31 posts • joined Saturday 18th April 2009 10:21 GMT
Because that plan uses Dell's current cash pile to "buy out" current investors. Since it is Dell's cash, it is technically shareholders' money already.
Sheesh, those hedge-fund guys. Smartest guys in the room: "We talk up a stock we just invested in so that we can get out when it goes up"
Next they'll be claiming that Xbox Live is the biggest public cloud ever. What's that? Wall Street Journal Ad? Oh...
Charity basket case
Maybe that will be the end of the insufferable billboards around the Bay Area bragging about how smug Firefox is to be "independent" and saving the world from... I dunno... better software from organizations that actually make money? The only reason Mozilla can pay its engineers is because Google pays an assload to have their search engine be the home page.
As el reg would say, "Freetards"
Have Lynch's lawyers been busy? The vid is gone from YouTube...
Re: el reg said it best
That's just awesome -- you don't believe the people who were there at the time, preferring your own narrative. That's the stuff of legend. Literally.
CloudStack maths not looking good
The "more production clouds" claim seems to be fuzzy maths. If CloudStack has about 100 customers, how can it possibly have more production clouds than VMware, which has nearly 200 production public clouds on vCloud Director alone (if the list at vcloud.vmware.com is accurate). That isn't counting any production private clouds VMware has sold. Or maybe every CloudStack customer has 10 production clouds?
In the cloud division, if revenue is $156m up 51%, that meant roughly $55m in growth on just over $100m base. $20m growth came from new acquisition Bytemobile (by definition new revenue). The other $35m? Well, that could have come from the 38% growth in Netscaler. That would mean Netscaler revenue had been the entirety of the $100m cloud division revenue, which means CloudStack contributed pretty much $0.
They can both be right
Lynch's logic seems to be that if HP messed up, he couldn't possibly have been cooking the books. It is entirely possible that Lynch and co were misrepresenting / over-inflating revenues *and* HP overpaid for Autonomy and then found they couldn't scale what was actually a pro services business and not a software company.
There are plenty of red flags to suggest all was not squeaky-clean with Autonomy's accounting practices:
1) As reported here at El Reg, Autonomy sold a $6m deal while simultaneously agreeing to buy from the same customer $8m of software, and then booked that $8m as a marketing charge. You just boosted revenue by $6m for the quarter, and the customer didn't pay a dime. To anyone reading the accounts, it just looks like you over-spent on marketing rather than bought yourself a deal.
2) Recognizing deals as revenue that have not been delivered in the same quarter (probably because of large amounts of pro services required) is against all accounting rules. Lynch maintains that's a difference between US and International accounting. It isn't -- it's misrepresenting revenue under both sets of rules. Deals not delivered go into the deferred revenue bucket and are not counted as revenue yet because they can go bad during implementation.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Re: Unimaginable corruption
They absolutely can be blamed if they deliberately mis-stated their financial position. Even if the auditors missed it.
Re: Unimaginable corruption
"in order for HP's claim of fraud to hold weight, the corruption would have encompassed thousands of vendors, customers and partners, or the auditors themselves"
No, it doesn't. All it takes is for one or two people to record a regular sale while also having a side agreement with the customer that you will let them do a return or refund, or will buy an equivalent amount of the customer's product, etc. Repeat this enough times to make the number for the quarter, and you're there.
This has happened enough times (3COM, Sunbeam, etc. etc.), especially when you have a domineering, aggressive CEO with a big ego who is willing to do anything to be seen as "the next Bill Gates" and maintain his or her ego.
Sure, HP grossly over-valued Autonomy too, but that doesn't mean their charges of fraud are automatically wrong. Both things can be true at once.
Methinks thou doth protest too much, Werner
Every Werner pitch I've seen in the past year has been about how Amazon can run real Enterprise workloads, really, please believe us, goddamn we can't maintain our growth rate with start-ups, don't you see?
Then they show a bunch of big company logos while failing to mention that they're running a small dev/test effort, some monte carlo simulations (with no customer data), maybe a web front end or two... because the crushing truth is that without a re-write, your app is not going to do well at AWS. Just ask SAP, who gave up on trying to get their core app to ever run well with good performance (thanks EBS!)
What a lot of self-serving tosh from Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman at the end of this piece. Labeling Apple's product as unethical unless Apple "proves" to some self-appointed guardian of "illegal overtime" that it isn't? Sound like someone irrelevant desperately seeking attention they don't deserve.
Have they not heard of Dropbox? :-)
It's just a negotiation
Having worked as an expert on a trade secret case in the US, a couple of thoughts:
1) Arbitration in cases like this is mandatory in some US states, with trial a last resort (seems like this case is under state vs. Federal law).
2) Chris Mellor seems to be over-playing the shock and awe somewhat. This will not have been a surprise to anyone working the case, and it isn't over until both sides agree to a settlement or the trial (and any appeals) conclude. This is merely the latest stage of the negotiation that is a lawsuit
Autonomy - a SAP play all over again?
I wouldn't listen to the Beeb on Autonomy -- Mike Lynch is a BBC Director. Shortly after that, the Beeb cut Autonomy a nice big check for their search technology. He also started appearing regularly on BBC Radio 4 business programs, where he rambled on somewhat incoherently and got a bit abrupt with Evan Davies.
