First Coffee for June 30, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for June 30, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a new recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda which you can download for free, along with Symphonies 7, 8 and tomorrow 9, here:

In the wake of Oracle’s triumphant fourth quarter earnings report announcement yesterday, speculation is on what Larry Ellison will do for an encore.

The acquisition of PeopleSoft went smoother than many had expected, at least as far as affecting the bottom line goes, so the office pools now are on who Oracle will buy up next – or whether they’ll stand pat and take care of Fusion first.

Robert Wallberg’s Street Patrol column reminds readers that he’s been suggesting Oracle’s application servers and middleware foe BEA Systems, or business intelligence software vendor Hyperion Solutions as targets, and throws Siebel and Business Objects in the mix. “Given the relative ease in integrating PeopleSoft, don’t be surprised if Oracle goes after one of these companies sooner rather than later,” he says.

Pop over to BusinessWeek this morning for some heavy hinting that it’d be a good idea for Oracle to pick up Siebel pretty soon. Naturally Ellison has to scotch the idea in the press – “we  have no plans to buy anything that doesn’t contribute to our five-year plan to grow profitability by at least 20% per year,” he announced loudly.

“Yet, in practically the next breath,” BusinessWeek writes, “he laid out his strategy for buying software companies with narrow profit margins but rich maintenance-revenue streams, adding them to Oracle’s portfolio, and stripping out costs.” That sure sounds like Siebel to First CoffeeSM. BusinessWeek thinks this means he’ll go after either Siebel or Hyperion next.

“Siebel would be a good addition because it brings $1 billion in maintenance revenues. But there’s no reason to rush,” analyst Brendan Barnicle of Pacific Crest Securities tells BusinessWeek. But he thinks Oracle should finish its three-year “Fusion” of combining Oracle and PeopleSoft application code before any more high-profile takeovers.

“There is a concern that Oracle will do something stupid but I don’t believe they will,” John DiFucci, an analyst with Bear Stearns tells Paul LaMonica of CNN/Money. “They will be fiscally disciplined with their acquisition strategy.”

DiFucci thinks Siebel and BEA are safe as long as their stock’s overvalued. “Oracle won’t pay too much. It’s only going to buy as long as the price is right,” he says.

Yet “don’t be surprised if Oracle makes a move on Siebel, however. The outfit certainly fits Ellison’s target profile,” BusinessWeek writes. First CoffeeSM reminds readers that former Siebel exec Eileen McPartland is now heading Oracle’s North America consulting as well.

Of course just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Sheryl Kingstone, CRM program manager Yankee Group tells Colin Beasty “Do they need [to acquire] Siebel? Not necessarily. Do they need other applications to round things out? Yeah.”

Remember, Siebel approached Ellison at his home about a year and half ago about selling the company to Oracle. Ellison said he was too involved with purchasing PeopleSoft at the time to seriously consider the possibility. He might listen now.

Poor Nortel – even news of a nice deal in China isn’t enough. Company shareholders vented angrily Wednesday at a lengthy annual meeting, according to the Associated Press, the first time Nortel’s dared hold one in over two years.

They announced Harry J. Pearce as chairman of the board and Pearce must have wondered what the heck he was getting into.

This came the same day as news that China Mobile, the country’s largest wireless carrier, selected Nortel to upgrade its optical backbone network in Zhejiang province to address accelerating subscriber growth and prepare for migration to third generation services.

Yet “speaker after speaker came to the microphone during the six-hour meeting, complaining about a wide range of troubles, including accounting deceptions, thousands of lost jobs and a withered stock price,” the AP reported, noting that the meeting dragged on for about six hours.

One woman succinctly stated the feelings of thousands of Nortel shareholders: “We feel so totally abused in this whole schmozzle.”

In January, the AP reports, Nortel restated its financial results for 2001, 2002 and 2003, slashing its reported profits by hundreds of millions and revising billions of dollars in revenue and other accounting figures.

Remember when Nortel shares were above $60 back in the Internet bubble? You can buy one for $2.69 today.

Eircom, Ireland’s incumbent telecoms operator, is announcing that it has used Netcentrex Business Consulting Services to assist in the definition of eircom’s VoIP service strategy, which led to a 10 million euro ($12 million) development program for service deployment in Ireland over 5 years.

“Eircom is deploying a portfolio of VoIP products,” confirmed Sean Loughman, Head of Innovation at eircom, developing “customized VoIP products for the Irish market.”

Not just for the fun of it. ComReg’s Quarterly Report finds that fixed-line revenues, eircom’s potatoes and Guinness, dropped from 60 percent in 2003 to 49 percent of the total electronic communications market at the end of March. Carrier pre-select service is also hammering eircom, who can’t bank on DSL broadband since Ireland’s broadband penetration rate is one of the lowest in Europe at 34 per 1,000 inhabitants, up from an anemic 8 per 1,000 in 2003.

Piling on the bad news for eircom, a recent Analysys study finds that mobile and VoIP services will account for more than 60 percent of residential voice spend in Western Europe, and predicts that around 25 percent of households will have abandoned traditional telephony by 2010. Eircom’s POTS will account for just 39 percent of residential voice services by 2010, Analysys thinks.

First CoffeeSM applauds eircom’s initiative and wishes them the luck of, well, the Irish.

Rocklin, California-based Girlfriend Media Group is announcing today the launch of total 180!, which they’re billing as, and First CoffeeSM has no reason to doubt is, “the first magazine for a growing, yet overlooked, demographic: the professional woman turned stay-at-home mom.”

It’s set to premiere in November 2005 for the “more than 6 million women,” according to 2003 census figures, “who have left their full-time careers to raise their children,” It’s for these CHOs – Chief Household Officers. “We're right there with you; we hear what you are screaming; and we know exactly what you need. In a reality-based style and voice, we make you laugh, cry and – most of all – feel fabulously validated for who you are, as you are, here and now,” it promises.

Debbie Klett, president of Girlfriend Media Group, stay-at-home mom and publisher of total 180! has 14 years of publishing experience and promises“reality-based articles” such as, “Mach 3 With My Hair On Fire,” “Martha Doesn’t Live Here” and “The Sex Scorecard.” (Hint guys – “Asks about my day” is +10 points. “Doesn’t listen to the answer” is -25.) Total 180!’s companion Web site,, debuts today.

“Our goal with this magazine is to create the same female-bonding phenomenon that Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives brought to TV,” Klett says.

Total 180!’s founders Klett, Kristie Zamboanga, Andrea Bandle, and Sheri Heuer conceived the idea over coffee in November 2004. All former career women turned stay-at-home moms, they met while working part-time for a local magazine.

If read off-site hit for the fully-linked version. First CoffeeSM accepts no sponsored content – and never drinks decaf, either.

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