Industry Watch

IBM PartnerWorld to Expand Linux Focus

IBM’s PartnerWorld program has been expanded to include new Linux-specific initiatives in education, certification, co-marketing, incentives and technical support. Using the Linux Lens Quicklink on the IBM PartnerWorld Web site, Business Partners can now find a single location linking to all IBM resources for Linux.

As part of IBM’s commitment to Linux, IBM is launching a new Ready, Set, Linux! initiative to recruit, enable and support Business Partners. The three-phased approach includes education on market opportunity and how to get started with IBM, two days of hands-on technical training on Linux and IBM e-business solutions and ongoing enablement and support.

In addition to providing core PartnerWorld support, such as Business Partner Connections and the Global Solutions Directory, IBM will be expanding "You Pass, We Pay" certification reimbursement, to provide reimbursement for Linux certifications. All IBM Business Partners that have eligible IBM certifications can be reimbursed for tuition and test expenses up to $3,000 once they pass Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Test 101 or achieve Red Hat Linux certification. Business Partners eligible for PartnerRewards may claim up to $3,000 for business development funds accrued for approved education and certification activities that lead to LPI or Red Hat Linux certification.

For more details, visit www.ibm.com/partnerworld/linux.

Apache Tcl Project Launched

The Apache Software Foundation has launched the Apache Tcl Project, with the goal of promoting the integration of the Apache Web server with the Tcl scripting language. Tcl (Tool Command Language, pronounced "tickle") is an open-source, cross-platform scripting language, with a strong history of use for the Web, with products, such as AOLserver and StoryServer.

tcl.apache.org, will serve as a point of reference for Apache-Tcl efforts, initially hosting the mod_dtcl project, a fast and light implementation of Tcl for Apache. The project was initially modeled after PHP, a server-side, cross-platform, HTML-embedded scripting language.

Tcl was created by John K. Ousterhout at the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. Originally conceived as a reusable, embeddable language core for tools being developed by Ousterhout and his colleagues, it has come to be much more. Tcl is used today in a wide variety of applications, including Web scripting, test automation, network/system management, EDA and CAD, and in many other fields. For more information, visit http://tcl.apache.org.

For more Linux computing news, visit Enterprise Linux at www.esj.com.

Galileo International Follows the SecureWay

Galileo International Inc. and Tivoli Systems Inc. will partner to help maintain the security demanded for Galileo’s technology infrastructure. Supporting travel agencies worldwide connected to its computer reservation systems, Galileo will use Tivoli SecureWay software to control access to business-critical system resources from a single console, in accordance with the company’s corporate security policy.

Tivoli SecureWay software helps protect against unauthorized entry into business resources, helping to prevent possible system downtime that could result if there were a security breach. Tivoli SecureWay also helps Galileo ensure that the rights and privileges of users are easily maintained in a diverse business environment.

Tivoli SecureWay Security Manager and Tivoli SecureWay User Administration will manage security on over 150 servers in Galileo’s Data Center located in Denver.

For more information, visit www.tivoli.com.

Compaq to Build CRM Model for Target

Target Corporation has chosen Compaq’s Zero Latency Enterprise (ZLE) architecture to redefine its customer relationship management (CRM) model and provide a foundation for increasingly innovative guest services.

The Target implementation of ZLE, based on Compaq’s NonStop Himalaya server and database platform, will enable the retailer to optimize and leverage customer interactions across its enterprise by ensuring realtime access to information. This technology creates opportunities for unified guest services by integrating touch points whether a customer is shopping in the store or online.

ZLE is a transaction-oriented solution providing a single, integrated view of business and customer transactions as they occur, no matter where they occur in the enterprise, in realtime. In a zero latency environment, the flow of internal information is accelerated to the point where transactions are instantaneously propagated within the enterprise and can be acted upon in realtime. Gartner, which originated the zero latency concept, forecasts that almost every successful business will have some form of ZLE infrastructure.

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

HP and RealNetworks to Develop Digital Entertainment

Hewlett-Packard Company and RealNetworks Inc. will collaborate to develop a family of easy-to-use digital entertainment products designed to enable consumers to download, personalize and enjoy their favorite music, streaming video and other digital content from the comfort of their living rooms.

HP will bring its consumer technology product experience to the relationship, in addition to its extensive customer base. RealNetworks will provide a Linux-based software platform incorporating RealPlayer and RealJukebox as the foundation for a set of digital entertainment products and services from HP that are scheduled to be introduced later this year.

"As the computing and entertainment worlds converge, consumers are looking for ways to enhance their entertainment experiences," says Pradeep Jotwani, President, HP Consumer Business Organization. "Extending our leading technologies from the home office into other consumer products throughout the home is a natural next step for HP. Relationships with RealNetworks and partners in Internet content will help make HP’s digital entertainment vision a reality."

