Daily Archives: December 5, 2007

Avaya Layoffs this Month?

First there were rumors of Cisco layoffs, and now we’re hearing that Avaya, purveyor of VoIP systems for enterprise customers, might be shedding staff, or about to announce cuts, just before the festive season. Ho, bloody ho!If true, these reports would indicate that enterprise buyers, particularly in the financial-services and retail markets, are slashing IT budgets and sharing their pain with vendors of IT products and services. These reports, if confirmed, also could be portents of revenue and earnings shortfalls this quarter and next for a number of technology bellwethers.

Microsoft and SAP Aren’t Talking M&A

It’s astounding that a rumor, predicated on discussions that took place three years ago, was able to drive up shares of SAP this week.

About three years ago, Microsoft explored the possibility of acquiring SAP. The discussions eventually wound down, with the companies deciding to pursue separate paths. It was the right choice for both companies and their shareholders then, and it would be the right choice today. Culturally, the SAP and Microsoft corporately milieus are starkly different. It would have been a difficult combination, ugly to integrate and on a scale for beyond any merger Microsoft has done.

So, how the rumor of a rumor resurface and move the markets this week? I suppose the power of a well-placed rumor, even one completely divorced from reality, is not to be underestimated.