Archive for June, 2005


BusinessWeek Drinks the Kool-Aid – 30. June, 2005

Larry Ellison’s Roving Eye

Proof positive that the business world operates on spin and perception, not reality…

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Corporate Half-Truths vol 7,381,442 – 29. June, 2005

Spin is such a wonderful thing…

Oracle Top Dogs Bullish On Apps, Database Battles

I call your attention to the following statement:

“The PeopleSoft integration is complete–the
development and sales organizations are
integrated and delivering upgrades to
PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers.
The retention rate is in the high
90th percentile,” (Oracle Co-President
Safra) Catz said.

OK, now what “retention” is she talking about here? Customers? Employees? And what time frame is she using? Since the takeover was completed? Since the takeover attempt was announced? I’m not a journalist, but I would think that a real journalist would want to ask these questions about a statement like that (I know, they don’t do that anymore, but that’s a different subject entirely).

The reason I ask is that my empirical evidence suggests quite the contrary on the employee retention front…

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Another One Lands a Job – 27. June, 2005

(with apologies to the Queen boys, of course…)

Damn…I missed this one last week…

Ex-PeopleSoft Co-President Takes New Job

One benefit of a buyout of the scale of Oracle/PeopleSoft is that executive talent gets spread out all over the place, which I think makes the overall industry stronger. Let’s hope Mr. Parker does well at his new gig.

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CRM for Military Service – 23. June, 2005

Here we go…

Pentagon to Gather Data on Students

One of the tradeoffs in working in the CRM world is realizing that you are developing systems to gather information that could be used for purposes other than straight market research. Here is one example…

Do you feel a draft?

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A Slight Diversion – 21. June, 2005

This has nothing to do with corporate life or business intelligence, but it has struck a chord with me…

I’m pretty. I’m 23. I’m in a wheelchair. Now what? (subscription likely required)

One of the things that has struck me as I travel through this life is that most people never graduate from high school (mentally). In fact, the higher you go in corporate or government organizations, the more regressed the personalities become (as evidenced by the fourth-graders running America right now, but I digress).

Mr. Tennis posted an eloquent response to your letter, and I wouldn’t pretend to improve upon it. If you read this, young lady, be assured that some of us in the “normal” world understand that we are a heartbeat away from your situation, and also realize that all you’re asking is to be treated as “just another person”. I would be honored if I were lucky enough to meet you. I would definitely learn a lot from you.

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Exhibit 402-A – 15. June, 2005

People wonder why there is little loyalty to employers these days…when prospective employees are treated this way, is it any wonder?

Does an Employer’s Silence Speak Volumes?

If we all would just treat each other as human beings, we might be on the road to a better working environment…

I know, silly dreamer…

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Dave Duffield is a Large Man – 15. June, 2005

I have never personally met Mr. Duffield, so I can’t comment on his physical stature. However, he is indirectly responsible for my association with Peoplesoft, which is a long story that I won’t go into here. This story is an example of why. It’s been in “lesser” media outlets for a while now, but it’s now hit The New York Times:

A Parting Gift at PeopleSoft

There’s no other reason for him to do this, other than he gives a damn. One of the most disappointing things about the modern corporate environment is that there aren’t more leaders out there like him.

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This is So Amusing – 15. June, 2005

Oracle Updates J.D. Edwards Compliance Tools

Normally, this sort of news is boilerplate, only interesting to the affected customers. But I’m so amused by this passage, near the top of the article:

The database and enterprise-software maker said the update for its J.D. Edwards World package, labeled as A7.3 Service Pack 16, stands as proof that it will continue to support many of the technologies gained through its various acquisitions.

It seems that this sort of disclaimer accompanies every new release of Peoplesoft/J.D. Edwards software since the merger. Why do they need to keep saying this? Do they think people didn’t believe them when they said it repeatedly during the 18-month takeover saga?

I think we all know the answer to this…methinks the queen doth protest too much…

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Corporate Wiki – 14. June, 2005

Tired of endless EMail threads that get lost in your in-box? Want a cheap, easy way to keep your entire project team up-to-date? Why not try a Corporate Wiki:

Something Wiki This Way Comes

(Yeah, I know – the article is a year old – so sue me, it’s still a great idea)

I’m always looking for good ideas to retain the “urban knowledge” that individuals develop (and companies lose) in a corporate setting. With a small adjustment in work habits (using the wiki instead of EMail), you can have an easily-maintainable store of knowledge about projects, department operations, etc.

For those who haven’t seen it, check out the baddest mutha of all Wikis, Wikipedia.

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United axes troubled baggage system at Denver airport – 13. June, 2005

For all those who have cursed the baggage system at the Denver airport, here is welcome news:

Computerworld coverage

There are some interesting nuggets of information in this story for those of us who work on large projects – like…

Bruce Webster, principal of Webster & Associates LLC, a Washington-based consulting company that works with companies on troubled IT projects, said the decision by United came years too late. “There are a few lessons that large companies just don’t seem to learn,” he said. “The first lesson is that the best way to build a large, complex system is to evolve it from a small system that works. No one bothered to get a small system up and running in the first place — they went for the big bang.”

But “once the system gets to a certain point,” he said, “there is an attitude that the project is too big to fail, that ‘we have to make it work now.’ There is an unwillingness in upper management to believe that things are as bad as they are.”

Now that cuts waaay too close to home…

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