Esquel finds WX platform a perfect fit The Esquel Group, the world's largest cotton-shirt maker, has tightened links to its sprawling business operations around the world with new infrastructure from Juniper Networks. The Hong Kong-based apparel manufacturer has deployed Juniper's WX application acceleration platforms, used to boost the performance of business applications - such as the group's electronic supply chain management system - over wide area network connections. Before that deployment, the group's business productivity was hampered, as network traffic, e-mail and database access were sluggish. 'The first trials were between our Hong Kong headquarters and our Gao Ming factory in China,' said Shum Chun-fat, information technology manager at the Esquel Group. Impressed by the results, the group has since rolled out the WX platform to other sites in Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The group has a workforce of about 47,000 in 10 countries, producing 54 million garments a year. Port operator has hi-tech overhaul Modern Terminals has put the days of high system management overheads and operating costs behind it, as the benefits of a consolidated server computer infrastructure kick in. The second-largest container port operator in Hong Kong has jettisoned about 20 ageing Unix and Alpha processor-based servers, replacing those with 10 new Solaris operating system-based servers, an advanced storage set-up and clustering technology - all from Fujitsu. Cheng Chung-keung, information technology manager for infrastructure at Modern Terminals, said: 'The new deployment of Fujitsu's server technology will enable us to provide high-quality and flexible services to our customers.' A six-year cost analysis by Modern Terminals, which has invested more than $1 billion to upgrade all its cargo-handling facilities, showed Fujitsu technologies delivering up to 32 per cent of overall savings. The Fujitsu servers, which run the terminal operator's main administrative applications, also provide a 300 per cent system performance boost. Game developer opens Shanghai studio Take-Two Interactive Software has opened a new development studio in Shanghai with an eye to bringing out some of the world's most popular video game franchises in Chinese. Its new facility, 2K Shanghai, is completing development of the Chinese-language version of Sid Meier's Civilization: IV for the personal computer. The game is expected to be available later this summer. The studio will develop original intellectual property and co-develop products with other 2K studios around the world. In addition, 2K Shanghai will serve as a hub for sales, marketing, development and outsourcing opportunities on the mainland. 'There is an enormous amount of development talent in China and it is also a great market for some of our franchises,' said Christoph Hartmann, president at 2K, a wholly owned label of New York City-based Take-Two Interactive Software. The firm's proprietary brand franchises include Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and Manhunt. Small firms can bank on smart manager A unique alliance between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Ufida Software has unveiled a clutch of enterprise management applications for small businesses. The new ICBC-Ufida brand software products are the decision-making tool called Manager-Smart and the joint marketing plan system known as Capital Management Solutions. Both products were designed so small firms can benefit from the integration of ICBC's digital banking and other financial services with Ufida's software. Ufida is the mainland's leading enterprise management application supplier with about 400,000 users on the mainland and in other Asian markets.