Ericsson, Rockwell form call centre allianceLM Ericsson Telephone will distribute Rockwell's call centre systems in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea as part of a partnership aimed at capturing business in banking, transport, telecommu-nications, utilities and government.
According to Chris Large, general manager of Ericsson, the company has the sales distribu-tion and services infrastructure to support the alliance, while Rockwell's Australia-New Zealand manager, David Paddon, said Rockwell was bringing to the partnership expertise gained from implementing call centres and building applications.
The pairing will consummate the relationship with the launch of the ACP 6000 call centre system which enables call centres to be extended to business-consumer transactions on the Internet and for other applications such as video kiosks, Paddon said.
Unisys/Compaq merger rumour denied
Unisys issued a terse "no comment" recently about the quietly circulating rumours that Compaq might be interested in acquiring the company.
Analysts said such talk has been circulating for several months but might just be a lot of hot air.
"You can never say never in this environment, but I think Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer got what he wanted on the high end with Tandem," said Michael Geran, an analyst at a division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
And if it is the services side of Unisys that Compaq is after, that would happen later rather than sooner, Geran said.
"This new CEO of Unisys (Lawrence Weinbach was named Unisys CEO in mid-September) will take a little time to clean up its operation," he said. "Overall, I think the acquisition rumours are a stretch," he added.
NT to ride Oz outsourcing wave
Outsourcing is the coming trend according to the head of one of Australia's significant players in that market.
Ron Leeder, CEO and MD of outsourcing company GE Capital IT Solutions (annual revenue $240 million), believes the trend will take off within 18 months.
It is being fuelled by the take-up of NT among organisations who see it as a suitable platform for mission-critical applications, Leeder said.
"A lot of companies are running SAP applications on NT, not because they like the cute box, but because of the richness of the data they can extract," he said.
The obvious next step will be the introduction by outsourcing companies like GE Capital IT Solutions into their data centres, Leeder believes.
"The three skill sets outsourcers are going to have to cover in future will be mainframe, Unix and NT," he said, adding, "My gut feeling is that we are going to see it happening within 18 months."
GE Capital IT Solutions was positioning itself now to acquire NT skills, Leeder said. He claimed the company was well-placed to compete for those skills in what is already a seller's market.
The Queensland branch is staffed with 25 of the company's total workforce of 700 employees. by Peter YoungHow interesting?
Don't bother to scour the show floor for Netscape's booth at Comdex/Fall '97 in Las Vegas. The software maker has decided to skip the big shows. "It's an experiment this quarter. We're trying other ways of reaching our customers directly," a Netscape spokeswoman said. "We didn't realise a significant number of qualified sales leads from prior shows."
Meanwhile, services giant Andersen Consulting remains committed to Lotus Notes for messaging and groupware.
But the company's intranet is a conglomer-ation of Microsoft technology, including Internet Information Server and SQL Server, Andersen insiders report.
The reason: when Andersen was putting together its intranet plan two years ago, Notes was lacking in Web support. by IDG staff