Stories by Ann Bednarz

Competitors conjoin

Two software makers with natural-language search technology have merged to form InQuira Inc. The new company ends the independence of onetime rivals Answerfriend and Electric Knowledge but continues their efforts to develop intuitive question-and-answer search technology for corporate Web sites.

IBM developing MEMS components for mobiles

At SuperComm 2002, IBM Corp. Wednesday unveiled its efforts to develop microscopic radio frequency tuners that fit on a microchip and do the work of existing components in wireless devices. The chip-mounted components are designed to reduce the cost, power consumption and size of wireless devices, such as cell phones and handhelds, and free device manufacturers to physically accommodate new features in their gear, IBM says.

IBM unveils Web privacy work

Researchers at IBM Corp.'s Privacy Institute are working on software that automatically scrambles Web visitors' personal information - so consumers perhaps won't feel compelled to lie just to protect their privacy.

SAP looks to invigorate US sales

A new face as well as a new application strategy are on tap for 8,500 attendees expected at SAP AG's North American user conference, which begins Wednesday.

Interview: Name of the game is integration at IBM

John Swainson is general manager of IBM Corp.'s Application & Integration Middleware Division - a role that gives him responsibility for middleware technologies including Web application servers, e-commerce servers, transaction systems and application development tools. Swainson recently spoke with Network World Senior Writer Ann Bednarz about IBM's plans for integrating the IBM family of software products around a core middleware base, including WebSphere as a transactional run-time environment, MQSeries as the secure messaging infrastructure and IBM Directory Server for authentication and security control.

IBM chief talks integration, open standards

IBM Corp.'s new chief Sam Palmisano avoided discussing financial figures and instead talked strategy in his first analyst meeting since becoming chief executive officer in March.

IBM layoffs expected

Speculation is rampant that IBM will lay off thousands of employees this quarter. The Wall Street Journal Friday reported on its Web site that IBM will cut as many as 8,000 workers, or about 2.5 percent of its 320,000-strong work force, during the current quarter. The Journal cites as its source "a person familiar with the situation."

IBM lands $229 million Amtrak deal

Amtrak says it hopes to save US$85 million over the next seven years through an outsourcing deal announced Monday with IBM Global Services.

GE Capital plans 7,000 layoffs

Amtrak says it hopes to save US$85 million over the next seven years through an outsourcing deal announced Monday with IBM Global Services.

Three tiers for Ironside e-business suite

Ironside Technologies this week unveiled a version of its flagship e-business suite that allows companies to choose from among three grades of software and services, depending on their requirements.

Cost-cutting all the rage at IBM user conference

Ken Mazer and Mike Little came to last week's Share IBM user group conference for one reason: bargain schooling.
"It's the cheapest place you can go to get the most diverse training information," says Mazer, a systems programmer at the IRS, who, along with Little, is responsible for handling operating system and hardware installations for the agency's IBM z900 platform.

IBM guru shares IT security advice

It's time to revisit your company's security procedures, says Bill Haase, a consultant in IBM Global Services' security and privacy practice. "Security is going to be an effort," Haase says. "It has been an inadequate effort heretofore."

Trigo tackles product information management

Startup Trigo Technologies this week announced a new version of its software for managing product information. It's designed to help companies get control of product information that's typically created by different people from multiple departments and scattered across a company in various storage locations.