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Vision, Agilysys Partner to Peddle ORION Across North America
Vision Solutions' cross-platform high-availability software will be gaining greater exposure in North America through reseller channels as a result of a new strategic alliance that Vision has formed with one of IBM's master distributors for the iSeries. As part of the agreement with Cleveland-based Agilysys, a provider of ERP software for automotive and process manufacturing, Vision's ORION will be sold through the Agilysys reseller network. Vision will work with Agilysys' Enterprise Solutions, Retail Solutions, and KeyLink Systems reseller groups, says Alan Arnold, Vision's president and chief operating officer. The partnership marks Agilysys' entry into the market for high availability software, according to Agilysys executive vice president Robert Bailey, who says the company chose Vision because it was the first company with a "multi-platform offering that really set the standards for all others." For Vision, a partnership with a high-profile distributor could help it to compete against rival Lakeview Technology, whose strong partnership with large iSeries reseller Sirius gives it clout in the channel.
Wavelink to Supply Scanner Gun Manufacturer with Emulators
HHP, the Skaneateles Falls, New York, manufacturer of the Dolphin line of handheld barcode scanners, has inked a partnership with Wavelink for its terminal emulation software. Wavelink's Avalanche software for barcode scanners, which provides access to OS/400, mainframe, Unix, and certain Hewlett-Packard hosts, and its TE software products will be available on HPP's Dolphin 9500 series of products during the fourth quarter of this year, through HHP and its reseller network. "Wavelink compatibility is frequently requested by our customer base," said Don Flynn, HHP's vice president of business development. HHP, which stands for Hand Held Products, is looking to move forward following its June settlement of a patent lawsuit with barcode scanner leader Symbol Technologies. As part of that settlement, the companies will cross-license each other's technologies. Symbol gains the right to use the "finger saddle," an ergonomic product feature designed by HHP, and its PDF417 technology, while HHP gains access to Symbol's radio frequency technology. HHP says that the settlement will net it $12 million over the course of the agreement. As part of the settlement, the companies agreed not to sue each other anymore for existing products.
Vormittag Associates Picks Bowstreet for Rapid J2EE Portlet Development
Bowstreet received validation of its rapid application development tool for Java this month, when Vormittag Associates, an independent software vendor with a long history in the OS/400 marketplace, announced that it has licensed Bowstreet's tools for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) development. Vormittag Associates, which is based in Ronkonkoma, New York, and develops the OS/400-based ERP package for distributors, manufacturers, and retailers, says that it will use Bowstreet's Framework Factory to develop new portlet interfaces for its System 2000 application, which is used by 800 companies. Bowstreet claims that its Factory software reduces the difficulty and drudgery of J2EE coding by generating the necessary Java programs. Bowstreet, based in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, announced support for OS/400 earlier this summer (see "Bowstreet Brings 'Portlet Factory' to iSeries").
SPSS Revenues Rise As Outlook Improves
Software license fees brought in about $2.5 million less than SPSS expected for its second quarter, which ended June 30, but an increase in maintenance fees, favorable foreign exchange rates, tax benefits, and other factors contributed to an overall 6.2 percent increase in revenue, to $53 million, for the Chicago software company. New sales of the company's ShowCase business intelligence tools, which run on the OS/400 server, increased by 19 percent for the quarter, which outpaced growth in new sales for the company's data mining and desktop analysis tools. Revenues from maintenance agreements and renewals of annual licenses increased 18 percent, to $24.2 million, in the second quarter, while service revenues decreased by 6 percent, to $7.8 million. SPSS executive vice president and chief financial officer Edward Hamburg says that, with the company's accounting review and restatement behind it, and the sense that market conditions will gradually improve, the company expects to bring in between $112 million and $117 million during the second half of the year.
Windows XP SP2 Is Now Shipping, So Get Ready
If you haven't yet started thinking about how Windows XP Service Pack 2 will affect your shop, you should probably start now. Microsoft recently released Windows XP SP2 to manufacturing, which means that, in the absence of Windows patch management software, your desktop users will soon be asked to download the service pack from Microsoft's Web site. There are a number of security enhancements and other changes in Windows XP SP2, and it needs to be thoroughly tested in your shop before it is rolled out. Some desktop emulation vendors have said that older Windows 98-era host access programs simply won't work with Windows XP SP2, which has the firewall turned on by default. While this will almost certainly make for better security, it also will almost certainly be the source of headaches for administrators who have to configure each new Windows XP SP2 desktop manually. Microsoft is also pushing hard with this new Windows release for its customers to turn on the "automatic update" feature, which basically allows Microsoft to download and install to PCs any service pack, update, or security patch without manual intervention. However, many large PC users, including IBM, have expressed concern over users downloading and installing Windows XP SP2 before their IT shops have had time to adequately test it. Microsoft has addressed such concerns by posting to its Web site a tool that allows the Windows XP SP2 upgrade to be temporarily blocked on machines that have "automatic update" activated. The tool can be downloaded from Microsoft's site.
IBM Agrees to Help Clean Up 'Vapor Intrusion' Problem in Endicott
IBM has agreed to a state order to help clean up pollution that is affecting hundreds of homes in Endicott, the Upstate New York village where the business machines giant was founded eight decades ago. The Wall Street Journal reported that IBM has agreed to a consent order with the state of New York to help clean up industrial toxins that, over the decades, have seeped into the area's groundwater and end up as toxic chemical vapors in people's basements (a process called "vapor intrusion"). IBM had already been helping to clean up the area's groundwater with a network of wells, pumps, and filters to extract and monitor groundwater. As a result of the order, IBM will be required to pay for additional measures to help stem the vapor intrusion problems, which, the Journal says, is concentrated between IBM's former campus and the Susquehanna River; otherwise, the company will face fines. IBM is reportedly the source of some but not all of the pollution, and the order allows it to help with the cleanup without opening itself to liability.
Business Ethics on the Rise, Says Trainer
In the wake of the Enron and WorldCom fiascos, are business ethics finally making a comeback? You bet they are, says Myron Curry, president of BusinessTrainingMedia.com, who says he's seen a "dramatic increase" in the number of customers requesting training on business ethics and accountability training for managers and executives over the last year and a half. "More and more companies and businesspeople now realize that ethics play as large a role in the public as they do the private, and that you can't check your ethics at the door when you enter the workplace," Curry says. That, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which can send chief executives to a Federal penitentiary if their company is caught fudging the books.