Global CIO: The 50 Top Tech Quotes For 2009, Part II

Take two of the five most-profitable businesses in China: they don't pay for their software. We've got 24 more great quotes in Part II of our best of 2009.
Oct. 30: SAP CEO Leo Apotheker: "In addition, we are driving more multi-year agreements, where customers buy and consume software over many periods, which we believe is a positive transition for both SAP and our customers. We have the benefit of many years of experience in facilitating the purchase of our software in this manner, including the success we had in signing multi-year, Global Enterprise Agreements with our largest customers. We have now started to leverage this approach with a bigger group of customers."

(Same column:) SAP statement elaborating on Apotheker's statement: "Through the Global Enterprise Agreement model we have gained the experience on how customers want to buy and consume software based on building a long-term strategic road map over several years. We are now taking this concept, with some adjustments to take into account differentiated market needs, to our next 580 largest customers. We expect this to open up tremendous opportunities for growth going forward."

From Global CIO: SAP Eliminates All-Up-Front Payment Requirement


Nov. 4: IBM CIO Pat Toole on his professional peers: No matter what industries CIOs happen to be in, "if they don't come out of that cost-cutting mode and help drive the transformation of their company, they're going to be irrelevant."

From Global CIO: IBM's New CIO Sheds Light On Priorities And Plans


Nov. 5: IBM CEO Sam Palmisano on the PC business, cloud computing, and the future: "Dell and HP say they've learned how to make money off their PC businesses. They brag about their 4%, 5% margins. But grocery stores do better with a lot less risk in their inventory. Groceries don't change much—but with PCs, you get a big change in technology, which you always will, and suddenly the $2 billion you've got in inventory has lost a huge amount of its value."

(Same column:) "So now we see all this manifesting itself in Smarter Planet—and we think the analytics wave is just at the beginning," he said. "Cloud computing—what we're really talking about is 'highly virtualized infrastructure'—it's also just beginning, but it's an unfortunate name. There's tons of hype in the beginning and then the industry starts to ascertain what's real and what's not, and that's where we are now. It's starting to take off on the consumer side, which has been very visible, but we don't play there, we're an enterprise company—but even with all the talk and rhetoric about cloud starting to slow down, the real thing behind the name is starting to ramp."

(Same column:) "What this means is that the digital and physical infrastructures of the world are converging. Computational power is being put into things we wouldn't recognize as computers. Indeed, almost anything—any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small—can become digitally aware and networked. With so much technology and networking abundantly available at such low cost, what wouldn't you enhance? What service wouldn't you provide a customer, citizen, student or patient? What wouldn't you connect? What information wouldn't you mine for insight?" (excerpted in column from earlier speech to Council on Foreign Relations) From IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Talks With Global CIO


Nov. 6: Excerpt from New York Times article cited in column: By confronting Oracle, E.U. regulators risk ushering in a new era of trans-Atlantic tensions over antitrust law. Yet letting Oracle off the hook would smack of weakness after Neelie Kroes, the E.U.'s outgoing competition commissioner, spent the past weeks trying to goad some of Oracle's top executives into making concessions. The dilemma has prompted speculation that the best outcome for Ms. Kroes would be for Oracle to drop its interest in buying Sun, relieving the regulators of the need to make a choice. "Neither path Ms. Kroes faces is a pretty one, and yet this is the decision she might end up being remembered by," said Spyros Pappas of the law firm Pappas & Associates in Brussels. Probably the best escape for her would be for Oracle to cancel the deal." (Excerpt from the New York Times used in column)

From Global CIO: Oracle Trapped By EU Politics As Sun Employees Suffer


Nov. 11: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on Sun, IBM, My SQL, and the EU: "Sun has been a national treasure for the last couple of decades and we think with that combination of Sun technology and Oracle technology, we think we can succeed and compete and beat IBM. And that's our goal."


(Same column:) Zander asks, "If they ask you to spin [MySQL] off, will you?"

Ellison: "No."

