Stories by MARIA TROMBLY

Surviving the tech manager's global squeeze

It's the new reality of IT: working as part of a global team, with coworker and outsourcers all over the world, coordinated by a project manager at headquarters. But that reality can be ugly, as managers are stretched across time zones, with no such thing as being off the clock. Work quality, commitment, and communications vary considerably, putting the burden on the manager caught in the middle to make it all work -- from thousands of miles away.

Cost savings and B-to-B e-payments

Too much of a good thing can be a problem, at least when it comes to business-to-business electronic payments. While there are only a few standard ways to make payments electronically -- Federal wire, automated clearinghouse (ACH) or purchasing card -- these methods are impractical for many business transactions because they don't convey much information other than who, when and how much. A business needs to know more, such as the invoice number, whether the invoice was paid in full, and to which account to credit the payment.

Web Services

Web services are a new class of applications that can talk and work with one another over the Internet.

Banks start looking at Web site insurance

The recent online banking explosion has offered banks new revenue streams, but those streams can bring new risks. Insurance companies are finally beginning to look at the risks and offer coverage.

Wall Street releases draft XML standard

The RIXML.org Ltd. standards committee, a consortium of brokerage firms that's committed to creating a standard computer language for presenting investment and financial research, last week released a draft version of Research Information Exchange Markup Language (RIXML) 1.0 for public comment.

Mainframes still rule on Wall Street

Big iron isn't dead yet -- at least not on Wall Street. Indeed, mainframe computers will continue to perform key processing functions such as clearing and settling trades for major stock exchanges and back-end trade processing organizations in the securities industry for at least another decade, according to a new report released by Meridien Research.

Schwab slashes headcount


Citing overcapacity for processing online trading orders in light of the recent stock market sell-off, Charles Schwab in the US has announced plans for major job cuts amounting to 11 per cent to 13 per cent of its workforce.

Schwab, CSFBdirect to cut jobs

In another sign that times are tough for online brokerages, Charles Schwab & Co. and CSFBdirect Inc., the Jersey City, N.J.-based online trading unit of New York-based Credit Suisse First Boston, said this week that it would cut staff to reduce costs.

Visa to help e-merchants meet security guidelines

Visa International Inc. this week said it and the banks that issue credit cards under its name are launching a program to help online retailers and other Internet-based merchants comply with a set of security guidelines due to take effect in May.

Bridge financing


It's ironic that companies that least need money have the easiest time raising it, while companies that are desperate for cash have the most problems finding it.

FleetBoston Offers Virtual Safe-Deposit Boxes

Online bill payments, wireless banking capabilities and other new Internet-based technologies already give financial institutions jockeying for position online plenty to worry about. Now, FleetBoston Financial Corp. is raising the bar another notch when it comes to online banking services by adding a new feature: virtual safe-deposit boxes.

Nasdaq Adds Two New Technology Executives

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc., which has been criticized for its handling of some information technology issues, Tuesday named two new IT executives who are expected to help it cope with upcoming initiatives such as the conversion to decimal-based pricing and the rollout of a new front-end trading system.

Nasdaq Changes Plan to Appease Critics

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. announced changes to its proposed SuperMontage front-end trading system after operators of private trading networks and other critics raised concerns about the technology.