Selected by Xtrategit Staff
Innovative BlackBerry not quite a passport to success
USA TODAY September 26, 2014
That's a typical reaction when you mention Canada's once-dominant but fallen smartphone maker.
Though badly bloodied by Android and the iPhone, BlackBerry is fighting to become relevant again, judging by the company's new BlackBerry Passport smartphone that I've been reviewing.
While the odds remain stacked against BlackBerry ever regaining smartphone supremacy, Passport brings the kind of fresh approach and design that will be vital to get this dark horse off the mat. It is innovative hardware, though I was disappointed in the software and camera — and found BlackBerry's approach to apps confusing. The phone will cost $599 in the U.S. without a contract, lower than than the new iPhones. AT&T will be selling the phone in the U.S. but hasn't announced pricing with a contract.
Under CEO John Chen, BlackBerry is going back to its business roots by focusing Passport on enterprise customers and so-called "power professionals." (The company is also readying a BlackBerry Classic device that's more in line with its traditional handsets.)
Oracle, Salesforce.com trade moves in marketing software fight
COMPUTERWORLD September 26, 2014
It seems that a week doesn't go by these days without major software vendors announcing updates to their marketing software portfolios, and the past few days were no exception as rivals Oracle and Salesforce.com both made some news.
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While perhaps incremental advancements taken one by one, the announcements speak to the heightening competition in the software segment as Oracle, Salesforce.com and other vendors move to build out full-blown "customer engagement" suites and directly target chief marketing officers.
On Thursday, Oracle said it has created a "first of its kind" integration between its Marketing Cloud and Box, the cloud-based file storage and sharing vendor.
Customers will be able to hold and manage content for marketing campaigns within Box, as well as create such materials with widely used tools such as Microsoft Office and then convert them into HTML5 documents, Oracle said.
In addition, Box folders can be set up to sync with the document store on Oracle's marketing platform for use in campaigns, according to the announcement. Availability is scheduled for the first half of next year.
Oracle will likely provide additional updates related to its Marketing Cloud next week, during its annual OpenWorld conference.
Larry Ellison Steps Down As Oracle's CEO
NPR September 26, 2014
Oracle's Larry Ellison is stepping down as CEO, the company announced today, and will be replaced by Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, who will be co-CEOs.
Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977, was named executive chairman of the board and Oracle's chief technology officer.
"Safra and Mark will now report to the Oracle Board rather than to me," Ellison said in the statement. "All the other reporting relationships will remain unchanged.
"The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future. Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine."
Catz will be responsible for manufacturing, finance and legal functions, the statement said, adding that Hurd will be responsible for sales, service and vertical industry global business units. Software and hardware engineering functions will continue to report to Ellison.
"While there was some speculation Larry could step down, the timing is a bit of a head scratcher and the Street will have many questions," Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, told Reuters. "Investors have a mixed view of Safra and especially Hurd as co-CEOs given the missteps we have seen from the company over the past few years."