High Tech Haven: More Tech Funding

West Windsor, 08550; Montgomery, 085??

West Windsor: Country Squires? Demographic Dilemma

Financial Wizards?

Corrections or additions?

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on August 18, 1999. All rights reserved.

Cracking Open The Knowledge Bank: Andy Zarolli

In a perfect world every employee would be given a manual

on the first day of work — a manual that contains answers to every

question they will ever have about their job. It could be found tucked

in the top drawer of the desk so that no one ever had to shout questions

across cubicles or spend a full day searching file cabinets and directories

for a report filed by a colleague. Customer service representatives,

technicians, human resources — just about everyone in the business

— would build off knowledge since the day the business opened

its doors and become more effective as a result.

What may sound like a Utopian reverie is in fact a worthy challenge

for today’s technology companies, which are working hard to develop

software that people do not merely use, but also "interact"

with. One of those companies, ServiceWare Inc., a producer of knowledge

management software headquartered in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, is developing

software used for corporations like Merrill Lynch, Lucent Technologies,

and Microsoft. "In many corporations, the single most valuable

item in the whole company is the knowledge in their employees’ heads,"

says Andy Zarroli, a spokesperson with the firm.

ServiceWare (http://www.serviceware.com) produces a line of

Knowledge-Pak items that includes electronic manuals for more than

45 computer applications, from Adobe Illustrator to Microsoft NT Server,

a suite that answers questions about the SAP/R3 business application,

and the proprietary software needed to create a customized, enterprise-wide

system for your business — the Knowledge-Pak Architect. The company

also recently acquired the Molloy Group in Parsippany, which sells

the patented Cognitive Processor — a software product that the

company claims is on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence.

On Thursday, August 19, at 8:30 a.m. a representative from ServiceWare’s

office in Jackson will give a free seminar and demonstration for anyone

interested in learning how knowledge software works at the Hyatt Regency

in Princeton. Call 732-363-0071.

Zarroli walked this reporter through a demo of the Knowledge-Pak Suite

over the Web. I enter a query into the Viewer frame as a question

"how do I…" and click on search. In lightening speed, a

list of answers with thumbnail descriptions returns. "Much like

the search engine on the Internet," says Zarroli, "it brings

all that down to the grassroots level."

Also like a search engine, it can be a roll of the dice. Zarroli and

I both came up with a different ranking of answers for an identical

query.

To buy the KP Suite ($28,000) you also have to buy the KP Viewer ($25,000),

which is essentially a search engine, so it may be too early for knowledge

management in many small businesses. But larger companies that already

feel they accomplish knowledge management through Lotus Notes, Zarroli

says, should at least try the new software. "Lotus Notes is not

knowledge management," says Zarroli. "It’s not quick access

to dynamic info."

The difference between "dynamic" and "static" might

be summed up in the comment of one Pfizer employee who uses ServiceWare’s

KP Architect product: it allowed an analyst working for only three

weeks to answer questions geared to someone who has worked in the

company more than three years.

— Melinda Sherwood

Top Of Page
High Tech Haven: More Tech Funding

Last week U.S. 1 reported on the six winners of the

state’s R&D Excellence awards, three of which will directly benefit

researchers working in central New Jersey. Now comes news of 23 companies

receiving loan assistance from the state’s Technology Transfer and

Commercialization Program (TTCP), administered by the Commission on

Science & Technology.

The loans, totaling nearly $4.4 million and ranging from $80,000 to

$250,000 are made to high-technology start-ups that can match the

loan amount dollar for dollar and that can convince the state they

will be able to repay the loan within 10 years.

This is year’s 23 recipients include 10 companies in the U.S. 1 circulation

area. The companies, and their areas of technology, as described by

the Commission on Science & Technology:

EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals, 2005 Eastpark Boulevard, Cranbury,

pre-clinical manufacture and toxicology of a novel anti-asthma therapeutic;

$250,000.

Ocean Power Technologies, 1590 Reed Road, West Trenton,

development of a 5 to 10-kilowatt wave power buoy; $250,000.

PharmaSeq Inc., 11 Deer Park Drive, Monmouth Junction,

light-powered micro-transponders in RFIDA applications; $250,000.

Princeton Electronic Systems, 196 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, opto-electronic oscillators for wireless communications; $242,365.

Princeton University, commercialization of dense wave-length

multiplexed (DWDM) receiver technology; $150,000.

