Stories by Amy Helen Johnson

Boost your security career

Information security specialists have it a little better than other IT professionals in today's tight job market, but not by much. That's according to Jim Wade, senior vice president and chief information security officer at financial services firm KeyCorp in Cleveland.

Monitoring tool keeps Web apps on track

When your company provides custom networking services for global enterprises, the performance of your infrastructure becomes a mission-critical business factor.

Banking on RosettaNet

CEO Tim Browne makes no bones about it: Infoteria's success depends on enterprises adopting RosettaNet's standards for e-business. "In some ways, we banked the success of the company on RosettaNet," he says.

Start-up bets big on supply chain standard

When a major customer requested that Ohka America Inc. support e-business transactions, the company went searching last July for a vendor to help it automate. Using iConnector from Infoteria, Ohka successfully tested an electronic data exchange based on RosettaNet's XML standards.

Startup does supply chains by the book

When office products retailer Staples Inc. began offering catalogs and customer ordering via the Web, one thing became clear, says Laura Brooks, manager of site design and operations for the company's Web channel: The existing content-management system was woefully inadequate. Despite the best efforts of the IT team, producing content was slow and inefficient, resulting in wasted time, missed deadlines and poor quality.

ASP brings order to temp worker chaos

After an unsuccessful attempt in the fall of 1998 to outsource the management of its contract labor hiring, Xerox last year turned to an Internet-based service that standardizes the way the company requisitions, pays and evaluates its contingent workforce.

Helping web sites take phone calls

Call it e-commerce without the browser. Shoppers who want to buy office supplies from Office Depot Inc.'s Web site can simply dial a toll-free number and place orders using an interactive voice-response system that does the browsing for them.

Breadth of Expertise Defines ASP Start-up

Tom Warren, the information technology manager and sole Internet guru at technical book retailer Inc. in Norwood, Mass., didn't have any hope of meeting the company's two-month deadline for launching a subscription-based e-commerce site with the five other engineers on hand.

The Buzz

Oblix is in the middle of a hot market, says Rick Villars, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass. The problem of centralized, secure user-profile management is more complex when external parties need access to corporate resources. This is happening more as corporations join trading communities - one of the most active spaces in the business-to-business e-commerce arena. Oblix takes a more outward approach than its competitors, which use the more traditional internal system-administration package, says Villars. He likens Oblix to a customer relationship management or partner relationship management package, but with more limitations.

Oblix: Making It Easier to Manage User Rights

Parsons Corp., a global construction and engineering firm in Pasadena, Calif., has about 15,000 Windows NT identifications in use, says CIO John Thomas. They're assigned to the company's 11,200 employees, as well as to Parsons' contractors, clients and partners.

Bringing Harmony to Disk Storage

Six months ago, Dick Boyle, vice president of The Chase Manhattan Bank's global private banking division in New York, decided to consolidate his 54 Notes and NetWare servers down to eight machines. That meant he had to make a few decisions, most notably how to distribute 3 terabytes of data so users could access it quickly and the information technology staff could administer it easily.

XML: Can You Translate that for Me Please?

Mike Giesler, vice president of business development and technology at Richmond, Virginia-based Envera LLC, is building an online trading hub for chemical companies. He wants the site to run smoothly, but he must solve a major problem first: automating the bill-paying process. After all, a high-tech transaction that ends with employees shuffling paper would lose its new-millennium shine.

Leave Your Laptop At Home

The next time you check in to a hotel during a business trip, don't be surprised if the desk clerk hands you a laptop along with your room key. Hotels that cater to business travelers are installing new network infrastructures and developing new guest programs - such as offering loaner laptops - to make their properties more business-user-friendly. The renovations range from wiring for high-speed Internet access to providing full computer, Internet and LAN facilities.

It's Qualitative, Not Quantitative

BuyerTouch Inc. CEO Mike Bezona emphasizes his company's qualitative research and focus on the user experience. This secret-shopper methodology is one type of market research; others include quantitative measurements of popularity such as customer surveys asking for ratings.