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Financial service firms focus on churn

The financial services sector is putting more emphasis on customer retention, and one analyst says the best way to make this happen is through the use of business intelligence software.
James Sharp, director of vertical markets and customer segmentation for Toronto-based IDC Canada Ltd., said financial services firms, at the end of the day, don’t actually make anything -- all they really do is skim transactions.

Written by Victoria Berry20 Oct. 03 21:00

BI projects approached in bits and pieces

Business intelligence software is finding a warmer reception in the enterprise, but customers still aren’t sure how they can get the biggest bang for their buck, and where IT fits into this scenario.
At one panel discussion during Information Builders Inc.’s (IBI) users’ conference in Chicago, two issues dominated: not only are business intelligence (BI) projects being driven by the business, not IT, and these projects being more successful when done incrementally.

Written by Rebecca Reid20 Oct. 03 21:00

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

Coping with infoglut

The Internet has buried companies under a mudslide of unstructured data. One of the most pressing problems facing IT is how to turn all that data that won't fit into rows and columns into useful information. And while the amount of unstructured data is growing exponentially, the tools for dealing with it haven't kept pace.
The magnitude of the deluge is staggering. Approximately 85 percent of all digital business information exists only as unstructured data, according to research by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. Most of that comes from the increasing use of the Web as an internal and external business channel.

Written by Tommy Peterson20 Oct. 03 21:00

Get more our of your data mining models

Is there gold in them there mountains of data? The average large enterprise has terabytes of data on hand -- customer information, supplier exchanges, and internal company records that contain data. Within this mountain of data lie the golden nuggets that can help solve business problems and propel new strategic initiatives. By putting on a miner's hat, you can better analyze the data you already have on hand and enrich your ability to increase revenues and reduce costs.
Advances in both hardware and the capabilities of database management systems make data mining a more compelling proposition today. For example, the plummeting cost of disk storage has enabled enterprises to store more and more data. Likewise, microprocessors keep getting more powerful, while advances in symmetrical multiprocessor technology has removed a lot of the overhead that once limited data mining.

Written by Maggie Biggs20 Oct. 03 21:00

Cognos, Business Objects unveil BI tools

Cognos and Business Objects recently unveiled new BI products.
Cognos introduced ReportNet, a query and reporting engine designed from the ground up to support Web services, Java, and XML. At the same time, Business Objects launched Enterprise 6.1 of its business intelligence suite of applications.

Written by Ephraim Schwartz20 Oct. 03 21:00

SAP profit rises 25 percent on flat revenue in Q3

Enterprise software provider SAP AG reported a 25 percent year-on-year increase in net profit for the third quarter of 2003 Thursday, although total revenue changed little from the year-earlier quarter.

Written by Peter Sayer17 Oct. 03 08:02

IBM posts Q3 growth, sees IT spending increase

IBM's third-quarter revenue and income has risen over last year's quarter amid signs the economy has stabilised.
Growth in IBM's software and global services businesses offset declines in its hardware and financing units, as the company reported revenue of US$21.5 billion, 9 percent higher than last year's $19.8 billion third-quarter total. IBM's revenue fell short, however, of the $21.9 billion consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson First Call. IBM met the analysts' consensus earnings expectations, with income of $1.8 billion, or earnings per share of $1.02.

Written by Stacy Cowley and James Niccolai16 Oct. 03 21:00

Oracle cuts 8i adrift

Australian Oracle customers are staring down the barrel of forced upgrades as the vendor strips support from under the Oracle 8i database, with discontinuation of error correction support as early as December.

Written by Lauren Thomsen-Moore03 Oct. 03 07:24

Oracle's PeopleSoft bid may hit DOJ roadblock

UK representatives for Oracle and rival PeopleSoft have declined to comment on a report that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing a possible antitrust challenge to Oracle's takeover bid for PeopleSoft.
"Attorneys familiar with the deal" have cited various moves within the DOJ as strong signals that the government agency is readying its case for stopping the proposed merger, according to a report in the online edition of the USA Today newspaper Thursday.

Written by Laura Rohde02 Oct. 03 22:00

OpenOffice releases final version of 1.1

The OpenOffice.org group after several months of testing released the final version 1.1 of its free open-source productivity suite Wednesday.

Written by Joris Evers02 Oct. 03 13:25

Worms sent via IM pose serious, growing threat

Virulent new worms that exploit vulnerable instant messaging (IM) clients and could infect hundreds of thousands of computers in seconds are a real threat for Internet users worldwide, according to security researchers from Symantec.

Written by Paul Roberts29 Sept. 03 08:14

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

HP to indemnify its Linux users against SCO

In a bold move aimed at reassuring its enterprise users that Linux is the right choice for their businesses, Hewlett-Packard will indemnify its Linux customers against any future legal action from The SCO Group.
The company held a news teleconference earlier Wednesday to detail the move, which is effective Oct. 1.

Written by Todd Weiss24 Sept. 03 22:00

'Right-sized' Baan to become market focused

SSA Global Technologies Inc. found Baan Co. NV in shambles after acquiring it in June. But after cutting 800 of 2,800 jobs and instilling customer-focused business values, Baan should be profitable again in three months, its new president said.

Written by Joris Evers22 Sept. 03 08:19

Sun chief, writer debate: Does IT matter?

Does IT matter? This was the question panelists sparred over during a debate at the SunNetwork 2003 conference in San Francisco. The contenders were Sun Microsystems Inc. chairman and CEO Scott McNealy and writer Nicholas Carr, who published an article in the May issue of The Harvard Business Review entitled, "IT Doesn't Matter". Also on the panel was venture capitalist Bill Gurley.

Written by Paul Krill21 Sept. 03 22:00

Welcome to the post-boom Sun

As it prepares for its annual user conference in San Francisco this week, Sun Microsystems has a lot to prove. The company that once boasted of being the "dot in dot com" has watched its position as an industry leader erode over the last few years as the iconoclast image and corporate culture that served it so well during the Internet boom has worked against it during leaner times.

Written by Robert McMillan15 Sept. 03 08:06

Feature: Wireless nets go regional

The unlicensed portion of the U.S. radio frequency spectrum represents just one-tenth of 1 percent of the total bandwidth allocated for communications, but this thin slice has made the current boom in wireless LANs possible. Because WLANs use the free spectrum, companies can set them up without the hassle or expense of going through the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's licensing process.
But WLANs aren't the only networking technologies leveraging the free spectrum. Corporations are also using fixed wireless systems and services from wireless service providers to extend connectivity beyond the LAN.

Written by Bob Brewin13 Sept. 03 22:00

HP talks adaptive enterprise

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has provided further details surrounding its Adaptive Enterprise (AE) management strategy, releasing several new and enhanced solutions under the autonomic computing initiative.
With the services-focused AE strategy, the Palo Alto, Calif. company joins rivals such as IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. in offering autonomic computing solutions (analogous to our body’s ability to involuntarily regulate itself) on a utility basis.

Written by Ryan B. Patrick13 Sept. 03 22:00

Carriers explore underlay exploitation

After spending billions to own chunks of spectrum, you would think U.S. cellular telephone operators would have every reason to resist the proliferation of unlicensed wireless-data networks. In fact, the opposite is proving true. Cell operators are exploring ways to exploit unlicensed wireless bandwidth, despite the billions waiting to be invested in frequencies for 3G (third-generation) cell data services.
Cell operators are buying into hot-spot networks, rolling out experiments, and trying to hurry the day when they can offload their heaviest data exchanges to the free airwaves. AT&T Wireless Services has a trial hot-spot network, Sprint PCS has invested in hot-spot aggregator Boingo Wireless Inc., Verizon Wireless Inc. will soon resell access to Wayport Inc.'s hotel and airport network, and T-Mobile USA Inc. is approaching 2,500 Wi-Fi locations nationwide.

Written by Glenn Fleishman13 Sept. 03 22:00