Trendlines: The New, the Hot, the Unexpected

FRAMINGHAM (08/15/2000) - E-MAIL WHAT U SAY It used to be that shunning punctuation was the domain of creative types like e.e. cummings. Now it seems anyone with a keyboard, an e-mail account and a dash of impatience can just say no to some of the building blocks of good written communication, like capitalization and correct grammar and spelling.

Many of us are guilty as charged. Raise your hand if you've never shot off an e-mail without rereading it or eschewed the dictionary in favor of your best guess thinking, "Who cares? It's not a real letter." Not many hands up out there. As both senders and recipients of e-mail, we've begun to overlook such indiscretions.

Mary Bruder, a.k.a. The Grammar Lady, who runs a grammar website (www.grammarlady.com) and hotline from Skan-eateles, N.Y., points to the lickety-split nature of e-mail as the culprit, because it encourages people to act without thinking. "People think if they're in a hurry, it's not such a big deal," says Bruder. But is it a big deal? Sloppy e-mail may make the writer look stupid or confuse the recipient, but it's unlikely to be the downfall of our civilization. If we don't maintain other sources of written communication, however, Bruder says, "There could be a [communication] breakdown along age lines, like when families who don't speak English immigrate. The children learn the new language and can't speak to the grandparents. I hope that doesn't happen."Bruder's doing her best to prevent that. She recently wrote a book called Much Ado About a Lot (Hyperion, 2000), which tells people what sort of grammar is appropriate for different situations. She cautions against putting too much stock in spell check and grammar check programs, rather unsubtle tools. As The Grammar Lady, Bruder welcomes visitors to post grammar questions on her website but warns that she won't answer uncapitalized or unpunctuated messages. She concedes, though, that she doesn't get a lot of those: "I think people are on their best behavior when they write to me." If only that were the case with every e-mail.

CIO100 In this issue, CIO honors 100 companies excelling at customer service and relationship management. Trendlines items marked with the CIO-100 logo profile a few of those honorees. See "Masters of the Customer Connection," for an overview of our coverage and our selection criteria.

DEPARTMENT OF BIG, SCARY NUMBERS 46: percent of companies surveyed that took at least five days to respond to an e-mail with a simple support request--if they responded at all $24 Billion: estimated annual spending on achieving interoperability between enterprise applications $89.7 billion: projected annual spending on CRM technologies and services in 2003 (up from 40.5 billion in 1999) $8.8 Billion: estimated online spending for groceries in 2004, up from less than $200 million in 1999Sources: Jupiter Communications Inc., Standish Group, International Data Corp.

METRICS CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM CRITERIA Jupiter Communications' research on customer loyalty yields advice for online programs. Among other basics, take the demographics of your customers into account. Jupiter found marked differences in rewards preferences in different income brackets.

Source: jupiter communications loyalty programs: select loyalty program to match marketing objectives by Melissa Shore (www.jupiterresearch.com) WASHINGTON WATCH By Elana Varon SIGNING ON THE DIGITAL LINE That popping sound you're hearing is champagne being uncorked by vendors of digital signature technology. They're celebrating the first nationwide law legalizing online contracts, which Congress passed in June.

The law confirms that if you make a deal online, you can take it to court if anything goes awry. But it doesn't tell you what you need to do to prove your case once you get there. Can you prove your customer placed that order? Or make sure your just-fired assistant didn't add some zeroes to your supplier's invoice before turning in his office swipe card?

The answer, say the vendors, is a public key infrastructure (PKI), a system for securely managing people's electronic credentials. Messages signed and scrambled with such digital keys could only be decrypted by the intended recipients. The technology provides the assurance that the person whose name is on a message really sent it, that the right person received it and that its contents haven't been changed en route.

PKI technology isn't new, but it hasn't been widely adopted in part because every PKI vendor's product is different and they don't work together. Bill Brice, who heads electronic digital signature supplier AlphaTrust in Dallas, predicts the market will fix that problem, and "there will be two or three or four providers that most people will accept, the way they accept Visa or Mastercard." He thinks online exchanges, controlling transactions for entire industries, will pick the winners here.

