Industry News

IBM and NASCO Sign Blue Cross Outsourcing Agreement Hiring in Second Half of 2000

The employment outlook for executive, professional and sales people in the IT industry continues to soar, according to the latest hiring survey conducted by Management Recruiters International Inc. (MRI).

Of the executives with responsibility for hiring in the IT industry surveyed, 72.5 percent indicated plans to increase their staffs in the second half of 2000, down from the 74.3 percent for the first half. Another 21.3 percent plan to maintain current staff sizes, and 6.2 percent plan decreases. By comparison, across all industries, 53.2 percent projected new hires for the second half of 2000.

Explaining the difference in new hiring expectations, Allen Salikof, President and CEO of MRI says, "Traditional brick-and-mortar companies are keeping demand for talented IT professionals strong as they move to expand their businesses onto the Internet." No explanation was given for the hiring decrease from the first half of 2000.

For a summary of the findings, contact Karen Bloomfield via e-mail at karen.bloomfield@brilliantpeople.com, or call (800) 875-4000.

MERANT's Egility Program

MERANT announced that IBM, Sun, Microsoft and Compaq have joined the Egility Alliance program. MERANT's Egility Alliance program links MERANT with vendors that provide complementary e-business technologies and solutions.

The members of the Egility Alliance program work together to provide customers with e-business solutions, faster implementation and time to market, coordination among vendors and, potentially, lower product acquistion costs through joint marketing efforts.

Benefits of the Egility Alliance program include early access to pre-release product versions, access to a certification program, product training, Web site listings, newsletters, information via an informative extranet and co-marketing opportunities.

Other participants in the Alliance program include Mercury Interactive, Advanced Software Technologies Inc., TBI, WebMethods, QSS, BEA Systems Inc., GemStone Systems Inc., Inprise, Cerebellum Software, DataJunction, DataFlux and IONA.

For additional information, visit their Web site at www.merant.com.

HP's Superdome Launch

Hewlett Packard (HP) has launched a high-end server, which it intends to position as a replacement to traditional mainframes.

The server, named Superdome, was launched and made available for immediate purchase on Sept. 12 and will, according to the company's financial reports, cost around $1 million. HP first discussed plans for Superdome in December 1998.

The latest version of HP's UNIX platform, HP UX 11I, has been optimized to run on Superdome servers, which will initially feature 64-bit PA Risc chips. HP plans that Superdome will support HP-UX, Windows NT and Linux, simultaneously.

The server has been designed with Intel's forthcoming 64-bit processor architecture (IA-64) in mind and will use Intel's McKinley second-generation 64-bit chip when it becomes available. This is not expected until 2001 and HP is keeping its IA-64 roadmap close to its chest. HP claims that the jump from PA RISC to IA-64 will be relatively painless for users because PA RISC-based code is binary compatible with IA-64.

HP hopes the product will take Web server business away from rivals like Sun Microsystems and IBM.

Oracle and Tavolo's Recipe for _E-Business Success

Tavolo, an online cooking, dining and entertainment retailer, has gone live with Oracle's E-Business suite to replace their legacy back-end systems. Completed within budget in less than 90 days, Tavolo's implementation includes Oracle Financials, Supply Chain, Purchasing, Inventory and Order Management.

The new Oracle system will allow Tavolo to consolidate and manage their fulfillment and end-to-end supply chain processes - from Web store through product delivery. Tight integration between Tavolo's Internet platform systems currently running on Oracle's Oracle 8i database, and Oracle Applications on the front-end will help provide Tavolo with a seamless order fulfillment process and scalability as their business grows.

Tavolo also plans to incorporate Oracle's customer relationship management (CRM) applications, data warehousing, analysis and modeling initiatives, as well as some new reporting tools.

For more information, visit their Web site at www.oracle.com.

InfoPrint Solution for Higher Education

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is home to the largest public university library in the world. Distributed throughout 40 locations on campus, more than one million student and professor requests are handled by the library each week. Adding to its vast collection of academic resources, the University of Illinois library recently increased the available body of knowledge by moving into the digital realm. Now, students and faculty can access the Web, and retrieve full-text articles from international databases through the library's computer system.

However, a major stumbling block remained outputting the information. Students were able to tap into the newly available resources, only to later learn that the library's printers could not always handle the electronic files. The university realized the need for an updated output solution to match its updated resources.

In the past, the University of Illinois libraries allowed users to print reference material on its dot matrix printers free of charge. As more students took advantage of Web sites and databases of full-text articles with graphics using the library's computer systems, the printers proved incapable of handling the output. Compounding the problem, the library's budget, which was already strained by the rising cost of print publications, could no longer absorb the cost of unlimited printing. Clearly, the library needed to address these issues and find an efficient, yet convenient way to charge users for printing costs.

After evaluating a number of possibilities, the University of Illinois turned to IBM Printing Systems to create a customized, total output solution. The university had very specific requirements: the solution had to allow users to print from the graduate and undergraduate libraries, as well as the 46 departmental libraries; it had to operate on the campuswide Ethernet network; and it had to support student, faculty and departmental online accounts to move to a fee-based system. The university also wanted a system with the scalability and flexibility to adapt to future needs, including its growing requirement for enhanced print-on-demand services in the libraries and computer labs.

IBM Infoprint Manager, which supports 25 IBM network laser printers in the university's main library, the undergraduate library and 15 departmental libraries. Supported by a Web-based server, Infoprint Manager performs campuswide output services, including information retrieval and archiving, job submission and job tracking, and automatic electronic account billing. To use the system, a student or faculty member types in a user name and password; Infoprint Manager tracks the number of pages printed and charges the user's account. Infoprint Manager allows the University of Illinois to take advantage of other benefits of e-commerce: When a user finishes printing, Infoprint Manager sends an e-mail to the user, listing each print job and the amount charged. The new system allows users to print any popular file format and graphics, including PostScript, PDF, TIFF and PCL. Infoprint Manager converts all data streams to Intelligent Printer Data Stream for the printed output and captures billing information.

The InfoPrint Manager solution will not only save the university on supplies and labor costs, but it also allows revenue capture to help recover the costs associated with access to a new world of information. The university's students and faculty benefit, as well. They can easily retrieve the documents they need, without the frustration of printing problems.

- Richard J. Troska, IBM Printing Solutions