Wires: News and Technology for September 10, 2004

In the news... Microsoft announced that it is doubling the number of months that corporate customers can block automatic download of Windows XP Service Pack 2 through Automatic Update or Windows Update. Corporate customers now have about eight months, or until the middle of April 2005, to prepare for the security-related update, which may require testing for compatibility with other business applications prior to installation.
Convergys announced that it has formed IMG Professional Services Group to address and support the demand for business support systems (BSS) and CRM services across wireless, wireline, and cable operators. The initiative will allow Convergys to better address the 60 percent of the BSS market focused on professional and consulting services. The company is now positioned to offer BSS and CRM business and technical consulting; repeatable service offerings like convergent BSS architecture consulting and revenue assurance assessments; and technical support services, including custom development, integration planning, and implementation. Verint Systems reported record sales of $60.2 million for its second fiscal quarter of this year, ended July 31, 2004. This figure represents a 28 percent increase compared to the year-ago quarter. Verint's sales increased approximately 6 percent sequentially, compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2004. Using GAAP, net income for the second quarter was $5.7 million, compared to $1.5 million for the previous quarter. Net income for the second quarter, on a pro forma basis, rose to $6.4 million from $5.9 million in the previous quarter. Inovis International is buying collaborative-commerce solution provider QRS for approximately $116 million, outbidding JDA Software Group. JDA and QRS had announced a merger earlier this summer as part of a stock swap then valued at $100 million. That deal now requires QRS to pay JDA a $3.75 million termination fee. After JDA's stock price dropped, five potential suitors lined up with offers for QRS, with Inovis's $7-per-share offer winning the bid. Under the agreement a wholly owned subsidiary of Inovis will merge with and into QRS. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2004. Citigate Hudson, a provider of business intelligence and custom database systems, announced that it has acquired Progressive Systems Consulting, a firm specializing in custom software solutions. Under the acquisition, Andrew Brust, Progressive's founder and CEO, will take the position of chief of new technology for Citigate Hudson. This acquisition builds on Citigate Hudson's foundation in Microsoft technologies, particularly .NET and SQL Server, including Analysis Services. New products... Enpocket has released the Enpocket Engine 4.0, a mobile marketing solution that delivers targeted SMS, MMS, Java, Brew, and WAP communications. New features and capabilities of the software include MMS capabilities; an enhanced wizards system for rapid campaign creation; customizable views for creating, delivering, and reporting on mobile CRM and marketing campaigns through a single user interface; and open architecture and advanced application program interfaces. Enhanced scalability also enables the throughput of thousands of messages per second. Socket Communications announced that its In-Hand Scan Card (ISC) bar code scanners are supported in Siebel's new handheld software applications. This enables the use of Socket's CompactFlash (CF) or Secure Digital Input/Output (SDIO) ISC scanner cards with standard off-the-shelf Pocket PCs to enter data into Siebel's new handheld applications more rapidly than doing it by hand. Siebel's mobile software includes applications for the medical, pharmaceutical, consumer goods, and field sales and services industries.
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