The Register Columnists

Datamonitor

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed

Motorola plumps for HP Linux-on-Itanium bozes

In a somewhat surprising move, telecommunications equipment maker Motorola has chosen a variant of Hewlett-Packard's Itanium rack servers and Carrier-Grade Linux as the foundation of two of its next-generation lines of mobile telecom switching equipment. HP will be pleased with the news, as it proves that its Itanium platform …
Datamonitor, 19 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

Outsourcing Human Resources: cause for celebration?

The rise in importance of the Human Resources (HR) department within the company structure has gone on unchecked for decades. There was a day when it was simply called payroll, but now its influence stretches right to the top, and it busies itself evaluating employee performance, and generally bewildering all with bureaucracy …
Datamonitor, 13 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

European sofas brace for HDTV

Momentum for HDTV is now building. Broadcasters have announced definite deployment plans and the consumer electronics industry is a-buzz over this new market. Some observers said that HDTV would never come to the European market, but this year it has arrived and James Healey, Datamonitor's senior media and broadcasting …
Datamonitor, 13 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

Commerce One fights for survival

Commerce One still seems unable to get its costs under any semblance of control. It posted a Q2 net loss of $5.1m, only marginally better than its year-ago net loss of $6.1m. Things look gray, but with some new product launches, increased operating environment and platform choices, and new sales and marketing SVPs the company …
Datamonitor, 12 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

Tough times for BEA

Holding a management position with BEA Systems these days is a risky proposition. In the space of a single week, BEA lost SVP of advanced development Adam Bosworth and CTO Scott Dietzen, two of its leading visionaries, following the exit of VP of products and solutions Rick Jackson and senior director of marketing Erik Frieberg …
Datamonitor, 09 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

When the customer is always wrong

Vendors always get the brunt of the criticism when technology projects go wrong, and why not? After all, consultancies, IT service providers, and outsourcers charge millions, if not billions, so that they can to make sure their clients get the best of the best... So when it all goes wrong, with costs through the roof and …
Datamonitor, 09 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

Intel cool on 802.20

Intel could be closing the door on the emerging 802.20 mobile broadband wireless access standard after the company admitted to uncertainty surrounding the working group's ability to put aside self-interest. But the chip giant has finally accepted the rise of the Bluetooth short-range wireless technology, which will shortly be …
Datamonitor, 05 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

Intel backs in-flight Wi-Fi initiative

An initiative supported by Intel is in the final stages of outlining a method to disable the radio transmitters of handheld devices during aircraft takeoff and landing. The development should help pave the way to greater freedom to use wireless-enabled mobile devices while in the air. The work has been carried out by RTCA, a …
Datamonitor, 03 Aug 2004
The Register breaking news

SMEs slap hard cash on the IT table

While IT spending at the top end of the market has stalled in the last four years as enterprises attempt to drive greater efficiencies out of the infrastructure they acquired in the late 1990s, SMEs have continued to invest in technology and related services at a steady rate. The small and medium-sized enterprise sector has …
Datamonitor, 03 Aug 2004
DVD it in many colours

IBM shuffles top execs

The top brass running Big Blue are still reshuffling executives in the aftermath of the departure of Mike Lawrie, formerly the senior vice president of sales and distribution. IBM likes to cross-train its key executives in different geographies, job types, and lines of business every couple of years, but there could be more to …
Datamonitor, 30 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

US online pharmacies take fight to Canadians

The trade in discounted prescription drugs between Canada and the US has elicited considerable controversy on both sides of the border. Yet recent figures show that sales of drugs via Canadian pharmacies have not been as great as some had predicted. However, as Datamonitor's David Deon explains, pharmaceutical companies could go …
Datamonitor, 29 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

US and Europe embrace the digital home

The US is the largest and most competitive digital TV market in the world today, with more than 45 million digital households at the end of 2003. However, Datamonitor analyst James Healey says that by 2006 Europe will represent a larger digital TV market than the US, with some 63 million digital households. Following …
Datamonitor, 23 Jul 2004

Sun's Solaris shines on Itanium

In the past few months, Jonathan Schwartz, the president of Sun Microsystems, has twice blurted out ideas about what Sun might do with its Solaris operating system that have a lot of heads in the IT industry cocking their heads to one side like Sun's old advertising dog, Network. In early June, it was open source Solaris, and …
Datamonitor, 23 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