Meanwhile, Ari Schwartz, a policy analyst with the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, D.C., a consumer-oriented lobbying group, cautions that PKI is only one solution for settling business online. "The best place for CIOs to start is to analyze a transaction and what needs to happen for it to take place securely, privately and in a way consumers can trust," Schwartz says. You may need multiple technologies--PIN, digitized fingerprints, voice recognition or retinal scans--to deal with suppliers and customers.

Questions like who covers the bill if you lose your digital key or PIN are still unanswered, says Thomas Smedinghoff, a Chicago lawyer who heads the science and technology section of the American Bar Association. Smedinghoff says trading communities will decide for themselves what each participant's rights and obligations are, but Congress may need to set some "default rules" for companies that don't, or can't, spell out every detail themselves.

THE PUSH FOR TALENT

Increasing the number of temporary foreign workers companies can hire has topped Congress' IT agenda this year, pushed by Silicon Valley vendors clamoring for programming talent. But some opponents think giving out more visas, called H1-Bs, is a patch on an immigration system that needs afull upgrade.

The Immigration Reform Coalition, whose backers include The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, says the hunger for H1-Bs has nothing to do with shortages--companies will always want to hire from a global marketplace. It's just that they can get H1-Bs quicker (a few weeks) than green cards (five years). According to Paul Donnelly, the group's organizer, "Workers overwhelmingly want permanent residency. They just acceptH1-Bs because they can get them faster."

His solution? Make it easier to get green cards. Richard Ellis, a Pennsylvania-based consultant who crunches IT workforce data, notes employers often helpH1-B visa holders obtain permanent immigrant status anyway.

Desmond Wong, a partner with Ernst & Young in Chicago, says he reached the same conclusion while helping American companies set up subsidiaries in China.

"The economy is good based on good people, like a basketball team. If we don't get these people, other countries will."

Got news or views on IT issues in Washington? Send them to washington@cio.com.

CIO100 PROFILE NOTHING FISHY ABOUT IT

By Karen Witham Lynch

While its namesake is a historic landmark and the epitome of a tradi-tional market, FultonStreet.com is pure 21st-century e-commerce. Founded by the Morfogen family in 1998, the e-site was inspired by New York City's legen-dary Fulton Fish Market. That marketin Manhattan dates back to 1833 and continues to thrive as a traditional wholesale public market. From the mid-1950s until the launch of FultonStreet.com, the Morfogen family served as buyers for the Grand Central Oyster Bar and operated seafood restaurants.

Although inspired by a fish market, FultonStreet.com sells much more than seafood. With meats supplied by family-owned Master Purveyors and gourmet goods from New York City's specialty food stores, the site gives aspiring chefs and weekend gourmets in even the most isolated areas access to New York's choice of delicacies.

Quality packaging and delivery is a top priority for FultonStreet.com--it has to be. Unlike other e-commerce businesses, a poorly handled product could result in product spoilage or customer sickness. The company sends buyers to the Fulton Fish Market every day at 4 a.m. to select the catch of the day. All the fish and seafood sold by FultonStreet.com comes from the market's vendors.

The fish comes to FultonStreet.com's warehouse in refrigerated trucks, where it is packaged and frozen. Orders are shipped to customers in high-end coolers packed with dry ice.

FultonStreet.com estimates it will grow from sales of $100,000 and a few hundred customers in 1998 to sales of $45 million and 455,000 customers in 2000. CEO Stratis Morfogen attributes the company's success to positive customer referrals, or what he lightheartedly calls "word of mouse."

Contributing to customer satisfaction are the company's strict privacy policy, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and customer service programs such as loyalty rewards, promotional offers, live Web-based customer service (using eShare Net Agent) and Internet telephony customer service (using Net2Phone).

CIO100 PROFILE A BOOK THROUGH ANY WINDOW It has been said that the key to profitable advertising and marketing is location, location, location. And sure enough, that's the strategy behind CIO-100 honoree New York City-based Barnesandnoble.com's affiliate marketing program, which creates virtual bookstores around the Web by enabling companies ranging from the little SchoolPop to the big Discover card to establish direct links from their websites to the bookstore's main search engine.

