IT Self-service Gets a Boost ...

David Greschler, vice president of corporate marketing at Softricity Inc.
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David Greschler, vice president of corporate marketing at Softricity Inc.
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... this fall when Softricity Inc. releases its ZeroTouch module as part of its SoftGrid software. David Greschler, vice president of corporate marketing at the Boston-based vendor, explains that ZeroTouch builds on SoftGrid's critical capability to "treat applications like data." SoftGrid's Sequencer module "packages" applications to run on SoftGrid servers, which replace traditional app servers and work with agent code on end-user machines to create virtual applications. When users click on a program that's on a SoftGrid server, the application loads instantly on the PC. SoftGrid knows whether the machine is a laptop or a PC and can set a time limit for how long an app can reside on a mobile device before being disabled. With the arrival of ZeroTouch, end users won't need to hassle IT with requests for application access; the module provides end users with a menu of available apps. Because of SoftGrid's packaging and virtualization process, IT doesn't need to provision the end user's machine, nor does it have to worry about registry problems or broken DLLs resulting from application conflicts. Plus, ZeroTouch gives IT the option to appoint workgroup managers within business units to approve application access for end users, taking IT out of an occasionally political process. SoftGrid starts at $200 per user.

Hiep Vuaong, chief technology officer at Net Integration Technologies Inc.
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Hiep Vuaong, chief technology officer at Net Integration Technologies Inc.
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Autonomous computing a distant ...

... possibility, maybe eight to 10 years in the future. So says Hiep Vuaong, chief technology officer at Net Integration Technologies Inc. in Markham, Ontario. His vision of true autonomous computing means, for example, that when IT adds a server to a network, the machine automatically detects where its resources will be best used, provisions itself, maintains continuous awareness of its condition and network, and adjusts itself accordingly. Vuaong says Nitix, as his company is called, is proposing its UniConf open-source tool (www.open.nit.ca/wiki) as a step toward true autonomous computing. UniConf does for network resources what LDAP did for end users on the network, Vuaong claims. He says IT can use UniConf to manage resources to minimize software conflicts when provisioning new systems, because the tool knows what works well with what. And what doesn't. Vuaong admits that the idea of a small Canadian company competing with the likes of IBM in the realm of autonomous computing might seem a tad quixotic. But he hopes Nitix's open-source approach gives it a distinct advantage over proprietary approaches.

Free ERP software being given to 800 ...

... companies that qualify. That's the offer from Larry Pettit, CEO of Carillon Financials Corp. in Richardson, Texas. He says his product competes toe-to-toe and feature-for-feature with ERP products from J.D. Edwards, Lawson, Oracle and others. J.D. Edwards users, he notes, have shown particular interest in the wake of the PeopleSoft/Oracle merger whirl. Pettit says that although his company has been in business since 1990, "we lack name recognition." He claims that the promotion, which will give 300 enterprise and 500 workgroup licenses to the lucky companies, is not a gimmick and that the only requirement is that the new users must buy a standard one-year maintenance agreement. "We're just trying to get market share and visibility," he says. The promotion ends on Sept. 30, and "it's not too late to get in the running," he says.

Anthony Deighton, vice president of marketing at QlikTech Inc.
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Anthony Deighton, vice president of marketing at QlikTech Inc.
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Traditional business intelligence ...

... technologies are "dead, done, finished in the next 10 years," predicts Anthony Deighton, vice president of marketing at QlikTech Inc. in Raleigh, N.C. Forget about grinding away for weeks building complex cubes or months creating sprawling data warehouses. Deighton claims that with the arrival of 64-bit systems and cheap RAM for PCs and servers, all you need is BI technology that can read every scrap of data into memory and tools that can query the data in any manner you wish. Naturally, Deighton claims that his QlikView tool does just that right now. He says the trick is the compression algorithms developed by Swedish parent company QlikTech International AB. QlikView, he says, achieves a 10-1 compression ratio, which means a 64-bit chip running Windows XP Professional x64 edition using 128GB of memory can load more than 1TB of data that QlikView can query. And the physical limit of RAM within 64-bit systems is theoretically more than 16 exabytes, larger than any known data warehouse. Given these new system capabilities and products like QlikView, Deighton speculates that the "doomed" entrenched BI vendors are part of a natural technology cycle. "The incumbent never wins," he concludes.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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