Autonomy basically owns Enterprise Search, after their most capable competitor, FAST, was consumed by Microsoft and basically disappeared (I suspect that team got re-directed to work on Bing). The core search technology is basically a Bayesian inference engine, and it can do some very clever things, so long as you have enough money to keep paying consults to make it work, and enough cash to buy it disk space -- some of the indexes it generates can be 2-3x the size of the original dataset.
Autonomy has mercilessly applied this technology to legal discovery, by ramming the search engine into the Zantaz email archiving product it acquired. Although this combo is not cheap, it is way cheaper than employing hundreds of lawyers to do document review, so this has proven quite lucrative.
What is amazing about this deal is the valuation. Autonomy's core business can only scale by adding people -- it's a pro services company in disguise. You basically have to double the number of people to double the revenue. To make back $11Bn, you'd need to grow the company 10x. The chances of being able to scale the company that way are almost zero.
On the other hand, high complexity, highly expensive software that requires millions to integrate? Sounds like SAP...
"Doesn't compete" my arse
Hmm. At a start-up, cycles spent maintaining open source projects better return big-time or else you're doomed to be yet another smart, passionate bunch of people with a great idea who can't execute.
So, this sounds like some sort of competitor to VMware vShield. Let's face it: AWS and all the Xen clouds have almost no virtual layer 2 and stateful firewall story, neither does OpenStack. Vmware, meanwhile, despite incurring the wrath of CCIEs everywhere by daring to reconfigure a virtual L2 network automatically without asking, has really moved the discussion on cloud networking forward. So, for Citrix et al, some sort of distributed switch / openflow hybrid thing with virtualization smarts would seem like a large hole. A version that runs on VMware would be necessary, for on premise deployment and at vCloud public providers.
Quick -- name a cloud based on Eucalyptus. Right. 4 pages on a total "meh" in the cloud stack fight?
IP costs? Marketing?
You also need to factor in intellectual property (IP) licensing costs, which can be significant per unit cost, and marketing costs. Typically console vendors make little if anything on the console -- games licensing is where it's at. MS has lost money for years on XBOX -- price to retailers is less than what it costs to make.
It's all about the jackets
Seriously, all y'all are missing the main competitive point here -- it's all about who wears a jacket. I mean, Werner had just been up there in his famous blue jacket, Randy Bias was wearing a nice pinstripe, and even Alastair, the event host, was wearing a jacket... it all adds up. Clearly, MS dude was the only one not wearing a jacket and that's what's important to be credible to cloud developers.
Google "safe harbor"
I suggest you Google "safe harbor" (or "safe harbour", if you like) to learn how that data can be stored outside the UK and the EU without breaching the DPA. Millions of companies do it every day.
Bunch o techno-luddites
Wow, I can smell the fear from across teh internets. What CEO needs opinionated techno-weenies who are always quite clear on what cannot be done, if someone else takes care of operating the businesses apps?
There is nothing inherently secure about keeping your data on your own premises. Just ask all the folks who have been hacked and/or had a massive data breach from their down data centers. I've had folks sit in front of me without a red face and say customer and employee data are too sensitive to put in the cloud. These are folks who use Salesforce for CRM and ADP for payroll processing. So, both are already in the cloud then? World has not ended yet? How 'bout that.
Not that I am a Google apps fan, as they can't tell you how your stuff is secured, which tends to make auditors very unhappy. And god forbid you got sued and needed to do electronic discovery of email using Google's "most relevant" search algorithm... when what you need is "exact match".
No-one from Cisco or BBN?
No-one from Cisco? Or at least BBN, who pieced together the first ARPANet routers? Not that I have anything against Shawn Fanning et al, but they were way late to the party.
Rehashed Rumours R Us
Sheesh -- this used to be the rumor about HP buying Symantec. Now it's McAfee. Anything to generate options volume in a slow market... expect a new rumor next week. Maybe it'll be HP to buy Apple. Or EMC. Or Tommy's (Sandwich) Joynt in San Francisco.
Paris... because she always knows what she's bagging.
And of course, IT is responsible for less than 6% of all CO2 emissions -- so really zeroing in on a key problem with this, er... report. Almost seems like a desperate PR attempt to draft the iPad launch. Shurely some mistake?
If you want to fix global warming, work on convincing the public to eat fewer burgers. Agriculture is the single largest greenhouse gas emitter, by a very long way. Just has far less PR value.
Always amazed at what profs think makes for a viable start-up company.
Shocked and surprised
My my -- Google has been taught that marketing -- the thing that engineers think they know how to do, but in reality have no clue about -- might actually be important when it comes to a consumer device!
Welcome to the real world. Next up: having one business (say, advertising) constantly bankroll hugely cash-burning badly thought-out other parts of your business can't work forever.
Ignorance is bliss
A classic case of using numbers without understanding what they mean.
HP "employment" didn't rise (it didn't hire lots of new people) -- it bought EDS, which means it just has more people now. No new employment created, and actually quite a lot of folks lost their jobs as a result.
Symantec didn't "lose" $6Bn -- it is in fact a cash machine, generating more than $1.2Bn in cash every quarter. The loss is entirely on paper, an effect of how the beancounters deal with goodwill (the difference between book value of an acquisition and what you actually pay for it).
Nevertheless, it does indicate that Symantec has overpaid for its acquisitions. Clearly, it did not wring out the anticipated value inherent in the price paid. Otherwise there would be no goodwill to write off. But, surely not as good a bullet point for a story in the Merc.
Paris, because she understands the importance of real money.
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