IT News

Posted on 3 Jun 2010 by The Manufacturer

The latest stories from the IT sector.

Lydia meets ERP from Redmond
Shortly after top-VOX had certified its pick by voice solution, topSPEECH-Lydia for seamless integration into SAP, the company is taking things one step further. The IT provider of logistics applications now also offers an interface to Microsoft Dynamics business software and its previous versions.

These include versions still in use at many SMEs, such as MS Dynamics 2009, MS Dynamics AX 4.0 and Microsoft Axapta 3.0. The interface was developed in a two-partner joint project between top-VOX and Dynamics Concepts, a Danish company specialising in the development and implementation of IT-supported work processes in logistics and warehouse environments.

Plug & Play offers coupling of topSPEECH-Lydia and MS Dynamics/Axapta. Its process logic is based entirely on business software from Redmond. To that extent, all of the standard processes of the ERP solution, such as printing of delivery orders and labels, commissioning, inventory and shipping management, are on hand. This also applies to the statistical functions of MS Dynamics/Axapta.

Maxima certified for Microsoft Dynamics
Maxima, an IT business systems and managed services company, has announced that its MAXcel suite of integrated business apps is now Certified for Microsoft Dynamics — Microsoft’s highest standard for partner-developed software.

Maxima meets all of Microsoft’s criteria, including already having customers that are successfully using the certified solution and are willing to recommend it, being a member of Microsoft’s Partner Service Plan and accreditation as a Gold Certified Partner in the Microsoft Partner Programme.

“Microsoft congratulates Maxima on achieving the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics status for its MAXcel suite by demonstrating its success and commitment in delivering a leading Microsoft Dynamics solution,” said Fiona Nolan, product manager for Microsoft Dynamics AX at Microsoft.

Epicor and Kodak announce expanded strategic alliance
Epicor Software Corporation and Eastman Kodak Company announced a strengthened alliance to deliver Epicor’s nextgeneration ERP solution with Kodak’s suite of print industry solutions.

Under the agreement, Epicor will deliver Kodak’s workflow capabilities and print-focused KODAK EMS Business Software suite embedded with its Epicor 9 next-generation ERP solution — to be branded Epicor for Printing and Packaging. As part of the agreement, Kodak has ported its print-focused EMS software for printers to the Epicor 9 platform.

Said Kodak vice president and general manager of Business Solutions and Services Group, Dolores Kruchten: “Epicor brings more than 25 years of experience developing, marketing, selling and implementing ERP solutions that provide organisations around the world with a competitive advantage. Combined with our expertise in bringing integrated business solutions to the printing industry, this creates a win-win for new and existing customers.” “The partnership with Kodak aligns with our strategic focus to extend the offerings and market presence within industries we’ve traditionally served, as well as expand into complementary industries,” said Epicor chairman, CEO and president George Klaus.

“We’ve been very successful providing business management software to the printing and publishing industry. The addition of Kodak’s EMS solution and integrated workflow capabilities, coupled with industry best practices, allows us to create an even stronger value proposition for what is a significant market segment.”

Businesses gain time with Amano
Amano UK, part of the Amano Group, a worldwide organisation that designs and manufactures time and workforce management systems, has established a new division in Cheltenham.

The move will enable British businesses to deal with Amano directly for the first time, providing access to innovation and expertise, quality customer service and technical support. Amano’s product range includes simple time recorders, web-based time management systems for mobile workforces and software packages that can be integrated into HR and payroll systems.

Amano products are already being used by more than 6,000 British businesses of all shapes and sizes in many different industry sectors, providing time and attendance systems for multi-site operations, mobile workforces, factories operating complex shift patterns and small businesses managing freelance resources.

Amano UK managing director, Chris O’Riordan, said: “The greatest asset of any business is its workforce, whether large or small. Our aim is to continue building strong links between Amano and British businesses, using our expertise to help them effectively manage their workforces, maximise performance and productivity and create a successful working life balance for both employers and employees.”

Internet security risk doubles in manufacturing
According to NTA Monitor’s 2010 Annual Security Report, the average number of Internet security vulnerabilities afflicting organisations has fallen.

