ShadowRAM: October 16, 2006

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OK, folks. Can we please find a CEO or chairman job for Carly Fiorina somewhere in this industry? We know there are openings.

Fiorina's new book, "Tough Choices," is mandatory reading. We're not sure how much management advice she really imparts in the tome, but she pulls no punches when badmouthing people she feels deserves it. Former Compaq CEO Michael Capellas, who sold that company to HP in 2002 after a nasty proxy fight, is a particular target. Fiorina writes about a late-night phone call she took from Capellas during the merger battle, when word leaked that Fiorina would refuse a big-bucks retention bonus while Capellas would take his, making him look greedy.

"Michael was abusive and incoherent; there was no reasoning with him," to quote the book. Fiorina writes that she later discovered that behavior wasn't an aberration for Capellas. And that's nothing on what she has to say about the turmoil in HP's boardroom.

Microsoft sources say to expect change in the company's managed services game plan that goes beyond Rick Devenuti's retirement. They say partner angst over the company's decision to do its own managed services implementations at Energizer and another company, coupled with the so-so success of those projects, have persuaded Big M to adopt a more partner-focused managed service strategy. To which we can only say: Hallelujah.

Avaya last week became the first Fortune 500 company to hold a conference in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, according to President and CEO Lou D'Ambrosio. The battered city is near and dear to Avaya's heart after the company helped establish a communications hub to help reunite families following the devastating storm, he said. The vendor's Global Sales and Partner Conference drew 3,500 attendees, including 1,000 channel partners.

Like many people, Jane Cage, partner and COO of Joplin, Mo., VAR Heartland Technology Solutions, never thought the recent rash of school shootings would hit her hometown. That is, until last Monday. A 13-year-old boy fired a Mac-90 assault rifle at a middle school three blocks from Cage's office. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it has shaken the small community. "How do you deal with something like this? We all know somebody who goes there," Cage said. "It happened around the time work started. As people were coming in, they said, 'Did you see all the police cars around the school?' " she said.

On a happier note, Cage was recently inducted into Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network Hall of Fame, along with Inacom Information Systems' Laurie Benson, and celebrated by participating in an "American Idol"-type show in Palm Springs.

Cage was one of the Spice Girls—Sporty Spice, to be specific—and wowed the crowd with her choreographed dance moves.

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