News Briefs and Product Shorts
Network data compression experts Expand Networks has another OS/400 high availability success story. The Roseland, New Jersey, company tells Guild Companies that O'Reilly Auto, the specialty car parts retailer that was recently praised for its successful OS/400 planning system, has reaped big dividends using Expand's bandwidth boosters to cut a swath through the hungry bandwidth needs of its Vision Solutions high-availability replication environment. "Expand's acceleration results surpassed all our expectations," says Dave Steinle, O'Reilly's systems management team leader. "We got full T3 capacity [45 Mbps] out of our oversubscribed 12 Mbps link." With the increase in network capacity, O'Reilly will be able to downgrade its 12 Mbps link to a 6 Mbps, which will save the company $32,400 per year. This is the second sighting of exceptional results using Expand's patented byte-level data caching technology in an OS/400 high availability environment. In June, Guild Companies brought you the story of how Kuehne & Nagel reported a 500 percent increase in bandwidth for its DataMirror high availability environment after deploying two of Expand's 4800 Series ACCELERATOR. O'Reilly installed Expand's biggest, T3-capable devices, the ACCELERATOR 6810 Series, at its primary data center in Springfield, Missouri, and at its backup facility in Dallas, Texas. In addition to saving money on telecommunications fees, the retailer will rest easy knowing its replication environment isn't getting out of synch because of an oversubscribed data link. In other Expand news, the company announced last week that it has closed a $9 million round of financing, bringing the young company's total outside financing to $40 million. The company's chief executive, Zohar Pearl, said the company shouldn't need any more capital, as its customer base is rapidly expanding and its revenues are steadily increasing.
iMessaging Systems recently announced its intention to withdraw support for its OS/400-based RFSfax Server product, which was first introduced in 1989. The Merrimack, New Hampshire, company said it will continue to support RFSfax customers until August 1, 2005, although no new product updates will be released during that time. iMessaging Systems also announced that it has signed an agreement with another New England company, Quadrant Software of Taunton, Massachusetts, to migrate RFSfax Server users to Quadrant's FastFax Family of OS/400 products. iMessaging says the move to Quadrant's FastFax Server products will be virtually painless for RFSfax customers, and that no programming will be involved. The two companies also announced that RFSfax customers who sign up for the Quadrant migration before October 31 can get the special promotional price of $4,995. iMessaging says it decided to exit the fax server business so it could devote more resources to its integrated voice response software for OS/400 servers.
Leading sock manufacturer Neuville Industries of Hildebran, North Carolina, has signed on to implement Global Software's business intelligence and reporting software for the BPCS ERP system, the Greensboro, North Carolina, software company announced recently. Neuville Industries, a subsidiary of International Legwear Group, will install Global Software's Data Analytic Suite, which consists of Spreadsheet Server for BPCS, Cost Analyzer for BPCS, Budget Manager, and Executive DASH. Global Software supports a number of other OS/400-based ERP systems with its flagship Spreadsheet Server product, but the majority of customers use the software in BPCS environments. Neuville Industries controller Tiffany White says the Global Data Analytic Suite satisfies her company's requirement for a complete set of financial tools for its BPCS system.
The North Carolina Ports Authority will be the guinea pig for the newest release of Lawson's ERP software for OS/400. Last week DigiTerra, an IBM reseller and a Lawson business partner, announced that it will work closely with Lawson at the Ports Authority on the first installation of the OS/400 version of Lawson Solutions, Version 8. The Unix and Windows versions of the software were released two years ago, in August 2001. At its annual users conference in April 2002, Lawson told its users that it was committed to supporting OS/400 (see "Lawson Tells OS/400 Users It's Committed to the Platform"). Although Lawson has a policy of not announcing any product until the quarter in which it's ready to ship, insiders expected Lawson 8 to be made available on the OS/400 sometime in late 2002. At this year's annual users conference CUE, Lawson told its users that Lawson 8 for the iSeries was on its way, but an announcement has yet to be made. DigiTerra will also be installing two new iSeries servers at the Ports Authority, which will run Lawson's financials, procurement, and human resources applications. "We are very excited about having the Ports Authority as our beta iSeries upgrade client," says Paul Robson, a DigiTerra vice president and Lawson practice leader.
Outsourcing provider Infocrossing last week announced it has signed a new deal to manage the AS/400, Unix, and Terradata servers of an unnamed retailer of women's clothing. The deal comes on the heels of an agreement Infocrossing formed earlier in the year to manage the retailer's mainframe systems. Since the retailer, which Infocrossing only identified as being a "premiere" provider of women's apparel with more than 500 stores in North America, added the additional servers to the contract, it is now expected to be worth $1.5 million over its three-year life. In other Infocrossing news, the Leonia, New Jersey, company announced its financial results for the quarter ending June 30. Revenues were up by about 3 percent, to $13.5 million, but costs were down, which contributed to a net gain of $105,000, compared with a net loss of $726,000 for the same quarter last year. However, using the earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) method of accounting (which was favored by those fast-growing dot-com stocks of years gone by), the company's earnings were up by 55 percent, to $2.2 million.
T.L. Ashford, a provider of drag-and-drop barcode design software for OS/400 servers, recently announced new integration capabilities for its software. The Covington, Kentucky, company says Barcode400 is now fully integrated with the ADC/EAM barcoding software from TEAMS, which provides barcoding capabilities for SSA Global Technologies' Enterprise Asset Management software (formerly known as SSA Plant Maintenance and Elke Main/Tracker). For more information, go to www.tlashford.com.
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