Lots of news this week, so let’s get started.
- FedEx Corp. Reports First Quarter Results
- Oracle Reports Q1 GAAP EPS Up 15% to 41 Cents; Q1 Non-GAAP EPS Up 11% to 53 Cents
- ILA, USMX agree to 90-day extension in labor negotiations (Logistics Management)
- Descartes as an IATA Strategic Partner Facilitates Air Cargo Innovation With Technology Bridge between Cargo-XML and Cargo-IMP
- Oracle Introduces Mobile Point-of-Service for Retailers
- SAP Opens New Mobility Design Center to Conceptualize, Design and Rapidly Build Mobile Solutions with Customers
- Savi Technology Acquired by LaSalle Capital Affiliates
- Qualcomm and McLeod Collaborate to Enhance Driver Workflow and Dispatch Operations for Less-Than-Truckload Fleets
- FedEx Express and Nissan Expand their Cooperative Testing of the 100% Electric Nissan e-NV200 to New Global Markets
- Global Trade Slowdown (Wall Street Journal)
- Wal-Mart Pares Supply Deal with Middleman Li & Fung (Wall Street Journal)
As it had warned earlier this month, FedEx’s Q1FY13 results fell short of expectations. Although the company’s FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground divisions posted positive operating income growth this quarter (114 percent and 9 percent, respectively), the FedEx Express division dragged down overall results with a 28 percent drop in operating income compared to Q1FY12. “Earnings for the first quarter were below our expectations as weak global economic conditions dampened revenue growth, drove a shift by our customers to our deferred services and outpaced our near-term ability to reduce FedEx Express operating costs to match demand levels,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Oracle posted similar mixed results for its Q1FY13. New software licenses and cloud software subscriptions revenues were up 5 percent to $1.6 billion compared to the same period last year, but hardware systems products revenues were down 24 percent to $779 million. The stronger dollar had a negative impact on this quarter’s results. However, some financial analysts blame Oracle’s relatively late transition to cloud applications as another factor (see WSJ article). If the comments by Mark Hurd and Larry Ellison in the financial press release are any indication, when Oracle OpenWorld kicks off later this the month, you can bet “cloud” will dominate the news:
“Oracle’s new cloud business is also approaching a $1 billion annual run rate,” said Oracle President, Mark Hurd.
“A little more than a week from now we will announce lots of enhancements to the Oracle Cloud,” said Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison. “There are more CRM, ERP and HCM applications as a service, and more Oracle database, Java and social network platform services. Our new infrastructure as a service is available in the Oracle Cloud and as a private cloud in our customers’ data center, with the unique ability to move applications and services back and forth between the two.”
Speaking of cloud, Salesforce.com held its annual user conference this week, and “social” was the dominant theme. You can check the company’s website for all the press releases, but here is a quote by Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of the company: “Today’s leading companies recognize that business is social. With new innovations across our six product lines, companies can transform the way they sell, service, market, collaborate, work and innovate in order to connect more deeply with customers.”
Cloud, Social…and the third leg of the “technology buzz” stool is Mobile, with Oracle and SAP making announcements this week in this area. Oracle introduced Oracle Retail Mobile Point-of-Service, “a mobile extension to Oracle Retail Point-of-Service (POS) that enables store associates to assist customers and securely complete transactions from anywhere in the store using mobile devices.” Meanwhile, SAP announced the opening of the new SAP Mobility Design Center which is “focused on enabling companies to keep up with the consumerization of IT trend by conceptualizing, designing and building mobile solutions to better connect with employees and consumers.” Here is an excerpt from the press release highlighting a project between SAP and Sysco:
The SAP Mobility Design Center designed and built an application for Sysco using the SAP mobile platform. The app enables customers to manage inventory from Sysco and place orders, either manually or by setting replenishment metrics to re-order automatically. The app also allows a Sysco customer to track its own inventory not purchased from Sysco. This is both an added service for the customer and gives Sysco an expanded view into the items its customers need, and thus items it may want to offer in the future.
In other technology news, Descartes announced that it has developed, in partnership with IATA, a technology bridge that helps air cargo messaging participants “easily transition from legacy messaging procedures to the new Cargo-XML standards. The solution provides bidirectional translation and message version control between legacy Cargo Interchange Message Procedures (Cargo IMP) and the new Cargo-XML schema.” And hot off the press this morning, Savi Technology announced that it was acquired by LaSalle Capital Affiliates (terms were not disclosed). Savi, which is best known for its RFID technology, is targeting a bigger market opportunity it calls “Logistics Informatics” that is focused on “the location, security, physical condition, and business status of physical objects as they move across geography or are utilized in a business process or transaction.” More on this topic in a future posting (also see my April 2009 posting, “Everything Will be Tracked Wirelessly in 10 Years”).
Finally, retailers and other importers/exporters are breathing a huge sigh of relief. The ILA and USMX have agreed to continue negotiations through the end of the year, so the ports will stay open through the holiday season. But keep an eye on what happens between the Teamsters and UPS, which begin their contract negotiations next week. I’m betting against a quick agreement.
Have a great weekend!
Song of the Week: “Madness” by Muse.
(Note: Descartes, Oracle, and SAP are ARC clients and/or Logistics Viewpoints sponsors).