IT News

Posted on 9 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

The latest news from the IT sector.

Aras open source accelerates
Aras, provider of open source PLM software, has announced a 226% increase in sales in the first half of 2010.

Driven by growth in worldwide adoption of its Innovator suite, Aras says its performance signals widescale acceptance of the Aras enterprise open source model by America’s largest companies.

“Our growth represents a fundamental shift in the way global companies are approaching their enterprise PLM strategy,” said Peter Schroer, President of Aras.

“Gartner is seeing increased interest and adoption from manufacturers and PLM service providers,” said Marc Halpern, Research VP for PLM at Gartner in the recent Cool Vendors in Product Design and Life Cycle Management 2010 report. “The annual subscription fees for support and upgrades are approximately 40 per cent of what they would pay the major PLM vendors for annual maintenance, and they had no expense for PLM licenses.”

Liverpool John Lennon Airport invests in simulation tools
Lanner Group, the business process improvement company, has announced that Liverpool John Lennon Airport has invested in MFlow Forecast to help with its redevelopment programme.

Based on Lanner’s simulation tool WITNESS, the system was developed in partnership with Human Recognition Systems (HRS), the biometrics and behaviour analytics specialist to deal with the particular requirements of the airport’s new £12.4 million redevelopment programme.

Jim Slevin, transport business unit manager at HRS, said: “As well as being complex and expensive, security technology – and the regulatory requirements for it – is changing all the time. Investment decisions are a critical element of developing a business case, and simulation can play a vital part. We chose WITNESS because it was already being used successfully in the air transport sector. But we were also highly impressed by the confidence and experience shown by the Lanner team – they were very supportive and easy to work with.”

3i Infotech implements Security Information Manager for Oman Air
Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has announced the implementation of Symantec’s Security Information Manager (SSIM) by the global technology solutions and services provider, 3i Infotech.

The implementation by 3i Infotech of SSIM in the Sultanate of Oman has allowed Oman Air to enhance the security of its IT systems.

Founded in 1993, Oman Air has played a major role in making Muscat an important traffic hub in the Middle East, supporting the commercial, industrial and tourism sectors.

In March 2010 Oman Air became the first airline in the world to offer both mobile phone and Wi-Fi connectivity in-flight aboard its A330 fleet.

3i Infotech has used its own practice to architect, implement, and maintain SSIM, enabling Oman Air to create a documented, repeatable process for security threat response through data mining techniques, integrated log management and incident response system.

This will allow Oman Air to better detect and act upon various online threats such as malicious BOTS, WORMS and IP addresses all with substantially lower total costs of ownership, maintenance and overall usability, the company has said.

Supply Points System launches new inventory management machine
SupplyPoint has announced the release of Modulo – the latest innovation to come from the company’s design and development team geared towards pointof- use inventory control.

The company says point-of-use inventory control is an increasingly important element of the supply chain as companies seek to reduce wastage, improve productivity and work more efficiently whilst simultaneously increasing ease of access for employees to critical items required for uninterrupted production. Hardware based inventory systems provide control, physically restricting who takes what, when, why and more importantly how many.

Modulo can be configured to provide different size drawers and compartments. A single machine can incorporate up to 10 frames providing 1200 secure locations, dispensing 14,400 items. This increased capacity has been achieved whilst simultaneously increasing the size of the drawer compartment by almost 50%.

The drawers have been redesigned and are manufactured from rugged ABS plastic, housed in a steel frame. New “easy scoop” compartments allow faster and easier retrieval of the items within.

MODULO provides this functionality at up to 30% cheaper than the current SupplyPoint ‘Venda’ solutions.

Supplied with an option of a 10” resistive touch screen or the rugged 15” “tough-touch” display, Modulo comes complete with SPS-UI a fully integrated software suite that manages and records every transaction, from withdraw to automatic reordering and replenishment.

SPS-UI automatically generates a vast amount of data that can be used to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve productivity.

Dynamic choice for Vestey
Meat import specialists Vestey Foods has announced a deal with Columbus IT to provide it with Microsoft Dynamics as its new ERP solution.

The Vestey Foods Group comprises thirteen food companies with a combined turnover of £500m, specialising in the import, storage and distribution of a wide variety of foodstuffs from global suppliers into local market places.

Nick Reynolds, financial controller at Vestey, says: “To assist our rapid growth we needed to consolidate our disparate business systems from the UK and across the group into a best practice ERP solution. Many of our processes are still manual which is hindering our expansion plans”.

Vestey Foods have initially purchased 30 users of Microsoft Dynamics which includes functionality around finance, sales, purchasing, stock and warehousing.

“This is just the beginning of a much wider roll out which will help us to improve efficiencies across the group, reduce our costs, gain greater insight into our business and ultimately manage our growth” He said Columbus IT was chosen because they were recommended as the experts in the food and drink sector.

Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program gains momentum in Europe
Autodesk has announced that growing numbers of clean technology companies are joining the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program following the launch of the scheme in Europe earlier this year.