Say you have logged on to any one of the program's more than 400,000 member sites. You'll find a small dialog box where you can search, browse or buy a book from Barnes & Noble, without ever leaving the host site. These interfaces can be generic links to the bookstore or customized to site content (if you're visiting a cetacean site, for instance, you can search exclusively for books about whales). Driven by customer relationship management software from Marlborough, Mass.-based Be Free, the engines record traffic, sales volume and revenue. A participating merchant receives a commission on all sales Barnesandnoble.com Inc. makes through that merchant's site for a service fee.

While merchant members and industry experts tout this service as marketing genius, Senior Vice President of Barnesandnoble.com Carl Rosendorf says it's just as much an example of customer relationship excellence. For site owners, he says, the program provides the opportunity to have an income stream based one-commerce, something many of them might never experience otherwise. For Barnesandnoble.com customers, Rosendorf adds, the program provides a way to shop for books that's woven into the rest of their Internet experience. "Before this program, customers could buy our books only on our site," Rosendorf explains. "Today, they can buy them from virtually anywhere, making the transition from surfing to shopping seamless." -Matt Villano INFORMATION SHARING ETHICALLY YOURS By Eric Berkman No reporter,law clerk or political intern likes going to a state agency to research records. It usually means an afternoon of bonding with surly bureau-crats, fumbling with brittle rolls of microfilm and coughing up dust from volumes of paper files.

But for those who do research at the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, that experience may be a relic of the 20th century. Thanks to a new system developed by Eastman Software of Billerica, Mass., and implemented by Computer Document Management Systems (CDMS) of Harrisburg, Pa., anyone can research lobbying activity in the Keystone State directly from www.ethics.state.pa.us, the commission's website.

"Without this system, people would have to come to the office, get the right files and sit there and go through the paper," says John Contino, executive director of the ethics commission. "And they'd have to come to Harrisburg. If you're in, say, Erie, Pa., that's a five-and-a-half-hour drive at a minimum."

The commission began the project to comply with a new state law requiring lobbyists to register and file quarterly reports detailing what they spend to influence state officials. All reports can be accessed online, whether filed by mail, by fax or electronically.

Contino says the biggest challenge has been developing the electronic filing forms. By law, each lobbyist named in a report must sign a form. But electronic filing isn't as simple as passing the form around an office. So Eastman and CDMS created "e-numbers"--ID numbers the lobbyists receive when they file online. Lobbyists use their e-number as passwords and affix their digital signatures. "They can't change any information--they can just sign and submit," says Contino. "And if five lobbyists have to sign off [on a report], the system won't allow the form to be submitted until everyone has signed off."

Once the report is filed, it loads onto the commission's website for anyone with Internet access and a browser to see.

Connecticut also allows lobbyists to submit expense reports online. New Jersey, California and the Federal Elec-tions Commission all allow politicians to re-port campaign contributions electronically. And county governments in South Carolina are working to provide Internet access to land records. As Ellen Rome, Eastman's vice president of marketing describes it, "The whole idea is constituent self-service."

CIO100 PROFILE CANCELLATION PRIZE

There's nothing more infuriating than sitting on the tarmac in some 747, smooshed between two annoying people who are hogging all that recirculated air, only to hear the captain calmly announce another hour-long delay until the weather clears. However there's now a brighter side to such air travel torture.

Booking your flights through Biztravel.com, the corporate arm of travel company and CIO-100 honoree Rosenbluth Interactive in Philadelphia, can get you refunds for delayed flights and other flying frustrations. You're eligible when you use Biztravel.com and fly on one of five airlines: Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental Airlines and US Airways. If your flight arrives 30 minutes late, you get $100; if it's more than an hour late, you receive $200; more than two hours late, and it becomes a free plane ride for you--a total refund.

Other inconveniences that get you cash back: Any flight canceled on the date of departure secures you a free trip; if your seat gets changed on a domestic flight, you get $25; and if you don't get that vegetarian meal you ordered, you pocket another $25. More details on this option can be found at www.biztravel.com. With such perks, you might find yourself hoping for flight delays in the future. -Tom Wailgum CIO100 - PROFILE EVERYTHING BUT THE SODA JERK By Matt Villano Customer relationship management (CRM) and application service providers (ASPs) are two of the hottest ideas on the market today. Together, they make up one heck of a business strategy. Welcome to the world of CIO-100 honoree CornerDrugstore.com in Redmond, Wash., a Web-based ASP that delivers CRM solutions to independent drugstores all over the country. For $60 to $75 a month, these stores can use CornerDrugstore.com to handle all of their e-commerce needs. More than 4,000 drugstores have expressed interest in signing on since the company began last year.

