Stories by Stacy Cowley

Web 2.0: At the tipping point

As the World Wide Web evolves into a more collaborative platform, the technologies and business models involved in that transition are being swept up into the "Web 2.0" rubric, a term vague enough to encompass almost anything one cares to push under its banner, but catchy in summing up the widespread sense that the Internet is at a tipping point.

SAP launches long-awaited on-demand CRM

SAP has made its long-awaited dive into the hosted, subscription customer relationship management on demand market, launching a new software service with a starting monthly price tag of $US75 per user. But SAP won't be going head-to-head with on-demand trailblazers such as Salesforce.com: Its system carries a 100-user minimum, restricting its potential customers to the enterprise clients SAP traditionally targets.

Cranky Salesforce.com users want updates, SLAs

Salesforce.com's recent spate of outages has left some of the hosted CRM (customer relationship management) software provider's customers venting about the company's poor track record of keeping its users updated on service problems. It is also underlying the importance of negotiating and enforcing SLAs (service level agreements) when trusting key IT functionality to outside vendors.

Vendors unite to promote AJAX tool development

A group of top industry vendors plans to announce on Wednesday a new community initiative aimed at popularizing AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and Extensible Markup Language), the nickname given to a collection of software development tools and standards that help Web applications mimic the speed and smoothness of desktop programs.

Salesforce.com crashes again

Salesforce.com's hosted CRM (customer relationship management) service had a widespread outage on Monday, the second time in recent weeks the on-demand software provider has suffered a serious crash.

Microsoft merges enterprise IM and Exchange groups

Microsoft is merging its Exchange and Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) groups into a new unit called the Unified Communications Group, the company announced Monday. The change is aimed at aligning development work on Microsoft's e-mail platform with that done around other communications systems like instant messaging, Web conferencing and phone/VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol).

Google CEO on censoring: 'We did an evil scale'

It took Google more than a year to make the decision that offering a censored version of its search services in China would be a lesser evil than boycotting business in the country altogether, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

3Com appoints new CEO

3Com on Friday named R. Scott Murray its new chief executive officer (CEO), replacing retiring CEO Bruce Claflin, who announced earlier this month that he would step down after five years of helming the networking vendor.

Salesforce.com goes live with AppExchange

Salesforce.com went live this week with a heavily publicized major update, adding a new platform called AppExchange for easily deploying third-party applications to extend the functionality of Salesforce.com's CRM (customer relationship management) system.

Infor to buy asset tracking apps vendor Datastream

Continuing to build a portfolio of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software through acquisitions, Infor Global Solutions on Thursday announced an agreement to pay US$216 million in cash to acquire Datastream Systems, a maker of asset performance management software.

SAP charges forward with SOA plans

SAP is blazing ahead with the next iteration of its NetWeaver technology and its Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), even as most of its customers trail several technology generations behind the ERP (enterprise resource planning) giant.

Onyx fields buyout bid from CDC

Two years after successfully acquiring midmarket CRM (customer relationship management) software maker Pivotal through a deal that started as an unsolicited bid, CDC Software is taking a run at another CRM vendor, Onyx Software.