IT news in brief

Posted on 7 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

The latest news from the IT sector.

Jaguar Land Rover and Dassault Systèmes in new strategic partnership

Jaguar Land Rover and Dassault Systèmes have entered a strategic partnership that formalises future cooperation and collaboration between the two companies.

The agreement will see advanced digital 3D simulation and development tools transform Jaguar Land Rover’s product development processes, with the two companies working together to jointly develop industry leading product creation solutions.

Specifically, Jaguar Land Rover will deploy Dassault Systèmes’ technology to increase operational efficiency and reduce complexity through enhanced innovation and accelerated development capabilities.

According to insiders, the focus on commonality, innovation and integration will have the dual benefit of significantly increasing efficiencies while reducing cost by a similar margin.

Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer Dr Ralf Speth said: “We look to this association to bring significant technical and commercial benefits to Jaguar Land Rover. Dassault Systèmes will provide the processes and tools that we need to more efficiently develop and create vehicles that exceed our customers’ expectations in every respect.”

SAP extends cloud computing portfolio

In a major update of its portfolio of on demand solutions, SAP has made available Feature Pack 2.6 for its cloud-enabled SAP Business ByDesign solution.

In addition to offering a slate of new capabilities, including support for iPad and BlackBerry mobile devices, the new release serves as an open platform on which an ecosystem of partners can further customize the software, and on which SAP will itself develop new on demand offerings for various lines of business.

Significantly, this latest version of SAP Business ByDesign delivers a dashboard ‘app’ for feature pack 2.6, free to download from the Apple iTunes store, with which customers can access and consume complete analytical business information, enabling them to react to changes and make informed decisions.

The app provides worksheets to arrange and organize reports, as well as annotations, notes, e mail and voice notes for collaboration with colleagues. In addition, a ‘compare’ function allows access to previous versions of customer data, including the ability to highlight significant changes in data based on a predefined threshold that can easily be changed by a fingertip.

“With Feature Pack 2.6, we are not only delivering additional value to our customers, but are also providing new opportunities for co innovation to our partners,” says Peter Lorenz, executive vice president, On Demand, and corporate officer, SAP AG.

Amtico International opts for hosting from Maxima

Upmarket flooring specialist Amtico has selected IT business systems and managed services company Maxima to undertake the day to day management and hosting of its office software as well as its business critical QAD enterprise applications.

Working closely with Maxima’s specialist applications management and enterprise hosting teams, Amtico will benefit from Maxima’s best of breed technology and secure hosting infrastructure, particularly ensuring lower operating costs and increased flexibility for its major QAD ERP deployment.

As a global organisation serving more than 30,000 customers worldwide, points out Andrew Elsby Smith, Amtico’s group finance director, the company’s ERP system is at the heart of its business, and its needed a hosting specialist that could deliver a stable environment with guaranteed availability for the company’s critical applications.

“We’ve built up a strong relationship with Maxima, and have benefited significantly over the years from their in depth QAD Enterprise Applications expertise and ability to optimise ERP performance for our business,” he explained.

To support its hosting capabilities, Maxima has invested in a best practice data centre hosting infrastructure that combines Tier 1 world class data centre facilities with truly redundant multi gigabit, high speed Internet connections that deliver 99.999% availability. The company’s hosted solutions are based on a fully resilient service and application delivery platform that ensures no single points of failure.

New Objet 3D printer material offers superior stability

Objet Printer Solutions has announced the launch of a new material for Objet 3D printers. The resin, known as Vero White Plus, boasts an extremely high level of dimensional stability while retaining Objet’s trademark accuracy and surface finish levels.

Vero White Plus has been developed as the standard material for the new Objet 24 and Objet 30 desktop 3D printers, and is said to mark a quantum leap in capabilities for the form and fit testing of 3D printed parts.

“The launch of Vero White Plus is part of Objet’s continual drive towards true engineering plastics,” states Objet’s UK managing director Andrew Fulton. “It allows our customers to evaluate their designs by enabling rigorous engineering simulation.” Vero White Plus boasts a 20% improvement in tensile strength compared to its predecessor Vero White. However, it can still be printed at industry leading 16 micron print layers, and will be available for the entire Objet 3D printer range – including older Alaris machines after an upgrade.

Epicor announces latest iScala 2.3 release

Designed for improved controllability, scalability and usability, the latest release of Epicor Software Corporation’s iScala ERP suite has been released.

Epicor iScala 2.3 SR3 features enhanced mobility functionality as well as three brand new modules for Project and Contract Revenue Recognition, Advanced Credit Control, and a Business Transaction Control Engine to improve business processes.

“Epicor iScala has always been one of the top ERP systems of choice for global companies because it helps them keep costs low while enabling them to comply with local regulations wherever they are located,” said Matt Muldoon, vice president, product marketing for Epicor.

Global lubricant market leader WD 40 has been using Epicor iScala since 1999 and the company is planning to upgrade to the latest version within the next couple of months.

“We have already evaluated iScala 2.3 SR3 and we are looking forward to the performance improvements, the new functionality, and support for the latest version of Microsoft SQL,” said Jonathan McCoy, IT manager for WD 40.

“Our sales team is particularly excited about the new grid based order entry screens because they will make it easier and faster for them to enter orders – helping us increase efficiencies throughout the company.”

VG Scienta selects Microsoft Dynamics

Specialist vacuum component manufacturer VG Scienta, based in St Leonards on Sea, has chosen Microsoft Dynamics as its new ERP solution.

The product was chosen after a detailed selection process, explains Geoff Hicks, project manager at Columbus IT, the selected Microsoft implementation partner.

“As this is a Microsoft product, it has a look and feel that will be familiar to many within the company, whilst being powerful enough to support our current and future business requirements”.

The first phase of implementation will provide functionality to improve areas such as planning, reporting and operational efficiency. Future planned phases will give a complete end to end business solution to ensure VG Scienta stay at the forefront of its industry.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 released for on premise and partner hosted deployments

Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on premise and partner hosted deployments has been completed and released for customer download.

This release complements the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, which delivers Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as an on demand service from Microsoft’s data centres and which was launched into 40 markets and 41 languages in January.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is now globally available and existing customers with active Microsoft Software Assurance agreements can access the new version immediately via the Microsoft Download Centre.