EnterCom, Inc., @Home Network and Sun Microsystems,
to Bring Enterprise Solutions, High Speed Web Access and Interactive
Entertainment to Restaurant and Hospitality Locations
(Business Wire; 06/15/98)
EnterCom, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc., and @Work, the business focused
division of @Home Network, said today they are joining forces to offer food and
beverage locations and CyberCafes lightning-fast, Java(TM) technology-enabled
connections to the Internet that can be used for everything from combining two-
way information services and employee training to providing cyber
EnterCom, an information technology company providing the food-service
industry with high-speed, fully integrated electronic business, information and
entertainment services, has agreed to team with @Work to bring these services
to the restaurant industry. Leveraging @Home's distributed network capabilities
and "always on" attributes of broadband connectivity, EnterCom's service will
provide food and beverage companies with high-performance, cost-effective and
secure access to virtual private networks and the Internet - 24 hours a day.
"@Work is pleased to join EnterCom and Sun Microsystems to deliver turnkey
net-work based commercial applications and related management services to
EnterComs food and beverage customers," said Don Hutchison, senior vice
president and general manager of @Work.
Many restaurants today are struggling to operate with diverse,
uncoordinated, incompatible or non-existing information systems. EnterCom will
unify the various information and communication components, add additional
capabilities and deliver the resulting data quickly so that it is useful,
productive and contributes to increased restaurant profits.
The EnterCom solution will bring a large communication channel, through
its relationship with @Home Network, to each restaurant and will manage most,
if not all, communication needs. The channel is scalable, so the service is
available and affordable for the independent operator and restaurant chain.
Restaurants will save money with this service because it eliminates the need
for multiple telephone lines and satellite dishes by consolidating and
transporting everything through a single, broadband pipeline.
In addition, companies will be able to do mission-critical business over
the Internet without worrying about interoperability, reliability or
scalability issues, said William Flaherty, president of EnterCom. Internal and
external communications, financial transactions, human resource operations and
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) could all be accommodated by this secure
EnterCom service. Flaherty also envisions food and beverage locations using the
EnterCom Network to provide diners with kiosk or tableside Web surfing and
television-based interactive BarGames."
In large part, this is made possible by the sturdy @Home backbone. It is
also works because EnterCom has selected a combination of technologies from Sun
Microsystems to power EnterCom solutions. The company will use Sun(TM)
Enterprise(TM) servers with the robust Solaris(TM) operating environment along
with Sun's Ultra(TM) 5 workstation at each location to power its business. And
it's going to write all of the enterprise and CyberEntertainment applications
it uses for the service in the Java programming language.
"Our particular reason for going with Java technology was its 'Write Once,
Run Anywhere(TM)' benefit," Flaherty said. "Many of the chains we work with
have information systems within their organizations that run on many different
platforms, from DOS to Windows. Java technology, and specifically the recently
announced JavaPOS(a) specification, will be the connective thread that enables
all of those systems to work together seamlessly and reliably."
Ultimately, he said national chains would save additional money because
writing applications to the JavaPOS specification frees them from the burden of
selecting software and systems by the OS or instruction set. Instead, companies
can take a "best-of-breed" approach, choosing POSsystems that make the most
economic and competitive sense for their individual needs.
"The possibilities for the food and beverage industry are very exciting
when you combine Java technology's interoperability with @HomeOs network
bandwidth," said Mark Tolliver, president, consumer products, Sun Microsystems.
"National restaurant chains suddenly have the ability to instantly and reliably
update menu items, prices and inventory levels at all of their geographically
dispersed outlets. It doesn't matter if the data is going to PCs in Chicago,
Network Computers in Boston, POS terminals in Denver or a kiosk in San
Francisco because it's all going to work together, seamlessly, and in real-
More information about the JavaPOS standard is available on the World Wide
Web at http://www.javapos.com and at http://www.sun.com/980224/javapos.
@Work (www.home.net/work) leverages the @Home network backbone and
distributed information architecture to provide high-speed Internet access,
internetworking services and value added applications to businesses and
organizations. @Work offers connectivity via a variety of transport options
that include hybrid fiber coaxial and telco circuits. Through a combination of
@Home's unique distributed architecture and strong industry partnerships, @Work
delivers a network application platform for businesses looking for open
standard client-server and distributed object computing environments.