10 Things That Happened 10 Years Ago In IT, March 2001

March 2001 In The IT Channel

In March 2001, California was experiencing rolling power outages -- later uncovered as Enron's handiwork -- and Apple rolled out OS X version 10.0. During the month, IT solution providers began thinking about ways technology could improve how elections were carried out, and the problem of workplace violence was in the news, following the shootings at Edgewater Technology a few months earlier.

Cisco partners, Microsoft's Hailstorm, MarchFirst and other IT vendors and solution providers also made headlines.

Recasting The Voting Process

When the 2000 presidential election dragged on in the midst of voter fraud, Florida's disputed ballots and conflicting results, it opened up a colossal opportunity for new technology -- from touch-screens to computer-based systems. See how solution providers from 10 years ago were making a mad dash to offer new technology as the cure for the 2001 election's ills. Have we come as far as many VARs projected we would in 10 years?

MarchFirst CEO Out In Management Reshuffle

A number of top executives at two-year-old MarchFirst, including its chairman and CEO Robert Bernard, resigned from their posts. MarchFirst said it was launching a CEO search and was creating a three-person committee to oversee its transition.

Aside from Bernard, resignations were also received from Thomas R. Metz, president and COO, and Joseph Bong, executive vice president, client services group. On April 12, the company filed for bankrupcy protection, and, by May, the company was dissolved.

Cisco Looks For Value-Add

Channel managers at Cisco Systems were hoping the company's new partner program unveiled this month would help integrators make the most of higher-margin opportunities, moving away from simple product-pushing to more specialized, value-added services. The first step of the initiative included the re-engineering of the popular Cisco certification program -- entirely wiping out the product volume requirements for certification. The company said the new program would help partners create sustainable business models by combining value-added services with specialized technology expertise and a renewed focus on customer satisfaction.

Microsoft Expands SaaS Offerings With Hailstorm

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates unveiled Hailstorm, one more step in the company's attempt to transform itself into a provider of software-as-services.

Hailstorm was not slated for production until 2002. These services were aimed at enabling users with any Web-connected devices, including handheld machines and cell phones, to easily and securely access applications and information on the Net.

Getting Cotelligent's Attention

James Lavelle, chairman and CEO of global consulting company Cotelligent, talked to us about how vendors can get his firm's attention. "Show me how I can use your technology to lower a project's development risk and increase my client's competitive advantage," said Lavelle, who, 10 years later, is still the CEO of Cotelligent.


Bully In The Office

When a software tester fom Edgewater Technology was arraigned the previous December in Massachusetts' Malden District Court on seven counts of first-degree murder, the IT sector began to seriously look at the issue of workplace violence.

Events such as the one at Edgewater are not senseless and unpredictable, but rather are unresolved conflicts that have been allowed to brew over time until an employee explodes. Here we looked at how the heavy workload of IT professionals combined with a shortage of qualified workers mixed with unresponsive or bullying bosses.

Toshiba's Lapse

Ten years ago, Toshiba seemed to be suffering from "a void of sense." It's an affliction that affects many companies, especially when it comes to establishing and maintaining ties to third-party allies,and it comes in many forms. Joe Formichelli, executive vice president of Toshiba America's computer systems group, was concerned about his company's last-place showing in CRN's Annual Report Card and wanted specific improvement in partner satisfaction. The company has made strides over the past decade; in 2010, Toshiba finished a close second place to Dell in the ARC's Notebooks/Mobile Computers category. Formichelli is currently senior partner at Core Strategies.

Schmidt Responds To Questions About Merger and His Future

Eric Schmidt -- yes, the same one who became Google CEO -- began his odyssey way back in 1997, when he left his position as chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems to join Novell as chief exec. Four years into that role, Schmidt talked with us about modernizing Novell's product line and technology portfolio and about the decision to buy Cambridge Technology Partners. A mere five months later, Schmidt became CEO of Google.

On April 4, 2011, Schmidt will resign as CEO of Google, but continue as the executive chairman of the company, and act as an advisor to co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Page will replace Schmidt as CEO. In 2008, CTP spun off from Novell to once again be an independent company.

Quiet Opening For Andressen's Loudcloud IPO

March 9 saw the lackluster IPO of managed services provider Loudcloud, the Web services firm chaired by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen. Analysts, traders and the business press had anticipated it to be the first important tech IPO of the year, but opening at $6 a share, rather than the $8 to $10 expected, dampened enthusiasm.

Loudcloud sold the operations portion of its business to EDS in 2002, and became a software solution provider, changing its name to Opsware. In 2007, HP bought Opsware for $1.6 billion.

Radnet Disappears

Radnet, the once high-flying purveyor of collaborative software, vanished. In 2000, Radnet was looking for a mezzanine round of financing, hoping to parlay contracts with IBM, Lucent Technologies, and others. By the time 2001 rolled around, the firm was still not profitable, and as the markets turned, raising money became increasingly challenging. Radnet tried to find a buyer, and apparently came close with two companies before those plans fizzled. In February, former Radnet CEO David Scult joined Groove as vice president of business solutions. Visitors to the Radnet site were rerouted to the site for E.piphany Inc., a maker of "intelligent customer interaction" software.