Princeton University’s Center for Excellence in Photonics

(POEM) , non-contact sheet resistivity tool for semiconductor metrology;

$169,790.

Sensors Unlimited LLC, 3490 Route 1, an enhanced infrared

imaging system for ice detection on roadways and aircraft; $150,000.

Therics Inc., 115 Campus Drive, University Square, anatomically

correct bone graft products made by three-dimensional fabrication;

$189,198.

Westar Photonics Inc., Princeton area, development of

a commercial maskless patterning system for semiconductor manufacture;

$250,000.

Worldwater Corporation, 55 Route 31 South, Pennington,

off-grid drip irrigation system; $249,967.

For information on the advanced technology transfer program

contact the Commission on Science & Technology at 28 West State Street,

Trenton, 609-984-1671. Home page: http://www.state.nj.us/commerce/scitech.html.

Top Of Page
West Windsor, 08550; Montgomery, 085??

Zip codes in Central Jersey are more than just bar codes

for postal workers; they can mean status, or lack thereof, as well.

For those who work or live in West Windsor Township, the zip code

has been the cause of an identity crisis. Until February of this year,

most township mail was delivered under one of six different postal

codes corresponding to nearby towns: Princeton, Lawrenceville, Robbinsville,

Hightstown, Cranbury or Trenton. Only one zip code — Princeton

Junction — truly belonged to West Windsor.

Now that the U.S. Postal Service has agreed to consolidate addresses

in the West Windsor area under one new zip code, 08550, all of West

Windsor’s mail is supposed to come through the new Princeton Junction

Post Office at 331 North Post Road (609-799-1054), and either Princeton

Junction or West Windsor can now be used as the mailing address.

Meanwhile, West Windsor businesses that are there because of the Princeton

08540 zip code (including the Carnegie Center, 600 Alexander Road,

and — in the interests of full disclosure — the Roszel Road

address of this newspaper) have been allowed to retain that zip code.

Now a very similar zip code drama is beginning to unfold in Montgomery

Township, which accommodates five different area codes: Belle Mead

08502, Blawenburg 08504, Rocky Hill 08553, Skillman 08558, and good

old Princeton 08540. The issue was raised at a Montgomery Township

Committee meeting last week. The reaction of the Township Committee

was positive, and the question of consolidating all the zip codes

into one Montgomery 085-Whatever will be placed on a Recreation Department

questionnaire being mailed to residents later in the year.

If that feedback is still in favor of consolidation then it is possible

that Montgomery might follow in the footsteps of West Windsor, beginning

first with a formal request to the Postal Service, followed by a feasibility

study and another survey of residents, in which at least 85 percent

must respond and at least a simple majority of respondents must be

in favor. All that takes a year or two.

In West Windsor the question now is whether mail with the old zip

codes is still arriving, and if so is it arriving promptly? Yes, says

the post office. Letters with the old codes are being sent from central

plant in Trenton to the outlying post offices (Lawrenceville, Robbinsville,

etc.) where they are separated out. That very day they are sent to

Princeton Junction by special trucks, and these trucks are supposed

to arrive by 11:30 a.m., in time for West Windsor’s mail carriers

to add the miscoded mail to their daily load.

These special deliveries won’t last forever and, in fact, will continue

only until February, 2000. After that, you will probably get your

miscoded mail one day late, but you will still get it.

"We’re in the delivery business. We will make every attempt to

deliver the mail," says George Flood, a USPS spokesperson.

"It costs us more money to send it back, if you think about it."

Just to clarify:

Princeton Junction businesses are allowed to keep the mailing

address "Princeton Junction" but they use the same zip code

as West Windsor.

Anybody west of the railroad tracks with a Princeton address

should not be using the West Windsor zip code but should hold on to

the prized "08540." Your mail comes from the Roszel Road "Princeton"

post office.

One year from last February is the last date for the same

day delivery. After that time, delivery will be delayed by a day.

Bottom line: If your mail was changed to "West Windsor,"

throw out your old business cards and order new stationery pronto.

Top Of Page
West Windsor: Country Squires? Demographic Dilemma

<D>The zip code change described above may temporarily

confuse the demographers — who assemble statistics for the direct

marketers — and the direct marketers — who attempt to barrage

homeowners with targeted offerings. Is the "new" West Windsor

zip code more like Princeton? Or Hightstown? Or Cranbury?

Suffering from this demographic disarray is Microsoft’s homefinding

site, http://www.homeadvisor.msn.com, perhaps because it

makes the broadest possible demographic conclusions by describing

"neighborhood types."

