September Industry News

IBM Enters E-Commerce Agreement with CyberCash

IBM is working with CyberCash’s ICVERIFY unit to develop and market an Internet payment offering that increases the number of options merchants have for processing credit card orders. The companies made the announcement at the Internet World Summer ’98 trade show, where they also announced complementary agreements whereby IBM will market CyberCash’s NetVERIFY, and CyberCash will market IBM’s Payment Server through their respective sales channels.

As part of the agreement, IBM and CyberCash will create a NetVERIFY payment cassette for the newest release of IBM’s Payment Server. By integrating the NetVERIFY cassette with the IBM Payment Server, IBM plans to provide businesses with an end-to-end merchant payment solution that can handle SET Secure Electronic Transaction and secure sockets layer (SSL) credit card payments from consumers. Once the merchant has received either a SET or traditional credit card payment, the transaction can be authorized and deposited using IBM’s Payment Gateway v1.2, which provides acquirer support for both SET and SSL, or using traditional dial-up or leased line acquirer processor connections. In addition, CyberCash’s NetVERIFY product provides merchants with the ability to accept credit card data from consumers in mail order/telephone order or retail point-of-sale environments, as well as over the Internet using SSL.

IBM is firmly establishing the IBM Payment Server as a multi-protocol payment platform that reduces user costs and simplifies implementation of e-commerce technology. The software product contains a common payment API for all payment types and functions: receipt, approval, deposit, refund and settlement. The API is implemented by payment cassettes containing various types of payment protocols. Based on the consumer’s selection of payment type, IBM Payment Server selects the appropriate payment cassette to start the payment process. The flexible nature of IBM’s payment cassette framework ensures that the capabilities of the IBM Payment Server will grow as new methods of payment become available.

CSC Makes Investment in Isogon’s Software

Computer Sciences Corporation and Isogon Corporation concluded a multimillion dollar commitment of Isogon’s software asset management product, SoftAudit/ONE. The five-year contract entitles CSC to deploy SoftAudit/ONE across all of its data centers worldwide. CSC is the tenth outsourcing company to adopt SoftAudit/ONE to manage its customers’ MVS-based software assets. Other outsourcing companies include Affiliated Computer Systems, IBM Global Services, EDS, Litton Systems, Lockheed Martin, GE Capital, Advantis and Arthur Andersen LLP.

SoftAudit/ONE is an inventory and usage reporting tool designed for MVS shops that want to better manage their Independent Software Vendor (ISV) software environment for the purpose of cost control and license compliance. In addition SoftAudit employs patented technology which monitors usage of MVS applications within a given organization, identifying underutilized software for which companies are unwittingly paying exorbitant license fees. CSC’s commitment to Isogon’s SoftAudit products demonstrates a heightened awareness among major corporations today of software asset management as a proven strategy for keeping escalating software costs in check.

Prism Offers SAP R/3 Solution

Prism Solutions has joined the SAP Complementary Software Program (CSP) and its Prism Warehouse Executive interface to SAP R/3 has been certified by the SAP Integration and Certification Center (ICC). The Complementary Software Program enhances the performance and value of customers’ SAP solutions by providing a resource for proven integration of third-party complementary solutions. Prism delivers a suite of software products that extend the functionality of R/3 in data migration and data quality management.

Prism Warehouse Executive also supports R/3 data extraction and transformation via a source module released earlier this year. Prism has also introduced a new release of its Prism Quality Manager software specifically designed for R/3 data quality analysis and management. Together, Prism Warehouse Executive and Prism Quality Manager create an end-to-end solution that enables customers to analyze the quality of source data for SAP R/3 migrations, transform and migrate data into SAP R/3 environments, and integrate SAP R/3 data with other data sources for enterprise-wide data warehousing initiatives.

BETA Plans to Acquire QMaster

BETA Systems Software AG, Berlin, announced its intent to acquire QMaster Software Solutions Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. QMaster, with more than 400 enterprise customers worldwide, develops and sells two UNIX- and Windows NT-based software products for process management and printer management. The acquisition of QMaster includes all the company’s products, employees and customer support.

QMaster Batch, one of the two QMaster products, is a job scheduling system for either the UNIX or NT platform. Qmaster Batch will be offered in addition to BETA Systems’ mainframe job scheduling system, BETA 42 Process Scheduling Manager. QMaster Print is a high-capacity print server system. Based on Windows NT or one of many supported UNIX operating systems, Qmaster Print manages and controls any type of printer in an enterprise. It extends BETA Systems' Document Management product line into the UNIX and the fast-growing NT markets.

Cisco IOS for S/390 Software

Cisco Systems announced the availability of Cisco IOS for S/390 software Version 2, a mainframe-based implementation of TCP/IP. The new version offers the highest level of performance in the industry for File Transfer Protocol (FTP), high availability, greater scalability for TN3270 sessions and improved print functions.

Cisco IOS for S/390 enables enterprises to migrate from more expensive and less efficient methods for accessing mainframe data, such as Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC) lines and 3270 presentation services. This software supports the growing number of users who rely on FTP to exchange files between the mainframe and UNIX systems or PCs. It offers up to 13.5 megabytes per second throughput, while using 30 percent fewer mainframe resources than competing solutions. As a result, Version 2 will enable users to easily complete nightly production file transfers and delay costly CPU upgrades.

