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New Products

BY CSA STAFF

MicroStrategy Inc.: MicroStrategy Inc., McLean, Va., introduced the Micro-Strategy Integrity Manager, a solution that tests the accuracy of business-intelligence (BI) applications by validating data and report integrity. MicroStrategy Integrity Manager automates the report comparison process and verifies the consistency of reports as changes are made to the BI ecosystem. This process enables retailers to identify inconsistencies and errors.www.microstrategy.com

nuBridges: In an effort to help retailers protect critical and sensitive information that resides on several platforms and databases, Atlanta-based nuBridges debuted its new solution, Data Secure for z/OS. Called the first packaged application to ensure e-business security on mainframe computers, the application provides data encryption at the field and file level, thus protecting credit-card and other sensitive stored data. Using centralized key management with decentralized encryption and decryption, data is secured immediately within the distributed multi-platform enterprise. It is also encrypted and decrypted on any platform or database, allowing it to be secure, though accessible if the network goes down.www.nubridges.com

Qwest Communications: Qwest Communications, Denver, is offering customers that require large amounts of bandwidth easier access through its Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) over Ethernet service. Ethernet is a low-cost, scalable, easily provisioned broadband data access and transport protocol that provides customers with virtually limitless bandwidth. Customers can order Qwest DIA over Ethernet in 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) increments. Companies can order up to 10 Gbps within key U.S. metropolitan markets. Besides enabling customers to consolidate Internet traffic and realize significant cost advantages, the service allows customers to pay only for the bandwidth they need and to increase or decrease network capacity easily.www.qwest.com

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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