The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program provides Digital Prototyping software, including Autodesk Inventor 2011, to clean technology start-ups to design, visualise and simulate products before they are built, to accelerate time to market and to innovate more rapidly.

“Europe is at the forefront of many exciting alternative energy advances, together with some of the world’s most ambitious clean energy policies, so it’s a natural evolution for Autodesk to partner with pioneering clean tech companies in the region,” said Erwin Burth, business development manager for Clean Tech at Autodesk. “Our rapidly expanding partner base is testament to the appeal of our offering to companies tackling the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.” Partners already benefiting from the use of free Autodesk digital prototyping software to drive faster time-to-market and achieve competitive advantage include Cleaner Air Solutions, a UK specialist in solar electricity generation that supplies renewable energy systems to the domestic and commercial market.

According to Andy Craddock, operations manager at Cleaner Air Solutions, “having access to 3D software like Autodesk Inventor and Showcase, for example, allows us to develop innovative products, dramatically reduce project risk and overall project lifecycles, and drive rapid but well-informed decisions on design projects by developing high-quality visualisations.”

Premier deal for Capgemini Premier Foods, the UK’s largest food producer, has committed to outsourcing its IT requirements to Capgemini until 2019, having agreed a £9m deal.

Adding to the existing and long-standing relationship between the two companies, this new deal covers the five year period from 2014-2019.

The contract covers the Premier Foods IT infrastructure including data centre and technical support for all core business systems. The company says it achieves cost savings by agreeing the deal early.

Epicor reports on Q2
Epicor has reported “very positive” financial results for its second quarter, ended June 30, 2010.

Epicor chairman, president and CEO George Klaus said: “The momentum we are seeing behind Epicor 9 continues and helped drive software license revenue growth of more than 9% over the second quarter of 2009.” The company provides enterprise business software solutions for the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies.

Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2 now available
New features in Oracle’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2 include global hot-desking, multi-company capabilities, enhanced video and audio capabilities and administrative enhancements, the firm has announced.

“This release of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is further evidence of Oracle’s commitment to providing a complete portfolio of virtualization solutions that helps reduce costs and leverages existing IT resources,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president, Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle.

Jellycat Implements SAP to unite business functions
SAP UK & Ireland has announced that luxury soft toy maker Jellycat has implemented integrated SME application SAP Business One.

The company has also licensed two bolt-ons – Accellos Warehouse Management and Amodat Mobile Sales System for SAP Business One.

Established just over 10 years ago in London, Jellycat supplies gifts and toys to shops all over the world including some of the most well known high street names.

The company said it chose SAP Business One as it offered advanced stock control options including the ability to provide real-time stock availability information to the sales team.

Danny Olive, finance director of Jellycat, said: “As a fast growing small business, which also competes on a global scale, we needed a comprehensive, integrated and scalable solution to help us continue our business success.

SAP Business One is remarkably easy to use.”

Dynamics gets kudos
Microsoft Dynamics AX has been named among the order management hub solutions leaders for the first time by independent research firm Forrester.

Forrester said Microsoft Dynamics AX provides strong support for end-to-end order management processes and forward-looking product strategies.

“Microsoft enters the Leader band for the first time based principally on the strength of its strategy, including a top three product and go-to-market strategy as well as market-leading ownership costs,” the report states. It also praised Microsoft’s strong customer reference and extended global reach through partnerships and said large firms will be looking to Dynamics as a cost effective alternative when their current systems fail.

“We believe being named a Leader in the Forrester Wave is a reflection of the investment in our Microsoft Dynamics ERP industry road map, our support for twotier ERP implementation scenarios and our Dynamic Business vision,” said Crispin Read, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics ERP. “By delivering on a market vision focused on simplifying the user experience, increasing productivity and delivering continuous innovation for customers, we are able to help them keep pace with the rapid rate of change in today’s complex business environment.” Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to deliver a connector in the third quarter of 2010 that will accelerate two-tier ERP deployments between Microsoft Dynamics AX and SAP Business Suite.

Others to earn recognition alongside Microsoft were Oracle’s E-Business Suite, Sterling Commerce and SAP.

Free Autodesk download
Autodesk has announced that it has made its Inventor Optimization software available for download from the Autodesk Labs website as a free technology preview.

The web-based technology, which works with Autodesk Inventor 2011, allows engineers to tap into cloudbased processing power—at no additional cost—to perform digital simulation on their product designs.

Steelwedge expands to Middle East
Steelwedge, a cloud-based Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) provider, has announced that it has established a regional office in Dubai, UAE, to support growing demand from manufacturers and distributors in the Middle East.

“Our presence in Dubai and partnership with local institutions positions us to provide better service to our rapidly expanding global client base,” said Glen Margolis, CEO of Steelwedge.

British Gypsum chooses Acronis
Construction firm British Gypsum, part of the Saint-Gobain Group, has selected Acronis as its base disaster recovery technology.

The system will protect the servers and clients which control the production of plasterboard and bagged plaster across the company’s five manufacturing sites in the UK.