Rapid-fire, Zander asks, "If they told you to spin it off, would you?"

Ellison: "No. We're not gonna spin it off. The U.S. government cleared this, we think the Europeans are gonna clear this, and we are not going to spin anything off."


(Same column:) "T.J. Watson Jr.'s IBM was the greatest company in the history of the enterprise on Earth because they had that combination of hardware and software running ost of the enterprises on the planet. That company was the dominant company in computing when I came into this industry: it was pre-Intel, there was no Intel, there was no PC, there certainly was no Mac or any of this stuff. It was IBM, IBM, IBM. And I was told that IBM was not a company against which you competed; IBM was the environment in which you competed. We've already beaten IBM in software—on modern systems. And now, if everyone will let us, we'd like to see if we can beat IBM in hardware, or systems."

From Global CIO: Why Oracle's Larry Ellison Will Tell The EU To Pound Sand


Nov. 12: SAP CTO Vishal Sikka: ". . . .Java is the lifeblood of the IT industry, and IT is a fundamental underpinning of the way business is conducted in the 21st century. The technical interfaces that are jointly developed by the community should be immune from bias, and the community should be able to work even closer together in the spirit of cooperation to continue the Java success story."

(Same column, also from Sikka:) "In a flat world whose economy is dependent on global relationships, IT has an essential enabling role to power the global business network. SAP systems are at the core of large parts of global IT, and are powering more than 65% of the transactions that make up the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). SAP bears a great responsibility to provide a stable core."

From Global CIO: SAP Tells Oracle To Free Java But Keeps Its Own Software Closed


Nov. 13: Late this year, both IBM CEO Sam Palmisano and HP CEO Mark Hurd said they dislike the name "cloud computing," so we asked the wonderful Global CIO audience to come up with new and better names. Some of your submissions were wonderful, and some make "cloud computing" seem positively riveting. Here are two sets of nominations for your consideration, and you'll see that acronyms were certainly favored by some:

Submitted by Doug: UNIVAC (Universally-available Virtualized Accessible Computing); HAL (Highly Available Logical computation platform); UPTIME (Universally-available Platform for Terrestrial Infrastructure utilizing Modal Environments); and, The Matrix

Submitted by Daniel: EPIC (Enterprise Peer Information Center); BEND (Datacenter Network for Enterprise Business); PROFIT (Platform Resources for Outsourced inFrastructure in Information Technology); (DROP (Data Resources Organization Peer); RAIN (Resource Aplications Information Network); PAIN (Peer Applications Information Network ); and, OIT (Outsourced IT 3rd-Party Distributed Systems iCloud)

From Global CIO: Cloud Computing's New Name: 500 Reader Suggestions!


Dec. 2: SAP press release on one-month postponement: "Until then, a decision on pricing for Enterprise Support has therefore been postponed. With this, SAP once again demonstrates that it takes the concerns of its customers seriously and also recognizes the ongoing pressures bearing down on IT budgets in the current economic environment."

From Global CIO: Will SAP Move To Tiered Maintenance Fees?


Dec. 3: HCL senior VP Prasanna Satpathy: "We're seeing some improvements now, there's no doubt about that, but we really bottomed out last year," he said. "So the beauty of the Equitable deal is that it's an indication the companies are really starting to invest again—and it really feels like you're in heaven."

From Global CIO: Outsourcer HCL To Cut Insurer's Costs By $150 Million"

Dec. 3: General Motors CIO Terry Kline on his recent experience selling some unconventional ideas to GM’s top brass: "I said I don’t know if any of these things will stick, but it doesn’t cost hardly any money to try. We can throw 200 of these things against the wall, and let’s see if three or four of them will stick. And by the way, while we’re doing these things, we’re learning a lot—about ourselves and about our customers."


That's it for our Top 50 Tech Quotes Of The Year—we hope it gives you get a better sense of where we've been and where we're headed.

See Part I of our Top 50 Tech Quotes Of The Year here.

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].