Cisco IOS for S/390 Version 2 runs an enhanced channel protocol supported by the TCP Assist feature available on the Channel Interface Processor (CIP) and the Channel Port Adapter (CPA) that supports 64-kilobyte blocks. This support increases data throughput and reduces channel input/output (I/O) overhead. In addition, Cisco IOS for S/390 offloads CPU-intensive portions of the TCP stack to the CIP or CPA, saving CPU cycles. It also has the ability to reroute around channel gateway failures. Cisco is also releasing an FTP-only version of Cisco IOS for S/390 for customers who want the advantages of Version 2 file transfer capabilities.

USDA WebFOCUS Showcased at White House

Information Builders’ customer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), showcased their Rural Development System, developed using WebFOCUS, at the White House Community Empowerment Conference in Washington, D.C. The mission of the USDA Rural Development division is to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Through financial lending and assistance programs, rural communities receive essential public facilities and services such as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency resources, utilities and agricultural cooperatives.

The Rural Development System tracks investments in Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities. It provides a graphical front-end for comprehensive data analysis via standard reports, parameterized queries, and ad hoc requests. With Information Builders’ WebFOCUS MRE, users select Rural Development projects, geographic areas, and time periods, and then retrieve summaries of program funding based on their variables. They also have the option to drill-down on successively greater levels of detail. Specifically designed for top policy makers to respond to questions from Congress and the Clinton Administration, the system has already delivered dramatic improvements in financial reporting accuracy and timely access to data. Information Builders provided the USDA with an integrated system accessible via any standard Web browser by more than 5,000 USDA users. With the WebFOCUS Suite and EDA middleware, the accuracy of financial reports was improved, and time required to produce reports was reduced from weeks to minutes.

Esker and Teubner Sign Merger Agreement

Esker S.A. and Teubner & Associates, Inc. signed a definitive merger agreement. The merged company will have annual revenues of approximately $25,000,000, a market capitalization of well over $100,000,000 and offices throughout Asia/Pacific, Europe and North America. The product line of the combined companies will address the full spectrum of requirements encountered by large organizations as they extend access to enterprise applications to employees, customers and business partners.

Both companies have product lines that currently allow their customers to integrate host applications with the Web. Esker’s EskerPlus, is intranet-centric, offering browser-based host access for local and remote employees. Teubner’s Corridor, The Web-to-Host Passageway, is Internet-centric, offering a way to put host-based order entry, catalogs, customer service and other electronic commerce applications on the Web.

Radguard and Vanstar Join Forces

Radguard announced that Vanstar Corporation will distribute RADGUARD VPN and network security solutions. The new agreement combines Radguard’s VPN products with Vanstar’s nation-wide consulting and system integration services.

Radguard’s products offer Ipsec network encryption, integrated firewall functions, redundant back-up tunneling, advanced dynamic key management, network address translation (NAT), automatic network topology learning and encrypted SNMP management traffic. Designed for both large and small-scale VPN environments, Radguard’s solutions come with user-friendly management systems that provide simple and secure pathways for centralized and regional network management. VPNs also provide effective security features for non-Internet wide area networks, thus preventing the potentially significant costs associated with network security breaches.

Total Internet Solution

AccountMate Software Corporation, IBM and Cisco Systems, Inc. have teamed up to provide small and growing businesses with an easy-to-use Internet business solution. This solution consists of Visual AccountMate/SBS Internet Sales Order, IBM’s Netfinity 3500 hardware and Cisco System’s Networked Office stack. AccountMate’s Visual AccountMate (VAM) Internet Sales Order program, written in Visual Basic 5.0, offers registered customers a way to place orders over the Internet via a secure connectivity program separate from a typical Internet browser. With this program, customers can, in effect, create a sales order (or quote) that passes from the Internet server into Visual AccountMate/SBS SO. This enables vendors to provide "virtual" customer service on a 24-hour, 7-day basis since customers can place orders at any time.

Government Expects to Save $10 Million Using Intranet-Based Reports

It is estimated that The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will save $10 million over the next two years by implementing a combination of Report.Web, an intranet-based host report management solution from Network Software Associates Inc., and Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Microsoft’s server operating system.

DFAS, the Department of Defense’s centralized accounting and financial service, recently chose Report.Web and Windows NT Server to distribute legacy reports over its secure intranet. This solution meets DFAS’ requirements to reduce the time and cost traditionally associated with printing the many host reports regularly generated at DFAS. The decision to select Windows NT Server as the operating system and server component was based on the flexibility, scalability, ease of use and overall centralized management it offers. The ultimate goal for DFAS is to have a central clearinghouse for all host-based reports that are generated from different systems, both locally and remotely. As a result, flexibility is key in assuring a successful transition.

DFAS comprises five regional centers and 18 operational locations (OPLOCS). The Windows NT Server-based solution allows for the scalability necessary to cater to all the individual sites and systems. Windows NT Server also provides better scalability on multiprocessor systems, especially those with more than four processors.