Yahoo Set for Layoffs

There's no joy in Yahoo. The current stock shock is hurting everyone, from huge investors to small companies and everyone in between. As it does battle with its formidable rivals, Google and Microsoft, Yahoo is expected to soon announce a round of layoffs that could affect hundreds of its current workforce of 14,000.

While this would be a primarily cost-cutting measure, Yahoo also may use the workforce reduction to refocus on certain areas. Company officials have reported they're still trying to determine which areas to cut and which areas Yahoo will focus on to boost its sagging revenues and stock value. Likely to be on the chopping block are services like photos, premium music, auctions and Yahoo 360 (the company has recently stated it's looking at these components as candidates for cuts or consolidation).

Company co-founder Jerry Yang, who assumed the role of chief executive last summer, plans to refocus the company in three key areas: He wants Yahoo to be a "starting point" for Web surfers, he wants more advertising and he wants to open up Yahoo's infrastructure to other developers.

Yahoo has a conference call with financial analysts scheduled for Jan. 29 to report its fourth quarter results, during which it's expected to reveal the final number of forthcoming layoffs.

How is your organization handling this financial roller coaster ride? To what extent have your partners' and vendors' challenges affected you? Check in with me after the market closes at llow@redmondmag.com.

EMC Rolls Out Storage Service
Here comes another volley in the Software as a Service (SaaS) wars. Yesterday, EMC rolled out MozyEnterprise, which will let its customers back up their servers, desktops and laptops automatically over a Web-based service.

The data is in fact stored at any of several EMC data centers, and is encrypted for increased security. That's typically been one of the most significant obstacles to customers who are uncomfortable with not having full control over all of their own data.

MozyEnterprise is actually a rebranded service, after EMC bought Berkeley Data Systems (BDS) last year. BDS had 500,000 customers using its Mozy hosted data-backup service. While the service was originally aimed at home users, BDS launched an enterprise-level service for larger corporate customers. This is the service EMC is re-introducing.

The backbone of the new MozyEnterprise service is EMC Fortress. This is the company's solution for providing Web-based data-storage services using remote data centers. EMC is moving away from hard storage and management software and more into services as a growth area. You can expect other hosted services from EMC in the future.

Speaking of EMC, you'll see the World Series champs the Boston Red Sox wearing the EMC logo on their uniforms in exhibition games over in Japan. Only in Japan though -- no plans to do that in the U.S.

How do you feel about SaaS in general? Are you using hosted storage or any other hosted services? Let me know your strategy and how it's working at llow@redmondmag.com.

Biz Leaders on Biz Continuity
SteelEye Technology has released its Technology Business Continuity Index. This annual survey conducted by the data replication and protection software developer polls IT professionals and business executives and looks at adoption levels, best practices and attitudes about business continuity

The bottom line of this year's report is that threats to business continuity are increasing, so business leaders are placing increasing priorities on business continuity. Here are some of the most significant findings of the survey:

  • More than 50 percent of the CEOs surveyed regarded outages of services such as financial transaction processing or customer service as being "fatal" to their business.
  • More than 40 percent of all respondents feel the average IT organization is more prepared for business continuity threats than last year.
  • Less than 28 percent of IT managers feel their CEOs haven't prioritized business continuity assurance.
  • 87 percent of C-level executives feel the average IT organization faces the same threats or even more threats to business continuity than last year.
  • 63 percent of C-level executives feel there are now more potential threats to IT systems that are in turn threats to business continuity.
  • 81 percent of IT managers feel their CEOs consider business continuity a top priority.
  • 66 percent of IT managers feel their CEOs understand the steps and precautions required to ensure business continuity.

That last one is good news indeed. You won't be barking up the wrong tree when you go to your CEO asking for funding for data protection or secure offline storage.

What steps has your organization taken to ensure business continuity? Is it a priority among your company's execs? I hope more than 50 percent of you will let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: Why Windows 7?, More Mac Love
Windows 7 is on its way, and may even be shipping earlier than expected (by late 2009). One reader wonders about the motivation behind the announcement:

Oh, no. No. NO! Look, they have Vista that barely works and is just getting application support from vendors. Our company will not allow any Vista computers on the network and will only install XP, either by buying from Dell only and insisting on XP or by reformatting and installing XP from the volume licence.

What on earth can possess Microsoft to announce yet another OS in 2008 when Vista isn't accepted? Could this be an admission that Vista is, in fact, rubbish, and has to be replaced by something better? Or is Microsoft pre-announcing what will become Windows 2011 and is clinging to the idea it can ship something on time? Whatever the reason, it seems to be a shotgun blast to both feet, which marketing will then insert in its mouth. Meanwhile, those who want computers to work will carry on using reliable, old XP -- maybe even XP SP3 if they don't break it.
-Anonymous

And speaking of reliability, Ken thinks the Mac has it in spades -- and that's what makes it worth the price:

I work as a help-desk contractor, SQL database administrator, Microsoft Office expert and assistant Windows Server administrator for the Air Force. I constantly get asked what computer someone's next purchase should be and I always recommend a Mac. Most people are surprised at my answer, but as you stated, the zero virus and no spyware advantages are worth their price.

We are constantly being bombarded with people asking if we can fix their Windows boxes because of a virus or spyware running rampant. Unless Microsoft gets its act together, I can never again recommend a Windows-based computer. Macs are well worth the money you spend on them.
-Ken

Got anything to add? Let us know! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to llow@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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