IT news roundup

Posted on 4 Jan 2010 by The Manufacturer

A look at some of the IT news stories making the headlines.

Ricardo adopts Windchill to manage global engineering processes
The Product Development Company (PTC) announced that Ricardo, a provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the world’s automotive industries, has adopted Windchill for its product lifecycle management.

Ricardo has implemented Windchill to manage all CAD data for its 4 primary CAD systems across the USA, UK, Czech Republic, Germany and China. It will be used on all design projects in need of redesign or refurbishment — whether the product is new or existing.

“Historically, when Ricardo first bought Pro/ENGINEER in the early 1990s, we were on one site in one country, as a relatively small company,” says Martin Hill, Vice President, Ricardo, Prague. “We are now 1600 people in several countries, and managing design information and communication becomes increasingly difficult without PLM. Implementing a common product development infrastructure based on Windchill will increase efficiency and improve collaboration across disparate sites, ultimately helping us to shorten time to market and deliver higher quality products.”

Firms look to IT to restore strength
A majority (72%) of business executives say their organisations place greater value on IT functions today than they did before the economic crisis, according to the findings of a global study produced by Accenture and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Executives expect technology spending to increase in their organisation — either selectively (47%) or across the board (10%) in the next 12 months. Non-IT executives appear even more bullish than those directly responsible for IT, as 61% anticipate technology spending boosts.

“The results of the survey show that firms recognise the need to invest in technology to defend and accelerate their competitive position, even in difficult times, which has not always been the case in the past,” said Keith Haviland, Accenture’s Global Managing Director for Systems Integration Consulting. “The turmoil over the last 18 months has underscored the need for further flexibility and scalability to stay ahead in business and drive agile business change.”

Autodesk Chooses SAP Carbon Impact On-Demand Solution
Autodesk announced that it has chosen a Carbon Impact on-demand solution from SAP AG. Carbon Impact is designed to help companies measure, mitigate and monetise greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts across its internal operations and supply chain.

“SAP Carbon Impact meets our near-term sustainability needs, and is also flexible enough to keep pace with changing dynamics and regulations,” said Emma Stewart, senior program lead for Autodesk’s sustainability initiative.

“Having researched other vendors in this space, we feel confident that the SAP software was the best choice, and more than meets our needs now and can grow with us as our sustainability needs increase,” she said.

Pernod Ricard Nordic standardises BI on WebFOCUS platform
Having recently completed the acquisition of Sweden’s Vin & Spirit, premium spirits and wine company, Pernod Ricard Nordic, chose business intelligence provider, Information Builders, to standardise BI across their WebFOCUS platform.

In addition to standardising on the latest version of WebFOCUS, Pernod Ricard Nordic will rely on Information Builders Active Reports for a portable BI platform, delivering interactive analytic applications to 85 users. The company will also roll out its intuitive Information Builders ad hoc reporting solution, InfoAssist, to 20 key users.

“The strength of Information Builders technology combined with their understanding of our business needs made them stand out among the crowd,” said Stefan Strandberg of Pernod Ricard Nordic. “We knew they were the best partner to help us gain a single, comprehensive view of our business.”

Preactor Internationalannounces sustained Q3 growth
Preactor International announced a continuation of its sustained growth with strong sales figures for Q3 2009.

Like for like sales figures show a 13% increase in sales over 2008, with Q3 itself showing a 17% increase over Q2 2009. While the total number of companies buying Preactor in Q3 is slightly lower than for Q3 of 2008, there has been a strong increase in revenues and consultancy figures during this quarter — up 300% for the latter.

Said Mike Novels, Preactor CEO: “These figures bear out two recent Manufacturing IT surveys which both identified that Production Planning and Scheduling solutions have been either the most heavily or second most heavily invested in area of technology in 2009. This is consistent with Preactor’s proven capabilities of providing a quick yet significant ROI with a minimum disruption to ongoing business.”

SolidWorks and Westfield Sportscars cross the finish line
UK-based automaker Westfield Sportscars is using SolidWorks CAD software to pack 21st century automotive technology into a 50- year-old body design, Dassault Systèmes announced.