One third of Princeton’s population, for instance, is supposed to

be "up-scale white-collar couples," dubbed "Executive

Suites." They play racquetball, watch "Seinfeld" and read

Rolling Stone and Fortune, but are merely "affluent," compared

to the "elite exurban families" who comprise 16 percent of

the 08540 population. These tennis-playing folks, termed "Country

Squires," read Boating and the Ladies Home Journal, watch the

Learning Channel, and qualify as "wealthy." The Princeton

mix also includes upscale executive families (17 percent) and young

upscale white-collar families (12 percent).

You would think that a similar mix would characterize West Windsor.

Lawrenceville, for instance, equals Princeton in its ratios of "Executive

Suites" and "Country Squires." But no, Microsoft has declared

the 08550 zip code to be 98 percent wealthy, 98 percent "Country

Squires."

Also subject to confusion are the actual listings in the online directories,

suggests Jack Drake, a Weidel real estate broker (http://www.weidel.com). (Drake’s Weidel

branch at Southfield Shopping Center, by the way, is a good example

of a zip code that has changed from a Cranbury mailing address to

West Windsor). The most successful online homefinding site, http://www.realtor.com,

yields plenty of 08550 listings (when you search by zip code) and

lots of Cranbury and Princeton Junction listings (when you search

by city). But type "West Windsor" into the city code, and

you get zero listings. The site has never heard of that location.

Top Of Page
Financial Wizards?

Who can you trust to manage your personal portfolios?

For every stockbroker or financial planner who wins raves from a customer

there is at least one critic ready to take a pot shot: If your guy

(or gal) is so great, then why do they still have to work?

A more objective measure of financial advisors is Worth magazine’s

annual survey of the 250 "most trustworthy" planners. There

were more representatives from financial giants like Bank of America

and American Express on the Worth list this year than in previous

years, but three of the "trustworthy" planners are close to

home:

Constance Herrstrom

of Premier Financial Planning in Montgomery

Commons,

Eleanore K. Szymanski of EKS Associates at 601 Ewing

Street, and

Ram Kollurri of Global Value Investors in the Carnegie

Center.

At Premier Financial Planning (609-924-2524), Herrstrom offers fee-only

financial planning to clients whose average net worth is about $930,000.

Her business ethics were presumably passed down from her father, a

minister who moved around the country. Herrstrom grew up both in West

Virginia and upstate New York, where she received a BA in education

from Nyack College, Class of 1968. She worked for Kepner-Tregoe as

a manager while receiving her MBA from Monmouth University.

Eleanore Szymanksi, founder and principal of EKS (609-921-1016, E-Mail

eksassoc@erols.com), gives her financial advice in a weekly column

for the Times of Trenton and at corporate seminars for firms such

as Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ford Motor Company. This is her fourth

year among Worth’s 250 best, and she was also selected by "Medical

Economics" as one of the 120 "Best Financial Advisers for

Doctors" in 1998. EKS is a fee-only firm with a "holistic,"

or comprehensive approach to planning, and there is no minimum net

worth required to become a client.

Szymanski is also a part-time do-gooder. Before starting EKS in 1983,

Szymanski served on the United Way Board and volunteered her CFP skills

at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service. She is still a member of

the Princeton Planned Giving Council.

Ram Kolluri of Global Value Investors (609-452-2929, E-mail: rkolluri@globalvalue.com.)

has taught at Mercer County Community College, writes a weekly column

in the Times of Trenton, and is one of 55 financial planners featured

in Mary Rowland‘s Bloomberg Press book "Best Practices for

Financial Planners" ($40, 800-634-3966). His average client has

a net worth of $2 million.

Born in southeastern India in Rajahmunbry, between Madras and Calcutta,

his father was an attorney and his mother a traditional housewife.

After getting his graduate degree at Pace University, he joined Merrill

Lynch in Manhattan, moved to Princeton in 1982, and left to start

his own firm at the end of that year.

In a May 5, 1997, story in U.S. 1, Kolluri spoke about integrity and

character in the financial world: "Although I grew up in a fairly

affluent and professional family I didn’t have a lot of money to throw

around. I developed a value and respect for money. People’s economic

security is very real to them. You can do damage to them, they are

giving you their trust and their faith. It is very important that

you do your very best and hold yourself to high standards. The clients’

savings are like the life to a doctor. If you take the patient’s life,

there is nothing left."


Previous Story Next Story


Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments