News in brief

Short takes from this week's news

Southern Water to update mobile systems

Southern Water is to upgrade the mobile devices and applications used by its 800 field engineers. The project, which will be run by managed service provider Telepartner, will involve porting existing field applications to the latest Vodafone V1605 Windows Mobile 5 devices.

Bank signs £1.6m Lan deal with Orange

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe has awarded a £1.6m contract to Orange Business Services to design and implement a local area network. The deal follows the bank's move to its new London headquarters in the City and will provide services for 700 employees.

United Biscuits outsources IT to India

United Biscuits has outsourced its IT to Indian firm Tata Consultancy Services under a five-year offshore support contract. The end-to-end IT support contract covers application support, projects, business analysis services and strategic IT programmes.

Second time around for Morrisons database

Supermarket group Morrisons has bought a database to store product information on its own-brand food range for a second time. Morrisons first acquired the Creations product development system when it bought rival supermarket Safeway in March 2004. However, after completing the merger, Morrisons consolidated Safeway's IT onto its own systems, scrapping the original Creations database.

Estate agent to use next-generation network

Residential sales and lettings firm Hamptons International has signed a three-year, £1.6m contract to use Easynet's next-generation communications network in a bid to cut costs. Hamptons will use Easynet's MPLS network to connect 72 sites in the UK and share property and applicant details between offices. Using the network, customers will be able to walk into any branch and receive details on properties anywhere in the country.

Defra to trial customer data storage portal

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be the first UK user to trial Iron Mountain's Connect customer data storage portal. The portal, which supports regulatory compliance, is designed to give users a more flexible approach to records management by providing a single point of entry for all stored files and total visibility of all transactions.

Southern Co-operatives signs virtual network deal

Retailer Southern Co-operatives has signed a three-year deal with virtual network operator Sirocom for its Retail Application Network. The service is designed to centralise and prioritise applications, including e-mail, stock management, price control, IP CCTV, and chip and Pin authorisations, using a single broadband IP network.

More than half of firms use ITIL, study reveals

Fifty six per cent of European firms have implemented some element of the ITIL approach to IT service management, research by Market Clarity for BMC Software has revealed. The key benefits of implementing ITIL were cited as improving IT/business alignment (54%), greater productivity (51%), and ensuring best practice (53%).

DSM cleans up SAP data to save time and money

DSM Nutritional Products has implemented the Dataflux tool to verify and validate data in its SAP R/3 systems. The global manufacturer of nutritional goods expects to save time and money by using Dataflux to classify spend and materials data on its ERP systems.


Read more on Business applications