lunes, octubre 20, 2008

La crisis llega al software

Ben Worthen, en The Wall Street Journal, comenta el día 14 una circular interna de SAP que recomienda congelar toda clase de gastos. La noticia es algo irregular, mencionando un correo interno al que tiene acceso, pero de ninguna manera desmentida por SAP, ni por la decena de respuestas que recibe la nota, de parte de miembros o asociados de la empresa. SAP ha sido medianamente castigada en bolsa, nunca tanto como cualquier banco, y más o menos recuperada en lo inmediato. Sin embargo, sea con problemas o sin ellos, refleja lo que realmente veremos sin duda: enfriamiento de la actividad.
La nota:

SAP announced last week that its revenue for the quarter would fall short of its guidance due to a sudden drop in orders at the end of September. That sent the company into cost-cutting mode, as outlined in an email co-CEOs Henning Kagermann and Leo Apotheker sent to staff last week. A copy of the email was obtained by the Business Technology Blog.

The party line in the tech industry is that businesses will keep spending on tech because it makes them more efficient. This, in turn will help them survive the downturn. We’re not sure whether to file this under irony or hypocrisy, but SAP is – you guessed it – halting new spending on information technology. “We will review all planned investments in IT equipment, hardware, software, facilities, and company cars, as well as internal IT projects,” the co-CEOs wrote in the email. “Do not order any new equipment at this time.”

The email captures the uncertainty at SAP – uncertainty that is no doubt shared by other companies in the industry. “No one at this point can say how markets and customers will react in the coming months,” the email says. “In this turbulent economic environment, we will be giving added attention to sustaining our margin and earnings health.”

Aside from halting its tech spending, here’s how SAP plans to do that, as taken verbatim from the email:

* Headcount and Hiring Freeze: “There is a complete headcount and hiring freeze, and all existing job vacancies will be canceled. This includes any temporary workers, interns, and students. There will be no replacements for employees leaving SAP. No internal transfers may take place. Only those written offers sent to a candidate and/or internal transfers agreed to on or before October 7, 2008, will go forward.”

* Third-Party Expenses: “Since we are not hiring, all engagement with external recruiters must cease immediately. We will discontinue engagement with management consultants and evaluate the impact this has on ongoing projects. Until further notice, all external training is to be canceled. Internal meetings must be held within SAP buildings, and you cannot rent external conference facilities for this purpose.”

* Travel: “Cease ALL internal non-customer-facing travel in October…Any non-customer-facing travel already booked should be canceled immediately, even if this incurs penalties.” SAP sales people will also have to fly coach from now on unless they use miles to upgrade.

La nota de Worthen es comentada por Vinnie Mirchandani, que desde hace algún tiempo le viene dedicando espacio a SAP, particularmente por su política de costos de mantenimiento a sus clientes. Que muy probablemente también sufrirá cambios.

No hay comentarios.: