Re: Nortel’s CIO: It’s turnaround time (Dec. 15)

Given the reduction in employees and “”internal clients”” (business units, etc.), one would expect sizable reduction in servers, applications

and cost for any internal IS/IT service provider in an environment similar to Nortel’s.

When asset management, client relationship management, supply management or network management strategies are discussed, a frame of reference might be useful. Under other names (e.g. client managers), I believe site primes have been used before at Nortel and are used at other corporations (as extolled in many papers, books, etc.). They may have gotten away from that for a while for lack of clients, and/or the need to work out the related details resulting from a pretty significant outsourcing arrangement with CSC (a fact, and the impact of which are noticeably and interestingly absent from this article). Similarly, the cost of everything from the transmission of gigabits of information to leasing PC’s as compared to what was/is readily available to anyone with volume, per technology/vendor in the marketplace would have been useful competition and over abundance of supply would have had a significant overall impact I would think.

Finally, not sure where this came from and was going, however, I am pretty sure that application/OS/server inventories were in pretty good shape for everyone, Nortel for sure, going into Y2K. Likewise, the management of desktop assets through SMS, etc. And ask the finance folks if asset tagging hasn’t been the norm since forever. Nothing new here.

Claude Bond

Re: Nortel’s CIO: It’s turnaround time (Dec. 15)

This is a great article. Mr. Hitchcock has one of the most difficult jobs to tackle.

First of all, the outlook on the switching network business is still not good. But on the service side, 75 per cent reduction in servers (12,000 to 3,000 and from 200 to 20 data centres) tells a fraction of the story in the reduction of infrastructure for services that were once available and that these will be next to impossible to revive. So what is the end goal? Should there be a total reinvention of the business model, and the elimination of the need in the future for those extinguished services? If it survives long enough, would a future buy-out of Nortel result in a benefit to investors?

As a fellow (previous) patriotic investor in Nortel, it can only be my hope (and I am sure that others feel the same way) that the CIO is more technically qualified than the predecessor in understanding the complexity down to the ground. I hope there will be no more RIS (Re-inventing IS) mantra. Pure intelligence and understanding are required, about how a streamlined organization (and even one without too much red tape) can still be presented with major problems when the internal IS organizations, along the regional business cores, use political in-fights to keep their “”redundant”” systems alive because the required budgets secure their survival. Who is left that is qualified to make the correct analysis and evaluation on which systems to attempt to revive versus rebuilding?

Managers in IS, at Nortel, should have experience in (distributed) systems development. But this is not the case. So, if the quality of the systems that remain is what I think it is, then I am afraid that I will have to wait a very long time to recover my investments in Nortel, because the CIO will find it difficult to deliver the needed quality of services (on this infrastructure that has survived) for Nortel to compete with others. Or investors can hope that the other players are having the same kind of problems to deal with. But this is not constructive for society as whole on the dream-path of rapid technological development. More like a snail’s pace to me.

Maybe streamlining is not the thing that Nortel needs. More likely a total makeover.

Anthony R. Sukdeo

Re: Nortel’s CIO: It’s turnaround time (Dec. 15)

It would appear that Nortel has seen some significant costs savings through their cost cutting programs. However no mention was made of the fact that Nortel reduced their staff by about 60 per cent (including myself) through layoffs and retirement packages, and outsourcing. With more than 50,000 fewer users, and in Ottawa, a reduction of buildings from around 15 to three, there was plenty of room to reduce workstations, servers, network facilities and overall IT costs.

I hope that Nortel continues to survive and even prosper, but you shouldn’t forget the hardships that the former employees went through, and are still going through which ultimately allowed Nortel to meet these targets. A lot of us IT staff lost their careers, financial stability, and families to allow Nortel to save as much as they did.

Paul Sturmey


Re: Copyright Board puts freeze on blank media levy (Dec. 12)

I am completely mystified by the application of copyright tariffs on media that are commonly used for data storage. In the days of the audio cassette it made sense as there was little other application for them. The majority of my CD burning is for backup purposes, I fail to see why I should pay any copyright duties for this activity. Furthermore, the music I do transfer to CD, has been legally purchased and then converted to MP3 for my use only (I don’t even play the originals afterwards). I have already paid my dues, should I need to pay over and over again?

The music and film industry should have woken up long ago, evidently they were blinded by greed and still seem to be excessively influenced by it. They should have gotten the hint with the popularity of Napster years ago and avoided all the illegal downloading before it took off. People would’ve gladly paid 99 cents per song for quality and choice over illegally downloading questionable quality.

The music and film industry should get off its high horse and realize that they need to find the right strategy to entice people to be on their side and above board, not encourage them to go or stay under the table. These levies will only worsen an already bad situation.

I really enjoy your e-magazine!

Maarten van Hell

Re: Copyright Board puts freeze on blank media levy (Dec. 12)

It is rather unfortunate that the CPCC is so blinded by the opportunity for a tax grab that they miss the long view of what their mission will lead to. If they succeed, it will spell the end of conventional CD and DVD sales. The levy legalizes and morally justifies copying of media. Since the purchaser of recordable media has paid in tax for the fee to copy the original, they are therefore morally empowered to get and do what they have paid for.

The CPCC has also embarked on a technological challenge to their premise that all technology capable of recording should be taxed. It’s an observable fact that technical advancement has outdistanced all legislative processes. It’s not likely that this is going to change any time soon. So holes will appear faster than any effort to suppress, tax or prevent.

This will make the legal profession the only winner in this never-ending trip to the docket and the legal billable hour. The public, CPCC and the artist all lose. Well, maybe the government wins too.

George Rafael


Re: Archive: December 1999 — The Y2K worm threat (Dec. 5)

It is difficult to fathom that the “”Business Staff”” of a supposedly responsible IT publication would present its ignorance with such abandon in its article on Y2K perspectives in 1999. To say: “”But, as we all know, naught (or next to naught) came from this IT scare”” is to proclaim that none of you were on the ground in the late ’90s. You are acknowledging that you don’t understand the nature of the problem, or the degree to which it had permeated mission-critical systems over the previous decades. You are proudly trumpeting that you are totally oblivious to the very necessary and legitimate remedial work that was undertaken in order to avoid what would have been an untold number of logistic catastrophes.

The fact that “”next to naught”” came from this “”scare”” is not, as you sneeringly suggest, because the scare was a hoax (“”Ooh, Y2K is coming and we’re all screwed””), but only because of the investment that organizations made in time and money to deal with a very real problem.

What it over-hyped? Perhaps. Was the reaction to the hype excessive, bordering on silly? Probably. Should there have been a problem in the first place? Clearly not.But there was a problem, and it was real and it was only through real work that it was contained. You owe an apology to everyone who was intelligent enough to raise the alarms, and to everyone who drove it to ground.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so critical. Perhaps your “”business staff”” wasn’t in the workforce in the late ’90s. Judging by the comments, my guess would be: struggling to get out of Grade 7.

Ken West

Re: Archive: December 1999 — The Y2K worm threat (Dec. 5)

The comment “”But, as we all know, naught (or next to naught) came from this IT scare.”” is at best amusing. Perhaps one incident out of many would change your mind?

I suggest you read the following report. It’s long, but in the interests of telling the history of Y2K honestly it would seem like a good idea.

You might also want to read some of the news coverage related to this little Y2K error. There wasn’t much. The report came out on Sept 10, 2001. and I guess it was pushed from the media coverage for some strange reason.

That this article and these comments would be made in an IT publication baffle me. I expect this type of silliness from the mainstream media, but not from a publication which is supposed to represent the IT industry.

Peter de Jager

P.S. Yes, I am THAT Peter de Jager


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