Profile of Bob Evans
News & Commentary Posts: 1070
Bob Evans is senior VP, communications, for Oracle Corp. He is a former InformationWeek editor.
Articles by Bob Evans
posted in August 2009
Dear Boss: I know my project's 9 months late but you shouldn't fire me because Northrop Grumman is nine months late on its Virginia project but will still continue to get paid $190 million per year thru 2014, which you must admit is a tad more than I make for delivering similar results. With Virginia showering clemency on Northrop, how can you not do the same for me??
A couple of friends and I recently met for beers at Slattery's and I paid the bill with a USAirways MasterCard from Barclays Bank. So imagine my surprise a couple days later when I got an email message from USAirways bearing the subject line, "How was Slattery's Midtown Pub?"
After seeing BP save an estimated $500 million by consolidating 40 outsourcers down to five, many other global corporations are looking into similar reductions to cut costs and reduce risk. "The next 12 months will see a fair number of deals triggered by vendor consolidation," says Gartner's research chief in India.
Ford is seeding the U.S. market for the imminent introduction of its Fiesta model by giving Fiestas to 100 bloggers with a requirement that they upload Fiesta-related videos each month to YouTube and discuss their impressions of the car on Twitter, Facebook, and their blogs.
For unknown reasons, a vital software application isn't delivering mission-critical information, and the end-customers are screaming mad. And they're airing their complaints very publicly on Facebook.
In an extension of their 20-year relationship, Accenture "will be BP's strategic service provider for its SAP development work" and will "provide BP with information technology application-development services," an Accenture press release says. A report yesterday in Global CIO, based on unclear information from an IBM spokesman, misstated Accenture's role as a BP partner.
With sustained revenue growth and growing acceptance among larger customers, the SaaS community--led by Salesforce.com--has moved confidently out of the margins and into the mainstream.
BP has picked IBM to replace Accenture in managing all of BP's global enterprise applications, marking the end of a decade-long deal during which Accenture managed BP's SAP applications worldwide. BP also said that Wipro has made its new and shorter short-list of vendors building and maintaining applications for the huge global energy company.
Oil and gas giant BP has picked both Infosys and Tata to develop and maintain applications across BP's sprawling global operations on six continents in more than 100 countries. While carefully worded press releases from each company featured prominent and mostly consistent comments from BP CIO Dana Deasy, the fine print suggests that Tata won the larger opportunity.
Heck, we all say dumb things-even some really dumb things-from time to time. But imagine my surprise when, researching the hugely positive impact HP's acquisition of EDS has had, I came across this headline from Computerworld's "Cyber Cynic" in his I-hate-everybody analysis of the deal 15 months ago: "HP buys EDS: You fools! You fools!"
IBM has hired hundreds of workers at its new IT services center in Dubuque, Iowa, to provide "advanced information processing" services to global corporations with IBM outsourcing contracts. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, IBM said it expects the facility to employ 600 workers by the end of this year and about 1,300 by the end of 2010.
Innovative sales channels don't always pan out as planned: through the first nine days of the much-ballyhooed initiative to peddle GM cars on eBay, only 45 cars were sold. On the bright side, the GM eBay Web site wracked up 960,000 searches of GM vehicles-does it have a future as a lead-machine?
Companies in banking, energy, and manufacturing are starting to open up spending a bit as they begin to prepare for an economic turnaround, SAP executive John Schwarz said in a recent interview. As for acquisitions, many software companies are looking to be bought but have inflated views of their value.
After mapping and standardizing 440 critical business processes across 83 global subsidiaries, the CIO of $44 billion LG Electronics is making his company the first ever to implement Oracle's newest ERP platform.
In a move that's wise as well as partly symbolic, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is cutting his annual salary from $1,000,000 to $1. It's wise because while the company certainly had a good year, the global economic downturn has been very difficult for many Oracle customers and shareholders. And it's partly symbolic because Ellison's total 2008 Oracle compensation was $557 million.
Steve Jobs' spectacular performance as Apple's CEO, along with the cult following the company has built over the years, make it very difficult to doubt his methods. But a fascinating analysis of the composition and mindset of Apple's board reveals what could be an Achilles heel for Jobs: too many board-level CEOs with too much empathy for their peer's position.
Not to say I told you so, but JetBlue's $599 unlimited-travel promotion sold out well ahead of its deadline as customers, in spite of the rotten economy, jumped all over the innovative plan. When it came out last week, we wrote a column about it called JetBlue Genius And Hollywood Lunacy and predicted other companies would start turning over more decision-making power to their customers.
