Kiosk Enabling Technology

NetShift Software Ltd.,with over three years of continuous development experience, is the world's leader in software technology that enables the large-scale deployment of publicly available Internet access kiosks, or terminals. NetShift Software's premier product, NetShift , is being used in more running kiosk terminal projects than any other competitive Public Browser Interface (PBI) product. It is being used by end users and system integrators in Government, Retail, Manufacturing and Service sectors worldwide. See our client list
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AGORA INTERACTIVE CALLS ON COMPUTER ASSOCIATES' UNICENTER TNG AND JASMINE SOLUTIONS TO CREATE AND MANAGE ITS 'PHONE BOOTH OF THE 21ST Century' New Consoles to Offer Interactive Videoconferencing and Unprecedented Data Collection and Marketing Tools

Story Filed: Wednesday, December 15, 1999 11:05 AM EST

ISLANDIA, N.Y., Dec 15, 1999 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA) today announced that Agora Interactive, a leading developer of PC-based consoles that feature interactive games, videoconferencing and Internet access, has selected CA's Unicenter TNG and Jasmine solutions to develop and manage its emerging video game and e-commerce line of businesses worldwide.

The company plans to deploy a network of more than 25,000 consoles throughout the United States over the next four years. Unicenter TNG enables Agora Interactive to manage mission-critical business processes and more easily track game performance and revenue.

Building the infrastructure for such a network requires an enterprisewide IT management system that could grow as the company moves beyond video games and pursues an ambitious e-commerce strategy. That approach has led Agora Interactive to forge alliances with CA, Compaq and Lucent Technologies.

"We like to call the kiosks the 'phone booth for the 21st century,'" said Andrew Prell, chairman and chief technology officer of Agora Interactive. "What we have is a universal network that unifies voice, video and data around collaborative applications in areas of significant public traffic. We're all about see, talk and interact."

After evaluating other enterprise management products, Agora chose Unicenter TNG. A key factor in Agora's decision to implement Unicenter TNG was its scalability and ability to manage and monitor a wide range of PC-based systems from a central point. "CA had the most comprehensive set of packages and we wanted to use the de facto standard in enterprise management tools," said Prell.

Unicenter TNG has the flexibility to grow with Agora's operating environment, which includes multiple servers running a single SQL database on Windows NT and Agora Interactive's proprietary operating system, Agora Global Operating System (AGOS) 1. CA's Jasmine support team has helped Agora Interactive port Jasmine to AGOS 3 -- the third generation of the kiosk's operating system -- ahead of schedule. "All of the CA people have been phenomenal," said Prell.

Unicenter TNG is using Agora Interactive to do lab simulations of operating environments running vast networks of consoles in their labs before the Kentucky-based company deploys the initial wave of 124 kiosks in 31 locations in spring 2000. That testing will enable Agora Interactive to anticipate the challenges of running larger networks of consoles as the company grows.

Agora Interactive will use the Advanced Help Desk (AHD) Option of Unicenter TNG to automate key processes, deliver system and network management services, monitor the health of IT assets, automate problem alerts and take corrective action when necessary.

By merging AGOS with Lucent Collaborative Video (LCV) and the AHD option of Unicenter TNG, Agora Interactive will raise the bar for help desk centers. "We will be able to see, talk and interact with end users to determine the problem and then take control of their system to walk them through any application in question," said Prell.

When new games or other capabilities need to be introduced, managers can use Unicenter TNG's Software Delivery Option (SDO) to download the new software into the system's NT servers without degrading network performance. In addition, SDO will allow Agora Interactive to deploy the updates by groups based on categories such as location by city, state, country or company, or by regions within a particular chain of stores.

"LCV merged with Unicenter TNG gives us a phenomenal edge on any of the e-commerce out there," said Prell. LCV enables the system to have 20 video windows available from 20 different points, facilitating videoconferences and customer service. By linking to Wal-Mart's headquarter experts, for example, users can get answers to questions that may have been beyond the experience of local store employees. The consoles can also enhance human resources functions such as training and compliance with company policies.

In addition to all of its business functions, every console features a "Safe Place" and "Missing and Exploited Children" function powered by Unicenter TNG. Those help keys instantly identify the location of a child or person in trouble and alert the system operator to all available emergency and related services in the area.

CA's Jasmine solution will enable Agora Interactive to tailor advertisements and marketing directly to a console user. "We have never done marketing like this before," said Prell. "This technology allows the kiosk to leverage any type of marketplace that has public traffic."

Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA), the world leader in mission-critical business computing, provides software, support and integration services in more than 100 countries around the world. CA has more than 17,500 employees and had revenue of $5.3 billion in fiscal year 1999.

For more information about CA, please call 631-342-5224 or e-mail [email protected] CA's World Wide Web address is http://www.cai.com.

Agora Interactive, based in Louisville, Ky., is a start-up company with more than three years of development experience in PC-based gaming consoles. For more information, please call 502-585-5466 or visit its Web site at http://www.agorainteractive.com. All referenced product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

SOURCE Computer Associates International, Inc. (C) 1999 PR Newswire.

Newsbit furnished by:

A: NetShift Software Ltd.
A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: [email protected]
W: www.netshift.com

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