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Monthly Archives: June 2008

PLDT-Smart Foundation launches official website

PLDT-Smart Foundation, Inc. (PSF), the social outreach arm of the country’s largest telecommunications conglomerate, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is now online.

“Through the PSF website, we aim to inform the public on our activities, raise awareness and generate support for projects.” said Butch Meily, PSF President.
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The website, located at http://www.pldtsmartfoundation.org, was set up in line with efforts to scale up the foundation’s various corporate social responsibility programs.

The website contains news and information on the PSF programs and activities, leadership and partners as well as information for donors and grant seekers. In the future, the website will also contain a philanthropy map with a listing of donations by area.

Headed by PLDT and Smart Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, the PSF is now mainly focused on seven areas – microfinance, sports, education, juvenile rehabilitation, community building and poverty alleviation, disaster risk management, and support for the arts.

For its various projects, its partners include the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP), Artists in Development, ASA Philippines Foundation, Inc., Ateneo de Manila University, Caritas, Cinemabuhay, Center for National Policy and Strategy Foundation, Inc. (CNaPS), De La Salle University – Manila, De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, First Pacific Company Ltd., Operation Compassion (OC), Philippine National Police, Piney, PLDT Managers Club, Inc., Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), San Beda College and the University of the Philippines.

Since its inception, the PSF has given more that PHp200-million in cash donations for various endeavors.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2008 in Smart Communications

 

HP Offers Solutions Contributing to 1-Billion Tons of CO2 Emission Reductions

HP published a guide that identifies the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by using existing HP solutions.

HP’s white paper, titled “Low Carbon IT Solutions,” further supports the company-wide HP Eco Solutions program.
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Beyond documenting the efficiency of information technology (IT) solutions, the white paper helps customers identify those products and services that can help them transition to operate with a lower carbon footprint.

“HP is committed to developing products and services that provide our customers with the opportunity for smarter growth,” said Pierre Delforge, manager, Energy and Climate Strategy, HP. “HP has identified eco solutions that provide countries, businesses and individuals with the tools to significantly reduce their climate impact.”

HP’s white paper builds upon the report developed by Dennis Pamlin, global policy advisor, WWF-Sweden, called “The potential global CO2 reductions from ICT use: Identifying and assessing the opportunities to reduce the first billion tonnes of CO2.” The report identifies 10 existing IT solutions that reduce CO2 emissions in areas including buildings, transportation networks and industrial production. With additional data and further analysis, particularly in the emerging economies, the ultimate potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) for curbing emissions can be further quantified.

Solutions described in HP’s white paper include:
HP research into smart cooling and its use in the design of data center facilities that reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions from commercial premises.
HP innovation in telepresence and videoconferencing that enable improved virtual collaboration to reduce the environmental impacts of international travel. HP’s use of this technology is expected to save approximately 20,000 international trips and at least 32,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), an internationally recognized measure of greenhouse emissions.
HP mobile computing technology, including flat panel displays and notebook PCs, which increases workplace flexibility to reduce energy consumption from non-critical travel.
HP office and digital print solutions that help customers establish on-demand print and workflow processes that help avoid unnecessary printing and transportation of physical materials.

The “Low Carbon IT Solutions” white paper from HP is available at http://h41111.www4.hp.com/globalcitizenship/uk/en/pdf/1billiontonnessolutionsfinal.pdf.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2008 in HP

 

APC supports De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in educating next-gen leaders

APC recently implemented an energy-efficient UPS system solution for the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in support of the college’s bid to provide continuous excellent service to its faculties and students. The UPS system solution also aims to protect data in case of any power interruptions.
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De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) is one of the top educational institutions in the Philippines offering a range of degree programs in deaf education and applied studies; design and arts; hotel, restaurant and institution management; management and information technology; and professional and continuing education.

“It’s great a privilege and an honor for APC to have a prestigious partner in the education industry such as De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde,” said Didier Chalumeau, APC Country Manager. “Many of the country’s successful leaders and businessmen graduated from this college and we support this pursuit by providing the best solution to continue to educate the next generation and the new breed of leaders.”

Efficient Technology = Effective School Systems
Many of the school’s learning resources and student support systems and services are largely dependent on technology for ease and speed of use.

For instance, the Br. Fidelis Leddy Learning Resource Center (LRC) is a repository of multimedia resources—from conventional printed materials, to other forms of storage media, such as audio/video tapes, transparencies, compact discs, and electronic/online databases. This resource provides students as well as other members Benildean community the informational, instructional, and recreational resources.

