News Briefs: February 7, 2005


The technology vendor named Robert Davis as its new executive vice president and CFO. Plans call for Davis to take over the CFO post on March 1. He will report to COO Jeff Clarke.

Davis comes to CA after an eight-year stint at Dell, where he rose to vice president of corporate finance and chief accounting officer. Before Dell, he was assistant corporate controller at MCI.

Unicenter Asset Intelligence r11 is designed for customers already running CA's Unicenter Asset Management software. It takes network data collected by the Asset Management product and returns best practice options for improving network processes, said Allan Anderson, director of product management at CA. The product purports to improve server optimization, application load balancing, storage capacity and software management, and also performs analysis of network trends.

A perpetual license for Unicenter Asset Intelligence r11 costs about $50,000, said Anderson, who added that CA is also offering the software on a subscription basis.

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Startup traffic management vendor Swan Labs this week is launching its first partner program, an initial step toward its goal of moving 100 percent of its sales through the channel.

To help improve Web application performance and WAN utilization, Swan's NetCelera appliances tackle what the company has dubbed enterprise application shaping, a solution that combines WAN optimization and application acceleration technologies.

In particular, Swan is seeking partners that can incorporate its technology into broader solutions in the areas of disaster recovery, enterprise integration/portals, enterprise applications, networked storage, remote access and VoIP.

The company's new program offers solution providers discounts of up to 50 percent depending on their designation within the program and the level of commitment Swan partners choose to make, executives said.

The four-tier program is somewhat customizable, enabling partners to commit to options such as meeting volume requirements or providing first- or second-level support services in exchange for higher discount levels.

The company currently expects to have at least 60 partners signed up by the end of July as it closes out its fiscal year.

Business Objects introduced new reporting software targeted specifically at midsize companies. This marks Business Objects' first midmarket product.

The software, Crystal Reports Server XI (extreme insight), provides a single platform from which to distribute and manage reports over the Internet. Priced at $7,500, the server software allows one user to create and as many as five users to view performance snapshots concurrently. The performance snapshots are generated with Business Objects' report generator, Crystal Reports.

Using Crystal Reports Server XI, companies can schedule which information to distribute—and when—over the Web. In addition, users are granted or denied access to files based on administrator authorization.

With his latest e-mail missive to customers last week, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is putting his stamp of approval on interoperability.

His new mantra, "building software that is interoperable by design," will doubtless replace similar messages about building security into systems, observers said.

Gates used his lengthy message to stress that open-source software, the latest and greatest threat to Microsoft's dominance, is often mistakenly construed as interoperable software.

"Interoperability is about how different software systems work together. Open source is a methodology for licensing and/or developing software that may or may not be interoperable," he wrote.

Gates also recapped the work Microsoft has done on promoting important standards and its reliance on XML to attain better interoperability with non-Microsoft systems. Once plagued with their own interoperability issues, the Office desktop applications now support various XML schema as well as their own formats.