VAR500: Oracle Settles Accenture Kickback Suit; ACS Impacts Xerox Financials

VAR500 Roundup

Last week, VAR500 solution providers unveiled a new cloud computing offering, settled a lawsuit and began work on a smart gird program. In addition, SapientNitro saw a founding father depart, Xerox reported on the impact of its ACS acquisition and Accenture commented on electronic medical records implementation.

Oracle Settles

Oracle will pay $46 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that Sun Microsystems paid kickbacks to win government work. Oracle bought Sun last year.

The Department of Justice charged that Sun and six other technology companies paid kickbacks to Accenture for the solution provider to recommend that federal agencies buy Sun products.

The Justice Department said last year that the lawsuit covered software contracts that ran from 1998 to 2006 and were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

CSC's New Cloud Strategy

Computer Sciences Corp. plans to increase its small cloud computing business by building cloud systems at its customers' offices.

This week, CSC will unveil BizCloud, cloud computing hardware and software that gets assembled in roughly 10 weeks at the client location. BizCloud lets customers contract for a desired amount of usage per month and pay for more use on a metered basis, in a similar manner to data-center-based cloud services.

Capgemini Working On Smart Meter Program

BC Hydro, the third largest electric utility in Canada, selected Capgemini to provide systems integration and project management services for its Smart Metering & Infrastructure Program. The three-year contract with Capgemini is worth an estimated $48 million (USD).

The Smart Metering Program, including the installation of 1.8 million new digital meters, is part of a modern electricity grid for BC Hydro customers. BC Hydro said the $709 million program will return benefits of more than $1.22 billion to BC Hydro customers.

Under the agreement, Capgemini will deliver systems integration and project management services with information technology and telecommunications infrastructure to provide two-way communications between BC Hydro and its customers.

ACS Boosts Xerox Bottom Line

The acquisition of BPO provider ACS by Xerox seems to have made a significant impact: Xerox's quarterly revenue jumped 42 percent from a year earlier, to $6 billion. Profit did decline 5 percent due to costs of restructuring.

’We started 2010 with the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services, which transformed our company into the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management," said Ursula Burns, Xerox chairman and CEO.

"And, we closed the year with results that reflect the benefits of our expanded services and competitive technology as well as the strength of our business model," she said. "Continued growth in our services business was driven by an 11 percent increase in revenue from our BPO offerings and 5 percent revenue growth from IT outsourcing. As important, signings for services were up 13 percent in the quarter.’


Accenture Survey Finds Hospitals Lagging In EMR

Accenture released a survey of CIOs from health systems with advanced use of electronic medical records, which suggests hospitals must think and act differently to drive successful EMR implementation and clinical transformation. Change management is critical to success.

Less than 1 percent of health systems achieved mature use of EMRs in 2009 and, by Accenture’s estimate, roughly half of U.S. hospitals are at risk of not meeting the demands of the federal requirements. Failure to do that risks incurring penalties by 2015. Medicare-based penalties to be imposed as a part of health-care reform are estimated at $3 million to $4 million per year for a 500-bed hospital, making implementation a primary concern for many hospital executives.

Nitro Founder To Leave SapientNitro

SapientNitro, part of Sapient, announced the departure of Chris Clarke as executive director and co-chief creative officer of the integrated marketing and technology services company.

Clarke’s next endeavor is the creation of a new style of venture capital group with two pending brand launches in 2011, one with investor Ray Chambers of Wesray Capital and one with Chris Burch, co-founder of Tory Burch and founder and strategic investor in multiple technology and luxury brands, including Voss Water and Powermat.

Clarke will remain engaged with SapientNitro through a strategic consulting arrangement.