The DLS-CSB also subscribes to an online electronic journal called ProQuest 5000 International. This e-journal has more than 29 databases containing almost 16,000 journals, and is accessed through computers in the LRC offices inside the College and in student’s homes. Other school databases are also accessed by current students and employees through the College Intranet.

Because of this dependence on technology, the school cannot afford to suffer any downtime.

“Downtime in any business component, especially in IT infrastructure and applications can be devastating to a company’s bottom line,” said Emerson E. Siscar, head of External Operations Group at the DLS-CSB. “In the school, the opportunity for learning is as valuable as revenue. Learning operations should be available when needed.

Siscar added that “aside from learning operations, our administrative systems, like the online enrollment system, is also technology dependent. We cannot function efficiently without an efficient data center services.”

The school also operates an IT center which offers various technology services such as wired and wireless internet access at home and in school. Under this service, students, faculty and other employees are given their own domain and email account, and enjoy miscellaneous services such as laptop lending, printing, scanning, CD-writing and many other IT services.
“Our data center is an integral part of the college and plays a vital role in the business strategy,” said Siscar. “We capitalize on technology to provide the school with a competitive edge over other tertiary education providers. The data center’s availability and technology sets allow the college to support various learning methodologies and research capabilities to keep the college on top.”

Eliminating DC Downtime
Because of this enormous challenge and in the bid to maintain its services among the best, DLS-CSB was faced with the challenge of providing continuous power supply, cooling and data security to the technology users.

In the past, these key technology concerns were not properly addressed. Siscar reports that the data center relied on individual online UPS units for each machine, resulting in high component failure. Cooling and physical were concerns as well.

The network administration team was well aware that if their system fails, business will definitely come to a halt, most specially at critical times such as enrollment, paper-submission deadlines, or during examinations. “The loss may not just be in the monetary aspect but will also hurt the prestige of the school. We are known for our quality and advanced facilities so certainly we cannot afford to have system downtime.”

The school needed to choose the best technology provider to stay competitive and maintain its stature. This critical need pushed DLS-CSB to look into American Power Conversion’s (APC) power, cooling and security solutions. DLS-CSB requested APC to assess the school’s requirements. Key concerns identified were more on business continuity, a solution that required reliable and consistent-back-up power and a consolidation UPS solution.

DLS-CSB believes that APC helped the school save time and resources by eliminating data center (DC) downtime and eliminating component failure due to power concerns.

For this, APC offered the InfrastruXure (ISX) system, designed specifically for high-density applications. This system, which integrates power, cooling, management and services in a rack-optimized architecture, addresses NCPI challenges such as hot spots, cooling problems, unknown data center capabilities, requirements for oversized NCPI or special environments, and the need to slow technology adoption because of deployment challenges.

“ISX provided the school with intelligent software that commands our machines to automatically shutdown when necessary. It also resolved our immediate issue of consolidating and stabilizing the power requirement. Now, we simply plug our machines into the DC.

Ensure Peace of Mind
This is not the first time that DLS-CSB has deployed APC’s solutions. In the past, the school had already implemented the Symmetra solution. However, its speedy growth from a community school to a full-pledged college, as well as the rapidly changing technology needs, called for more drastic changes.

“We definitely needed the Symmetra then. But now, we find that the ISX solution addresses our consolidation needs and provides reliable power. The ISX is so scalable that it allows us to maximize our investments because we can still rely on it while our needs expand,” Siscar added.

Moving forward, plans are to grow the data center further as technology changes. “The growth of space, applications, power, and services in the data center will continue to evolve. Since the expansion of the institution will require IT to provide better services, the data center will be a primary evolution integrator for the School.”

The school is also quite impressed with the APC team who are willing to go beyond the call of duty just to ensure everything is running smoothly. “People worked around 1 a.m. to fix and have everything back to normal. They never leave the site without confirming that the system is okay”.

“It’s quite an investment, but APC has given us peace of mind.”

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2008 in APC

 

Davao City seen as emerging ICT hub amid unrests

A recently concluded XMG Global Offshoring Leadership Study revealed that Davao City in the Mindanao Region of the Philippines will be a viable alternative site 3 years from now. The study predicts that organizations that are formulating the technology and procedural solutions to integrate a large manpower base into their global delivery centers will be at the forefront of the offshoring and outsourcing industry as the labor arbitrage model continues. This result is part of an ongoing study conducted between January to March 2008, which focuses on forecasting the global demand for offshoring and outsourcing services and the site optimization of emerging cities. Among the emerging alternative offshoring cities cited in the study were Montevideo, Uruguay; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Casablanca, Morocco.

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Despite periods of turmoil in the Mindanao Region, outsourcing vendors and captives who participated in the study are very bullish about Davao City primarily due to the area’s larger population of untapped qualified resources compared to Cebu City in the Visayas Region north of Mindanao. The study highlighted that competition in Cebu City is nearing saturation as the talent ramp-up continues.

