The Week in Review: February 27, 2004

In the news... The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that it is filing a civil antitrust lawsuit under the Clayton Act to block Oracle's bid to acquire rival
PeopleSoft. This does not mean Oracle's quest is completely over. "Despite the DOJ decision we expect Oracle's takeover battle for PeopleSoft to drag on, as we believe that Oracle will choose to challenge the DOJ lawsuit," says Patrick Walravens, managing director at JMP Securities. "In the meantime we believe PeopleSoft's business is likely to suffer, as customers fret about the future of PeopleSoft and as PeopleSoft's management focuses on its anti-takeover defenses." The Oracle/PeopleSoft deal lingers on, but the CDC Software takeover of Pivotal was completed on Wednesday. While Pivotal will operate as a unit of CDC, Pivotal CEO Bo Manning says it is still business as usual at Pivotal. "Pivotal the company remains fully intact, it's just that now we have a new owner," he says, adding that the CDC buyout will result in increased resources towards R&D, tech support, and marketing budgets. The product road map for Pivotal has also been sped up, with two major upgrades being released in 2004, and one slated for early 2005, according to Manning. Salesforce.com this week reached another milestone, as it has turned on SFA solutions for more than 2,000 users at SunTrust Bank. Salesforce.com claims this is the largest on-demand CRM implementation in history. Just 9 percent of U.K. firms believe they are fully able to monitor their business processes and be alerted to issues as they occur in real time, according to a new study conducted by Strategix. Yet most organizations are aware of the importance of real-time information, with only 4 percent claiming not to see any benefit, and nearly half (46 percent) of the IT directors surveyed describing real-time processes as being "very important" or "important" to business success. Despite this, it seems that the vision of the real-time enterprise is currently being only partially realized, Strategix claims. Deals of the week... In addition to its huge Sun Trust deal, Salesforce.com signed up its 9,000th customer, Avery Dennison, a manufacturer of labels and other self-adhesive products. Nortel Networks announced Aliant, Canada's third largest telecommunications company, has selected Nortel Networks customer contact solutions to optimize its current contact center infrastructure. Rockwell FirstPoint Contact, a provider of contact center solutions, announced that Averitt Express, a freight transportation and supply-chain management provider, has selected its FirstPoint Enterprise product to enhance and consolidate Averitt Express' customer service structure. Executive changes... Salesforce.com has appointed Patricia C. Sueltz to the position of executive vice president, and president of technology, marketing, and systems. Sueltz was most recently executive vice president of Sun Services at Sun Microsystems. Merkle, an information-based database marketing agency, announced that it has added Roger Hiyama to the position of vice president of client management services for the fundraising services group. Most recently, Hiyama was an executive vice president for Saturn Corporation. Willie Doyle has been named vice president of applications development at Walker Information. Doyle began his career with Walker as an intern in 1997, and has subsequently worked his way up through the company.
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