informal internal communication.

Written by Stacy Cowley24 Nov. 05 07:43

Tivo to bring TV programs to iPod and PSP

The portable video market got a boost Monday as TiVo Inc. announced plans to let subscribers to its digital video recording service transfer TV programs to Apple iPods and Sony PSPs (PlayStation Portables). The move will significantly expand the pool of video content available for those devices.

Written by Stacy Cowley21 Nov. 05 15:41

Firm buys Geac for $1B, Infor gets ERP software

Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital has agreed to buy business software maker Geac Computer Corp. Ltd. for around US$1 billion. Golden Gate Capital plans to break Geac into pieces, with Geac's ERP (enterprise resource planning) software changing hands and becoming the property of another Golden Gate Capital-funded company, Infor Global Solutions.

Written by Stacy Cowley08 Nov. 05 22:00

CA spins Ingres off to independent company

Computer Associates International (CA) is selling its Ingres database technology to private equity firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital, which is forming a new company to develop and market the open-source software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Written by Stacy Cowley08 Nov. 05 07:40

Mercury CEO, CFO resign in accounting probe wake

Three of Mercury Interactive's top executives, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amnon Landan, resigned Wednesday after an internal probe into stock-option grants resulted in a scathing report on their oversight of the software company's accounting.

Written by Stacy Cowley03 Nov. 05 08:04

ISP spat blacks out Net connections

A financial dispute between two major Internet backbones has led to dropped traffic between their networks, a high-stakes game of chicken that's angering customers affected by the network disruptions.

Written by Stacy Cowley06 Oct. 05 16:56

Skype update adds call forwarding and ringtones

Skype Technologies went live Thursday with an updated version of its Internet telephony software, adding call forwarding and personalization options to its popular VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service.

Written by Stacy Cowley30 Sept. 05 08:50

Siebel's Oracle union may end its IBM OnDemand alliance

Oracle's agreement to buy Siebel Systems immediately raised questions about the future of Siebel's CRM OnDemand service -- a venture in which Oracle rival IBM is deeply involved. Executives from both Siebel and Oracle say the hosted CRM (customer relationship management) service will go forward, but IBM is likely to be left out of Siebel's OnDemand future.

Written by Stacy Cowley14 Sept. 05 14:02

Wall Street Beat: Katrina spooks investors

Hurricane Katrina's devastating tear through the Southeastern U.S. also left a mark on the financial markets, which saw already-high oil prices soar amid concerns about the hurricane's impact on oil production in the region. Insurers expect the storm to be the most expensive in U.S. history, and economists forecast that its aftermath will shave several points off the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) as the country copes with the near-complete destruction of one of its major cites, New Orleans.

Written by Stacy Cowley01 Sept. 05 22:00

Analysis: SSA Global's midmarket empire dreams

SSA Global Technologies Inc. has lately been on a buying spree of enterprise application vendors that rivals Oracle Corp.'s, in deal frequency if not size. The once-bankrupt ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor is amassing an eclectic portfolio that analysts say positions it as an emerging major player in the changing back-office applications market.
Chicago-based SSA Global was buzzard bait a few years ago. Its current incarnation was formed in 2000, when several investment firms stepped in and bought the assets of bankrupt software maker System Software Associates Inc. The company's backers, primarily distressed-company forager Cerberus Capital Management LP (named for the mythical three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell), began bulking up SSA Global's portfolio by buying similarly struggling ERP assets. Most notably among those was Baan, which SSA got in 2003 for around US$132 million only a few years after Invesnsys PLC paid €762 million (around $708 million at the time) for the storied, but foundering, company.

Written by Stacy Cowley21 Aug. 05 22:00

Will Nexus save Siebel?

Siebel Systems desperately needs to grow again -- and with its traditional enterprise software market sluggish and saturated, expanding into new areas is the company's best chance. Within the next few months, the company will unveil Project Nexus, a custom-CRM (customer relationship management) offering executives hope will unlock a lucrative new market. Several years in development, the initiative represents Siebel's latest attempt to regain the vanguard of the software market it pioneered.

Written by Stacy Cowley19 July 05 08:15

IBM posts funeral notice for OS/2

IBM is measuring OS/2 for its coffin. The company reaffirmed its intent to end support for the storied operating system soon, releasing an official roadmap for the software's demise.

Written by Stacy Cowley18 July 05 07:48

Analysis: Intentia buy raises Lawson profile in midmarket

Lawson Software Inc.'s deal to acquire Swedish software developer Intentia International AB may give Lawson the bulk it needs to credibly compete in the midmarket ERP (enterprise resource planning) software space -- but successfully turning two struggling companies into one healthier company will be a tricky task, analysts warned.
Lawson's all-stock deal, valued at US$480 million, did not come as a surprise, given the enterprise software market's consolidation trend. As sales cycles grow longer and growth slows, many among the industry's profusion of applications vendors are looking to buy or be bought. St. Paul, Minnesota-based Lawson has reported losses in two of its last five years; Intentia posted losses in all five. Meanwhile, Lawson's revenue plunged from $152 million in 2001 to barely more than half that in 2003.

Written by Stacy Cowley06 June 05 22:00