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October 2006
At a glance
Bull acquires critical Internet infrastructure outsourcing company Agarik
Bull further enhances its offerings and strengthens competitive position:
• in Web hosting
• in the critical Internet infrastructure outsourcing market
• for Web operators
The Group consolidates its presence in the strategically important Telecoms sector
.

End September, Bull announced that it has acquired Agarik, a French company specializing in critical Internet infrastructure outsourcing and managed on-line services. The move will strengthen Bull’s position in the outsourcing market for IT platforms and critical data flows that require 24/7 continuous operation.
Established in 1997, Agarik employs over 30 people and recorded revenues in excess of €5.2 million in 2005. The company is extremely well respected in its market for its technical expertise and the quality of the services it provides, with the highest level of commitment to service quality in terms of hardware and Web application services in the industry. Agarik has developed a first-rate commercial portfolio spanning major customers in the telecoms, media, services and retail/distribution sectors, including SFR, Canal Plus and Dassault Systèmes.
In parallel, Agarik holds an operator license and as a result was able to optimize its own infrastructure and network – a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) that links the main datacenters in the Paris region using ‘black’ fiber-optic cables – and to develop particularly innovative tools to ensure that it can deliver against extremely tough service level commitments. Agarik’s 24x7 critical solution, built around Vision proactive supervision software, will be deployed across Bull’s principal European datacenters, including the recently added site in the city of Barnsley in Northern England, which comes under the €100 million outsourcing contract concluded between Bull and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Finally, the strong relationships built on trust that Agarik has succeeded in developing with its customers have resulted in a customer satisfaction rating of over 94%.
With the acquisition of Agarik, Bull’s outsourcing offerings will be complemented by the capacity to manage critical Internet infrastructures 24/7, including extremely powerful Internet capabilities and sought-after expertise. In addition, this will strengthen Bull’s presence in the services market, particularly in the Telecoms sector, which is so strategically important for the Group’s growth plans.

 

Bull verifies the newly discovered largest known Mersenne prime number on NovaScale server
A team of Bull researchers at the company’s labs in Grenoble, France, led by Tony Reix, has just verified the discovery of the largest known prime number in the space of just six days. This independent validation, completed by the Bull team, enables the results of months of scientific work to be officially recognized.
The new prime was independently verified using 16 Intel® Itanium® 2 1.5 GHz CPUs on a Bull NovaScale 6160 HPC system at the Bull Grenoble Research Center, running the Glucas program developed by Guillermo Ballester Valor of Granada, Spain. At 9,808,358 digits, the new prime (232.582.657-1) is close to the 10 million digit prime number which is the target for many researchers worldwide.
The new prime is the 44th discovery in a special class of rare prime numbers known as Mersenne primes. It was recently revealed in the Central Missouri State University (CMSU) Department of Communication lab, in the framework of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) distributed computing project. The new prime was discovered in just nine months, using idle time on 700 lab PCs across the University campus.

For more information on Mersenne primes
Prime numbers have long fascinated professional and amateur mathematicians. An integer greater than one is called a prime number if its only divisors are one and itself. The first prime numbers are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. For example, the number 10 is not prime because it is divisible by 2 and 5. A Mersenne prime is a prime number of the form 2P-1. The first Mersenne primes are 3, 7, 31, and 127 corresponding to P = 2, 3, 5, and 7 respectively. There are only 44 known Mersenne primes.
Mersenne primes have been central to number theory since they were first discussed by Euclid in 350 BC. The man whose name they now bear, the French monk Marin Mersenne (1588-1648), made a famous conjecture on which values of p would yield a prime. It took 300 years and several important discoveries in mathematics to settle his conjecture.

Source: www.mersenne.org

Information technology serving local government dynamism

10 golden rules to successful drive e-government projects

Far-reaching changes are taking place within local authorities as they undertake major programs to stimulate development in their areas. In practical terms this means getting closer to local citizens, putting administrative procedures on-line, working closely with a wide range of other public and private sector partners, creating new and innovative services, and adopting new ways of working and managing their activities. The challenges are numerous: facing them involves radically overhauling business processes and job roles, opening up information systems and breaking down the barriers between them, while providing appropriate change management.
So, information systems performance is one of the main factors when it comes to the attractiveness of a particular local area. Bolstered by this belief and its in-depth knowledge of local government’s issues and constraints, Bull has developed a range of solutions and services dedicated to meeting the new challenges they face, including skills transfer, cost management and service quality monitoring.
Capitalizing on its experience of numerous successful e-government projects worldwide, Bull today publishes its latest business white paper focusing on “Information technology serving local government dynamism”, and further enhanced by exclusive interviews with:
Luis Millán Vázquez de Miguel, Minister for Infrastructures and Technological Development, Extremadura Regional Government in Spain: “Open Source helps narrow the digital divide”
Jacques Pélissard, Chairman of the Association of French Mayors: “Acting locally is the best way to really match citizens’ needs”
Giancarlo Gabbianelli, Mayor of Viterbo in Italy: “Viterbo, e-democracy at the click of a mouse”
Gérard Saracco, Head of the Information Systems, Telecoms and Networks Department, Strasbourg Urban Community in France: “ICT: creating value in public services”
An opportunity for Bull, architect of an open world, to highlight its value proposition for local authorities and public decision makers.

The white paper can be downloaded free of charge from: http://www.bull.com/public/localgov.html

 
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