Friday, February 25, 2005

Intuit Help Desk & Network Management Software

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Winn-Dixie Stores filed for bankruptcy protection

The filings were made in the evening of February 21 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Peter Lynch, President and CEO of Winn-Dixie, said, "We intend to use this reorganization process to take the actions necessary to position Winn-Dixie for future success. This includes achieving significant cost reductions, improving the merchandising and customer service in all locations and generating a sense of excitement in the stores. We deeply regret any adverse impact the Chapter 11 filing may have on our associates, vendors, shareholders and business partners. However, having spent the last two months taking an in-depth look at the Company and visiting over 50 stores across our chain, I am convinced that the Chapter 11 process will give us the opportunity we need to restructure our finances, strengthen our business performance and achieve a sustained turnaround at Winn-Dixie."

All 920 Winn-Dixie stores in eight states and the Bahamas are open and serving customers. Winn-Dixie intends to use the reorganization process to take additional action to improve its operations and financial performance and strengthen its business.

To fund its continuing operations during the restructuring, Winn-Dixie has secured an $800 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility from Wachovia Bank, N.A. Subject to court approval, the DIP credit facility, which replaces the Company's previous $600 million credit line, will be used to supplement the Company's cash flow during the reorganization process.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Oil rise drops yen

Every 10 percent rise in the price of oil leads to a 6.1 percent fall in the yen against the dollar, based on a study using 30 years of data by currency strategists at Standard Chartered Plc in London.

The Japanese currency weakened to 105.41 per dollar at 1:10 p.m. in New York from 104.83 late yesterday, according to electronic currency-trading system EBS. It also declined to 139.31 per euro from 138.54. The dollar traded at $1.3216 per euro from $1.3216.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Anti spyware at no charge

Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates said last week that the new anti-spyware tool will be available at no charge to all Windows users. Gates was the keynote speaker at the RSA Security Conference. Gates also announced a new version of Internet Explorer with other security upgrades. In December 2004 Microsoft acquired Giant Company Software and the anti-spyware add-on came from that shop. Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Sybari Software which makes Antigen. Microsoft will eventually roll out its own antivirus software.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

dollar down

The dollar had a tough day. It went down againt the yen and especially against the euro. This might be the sign of more to come. The Central Banks of South Korea and Russia are just now starting to rev up their U.S. Dollar selling. They both are converting those once dollar assets into euros. Read more on this.

I'm not sure what Japan is thinking of doing. They really don't want their currency to appreciate too much because that will hurt their export driven economy. I think however that the dollar will lose value against the yen and Japan probably will sell dollars to keep the floodgates from opening too wide.



Friday, February 18, 2005

Three Principles of Superior Project Management

The mandate is clear: organizations must do more with less. Clients demand better and faster service. Leaders urge agencies to deliver responsive solutions. Funding for resources is tighter than ever. Neither waste nor project failure is tolerated. Every initiative must deliver results–on time and within budget. To succeed in this climate, leaders need to change the way they manage projects. Three guiding principles can help achieve the goals desired:
1. Project management skills
2. Collaboration
3. Solving real problems
Successful projects always combine these three.
Principle 1: Project management skills
According to a recent study conducted by Software Productivity Research LLC, only 10 percent of the 250 large-scale software projects in their analysis were successful. The others either exceed their budgets, miss critical deadlines or fall short of achieving intended objectives.
To achieve success, forward-thinking agencies appoint strong leaders to manage change initiatives and these leaders share several important characteristics:
· Skilled in managing complex environments and promoting collaboration
· Innovative thinkers, and
· Adept in applying practices to control project scope, time, and cost
Experience shows that applying practices that best increase total operating efficiencies and workforce productivity, the particular project will meet quality objectives and manage the risk of failure.
Principle 2: Collaboration
Needs have grown more complex. Leaders need to draw upon multiple resources with different types of expertise. The resources may exist within a single agency or across several agencies. To maximize the potential for collaboration across their organizations, leading personnel develop networked solutions that deliver optimal results by:
· Involving key people in all aspects of an important initiative;
· Integrating processes;
· Sharing information; and
· Working together to achieve higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and performance.
Recent IT advances make collaboration easier than ever. The Internet, which can act as a communications backbone for any type of project, plays a particularly important role. Hundreds of Internet-based collaboration tolls revolutionize networking, including online whiteboards, bulletin boards, instant messaging, knowledge management tools, distance learning programs, and document-sharing tools. By using systems that offer advanced functionality, agencies can increase effectiveness and organize and track tasks and resources.
Principle 3: Solving real problems
Agencies cannot lose sight of the goals for their projects. IT projects should always focus on delivering solutions for real problems. Once problems are identified, agencies must determine whether they have the people, processes, and tools to solve them.
· People. Emotion, uncertainty, and excitement are displayed in moving toward a new solution or approach.
· Processes. The need for change must clearly be articulated and project leaders must take logical and actionable steps to help team members achieve results. Process expertise can ensure future projects run smoothly.
· Tools. Projects that leverage technologies stand a better chance of success. Know and use the keys that increase process efficiencies and workforce productivity.
Once an agency identifies the right people, processes, and tools, it can develop the correct configuration to achieve the desired results.
Follow the Three Principles for Success.
Agencies will continue to face mounting demands for better and more efficient services. Those that embrace project management and collaboration practices, and maintain a steady focus on solving real problems, will achieve the desired results for success.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

why we need personal social security accounts

Why impede the choice of younger citizens who want a chance to retire well? Why not allow investment in a new framework? Why is it in a country that spends so much in public education, we can't expect people to have the basic skills in handling their own financial affairs? Those who are against personal accounts argue against the stock market. The downturns in the market will wipe out the savings. The stock market however has not been down in any 20 year period. Dollar cost averaging will squelch the downturn problem. Investors would also have options such as bonds and government security accounts, that could be switched in and out to mitigate risk, especially just prior to retirement. Critics have pointed out that the start-up costs will reach $2 trillion. But if the current unfunded liabilities of the current system go forward, that price tag is $10 trillion. Either way it will cost money, but if personal accounts are used, we can get out of the cycle where one generation fiscally burdens the next at an ever increasing rate.