INNOVATIVE solutions demand unorthodox means of making an entry. And,
Computer Associates Inc (CA) did it in style, calling a press conference
on board the luxurious Royal Caribbean Cruise liner Enchantment of the
But it was Toronto, Canada-based cStar Technologies Inc president and
chief executive Solbyung (Stella) Yoon who stole the show, spurning the
podium for a walkabout show-and-tell of how non-IT devices can be
brought into the IT world.
CA had chosen cStar, a leading developer of communicating control devices,
as its initial development and marketing partner to deliver the
Unicenter TNG Optimal Vending Solution to enable vending machines and
kiosks to participate in the e-business economy.
Intelligently managed networks enable vending machine managers to perform
remote diagnostics, monitor inventory levels and price changes, schedule
service calls, and track real-time sales through a wireless interface or
a power line carrier.
cStar's contribution to the solution includes the wireless transmission
equipment embedded in the vending machines and kiosks. CA's contribution
is Unicenter TNG, the management and visualization software that enables
management of all traditional and non-traditional assets on the network.
CA and cStar also intend to work together to create additional solutions
to monitor and manage other non-traditional IT resources such as utility
meters, courier drop boxes, pipe lines,
freight and forestry controls, traffic lights, ATMs
and home appliances.
CA had chartered Enchantment of the Seas for its
CA University, holding advanced technical
education courses aboard, and to house
attendees. The programme was part of CA World
2000 in New Orleans, US, earlier this month.
The demonstrations by cStar and other partners
underscored how mobile/wireless and networked
devices and services - including cell phones,
handheld computers, satellite dishes, two-way
messaging pagers, automobiles, vending machines,
and even refrigerators and microwaves - can be
managed for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C
(business-to-commerce) transactions to give
customers increased efficiency, reduced costs
and new revenue opportunities.
"Virtually every appliance today has intelligence
and can be network- connected," said Mr. Ken
Farber, CA senior vice-president, worldwide
"Our clients are using this intelligence to
dramatically enhance the value of the products
and services they provide and even to create
whole new e-business opportunities."
More than ever before, companies are using mobile
and wireless devices to increase productivity in
the e-business workforce and to expand the reach
of the e-business customer and supply bases.
"In a world of wireless communication and total
connectivity, management tools become critical,"
said Mr. James Governor, analyst, Illuminata
"CA has the infrastructure to deliver the value
found in the network, and is establishing
systematic broad-based partnerships to do so.