HP gets hip
by special Tabloid correspondent
So Hewlett-Packard, the grand-daddy of Silicon Valley, is to make a play for the e-commerce market.
And its announcement of a slew of new Internet services has some of the older industry pundits shaking their heads. But HP has been feeling plenty spry lately.
For example, it had a 34 per cent jump in second-quarter profits to beat analysts' expectations and its stock has hit an all-time high recently. And now one of the old buggers of the IT industry is talking "e-words".
According to chairman and chief executive Lewis Platt, the next frontier was bound to be the Internet. The next thing you know they'll be wearing jeans.
Surprisingly, press reports of HP's foray into the e-world have been sceptical. It's not that they don't want to see the old timer succeed. It's just that this new HP, spouting terms like "apps on tap" and "e-speak", is a little disconcerting - sort of like an old geezer sporting hip huggers and a nose ring.
San Francisco Chronicle writer Henry Norr called HP's announcement "new vision, new technologies and new buzzwords".
Numbers to kill (and die) for
by Sooty Mason
Now this is the type of target most managing directors would kill for. At the launch of RealNetworks' new office last week, new country manager Chris Jacobson said his goal for the year was for a 400 per cent increase on the current installed base of RealNetworks servers. "I know that sounds like a tough ask," Jacobson said, before boldly declaring he was confident the company could achieve it.
Well, it's not too hard to work out why. When asked how big the installed base of RealNetworks servers was in Australia, Jacobson admitted he didn't really know. Okay, so exactly how many servers does RealNetworks expect to sell, then? Well, it's impossible to put a number on that, Jacobson said, because we don't really know what the installed base is.
No wonder so many IT execs are scrambling to head up Internet companies. How hard can it be to do 400 per cent of "I don't know"?
Mind you, most MDs are so skilled at fudging their numbers they don't need to work for an Internet company. We noticed that Cabletron, for example, was recently boasting of a 100 per cent increase in revenue this year. Great effort, except when you consider that it acquired the Digital networking business. And as Digital was doing bigger business than Cabletron in Australia before the acquisition, doesn't that mean that they actually went backwards?
Thanks for the tip . . .
ARN Tabloid reporters are everywhere, and Kate Thomas, national advertising manager for sister publication ARN Integrator, called in on one last week. Kate presented our Tabloid spy with a gift as thanks for her valuable contribution.
So keep the tips, rumours and gossip coming in and see the story held up to Tabloid's probing lights.
Naturally we never reveal our sources, but anyone providing a hot lead on a story or a picture that makes Tabloid could score themselves a Tabloid Source Compendium.
If you have information that deserves the Tabloid treatment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgOz lust costs OS hired PR gunsWhile there is a brain drain of geeks, consultants and sales people heading overseas for greener pastures and bigger pay packets, the reverse is actually the case in public relations circles.
Ask any PR chick and they'll tell you there's a "shortage of good people here".
One general manager of a global company's local operations let it slip to a Tabloid correspondent recently that foreigners will take a big pay cut for the opportunity to work down under.
So attractive is Australia as a destination for working spin-doctors from both the US and UK, that he says they can cut $40,000 off the packages they earn overseas.
In tough and competitive times, he admitted it to be a phenomenon he is exploiting as it allows him to get higher quality staff than is available locally for the same price.
A Pom himself, the shiny bum in question said that he himself surrendered a company car, share option package, and nearly 30 per cent of his salary to take the Aussie job. He has no regrets and unfortunately, is here to stay.
G1.3K ready and plugged . . .
As this issue of ARN goes to print, the AFL talk in Sydney is centred on a certain goal kicking channel of sorts, Tony Lockett. As the champion footballer approaches the hallowed Gordon Coventry record of 1299 career goals, the impact is being felt all over the memorabilia world. It's almost as anticipated as the "Year 2000 Bug". Some wag, no doubt of an IT persuasion, has placed a sign up at the SCG that reads "Swans are G 1.3K ready".