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
- 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
- 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
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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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 -----
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.
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.
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.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.