said a competitor of Satyam in an email to me. No gloating - just coming to terms with what the meltdown and negative press meant even to his firm. A Satyam employee, in an understatement, emailed me he was "shocked beyond words".
Plenty of conversations today about Satyam including one with Brian Sommer he blogged about here. My focus, all day, has been around what it means to Satyam customers.
In an ideal scenario someone could buy Satyam, promise stability to its employees and most customers would adjust to life under the new owner. But given the lack of transparency on what is real at Satyam, and given the lawyers circling, the entity as a whole is in a word - toxic. So the next logical scenario is a carve-up - with firms buying up selected technology or geographic practices. This is what happened in the post-Enron Arthur Andersen shut down process. But the most likely scenario - various firms will just selectively pick off employees at Satyam, and hope they can help acquire its customers - a potentially cheaper way to get to that revenue potential.
The dominant scenario, if it transpires, translates to a nightmare for Satyam customers. While their attorneys should be able to free them for any multi-year contracts (by arguing, for example, Satyam may be technically insolvent - many MSAs have an out clause for that and other changes in vendor status), it's not a simple case of calling up TCS or Accenture and asking them to take over the contract. Knowledge transfer from Satyam employees will take weeks if not months - while traumatized Satyam employees search for their personal safe harbors. Also, from my experience, Satyam priced many of its contracts aggressively - so moving away may mean an unplanned budget increase or service level reduction.
It is a sad day for India Inc. Even sadder day for Satyam customers. But no point crying - they need to kick start a contingency process to somehow retain their Satyam talent and service level or rapidly transition away from it.