Notes From The Field: Accounting ABCs

Notes From The Field: Accounting ABCs

Sunny days, sweepin' the clouds away." No it's not an Amber quote this week. Rather, a quick flashback to Sesame Street. Yes, this week's column is brought to you by the letters N and G.

Representing N, one of my spies forwarded some interesting trivia recently. It seems our friends Elmo, Big Bird, and Oscar are Novell customers. Rumour has it that Sesame Street online is currently using Novell's e-directory and corporate portal offering.

And talking education of sorts, that leads me to our favourite column topic: Bill Gates.

Word is that the G-man is about to embark on his next big desert adventure, flush with the recent success of his golf club venture called The Reserve in Indian Wells, California, just outside of Palm Springs.

Bill is a major investor in Tech City, a facility that will focus on high-tech research. As part of the effort, Gates donated $US50 million to help create a new school in the University of California system, which should ultimately help marginalise the Stanford venture capital alliance that has combined to thwart Microsoft during the years.

Just to show how much clout Bill now has in the Palm Springs area, my spies say he recently persuaded the local ordinance board to rezone The Reserve golf club from being part of Desert Springs to the more fashionable Indian Wells ZIP code.

CA calamity

Are there new troubles for Computer Associates on the horizon? My spy, a former CA sales guy, predicts that come April 25, the release date for CA's 2002 financial results will expose holes in its enterprise licence agreements.

The rumours are that CA may have been bundling software in its eight-year maintenance deals, passing off cheap copies of products such as Unicenter and Jasmine.

The questions centre on whether CA would book the total value of these deals as immediate, rather than gradually accrued revenue. If the house of cards is indeed to topple on April 25, an early sign will be if CA fires yet another accounting firm.

Another spy informs me that on a recent trip to CA's New York headquarters for its corporate pitch, he managed to gain free, unrestricted access to sensitive files such as potential acquisitions on CA's network, courtesy of the LAN hub in the boardroom. Makes you question how seriously CA takes its eTrust security solution.

Channel angst

Meanwhile, I hear EMC is causing trouble in its reseller ranks, having just offloaded 200 value-added resellers on master distributors Avnet and Arrow after previously enjoying a direct business relationship with the storage titan.

"I didn't know you liked Sesame Street," Amber teased. Actually, I don't really. Those two grumpy old men from The Muppet Show were more my style.

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