Seven Ways To Heal America
In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against America, many of our readers asked us how they could help to heal our country. In response, we offer the following seven suggestions:
1. Leave your biases behind. Americas quest for justice has had tragic results, as bias crimes against Arab-Americans, Muslims, and other immigrants are on the rise, according to the FBI.
In recent days, a Sikh gas station owner was shot and killed in Mesa, Ariz.; a Pakistani grocer was shot to death in Dallas; and a driver rammed his car into a mosque in Parma, Ohio, according to press reports.
“Im not sure I feel welcome on the streets of New York right now,” says one former Zefer consultant, who immigrated from India to join the U.S.s high-tech workforce.
At a time when America needs to pull together, we risk tearing the nation apart with bias crimes.
2. Donate IT equipment. Many World Trade Center (WTC) tenants are relocating to upper Manhattan; Westchester, New York.; New Jersey; or Connecticut.
A number of these companies are deploying temporary wireless networks and mobile computers until permanent systems can be deployed.
Vendors like 3Com have made wireless LAN donations to the American Red Cross. To make a similar donation, post hardware information at www. cbsnewyork.com/info.
3. Offer IT services. Many data-center providers have offered floor space to WTC tenants, which need new homes for Internet servers and other IT equipment.
Xand Corp., for one, is offering free co-location services in its Westchester data center. For information, dial 914-592-8282 and mention “special circumstances.”
Similarly, some broadband service providers are reserving bandwidth for WTC companies that need to get back online.
Meanwhile, EDS has created a computer center for American Express Bank (a WTC tenant) in a 35,000 square-foot facility in New Jersey.
As of Sept. 17, more than 700 desktops were operational, providing American Express Bank employees with data access. The banks customer data was housed off-site, so it was not compromised by the WTCs destruction.
4. Assist commuters. Many WTC tenants now face longer, more costly commutes to offices outside of Manhattan.
One solution is to contact CommuterLink, a nonprofit corporation that supplies door-to-door mass transit itineraries and carpool formation for New Yorks five boroughs.
For information, visit www.commuterlink.com or dial 866-NY-COMMUTE.
5. Maintain your mental health. Westchester Psychiatric Outreach, for one, is offering WTC crisis consultations at no cost to individuals. Dial 914-967-6810.
6. Open your wallet. Several major charities are raising money to assist terrorist-attack victims and their families.
Leading charities include The New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund (see http://store.yahoo.com/firedonations); the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund (hosted on www.amazon.com); and the Twin Towers Orphan Fund([email protected]).
Visit leading Internet portals for links to other charities, but be wary of scams that seek to separate you from your money.
7. Crack open the piggy bank. Most Americans are directing their charitable contributions to the WTC and Pentagon relief efforts. Nonprofit organizations are asking the nation not to forget other worthy causes—cancer research, for one—during this time of crisis.
Can Airlines Recover?
In addition to the human toll, many integrators are worried about the terrorist attacks long-term impact on Americas transportation industry.
U.S. airlines lost $350 million in revenue within one day of the terrorist attacks, says Jim Dullum, president of EDS Global Transportation Industry Group. The airlines, in Dullums words, are “financially strapped.”
Business travel, which accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of airline revenue, will drop 20 percent during the next few months, predicts Dullum.
Still, airlines will need savvy integration partners to bolster their IT systems. Dullum expects to see new airline check-in systems that include biometric technologies (fingerprint, retina scan, palm geometry, etc.).
Dullum also expects customer relationship management systems to evolve into passenger-identification tools that include security-related information.
Baggage and cargo systems, he predicts, will require radio-frequency tagging and tracking systems to maintain identification throughout the shipping cycle.
Finally, massive relational databases will be needed to drive all of these new systems, he says.
Some Shows Do Go On
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks led vendors to cancel numerous industry events. However, event organizers are hoping to resume most business operations by October.
Microsoft, for one, has decided not to cancel Stampede, an annual event for Great Plains Software partners. Stam- pede kicks off Oct. 3 in Fargo, N.D.
“In the wake of our nations tragedy, we have deliberated extensively over the Oct. 3-6 dates and have concluded that it is appropriate to move ahead together as a strong community with this unifying event,” says a Microsoft spokeswoman.
However, she notes that “this situation is an ongoing and volatile one, [so] it is … critical for us to be ever vigil, monitor the evolving circumstances daily and alter our plans if need be.”
Vendors in a Buying Mood
A slowing economy, the attack on America and fears of war have conspired to deflate most high-tech stocks.
But in an attempt to show confidence in their own companies, as well as the U.S. economy, dozens of vendors have announced stock buyback plans.
Cisco plans to buy $6 billion worth of its own stock over the next two years. 3Com, BEA Systems, IBM, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems all announced similar plans.
Destinys Fate Is Known
Luck was on one integrators side during the terrorist attacks.
Destiny, an integrator that targets the financial-services market, escaped harm during the attacks.
The companys New York office is located just blocks away from the WTC, and many of the companys employees were in New York on Sept. 11.
However, all of the companys employees are safe, according to a message on Destinys Web site.
Other integration firms and vendors werent as fortunate. Dozens of high-tech companies—from Akamai to Xerox—lost employees during the attacks.
EDS Seeks Advice
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has been named a special advisor to EDS chairman and CEO Dick Brown. In this capacity, Mr. Barak will advise the company on international business and policy issues.
United We Stand, Online
The ASCII group, the worlds largest community of independent computer resellers, has created a red, white and blue electronic ribbon for its members to place on their Web sites and to pass along to others. The ribbon is a symbol of unity and democracy. To obtain a copy of the ribbon, e-mail [email protected] for the graphic file.