Thursday, December 27, 2007

New city manager to address business leaders

Penelope Culbreth-Graft (right), Colorado Springs' new city manager, will discuss her impressions of the city when she speaks before a business breakfast at 7 a.m. Jan. 15 at the Doubletree Hotel Colorado Springs-World Arena, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., on Colorado Springs' south side and near the Colorado Springs World Arena. Culbreth-Graft, the former city administrator in Huntington Beach, Calif., was hired by the City Council in November to succeed retiring City Manger Lorne Kramer. Culbreth-Graft's talk is being sponsored by the Quality Community Group, which is composed of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. Registration for the breakfast begins at 7 a.m., and the breakfast and program start at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. To register, go to or call 575-4313.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tech support outsourcing less

Technical support centers are outsourcing less this year than they did a year ago, according to an annual study by HDI, a Colorado Springs-based trade group for information technology service and support professionals.

Just 42 percent of the 1,005 information technology professionals surveyed between June and August outsource or plan to outsource part of their support operation, compared with 57 percent a year earlier.

A majority of those surveyed said they don’t outsource because they want to maintain control and have concerns about service quality and lack of customer acceptance. Hardware support and repair was the most common outsourced area of support, the survey found.

The survey also found that technical support hiring remains strong, with 45 percent planning increased hiring, 13 percent expecting to freeze hiring and 5 percent anticipating layoffs.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Simtek CEO writes open letter

Days after Simtek Corp.’s stock fell to a nearly five-year low, chief executive Harold Blomquist said the company’s performance “is the strongest it has been since (it) went public nearly 17 years ago” in a seven-page open letter to shareholders.

Simtek shares fell to $2 on Dec. 7, the lowest since early 2003 and down 50 percent since the company cut its revenue and profit forecasts Oct. 30 after missing its own and analyst forecasts for the third quarter with a small loss and lower-than-expected revenue.

Blomquist reaffirmed the company’s revised 2007 revenue forecast of $32 million to $33 million, which would be a second consecutive annual record, and said projected revenue from design wins through Sept. 30 exceeds a similar projection for all of 2006.

“Based on new products, design wins from customers, and a strong relationship with a credible partner, Cypress Semiconductor, the outlook for Simtek is very good,” Blomquist concluded in the Dec. 19 letter. Simtek stock has since recovered to $2.41 by midday Thursday.