Dassault Systemes has begun marketing virtual showroom simulators to car makers and Honda and Mercedes-Benz have signed "large deals" for the systems in Australia and China. Car shoppers can get 360-degree views of the vehicles, open doors to view interiors, change features, and change colors via the 10-feet-wide screen. Click ahead to see a video demo.
HP should leverage CIO Randy Mott's superb achievements and become The Transformation Company, helping CIOs reverse the deadly 80/20 ratio and become drivers of growth.
Hewlett-Packard cut Q3 R&D spending by 25.5%, or $228 million, on a year-on-year basis, and by 6.9% when compared to the previous quarter. While pulling back on R&D, which many companies have done over the past year, is not necessarily a bad thing, HP is betting big that a new open-innovation approach will compensate for the big cuts in traditional R&D.
While IBM, year after year, is awarded more patents than any other company, it has also become a huge proponent of the red-hot concept of open innovation that allows R&D to scale up and out across organizational boundaries. The concept has also caught on in big ways at GE, HP, Eli Lilly, USC, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison received total compensation of $556.9 million in 2008, making him the second best-paid CEO in the U.S. behind the CEO of private-equity firm Blackstone. A year ago Ellison topped the list, and he's expected to stay near or at the top next year as well.
As Hewlett-Packard prepares to release its quarterly financials tomorrow, three prominent financial analysts have raised their expectations for HP's quarterly revenue and also raised their target prices for HP shares. Since HP is now the world's largest IT company, the tenor of its results will resonate across the industry.
Five years ago, Tibco touted its SAP chops thusly: "SAP customers are continuing to derive significant business value from their SAP deployments by leveraging Tibco to orchestrate business functions across their extended enterprise." Now, as merger rumors swirl, bear in mind that SAP CEO Leo Apotheker prefers internal development over acquisitions.
In a "striking" sell-off that will "drastically reduce its exposure to health-related stocks," the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation unloaded 30 million shares of stock last quarter in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and health-care companies. It's an odd move for a massive philanthropy that's made health care in developing countries one of its top priorities.
Why are Hollywood studios attempting to stifle customer choice by hamstringing two high-growth DVD-rental partners? On the flip side, JetBlue once again leads the way in customer engagement.
If anyone's got a more beautiful and humbling video than this one, please share it. This narrated 4-minute clip shows what the Hubble Telescope revealed when pointed at a part of the sky that seemed utterly empty. But instead of blackness, astronomers found thousands of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars - and a new simulation shows what those newly discovered galaxies look like.
Motley Fool's pool of 135,000 investors has named Accenture its top growth stock just two days after the company reorganized around three new growth categories: management consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing. While the poll's conducted each week, the timing relative to the new org plan is a big endorsement for Accenture.
The state of Texas says an $863 million data-center consolidation project with IBM has fallen short of promised savings by $14 million and that only 75 servers had been moved into the new facilities by July 31 instead of the 619 specified in the contract.
Microsoft's new Bing search engine outperformed predecessor Microsoft Live Search by 23% in a study comparing ROI for marketing campaigns, according to an online agency. Question for CIOs looking to drive greater business value: are you and your teams out in front of this Bing thing?
World-renowned thief and fraudster Bernie Madoff used an IBM AS/400 to run his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, according to a new book. And while gutter-scum like Madoff are not exactly the sort of marquee clients IBM prefers to have publicized, it gets even worse for IBM: the book's author calls the venerable AS/400 "an old clunker." The nerve!
CIO Louie Ehrlich's new IT transformation strategy at the $265 billion global powerhouse is making the line between Chevron's IT operations and energy business even more blurry.
Apple's rapidly evolving model as a services business and its escalating battle with Google are analyzed brilliantly by former Apple exec and current venture capitalist Jean-Louis Gassee', who says Apple views Google like this: "A new Microsoft attacking both iPhones and Macs. And, unlike Microsoft, with free software."
The White House is secretly planning to follow "Cash For Clunkers" with a new scam called "Moolah For Mainframes" that will reward CIOs for replacing mainframes with smartphones and turning data centers into wetlands. The top-secret plans also say the Administration will launch a government-run IT company in 2010 "to keep those greedy private IT companies honest."
