Sainsbury's makes improvements to supply chain system -- and more news briefs

Short takes from this week's news

Short takes from this week's news


Sainsbury's overcomes supply chain problems

Retailer Sainsbury's has reported an increase in sales after improvements were made to its supply chain system. Like for like, sales increased 3.7% during the 12 weeks to 26 March compared with the previous year, the supermarket announced last week. Sainsbury's had experienced problems with its supply chain system which led to poor availability of stock.

Centrica to employ 300 IT staff for upgrades

Centrica, which owns British Gas, One.Tel and Dyno Group in the UK, is recruiting 300 IT staff to support a major upgrade to its IT systems. The group is rolling out projects worth more than £500m, including one of the world's largest SAP systems and an installation of Siebel's CRM software. The projects are part of a three-year plan to upgrade Centrica's IT infrastructure, which has about 1,100 employees.

Cumbria Council signs £60m IT services deal

Cumbria County Council has signed a £60m, seven-year contract with Agilisys to provide a range of IT and business consultancy services. Under the agreement, about 85 council IT staff will transfer to Agilisys. The contract includes helpdesk services, field engineering, infrastructure development and support, applications development and business process re-engineering.

Passport Service to tighten ID card security

The UK Passport Service is to tighten up its procedures for issuing passports as it gears up for the introduction of biometric ID cards. Biometric e-passports, which will be issued by the end of the year, will contain a chip with a scanned image of the passport holders' facial features. From late 2006, all passport applicants will be required to attend face-to-face interviews.

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Spam and hackers can take up 70% of e-mail

Up to 70% of e-mail traffic coming into firms is made up of invalid messages and traffic from hackers, research by Tumbleweed has revealed. Directory harvest attacks, denial of service attacks, malformed SMTP packets and e-mails to invalid recipients are using up bandwidth. Just over 50% of IT and e-mail administrators have suffered network-level attacks which caused shutdowns or failures, Tumbleweed said.

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