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United They Stand: Airline IT, Business Units Ally

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: United They Stand: Airline IT, Business Units Ally
2. Today's Top Story
    - Leaked Microsoft Memos Highlight Perceived Threat From Google
    Related Stories
    - Google Offers Free Search Appliance To Woo Competitor's Customers
    - Microsoft Squashes Three New Windows Bugs
    - Phishers Tempt Users With Bogus Google Prize
3. Breaking News
    - Sony's Smaller Patch Brings Up 'Blue Screen Of Death'
    - Computer Associates Joins Battle Against Sony Copy-Protection Software
    - SuSE Founder Exits Novell
    - New Borland CEO Nielsen Says 'Clear Direction' Needed
    - Spyware Has Become A 'Global Pandemic' For Companies: Survey
    - Verizon Wireless Again Sues Alleged Information Thieves
    - Microcontroller Upsizing Toward 32 Bits
    - EDS Inks $108 Million Outsourcing Deal
    - Study: More Adults Warming Up To High-Tech Gadgets
    - Banks And Businesses Getting Tools To Beef Up Online Authentication
    - AMD Beats Intel For Retail PCs
    - IT Project Planning Can Be Improved With The Right Tools
4. In Depth: Power Up!
    - Motorola Invests In Fuel-Cell Startup
    - Startup Unveils Nanoscale Batteries
    - Sanyo To Unveil Eco-Friendly Battery
    - Solar Power Charges iPod
    - Flexible Solar Cells Make Advances
    - Startup Claims Breakthrough In Fuel Cells
5. Voice Of Authority: What Ails SOA?
6. White Papers: Enterprise Anti-Spam Software
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day: Truth

"The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear." -- Herbert Agar

"There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth." -- Agnes Repplier (1855-1950)


1. Editor's Note: United They Stand: Airline IT, Business Units Ally

Like many of the nation's airlines, United Airlines has been hit hard by rising fuel costs, increasing competition, lower fares, and declining travel. The endless cycle of cost-cutting that the airlines have found themselves locked into didn't save the company from heading into bankruptcy almost three years ago.

The carrier is still operating under Chapter 11, but one of the interesting things about United today is where the cash-strapped enterprise is spending money. Yup, on IT. Interesting, because the business side, after cutting the IT department to the bone, came to the realization on its own that IT was actually the answer to a lot of its problems and at the heart of many proposed solutions.

At about the same time, United's CIO, Nirup Krishnamurthy, began to see an uptick in requests for help from the different business units, each acting as independent silos. It was hardly a cost-effective way for an already budget-constrained service department to operate.

A defeated IT department might have decided its resources were few, and being as it was in a bankruptcy situation, it wasn't likely to get more dollars. It could have adopted the strategy of picking a couple of projects and turning down the other requests. Make do. Scrape along. Don't make waves, and keep your head above water.

And yet, the demoralizing atmosphere of bankruptcy didn't depress United IT's spirit, willingness to be a team player, or creativity. Krishnamurthy not only saw a descending need, but he also figured out how to meet it, and how to address it, in a cost-effective way. The result is a true working partnership between business and IT at United that rides on mutual respect and a teamwork approach to working toward pulling the company out of the red. Check out the rest of my blog entry to see how he pulled it off.

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Leaked Microsoft Memos Highlight Perceived Threat From Google
The Microsoft-Google rivalry certainly isn't news, but technology guru Ray Ozzie's comments were the most specific to date on the threat Microsoft sees in the search leader. Bill Gates also had much to say about competitive threats in another memo.

Related Stories:
Google Offers Free Search Appliance To Woo Competitor's Customers

Google hopes to use the $2,995 giveaway to capitalize on uncertainly in the enterprise search market created by Autonomy's recent acquisition of Verity.

Microsoft Squashes Three New Windows Bugs
Microsoft's latest security bulletin, rated critical, patches security flaws in Windows 2000, XP, and Windows Server 2003 that could allow an attacker to take control of a target system.

Phishers Tempt Users With Bogus Google Prize
According to Websense, the phish starts with a spammed E-mail that directs recipients to a spoofed Google front page that tells them they won $400 and provides instructions on how to collect the winnings via credit card.


3. Breaking News

Sony's Smaller Patch Brings Up 'Blue Screen Of Death'
The revised patch, which Sony labeled "Service Pack 2a," differs from the original released last week only in size; it's a third as large, weighing in at 1.5 MB, compared with the first version's 3.6 MB.

Computer Associates Joins Battle Against Sony Copy-Protection Software
It's spyware, the security vendor says. And, while Sony has sent out patches and uninstallers that it claims fix the problems, that software is spyware, too.