Novell and its $600m war chest

Novell's latest debt offering was oversubscribed, and it was able to rake in a hefty $600m. But what will Novell do with all of this money? There are some intriguing options that Novell has as it takes Linux deeper into the data center and out onto desktops... Novell said in the initial offering that it planned to use $125m of …
Datamonitor, 19 Jul 2004

IBM ups rates on server financing deals

With interest rates on the rise again, the term 'low-rate financing' might soon take on a different meaning. Although the Federal Reserve's latest rate hike was relatively minor, public expectations of higher rates are proving a goldmine for captive financing companies such as IBM. Big Blue raised its rate by one point - four …
Datamonitor, 14 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

Building bugs in double-quick time

The first bug was a small insect caught in an early 1940s computer. Today bugs are very different in their nature, and fixing and removing defects in computer systems has become a long and labor-intensive process. Software development project teams do little to help themselves, it seems. All too often, the focus of a software …
Datamonitor, 09 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

Computacenter hit by PC price tumble

Computacenter, the largest reseller of PCs to European businesses, sold a record number of computers on the back of Microsoft XP upgrades during the first half of the year - but price declines meant that product revenue declined in its core UK market. It may now have to look towards service company acquisitions to improve its …
Datamonitor, 07 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

HP moots handheld PC comeback

Notebook-style mobile devices based on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system could make a return to the mass market courtesy of Hewlett-Packard. Speaking with ComputerWire on a recent visit to HP's Office of Strategy and Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, center director Niklas Johnsson said it was possible that HP would re- …
Datamonitor, 06 Jul 2004

IT services vendors bask in sunny quarter

The IT services sector continued its steady recovery in the second quarter of 2004, with significant growth in the value of major contracts announced during the period. ComputerWire tracked a total of 416 IT services contracts announced during the quarter, worth a combined total of $44.1bn. These included all disclosed IT and …
Datamonitor, 06 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

CSC German military mega deal scrapped over price row

A CSC-led consortium has failed to reach an agreement with the German Ministry of Defense over a planned $7.3bn IT and communications outsourcing contract. The failure highlights both the level of caution displayed by the German government toward outsourcing, and the increasing reluctance for outsourcing vendors to take on mega- …
Datamonitor, 05 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

Sender authentication is coming

Sender authentication will almost certainly become a de facto standard part of the Internet's email infrastructure over the next few years, but it will not stop the spam problem by itself. Microsoft, in a refreshing break from its usual standards strategy, has merged its Caller ID For Email specification with that of a …
Datamonitor, 05 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

IBM opens RFID test centre

IBM has opened up the doors on a new European test and interoperability laboratory for piloting and proving radio frequency identification technologies. The adoption of RFID will not only help retailers and consumer goods manufacturers better manage their stocks, it will also offer a potential windfall for the likes of IBM …
Datamonitor, 05 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

Wi-Fi finds no space on the forecourt

Wi-Fi and mobile payment solutions still to prove their worth in forecourt self-service Globally, almost 30 per cent of petrol forecourts offer automated payment systems, and in certain markets 90-100 per cent of sites operate at least one outdoor payment terminal. Here, we argue that forecourt retailers should still be …
Datamonitor, 30 Jun 2004

Expat offshore firms slammed as 'unpatriotic'

As the outsourcing debate continues, expatriate services firms have become the latest targets for outsourcing critics, who are branding them 'unpatriotic'. However, in the long run, opponents of the offshore trend may find themselves unable to fend off the impact of globalisation. Companies including Seagate Technology and Tyco …
Datamonitor, 30 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Oracle eyes Business Objects from afar

Following the revelations over Microsoft's merger discussions with SAP, speculation is rife about over the next wave of M&A activity in the enterprise applications software field. Business Objects was among those named on Oracle's potential takeover list, though an acquisition by the Californian firm in the near future is …
Datamonitor, 23 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Carlyle and Kyocera dig deep into DDI Pocket

