Stories by Jack McCarthy

Linksys launches IP communications platform for SMBs

Cisco's Linksys division announced Monday a hosted IP communications platform for small businesses that offers voice, video, data networking, business applications, and high speed Internet access through a single connection from a service provider.

Symantec to offer 'holistic' product grouping

Symantec Chief Executive Officer John Thompson says his company's US$13.5 billion acquisition of Veritas Software is moving ahead, with the merged company set to offer enterprises a "holistic" grouping of integrated products to more easily deal with issues of security, data backup, and compliance.

McAfee tool identifies exposed data

Recognizing that Google's search engine can become a repository for far too much information, McAfee this week released an updated version of its Foundstone SiteDigger security tool that helps enterprises identify damaging information that may be exposed on the Web.

CA integrates PestPatrol anti-spyware

Computer Associates International (CA) will announce Monday that it has integrated an anti-spyware product from its purchase of PestPatrol with its own eTrust Security Management portfolio.

Plumtree upgrades portal package

Plumtree Software further extended its portal-based, Web applications building and management platform Monday, announcing upgrades to its Content and Collaboration servers, APIs for search and collaboration, and support and services for J2EE and .Net platforms.

Polycom targets high-quality desktop conferencing

Conferencing and collaboration equipment provider Polycom on Monday announced a series of offerings designed to bring business-quality conferencing features to personal desktops. The products follow up on a collaborative agreement struck with Microsoft earlier this year to develop rich media services.

Building apps on the fly

<img src="" style="width:150px;height:118x">When Stephen Aldridge, the president and CEO of Bio Economic Research Association (Bio-ERA), needed help earlier this year developing a Web portal and its associated applications, he called on small software development company Assembla.

Feature: Counting on Linux

At financial services giant Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., CTO John McKinley is blazing a trail to boost productivity and enhance ROI with his strategy. And that trail has led him to pursue a company-wide deployment of Linux open-source software.

Enterprise CTOs adopt disruption

It's the million-dollar question: When do you bring a disruptive technology into your enterprise? Adopt too early, and the company becomes a guinea pig, bearing the costs while the technology is refined. Wait too long, and the company misses the opportunity to reap profits and increase market share by being one technical step ahead of the competition. In finding the balance, the CTO becomes corporate IT soothsayer, seeking to divine the moment when a technology evolves from high-geek-factor toy to something that could improve the corporate landscape. Here are insights from three CTOs at different points on the disruptive-technology adoption curve.

Feature: Starting a supply-chain revolution

John Duker, e-business infrastructure services architect at consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co., says things are moving fast these days as America's largest consumer products maker refashions its supply-chain technology to maximize its efficiency.

Troubled travels

The decline in travel brought on by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the weakened economy have forced airlines and travel companies to cut costs wherever they can. As a result, CTOs are using Web services and other technologies as strategic weapons to meet that itinerary. Underscoring the situation's seriousness is the Aug. 12 bankruptcy filing of U.S. Airways, which listed US$7.81 billion in assets and $7.83 billion in liabilities, and the fiscal troubles facing major carrier United Airlines.

Technology premiums worth the risk

Insurance industry CTOs are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Web services to streamline services for customers and increase workflow efficiency. These executives see the benefits in the automation and integration of data sources around XML-related standards bodies, such as the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD ), a nonprofit standards developer, and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), enacted in 1996.

Trading on the edge

In their drive to take Houston-based Enron Corp. from a sleepy, regional gas pipeline company to a billion-dollar energy provider, Enron executives knew they needed the best in technology from the best technologists.