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Wang: Technology should boost sales

Technologies today used primarily to cut corporate costs should be redirected to boost sales, keynoter Charles Wang says.

LAS VEGAS--Technologies today used primarily to cut corporate costs should be redirected to boost sales, keynoter Charles Wang told a Comdex audience today.

"Using technology to save money continues to be important, but we can do so much more with technology than just save a company money," Wang, CEO and chairman of Computer Associates, said in a morning address at Comdex here.

"We have been stuck in thinking about technology only as a way to reduce costs--we need to think outside the box in looking at other challenges," he added.

He cited bookseller as a company that couldn't exist without Internet technology. He cited CA's involvement with Formula One racing team McLaren International, which uses CA's Unicenter TNG software for the pit crew to monitor the car's performance while it's on the race track.

"We wanted to use today's technology to deliver a competitive advantage," Wang said, discussing how the same technology could be used to manage performance of consumer automobiles.

In another example, Wang described how Wal-mart has used CA technology to monitor when vending machines in stores need to be refilled, then use PageNet to dispatch a worker to fill the machines. Previously the service person had to open each machine to see whether it needed refilling.

And he described how Smile Train has created a virtual reality training program for Chinese plastic surgeons to teach them how to repair cleft palates, allowing them to practice hundreds of times on a computer before touching a patient.

"We have to look at where we are going for the next five to ten years; we cannot deal with the next five years based on the experience of the last five years," he said.

CA's October 29 acquisitions of two 3-D modeling firms, Viewpoint Datalabs and 3name3D, were designed to make CA's software easier to use by incorporating their technology into user interfaces, Wang said.

"3D interfaces will be common in business applications in the next ten years," he declared. "As an enterprise software company, we must prepare for an era where 3D is a standard, not the exception."