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Posts by Larry Walsh


Is Larry Ellison right about Mark Hurd?

Say what you want about Larry Ellison: he’s brash, arrogant – and often right. So the question is, is he right about Mark Hurd?

Ellison snapped up Hurd to be Oracle’s co-president soon after Hurd resigned amid business ethics allegations at H-P.

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Tomorrow is 9-11!

Tomorrow is 9-11-10. Nine years ago, our lives changed. Within days of the attacks, I was in New York at Ground Zero and in Queens interviewing executives at the New York Board of Trade.

Turns out NYBOT’s disaster recovery plan put the commodities trading exchange right back in business. NYBOT had been maintaining a mirrored site in Queens since shortly after the first WTC bombing in 1993. It didn’t’ take long to cut over to the Queens site and send all the traders over there. It was a brilliant plan that paid off.

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BPM app set-up? No problem. Getting it to do something useful? Totally different story.

Lori MacVittie has done a great service by taking a close look at just what typically happens in the rollout of a BPM application. Getting the BPM app up and running is no big deal – but getting it to do something useful and thereby to justify its existence is quite another matter, she points out.

The devil of BPM deployment is in the details, including integrating with corporate data and getting buy-in from the workers whose processes it will change. That remains the same regardless of where the application is running – on a server in your data center or out in the cloud, MacVittie contends. Read more


Dell Looks Beyond its PC Business – Again?

Standing Headline: “Dell looks beyond its PC business.” Dell has been doing that for, um, a decade? Two? Still, the 9/7 WSJ article on Dell highlighted a couple of facts worth noting.

1)      Dell last year hired away IBM mergers and acquisitions exec Dave Johnson.

2)      Even as actual PC sales have increased, the percentage of Dell’s revenue that comes from PC sales has declined every year since Michael Dell returned to the helm in 2007. Since the company acquired services firm Perot systems in 2009, you would expect that the services portion of revenue would increase. And the acquisition of Equallogic in 2007 means you’d expect the storage component of revenue to increase also.

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Is the HP vs. Dell bidding war for 3Par a sign we are in a cloud bubble?

3Par is a storage vendor, but the reasons for the bidding war may be that 3Par equipment is particularly good for cloud-based data storage.

Let’s accept for a moment that there is a cloud bubble. If you remember the dot-com bubble, it’s clear that the cloud bubble is not like that. Sure, everyone is claiming their gadget or service enables cloud computing, but there is not a rash of ridiculous IPOs as there was back in dot-com days. Exuberance, maybe; irrational exuberance, no.

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Cloud-based BPM

Inefficiency my not be apparent when a company is small and growing rapidly. But the whole point of growing rapidly is to get big fast, right? When that happens, the old seat-of-the-pants methods stop working.

A good way to get a handle on how your company works is to implement BPM (Business Process Management) software. One obstacle to BPM implementation – or any major software initiative – is the cost and learning curve. It’s not always easy making the case that your company is so inefficient that you have go through the exercise of modeling your company’s business processes in order to get things under control – especially if your company’s self-image is based on a fast-moving entrepreneurial style.
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