Saturday, 28 July 2007

Oracle in DWS Space

Oracle database is mainly a product suitable for transation processing systems (OLTP) and it's got a dominant position in that market, a clear leadership. This market is almost saturated now with not much growth or expansion left in this area. Newer market for growth is datawarehousing (DWH) space where the growth is at the moment and it would be high growth area in forseeable future as corporations across the world try to make sense out of data stored in OLTP systems. Such DWH systems require huge storage capacity and huge data processing capabilities. Normally the database products suitable for OLTP are not suitable for DWH.

The leader in DWH space is Teradata which can store huge amount of data and has got huge processing capabilities as well. Netezza is another promising product in this area.

Oracle being such a agressive company currently has got no product in this area and Larry Elison would definitely not give a miss to such a growth-promising area. He would definitely try to enter into this area. Building a product from scratch would not be a feasible solution for him. So Larry would definitely try to gobble up any of existing product either Teradata , which is listing soon on bourses, or Netezza.
We would not be surprised if Larry does a hostile bid, like done many in recent past in ERP space, for any of these or any other such product in DWH area.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Leaders are made. Full Stop.

People say that the leaders are born and not made but I disagree with this to a great extent. I strongly believe that most leader are made and not born. It they are just born then every such person would just be declared at the time of birth that this is a leader. And by now scientists would have found out a way or a detective device to identify whether a person born is a leader or not. Then if she is leader then she would not be sent for formal education and simply given responsibilities of leadership instead of wasting time in getting formal education and taking small and hard steps to go up the laddar in any organisation, be it corporate or political or of any other kind .

Why a person go for formal education and then join an organisation at very low level and reach to the top after very gruelling learning journey of life, is to learn leadership. Look around in any walk to life and we find leaders, in business, in politics, in society, in sport, or any fields. And the people we find there whom we call leaders are those who have learnt leadership hardway, toiled hard to reach where they are today. Some learnt in business schools, some learnt on job but every one learnt in this world only. A successful sportsman can not become one just like this she has put a great amount to work to be what she is. Gandhi was never a born leader. By the time he started pactising law in South Africa he was just a normal person. But then circumstances taught him and he became a leader. Take any successfule businessman or executive, she would have gone to some school to learn a few lessons and then work hard to be what she is today.

Now the question arise then why not every person who takes formal education or joins an organisation becomes a leader. The reason is those who becomes leader very early decides that they have to become leader, they know where they have to reach and accordingly they start aquiring those skills on the way. They keep learning lessons of leadership at every small step and those learnings finally make them leaders. Some just languish here and there are those who have never decided to be a leader.
So every born person is a potential leader. The only thing is she has to learn to be leader.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Rising ruppee and experienced IT guys

Indin IT companies had been growning at more than 35% y-o-y for many many years now but now that growth seemed to be slowing down considerably. There are many reason for this slow down. Rise of ruppee against the dollar is one of them.
With ruppee rising against dollar significantly in the last year and no slowing down in sight for this ascent in near future the IT compnies are hard pressed to maintain their margins and past growth. They have to look for ways to maintain margins.
One of the way being followed is to hire more and more freshers and take less of experienced guys to work on projects. There was time when all would be experienced guys on all projects in IT companies but now they are putting freshers and one experienced person for a team of 4-5 freshers. Freshers are given some initial training and are expected to work and experienced guy is expected to enforce quality on the deliverables. This way compnies are saving a huge amount by paying pittance to freshers in comparison to experienced guys. When it comes to internal appraisal /increment, not-so-freshers-now are given better increment than experienced, because if given same absolute amount, for a less experienced guy it is better increment than an experienced guy. That means company is saying indirectly to experienced guys that you are not as important as the guys next to you.
This means experienced guys have to work doubly hard to keep themselves relevant. It's not only IT skills which will be enough but also management skill, leadership skills will be required.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Infosys lapping up Capgemini: will politics allow it.

Ever since the rumours of Indian IT service giant Infy taking over Europe's largest IT serices & consulting company Capgmini cropped up in the media last Friday, the shares of Capgemini on european bourses have gone up substaintially whereas Infy's shares hardly moved that shows how much European shareholders expect to gain from this deal, whereas Infy shareholders hardly see any short-term gain out of this deal.
Shareholders are mostly the creatures who see just the short term gains. They want to see how much money they can make from now upto a year or two. They hardly see if the deal is a strategic fit or it's going to be a good one for long-term or it's good for social fabric of the area where the company operates.

Definitely if eventually Infy does take over Capgemini, the first thing shareholders of CG would expect is to cut the cost. Since the operating margin of CG is hardly 5.5% whereas that of Infy's is above 25%. So shareholders of CG would expect this margin going up significantly up. For since cost cutting is the most important step management can take to improve margins in service companies. And service companies being people intensive, they would cut down employees in Europe and such other high cost western markets and hire more and more in India and other low-cost markets.
This would surely create a huge political and workers-union tension in Europe, where already unemployment rates are high.
And problem Infosy management would face is that of retaining consulting unit employees. Main reason why Infy wants to buy this is to make easy and fast inroads into lucrative consulting pie which have so far proved to be tough nut to crack for all Indian players. This business is mostly dependant on how good people you have in your team. So if Infy can not culturally merge CG than all important people would leave CG and making deal meaningless for Infy. So Infy have to leave core consulting business of intact in the way it functions and have to give full freedom to operates then only it can reap the benifit of deal in the long term.