Personal handyphone devleopment Private equity investor Carlyle should find plenty of opportunities to develop DDI Pocket, the personal handyphone system business in which it has agreed to buy a 60 per cent stake. The low-cost system has a lot of potential in developing countries and may also offer opportunities in the data …
Datamonitor, 23 Jun 2004

Nortel stock rallies on talk of Cisco bid

Nortel Networks stock rose strongly towards the end of last week following speculation that Cisco Systems is considering a bid for the company. The timing looks good for Cisco to acquire its smaller rival, but it is rarely interested in such large acquisitions. Cisco CEO John Chambers fired up rumors of a potential acquisition …
Datamonitor, 21 Jun 2004
cable

Hewitt takes HRO lead with Exult acquisition

Hewitt's acquisition of Exult for $691m sees it taking the lead in the nascent human resources outsourcing sector. The deal will put Hewitt ahead of traditional IT services giants such as IBM Global Services, Accenture, Affiliated Computer Services, and EDS, which are rapidly moving into the HRO sector. The takeover is a …
Datamonitor, 21 Jun 2004

Unisys pushes the ES7000 envelope

Vendors get judged on peak performance of their biggest, baddest boxes, but they make their bread on more modest machines. This is why server maker Unisys, which has for three years been the staunchest supporters of Windows in the datacenter, recently spent big bucks to prove the ES7000 Wintel mainframes deliver the best bang …
Datamonitor, 21 Jun 2004

AMD: no longer the also-ran

Throughout the 1990s, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices battled to capture the imagination of computer buyers by offering ever-faster performance. More recently, the competition between the two companies has become more like a game of paper, scissors, stone, as each company attempts to surprise the market with unexpected new …
Datamonitor, 21 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Fujitsu Software gets serious outside of Japan

Fujitsu Software's head of application integration middleware, Robert Sepanloo, is targeting $100m revenue from the business in Europe and the US by 2006. It may be one of the best examples of stealth marketing the industry has seen, as despite Fujitsu Software being relatively unknown in Europe and the US, it has annual sales …
Datamonitor, 17 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Nokia makes all the right noises

Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila has outlined a multi-pronged attack incorporating more clamshell phones, greater operator customization, better penetration into the mid-range, and faster reactions to handset fashions. Although Mr Ollila made a good argument for putting Nokia's recent woes behind it, the true efficacy of these choices is …
Datamonitor, 16 Jun 2004
Broken CD with wrench

IT still matters - just not how it used to

Nicholas Carr, author of the now infamous Harvard Business Review article "IT Doesn't Matter" in May 2003, is set to stir up the hornet's nest once more with a book on the same subject, "Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage"... Carr was absolutely right in his assertion that what he …
Datamonitor, 11 Jun 2004

HP maps growth path

Hewlett-Packard hosted its annual securities analyst meeting in San Jose this week, and the company's top brass laid out its plan to grow revenues consistently at a rate in the high single digits (twice the rate of global GDP growth) and to grow profits by more than 20 per cent a year. This ambitious goal is similar to that of …
Datamonitor, 11 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Windows HPC edition in the works

Although Microsoft has refused to confirm the many reports that say so, it appears the company is working on a version of its Windows Server platform specifically tailored for the high performance computing market... That Microsoft would branch off from Windows 2003 Server to create an HPC Edition makes perfect sense for a …
Datamonitor, 10 Jun 2004

IBM chases HP and Sun with i5

According to the top brass in the iSeries division, IBM will be pushing on several fronts to grow the OS/400 server business and pump up the OS/400 ecosystem on which it depends. Timothy Prickett Morgan examines IBM's new strategy... Both Al Zollar, general manager of IBM's iSeries line, and Cecelia Marrese, vice president of …
Datamonitor, 10 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Brightmail finds sanctuary with Symantec

Never afraid to dip into its monster cash pile when an opportunity presents itself, Symantec is going to buy Brightmail, one of the leading anti-spam vendors, for $370m in cash. The deal will improve Brightmail's position, although the prospect of Microsoft entering the anti-spam market is still a significant threat. The deal …
Datamonitor, 21 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Capgemini scores big with TXU

Capgemini has signed the biggest IT services contract of 2004 so far: a 10-year $3.5bn outsourcing deal with TXU to provide a range of BPO and IT support services. The deal is similar to an agreement Capgemini has with Hydro One, but it looks like the French IT services provider has learnt from its previous experience. The …
Datamonitor, 21 May 2004