Among others, the study highlighted the population of Davao City as considerably higher than other Tier-2 offshoring cities globally. In the Philippine context, Davao City’s population is 71% higher than Cebu City, 499% larger than Olongapo-Subic City 333% higher than Angeles-Clark City and 340% larger than Baguio City. The city’s estimated workforce is twice of Cebu, 9 times of Subic and 7 times of Clark and 6 times of Baguio. This has not even taken to account the manpower pool at the nearby cities and provinces of Davao City.

According to the study, Davao City has various educational institutions annually yielding a higher number of IT and BPO qualified graduates than Subic, Clark and Baguio by 689%, 278% and 40% respectively.

Telecom facilities, transportation networks and public transport systems are already in place in Davao City. However, XMG indicated there is a need to further improve and modernize these services; otherwise, business continuity and disaster recovery plans will go unfulfilled. In addition, the existence of a public transport system in Davao City is noteworthy yet still needs improvement in order to expand locators’ recruitment reach and the transportation of people from various points in and out of the city.

Overall, the attractiveness of Davao City is greatly affected by the negative perception about the Mindanao region as a whole. On February 2008, a travel advisory was released by US Consular Affairs warning their citizens on the risk of traveling in Central, Western and Southern part of Mindanao due to security and safety reasons, which includes terrorism.

According to XMG Researcher Camille Lumbang “Although these travel warnings are empirically grounded from actual hostile incidents in Mindanao, it should be emphasized that these are only isolated incidents from specific areas. There is a challenge then to substantiate and prove that such occurrences do not pose a general security threat for Davao City.”

Lumbang added, “There is a crying need for both the government and private sector to act together in improving the overall imagery of Davao City to attract ICT locators, which are seen to improve Davao’s economy”. Lumbang continues to say, “The negative perception on the Mindanao region has caused massive repercussions to Davao’s image as a potential offshoring site to date.”

Citing previous years 2007 XMG Offshoring Risk and Infrastructure Index Reports, Davao City has been upgraded to a level C2 rating from its previous level D standing as the city emerges as a viable site for captive and outsourcing services. “While there are still a number of geopolitical, geophysical and infrastructure challenges, the large untapped manpower base in Davao City will give its allure and ‘staying power’ as a viable site in the years to come”. The report continues to add, “Potential locators in Davao City must have a heightened awareness and should conduct their own formal and internal risks analysis rather than reacting to headlines about specific regions under consideration such as the problems happening in other parts of Mindanao”.

“Compared to other cities in the south, Davao City is very promising and it is seen to be the next generation city that would benefit large captives provided that risk issues are addressed properly”, concludes Lumbang.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2008 in Technology

 

HP SmartStream Takes Color Management To The Next Level

As part of its Print 2.0 strategy, HP has introduced a comprehensive and up-to-date printing solution and service for design and imaging. The HP SmartStream Color Management Kit combines the latest large-format printing technologies, industrial printing equipment, imaging software, and training.

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The comprehensive color management solution aims to achieve maximum output efficiency of wide- to super-wide format industrial printers that use the innovative HP Scitex print head technology, which delivers small, highly repeatable droplets of liquid simultaneously from thousands of nozzles at extremely high speed. This reduces the time of printing in large format media while retaining image quality.

An HP spectrophotometer color measurement device and the HP DesignJet Z2100 8-ink photo printer are part of the SmartStream Color Management Kit package. The DesignJet Z2100 is used as a proofing device and backup for large-scale print campaigns. It delivers consistent, accurate colors across a wide range of media, greatly simplifying accurate color matching for high-quality large format prints and proofs.

The HP SmartStream Color Management Kit also includes several applications and reference materials to aid color and print experts in their production line. These include the X-Rite ProfileMaker 5 publishing software, a hue-based color book software tool, a quality assessment tool, a PDF utility, and ink restriction software tool. The applications suit the needs of display printing shops, sign makers and other print service providers that require best-in-quality results and efficient printing.

What’s more, the SmartStream Color Management Kit also provides a three-day on-site training program for new purchases of HP Scitex printers. This gives users additional knowledge on how to maximize their printing capabilities and reducing set up time from installation to production.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2008 in HP

 

Lenovo Ranked #1 in TBR Customer Notebook Satisfaction Study

Lenovo announced it has been recognized as the #1 PC manufacturer in Technology Business Research’s (TBR) “1Q2008 Notebook IT Buying Behavior and Customer Satisfaction Study.” The results, garnered from more than 600 medium and large business customers in the U.S. and Canada, show Lenovo as the overall leading notebook PC-maker.

