IT news in brief

Posted on 8 Dec 2010 by The Manufacturer

The latest news from the IT sector.

Oracle wins massive payout from SAP in copyright case
German software giant SAP has been ordered by a US court to pay its US counterpart Oracle $1.3bn in damages because its now defunct TomorrowNow services support system downloaded Oracle software without consent.

Oracle was seeking $2.3bn but SAP, who admitted the charge, said the loss of income to its rival amounted to no more than $40m.

Evidence was shown in court that SAP executives, including, it was claimed, former CEO Léo Apotheker, were aware of the copyright infringement and disregarded cease and desist demands.

SAP has intonated that it intends to challenge the award.

A leading IT analyst has warned companies to take heed of the case and refrain from copyright infringement when developing software.

“This case has demonstrated that software companies need to become less naive and blasé about their approach to IP generally,” said Thomas Otter, analyst at research firm Gartner.

“The software industry is premised on IP, yet many software companies, even quite sophisticated ones, haven’t really tightened up their approach to IP in relation to how they treat other people’s products and how their products are treated in the market.

This case will make people sit up and realise they need to think more about their IP practice.”

Vaizey has his head in the cloud
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey told the third annual UK-China Internet Forum last month that cloud computers offers real economic benefits to businesses.

Held at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vaizey told the forum that cloud computing could drastically reduce costs for new companies and transform the way storage is utilised, especially in light of a large uptake of portable devices.

“Access to the networked resources provided by ‘clouds’ enables companies to enter markets without having to meet the capital costs of building their own computer infrastructure,” he said.

“What they get instead is a sort of ‘pay as you go’ service tailored to their specific requirements.

This is especially significant today, at a time when we are seeing an explosion in the number of portable devices with limited storage capacity.

Access to clouds enables them to transcend that limitation and provide a level of functionality which would normally be associated with much larger machines.” However, Vaizey said issues remain around individual privacy and data security and a step-change in co-operation between industry, consumers and governments is required if the full benefits cloud computing offers are to be realised.

Deal agreed for Novell buyout
Corporate software supplier Novell is to be bought out by rival Attachmate in a deal worth $2.2bn.

Novell, which has turned towards open source provision with a number of acquisitions including SUSE Linux in 2004, made an operating loss of $213m, despite revenues of $862m in its latest financial year.

“This acquisition will add significant assets to our current portfolio holdings and the Novell and SUSE brands will allow us to deliver even more value to customers,” said Jeff Hawn, chairman and CEO of Attachmate Corporation.

“We have great respect for Novell’s business, its employees and its commitment to customers. Moreover, we look forward to maintaining and further strengthening Novell and SUSE solutions to meet market demands.” Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell, added: “Novell, SUSE, Attachmate and NetIQ have complementary product portfolios and many shared customers. We are pleased that Attachmate has committed to building on the strengths of the Novell and SUSE brands to address customer needs.” Attachmate deals primarily in terminal emulator and security and systems management products.

Get the best out of Windows 7
In the latest in its Tips for Engineers Screencast Series, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks has created a guide for engineers to get the best out of the Windows 7 PC operating system.

The online video offers seven tips for optimised use of its CAD software when used in conjunction with Windows 7, including the use of the taskbar; managing windows; integrating search functionality; working with various other applications; and using shortcuts or ‘hotkeys’.

There is also a downloadable PDF which illustrates all of the Windows 7 hotkeys presented during the guide.

The Tips for Engineers series is available at

EAGLE helps Haigh Engineering soar
Exel Computer Systems, a UK developer of the EAGLE Field Service Management (FSM) system, has installed the technology at Herefordshire based waste water management company Haigh Engineering.

The Eagle system uses the internet to allow service providers extended visibility and control over their processes. It will allow Haigh to benefit through shortened response times which will result in minimal downtime of its equipment.

The Haigh Engineering service team supplies and services Haigh Sluicemaster and Incomaster disposal equipment and deals with installations that can be over 20 years old. The installation of the Eagle system allows the company to correctly identify which customer is using which version of what product, improving response and delivery times.

The Eagle system has been fully integrated with Haigh Engineering’s other computer systems, including the EFACS Enterprise Resource Planning system, also from Exel Computer systems. A direct link to the PDAs used by the service team removes any unnecessary re-keying of information as well as automatically synchronising information held across the company resulting in real time visibility within the business – from service engineer to the board room.

Nick Dale, division manager at Haigh, says: “With thousands of sites using Haigh equipment across the UK, prompt support where the customer needs it most is of utmost importance. This development is delivering ever increasing levels of performance from the team here to the benefit of our customers.”

hybris extends telecoms reach with appointment
hybris, a multichannel commerce software vendor, has announced the appointment of Peter Conquest as Director of Business Development for Telco Solutions to broaden its market share in the telecoms arena.

Peter brings to hybris over 25 years experience marketing Operational and Business Support Systems and eCommerce solutions among international telecoms operators and service providers. Based in the UK, he will be responsible for opening new international business development and sales opportunities in the telecommunications sector.

hybris says the appointment will complement its launch of a solution dedicated to the needs of telecoms operators and service providers, and a fullscale sales and marketing campaign.

Ariel Luedi, CEO at hybris, said: “Peter Conquest provides hybris with a level of industry knowledge that will help us to successfully expand our market presence to the telco sector. He has many influential contacts and a depth of expertise that we can utilise.

We look forward to working very closely with him at this exciting time in hybris’s development.”

SAP makes itelligence AG into managed partner
itelligence AG is the latest SAP reseller to sign a global value-added reseller (VAR) agreement with the German software giant, upgrading it to the status of managed global partner.

SAP is running a program of such agreements with its most high growth resellers. The aim is to provide customers with better value and service as a result of closer working relationships between the smaller specialist firms and the corporate muscle of SAP.

The program is highly selective via invitation through SAP management only, and is targeted at partner candidates that must comply with certain programme entry requirements, such as geographic coverage, reseller and services practice coverage, as well as specifically defined revenue achievements for the SAP Business All-in-One solution.

SAP says the agreement with intelligence will help to extend its offering to midsized companies, of which the latter provides SAP solutions to over 3,000. itelligence has grown from an organisation of 10 employees in 1989 to its current presence of about 1,800 colleagues in 19 countries.

“Achieving global VAR status clearly emphasizes our unique selling point as a global partner of SAP for SMEs,” said Uwe Bohnhorst, COO, itelligence AG. “It shows that we offer a uniform standard worldwide. Our customers can rely on this, and will benefit from the very close collaboration the new global status shows. I’m very proud that we will be an SAP gold partner in every country in which itelligence complies with the global VAR requirements and subsequently joins the program.”

SABMiller toasts multi-million deal with HP
Global brewer and bottling company SABMiller, headquartered in the UK, has signed an eight year $100m deal to outsource back office IT functions to Hewlett-Packard in a bid to standardise process across its regions and save money.

SABMiller is the world’s second largest brewer in terms of revenues. It makes Grolsch, Peroni and Miller and is a major bottler of Coca-Cola.

This deal will see the company use HP’s BladeSystem for its servers while the IT firm will also provide services for SABMiller’s helpdesks and emails.