For RealNetworks, the relationship with HP advances the company’s commitment to extend RealPlayer – now with approximately 180 million unique registered users – to Internet appliances and other wireless devices.

For more information, visit www.hp.com.

iemagine, Software PM Partner to Port iSeries-Based Software Suite

Under the auspices of IBM, ASP enablement firm iemagine has partnered with Software PM, a 17-year provider of production management software for small manufacturers.

Per the agreement, iemagine will port Software PM’s iSeries-based MPM II software suite to the Lotus ASP Solution Pack vending platform for ASPs. Then, the MPM II suite will become a vertical offering within iemagine’s Rent & Ready! Instant Webware suite – and part of iemagine’s ASP-in-a-Box reseller package. Combined with iemagine’s ASP Enablement solutions, resellers (including IBM) can offer rentable applications to the manufacturing community, as easily as adding a link to their home page.

The solutions are fully "convertible," enabling manufacturers to test the waters of ASP with the freedom to bring everything in-house at any time. Customers can even access Software PM’s existing reseller network for local, personalized customization, training and other support.

The deal strengthens IBM’s strategy to promote iSeries as the platform of choice for ASPs, with IBM brokering the relationship.

For more information, visit www.iemagine.com, or www.softwarepm.com.

Amdahl Software Announces New Pricing Levels

Amdahl Software has implemented new pricing levels that lower the costs of its enterprise operating systems software. The new levels will affect the company’s data migration, replication and business continuance products.

"The scaled-pricing structure will coordinate software costs with the growth of large systems," according to Sandy Curry, Amdahl Software’s CFO. "Costs will be reduced by as much as 25 percent for the largest enterprise users, based on the number of MSUs (millions of service units). This new incremental pricing is in line with what is becoming the standard in the software business." For more information, visit www.amdahl.com.

Sun Announces Midframe Servers, IBM Roars Back

In March, Sun announced a new line of servers based on the Ultra Sparc III processor. The server line, named Sun Fire, is intended to redefine the profile of traditional midrange servers and lower the costs of uptime. Sun believes the line will put competitive pressure on HP, IBM and Compaq.

Sun calls the server line "Midframe" servers, because they incorporate features from the traditional mainframe (robust and reliable). The four new systems will, according to Sun, deliver greater system availability, application performance, flexibility and investment protection. Standard features include redundant component interconnection technology (provided by the Sun Fireplane), the ability to dynamically split one system into multiple systems, duplicate hardware components and "on-the-fly" processor upgrades.

Like Sun’s Enterprise midrange servers, all the Sun Fire systems share a common system architecture and have interchangeable components. The server family includes the Sun Fire 3800, the Sun Fire 4800, the Sun Fire 4810 and the Sun Fire 6800. Pricing ranges from $73,195 to $250,995.

"It’s more bad news for the competition. After a year in which IBM and HP threw everything they could at us, including old products with new names and new products with ‘super’ names, we still took marketshare away from them. This time we’re tearing into what those re-branded mainframe makers thought was their safe haven – continuous uptime, round-the-clock availability and investment protection – and bringing it to customers who understand the value of a dollar," claims Scott McNealy, Sun’s Chairman and CEO.

IBM is calling Sun’s new midrange boxes "Big Iron envy," claiming the new technology has no chance against IBM’s mainframe technology, citing in particular the z900 server, and the fact that IBM now has Linux running on the mainframe. Meanwhile, IBM continues to hype its z/OS, a new mainframe operating system.

For more information, visit www.sun.com/midframe, or www.ibm.com.

Survey: IT Managers Facing Greater Staffing Challenge

Intellor Group, an independent e-business intelligence and integration knowledge exchange company, recently announced the results from a portion of the e-Business Agility Survey the company conducted at the joint SAP-Microsoft Congress 2001 e-business conference. The research results represent a current snapshot of where companies are in building their information technology (IT) staffing plans for business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM), mobile computing and b-to-b marketplaces.

"IT staffing continues to be a major concern for many organizations. Staffing of skilled IT professionals in support of a company’s movement into an e-business environment is creating an even greater challenge for IT managers. The number of new e-business technologies continues to grow on a weekly basis, making it nearly impossible for IT professionals to keep up and develop the depth of experience required," notes Richard Rist, Founder and CEO of Intellor Group Inc.

Overall results show:

•Skilled staff shortages increase an average of 20 percent with e-business initiatives compared to traditional business initiatives.

•If an organization did not have a skilled employee, the most popular choice was to train an existing employee. Forty-one percent of the respondents indicated they will train existing employees to fill positions to handle mobile computing in support of e-business.

