Tag Archives: analysis

data.center

Established CFO Brings Tech Experience to IO

IO, a global leader in software-defined data centers, today announced Michael Berry has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Berry will be responsible for financial planning and analysis, accounting, operations, treasury activities and investor relations, and will report to CEO and Product Architect, George Slessman.

“I am very happy to have Mike join IO,” said Slessman. “His experience as a proven operational leader and technology executive will support IO’s growth and provide a solid financial and operational foundation for the organization.”

Berry joins IO from SolarWinds, a publicly held international provider of IT management software with approximately $300 million in annual revenue and over $3.5 billion in market capitalization where he was Executive Vice President and CFO.  He overhauled the company’s financial planning process and was instrumental in completing ten acquisitions and leading the maintenance renewal team to strong and consistent revenue growth. From a financial perspective, during Mr. Berry’s tenure the company achieved non-GAAP operating profit of greater than 50 percent for eleven straight quarters, and increased operating cash flow by 33% while growing total revenue by 28% on an annualized basis. Prior to SolarWinds, Berry was CFO at i2 (NASDAQ: ITWO), a publicly held, international provider of supply chain software and services. At i2, he rebuilt and scaled the finance and investor relations organizations, led the implementation of several financial planning systems, and played a key role in several strategic initiatives including the acquisition of i2 in January 2010 by JDA Software.

“I could not be more excited about joining IO,” said Michael Berry, IO’s new CFO. “Our leadership position in the foundation technology of the cloud, visionary leadership, marquis enterprise customers and disruptive technology, combined with my experience building the financial and operational foundation for proven technology companies, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  It is truly a great fit that aligns very well with my personal and professional goals and objectives.”

Prior to his CFO experience, Berry served in various executive roles at The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, a provider of software and services to the retail automotive industry, most recently as Senior Vice President of Solutions Management, Development and Operations. He has also held executive management positions at Comdata Corporation and Travelers Express Co. (now MoneyGram International). Berry is currently a Member of the Board of Directors and Audit Committee Chairman for Rapid7, a privately-held security software company based in Boston, Mass.

Polling Station

AZ 2010 Midterm Election Analysis

The best day to be the President of the United States has got to be Inauguration Day. You take the oath of office. You give a speech that the whole world stops to listen to and it is guaranteed to be recorded in history the moment you give it. It is all processionals, parties, and smiles. The next day you start working on your agenda, and two years later you face midterm elections.

Midterms are probably the worst day for a president!

It looks like the Democrats will end up losing more than 60 seats in the U.S. House and at least 6 in the Senate. Republicans now take control of the House, and while not gaining a majority in the Senate, they have a more workable margin.

While the economy seems to be the leading reason for voter discontent, it is more than a coincidence that 1994 and 2010 were both Democratic midterm disasters preceded by new Democratic Presidents (Clinton and Obama) that tried to radically reform health care with a national model. (The equivalent for Republican’s would have to be reforming Social Security. Regan tried that and had a 1982 midterm that saw the Senate handed back to the Democrats.)

While slow economic progress is blamed for the large losses to Democrats on the national level, it is a different story in Arizona. Republicans have been in control here for quite awhile. Besides Janet Napolitano’s time as Governor, Republican’s have controlled just about everything else. Arizona is facing a horrible economy with a massive budget deficit, and yet, voters rewarded the Republicans with gains in both legislative bodies, which they had already controlled. The Arizona Senate went from an 18-12 Republican majority to 21-9. In the Arizona House, the Republicans held 35 out of the 60 seats before this election. They have added at least 2 seats to their majority with 3 other seats leaning in their favor. They could get to 40 seats. That is a 2/3 majority, like the Senate now has.

It also appears that Republican’s will win all of the major Arizona statewide offices. Governor Brewer was reelected just months after she looked vulnerable in her own primary. She also had a terrible debate. (Told you the debate wouldn’t matter!)

As for Arizona’s initiatives, again a conservative voter attitude seemed to prevail. Voters said yes to a proposition that prohibits reforms in the President’s healthcare plan (106), yes to eliminating affirmative action programs (107), and yes to secret ballots being mandatory for union organizing (113).

Everything else voters said no to. This included changing rules regarding wildlife management and hunting (109), medical marijuana (203), and major changes in the state’s political process. This includes no to state land reform(110), no to a Lieutenant Governor (111), no to changing the amount of time to verify initiative petition signatures (112), and no to using funds voters already designated to a specific purpose in past elections (301 & 302). Remember Nancy Regan’s slogan; “just say no.”

Some of these proposition results aren’t final. For election results visit AZNow.Biz’s results post.

What to watch for in the coming two years:

President Obama will need to move more to the center to meet Republicans who now have a large say in policy. If he becomes a better diplomat between the parties watch his agenda move better. If not, look for a stalemate.