However, a dramatic change can be seen in the number of risks found per test in the Manufacturing sector. Comparing the 2009 and 2010 reports, the average number of vulnerabilities has doubled and of the top ten high-risks identified in the report, manufacturing has all but three.

With the exception of just four vulnerabilities, all of the top ten high-risk vulnerabilities appeared on the equivalent list last year, suggesting that security managers are not heeding previous warnings, with the same high-risk issues reoccurring year after year.

This is compounded by the fact that 20% of organisations tested suffered one or more high-risk vulnerability — which are widely known and actively targeted by hackers — compared to a fairly similar figure of 21% in the 2009 report.

Siemens enters partnership with Brandbridge Systems
Siemens PLM Software has signed a Value Added Reseller partnership with Brandbridge Systems Ltd, an independent CPG market consulting service.

The collaboration with Brandbridge marries Siemens PLM Software’s PLM technology with packaging industry insight to offer brand owners an advantage in a market where delivering innovative packaging at low operational cost is paramount.

The aim of this partnership is to help manage branding and printing complexities, such as whether product design is technically viable, while delivering process and asset ownership, supply chain control and visibility and IP capture.

hybris release of its cloud-ready 4.1 Multichannel Suite
hybris, a multichannel commerce software vendor, has announced the immediate release of the hybris 4.1 Multichannel Suite.

Hybris’ release includes mobile commerce, the introduction of product content management (PCM) functionality, new order management and cross channel fulfillment functionality plus improved search and navigation capabilities with its integration with Endeca.

It also offers support for cloud-based deployments and scenarios with the highest requirements in terms of number of transactions and size of data volume.

Speaking about the 4.1 Multichannel Suite, Ariel Luedi, CEO of hybris, said: “The release of hybris 4.1 is the new benchmark within the e-commerce market in terms of agility, functionality as well as breadth and depth of channel integration. It truly embraces multichannel commerce, both online and print, and provides our customers with an agile platform which can quickly be adapted to new business needs or changing consumer behaviour.”

Empire Cycles uses SolidWorks
A UK cycle company has used SolidWorks CAD software to create a mountain bike that defies conventional design techniques and doesn’t require endless prototyping to get to market.

SolidWorks helped two-year-old Empire Cycles incorporate automotive and aerospace manufacturing techniques into its high-performance Empire AP- 1WR mountain bike. It is made from three large cast components in a design that requires no welding or riveting, much like a vehicle or aircraft suspension.

Empire Cycles co-founder Chris Williams said SolidWorks helped him overcome production challenges that led Empire’s first foundry to declare the design impossible to produce. “One foundry told us that it was impossible to cast the swing arm — which is a hollow, rigid shell — at the four millimeters we wanted.” “That turned out to be false. We moved to another foundry and explained what we were trying to achieve. They weren’t able to understand what I wanted them to do with the swing arm’s inner surface, so I did it myself in SolidWorks to show them. I could create cutters in SolidWorks that let me design very complex shapes and do many iterations quickly without wrecking the overall design.”

SAP to acquire Sybase Inc
SAP’s subsidiary, SAP America, has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Sybase Inc.

Under the terms and conditions of the merger agreement, SAP America Inc. will make an all cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Sybase common stock at $65.00 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $5.8bn.

The per share purchase price represents a 44% premium over the three-month average stock price of Sybase. The transaction will be funded from SAP’s cash on hand and a €2.75bn loan facility arranged and underwritten by Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank. The Sybase board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction.

“With this transaction, SAP will dramatically expand its addressable market by making available its market-leading solutions to hundreds of millions of mobile users, combining the world’s best business software with the world’s most powerful mobile infrastructure platform,” said Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and member of the SAP executive board.

“This is a game-changing transaction for SAP and Sybase customers, who will be better able to connect their employees with key functionality and information from anywhere and make it easier for companies to make faster, more informed business decisions in real time. With SAP’s customer-centric approach, we are resolute in our commitment to support Sybase customers to be best-run businesses.”