Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Google's Cloud Deal With City Of Los Angeles Hits More Snags

Google's deal to hook up the City Of Los Angeles with Google Apps appears to be hitting some more turbulence. Los Angeles City Council member Dennis Zine this week filed a motion suggesting that Google and CSC haven't been able to meet the security requirements outlined in their contract with the city, according to a report from MarketWatch.

That's not all: According to GigaOm, Los Angeles CTO Randi Levin sent a letter to CSC in August, which was published online by, informing the companies that the city doesn't plan on paying for the Google Apps implementation for the Los Angeles Police Department, which hasn't yet been completed.

Hear that? That's the snickering sound coming from Microsoft headquarters. If this deal does end up falling apart, Microsoft will be receiving a huge, gift-wrapped piece of cloud marketing to use against its rival.

HP Again Finds Itself In Dell's Crosshairs Over PC Business Confusion

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Michael Dell reiterated his view that the uncertainty over HP's PC business represents a golden opportunity for Dell. "It's a great opportunity for us to describe to our customers and our potential customers our commitment to what we do, [and] investments that we’re making within inside our business," Dell said at the event, as reported by ZDnet.

Last week at the Dell World conference, the Dell founder said the situation could help drive more HP partners into the waiting arms of his company, which is approaching the 50 percent mark in channel driven revenue.

HP CEO Meg Whitman is pushing the board to render its decision on the future of the Personal Systems Group by the end of the month, which gives Dell at least another week to hammer away on this theme.

Zenith Infotech Hits Financial Pothole With Bond Default

IT services firm Zenith Infotech could be in default in excess of $80 million in convertible bonds.

Unsurprisingly, Zenith Infotech partners aren't too pleased with the uncertainty that's currently swirling around the company.

"We have lots of BDRs [Zenith Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions] in the field and my first concern is [about] ongoing warranty support for that and for clients with data stored in Zenith's online storage," Mike Jennings, president of Business Engineering, Reston, Va., told CRN this week.

"It's not good news. We haven't heard from anybody. I'm keeping my options open and looking at different platforms," another partner, who requested anonymity, told CRN.

RIM Facing Prospect Of Outage Lawsuits From Disgruntled Customers

Law firms in the U.S. and Canada are looking into possible consumer class action lawsuits against Research In Motion in the wake of a Blackberry outage last week that affected millions of customers around the world, Reuters reported this week.

Last week, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis apologized to customers for the outage and said the company would work around the clock to fix the problem and prevent a recurrence. "Since launching BlackBerry in 1999, it's been my goal to provide reliable, real-time communications around the world," he said last week. "We did not deliver on that goal this week. Not even close." RIM also offered free premium apps and technical support to impacted BlackBerry users.

Ingram Micro Cuts Guidance Due To Issues In Europe, Australia

Ingram Micro this week cut its fiscal third-quarter earnings guidance, citing ongoing sluggishness in its Australia business following a new ERP implementation, as well as weak demand for consumer products in Europe.

Excluding charges, Ingram Micro now expects to earn 32 cents to 34 cents per share, while Wall Street analysts had been expecting earnings of 41 cents per share. Predictably, the news didn't go over well with investors, and Ingram Micro sales plunged 8 percent in the wake of the announcement.

Ingram Micro still expects earnings of about $8.9 billion, in line with analysts' forecast of $8.91 billion for the quarter that ended Oct. 1.