Stories by Ann Bednarz

Israel becomes the Middle East's Silicon Valley

At an age when many young adults are just entering the workforce in entry-level positions, Gidi Cohen was leading an elite software development unit charged with building information security solutions for the Israeli military.
"I was 21, running significant budgets, with tons of projects under development and lots of people reporting to me," recalls Cohen, who served from 1987 to 1992 in the Israeli military's intelligence corps.

Written by Ann Bednarz22 May 05 22:00

SAP digs in as Oracle revs up

It's become a two-horse race between SAP and Oracle as the two dominant enterprise application vendors vie for greater share of customers' IT budgets. SAP holds a commanding lead over Oracle in terms of market share, but the latter is increasing its efforts to narrow the gap.

Written by Ann Bednarz16 May 05 08:05

SAPPHIRE - SAP digs in as Oracle revs up

It's become a two-horse race between SAP and Oracle as the two dominant enterprise application vendors vie for greater share of customers' IT budgets. SAP holds a commanding lead over Oracle in terms of market share, but the latter is increasing its efforts to narrow the gap.
At its annual North American user conference in Boston, SAP is expected to further detail its progress migrating its technology to a service-oriented architecture -- what it has dubbed Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA).

Written by Ann Bednarz12 May 05 22:00

IBM has some tall RFID plans

IBM is ramping up its efforts to compete in the emerging market for products that communicate environmental data to IT systems for analysis -- which Big Blue says could represent a US$20 billion opportunity by 2007.
These days there's a spotlight on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, thanks to adoption mandates from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Albertsons that are working to incorporate the wireless tracking technology into their supply chains. But RFID isn't the only sensor-based technology in play, says Ann Breidenbach, director of product line management and business strategy for IBM's newly formed Sensors and Actuators business unit.

Written by Ann Bednarz28 April 05 22:00

IBM bundles key WebSphere products for retailers

IBM this week announced more integrated versions of its e-commerce, portal and product information management (PIM) software, designed to make it easier for retailers and manufacturers to tie together product, pricing and promotional information across business systems.

Written by Ann Bednarz07 April 05 08:21

Leeway found in Wal-Mart's RFID mandate

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s January deadline for its top 100 suppliers to begin shipping cases and pallets outfitted with radio frequency identification tags is just around the corner - in theory. The reality is, compliance is going to be a multi-year effort, analysts say.
According to ABI Research Inc., only about 30 percent of Wal-Mart's top 100 suppliers will have accomplished full-scale RFID implementations by January. The remaining 70 percent have only been testing the waters with shallow "slap-and-ship" efforts. ("Slap-and-ship" refers to adding RFID tags at the distribution center, simply to meet retailer requirements, as opposed to integrating RFID technology early in manufacturing processes.)

Written by Ann Bednarz25 Nov. 04 22:00

BEA polishes Diamond platform

BEA Systems is readying the next version of its WebLogic platform, dubbed Diamond, which is aimed at helping companies more easily build and deploy a services-oriented architecture.
The Diamond suite -- also referred to as WebLogic Version 9.0 -- is due in beta form in January and expected to ship around mid-2005. The new platform will incorporate upgraded versions of BEA's core infrastructure software products, including its application server, integration software, portal and development runtime.

Written by Ann Bednarz07 Oct. 04 21:00

Trojan hits Windows PDAs for first time

After finding the third malicious program targeting wireless devices in fewer than 60 days, security specialists are warning that it's only a matter of time before attackers launch a serious attack against mobile phones and PDAs.
Kaspersky Labs has reported the first incidence of a Trojan horse that targets certain Windows-based handheld devices. Backdoor.WinCE.Brador.a is a backdoor utility that, security vendor F-Secure says, "copies itself to the startup folder, mails the IP address of the PDA to the backdoor author and starts listening to commands on a TCP port. The hacker can then connect back to the PDA via a TCP port and control the PDA through the backdoor". It can infect Pocket PC devices running Windows CE Version 4.2 and later, and newer versions of Windows Mobile.

Written by Ann Bednarz08 Aug. 04 22:00

The down side of offshoring

Economics lured Hemant Kurande to look to India, his birthplace, for more affordable engineering talent. Three years ago his company hired two service providers to do some core programming for a line of storage management products.
The results were mixed, says Kurande, CTO of Storability. The providers built products that were suitable as prototypes for R&D, but not production. That gap put the burden on Storability employees to shore up the code.

Written by Ann Bednarz30 June 04 22:00

Oracle previews application suite

Oracle hasy used its AppsWorld event in San Diego to preview the next release of its business applications suite and unveil software for consolidating customer information. The two announcements signal a fresh resolve from Oracle to integrate its software with other vendors' wares.
The focus of E-Business Suite 11i.10, which is expected mid-year, is on integration. Oracle is exposing hundreds of interfaces as Web services to make it easier and less costly for companies to automate business processes that span Oracle and non-Oracle applications, the vendor says.

Written by Ann Bednarz29 Jan. 04 22:00

Reporting tool exploits real-time data

Iteration Software Inc. this week unveiled its debut product: reporting software that alerts users within seconds of when a significant business event occurs, such as a rash of US$1 million customer orders or inventory shortfalls.
Iteration's Real-time Reporting Suite differs from traditional business intelligence software in that it gathers data from messaging systems that are relaying transactional information between applications. It doesn't rely on a data warehouse or batch reports, which make stored information available for later review. It also uses instant messaging, e-mail and Short Message Service technology. The company's goal is to make users aware of business problems or opportunities as they happen, speeding resolution.

Written by Ann Bednarz20 Oct. 03 21:00

Retailers plan more outsourcing, POS upgrades

IT outsourcing and point-of-sale overhauls are among the most popular IT projects being planned by US retailers, according to a study released this week by IBM's Business Consulting Services unit.
Interest in outsourcing is on the rise as retailers look for ways to control costs, according to the 2003 Retail CIO IS Survey. Respondents say they will commit increasingly more funds to outsourcing – from 13 percent of their IT budgets to 19 percent in the next three to five years. The reasons retailers cited for moving to outsourcing include: reduced operating costs, increased responsiveness to unexpected events, and access to key skills.

Written by Ann Bednarz28 Sept. 03 22:00

PeopleSoft releases offerings for midsize firms

PeopleSoft Inc. has unveiled 13 products aimed at midsize companies. The modules are designed to streamline various business processes such as procurement, hiring and customer service.
The new mid-market products are not PeopleSoft’s first; the vendor already offers versions of its core human resources, customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) products tailored to midsize enterprises with between US$50 million and $500 million in revenue. To date, 25 percent of PeopleSoft’s customer base – and 40 percent of new customers signed in 2002 – are midsize companies.

Written by Ann Bednarz08 May 03 22:00

All for one and one for all saves money

Getting rid of a US$4.5 million ERP system gone awry was supposed to be the first problem Robert Moon solved when he joined display products manufacturer ViewSonic Corp. as vice president of information service. But instead of replacing the company's troubled ERP system, Moon revived it.
Moon arrived at ViewSonic in early 2001 to find an array of heavily customized Oracle Corp. applications. The Walnut, Calif., company was running separate "instances," or versions, of Oracle's financial software in each of its three regional offices: one on Version 10.7 and two on Version 11.0.3.

Written by Ann Bednarz08 May 03 22:00