Amdahl Educates on Use of Smart Cards

The SmartCard Group, a division of Amdahl Corp. (, today announced the creation of the SmartCard Technology Institute (SCTI). The SCTI will provide education programs on smart card technologies to financial services, retail, transportation, telecom, insurance and government organizations. The Group is hoping this will enable executives in these industries to make informed business decisions that advance the use of smart cards.

"After several false starts, North America is now moving into a global marketplace that uses more than a billion smart cards," says Catherine A. Johnston, president and CEO of the Advanced Card Technology Association of Canada (ACT ). "We at ACT have been concerned about a critical lack of knowledge and resources to implement the many projects that will emerge in the marketplace. We see this initiative as both timely and necessary to the successful advancement of this technology."

Smart cards are similar in appearance and size to a credit card. They feature embedded chips with a microprocessor that allows users to access a variety of applications that can be stored on the card. In October 1998, Gartner Group released the results of a study that forecast the worldwide smart card market growing at an annual rate of 44.1 percent to US $4.8 billion by 2002. As a result, the institute was formed to answer business needs in a global marketplace that will grow exponentially.

The institute will be launched in Toronto, Canada on March 4. Following the launch, the first executive education session for CEOs, CIOs and senior managers whose business will be affected by smart card technologies is scheduled in Toronto in March 99. Shortly thereafter, there will be sessions in New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Sessions will address the enhancement of service delivery using smart card technology, how to contain fraud and how businesses are using smart card technology to gain competitive advantages.

The institute is enlisting partners to provide additional expert program content and technical resources, including corporations and educational institutions.

Murray Johnston, President of SCTI, characterizes the SCTI mission as, "building the market through fact-based learning and strategic thinking." He added, "Business leaders need to know the challenges and opportunities associated with the advancement of multi application smart cards. Key areas of interest are partnerships, application sharing, interoperability, infrastructure, standards and security." -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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