Two-year wait the norm for a return on RFID -- and more news briefs

Short takes on last week's news

Firms expect a two-year wait for a return on RFID

Only one of 24 firms with active RFID implementations is expecting a return on investment within two years, according to research by supply chain analyst firm Arc Advisory Group.

Two-thirds of firms will be using VoIP by 2006

By 2006, 66% of Global 2,000 companies will be using voice over IP technology on the desktop to make cheap phone calls over the internet, according to a study by professional services firm Deloitte & Touche. The company interviewed CIOs from 131 businesses. Of those surveyed, 26% had already deployed IP to the desktop.

8 November release for Oracle e-business suite

Oracle will ship the next version of its suite of enterprise applications on 8 November. E-Business Suite 11i.10 includes at least 2,100 new capabilities, according to Oracle.

Outsourcing finance IT is not cost effective

A survey of European and US companies has found that less than 50% consider outsourcing financial systems to be cost-effective. Forty-four per cent of companies that have outsourced financial functions said they had saved a "moderate" amount, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Just 3% said they had saved a "significant" amount. Thirty-three per cent saw limited financial benefit to outsourcing.

Move to Windows could open ATMs to viruses

Cash machine networks could soon be more susceptible to computer viruses, security firm Trend Micro has warned, because many banks are starting to use the Windows operating system in the machines. For many years the IBM OS/2 operating system has been powering most cash machines around the world, but IBM will end support for OS/2 in 2006, forcing banks to look for alternatives.

Report calls for more co-operation on data

A report from the Cabinet Office has acknowledged that there is insufficient co-operation on information assurance between public and private sector organisations. David Omand, the government’s security and intelligence co-ordinator, called for more joined-up working, while avoiding "the dead hand of bureaucracy".

Dell server users will be offered Novell Linux

Dell is to offer Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 for their single- and dual-processor Poweredge servers through an arrangement between the two suppliers. The operating system will be bundled with the server at the time of purchase.

Sun to release draft Java integration spec

Sun Microsystems and other leading suppliers are to release an early draft of a specification designed to ease the integration of Java-based systems. The Java Business Integration (JBI) specification features support from JBoss, Apache Group and Iona as well as Novell, Oracle and SAP. Final adoption of the proposal is anticipated next year, Sun said.

Half of firms do not have a supply chain strategy

More than 50% of firms do not have a supply chain strategy, according to a survey of 236 companies by IT services firm Computer Sciences Corporation. The annual survey also found that more than 40% of businesses have implemented or are planning RFID projects within the next five years. Retail and high-tech firms rated themselves as more advanced in supply chain capabilities than other industries. Only 38% of companies said they had a documented plan to cope with a disruption to their supply chain.

Twelve London stations get free Wi-Fi points

Free Wi-Fi wireless access points were made available at 12 London train stations last week, but users should be aware of the need for good mobile security, according to wireless equipment supplier Aruba Wireless Networks. The company said the hotspots will access the UK only and offer a simple service that does not provide protection against hacking and virus infections.

Worm targets prime minister of Hungary

Anti-virus supplier Sophos has reported a new e-mail worm which attempts to knock the website of the Hungarian prime minister off the internet. The worm also targets the Google and Microsoft websites. The Zafi-C worm (W32/Zafi-C) spreads by e-mail using subjects lines such as "Re: Hey buddy!" and "Re: Very sick little girl!". A new variant of the Bagle worm is also in the wild, anti-virus companies have warned.

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