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HP announced today that they will be cutting around 27,000 jobs over the next two years. This seems to be another sign of big tech companies struggling to adapt to the changes rippling through the tech industry.
From Computer World:
In a statement, HP said it expects the restructuring program will save $3 billion to $3.5 billion through fiscal year 2014. A majority of those savings will be reinvested in the company, HP said.
The job cuts are “difficult” but they also are “necessary to improve execution and to fund long-term health” of HP, CEO Meg Whitman said in a statement.
As the PC market transitions to mobile devices and services move to the cloud, companies like HP and Dell (see recent Dell earnings) haven’t shifted focus quickly enough and have introduced few enticing new products.
Maybe HP’s changes will help the company. I hope for their employees’ sake it does. As much as HP might need to be leaner, it will be interesting to see if the company culture changes and they begin innovating again. After watching them kill off Voodoo PC and bungle their tablet effort (both of which had huge potential), I’m not holding my breath.
IT wisdom from Polly S. Traylor at Infoworld:
Decades of trial, error, and egghead analysis have yielded a consensus conclusion: Buy when you need to automate commodity business processes; build when you’re dealing with the core processes that differentiate your company.
I’ve run across maybe 3-5 situations in my entire career where it made sense for the client to build a custom application and it still surprises me how often the question comes up. The answer is almost always “Buy!”.
“Build” seems to be analogous with “spent 2-3x as much as off-the-shelf”, “support issues”, and “project failure”.
I stole the title of this post from Horace Dediu, because there is simply no better way to summarize the recent news from RIM.
RIM, the maker of Blackberry, announced last week that they would be “refocusing” on the enterprise market. RIM started a spectacular nose-dive a little after the iPhone hit the market, which many attribute to Apple’s success, but, in my mind, had more to do with RIM’s failure. Their new plans will likely continue that downward spiral.
The idea of focus has huge benefits. Focus and the art of saying no are keys to greatness. However, you only succeed if you focus on the right thing. “Enterprise” is not the right thing. It’s not a valid target. Enterprise support is a feature, not a product. I don’t mean that as opinion, but as a point of fact. Focus on a set of customers whose only characteristic is a job description is missing the whole point of focus.
RIM spent the past five years focused on what everyone else was doing and giving no attention to what they were doing internally, with each new product being touted as the iPhone or iPad killer. While they were certainly lacking focus, and I agree that the decision to “refocus” on enterprise is a poor one, I tend to agree more with John Gruber, who wrote:
RIM’s problem hasn’t been focus. It’s execution. They need to ship a truly great phone. That’s it.
Focus without the ability to execute is meaningless. I can be 100% focused on the orange sitting on my desk, but until I take action to pick it up and eat it, it’s just an orange sitting on my desk and I’m still hungry.
The iPhone’s user experience made it appeal to people across user segments, not a consumer focus. That’s how Apple has been successful in the enterprise – they made a great product. RIM won’t find success by returning their focus to the enterprise, nor do they need to focus on the consumer. They need to focus on the product and then execute well.
If RIM could have executed well on even one of their projects, maybe the Playbook, they’d still be in the game. That it took them a year to implement native e-mail (a Blackberry core feature!) on the Playbook is a glaring example of a company that doesn’t know how to get things done. That RIM thinks their problem is segment focus is evidence that they aren’t going to be building great products anytime soon.
At this point, with the changes they’ve announced, I couldn’t recommend Blackberry servers and phones to an enterprise client as I don’t have confidence in RIM being around for the next refresh cycle. The best RIM shareholders can look forward to is a buyout by a patent-hoarder.
From Ars Technica:
On Monday evening, McAfee became the fifth major IT vendor to pledge it won’t bid on a Request for Proposals from the Pakistani government for adding enhanced censorship capabilities to Pakistan’s Internet backbone. Four other major IT companies have also pledged not to submit bids, and more than 16,000 people have signed a petition urging other companies to follow suit.
Sandvine, Cisco, Verizon, and Websense round out the rest of the list of companies refusing to bid on this project. Cisco, in particular, doesn’t have a great track record in this realm, having provided equipment and expertise to the creation of the Great Firewall of China. It looks like they may have learned their PR lesson.
The List of Don’ts
- Don’t require that I waste my time on a sales call – or, worse, in a “webinar” – before I can give you my money. Instead, provide all the information I need about your product on your website.
- Don’t make it hard for me to try your software. If I can’t play with a trial version or sandbox immediately, I’m moving on.
- Don’t hide your pricing behind a sales process, and don’t play pricing games. I can find and talk to your other customers basically instantly in order to determine what they paid for your product and if they’re getting the value they expected from it. I will do this. So just put the price of what you’re selling on your site and skip the games. …
I’m with Alex on this one and wrote a similar post a few months ago. The style of software/hardware sales he’s complaining about has to go. It’s just too easy to buy technology products now, especially software.
People expect the same ease of purchase they have in the App Store and are put off by the hokey “let’s be partners,” 30-step sales process bit. I think Alex sums this up perfectly with:
Your sales process may be a bigger barrier to you getting my money than your competitors.
Make it easy to buy your stuff and you’ll sell more stuff. It’s that simple.
Source: al3x.net via bigweek.co
Photo: Mark Coleman
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