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IT Channel News Briefs, Dec. 19

Today's headlines: Oracle's earnings stay flat, and CIOs jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.

Oracle comes back to earth

Oracle is not immune to the financial meltdown after all. Earnings for its quarter ending Nov. 29 were 25 cents a share – the same as during the year-ago period. Revenue was up 6% to $5.6 billion, but net income fell 1% to $1.3 billion on a GAAP basis.

New software license sales fell 3% to $1.6 billion, and sales of software updates and support revenue -- a closely watched metric -- were up 14% to $2.9 billion.

On the earnings call last night, company executives said that their customers -- mostly large companies -- were signing fewer multi-year contracts because of the worsening economy, and that the rate at which big deals were closed was expected to fall "significantly" in the current quarter. During and after its last earnings call, execs said Oracle would not be adversely impacted by the financial services meltdown afflicting many of its customers. As the economic woes spread, however, things changed.

CIOs get on Web 2.0 bandwagon

Solution providers aren't the only IT pros using Web 2.0 to their advantage. SearchCIO-Midmarket.com reports that CIOs are using social networking sites, RSS feeds and wikis to build business relationships and foster more collaboration among their employees. Gartner estimates the social software market's size will triple from $317.5 million in 2007 to $939.4 million in 2012.

SharePoint alternatives get some spotlight

Microsoft SharePoint is popular among medium-sized companies, but a number of businesses are looking at alternatives that they could integrate with SharePoint, SearchCIO-Midmarket.com reported this week. IBM offers integration between FileNetECM and Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007, Oracle has made its Universal Content Management files accessible from the SharePoint interface, and Lotus Notes and Domino's collaboration and content management capabilities are often stacked up as a SharePoint alternative. A recent Forrester Research study shows that of 233 IT decision makers surveyed last spring, 23% said they had immediate plans to move to SharePoint and another 41% would do so within six months.

Check out yesterday's IT channel news briefs.

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