Moving rapidly to position itself as a global leader in the white-hot market for business analytics and optimization, IBM's new public-sector practice will pursue projects in electronic medical records, intelligent utility grids, transportation systems, public safety, regulatory systems, customs and border management, cybersecurity, education, and other fields.
Casting off the tired and misguided stereotype of a country full of inexpensive programmers, India and its resilient and broad-based economy are attracting scores of small and mid-sized IT firms eager to join global tech firms in penetrating one of the world's few growth markets.
SAP CEO Leo Apotheker has no plans to buy a hardware company and is sticking with software, which he says makes SAP "more neutral" than Oracle and IBM. While that might be true, such status won't really amount to a hill of beans in CIOs' purchase decisions, which are focused on lowering internal IT costs and boosting revenue.
The down-the-rabbit-hole image of disgraced and banned-for-life stock-promoter Henry Blodget trying to school hugely successful Cisco CEO John Chambers is shocking. Then again, when someone of Blodget's ilk and credentials asks if Chambers has "lost his mind," smart money will no doubt flood in Chambers' direction. Read on to see Mad Hatter Henry's mumblings.
While Oracle sits in legal limbo, IBM and HP are blitzing Sun's customers in a prime example of the superb buyers' market that exists for CIOs today.
Hewlett-Packard and IBM are aggressively picking off huge numbers of Sun customers as Oracle remains tied up in discussions with antitrust regulators over its pending acquisition of Sun. HP has been brazenly exploiting Oracle's status in legal limbo with messages saying, "HP To Sun Customers: We've Got Your Back."
An $8 million embezzlement scheme involving bid rigging, forgery, and money laundering has led to the indictment of an IT manager, the resignation of his uncharged CIO, and the firing of two other IT workers. The IT manager and three other suspects are accused of falsifying bids and creating shell companies within the IT department of a county government in Virginia.
HP CIO Randy Mott has leveraged his extensive network of former Wal-Mart colleagues in hiring highly regarded former Wal-Mart CIO Linda Dillman as SVP of global IT. Dillman adds another very big brain to the world-class IT team at HP, which under Mott has completed an extraordinary three-year transformation.
CIOs are rebelling against career stereotypes, technology paradigms, and in-bred risk-aversion to become aggressive drivers of innovation, growth, and market engagement.
In the context of the Obama administration's intent to punish companies for sending "our jobs" overseas, we recently noted that 70% of IBM's workforce and 40% of Microsoft's are based outside the U.S. Now, Oracle's latest financial results show that 61.3% of its employees are based outside of "the Americas," which means the percentage outside the U.S. is even higher.
It started off with so much promise: a depressed manufacturing region connects with a global IT powerhouse that commits to reinvigorating the stagnant community with a $75 million high-tech operation that will employ 2,000 people. The fly in the ointment, however, is that the promises were made - and, of course, broken -- by disgraced Satyam founder and chief fraudster B. Ramalinga Raju.
A mild-mannered public-sector CIO in the U.K. has found himself at the center of a national controversy over excessive pay for civil servants because he makes almost twice as much as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and flies back and forth weekly between his office in London and his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, with the taxpayers footing his travel costs and London accommodations. Welcome to QuangoGate!
Cisco's creation of a supply-chain institute in China, in partnership with two universities, underscores its desire to become a major, broad-based player in the massive export-driven Chinese economy. Cisco hopes to leverage its presence with this new effort beyond supply-chain education and into entrepreneurship, funding, and business leadership.
We all know the iPhone's been a huge success, right? Well, a Kleiner Perkins presentation about its $100,000,000 iFund offers some jaw-dropping statistics that will force you to re-evaluate - upward - all of your perspectives about the iPhone's impact on mobile technology, mobile business, and the interplay between people and the tools they use to experience the world around them.
Bank of America, which recently told key investors it was planning to close about 600 branches nationwide, is ideally positioned to kick off such a move among retail banks because it has more than 25 million online customers and about 2 million mobile-banking users, says an industry expert.
American Express is reportedly looking to sell the travel-related services portion of its India-based BPO unit in a move that could ultimately see AmEx sell off its entire India-based BPO operation. Such moves would be consistent with a trend that began about 18 months ago with similar sales by Aviva, GE, and British Airways.
Twitter is driving significant business value in large organizations, and CIOs can learn how from examples involving PepsiCo, Hyatt, Mayo Clinic, superstar coach John Calipari, and more.