"We're not only managing our relationship with our drugstores, but we're also helping them manage their relationships with their customers," says CIO Kennet Westby. "For a minor investment, they get the technological infrastructure of a major chain. We want to unify this marketplace and give these small stores the tools to compete. And we think we can."

According to Westby, the CornerDrugstore.com system hinges on eRelation-ship 2000, an off-the-shelf CRM solution by Pivotal. Built on SQL Server 7.0 databases housed in Kirkland, Wash., this program compiles ordering and fulfillment information and dispenses it upon request. Each member store has its own separate site on CornerDrugstore.com, through which customers can place or check orders, get a map to the brick-and-mortar locations, learn about local free clinics or blood drives and so on. Meanwhile drugstores and pharmacies can catalog total e-business volume and revenues for any given period of time.

That, however, is just the beginning. Westby says his team of 18 full-time staffers is working hard to write proprietary applications to enable member drugstores to integrate procurement and point-of-sale information from their existing systems as well. With these features, drugstores will be able to order directly from manufacturers whenever stocks fall below a certain point, eliminating paperwork. Also in the works is a plan to incorporate electronic medical records.

HOT TOPIC CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT FAQ PDQ By Alice Dragoon Oh, you intend to answer each and every customer query. But even if the same old questions pop up 80 percent of the time, tens of thousands of calls and e-mails a month can overwhelm the most diligent support staff.

So many online businesses turn to application service providers for help. Some ASPs simply take over the job of answering calls or e-mails (see "All Answers, All the Time," CIO, May 1, 2000). But one ASP called Software911 (www.software911.com) aims to make providing self-help on the Web as easy as, well, dialing 911. You supply a list of frequently asked questions and answers and Software911 automatically codes them in HTML, categorizes them and posts them online. As customers use your FAQ list, accessible from a 911 button on your website, the most popular questions in each category bubble to the top, improving users' odds for speedy satisfaction.

At Watlow Anafaze, a supplier of sophisticated process control instruments in Watsonville, Calif., employees had been deluged with the same old technical questions for years, but no one had the time or resources to set up a comprehensive FAQ. Then former Product Manager Mike Sims signed up for Software911's service, and the same day jotted down 30 FAQs and answers on a flight to St. Louis. As soon as he got to his hotel room and pasted them into a Web-based form, Watlow Anafaze had an online FAQ. "I was actually populating a knowledge base without doing any programming," says Sims. "In less than a day, I had installed a professional, integrated customer service Web portal for our company." Sims reports that call and e-mail volume substantially dropped, as customers were able to find answers to their questions on the company's website.

Customers can e-mail questions not listed in the Software911 FAQ, and they are routed directly to appropriate experts within the client company. As experts answer questions, the system prompts them to convert personalized replies into generic answers, which are then added to the FAQ. Prices for the service start at about $1,450 a month with a two-year contract.

OFF THE SHELF

Edited by Carol Zarrow

VARIATIONS ON A THEME

For this CIO-100 issue honoring companies that have mastered the customer connection, a selection of recent titles about CRM The Customer Marketing Method: How to Implement and Profit from Customer Relationship Management By Jay Curry The Free Press, 2000, $25 Jay Curry, chairman of the Customer Marketing Institute, cowrote this book with his son, Adam Curry, an Internet marketing consultant (and former MTV VJ). The book is divided into three sections: "How to Profit from CRM," "How to Implement CRM" and "Customer Marketing and the Internet," each of which is organized around a central image--the "customer pyramid." The Currys outline a three-step marketing strategy of attracting customers, retaining them and moving them toward higher profitability, represented by the pyramid's peak.