In Arizona, Republicans should be able to do anything they want. This may not happen. Arizona still has huge financial woes. If Republicans can’t get on the same page, inner-party conflict will become ugly. The big question is how well our Republican Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President get along. If they can’t work together and coordinate their agendas, they won’t be able to blame Democrats for being the problem.

The biggest part of this disaster for the Democrats may be the impact it has on redistricting. After the 2010 Census is complete, they will draw new district lines. Controlling this process gives a huge advantage to the party in power.

Food Basket

Listen To Mother: Eat Your Vegetables And Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

Eat your vegetables. Your grandma said it, your mom said it — even Popeye said it — and now your doctor should be saying it regularly as well. A new analysis of existing research suggests that eating more green, leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Why is this important? Nearly one in five hospitalizations in 2008 involved patients with diabetes, according to a recent federal report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. And, the cost of caring for those patients was $83 billion for 7.7 million stays, or nearly one in four dollars of hospital costs that year, according to the report. The report also says the average cost for each of those diabetes-related hospitalizations was $10,937, nearly $2,200 more than the cost of a stay for a patient without a diagnosis of diabetes.

The rates of type 2 diabetes have been going up in the United States as the population has become more overweight, the authors of the analysis noted. So, one of the consequences of not eating our vegetables is that it hits our wallets as drastically as it hits our waistlines. For decades, scientists have been trying to understand the role that diet plays in the development of the disease. Researchers, led by nutritionist Patrice Carter at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, examined six studies that looked at the links between diet and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. They found that compared with those who ate the least amount of green, leafy vegetables (0.2 servings daily), people who ate the most (1.35 servings daily) had a 14 percent reduction in risk for type 2 diabetes. However, the analysis didn’t show that increasing overall intake of fruit, vegetables, or a combination of both, would make a significant difference in risk, Carter and colleagues reported in the Aug. 19 online edition of the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

Still, in the analysis, the authors concluded that “increasing daily intake of green, leafy vegetables could significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and should be investigated further.” Evidence also indicates that these vegetables may play a role in prevention of certain cancers, as well as obesity and its consequences. So, what are some green, leafy veggies of choice? Well, spinach, of course, but also broccoli, kale, sprouts and cabbage can reduce the risk by 14 percent when eaten daily, because they are rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which has been linked to lower levels of diabetes. Whether we like it or not, no matter who it comes from, “eat your vegetables” is sound advice.

A rendering of the memorial planned to be constructed at Ground Zero in New York City.  Rendering by Squared Design Lab from www.national911memorial.org

Government Secrecy About Terror Plots Sometimes Tolerated, Sometimes Not

The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is tomorrow, and a study shows that Americans will tolerate government secrecy about terror plots, but only in certain circumstances.

The study, which was led by professor V. Kerry Smith of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, surveyed more than 2,000 Americans about their beliefs concerning government secrecy about terrorism.  The study, also conducted by Carol Mansfeld and H. Allen Klaiber, included results from an Internet panel run by Knowledge Networks.

“The reason we were interested in doing (this survey) is there’s a presumption that security requires a certain amount of secrecy,” Smith said.  The survey was aimed at determining in which situations Americans will tolerate secrecy from the government in return for the promise of safety, he said.

Survey participants were asked to determine whether the government should release or withhold information regarding terrorist plots in three different situations.  The questions were asked with the caveat that if the information was released, it could increase the possibility of terrorist threat.

In two situations, a threat to disrupt Internet service at local banks, which would disrupt the processing of credit and debit card sales in the U.S. for 48 hours, and a threat to destroy major airports in Los Angeles and New York, participants responded similarly.

More than 75 percent of participants said they would want the government to withhold information rather than give away any knowledge that would make it more difficult to uncover future plots or give terrorists an upper hand.

However, when asked about the government releasing information about the true nature of a plane crash due to a terrorist attack, more than 80 percent of those surveyed said they would want the government to release this information.

“What was the surprise to me and others was the very dramatic differences” in the types of information that Americans would agree to have withheld, Smith said.

Smith says most Americans don’t perceive all threats as being the same, which means that the government shouldn’t think that Americans’ tolerance to secrecy is uniform for all threats.

He suggests a reason why Americans are more sensitive to the threat of an attack on a commercial airplane is that what happens during a plane flight isn’t something they can control, whereas the other situations that can be more easily controlled.  This reasoning comes from results of risk assessment surveys, not done during this survey.

Risk assessment surveys also offer an explanation as to why women and people living in married households were more willing to support the withholding of information, and people with college degrees were more likely to support the release of information.  These definable characteristics of people, gender, marital status or education, can be used to track trends in the way people assess risk and make decisions.

Smith also said survey results don’t change based on whether Americans are confronted with terrorism at the time of the survey or not.

The first leg of the survey, which polled about 1,900 people in 33 major cities in December 2009, was bracketed by the Christmas shoe bomber’s attempt to blow up a commercial plane, Smith said.

Some of the participants took the survey before the attempt, some after, some even lived in Detroit, the plane’s destination, he said.  However, the results of the survey weren’t affected, Smith said.

