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back to article OCZ omnishambles leaves flash chippery biz on knife-edge

Flash supplier OCZ does not yet know its sales for the last two quarters nor whether it's made a profit or a loss, and had just $2 million net cash left in the bank at the end of 2012. It's an omni-shambles and it could get tossed out of Nasdaq. The memory chip company cannot make sense of its own financial records and is …

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How?

A publicly traded company must a track record in submitting accurate accounts, so when and how did it go wrong and is the CFO still in a job?

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Re: How?

"so when and how did it go wrong"

The "how" was when the CFO stated earnings he seems to have "neglected" (for reasons that could be quite innocent to effectively fraud) the incentive discounts on those products.

"is the CFO still in a job?"

It went wrong when the CFO left. Which is odd given that discounts, hookersfreebies, backhanders etc usually are at the discretion of Sales or the CEO, who presumably would keep a record as a favour done is a favor owed.

Read the article.

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Holmes

Shooting Admirals

I've heard enough stories of much larger companies being dilatory on filing required financial reports, and getting away uncensured, that this looks a little like a case of shooting a very small admiral to encourage the others.

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Interesting business model

I've been following this whole OCZ hu-la-la for some time now and from what I can recall OCZ wishes to fully exit the low to mid range consumer market and instead focus on the enthusiast and enterprise market.

This is an interesting proposition considering it's the enthusiast market they have royally given the shaft in the past and I don't know about you but I do believe a decent chunk of said enthusiasts also tend to be in the IT industry and so by having shafted said enthusiasts they didn't just lose some "individual" sales but surely some enterprise sales as well.

OCZ's shortcomings are well documented and even with their "recent" release of their thus-far-spectacular OCZ Vector there is still a thick aura of sourness surrounding any mention of OCZ. Pretty much every single OCZ Vector review for instance doesn't just highlight how stunning the OCZ Vector is but also how not-so-brilliant OCZ's track record has been. Furthermore said reviews are often loaded with user comments on how a given individual/organization has sworn to never touch OCZ ever again.

It's really hard justifying the risk in purchasing an OCZ product these days given the crap track-record the company has portrayed and their current financial difficulties doesn't make matters any better. And don't forget, these so-called "enthusiasts" tend to be people who spend a decent amount of time reading up on a product rather than committing to a "blind" purchase in a shop down the street.

Despite all that though I did pull the trigger on two OCZ Vector 256GB SSD's a month plus ago as I do believe in giving a second chance. Plus OCZ did undergo a CEO/CFO change since their darker days.

And I do hope for a brighter future for OCZ. Not just in the interest of the warranty on my two not-so-cheap SSD's. But more in the interest of them being around to further push the envelope of SSD technology. Don't forget that OCZ had always been the leader of the pack. They have always been right at the forefront of SSD technology and they have paid the price (OCZ was often accused of treating its consumers as beta testers).

In that sense I do believe that OCZ doesn't receive enough credit where it's due. They pushed the boundaries while other manufacturers were sitting around with their thumbs up their butt-holes and "playing it safe" (i.e. waiting for someone else to make the first move to learn from their mistakes).

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Re: Interesting business model

Hmm, odd that they want to exit the low to midrange market. I got my first OCZ flash drive based on them being a reasonably cheap "named" brand with decent performance and reviews. I was so pleased with it that when I upgraded my higher end systems I went for their range as well, based on them being a reasonably priced but respectable brand. I could have gone cheaper but no-name, and the randomness that comes with that, is something I refuse to gamble on nowadays, or alternatively I could have gone a lot more expensive for dubious performance gains.

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"OCZ's survival is still possible"

Don't see how. Now that I know that OCZ is on the verge of failure, I am certainly not going to buy a new SSD from them - don't want to take the risk of seeing my guarantee skip town, and I don't think anyone else will either.

This is now a case of watching a company sink and not lifting a finger.

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Pretty sad really

I've got two of the OCZ drives and they are the best hardware upgrades I've ever made to any PC. Good price. Solid performance.

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Unhappy

Re: Pretty sad really

Absolutely! I replaced the 7200rpm HDD in my Vaio with a Vertex 4 and it has made it a completely different machine in terms of responsiveness.

Shame to see that bad management may mean that my next drive won't be the same :(

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Stop

Re: Pretty sad really

I too bought a pair of vertex 2's. They arrived as dissimilar models (64 and 32gb die). They were for a RAID 0 array originally (plenty of backup so not an issue with reliability I though). The 64 got RMAd for free and 3 weeks later arrived back. The original 32gb die died 3 months in and was RMAd. The 2nd drive died last summer and the original already RMAd drive hit the red light of doom after hibernating just before christmas. They decided to send me a vertex 3.

They are effing quick though.

I wont buy OCZ again as the reliability for me was shocking. Im sure other companies fair just as badly but once bitten twice shy. I buy intel SSDs at work.

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Thumb Up

1) Sell short..

2)Profit.

Some might think me a tad callus for this but don't think that's exactly what some will do.

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FAIL

Bad customer experience

Both the OCZ drives I've had have failed within 9 months. I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole. It's a shame as they made windows run well, but then became unstable before dying spectacularly.

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Some of the OCZ SSD drives had a 25% failure rate. No company can survive after that.

Good riddance.

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Mushroom

Yep - even the Warranty replacements fail within weeks. Ditched mine on ebay. Never again....

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Hear, hear

Won't be spending a dime on OCZ until a whole lot of someones walk through that minefield ahead of me. I do have to admit that the Talos drives in the Drobo I got to faff with were blinking awesome...but I only had that thing for a month. I won't be convinced until I have an array of drives that can match my Hyper-X array, and give me at least a year of truly epic punishing usage with only a single failure. (Alternately, having someone whose judgement and veracity I trust run a similar array would do.)

Once burned, twice shy. 80% of all OCZ drives I've deployed (mostly Vertex 2 and 3) failed miserably; including the RMAs sent back. I simply cannot justify the business risk of using that company for anything critical without extended testing. I cannot justify spending money on OCZ for extended testing when there are other companies with better reputations whose equipment I could be testing instead.

They have a massive chicken-and-egg problem vis-à-vis trust that they are corporately unable to overcome. It would require them to do things like "admit we fucked up massively," both internally and to the public. It would require an expensive seeding program. It would require actually having good product to sell that is quite simply miles ahead of the previous generation stuff in terms of reliability.

Maybe they have the product part down pat. They don't remotely have the "admit we fucked up" bit under wraps, and given these financial results, I am not sure they have the money (or the internal political will) to engage in a seeding program to start earning trust with thought leaders amongst the technorati.

Failed prior execution. Failed internal politics. Failed marketing.

Next.

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Devil

@TheVogon

I like your attitude!

I consider this to be useless unreliable crap... I must unload this on someone unsuspecting via eBay as soon as possible!

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