5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending July 22

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week were the managers and employees at Dell Wyse who face layoffs as Dell plans to focus on VMware's Horizon VDI software after its acquisition of EMC.

Also making the list were Microsoft for having to back off from its aggressive goals for Windows 10 adoption, solution provider CTG for the turmoil in its CEO office, VMware for problems with an NSX upgrade, and Southwest Airlines for a massive IT outage that has disrupted hundreds of flights this week.

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.

Wyse Sales Chief Steps Down, Layoffs Coming At Dell's VDI Business

As Dell prepares to acquire EMC and create a new industry IT powerhouse, Dell's Wyse cloud client-computing business – and some of the people who work there – are apparently not part of Dell's plans for the future, at least not in its current form.

This week Maryam Alexandrian, vice president of global sales, channels and field operations at Dell Wyse, confirmed she is leaving the company. And a wider shakeup is underway at the Wyse business unit that will result in an unspecified number of layoffs.

Wyse, which Dell acquired in 2012, markets its vWorkspace virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software. But VMware, which Dell is acquiring as part of its $62.3 billion acquisition of EMC, sells its own Horizon VDI software and Dell has indicated the focus going forward will be on the VMware product. That leaves Dell Wyse executives and employees out of the picture.

Microsoft To Miss Its 1 Billion Device Target For Windows 10

Citing its shrinking smartphone business, Microsoft has backed off its earlier prediction that its Windows 10 operating system would be running on 1 billion devices by mid-2017.

Nearly one year after its release, Windows 10 is now running on 350 million devices, according to Microsoft. And the software seems to have repaired much of the market damage caused by the vendor's unpopular Windows 8 operating system.

But sales of Windows-based smartphones are less than Microsoft had counted on – the company recently laid off most of the staff from its 2014 acquisition of Nokia and has taken restructuring charges against the $9.4 billion acquisition. While Microsoft had forecast reaching the 1 billion device threshold by the end of fiscal 2017 (ending June 30), it now says it will take longer to hit that milestone.

CEO Of Solution Provider CTG Out After Just 15 Months

It was a tough week for CTG CEO Cliff Bleustein (pictured), who resigned this week "by mutual agreement" after just 15 months on the job. He was immediately replaced by Bud Crumlish, a 26-year CTG veteran and head of the company's largest business unit.

CTG, No. 65 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, has not performed well since Bluestein took over as CEO in April 2015. Sales fell 6 percent in 2015 while net income plunged more than 37 percent.

Changes in top executives, no matter the rationale, create disruption for businesses. CTG is hoping its transition phase is a short one.

VMware Advises Customers Not To Apply NSX Upgrade

It's a tough week when an IT company has to advise that its customers not install its own software upgrade.

That's what VMware is doing this week regarding a recent upgrade of the company's NSX network virtualization software, specifically the 6.2.3 version released in June. The upgrade can disrupt the operations of some virtual machines, according to the company.

The problem stems from a new Global Address set in the upgrade that doesn't work properly with the software's Distributed Firewall rules and configured Security Groups, leading to "traffic disruption" on compute virtual machines, according to a posting on VMware's Knowledge Base service and support website.

"Customers using Distributed Firewall and Security Groups are advised to not install or upgrade to NSX for vSphere (NXS-V) 6.2.3," the site says. The company said it is "actively working on the fix for this issue."

Southwest Airlines Cancels Flights During Massive IT Outage

It's been a tough week for Southwest Airlines and its passengers after a problem with multiple IT systems resulted in the cancelation of hundreds of flights between Wednesday and Friday.

On Wednesday afternoon the airline temporarily halted all flights after problems with its IT network, including ticket booking and passenger check-in systems, according to a Reuters story. While the problems were reportedly fixed about 12 hours later in the early morning hours Thursday, according to a Dallas Morning News story, the airline has spent Thursday and Friday trying to reschedule its flights, crews and passengers.

Southwest canceled nearly 700 flights out of a total of 3,900 on Wednesday and another 450 on Thursday.

The airline said a failed network router was to blame and a backup system also failed, the Dallas Morning News said.