•Respondents fell silent when asked if they would use an ASP to avoid a skill shortage.

The 137 respondents to the e-Business Agility Survey were all attendees of the SAP-Microsoft Congress 2001 and represented over 20 industries. Nineteen percent of the respondents were C-level executives, while 45 percent were director-level or higher. Respondents were split 50-50 between companies with revenues above or below one billion dollars in revenue.

For more information, visit www.intellor.com.

Mongoose Technology Merges with RealCommunities

Mongoose Technology Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to merge with RealCommunities Inc. in a stock-for-stock transaction.

CEO and Founder of RealCommunities, Cynthia Typaldos, in addition to her core team, will join Mongoose Technology. Typaldos will become a full member of the Mongoose Technology Board of Directors. She will also serve as Executive Vice President of the Cupertino, Calif. Lab and as Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO). RealCommunities’ headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. will be used as the West Coast development lab and sales office for Mongoose Technology and will be augmented with additional sales and engineering staff. Server-side functionality provided by Mongoose RealCommunities Fundamentals will be incorporated into the services provided by the Mongoose PortalStudio Server framework.

For more information, visit www.mongoosetech.com.

Fujitsu and EMC Deliver Solaris-Based Solutions for E-Business

Fujitsu Technology Solutions Inc. and EMC Corporation announced the signing of an alliance that expands the Fujitsu Technology Solutions portfolio of open systems storage offerings to include EMC’s Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems and software. The EMC solutions will be resold throughout North America with Fujitsu Technology Solutions’ SPARC-compliant, Solaris-compatible PRIMEPOWER servers, providing customers with a flexible and highly available platform for e-business and enterprise applications.

Specific terms were not disclosed. EMC has a separate reseller relationship with another Fujitsu Limited company, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, enabling it to offer EMC’s storage solutions throughout Europe.

For more information, visit www.fujitsu-technology.com, or www.emc.com.

Sony’s London Focused with Eyetronics Technology

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) plans to show how far 3-D technology has come with "The Getaway," a new PlayStation2 action game. Taking advantage of the graphics power of the PlayStation2, combined with live actors, motion-capture technology and a 3-D scanning system by Eyetronics Inc. (Leuven, Belgium), Sony claims to have created "a living, breathing London."

Developers recreated more than 31 square miles of London by taking digital photographs of every building, then modeling them and creating the textures for the game.

Players will be able to interactively explore the city on foot or by car, entering and exiting buildings. If anything is damaged during play, the game’s evolving environmental structure will show that area cordoned off for repair the next time the player passes by.

All characters in the game, whether starring or standing by, have been modeled to appear as in real life, complete with blinking, breathing and emotional expressions. SCEE developers used Eyetronics ShapeSnatcher Suite 3.0 system to digitally recreate actors’ faces and realtime motion capture put the finishing touches on the characters’ movements.

Once the 3-D images are completed in the Eyetronics system, they are imported into SCEE’s in-house animation program, which contains a model of a generic human head.

Character files are then transferred to Alias|Wavefront’s Maya 3-D animation software for final rendering. Actors’ motions are captured with an Ascension motion tracker and brought into Kaydara Filmbox, a software program that integrates the motion data with the 3-D characters for realtime display.

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

mySAP.com on Linux for eServer zSeries

With a live demonstration of large-scale Linux use, IBM and SAP AG announced plans to deliver the mySAP.com e-business platform on Linux for the IBM eServer zSeries with shipment to first customers in the second quarter of 2001.

By offering mySAP.com on both Linux and z/OS on the zSeries platform, IBM and SAP will provide customers with the opportunity to select the appropriate application server environment with respect to their needs. The Linux acquisition cost advantages can be combined with the qualities of service and integration capabilities of z/OS all on the same hardware platform.

This allows customers to immediately deploy SAP e-business solutions on the eServer zSeries platform. Customers can rely on proven Open Source technology, exploit 64-bit virtual storage and consolidate their server investment.

For more information, visit www.sap.com, or www.ibm.com.

AMD, Linux NetworX Deliver Linux Supercluster to Boeing

AMD announced that The Boeing Company has implemented an AMD Athlon processor-based supercluster developed by Linux NetworX. The high performance cluster system, featuring 96 AMD Athlon processors, is running computational fluid dynamics applications in support of the Boeing Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program at the company’s Space & Communications division in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Boeing Delta IV engineers tested several other processor platforms at Linux NetworX facilities before purchasing the AMD Athlon processor-based cluster. The Delta IV is the newest class of rockets developed by Boeing that will enter service in 2002, and will have the capability of lifting satellite payloads of up to 29,000 pounds into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

For more information, visit www.amd.com, or www.linuxnetworx.com.