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What Has Driven Delta Dental to a SQL Beta Next Year?

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Microsoft customers are testing SQL Server 2005 on different timetables. Some are old hands with the beta, but others have decided to wait a while. Tech journalist Jacqueline Emigh spoke with Karl Mudra to find out what he expects to get from a beta deployment early next year.
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The Delta Dental Plan

"If you can envision an ER [emergency room] monitoring system—with graphical displays showing heartbeat, respiratory rate, etc.—that's what I'd like for my database. I want something to be measuring the health and wellness of my system 24 hours a day," says Karl Mudra, CIO of Delta Dental of Missouri.

Now that autumn's in the air, many companies are thinking harder about their expectations for the coming year. Delta Dental of Missouri is no exception. The regional dental insurance firm now plans to install Windows Server 2003 near the beginning of next year, and to beta test SQL Server 2005 soon after that.

For insurance companies like Delta Dental, fall is particularly busy, because it's peak healthcare enrollment season. There's not enough time for a pilot right now. But if Mudra is looking for a better database, why didn't he launch the beta last summer or spring, when things were slower?

"Our attitude was, 'If it ain't broke, then why fix it?'" Mudra replies. "We didn't feel any real push until quite recently."

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