Westfield used SolidWorks software to develop its recently unveiled Westfield Sport Turbo roadster. “Our challenge was to take a 50-year-old car and make it as modern as possible within the constraints of an older chassis design. We used SolidWorks for most of the design engineering work,” said Westfield Design Manager Ross Dickson.

“We re-created the chassis design in SolidWorks, then used it to try and modify a variety of parts and assemblies from other manufacturers. The results make us believe that we’re a step ahead of similar cars on the market.”

Qcom managing customer wireless network support for Psion Teklogix
Technical outsourcing specialist, Qcom, has been appointed to manage customer wireless network pre and post-sales support for Psion Teklogix in the UK.

The three-year contract will see Qcom delivering a range of network infrastructure services for Psion Teklogix, global manufacturer of handheld and wireless network devices — including RF site surveys and the subsequent installations, configuration and staging, trouble-shooting services and on-site support across its hardware and network infrastructure.

Paul Westmoreland, managing director of Psion Teklogix, says: “Qcom is non-competing and has the bandwidth to support us. The team is professional, and offers both a great service and flexible approach. We’ve worked with Qcom in the past, so were very comfortable approaching them for this project.”

Direct route from CAD model to NC programme
OPEN MIND has released its hyperMILL 2009.2 with CAD-integrated solutions for Autodesk Inventor 2010, SolidWorks, thinkdesign and its own hyperCAD package.

The system, launched at EMO 2009, can be accessed directly using the hyperMILL button, and is available via the user’s familiar CAD interface.

Furthermore, data import issues and read/write errors can be avoided as both the CAD and CAM systems have access to the same data model.

It is possible to switch between the CAD and CAM systems at any time.

If changes are made to the CAD data, all defined CAM operations are updated automatically.

In addition to the solutions for Autodesk Inventor, hyperMILL integrations into thinkdesign and OPEN MIND’s hyperCAD are also available. Specifically adapted to the user interface of the respective CAD software, all integrations combine an array of machining strategies and optimisation functions offered by hyperMILL. Direct interfaces also allow seamless data imports from CATIA V4 and CATIA V5, Pro/ENGINEER, NX (Unigraphics), Parasolid and SolidWorks. Common standard interfaces such as IGES, STEP or STL are also available for exchanging data.

Companies address IT solutions for healthcare
Siemens Healthcare and SAP AG signed an agreement whereby SAP will resell in selected target markets the Siemens Healthcare hospital information system (HIS)

The reseller agreement, which expands the already existing relationship between Siemens and SAP in the healthcare IT market, enables healthcare providers to seek out comprehensive, efficiency-building software solutions all from one source. Healthcare providers will have simplified access to innovative information systems that link administrative and controlling functions such as billing; human resources; patient management; and business intelligence (BI) with clinical processes, thereby helping customers profit from greater efficiencies and enhance enterprise customer and employee satisfaction by leveraging enterprise resource management software from SAP.

“Siemens and SAP remain focused on not only developing innovative technologies for our customers, but on creating partnerships that help streamline customers’ access to those technologies,” said Janet Dillione, CEO, Health Services, Siemens Healthcare.

“With this new reseller agreement and via SAP’s presence in key target markets, together we can help deliver a comprehensive range of solutions that contribute towards improved healthcare worldwide.”

Epicor Shared Benefits Pragramme introduced
Epicor Software Corporation introduced the Shared Benefits pragramme, its latest initiative aimed at helping companies eliminate risk and avoid excessive cost overruns that can plague enterprise resource planning (ERP) system deployments.

Given that ERP is a strategic and all encompassing business application, failure to deploy in a timely and cost effective manner has been known to significantly disrupt companies’ operations. Epicor’s Shared Benefits pragramme thus establishes a partnership where Epicor and its customers equally share in the risks and rewards of the ERP implementation project.

“The ERP industry as a whole is notorious for endless implementation cycles and excessive deployment costs,” said George Klaus, chairman, president and CEO for Epicor. “Ten years ago Epicor set out to change this paradigm and lower the costs of ERP implementation through our 1:1 guarantee initiative. Today, we’re offering our customers even more compelling ways to mitigate deployment risks and improve ROI with our Shared Benefits pragramme, where customers and Epicor share equally in project outcomes.”