NEWS BRIEFS

Nortel signs back-office outsourcing deal Nortel Networks has signed a back-office deal with PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide the firm with business services such as payroll, accounts payable, employee training and employee expense reimbursement. Nortel's five-year deal with PricewaterhouseCoopers is in line with its business strategy to identify areas that could be handled through outsourcing in order to operate more efficiently and reduce costs, David Chamberlin, a spokesman for the company, said. Nortel's market includes Internet telephony, data, electronic-business and wireless products. Under terms of the agreement, about 1000 Nortel employees worldwide will move to PricewaterhouseCoopers offices internationally to provide the back-office services, officials for the companies said. "We compete in an exceptionally fast-moving marketplace in which flexibility, speed and agility are key to maintaining global leadership," Art MacDonald, Nortel's senior vice president for corporate services, said. "PricewaterhouseCoopers understands our needs in this area, both now and for the future, and will help create new business value for our organisation." www.nortel.comIntel to acquire compiler tools specialistIntel has reached a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held compiler and programming tool supplier Kuck & Associates for an undisclosed amount of cash. With the acquisition, Intel aims to boost its tool offerings and accelerate the development of multi-threaded software applications that take advantage of multiprocessor computing, the chip vendor said in a statement. The acquisition is still subject to customary closing conditions, but Intel said it expects to close the deal in 30 days or less, after which Kuck & Associates will become a wholly-owned Intel subsidiary and David Kuck will be appointed general manager within Intel's microprocessor products group. Intel and Kuck & Associates are no strangers. The two companies are among the founding members of the OpenMP Architecture Review Board, an industry group overseeing the OpenMP specification for multi-threaded software development. www.intel.comGroup formed to promote XML-based specificationLeading global accounting, financial and software industry groups and companies have announced the formation of a consortium aimed at promoting a new specification for exchanging financial data over the Internet. The XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) Project Committee aims by July to have developed and launched XBRL for Financial Statements, the first in a planned series of free XBRL products for sending financial statements over the Internet as well as across other software and technologies. Based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), the XBRL specification uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices, and aims to standardise the way financial information is sent and viewed on computer screens. XBRL, formerly codenamed XFRML, has been in development for one year, according to the AICPA statement. AICPA is one of more than 30 backers of the XBRL Project Committee, which among its members also counts some of the biggest names in the software industry, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. Other members include Arthur Andersen, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, the International Accounting Standards Committee, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Reuters. www.xbrl.org

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