Stories by Rebecca Munro

  • Integrators wary of vendors' low-end sorties

    Vendors selling direct to customers are posing new challenges for Australian integrators, especially when the prices vendors are offering appear to be undermining the integrators' previous advantage in this area. One example of this occurred this week when IBM released its Aptiva EQ1-micro tower for just $1499. Built on a low-end 233 MHz AMD processor and consisting of a 3.2GB hard disk drive, 32MB of RAM, a 24X CD-ROM drive, a 15 inch monitor, K56flex modem the product also includes Lotus SmartSuite. IBM is hoping to target the dual market of small business and home uses.

  • LAN Systems introduces new distribution partner

    After an exhaustive tender process, LAN Systems has appointed Discount Freight Express (DFE) as its new carrier for road and air services. "We sent tender applications to seven companies that a consultant recommended but the responses we received was very ordinary," Reg Van Wegen, LAN Systems' logistics manager, said. "No one addressed the key criteria of how they were distinct from other courier companies."

  • Trojan viruses a continued threat to ISPs

    According to IT security publishers, Shake Communications, security issues continue to plague ISP's with the onset of network-aware Trojans, viruses and worms. Shake recently released the findings of a report that alleges over 1400 PC's have been compromised by the Trojan, Back Orifice. Shake's study on the impact of Back Orifice upon ISP's, including the extent of its infiltration, painted a grim picture. According to Simon Johnson, Shake's technical director, the survey of 92 ISP's exposed vulnerability in the industry. "We found 1400 infected computers yet only 4 per cent of ISP's warned their users about the threat of Back Orifice."

  • Lease.com sells alternative to renting

    Leasing organisation Lease.com entered the Australian leasing and rental fray recently with an Internet-based strategy that has raised the eyebrows of at least one major competitor. Lease.com's strategy will be built around picking up the small ticket transactions that existing Computer Fleet Management (CFM) initiatives offer, according to Harry Henderson, Lease.com's new CEO.

  • Allaire donates software to boost Web training

    Allaire Corporation is so keen to address the shortage of Web developers it claims exists locally that it has donated $50,000 worth of Cold Fusion software to universities around Australia. Included in the package are Allaire's Cold Fusion 4.0 application and Cold Fusion Studio development tools.

  • EDS joins with Cisco, HP on e-comm

    Three of the giants of IT are joining forces to take on IBM and its e-business drive. Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and EDS have forged an alliance to accrue business-to-business and business-to-consumer strength in the industry.

  • Motherboard shambles frustrates AOpen reseller

    AOpen distributor Servex has come under fire from one of its Australian resellers for failing to support the Slot 1 motherboards advertised on its Web site. Servex is promoting the boards as supporting Pentium Celeron chips but a number of customers of Sydney-based reseller Programmer's Paradise are running into problems when they try to install the boards without a BIOS upgrade -- a fact that Servex had failed to stipulate was necessary. Gillian Eades, the director of Programmer's Paradise, was furious when she started receiving complaints from some of her 10, 000 customers around Australia when their systems failed to fire up. "My business wasn't operational for a week while this problem was being sorted out. I even rung the distributor to complain and they called back with a fake name and refused to give me a number."

  • Resellers reluctant to accept analyst's advice

    Australian resellers are remaining cautious when it comes to relying on analyst research for accurate predictions concerning the IT industry. That is probably just as well, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' executive director of its Global Technology Centre, Paul Turner. Speaking at IDC's Asia/Pacific IT Forum last month, he warned that technology forecasting is clouded by a number of built-in biases. For example, he said many users of forecast numbers need them to justify business funding plans. As a result "big numbers sell", Turner said.

  • Address matching software a winner at Australia Post

    QAS Systems, a UK-based address matching and correction software developer, has established itself in Australia after being approached by Australia Post to implement its Quick Address Pro software into the organisation's Quality Address Initiative.

  • Netbridge wins ISDN network deal

    Australian vendor Jtec has been awarded a $420,000, 18-site ISDN network upgrade for national transport company K&S Group. Bill Mackay, K&S' group IT manager, was apparently unhappy with the performance of K&S' previous supplier, a prominent integrator, and its recommendation to change from ISDN to a frame relay network.

  • New SAP/R3 services from Deloitte

    Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group will this week release a suite of integrated services aimed at enhancing the functionality of customers' existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. The new services include eXpress Delivery, ValuePrint, SkillPrint and Second Wave Services. According to Deloitte's managing director, Greg McCann, the organisation is hoping to induce medium-sized business into adopting its SAP add-ons while maintaining the interest of its more traditional users, large corporates.

  • Intel on the marketing merry-go-round

    Intel's regional roadshow hit Sydney last week in a bid to push the vendor's latest e-business system - a constant computing process coined "killer environment." According to Intel's Asia Pacific general manager, John Davies, the system will facilitate the creation of an e-business infrastructure and information package that concurrently combines a range of applications and processors. Instead of a single "killer application" the system is designed to combine numerous processors in the background of your system.

  • Wang Global secures $10 million integration deal at Bendigo Bank

    Wang Global has landed one of the largest banking integration contracts of the year, winning a lucrative $10 million deal at Victoria-based Bendigo Bank. As part of the deal, Wang Global will supply and implement software, PC hardware and networking infrastructure for the bank's Community Banking Program. Ongoing maintenance services will also be provided.

  • Windows NT rebirth divides the channel

    Microsoft sparked a mixed reaction among its channel ranks last week when it announced it would rename version 5.0 of Windows NT as Windows 2000. While some complained the move would confuse the market, others believed the marketing ploy would have little effect on their business.

  • QAD teams with IBM on year 2000

    With the year 2000 rapidly approaching, QAD announced its plans last week to offer Y2K-compliant enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in alliance with IBM and JIS. The ERP solutions are aimed at mid-market manufacturers in the automotive, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, industrial and medical products industries.