-Karen Witham Lynch

Driving Customer Equity: How Customer Lifetime Value is Reshaping Corporate Strategy By Roland T. Rust, Valarie A. Zeithaml and Katherine N. Lemon The Free Press, 2000, $28 A company's greatest assets? Forget about products, intellectual property or employees. According to the authors, customers are the newest yardsticks of value and worth. So how can companies successfully cultivate profitable customer relationships? The authors provide tools that will help companies gauge customer loyalty and retain the most valuable of those assets. -Megan Santosus Emotional Value: Creating Strong Bonds with Your Customers By Janelle Barlow and Dianna Maul Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2000, $27.95 This book starts from the basic premise that people are driven by their emotions and then focuses on ways that companies can add emotional value to customer interactions to improve service and to increase customer loyalty. The book's five sections focus on developing a service culture that is receptive to emotional involvement, that manages emotional competence and authenticity, that applies empathy to customer experiences, that uses customers' complaints as opportunities to apply positive emotion and that increases customer loyalty through emotional bonds. -Lafe Low Monitoring, Measuring and Managing Customer Service By Gary S. Goodman Jossey-Bass, 2000, $29.95 There's no such thing as accidental customer service, according to Gary Goodman. Great customer service is a practice that can be learned, honed and repeated. This book aims to show managers how to train service reps and to help companies evaluate the effectiveness of their customer service departments.

Throughout the book, Goodman uses real-life examples to illustrate the importance of polite and consistent customer service processes that are worth repeating. -M.S.

Now or Never: How Companies Must Change Today to Win the Battle for Internet Consumers By Mary Modahl HarperCollins Publishers, 2000, $27 Forrester Research Vice President Mary Modahl has written a clear, passionately argued to-do list for companies confronting the challenges and opportunities of B2C e-commerce.

First, Modahl writes, companies have to understand Internet consumers and realize that they're not all alike. Next, companies must internalize the reality of the new, hypercompetitive Internet market. Finally, companies have to throw out all their old business models.

Modahl emphatically insists that mature companies are not yet out of the Internet race, that the early lead the dotcoms have established in cyberspace is not unsurpassable; but time is running out. Hence the book's title. -David Rosenbaum Value Nets: Breaking the Supply Chain to Unlock Hidden Profits By David Bovet and Joseph Martha John Wiley & Sons, 2000, $29.95 Revamping a company's supply chain goes beyond streamlining procurement and speeding up manufacturing. Customer satisfaction is at the heart of that process, according to authors Bovet and Martha. Using case studies from the likes of Ford, Nike and Weyerhaeuser, the authors--consultants with Mercer Management Consulting--outline a supply chain design that delivers services and products in ways that promote customer loyalty and satisfaction. -M.S.

WHAT THEY'RE READING Rick Mangogna, executive vice president and CIO, Global Wholesale Bank, The Chase Manhattan Corp., New York City Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Spencer Johnson (The Putnam Publishing Group, 1998) "I found it to be very insightful and useful for managing large organizations through change. It seems to me that as IT becomes more and more entwined with our business products and services, we must be ever ready. Simply put, because change is constant, we need to constantly change." Charlie Dunham, vice president of IS, SAS Institute, Cary, N.C. "I find Who Moved My Cheese? useful in promoting the idea that our employees should be catalysts for change rather than just accommodating change, or worse, resisting it. Noteworthy." James Infinger, CIO, Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass. "Who Moved My Cheese? is an excellent, lighthearted book about how we often move back and forth from accepting change in our lives, then return to our comfort zone because it's predictable, even when the comfort zone is negative."

Ray L. Dicasali, CIO, Harbinger Corp., Atlanta The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, by Clayton M. Christensen (Harvard Business School Press, 1997) "Very prophetic about the changes in the new dotcom world and their impact on traditional organizations. The author recommends a number of ways for companies to redirect their innovation efforts to fit the new market environments." Tama H. Olver, vice president of IS and CIO, Quantum Corp., Milpitas, Calif. "I am continuing to refine my thinking about organizational transformation, especially how successful organizations can change and enter new businesses fast. The thoughts in The Innovator's Dilemma lend support to the approach we are using internally in IS to introduce our own disruptive technology within the company."

Jerry Miller, senior vice president and CIO, Sears, Roebuck & Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill. Net Ready: Strategies for Success in the E-conomy, by Amir Hartman and John G. Sifonis (McGraw-Hill, 2000) "A good roadmap for what an e-business is and how to prepare, organize and implement e-business strategies." Marge Connelly, senior vice president for card operations, Capital One Financial Corp., Falls Church, Va., also recommends Net Ready.

