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IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced new services to help companies around the world improve global communications, reduce their carbon footprint and save costs on travel expenses. Video communications delivers a new dimension to collaboration by bridging the barriers of geography, culture and location. For the first time, IBM is delivering a managed service to make it easy to implement and operate a video communications solution enabling smarter collaboration between employees, customer and partners around the world. The new IBM Converged Communications Services - Managed Telepresence service includes design, implementation, concierge and help desk, integration with client calendaring application, remote operations, and maintenance and support. IBM Global Financing will also offer flexible billing and payment options for this solution. Telepresence centers feature high-defini... (more)

Red Hat-Oracle Rumors Move Stock

There was a flurry of activity in Red Hat stock Monday - up 17% at one point - on what were called "widely published" rumors Oracle might buy it. Remember how Oracle copped Red Hat's Linux for its own six years ago and how it was going to eat Red's lunch? There's been Oracle-Red Hat speculation off and on ever since. Anyway, Jefferies analyst Katherine Egbert waded in and said it made sense - and was even "eventually highly likely" - but the timing is all wrong in part because of the potential Sun-IBM deal and the "pursuant uncertainty around whether IBM would continue to be an advocate for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) once they owned both AIX and OpenSolaris development." Seems a bit farfetched but you never know. Oracle also doesn't have a history of buying companies that are still fast-growing, she said. What Oracle did buy Monday was Relsys, whose software is used ... (more)

Wolters Kluwer Health Appoints Mark Spiers as President & CEO of its Healthcare Analytics Business

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wolters Kluwer Health, a division of Wolters Kluwer, announced today it has appointed Mark Spiers President & CEO of its Healthcare Analytics business unit based in Phoenix, AZ and Yardley, PA. Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading provider of information for professionals and students in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, and the pharmaceutical industry. Spiers brings over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience to the Healthcare Analytics business, having established an unparalleled record in leadership at MedPointe Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacia and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS). "Mark brings tremendous experience and credibility to our organization, having established an impeccable track record of success in the pharmaceutical industry," said Jeff McCaulley, President & CEO of Wolters Kluwer Health. "A... (more)

Orchestration: The Missing Link

Tools to create Web services and to put Web services "wrappers" around existing software features are proliferating rapidly. But tools to help enterprises keep track of these new components remain relatively rare. Earlier this year Greg Clark, chief operating officer of E2open, described such tools for managing Web services as the biggest missing aspect of Web services. At the time he saw relatively few solutions. E2open, a venture capital and industry-backed collaboration network for high-tech and electronics manufacturers, is building its infrastructure on XML Web services for easier integration with the many legacy systems its owners and clients use. Since then, both startups and established software tool vendors that provide similar features for other software components are moving to offer these "orchestration" capabilities for Web services. But the tools remai... (more)

Cowabunga! - WebLogic Helps BEA and Its Partners Surf Into the 21st Century

With its annual Executive Symposium held in New York City this month, BEA Systems, Inc., has reinforced its claim to be one of the world's leading application infrastructure software companies by announcing that it has won a contract with the Discovery Information Systems division of AstraZeneca - one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. BEA WebLogic Server was selected to provide AstraZeneca with an open platform for application delivery. BEA doubtless hoped that this latest deal was in delegates' minds as they attended the Symposium, presented by BEA in cooperation with the Harvard Business Review. Its very title - "Staying Power" - seemed calculated to underline the San Jose-based company's remarkable corporate resilience. One of the speakers at the Symposium, from BEA partner Accenture, was David Hill, Global Managing Partner for Accenture. Hill's pres... (more)

Talking with Sharon Nunes

Jack Martin, editor-in-chief of WSDJ, recently spoke with Dr. Sharon Nunes, IBM's director of Life Sciences Solution development, about how pharmaceutical companies are handling the rapid growth of information in drug development. WSDJ: How did IBM get involved in the pharmaceutical industries and what type of problem were you trying to solve? Sharon Nunes: In the mid '90s, IBM Research was collaborating on a few joint projects with pharmaceutical companies in the area of drug design and in the area of creating algorithms for pattern discovery and pattern matching. These algorithms helped researchers find patterns in the gene sequences that were coming out of the Human Genome project. There wasn't a huge amount of data at that time compared to what we have today, but we realized that they were generating huge amounts of data. IBM has always been engaged with pharma... (more)

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is...

