Welcome!

Java Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Oracle, HP

SOA & WOA: Article

Ray Lane Trash-Talks Mark Hurd

Has HP’s new incoming Chairman made his first dumb move?

Deteriorating relations between Oracle and HP took a turn for the worse Monday when incoming HP chairman Ray Lane embroidered on the Mark Hurd legend by telling the New York Times in a letter to the editor that the ousted HP CEO, now president of Oracle, was a liar.

That wasn’t a very smart thing for him to do considering Oracle is a few weeks away from calling HP’s incoming CEO Léo Apotheker to the stand as a witness in its suit against SAP for massive IP theft.

Apotheker, who’s been on the preliminary witness list for months, as HP’s board must have known, and made the final cut last week (they were expecting something else?), was CEO of SAP until he was fired early this year.

Lane ought to know better than to wave an antagonizing red cape in front of a charging Oracle CEO Larry Ellison because Lane used to be president of Oracle until he was run off the reservation 10 years ago.

The suit isn’t even about assigning blame. SAP has already admitted it did it. It just contests Oracle’s claims that what was ripped off by SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow, the now defunct cut-rate third-party maintenance operation it bought to harry Oracle, was worth upwards a billion dollars. SAP thinks it’s worth more like tens of millions of dollars.

Now with Lane trash-talking Hurd Apotheker will be lucky to get out of the courtroom with his job, let alone his reputation, intact. And the blowback will splatter all over HP’s board that hired him.

The guy Larry hired to prosecute the SAP case is David Boies, the hired gun the Justice Department brought in to prosecute its antitrust suit against Microsoft. The case he mounted permanently ruined Microsoft’s reputation and took half the fun out of its monopoly, even if the judge’s decision to split the company in two didn’t stick.

Dollars to donuts the boy now has a dual charter: get as much money as possible out of SAP and tar Léo Apotheker.

Innuendo is a wonderful thing. Even if Léo – who must now be spending valuable HP orientation time with SAP and HP lawyers prepping for the trial – testifies, as Lane suggests he will, that as a member of the SAP board, and as head of SAP sales and marketing – responsible for getting the Oracle customers that used TomorrowNow’s services to ultimately migrate to SAP’s alternative software – and as co-CEO of SAP he didn’t know what TomorrowNow was doing, he’s bound to come off looking incompetent and dangerous.

It also took him six months into his prematurely short eight-month term as sole CEO to lance the festering TomorrowNow boil and shut it down 18 months after Oracle sued. Oracle alleges TomorrowNow’s mischief went on all that time and that SAP higher-ups knew all about it from the beginning.

Lane meant to ride to Apotheker’s defense after Joe Nocera, one of the Times’ own, discovered the Oracle v SAP suit and used it to attack the HP board for its poor choice as Hurd’s replacement in a column Saturday.

Nocera is part of that apparently far-flung and expanding community that holds the HP board in disrepute and has savaged it a couple of times since it fired Hurd on what he believes are trumped-up charges.

Saturday he found another reason to question the board’s competence, accusing them of a having an ethical “double standard” – ostensibly firing Hurd for “minor expense account shenanigans” and then turning around and hiring “as its new CEO someone involved – however tangentially – with the most serious business crime you can commit.”

Lane figured to take the heat off Léo and the board by putting the spotlight back on Hurd.

“The bottom line is,” Lane wrote the Times, “Mr. Hurd violated the trust of the board by repeatedly lying to them in the course of an investigation into his conduct. He violated numerous elements of HP’s Standards of Business Conduct and he demonstrated a serious lack of integrity and judgment. The board was unanimous in its decision that he must go, including the seven directors Mr. Hurd recruited to the board. These directors would not have acted unanimously to remove Mr. Hurd for ‘piddling expense account problems’ as Mr. Nocera suggests. I was named to the board after Mr. Hurd’s departure, but having carefully reviewed all the facts, it is clear to me the HP board made the right decision. Had I been on the board at that time, there’s no question I would have voted the same way. The board simply had no alternative.”

Funny thing about Saturday columns, there’re not very well read. Famous people who are getting on and know the Times has their obit written and locked away against the day, pray a little prayer at night that goes, “Please, God, don’t let me die on a Friday” because they know that, if they do, their obit, the work of a lifetime, won’t get read.

Nobody was making anything of the Nocera piece until Lane lashed out at it.

If Lane hadn’t drawn attention to it, it might not have gotten passed around

the Valley like a bad case of the flu. But now it has and now the entire press corps, which was drowsing through the fact that, as fate would have it, the trial over how much SAP owes Oracle for its sins starts November 1 and that SAP’s ousted CEO, who will be formally ensconced as HP’s CEO at the same hour, is on the witness list, will be jostling for seats at the spectacle.

The gods of time and tide obviously smile on Larry Ellison.

Oh, by the way, it turns out that Nocera’s girlfriend is communications director at David Boies law firm.

The column, which the Times didn’t take down, is now sporting the following editors’ note: “In the Talking Business column in Business Day on Saturday, Joe Nocera wrote about a lawsuit by Oracle against a division of SAP, claiming theft of intellectual property. Mr. Nocera learned after the column was published that Oracle was represented by the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, where his fiancée works as director of communications. To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Mr. Nocera would not have written about the case if he had known of the law firm’s involvement.”

Good Lord, what do grown-up affianced people talk about these days!

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...