IT News

Posted on 4 Aug 2011 by The Manufacturer

The latest news from the IT sector.

General release of SAP Sales OnDemand
SAP has announced that its new ERP software is now generally available across a number of countries, including the UK.

OnDemand is designed to help sales people sell more effectively by providing the user with access to customer’s data.

SAP argues that their product is different from others available on the market, because “unlike other offerings available on the market today, the solution is designed from the ground up, with the input of customers’ sales professionals in order to specifically support the way they work.” SAP demonstrated the capabilities of the new software at the CeBIT trade fair in early March this year. Striving to focus on the needs of its customers, SAP has tried to take advantage of the growth of Smart Phones by supporting iPhones, Blackberry and iPad compatibility. This enables the customer to access customer data remotely if they possess one of the above phones.

SAP Sales OnDemand has been developed based on feedback from customer and prospect sales teams. This follows the company’s focus on what they call ‘design thinking’ – where the emphasis is placed on co-innovating in the design, development and deployment phases.

Anger in EU over data rights
The European Union and the US came to blows over data rights laws earlier last month, as Microsoft warned it would have to hand over EU customer data to US authorities.

As well as being forced to hand over the data, the company may also be required by the Patriot Act to keep details of any such data transfer secret. This law is in direct opposition to its counter-part in the EU, which states that organisations must inform users when they disclose personal information.

EU Parliament civil liberties committee member Sophia In’t Veld posed the question: “Does the Commission consider that the US Patriot Act thus effectively overrules the EU Directive on Data Protection?” Microsoft is already able to transfer EU data to the US under the current Safe Harbour agreement. But legal experts have warned that this agreement is dead in the water.

There are seven principles of Safe Harbour; including reasonable data security and clearly defined and effective enforcement. However, this is irrelevant if the Patriot Act is invoked.

Major cloud computing providers such as Amazon and Google are, understandably, not pleased with the news.

Epicor confirms its support for Denali
Microsoft’s SQL Server code name Denali was given the support of Epicor earlier this month. Denali is a complete set of enterprise-ready technologies and tools, designed to enable customers to derive the most value from information at the lowest total cost of ownership.

On July 12 Epicor released a statement in which it proposed its intention to support Denali, in order to attempt to enhance its Enterprise Performance Management suite and make the most of the release’s upgraded levels of performance, availability and security. The system is expected to enable customers to derive as much value as possible from their data analysis.

Director of Microsoft’s SQL Server BI Product Management Herain Oberoi said: “Business executives and information workers in organisations that use the next release … will be able to leverage the data residing in their enterprise resource planning system faster and in more interactive ways.” “Microsoft’s new in-memory computing capabilities will afford much faster data analysis and easier navigation for customers leveraging Epicor EPM solutions,” said Hakan Ebersjo, Epicor’s director of Product Marketing.

Epicor revealed its ‘Smarter Business Intelligence’ initiative at its user conference last October, previewing plans to make use of the more advanced analytic and cloud computing technologies offered by Microsoft.

Infor and Golden Gate Capital Complete acquisition of Lawson Software
Lawson has been combined with an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital (GGC) and Infor called SoftBrands. The acquisition came into effect on July 5.

The new affiliation will enable SoftBrands and Infor to share and integrate technology while partnering on product offerings through cross-selling, marketing and distribution arrangements.

Under the terms of the takeover agreement, Lawson’s stockholders are to be given $11.25 per share in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes, for each share of common stock they owned before the merger comes into effect.

The new development plan includes aims to introduce several new products before the end of the year, including the Lawson S3 and Infor FMS SunSystems Enterprise; Lawson S3 and Infor EAM, Lawson Human Capital Management and Infor Workforce Management.

“These first product examples reflect the potential of this partnership and the fast pace of our development efforts,” said CEO of Infor Charles Phillips. “We will continue our work to deliver deeper functionality and industry-specific applications, particularly in key industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, distribution, public sector and hospitality.”

RedPrairie supports LXE Thor Vehicle-Mount Computer
The new hardware, released in mid July, has received the support of RedPrairie – a global productivity solutions provider.

The laptop-grade processing speed of the Thor is expected to place it in a good position inside the market, supporting existing RedPrairie systems such as the Warehouse Management System, Yard Management System and Transportation Management System.

RedPrairie vice president of Sales Gary Morgan said he believes the hardware will allow customers to deal effectively with changes in demand, exceptions and multiple suppliers among others.

“[We at RedPrairie believe] that the Thor is the ideal hardware complement because with its unique feature set, the end user can react and respond to change with speed and flexibility,” he said.

There are several features that are pending patents on the Thor –the Field-Replaceable Front Panel and the Quick Mount Smart Dock.

New Episys software rids supply chain of mistakes
Pharmaceutical companies are set to benefit from new software released by Episys this month. Ensuring medicine is labelled correctly, the aim is to maintain higher standards of safety.

The software is supported and promoted by Idis, a company that partners with those in the health industry such as pharmaceutical firms, doctors surgeries and hospitals to ensure that patients are not given the wrong information regarding their medication.

The Ultimate™ Platinum labelling system is a validated labelling system which produces labels for products, enabling Idis to improve their service when supplying product to NHS hospitals. The solution has helped Idis’ customers save time and Episys claims it makes it easier for them to ensure that their patients are better informed about their medication.

Marketing director for Episys Peter Lewis said: “Patient safety is of key importance, and it’s business critical that Idis have a fully compliant solution in place to enable them to provide the correct guarantees.”