IT Focus news briefs, Sept. 1, 2004

Less money, more outsourcing

Ipsos-Reid Corp. predicts that fewer companies will outsource key services in 2005 than did in 2003, but the percentage of spending allocated to outsourcing will increase over the next couple of years. The market research firm also said that overall, respondents to a survey regarding IT outsourcing in Canada do not expect to spend more on IT this year and next. In fact, they plan to spend less. “It will become more competitive for service providers and vendors,” said Lise Dellazizzo, vice-president, IT and communications for Ipsos-Reid in Toronto. “There is no large influx of money coming into the market, but more of (the spending) will be diverted and funneled into outsourcing services.” Ipsos-Reid discovered that application management and development would experience the biggest drop in terms of outsourcing priorities among survey respondents, although firms that do outsource application management and development would spend more of their money on those tasks. — Patricia Pickett

Business development on the Web

Pareto Systems, an Ottawa-based consulting firm focused on business development and relationship management platforms for the financial services industry, launched the “paretoplatform” in June. The firm described paretoplatform as a combined client-relationship management and business development tool that operates on the Web. The system comes preloaded with Pareto’s practice management content — client procedures, scripting and templates. Since paretoplatform is Web-based, users need not maintain applications on their computers to access it, the firm said. Pareto said it would roll out the new program to its financial advisors and wholesaler clients first and then offer it to the financial services marketplace as a whole. Pareto also said the paretoplatform can be subdivided into its two main functions, so users looking only for the business development portion can source that side of the platform alone. For more information visit

Scotia site wins kudos

Scotia Capital won Global Finance magazine’s Best Corporate and Institutional Internet Bank in Canada award for the second year in a row, the financial firm announced in July. Scotia said the magazine would formally present the award at a ceremony in New York City in October, and the award winners would be listed in Global Finance’s September issue. Scotia said Global Finance editors and representatives of TowerGroup, Bearing Point, Deloitte and Tata Infotech chose the winning bank based on the financial institution’s ability to attract and service online customers. The judges also measured how well the firm managed to convince clients to use Web offerings, the growth of its online customer base and the breadth of its product offerings. Judges also sought “evidence of tangible benefits gained from Internet initiatives and Web site design and functionality.” In a statement Scotia quoted Global Finance’s Publisher Joseph Giarraputo saying the company “continued to refine and expand” its Web presence.

Free business-class messaging

A new instant messaging (IM) product aims to get business users away from consumer-oriented IM services onto a more secure, business-minded messaging system. Five Across Inc. in August launched its InterComm basic IM software, which operates on the vendor’s own IM network and, like consumer-oriented services, is free. But unlike America Online Inc.’s AIM, Yahoo Inc.’s Messenger and Microsoft Corp.’s MSN Messenger, all aimed at consumers, InterComm contains a raft of workgroup features designed to allow business users to collaborate on documents, communicate and share files, according to Five Across. The company also said InterComm does not take the heavy-security approach of expensive enterprise-class IM systems. “InterComm is something that fits a specific need,” said Genelle Hung, an analyst at The Radicati Group Inc. “It’s not a big, enterprise-scale collaboration (product) where you integrate (instant messaging) presence into everything. This is more project-based, where you need the IM immediacy to be focused on a specific thing.” — Juan Carlos Perez

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