Double Take

Double Take (52)

ADAPTIVE PLANNING GETS $45M

Jeff Epstein, Bessemer Venture PartnersOnline budgeting software company Adaptive Planning has raised another $45 million in funding. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company says that new investors include Salesforce.com and former Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein, who has been named as a senior advisor to the company.

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SAGE AND BRAND: WHAT'S IN A NAME

Peachtree logoYears ago, I owned a Dodge Demon, which ran very well (I got rid of it too soon). It was exactly the same car as the Plymouth Duster. The only difference between the two models was the name plate on the car. Presumably, they were minted this way because some customers that would buy Dodge might not buy Plymouth. And so companies like Sage grapple with the question of what to call the product.

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BALLMER KEYNOTE: WAS THAT ALL?

Steve BallmerBefore Monday's keynote speech by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, there was a buzz that he was going to make a major announcement. It sounded like buzz that had been started deliberately. But after press releases were handed out at the Convergence user conference before the presentation and Kirill Tatarinov, head of the Dynamics operations spoke, Ballmer said that ERP products "are going to the cloud." And that was about it.

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IS MICROSOFT DYNAMICS AX THE FAVORITE CHILD?

It's hard to avoid speculation concerning the role of Dynamics AX compared to the other products in the Microsoft financial products line: Dynamics GP, NAV and SL. In this interview conducted by Software Advice, Guy Weismantel, Microsoft’s director of ERP marketing outlined what he said were the strengths of each of the four products. Software Advice, based in Austin, Texas, assists buyers in selecting software.

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THE NEW VS. OLD SAP

Back in the 1990s, when there was a conference called PC Expo, SAP arranged press meetings about its All-in-One product. During the interview, I asked, "How much is it?" "We can't tell you." "Well, how about a typical price?" "We can't tell you." "Is more or less than a million dollars?" "We can't tell you." I thanked the SAP representatives for their time and left. I was one of three reporters who walked out on these interviews.

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FUDGSICLES AND GOOD BUSINESS

Fudgesicles are a great treat--they are very low-calorie compared to many snacks sold at convenience stores and have an extremely low fat content. Besides, they are ice cream and they are chocolate and they seemingly sell well. So it's frustrating that the local Quick Chek, a prevalent chain in Northern New Jersey, can't seem to order them with regularity, but stocks other freezer items that don't. I've seen this behavior before and it’s not good business.

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THE LEGACY OF SAGE'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE?

Paul WalkerWhen someone commented about what they saw as Sage's difficulties in being successful for the future, I responded half-jokingly, "What do you expect from a bunch of accountants?" And there's something to be said about the way Sage has operated as one of those accountants prepares to leave his job as CEO.

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VAR RECRUITING PICKS UP

Last year ended with some VARs questioning if the channel could survive. This year, reseller recruiting continues to pick up, with Exact the latest company to cast its pole into the reseller waters, which is interesting since the company spent the prior few years buying its top VARs and encouraging others to get together. That, executives say, has come to a stop.

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SAGE'S X3 EVENTS: SWING AND A MISS

sage x3Before Sage held two events for the global launch of the new version of its X3 product, I knew that the application competed with Dynamics AX, Epicor and the like, that it was targeted for process manufacturing and that a handful of VARs that have been recruited haven't yet sold any installations.

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FRACTURED PR: CONTROLLING INFO IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE

fractured fairy talesThose old enough to have watched the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoons remember "Fractured Fairy Tales", episodes in which a popular story was spoofed by the cartoon makers. And given the proliferation of media, a company's public relations effort can end up being as far removed from what it wants as these tales were from the original telling.Good PR, in my eyes, focuses heavily on consistency of message. That means a company doesn't want different people giving different versions of the same story in different media. And in these days, there's more media for the message than ever before.

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