Pervasive computing. Sounds awesome, doesn't it? But, what is pervasive computing, exactly? Well, IBM defines it as the ability to manage information easily. More specifically, it will enable people to accomplish an increasing number of personal and professional transactions using a new class of intelligent and portable devices giving them convenient access to relevant information anywhere, anytime. Wow. What a mouthful! In theory, pervasive computing will simplify life by combining open standards-based applications with everyday activities. It will remove the complexity of new technologies, enabling us to be more efficient in our work and leaving us more leisure time. Again, this is a loose interpretation of IBM's definition of pervasive computing. It's truly a powerful vision for the future. Clear, crisp, and concise. More importantly, tools like WebSphere will ... (more)

IBM Life Sciences Framework

Pharmaceutical companies are facing the challenge of improving the productivity of the drug discovery and clinical trials process, creating and sharing knowledge across the silos of that process, and integrating applications and data in enterprise-wide development efforts. Biotech, research, and medical organizations face similar challenges of collaboration and sharing of applications and data. To help address these challenges, the IBM Life Sciences Framework uses industry-standard technologies (J2EE, XML, Web services, etc.) and protocols and data representations from standards efforts such as the I3C (Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium), OMG-LSR (Object Management Group-Life Sciences Research), HL7 (Health Level 7), and the Bio* projects. The framework addresses the integration of applications, data, and user interfaces. The Convergence of Life ... (more)

The Life Sciences Revolution

In the past few years we've seen a revolution taking place in the life sciences, a revolution driven by information technology, which has become the engine of experimental biology. As a result, we are seeing the convergence of information technology and the biological sciences, a convergence that will affect the way we live and that holds the potential to greatly improve the quality and effectiveness of medical care. Perhaps the term "life sciences" is new to you. The life sciences market includes the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, genomic, e-health, and agri-science industries. This market is essentially dedicated to drug discovery, to understanding genomics, proteomics, structural biology, and emerging areas associated with the study of metabolic regulation, as well as focusing on improving health care as we move toward e-health. The focus by IT vendors on the lif... (more)

IBM Life Sciences Framework, Part 2

To help address the challenges faced by pharmaceutical, biotech, research, and medical organizations, the IBM Life Sciences Framework uses industry-standard technologies (J2EE, XML, Web services, etc.) and protocols and data representations from standards efforts such as the I3C (Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium), OMG-LSR (Object Management Group-Life Sciences Research), HL7 (Health Level 7), and the Bio* projects. In my previous article (WSDJ, Vol. 1, issue 7) I showed how to invoke XEMBL, a Web service that takes an accession number as an input parameter and returns a nucleotide sequence. Web services, based on SOAP and WSDL standards, facilitates the development of loosely coupled, distributed systems. In this article we will look at developing workflows and the use of a registry to publish and discover Web services for the life sciences. XEMB... (more)

Bridging the Gap: SMP Performance at Cluster Economics

It's a familiar story. IT departments in industry, government, and academic organizations struggle to keep up with their users' insatiable demand for processing power. Every 18 months, just as Moore's law predicted, processing power doubles. IT departments buy and install new systems. Users find better and bigger applications that consume this processing power almost before it's installed. In the area of high-performance computing (HPC), users are pushing the boundaries even further. Computational analysis has become an important step in a wide range of processes. Users in product design, drug discovery, weather modeling, and scientific research want more. Manufacturing engineers want systems that run simulations significantly faster. Pharmaceutical researchers want to analyze and compare larger databases faster. Even users of commercial applications are pushing fo... (more)