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Eric Benhamou & the Turnaround of 3Com (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Aug 25th 2007

After the merger with 3Com, the company faced some significant internal challenges. There were two opposing business strategies, and clearly only one could be followed. This set the stage for Eric, not yet 35 years old, to become the CEO.

SM: Was the 3Com merger when Metcalfe was running it? EB: Bill Krause, Metcalfe was CTO. We started some initial discussions. No one was forcing us to do anything but everyone felt that it made sense. It was highly complimentary, and there was only one thing that gave us some pause at Bridge. At the time, 3Com was behaving like a computer company, acting as if networking was an interesting thing you had to do, but that it was not their primary concern. They really seemed like they wanted to build computers and mainframes. In 1987, just before our talks became serious, 3Com was almost combined with a computer company whose name I have forgotten. In 1986, they were abandoned at the altar by their acquirer, so they had a bit of egg on their face. >>>

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iPhone’s Carrier Competitors: Sprint

Posted on Friday, Aug 24th 2007

In this post, I will analyze Sprint with respect to AT&T and iPhone. Related posts are available here and here.

Sprint Nextel Corp.(NYSE: S) is a global communications company with net operating revenue of $41.02 billion in 2006. Its business is organized into two segments: Wireless and Wireline. The company utilizes CDMA and Nextel’s digital enhanced network (iDEN) technologies. Sprint and Nextel merged in 2005. The merger cost Sprint $36 billion and apparently much more. Its iDEN subscriber base decreased dramatically over recent quarters and Sprint had to spend more on advertising, promotions, and subsidies. The aggressive spending only resulted in decreasing the post-paid churn rate to 2% from 2.3% in the earlier quarter but did not affect the decreasing demand for iDEN services. Looks to me like an acquisition that has caused bad indigestion! >>>

Web 3.0 & Online Health (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Aug 24th 2007

M&A and VC activity

Increased traffic and stickiness of online health sites have led to a number of deals in the current year.

In July 2007, NBC Universal and GE Commercial have jointly invested $25 million in Healthline, a fast growing health vertical.

In June 2007, Meredith, a leading media and marketing companies acquired Seattle-based Healia, a consumer health search engine.

In June 2007, ConnectivHealth acquired Nashville-based Relegent, which delivers online health care information to the hospital and education industries. >>>

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The Next Big Innovation in Microprocessors: Anant Agarwal (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Aug 24th 2007

Here we delve into a discussion of the differences between multiprocessor and multicore architectures. Multicore is when you put multiple processors on a single chip. But you still need to overcome bus bottlenecks.

SM: So multicore does not use the traditional packaging? AA: Not really. In multiprocessors, for example, at Alewife we built a machine with 32 processors, but each one was on a separate board and the machine took up an entire rack. That is the multiprocessor setup. The multicore system we just built has 64 cores in it, so it is like a multiprocessor configuration just on a single chip – that is multicore.

SM: Let’s talk about the different dimensions of the multicore architecture. Where are you gaining the performance and how? AA: There are three big challenges with a multicore design; performance, power efficiency, and programmability. I call them the three P’s. For multicore processors to take off, we had to start with a clean slate. There was nowhere to incrementally improve existing designs. It was a huge upheaval; we had to rethink the architecture, software, and processor design. We have done this with an approach that builds upon existing standards while allowing you to harness multicore performance. >>>

Eric Benhamou & the Turnaround of 3Com (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Aug 24th 2007

Here Eric details several significant happenings. Not only does he discuss the development of Bridge and the IPO, but also the birth of networking as a recognized market, as well as the merger with 3Com.

SM: Where you running Bridge during the IPO? EB: I was not the CEO, but I was one of the top three executives.

SM: The top three were all founders? EB: Yes, the founding team was running the company, and the engineering areas were mine as that was my background. At the time we had about 100 people.

SM: That was great for your very first venture … going public. EB: Yes, absolutely. In retrospect, it was a good time because we were able to ride a new market with perfect timing. Ungermann-Bass was founded perhaps a tad too early.

Serving the Underserved: Is On-Demand BI the Answer?

Posted on Friday, Aug 24th 2007

By David Hatch, Guest Author

In my last post, I discussed how On-Demand BI may not be just for SMBs, based on some recent research findings, and that corporate plans for On-Demand delivery of BI applications (SaaS, Hosting, BI-Appliances) may be gaining ground within organizations of all sizes more rapidly than has been generally reported. This is being driven by a reported lack of BI skill sets among non-IT information consumers, and challenges surrounding data quality and integration.

The combination of limited skill sets and data-related issues, with an increase in On-Demand BI capabilities (Moore’s law at work: faster Internet, improved data compression, and advanced zero-footprint application options) has catalyzed the emergence of a variety of solutions from both new and entrenched vendors. Over time, reporting and analytics solutions have grown from an exclusive tool for power users to a critical business application for all knowledge workers. Yet, as information access is demanded “when, where and how” knowledge workers want it, companies are struggling to find the BI and IT skill sets required to provide and support a geographically dispersed organization with a wide variety of business roles and information needs.

On-Demand BI represents several new options for delivery of actionable information, including software deployment techniques such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), BI appliances (two flavors – software and software/hardware combination), hosted/ASP (dedicated application hosting on a per-customer basis), and hybrid options. >>>

iPhone’s Carrier Competitors: Verizon

Posted on Thursday, Aug 23rd 2007

In this post, I will look at Verizon with respect to the iPhone and AT&T. An earlier related post on Verizon is available here.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services with operating revenue of $88.14 billion in 2006. Its business is organized into two segments: Wireline and Domestic Wireless. The wireless business, operating as Verizon Wireless, is a joint venture formed in April 2000 between Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc with Verizon owning a controlling 55% interest.

For Q2 2007, for its Domestic Wireless segment, Verizon reported revenues of $10.8 billion. Its customer base increased to approximately 62.1 million, a 13.2% increase over last year. Verizon is the largest US wireless carrier in terms of revenue and in terms of customers, it is No.2 after AT&T which has 63.7 million customers. In the quarter, Verizon added 1.3 million wireless customers, less than AT&T’s 1.5 million. The main reason behind this is that Verizon lost about 300,000 wholesale subscribers due to the bankruptcy of its reseller Amp’d Mobile. This is the first time since early 2006 that AT&T has outpaced Verizon. >>>

Web 3.0 & Online Health (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 23rd 2007

Web 3.0 formula discussion (4C, P, VS)

Online health portals are targeted at meeting specific user needs. HealthGrades for example provides ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, thereby, aiding the consumer to select the best physician and treatment.

In most health sites, the context is split-up between men, women and children. Sites like offer separate categories for teenagers, seniors and minority groups, as well, which is appreciable. Thus, one can look for specialized articles or health resources for juvenile Diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease. >>>