BP Exploration is about to complete the migration of more than 1,500 users to a new #1 million LAN in its Aberdeen office.
The new network has been installed to support a Common Operating Environment (COE) project at the company in an attempt to standardise on software and hardware worldwide. Old 3Com and Chipcom kit has been thrown out in favour of a Cisco hardware infrastructure.
"It was part of an initiative to upgrade the whole IT environment to support COE. BP decided across the globe to have common desktop servers and desktop applications," said Dave McLauchlin, network services manager for SAIC UK, the outsourcing organisation responsible for the support and maintenance of BP's IT service in Aberdeen for the past four years.
"In moving to COE we were extending to every desktop tools and capabilities which would create extra demand on the user base and on the network and so had to upgrade," said Trevor Harvey, consultant with BP Exploration in Aberdeen. "The new network gives us the springboard to other things such as video conferencing over the LAN."
The network is based on 47 Cisco Catalyst 5000 switches and two 7505 routers and replaces 3Com and Chipcom equipment.
The new solution is an upgrade from an FDDI backbone with Ethernet segments to a switched Fast Ethernet backbone with 10Mbps to the desktop. The company settled on IBM desktops, Microsoft NT servers and the Microsoft Office suite.
Granada Media Group, which is responsible for TV programmes like Coronation Street, has purchased Informix's Online Dynamic Sever and Universal Server databases for a new centralised financial system. The Siemens Pyramid Unix platform is being used to run the Informix databases which bring together financial data held on the group's PCs, Unix and mainframe systems.
The contract is worth #400,000.
ICL has announced what it claims is the market's most powerful Intel-based UnixWare and NT server, with up to 10 Pentium Pro processors, with the launch of the XtraServer range. The range is part of the Trimetra family of servers, the latest development in ICL's Millennium strategy.
The family features systems management applications including the new ICL Policy Scheduling technology. The Policy Scheduler uses scheduling techniques developed within ICL's OpenVME operating system. The first product in the range is the XtraServer P1000i. It is also scheduled to be one of the first to offer the new SCO UnixWare SVR5 and will be available from January. The company claims that the cost of enterprise computing will tumble as a result of the launch.
QMS has launched magicolor 2, a family of laser printers which it claims significantly reduces the running costs of colour laser printing.
The company claims it has slashed the price of colour printouts on a laser printer from 13 pence per page to as little as three pence per page when printing pages with small amounts of colour, such as company logos. The company said it had managed to lower the cost of owning a colour laser printer by reducing the number of consumables from 14 down to seven which can be installed by users rather than by a technician. The entry-level model is the 600dpi QMS magicolor 2 CX with 24Mb RAM which costs #2,795.
Olivetti is set to complete the sale of its Olsy information technology systems and services subsidiary to Wang Laboratories in the US. The deal, which would lead to the merger of Wang and Olsy, could be worth as much as $1 billion, according to reports. With annual sales of $2.6 billion the acquisition of Olsy would be through a cash and share transaction.
Olivetti would move further to becoming a holding company and would become the largest shareholder in Wang with a 19% stake. Olivetti shed its loss making PC business in January, shortly after Roberto Colaninno took over as chief executive.
The Cyber Street trial, the Islington based cyber community set up by Microsoft for a six month market research project, is to be extended for a further six months. The project was established to see how people use the tools to play with the information superhighway and to see whether electronic communities would form as a result.
Viglen has blamed competitive conditions in the personal computer market for unchanged pre-tax profits of #11 million in the year to 30 June. The company's financial results were the first since the company was spun off from Amstrad this summer. (It was also announced last week that the Amstrad name is to return to the stock market as Betacom assumes the name). Viglen reported turnover down 5% to #100.9 million. The company claimed a slowing in sales by first-time computer buyers was largely to blame, coupled with unstable prices. The company recently became the first PC product company to which Microsoft has put its name as the two began selling joint-branded PCs to Dixons.
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