News Briefs and Product Shorts
SafeData and EVault Partner for iSeries Disaster Recovery
Two relative newcomers to iSeries disaster recovery, SafeData and EVault, unveiled a formal partnership earlier this month aimed at providing backup and recovery services to small and midsize companies, mostly OS/400 shops. SafeData made its entry into the iSeries backup and recovery market earlier this year (see "SafeData Launches Hosting Service for HA and DR"). In recognition that companies have different recovery objectives, The Rhode Island company offers three levels of disaster recovery service, including hosting the secondary box in a full high availability setup (SafeData/HA), storing point-in-time "snapshots" of data (SafeData/DR), and providing a data center hot site with hardware customers can use in the event of an emergency (SafeData/HS). SafeData's partnership with EVault comes into play with SafeData/DR, the middle-tier option aimed at iSeries and Windows servers. In fact, although the partnership has just been finalized, SafeData's business model from the beginning called for its customers to use EVault's software to send the snapshots over the network. Northern California-based EVault launched its backup agent for iSeries about 14 months ago (see "EVault Brings Online Backups to the iSeries"). Tony Barbagallo, vice president of marketing at EVault, says the partnership will help their joint customers. "Our solutions truly complement each other, providing our clients with a complete disaster recovery solution," he says.
IntelliChief, Quadrant's Next-Generation Document Management System, Now Available
Quadrant Software's new IntelliChief software suite is now available, the vendor announced this month. IntelliChief, you will remember, is the new suite of document and content management technologies that Quadrant unveiled at the COMMON conference in September. Designed to work with iSeries systems and iSeries data, IntelliChief is composed of five modules, including ScanChief, PortalChief, WorkflowChief, ViewChief, and StorageChief, that are designed to satisfy the six states of paper process management including capture, create, distribute, retrieve, workflow, and archive. The suite also works with Quadrant's existing document management products for the iSeries and other platforms, including Formtastic, FastFax, Formatter, and Email Gateway. IntelliChief is aimed at mid size businesses and large enterprises, and expects the average implementation to cost about $50,000, although individually, IntelliChief components start at about $5,000.
IBM Drops Concurrent User Licensing Option for HATS
IBM is changing the way it charges for WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services (HATS), a software product that is a key element of Big Blue's push to get users and ISVs to modernize their legacy applications. As of November 18, the various versions of HATS, including the iSeries, zSeries, and Multiplatforms versions, are being licensed and sold on a per-processor basis or on a registered user basis, which means no more concurrent user licenses. IBM plans to honor current contracts for concurrent user licenses, but it also has a plan to migrate these customers to the new pricing schemes; see its November 15 software announcement for more information. The introduction of processor-based pricing is expected to benefit large customers that would otherwise have to purchase thousands of distinct user licenses. The flip side to this coin is that IBM is not one of the IT vendors providing favorable licensing terms for software running on multi-core servers. Basically, it considers a dual-core processor, like the Power5 processor in eServer i5 models, two separate processors. This will undoubtedly affect which pricing scheme customers choose.
New Products, Ownership On Tap for TMW Systems
Beta tests are currently underway for a new version of the ResultsNow performance management portal for TMW Systems's OS/400-based TL2000 fleet management software, with general availability expected in 2006. That was the word three weeks ago out of Cleveland, where almost 800 TMW customers congregated for their annual user group meeting. ResultsNow, which was first released in 2004 for the company's Windows-based TMWSuite fleet management system, provides managers with up-to-the-minute snapshots of a trucking company's revenues and costs, and helps them determine if they're meeting business goals. Another new product the 100 or so trucking companies that use TL2000 will have next year is a new graphical load-planning module called LoadView-XT. "Our TL2000 customers will now have access to a powerful combination of graphical interface tools for dispatch that is unparalleled in the industry," said Tom Weisz, TMW Systems chief executive, chairman, and founder, at the user group meeting. But new products aren't the only thing that's new at TMW Systems. In October, the company was sold to two private equity firms, Wachovia Capital Partners and Peppertree Capital Management. Weisz, an industry veteran who had taken a very active role in the management of the company, will stay on as chairman, but day-to-day operations have been passed to Ken Thompson and Dave Mook. Wachovia and Peppertree won't make any "radical" changes to TMW, says Weisz, who built one of the industry's first PC-based fleet management systems in the 1990s. In 1997 the company obtained TL2000 from Qualcomm, which had acquired it from McCormick & Associates in 1995.
RentalMan Gets Tight with Qualcomm's GlobalTRACS
Companies in the equipment rental business can keep a better eye on equipment that's out in the field, as well as their operational costs, as a result of the work that Wynne Systems, developer of the OS/400-based RentalMan application, and Qualcomm, developer of the GlobalTRACS equipment tracking system, have done to integrate their respective products. The companies say that a new screen in RentalMan makes it much easier for users to absorb and act upon the equipment status information that GlobalTRACS gathers and distributes using wireless signals, including information about equipment hours, operational history, location, maintenance, and administrative data. The new screen will lead users at all levels--including employees at the rental counter, workers in maintenance centers, and managers at the corporate office--to make more informed business decisions, help capture additional revenue, control maintenance costs, improve the timeliness of preventative maintenance, manage liens, and supervise equipment security, the companies say. Other benefits include helping users capture off-rent revenue, provide more accurate and timely overtime billings, and help validate rain-day, holiday and downtime credits, as well as reduce the need for manual data entry.
FormScape Updates Document Management System
FormScape's document management system has been updated with support for new databases, e-mail standards, operating systems, and other common IT infrastructure components. Perhaps one of the most important new features in FormScape version 3.3 is support for the messaging application program interface (MAPI) standard used in e-mail clients and e-mail servers, including Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes. Another new feature in this product, which doesn't run on OS/400 but is often used to reformat and distribute output from OS/400 ERP systems as electronic documents, is support for the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database, which is just now becoming available. But you shouldn't feel like you have to run FormScape on Windows servers. With this release, it now supports Red Hat Linux. Other new features include support for Web services, and the capability to output electronic documents in HTML.