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Success leaves clues for enterprises to follow

Ross O. Storey | Feb. 3, 2009
What do Ferrari, VMware, Apple and Sybase have in common?

Apple:  In the fourth quarter of 2008, Apple reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhonewhich sold more units than RIM. Mac computer sales reached an all-time high. In its latest results, Apple posted a record US $1.61 billion profit on $10.17 billion in revenue. While many of the other consumer-facing tech companies are missing their targets and suffering falling revenues decline, the apple tree continues to grow, and, despite the premium prices of Apple products, the firm is gaining market share in almost all of its product categories.

Sybase: This enterprise infrastructure and mobile software provider has just announced its best quarter and year in the companys history, with its 2008 full-Year revenue having increased 10 per cent on 2007, driven by database license growth of 28 per cent and Messaging Growth of 29 per cent. Sybase Chairman, CEO, and President, John Chen said: We are extremely proud to deliver our first-ever quarter exceeding $300 million in revenue, as well as record results for our fifth consecutive quarter and second consecutive year. The market is responding well to our market-leading mobility and analytics technologies, which has enabled us to gain market share.  Sybase's success is driven by our consistently strong execution, compelling product portfolio, and long-standing fiscal conservatism.

Mr Chen said that, entering 2009, Sybases competitive position and financial foundation are as strong as they have ever been.  

This is the result of judiciously investing in our Unwired Enterprise strategy, together with our ongoing efforts to streamline operations and prudently manage company assets.  Even as the macro environment holds uncertainty, I am optimistic in our continued ability to execute well, he said.

There is an old adage that success leaves clues and I am sure there is plenty to learn from the above examples. No doubt there are many other success stories being submerged in the current doom and gloom sludge. Perhaps the message for enterprises is: focus on quality, go the extra mile to please your customers, adopt fiscal conservatism, set your prices to match your high standards and employ consistently strong execution.

Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines.


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