First Coffee for 20 April: The Google-SAS OneBox Search Tool, Citrix's Resuts, HP and BEA's RFID, Retail Ventures's CRM Warehouse, Birth of Mystery Fiction, Fujitsu-Onyx In Queensland

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 20 April: The Google-SAS OneBox Search Tool, Citrix's Resuts, HP and BEA's RFID, Retail Ventures's CRM Warehouse, Birth of Mystery Fiction, Fujitsu-Onyx In Queensland

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Rich Mullins’ greatest hits album Songs:

A few days ago First Coffee reported on an article Rodney Gedda had written for Computerworld in Australia on the travails of the Queensland Department of Child Services.

Evidently the Onyx and Fujitsu public relations guys thought the article blamed Onyx and Fujitsu for the problems the program was having, so they kindly pointed me to a correction Gedda has since made on his original reporting:

In September 2004, Fujitsu, Onyx and Microsoft were commissioned by the Department of Child Safety to deliver the first of three phases of the new ICMS based on Onyx CRM and Microsoft’s .Net technology.

This design was delivered to the department “on time and budget” in March 2005, but since then the project has been brought back in-house, and according to one source has blown its budget, and 20 contractors including programmers, testers and technical writers were marched out the door earlier this month.

According to the source, Microsoft has been given a lot of the services work, and is believed to be “burning through $800,000 a fortnight”. The spokesperson said no contractors were made redundant as a result of the completion of the Fujitsu-Onyx contract last year but conceded the project is “now placing greater emphasis on permanent resources.”

Today’s milestone in history, as far as First Coffee’s concerned, isn’t Joan Miro’s birthday (that’s why the Google logo looks weird today, it’s to honor the Spanish surrealist painter), it’s the fact that in 1841, on this day, the first detective story was published, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,written by Edgar Allan Poe and printed in Graham’s Magazine.

It’s amazing how closely today’s mystery fiction hews to the pattern created by Poe: A genius fictional detective, Auguste C. Dupin in Poe’s case; a not-so-smart sidekick, the plodding policeman and the use of the red herring to lead readers off the track.

Evidently mystery fiction is one of those things like philosophy or rock’n’roll, where those who do it first – Plato and Aristotle, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis – generally do everything really worth doing and after them it’s all variations on a theme.

Retail Ventures, Inc., a diversified retailer that operates DSW Inc., Filene’s Basement and Value City Department Stores, LLC, has completed the first-phase implementation of a Teradata Warehouse and customer relationship management (CRM) product from Teradata.

According to company officials the move is to extend the company’s analytical intelligence and “marketing agility.”

Retail Ventures’ Teradata Warehouse “complements the company’s current systems and provides a scalable enterprise intelligence environment for its analytical CRM applications,” company officials say, adding that Teradata also provides customer services in support of the information environment.

"The value of actionable information generated from our data warehouse platform and CRM applications is driving the need for additional capacity as we increase our analytical activities,” said Jerry Bisaha, director of Customer and Marketing Systems at Retail Ventures Services. “Our data warehouse-driven approach is a vital requirement to our strategy of increasing the speed of our business decision making.”

Teradata CRM is providing Retail Ventures with desktop user-driven campaign analytics and communication tools designed to better understand and engage the retailer’s customers across multiple channels and marketing initiatives.

DM Europe has reported that enterprise infrastructure software provider BEA Systems and HP have announced radio frequency identification (RFID) products for enterprise customers.

“The two companies have agreed to provide standards-based RFID products designed to help manufacturers, retailers, distributors, transportation and other industry customers streamline supply chain operations,” DM Europe says:

“HP offers services designed for planning, designing, managing and supporting the RFID-enabled products. BEA provides BEA Web Logic RFID products and a service-oriented approach to RFID. Together, the two companies offerings can enable customers to integrate high volumes of RFID data into existing enterprise processes and applications while building new composite applications.”

Citrix Systems, Inc. has reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2006 ended March 31, 2006.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2006, Citrix achieved revenue of $260 million, compared to $202 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2005, representing 29 percent revenue growth.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2006 was $45 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, compared to $39 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

Non-GAAP net income, in the first quarter of 2006 increased 45 percent to $61 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, compared to $42 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the comparable period last year. Non-GAAP net income excludes the effects of amortization of intangible assets primarily related to business combinations and the effects of stock-based compensation. Stock-based compensation impacted operating income by approximately $12 million.

SAS, a vendor of business intelligence products, has announced new technology with Google that will allow joint clients to perform contextually relevant searches through the popular Google search interface to surface information, analysis and reports from SAS business intelligence software beginning this summer.

The combination of the Google Search Appliance with the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform is billed by SAS as giving users more information than what ordinary keyword searches would return from an initial query.

Google OneBox for Enterprise uses the same technology that provides information on stock tickers or weather information on SAS and Google will provide joint customers who activate the OneBox for Enterprise feature of the new Google Search Appliance – already announced by Google – with a familiar, secure way to search for real-time information delivered by SAS BI software.

Google OneBox for Enterprise combined with SAS’s BI products delivers search results in the same way it does for any visitor to the Google website looking for information about local news, weather or restaurants. For example, when a SAS customer types a phrase such as “fourth quarter 2005 sales” into a Google-powered intranet search engine, it will return a snapshot of relevant information including reports, data, and analysis along with links to other results that could consist of the top selling products, top salespersons or top 10 customers for that time period.

All search results are filtered through existing enterprise security protocols, delivering intelligence tailored to each user’s individual access rights.

This is the first of many technology initiatives that SAS and Google will spearhead to help organizations eliminate information silos by sharing relevant knowledge across business units, SAS officials say.

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