Technology briefs

Users face steep Vista upgrade

Many state and local government agencies could be facing a major hardware upgrade when they migrate to Microsoft’s upcoming Vista operating system.

The results of CDW’s Vista tracking poll show that 35 percent of those state and local agencies surveyed would need to upgrade or replace 81 percent or more of their hardware to run Vista.

Microsoft said a Vista-capable PC should have a modern processor of at least 800 MHz, 512M of memory and a Direct9x-capable graphic processor.

A Vista premium-ready PC would have a 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 1G of memory, 128M of graphics memory and a 40G hard drive, according to Microsoft.

State and local respondents reported greater upgrade needs than survey participants overall did, said Terry Fink, a CDW manager who leads a cross-company task force on Vista.

Twenty-three percent of the survey respondents, which included business and education managers, said Vista would require changes to at least 80 percent of their PCs.

State and local government respondents also value Vista’s Windows Update and patch management features more than other survey participants do. The state and local government users ranked Windows Update and patch management third and fourth on their list of most attractive Vista features, after improved security and performance. Windows Update and patch management ranked fifth and seventh for all survey participants.

The state and local sector might have given Windows Update and patch management a higher ranking because of resource constraints, Fink said. Those features automatically install software upgrades and patches.

Overall, 86 percent of survey respondents said they intend to move to Vista. Another 20 percent said they planned to deploy it in the next year. Microsoft released Vista to manufacturers Nov. 8, a move that signaled the end of development. The product is slated for commercial availability Jan. 30, 2007.

Walker Information, which conducted the Vista survey research, polled 761 information technology decision-makers. CDW released the survey in November. Fink said CDW will sponsor two additional Vista tracking polls.

L.A. social services selects Lagan software to handle calls

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services has tapped Lagan to provide the company’s Frontlink software to track calls and route them to case workers.

In Los Angeles, the Frontlink deployment uses Oracle Application Server Version 10.1.3 on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, an Oracle 10g database and Dell servers. A subsequent phase of the project will involve Frontlink Version 7, which is platform neutral, a Lagan spokeswoman said.

In addition to Windows Server 2003, Frontlink runs on IBM’s AIX, Hewlett-Packard’s UX and Linux. The product supports Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle 10g.

The Lagan system will integrate with the department’s Los Angeles Eligibility, Automated Determination, Evaluation and Reporting case management system. A custom adapter will send participant details from LEADER to Frontlink via TCP/IP.

A Lagan spokeswoman said the software will use FTP to send case comments from Frontlink to LEADER.

The next phase will use Cisco Systems’ Unified Contact Center Enterprise telephony environment with Frontlink’s adapter for that technology, the spokeswoman said.

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