The second part of the survey, which polled about 500 people in four major cities in April 2010, showed the same results as the December 2009 portion of the survey.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events supported the research for this survey.

    Three scenarios summarized and the survey responses:

    “Should the government release the details of a major plot to destroy airports in Los Angeles and New York after the terrorists have been captured, even though it might give away the techniques law enforcement used and make it harder to uncover future plots?”

    Information Released – 23 percent; Information withheld – 77 percent

    “Should the government announce the details of a major terrorist plot to disrupt Internet service at commercial banks, and prevent the processing of credit and debit card sales across the United States for 48 hours, if the terrorists have been captured, even though it would give away the techniques used to identify the suspects and reveal specifics of the security network?”

    Information Released – 24 percent; Information withheld – 76 percent

    “Should the government release the true cause of an airplane crash due to a terrorist attack, even if that will have major economic effects on commercial airlines, give the terrorists notoriety and create an increased fear of flying?”

    Information Released – 83 percent; Information withheld – 17 percent

West Valley Industry Turnover

WESTMARC Unveils The Results Of A Work Force Labor Market Study

What started as an initiative from the city of Surprise Economic Development Department quickly turned into an unprecedented work force study on the entire West Valley spearheaded by WESTMARC. The study came about through a collaboration of communities, corporations, government entities and educational institutions that contributed more than $150,000 to fund the report.

“West Valley communities have experienced tremendous growth since the 2000 Census. They were having difficulty addressing questions from business prospects concerning the size and skill levels of the regional work force,” says Surprise Economic Development Coordinator Megan Griego, who sits on WESTMARC’s economic development committee and was chair of the Workforce Labor Study of the West Valley. “The communities of the West Valley formed a consortium to better understand their region’s work force and to better promote its growth and development.”

Russ Ullinger, senior project manager of economic development for SRP, and WESTMARC co-chair and member of the economic development committee, adds that the concept for the study developed out of necessity.

“Numerous surveys and studies have identified work force as one of the most important assets when national site selection consultants consider different regions and locations for businesses,” he says.

“This is relevant in good economic times, as well as poor economic times. This study truly drills and provides specific labor information unique to the West Valley.”

Harry Paxton, economic development director for the city of Goodyear, who also acted as co-chair of the study, credits WESTMARC’s partnerships with the Maricopa Work Force Connection, as well as Maricopa Community College in the development and funding of the study. He also praises WESTMARC for bringing together work force professionals to get their input on what the study should entail.

In May 2008, WESTMARC enlisted California-based ERISS Corporation to prepare the comprehensive labor market analysis.

“That analysis involved a survey of all businesses in the West Valley with 20 or more employees — all such businesses were contracted and 1,100 completed the survey — and a detailed review of newly available government information,” Griego says.

The detailed data developed by the survey and the analysis of various government data sources is also available through www.usworks.com/westmarc, which presents the comprehensive information and data relevant to businesses, site selectors, economic development professionals, work force development professionals and educators into convenient and customizable reports.

The results of the study can now help the 15 West Valley communities represented in the report to identify their specific needs when it comes to work force issues, transportation and industry growth, and demand. For example, Glendale encompasses more than 6,000 firms, according to the report. Health care accounts for more than 12 percent of total employment in Glendale, which is higher than the Metro Phoenix area as a whole (9.1 percent), but is on par with other West Valley cities. The results also show that 19.6 percent of Glendale workers live and work in the city. The majority of other Glendale employees travel from Metro Phoenix (35.3 percent) and as many as 1.3 percent commute from Tucson.

In general, the study found there are more than 450,000 workers available to fill jobs for the right offer. In addition, there are growth and expansion opportunities in the industries of transportation, wholesale trade, traditional and non-store retail, as well as education. Regarding industry growth, health care leads the trend with a 6 percent growth rate. Construction and transportation/utilities follow closely with a 5 percent growth rate each, and retail in the West Valley has a 4 percent growth rate.

As part of the study, businesses were asked to rate their own work forces on a scale of one to seven, one representing the lowest productivity rating and seven the highest.Sixty-six percent of the area’s employers ranked their employees in one of the two highest categories.

Absenteeism is also a non-issue when it comes to West Valley workers as a whole. The majority of employers, 63 percent, reported that absenteeism is “not a significant problem” at their firms, and when absences do occur, 61 percent of employers reported that the cause is a legitimate illness with childcare.
Jack Lunsford, WESTMARC’s president and CEO, says ERISS Corporation did an excellent job with the study and the results have given them a course of action.



“We found that we have in the West Valley, even in this economy, a very large and qualified labor supply, and we still have some industries that are currently growing and that anticipate growth,” he says, adding that results also show West Valley communities need to implement a live/work/play strategy to avoid the problems with transportation issues.

Landis Elliott, business development director for House of Elliott, says the benefits of the study are numerous. “The study is a tool that the West Valley cities can use while working with potential locates to validate the high-quality employees we have in this region,” she says.