IBM dishes out Power tools for Linux

Programmers and software developers are, like the rest of us, creatures of habit and limited by the comfort zones of our own areas of expertise. IBM may want Linux enthusiasts, snobs, and zealots to give Linux on Power a whirl, but just saying that they should doesn't really accomplish much... Earlier this year, IBM's top brass …
Datamonitor, 19 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Yahoo! and Google escalate portal wars

The gloves are off in the battle between onetime friends Google and Yahoo!, with each of the companies rolling out upgrades, feature changes and alliances that indicate both firms are fiercely competing for eyeballs. The portal wars that dominated the Web in the late 1990s are back, it seems. Google has approached the point …
Datamonitor, 18 May 2004
The Register breaking news

BT's olive branch to Ofcom

BT has revealed a massive cut in the prices it charges its rivals for using its broadband network, in an effort to avert a possible break-up of its business by Ofcom, the UK telecoms watchdog. The move will result in a short-term dip in revenues, but may well prove profitable in the long run. Last month, Ofcom chief executive …
Datamonitor, 17 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Business slow to embrace wireless

Enterprise wireless technology is here. It has been here for a while now and it is not going away. Given the obvious truth of this statement, it may seem surprising that companies have on the whole failed to embrace wireless technologies in more than a cursory fashion. Despite the fact that productivity, total cost of ownership …
Datamonitor, 13 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Sage: more acquisitions ahead

While Sage's H1 results seem strong, if the three acquisitions it has made since last September are stripped out, organic revenue growth was only three per cent. Flat results from existing operations in its North American business should be a particular concern. As well as a decline in the value of the dollar, Sage also …
Datamonitor, 13 May 2004

Sun and Veritas bury the hatchet

Server maker Sun Microsystems and clustered file systems maker Veritas Software have something of a love-hate relationship, but the two buried the hatchet this week. While Sun cannot afford to buy Veritas, attempting to license its technologies may be an idea worth looking into. Veritas and Sun are now working to port the …
Datamonitor, 10 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Royal Bank of Canada dumps SCO Group shares

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has washed its hands of SCO Group (SCOX), dumping all 30,000 recently-acquired shares into the lap of BayStar Capital. The venture capital firm, which considered walking away last month, is now in a powerful position to influence SCO's future direction. RBC has sold 20,000 Series A-1 stock to BayStar …
Datamonitor, 10 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Dollar decline stunts Symbian growth

The strength of the pound against the dollar left Symbian's Q1 results looking less impressive than would be justified. However, the company is still losing money and may need to raise more capital. This could prove a crucial point in the company's relationship with leading shareholder Nokia. Symbian said on 6 May that …
Datamonitor, 10 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Iraq 'abuse' contractors go on the offensive

Defense contractor CACI International went on the offensive on Wednesday as it sought to contain the fallout from the alleged involvement of some of its staff in the abuse of prisoners in Iraq. CACI and Titan, another contractor named in accusations, risk becoming an easy target for the US Government as it looks to find someone …
Datamonitor, 07 May 2004
The Register breaking news

BT and HP's outsourcing strategy

Hewlett-Packard and BT have announced a $1.5bn strategic alliance to address the integrated information and communications technology (ICT) market. BT has already shown much success in winning large outsourcing deals and HP should be able to use the alliance to improve its own position BT will manage HP's voice and data …
Datamonitor, 06 May 2004
SGI logo hardware close-up

Storage software may become another commodity

As technology sectors develop, advanced products carrying premium prices become commodities. For high-end storage hardware suppliers such as EMC, IBM and Hitachi, this has already been happening. Now the same may happen with some of the storage software too... The commoditization of big-ticket disk boxes has spurred storage …
Datamonitor, 03 May 2004
The Register breaking news

IT vendors seek the quiet life

IT sales can be fun: there is a rush from winning a deal and killing the competition. But almost no salesperson enjoys the ever-lengthening sales cycle, the creeping featurism, and the necessity to make sales monthly, quarterly, and yearly that hallmarks the IT market. No wonder vendors are desperate to get out of this cycle and …
Datamonitor, 26 Apr 2004