IT Focus news briefs, April 1, 2004

ATM validates bills and recycles cash

NCR Corporation and Fujitsu Limited have developed what they call “a new cash deposit and recycling module for automated teller machines that provides superior performance and unprecedented levels of availability.” The new ATM module is said to provide bill-validation and cash-recycling functionality that can be adapted to the requirements of particular national or regional markets and customers. Enabling deposited, validated and sorted notes to be dispensed to customers making cash withdrawals, it has the capability to make bunch-note acceptance and validation available for up to 200 notes, with support for multicurrency deposits and cassette-based note storage for up to 9,200 notes, the companies announce. Fujitsu will manufacture the new module for both companies’ respective ATM product offerings, which they will continue to distribute, sell and service separately. This is the first commercial result of a strategic alliance under which NCR and Fujitsu are pursuing collaborative research and development and supply of products and technology.

Teradata and SAP team up on analytical solutions

Teradata, a division of NCR Corporation, and SAP AG earlier this year announced a technology partnership agreement to deliver analytical solutions to financial services and other targeted industries with high data-volume requirements. The partnership is intended to enable companies in these high data-volume industries to easily integrate enterprise analytical solutions with their SAP solutions, resulting in faster time-to-market, lower total cost of ownership and improved business efficiencies, noted a joint release. SAP and NCR claimed their relationship will provide customers with a single, integrated view of their business by delivering industry-specific analytical solutions that are highly scalable and offer a rapid ROI. As part of the agreement, Teradata also becomes an SAP Global Technology Partner. “We believe that strategic relationships between enterprise resource planning vendors (e.g., SAP) and enterprise data warehouse vendors (e.g., Teradata) can be quite valuable to their joint customers,” said Barry Wilderman, senior vice president, Technology Research Services of the META Group. “As each vendor is likely to provide enterprise data stores as well as business intelligence tools, any initiative that allows natural joins across the data, using the customer’s analytic tools of choice, will enhance corporate decision-making.”

Microsoft takes aim at IT complexity

In March, Microsoft announced its Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), describing it as designed to reduce the cost and complexity of managing and securing enterprise systems. The Microsoft announcement cited a study by the research and consulting firm Accenture that claimed IT professionals spend up to 70 per cent of their time maintaining existing systems, leaving little time to develop new capabilities that add real value to their businesses. Microsoft aims to reduce that maintenance ratio to 55 per cent by automating many of the routine tasks associated with updating systems and deploying applications. Instead of management software being applied after the applications are deployed in the enterprise, the DSI will shift this operational intelligence into the application itself, reducing the need for traditional management software, said Microsoft. Other Microsoft announcements in March included releasing to beta Windows Update Services, calling it “a major step forward in Microsoft’s patch and update management strategy.” Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 entered its final beta cycle; Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Express was released to beta, as was System Center 2005, described as the company’s first integrated management suite for Windows Server System and providing an end-to-end perspective on configuration and performance of Windows environments for customers of all sizes.

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