Process, Process

In these days of doing more with less, solid process development and management is less of a luxury and more of a necessity. So it should come as no surprise that business process management (BPM) has been getting a lot of attention of late. Both Forrester and Gartner have recognized BPM vendors -- one Windows-based and one open source -- in their market reports.

In its recently released market assessment, called The Forrester Wave, the Cambridge, Mass.-based market researcher recognized webMethods for its Fabric product suite and overall market strategy in the BPM world. Forrester praised webMethods for realizing "the significance of XML interactions."

The report continues, "Since that time, [webMethods] has expanded its scope to include enterprise application integration, electronic data interchange and, most recently, business process management."

Gartner just published a First Take on open source BPM developer Intalio. In its report, the Stamford, Conn.-based analyst firm states that "users wanting support for BPM initiatives would have to rely on commercial BPM vendors. As the technology matured -- and market acceptance increased -- prices climbed, making it difficult for novices to get hands-on experience in requisite BPM technology skills."

It sounds like business process management is no longer the sole province of the Fortune 500. BPM for the masses!

Out with the Old
There are many things you can do with all those old machines as you replace them. Sell them to another company, or move them down to some non-essential department that has been screaming for "new" computers. If you wait too long, though, you might just be better off recycling them. While that's the right thing to do if you're not going to resell or reuse them, it can also be a huge hassle.

The Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) hopes to make that process a bit easier. The EIA's Web site features an online guide to electronics recyclers and other options for technology disposal across the country.

Developed by EIA's Environmental Issues Council, the E-Cycling Central Web site has the scoop on where to find electronics recycling, reuse and donation programs in all 50 states. You can search for local and national options for managing used electronics. There's also a list of recommended questions to ask a recycler to ensure they're properly handling used electronics, information on the economic impact of recycling electronics products and how properly disposing of used technology can protect privacy.

Clean Slate
Completely erasing a hard drive can be a little more involved than you think. And with Vista deployments looming in the near future, you may need to take some of your machines down to bare metal.

BluestSoft's DiskDeleter USB 2.2.0 is a handy little tool for quickly and completely cleaning off a system's hard drive. Just plug in the USB device and it's as good as done. You can also accomplish the same thing using just the software. Start the cleaning wizard while Windows is running and it will take you through the steps. It supports just about any flavor of Windows, Linux and Unix, and it performs pretty quickly as well. BluestSoft claims that it takes about 21 seconds to erase 1GB.

DiskDeleter's erasure methods are based on the U.S. Department of Defense DOD 5220.22-M directive for clearing and sanitizing disk drives, which ensures unrecoverable removal of data. If it's good enough for DOD data, it ought to do the trick.

Upgrade Now
Everybody likes something for free, right? If you use Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.1, you just got a bit more time to upgrade to version 7.5. Product support for the free edition, which also lets you upgrade, was originally set to expire on Jan. 15, but Grisoft just extended that deadline to Feb. 18. So if that's one of your anti-virus tools, get with it and up-grade soon here. Version 7.5 is Vista-ready and has improved built-in heuristics, NTFS data-stream scanning, smaller update files and a new interface. And yes, it's free.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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