Susan J. Unger, senior vice president and CIO, Jeep-DaimlerChrysler Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich. B2B Exchanges: The Killer Application in the Business-to-Business Internet Revolution, by Arthur B. Sculley and W. William A. Woods (ISI Publications, 1999) "[Has] very valuable information regarding business exchanges and identifying best practices. I recommended this book to my direct reports." William D.

Friel, senior vice president and CIO, The Prudential Insurance Co. of America, Newark, N.J., also recommends B2B Exchanges.

Bruce Alper, CIO, American Management Association, New York City E-Profit: High Payoff Strategies for Capturing the E-Commerce Edge, by Peter Cohen (Amacom, 2000) "It was refreshing to come across this knowledgeable, well-written, and hard-nosed exploration of [e-commerce]. This book clearly demonstrates how to put an e-commerce operation on a sound financial footing and provides valuable guidelines for evaluating the risks and the payoffs of every option."

Brian Laliberte, CIO, BabyCenter, San Francisco Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Harvey McKay (William Morrow, 1993) "Provided inspiration and success stories of how to change a raging lunatic into a raving fan. Provides a framework/philosophy, [that is,] put out the best effort possible, do more than what is expected and always, always follow-up to ensure success."

Robert B. Carter, executive vice president and CIO, FedEx Corp., Memphis, Tenn.

Five Frogs on a Log: A CEO's Field Guide to Accelerating the Transition in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Gut Wrenching Change, by Mark Feldman and Michael Spratt (Harper Collins, 1999) "Insight into M&A that is worth a read in this acquisition-happy world of huge market caps. The authors also share practical advice on actually doing something versus just talking about it."

David J. Storm, vice president of planning and IS, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Milwaukee Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar (Harper Collins, 1991) "One of my favorite business books. [It] reminds us of what arrogance and greed will get you. A second favorite is Oh, the Places You'll Go, by Dr. Seuss."

Tell us what you're reading and why at books@cio.com. Visit the Reading Room at www.cio.com/books.

CIO100 PROFILE FOR SQUEAKY WHEELS By Mindy Blodgett In the traditional car-buying process, customers can often feel powerless and lost in the shuffle. As a result, complaints and confusion are not uncommon.

But at CIO-100 honoree Casa Automotive Group, an automotive retailer with three dealerships in Albuquerque, N.M., a customer service strategy called Solutions is designed to improve all that by keeping better track of the numbers and types of complaints and putting them into a single tracking environment. The system "has allowed us to analyze [customer feedback] in detail... including the sour-ces and frequency of the various problems our customers experienced in doing business with us," explains Casa President Ken Johns.

Before Solutions was implemented, "customer feedback was very spotty, and it was not going to the right people," adds Marcus Clarke, a technology consultant from The Meridian Group in Albuquerque, which helped set up the system. Now, all factory surveys, customer calls and complaints are entered into the Solutions system and marked for immediate response. The outcome of the calls is then investigated, using the tracking system in Solutions and the results are discussed at the managers' meetings. Reports on the complaints are then dispersed to the employees, with the goal of not repeating problems, according to Clarke.

"It's important to be more responsive and to have customers feel that their needs and concerns will be handled immediately," Clarke says. "A lot of times, it is simply that the customer doesn't feel heard or acknowledged. It's not so much that they have a major complaint."

Customers with questions or complaints have the choice of contacting an interactive website or a contact center with an 800 number. Casa Automotive boasts a customer on-hold time for the contact center of less than a minute.

The implementation of Solutions has also instilled in the company's 320 employees a heightened awareness of the importance of customer satisfaction, according to Clarke.

SOFTWARE MACHINE VACCINE

Antiviral software programs are installed to protect computer systems, but if the software isn't updated constantly by IT specialists (which takes time) and users don't activate the software when they're supposed to (which takes cajoling), the next computer virus down the pike could strike like the deadly Eboli. Symantec, a utility software company in Cupertino, Calif., joined forces with IBM Corp.'s Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, N.Y., and Yorktown Heights, N.Y., to create a total antiviral system. How does it work? Just as vaccinations are used to immunize our bodies from harmful diseases, the Digital Immune System was designed to stop unknown viruses before they have a chance to spread.

Norton AntiVirus software is installed on an individual's PC or Mac, where it scans files for viruses. If it finds known v

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