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TBR recognized Lenovo for its improvement in services and support. In 1Q2008, Lenovo led its rivals in terms of phone support, parts availability and repair time and made significant improvements in delivery time.

“Our goal is to deliver the world’s best engineered PCs and a big part of that comes from providing excellent customer service and support. From having an ample supply of parts to efficient and effective phone support, we are focused on fixing any customer PC issues right the first time,” said Chris Askew, senior vice president, Lenovo Worldwide Services. “We’ve made considerable progress in these areas and will continue to go beyond customer expectations as we work to establish the standard in world-class services.”

Lenovo also continued its leadership in product design of its ThinkPad notebooks, a consistent strength of the company’s for six of the past eight TBR survey reporting periods. Customers told TBR that hardware quality/reliability, product design and support and services were top reasons for choosing Lenovo as their PC vendor.

“Lenovo’s value proposition is tied to its reputation for innovative design that focuses on durable construction,” said Chris Foster, Director of Technology Business Review’s Computer and Software Quarterly Divisions, TBR. “TBR coins Lenovo’s design as ‘thoughtful engineering’ meaning that extra trouble and sometimes extra expense is taken to make the product work better and endure longer.”

Several recent notebooks, notably the ThinkPad X300 notebook highlight Lenovo’s strong emphasis on product design that sets the standard in the industry for innovation. Introduced in February, the ThinkPad X300 notebook is the thinnest and lightest full-function notebook in its class. The ultra-thin, ultraportable notebook measures less than three-fourths of an inch at its thinnest point, or approximately the height of a U.S. quarter coin, and has a starting weight as low as 2.9 pounds. It integrates leading technologies such as solid-state drive storage, a LED backlit display, a super light top cover roll cage for extra durability, ultralong battery life and enhanced wireless connectivity.

Additionally, Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks come equipped with ThinkVantage technologies, unique hardware-software technologies that help customers with everything from accessing network connections to data rescue and recovery. The combination of all these Lenovo technologies help customers reduce the total cost of PC ownership and maximize their investment.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2008 in Lenovo

 

AMD introduced four new Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processors

AMD introduced four new Quad-Core AMD Opteron™ SE processors to help IT managers take a new approach to “scaling up” their datacenter in order to address demanding enterprise-computing environments. Rather than invest in traditionally large and expensive enterprise-class proprietary hardware, the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processors empower businesses to affordably and easily scale up a datacenter by moving to servers that can offer enterprise-class functionality at industry-standard pricing. Adding more cores to 4-socket and 8-socket x86 servers can allow users to gain greater levels of performance and efficiency which is necessary to handle database and virtualization applications. The new Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processors will be available in systems from global OEMs and solution providers including Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Dell and IBM.

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“For many customers, the concept of ‘scaling up’ a datacenter has meant a sizeable financial investment in new hardware to gain satisfactory performance during peak workloads,” said Patrick Patla, director, Server and Workstation Business, AMD. “Today, the performance benefits of the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processor built on AMD’s Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport™ technology can help IT managers improve application performance and scalability of memory and data intensive workloads at a fraction of the cost. This is a significant benefit for customers looking to consolidate their datacenter or those interested in moving from proprietary hardware to x86 servers for mission critical software, such as database applications.”

As the industry continues to rally around “scaling up” datacenters, Microsoft is at the forefront of this discussion to help ensure that mid-market and enterprise customers seeking to improve server utilization can take full advantage of 64-bit environments, such as the x86-based SMP servers based on Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors, for complex databases including those in consolidation and virtualization environments.

“A flexible and scalable datacenter that meets the dynamic demands of doing business in a global economy is more important than ever for organizations of all sizes,” said Dan Neault, general manager, SQL Server at Microsoft Corp. “As we prepare for the general availability of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, we are excited about our work with AMD to provide our mutual customers a state of the art data platform for their business critical workloads such as ERP, Web, Business Intelligence, and Data Warehousing.”

Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor Models 2360 SE (2.5 GHz), 2358 SE (2.4 GHz), 8360 SE (2.5 GHz), and 8358 SE (2.4 GHz) are widely available and have already set record performance benchmarks in business-relevant testing:

· The new processors achieved the highest SAP-SD two-tier score in eight-socket x86 servers, demonstrating world-class scalability for customers looking to drive more performance in demanding ERP environments.¹

· Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processors also achieved the highest SPECfp_rate2006 scores in both two- and four-socket x86 servers, ensuring that customers can benefit from AMD’s elegant processor design and unprecedented scalability.²

These and other benchmark results for the Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processors are available at http://www.amd.com/seopteronperformance.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2008 in AMD