News Briefs and Product Shorts
New Optio Software Slashes E-Document Creation Time by 90%
Optio Software, a developer of document management tools for OS/400 and other platforms, last week launched a new product that, it claims, can reduce document layout times by 90 percent. Rapid Document Design works with existing documents in electronic formats, such as Word, Excel, or even scanned images, and converts the characters and designs on them into editable text and lines. Then the document is ready for editing and data mapping in Optio's standard DesignStudio software. The software will soon be used to import more than 1,000 hospital forms into electronic formats at Credit Valley Hospital, a 366-bed facility in Mississauga, near Toronto, Ontario, which is in Canada. "Optio's new Rapid Document Design offering will help us import forms, greatly reduce the overall forms development project lifecycle, and garner a faster return on investment," says Avril Cardoso, the hospital's manager of application services. The hospital already uses DesignStudio and e.ComIntegrate, Optio's core document distribution software, which works with OS/400 output.
ACOM Offers Steep Discount on E-Payment Bundle
ACOM Solutions unveiled a new offer last week whereby organizations that purchase EZPayManager/400 payment management software will also get ACOM's ACH electronic payment module, free of charge. EZPayManager/400 generates MICR checks on blank security check stock, using laser printers. The electronic payment module allows organizations to deposit money directly into bank accounts, using banking's Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. The offer, good through the end of 2004, will save customers almost $3,000 off the normal cost; EZPayManager/400 licenses are $6,995. Both applications can save users money. Using blank check stock instead of preprinted forms can cut costs by 75 percent per check, says Sam Mikhail, vice president of sales in ACOM's e-Business Division. Direct deposit using the ACH network costs even less, at only about 20 cents per payment, according to Mikhail.
CommercialWare Updates POS, Item Locator Apps
CommercialWare last week announced new releases of CWStore and CWLocate, two Windows-based add-ons that plug into its flagship multi-channel merchandise management system, CWDirect, which operates on the OS/400 platform. The version 8.0 release of CWStore, a POS (point-of-sale) and retail management application, features a new database for all POS activity, which improves the speed of transaction processing, as well as enhancements to its stored value card system. The version 1.2 release of CWLocate, which helps retailers find inventory across all sales channels and distribution centers, features new user-defined "probability rules," among other enhancements. These rules can help retailers more accurately gauge product availability by taking into account known factors of the retail operation, such as subtracting 1 from its current available inventory to account for a display item.
Bytware Customers Get New Recycle Bin Utility for Half Price
Bytware is having a half-off sale for StandGuard Recycle Bin, a new utility that protects against the deletion of files on the iSeries IFS system. Through November 30, Bytware customers can get Recycle Bin, a license for which normally costs about $1,000, for only about $500 (not including maintenance). The offer is good only for current users of Bytware's core StandGuard and StandGuard Anti-Virus product, or for OS/400 shops that plan to buy either of those two products before November 30. Bytware, based in Reno, Nevada, introduced its Recycle Bin in August (see "Bytware Launches 'Recycle Bin' for OS/400"). The software implements a Windows-like recycle bin for files on the IFS to protect against the accidental and malicious deletion of data and objects.
Upscale Clothing Retailer Chooses Island Pacific for Merchandising
Wilkes Bashford, a San Francisco-based specialty clothes retailer, has selected Island Pacific's OS/400-based merchandise management software to help it grow. The retail chain, which recently expanded and now operates five stores in and around the Bay Area, will replace its current business software with Island Pacific Merchandizing Suite, the vendor's flagship OS/400-based ERP system for multi-channel retailers, and OnePointe, a POS (point of sale) system. Wilkes Bashford picked Island Pacific, which has enjoyed success among clothing retailers, after evaluating three unnamed providers, according to Chris Barnish, the company's chief financial officer. "The IPMS Merchandising/OnePointe solution offered the best fit for our retailing needs," Barnish says.
Wynne Systems Partners with MicroLogic for Wireless Asset Tracking
Do you ever wonder how those young men with the fraternity shirts used that cherry picker you rented them last week? Wouldn't it have been nice to know exactly where the tool was being used? Well, thanks to a new partnership between Wynne Systems and MicroLogic, the company that brought you LoJack, wireless equipment monitoring will soon be integrated with RentalMan, Wynne Systems' flagship ERP package for the equipment rental industry, which runs exclusively on OS/400 servers.
When the integration between RentalMan and MicroLogic's iSite satellite-based communication system is complete, RentalMan users and select customers, such as contractors, will be able to track rental assets, in real time, over the Web. A rugged satellite transponder, mounted on the equipment, will transmit a variety of information, such as the exact location, run-hours, and other key operating metrics, back to the user. Irvine, California, based Wynne Systems, which counts seven of the top 10 equipment rental companies in the country as RentalMan customers, and Westboro, Massachusetts, based MicroLogic are working to integrate the products, and clients should start seeing benefits in several months--a little too late for the fall fraternity rush, unfortunately.