Publisher Arnoldo Mondadori – Mondadori’s Company Archive
Magazine…. Pc Week
Publication Date…. 06/30/1988
Publication Number…. 0024
Page Number …. 0029
Section…. EXPERIENCE & OPINIONS
Subheading ….. SPOTLIGHT ON
Title…. COMMUNICATION VIA MODEM: FINALLY SOMETHING WE CAN TRUST
Summary ….Remote management of orders and information for the manager, these services are being offered to corporate users by modern connectivity technologies
Author …. Roberto Mazzoni
Topics…. Industry Information Technology Telecommunication
Subjects…. Elmec, PcCall, Relay Gold
Creation Date…. 11/19/1988
Communications via modem
Entering the domain of electronic communications, the first contact made is with communication software. This is the tool that allows us to give our modem a voice,which establishes a connection, with a correspondent at a distance, using the telephone line to exchange messages, documents, and business information.
Legato software allows for the management of a single connection point to point; this kind of software does not derive its strength from the virtue of its user interface (often reduced to an essential) or from the reliability and robustness of its protocols, amongst which are various types of application packets, but only from those communications that must be able to function in impossible conditions, at any time and in spite of any interference. This argument is valid also in the Italian market where the operating conditions of Italian telephone lines are often notoriously difficult. It is the protocol that makes the difference : The reliability of the data transmitted is the pivotal point on which any application must revolve regarding remote communication. The information that is traveling on the cable is usually order confirmations, transactions that potentially change the status of the warehouse, commercial contracts or insurance policies established in the outer branches and communicated via modem to the parent company. The electronic link replaces manual performance and serves only to speed up the flow of information. The heart of the system that carries the burden ensuring the integrity of the data, is the protocol, or the particular procedure whereby two similar programs both send electronic pulses and thereby verify that the delivery corresponds to what has been shipped. Up to a year ago, the prohibitive cost of personal laptops and the relative unreliability of communication software in the U.S. market (created in relation to the function of telephone networks very different from the European ones) pushed the end user to choose portable communications made ad hoc, such as those of the Infos of Orbassano , from the province of Turin. Today there is a new software available that transforms the personal computer into a reliable communication system for long distance communication.
Among these, there are two that deserve to be mentioned, especially since one is different from other because of the availability of their bombproof protocols. We are speaking of Pc Call by Elmec of Varese and Relay Gold, imported by Sio Systems from Brescia. An Italian error proof product, Pc Call was born in Italy by national planners and provides a control system that minimizes the possibility of error. Each package of information is, in fact, transmitted together with a numerical control code 16 bytes long (instead of 2 bytes which is the norm). This of course does not avert the occurrence of obstacles in smooth transmission; however, it does prevent the receiving system from taking packages of altered information. Pc Call also manages the telephone line so that the user can transmit and receive simultaneously which, combined with the information compression functions, allows one to accelerate the pace of transmission. So far I have installed 1,700 copies.
Relay Gold is instead a U.S. product that offers similar features, although it contains two additional assets: it works in the background and is fully programmable. This means that the communication program becomes completely transparent (it is loaded into the memory along with the operating system) and integrates as a transmission attachment, to any application made to measure for the user . Thanks to these two special advantages, Relay Gold is turning into a model that major American software houses,engaged in connectivity, are trying to imitate. In the last six months, since they have acquired the distribution rights, Sio Systems has sold 300 copies of the package. The case studies are already numerous, even though we are speaking often of small numbers. Gianvittorio Paladini, the man responsible for information systems at CML International (national importer of Cartier products) tells us how his company uses Pc Call to connect to the home office in Milan, all of the five main regional branches.. The link allows obtain, within twenty-four hours, an assessment of the goods sold and new orders, instead of having to wait fifteen days as was done in the past. System reliability is 100%, ruled Paladini, pointing out that the problems that the edp today must solve are no longer technical, but related to internal and peripheral staff training. Balconies Flaminio, of Italy ‘s Nabisco Brands (distributor the ATI tea), uses PcCall to receive messages on sales and transmit to his agents records locally processed, avoiding postal delays.
For the moment, 12 agents are interested in the service, but soon there will be another four. Thanks to this system, it is easier to notify outlying areas of the state of accounts for different customer, as well as the weekly order report. Emulating the 3270 without a dedicated card, Mario Loiudice, head of information systems for Simmental, uses the version for both personal and mainframe of Realy Gold instead,enabling executives and managers to interrogate the data contained in the central system by means of a simple portable computer and a modem. The package provides the emulation of 3270 without the need to have a dedicated card. It ‘s very good, comments Loiudice, it also works on very disturbed lines and corrects errors automatically. It seems that virtually there is on the desk of the manager and the various Simmental employees both a personal and a terminal connected to central headquarters.