5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Feb. 12

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Verizon, the latest casualty of the cutthroat public cloud business.

Also making the list were the U.S. Department of Justice, the latest victim of an IT security breach; Dell, for its reported difficulty in lining up financing for its $67 billion EMC acquisition; Microsoft's Windows 10 and the headaches it continues to cause for users; and another financial hit for Insight Enterprises, courtesy of Microsoft's sales commissions plan.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves -- or just had good luck -- check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Verizon Exiting The Public Cloud Arena

Succumbing to pressures in the hyper-competitive public cloud market, Verizon has informed customers that it will close its public cloud platform by springtime.

Verizon, in a letter to customers, said that any virtual servers running on its Verizon Public Cloud Reserved Performance and Marketplace services would be shut down by April 12. The company urged customers to move to its pricier Virtual Private Cloud services or find another public cloud vendor. Verizon Cloud Storage customers won't be affected.

The public cloud market has been a cutthroat business in recent years, with giants like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure engaging in price wars. Last year Hewlett-Packard shut down its Helion Public Cloud platform.

Hackers Hit DOJ Database, Post FBI And DHS Employee Data

Hackers this week posted data about some 9,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees and 20,000 people employed by the Department of Justice -- including Federal Bureau of Investigation employees.

The hackers claimed to have stolen the employee contact information by breaking into a DoJ database, according to reports published by The Guardian, CNN and other news outlets. The information included phone numbers and email addresses, although some appeared to be for people who had not worked for the DHS for years and included long-outdated titles, the Guardian said.

Government officials were quick to point out that the hack was not as serious as last year's security breach of the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management that exposed the personnel records of more than 21.5 million federal workers.

Dell Reportedly Hits Financing Snag For EMC Acquisition

Dell is reportedly having more difficulty than it expected in raising the funding it needs to complete its $67 billion acquisition of storage technology giant EMC.

Dell needs to raise $45 billion to finance the acquisition. The New York Post reported Thursday that Dell had expected to price the first $10 billion of debt Wednesday. But the group of banks working on the deal, led by JPMorgan, needs an additional 10 days to arrange the loan, the Post said.

The Post story said the loans have been harder to sell because of the tightening credit markets. The story also said Dell is having trouble selling its Perot Systems professional services business, a move that is expected to generate cash to help fund the acquisition.

A Dell spokesman said the acquisition remains on track and solution provider partners expressed confidence that the deal will eventually get done.

Microsoft's Windows 10 Still Causing User Headaches

It's been six months since Microsoft's Windows 10 hit the market, but the desktop and mobile device operating system is still causing problems for users, according to a report issued this week.

Rescuecom, a provider of computer and tech support services, issued its annual Computer Repair Report, and problems with Windows OS and applications were far and away the No. 1 issue that people call for help with. The report noted that while problems with new software tend to decline over time as vendors correct bugs and users become more familiar with the software, user issues with Windows 10 continue to increase.

"While there seems to be little relief for consumers who have upgraded to Windows 10 too quickly, it is an issue that should calm down as users become more familiar with Windows 10," the report predicted.

Insight Enterprises Takes Another Hit From Microsoft Partner Program Change

Insight Enterprises expects to lose an additional $5 million to $10 million in gross profit this year because of cuts Microsoft made in 2014 to the incentives it pays solution providers for selling cloud software products such as Office 365.

This year's projected reduction is on top of the $5 million to $10 million reduction in overall profit Insight suffered in the recently concluded fiscal 2015. Company executives disclosed this year's anticipated profit reduction this week during an earnings call for the company's fiscal 2015 fourth quarter.

Microsoft announced the program changes in 2014, including cutting cloud sales commissions and incentives for Licensing Solution Providers like Insight, the only type of partner allowed to sell enterprise volume licensing agreements. The change cut Insight's gross profit that year by $11 million to $14 million.