UNISYS WATCH

Unisys to Bundle Oracle Software

Unisys and Oracle announced that Unisys intends to package Oracle8, Oracle Application Server, Oracle Developer, Oracle Developer Server and Oracle J Developer on Unisys ClearPath enterprise servers using Microsoft Windows NT. The ClearPath family enables customers to run applications and databases for Windows NT or UNIXWare along with those for Unisys mainframe environments.

Pre-installing the Oracle software makes it easier for ClearPath customers to deploy packaged applications - including thousands of third-party solutions already designed for use with the Oracle platform, many of which are Internet-enabled - and integrate these solutions into their enterprise environment.

Unisys ClearPath servers ordered with Windows NT will ship with all five Oracle software products pre-installed with 8-user trial licenses. The integrated system will allow Unisys customers to buy packaged Internet and enterprise applications from third-party providers, and Internet-enable applications for universal access with Oracle8 and Oracle Application Server using Oracle Developer tools. Third-party solutions for Oracle include a variety of electronic commerce, customer care, enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply-chain management, knowledge management, legacy integration, help desk, and focused vertical-market solutions for specific industries.


TEAM-mates for 2000

Unisys and MapleSoft Solutions announced a worldwide business alliance that enables Unisys to resell MapleSoft's software toolkit as part of the Unisys TEAM2000 solution portfolio. MapleSoft has developed two tools that specifically address Year 2000 data and code renovation for customers running Unisys LINC applications.

DATA2000 automates data renovation for Unisys A-Series DMSII databases with LINC applications. It makes date field expansion a viable option by combining several features that reduce the risk and time involved with data renovation. For windowing renovations, DATA2000 highlights unused or incorrect date fields and allows clients to age all or selected database dates for a given period. MODEL2000 is a tool that automates analysis and code renovation for LINC-based systems. It uses scanning, parsing, control and data flow analysis techniques to precisely identify date variables and lines of code affected by dates. Both tools are Windows-based applications with easy-to-use graphical interfaces.


Gateway Expands Corporate Client Services with Unisys

Gateway announced an agreement with Unisys that expands Gateway's support and service capabilities for corporate clients. The strategic service alliance provides Gateway's corporate clients in the United States with on-site maintenance for Gateway desktops and servers.

Through the agreement with Unisys, Gateway clients will be able to choose from a portfolio of services comprising multiple levels of warranty-related maintenance. The expanded service offerings and an increased focus on the needs of businesses are designed to increase operational efficiencies for Gateway clients as well as lower their total cost of ownership.

Gateway continues to bring a wide breadth of product and services to the commercial marketplace. Gateway is also an innovator in online support offered via e-mail and the Web. The company continually expands and develops new offerings for both the corporate and consumer segments to provide world-class client care service and support.


Technology You Can Bank On

Unisys announced SourceNDP, a low-cost, compact check-image-capture technology that allows banks to start check processing at its logical source - the teller's window. Facilitating more efficient bank workflow, SourceNDP eliminates the need for banks to wait until checks can be sent to a centralized operations center to start processing checks. As a result, funds are available to the bank much more quickly and courier costs for sending checks for processing are slashed.

SourceNDP is one of the first business-critical systems built on Microsoft's Windows CE, a compact and portable operating system built from the ground up to enable the development of a broad range of business and consumer devices. The system's compact, 6x14-inch footprint fits in either the teller window or the back counter. Its low cost and ability to process 200-4000 checks a day make it suitable for bank branches, credit unions, and retail stores. It provides most of the features of larger image capture systems, at a fraction of the cost.

SourceNDP captures check images at any number of distributed sites, such as bank branches. Check images and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) or Optical Character Recognition (OCR) code lines are transmitted throughout the day, making it possible for amount entry and balancing to occur well in advance of the arrival of checks at the processing center. The "courtesy amount," the handwritten numeric value of the check, can also be transmitted to further accelerate processing.

Because it uses Windows CE, SourceNDP is compatible with the rest of the Unisys scalable transport product line, which is based on Windows NT. The Unisys unique Common Application Program Interface (CAPI) permits applications running on other Unisys transports to be easily migrated to SourceNDP, providing a wide array of applications and providers to supply solutions based on the product.


The School of NT

Unisys granted computer equipment, services and financial assistance to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at The Pennsylvania State University, enabling the department to conduct in-depth research on clustering and parallel computing architectures based on the Microsoft Windows NT software environment.

This will be the first Windows NT-based research done by the University computer science department, which currently conducts a majority of its research on UNIX systems and software. The grant to Penn State consists of four multiprocessor Windows NT servers, technical consulting and financial assistance. Total retail value of the grant is in excess of $40,000.

The major focus of the research will be exploring the capabilities of Windows NT in advanced cluster environments. Dr. Sivasubramaniam's team will work to develop high-performance server clusters using off-the-shelf servers and off-the-shelf networking products. The researches will also experiment with different methods of process scheduling and inter-process communication, and will also integrate the multi-system cluster so that software sees it as one resource.


Sky High Win

Unisys announced a $1.6 million systems integration contract with the Ruben Berta Foundation to automate and link all of the foundation's systems for enhancing service, improving cash flow and reducing cost. The foundation, 100 percent-owned by employees of Varig Airlines of Brazil, is the major shareholder of Varig - one of the top 25 airlines in the world and the largest carrier in South America - and is also a benefits and services provider to the airline's employees and their families.

The contract calls for Unisys to automate the foundation's accounting department, medical services, patient profiling, social benefits, and nutrition and restaurant programs. When the project is completed, the foundation will be able to share information enterprise-wide to provide faster, higher-quality information and service to Varig employees.


NDP1150 and 1825 Shipments

Unisys says that shipments of its new NDP1150 and NDP1825 reader/sorters have reached "record levels," and that 1998 unit shipments of the systems are already double those achieved in 1997. Unisys customers include 41 of the world's 50 largest banks and most of the U.S. Federal Reserve's check processing centers.

It attributes the increase to recruiting leading channel partners and to the acceptance of Windows NT as a mature operating environment for supporting check processing solutions for commercial and community banks, as well as other high-performance remittance processing operations. Also contributing to the sales increase is the financial market's acceptance of Unisys SortLogic IBM-compatible transports.

Growing channel partner enthusiasm for Unisys reader/sorters can be attributed to the ease with which the Unisys Common Application Programming Interface (CAPI) allows application providers to develop Windows NT-based solutions for Unisys systems. In addition, Unisys SortLogic, in conjunction with the CAPI interface, allows Unisys payment systems to run applications written for the IBM 3890 payment processing environment. This capability allows customers to replace 3890 sorters or to deploy check image capture technology at a fraction of the price of an IBM solution.