SuSE Founder Exits Novell
In a E-mail announcing his resignation, SuSE Linux founder Hubert Mantel wrote: "This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago."

New Borland CEO Nielsen Says 'Clear Direction' Needed
He recommits company to focus on software-delivery optimization and application-life-cycle management.

Spyware Has Become A 'Global Pandemic' For Companies: Survey
Some 48% of enterprise PCs are infected with adware, one researcher says.

Verizon Wireless Again Sues Alleged Information Thieves
It has filed a civil suit and obtained an injunction to stop a Florida company from fraudulently obtaining information about Verizon customers.

Microcontroller Upsizing Toward 32 Bits
A market research firm said the shift is being driven mostly by newer products, including smart cards, PC peripherals, and hard-disk drives.

EDS Inks $108 Million Outsourcing Deal
First International Bank of Israel and EDS called the agreement the largest outsourcing contact in Israel and the first in that nation's banking industry.

Study: More Adults Warming Up To High-Tech Gadgets
More early adopters could eventually lead to vendors having to compete through lower prices, the study suggests.

Banks And Businesses Getting Tools To Beef Up Online Authentication
The Liberty Alliance is developing standards for online authentication, vendor Entrust upgraded its software, and industry associations downplay the risks while saying they must be taken seriously.

AMD Beats Intel For Retail PCs
AMD is more popular in retail PCs and notebooks, but Intel continues to lead the market in revenue, analysts say.

IT Project Planning Can Be Improved With The Right Tools
Vegas.com cuts the time involved in planning IT projects and produces more accurate estimates of the resources needed with tools from Scope iT.

All our latest news

Watch More News

In Wednesday's episode:

John Soat With 'That's News To Me'
Google offers a deal for its enterprise search tools, AMD beats out Intel again, and Micro Center embraces Linux.

Lori MacVittie With 'Sony Root Problem'
Sony's anti-copying technology could be a threat to user security. The tool, installed without user consent or authorization, has led to an uproar online.

Elena Malykhina With 'Wireless Maps'
Lost? Google has found a way to make its mapping and digital-imagery services available on the go. Yahoo and SBC are teaming up to provide similar services.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Consultant Conundrum
Use of IT and business consultants is up compared with a year ago, but corporate satisfaction is still a work in progress. Optimize Research's Executive Report: Boom Time For Consultants evaluates the sourcing practices of more than 300 companies and outlines the challenges they face.

Benchmark Your Consulting Strategy
This free online tool allows you to benchmark your organization's consulting strategies against your peers across a number of factors, including usage, mix of consultants, spending on consultants, and overall satisfaction. This data is based on Optimize Research's recent Executive Report: Boom Time For Consultants, in which the sourcing practices of more than 300 companies are examined.

Last Chance: Nominations For Blog-X Awards!
You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog now, and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner!

A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.

-----------------------------------------


4. In Depth: Power Up!

Motorola Invests In Fuel-Cell Startup
The chip vendor is investing in Canada's Tekion Inc., which makes hybrid fuel-cell and battery technology for mobile products.

Startup Unveils Nanoscale Batteries
Startup A123Systems unveiled a line of nanoscale, lithium-based batteries said to deliver up to 10 times longer battery life and five times the power gains.

Sanyo To Unveil Eco-Friendly Battery
The battery can be used repeatedly and, once used completely, can be recycled, according to Sanyo.

Solar Power Charges iPod
Holland-based Soldius b.v. plans to sell its solar-powered charger for iPods, PDAs, and cellular phones to the U.S. market.

Flexible Solar Cells Make Advances
Strides are being made in the cells' efficiency; still, they have a way to go before they're considered commercially viable.

Startup Claims Breakthrough In Fuel Cells
PolyFuel claims its fuel-cell membrane, based on hydrocarbon direct methanol, has passed the 5,000-hour mark in durability testing.


5. Voice Of Authority

What Ails SOA?
Everyone seems to be asking why SOA is taking so long. "Pitfalls On The Path To SOA" and "Hidden Hazards In Getting To SOA" are headlines that seem to be appearing in different places at the same time. InformationWeek on Oct. 31 offered its assessment in "SOA, Work In Progress," which cited the increased complexity imposed by SOA and the slow progress toward completed projects. Charles Babcock gives his 2 cents on whether SOA is an architecture that's going to be achieved.


6. White Papers

You've Got Too Much Mail!--Comparison Of Enterprise Anti-Spam Software:
In lost productivity alone, spam reportedly costs companies $874 per employee, and, adding in IT costs, it will drain a total of more than $10 billion. This paper analyzes architectural and technology alternatives that businesses should take to fight spam and recommends the most effective approaches.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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