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Affiliated Computer Services Inc. on Monday disclosed a $100.5 million outsourcing contract with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

The five-year deal will focus on information technology outsourcing as opposed to the business process outsourcing projects for which ACS is perhaps better known.

ACS will manage more than 5,000 Unix, Windows/Intel, OS390 mainframe and Open VMS servers housed in GlaxoSmithKline data centers in the United States and United Kingdom.

David Cheatham, director of global IT communications at GlaxoSmithKline, said the company’s outsourcing objective is to boost service.

“Our goal here is to improve our service level and expand our capabilities and do so at a lower cost,” he explained.

The outsourcing pact will affect 150 regular, full-time employees and contract employees. The affected employees are balanced between the pharmaceutical company’s U.S. and U.K. locations, Cheatham said.

He said it is not currently known how many employees will be extending job offers with ACS, adding that ACS and GlaxoSmithKline will establish a plan in the September-October timeframe.

Personnel moves in the U.K. will take into account the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, which apply to situations in which all or part of a business is transferred to a new employer.

ACS, meanwhile, will assume responsibility for managing data center operations at four GlaxoSmithKline sites: King of Prussia, Pa.; Research Triangle Park, N.C.; Stevenage, U.K.; and Brentford, U.K. The outsourcer also will establish a new governance model for transaction management that includes capacity planning and quality management system support.

The outsourcing project follows two earlier ACS projects at GlaxoSmithKline. A June 2003 deal focused on support for legacy business systems, while a 2004 agreement involved the development of a Registration and Medication Ordering System.

The deal also provides a lift for Apparent Networks Inc. and its AppareNet network diagnostic and assessment software tool. Apparent Networks in July announced an alliance with ACS, in which the outsourcer will use AppareNet internally and support customer data centers.
A spokeswoman for Apparent Networks, citing an ACS source, said ACS will use AppareNet on the GlaxoSmithKline deal. ACS also plans to use AppareNet on its outsourcing contract with Walt Disney Co.

Ciber Upgrades ERP for Goya Foods

Ciber Inc.’s Ciber Enterprise Solutions division tapped Lawson Software to upgrade business systems at Goya Foods, the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food company.

Ciber used Lawson’s middle-market enterprise resource planning software to upgrade Goya’s general ledger, accounts payable, asset management, purchasing, and requisitions and inventory control applications. In the course of the ERP project, Ciber provided project management, application consulting and technical services.

A Ciber spokeswoman said the company continues to work with Goya as the company “determines its information system requirements.”

Next page: Systems management, IP PBX in the channel.

Hyperic Pursues Channel

Hyperic LLC, a systems management vendor, plans to expand its channel strategy, which includes courting OEMs and MSPs (managed services providers).

The nearly 2-year-old company earlier this week inked a deal with JBoss Inc., in which the middleware vendor will incorporate Hyperic’s HQ 2.1 management platform into its JBoss Network Enterprise Manager.

The manager is part of the JBoss Subscription. JBoss software is available on an open-source basis, but customers pay a subscription fee for support services.

On the open-source side, Hyperic’s software manages Apache, JBoss, PostgreSQL and Linux environments, for example. But the company also supports IBM’s WebSphere, BEA’s WebLogic, Unix variants, Windows and a range of other platforms.

Javier Soltero, Hyperic’s chief executive officer, said the company will present its management platform to managed service providers and other OEM partners “as a way to grow additional revenue” from their customer bases.

He said open-source partners may be able to use the product to “monetize their installed base.” Open-source providers can provide the company’s software as an extra support services option, he said, noting that open source has “a weak management story to begin with.”

Soltero said Hyperic also works with MSPs such as DeployLinux and OneWebHosting. But he said Hyperic is close to inking a deal with a large U.S. application hosting company that he declined to identify. Hyperic plans to pursue deals with every major MSP in the United States and in emerging markets such as Brazil, he said.

Soltero added that Hyperic would rather work with established channels than offer its software on a hosted basis. He said it would be reasonable to expect 30 percent to 40 percent of the company’s business to come through the OEM and MSP channels.

IP PBX Maintains Momentum

This past spring saw two open-source-based IP public branch exchange companies pitch their wares to the channel.

In June Switchvox launched a channel program in hopes of enticing resellers to sell its products to small and medium-sized accounts.

At Switchvox, channel sales recently outpaced direct sales, according to Joshua Stephens, the company’s CEO. The Switchvox channel program provides resellers with two hours of free, hands-on training, a client referral program, marketing materials, customer testimonials and free access to a fully functional Switchvox server.

Also in June, Fonality emerged from stealth mode with plans to employ consultants and integrators to sell its IP PBX to SMBs.

Fonality this week provided an update on its channel efforts. The company said it has signed more than 500 resellers that will distribute its PBXtra IP PBX product.

Shem Steppe, owner of Regularguy Computer Consulting, said open source-based IP PBX software provides an edge in some accounts, since the technology offers advanced feature set at a lower price point than traditional PBXs. His company resells Fonality.

Steppe said most of the activity he has seen is among small and midsized businesses. Larger companies, he added, “have some real reservations about going with open source on the voice side.” The problem isn’t with the technology. The main issue is that the larger firms want to deal with big-name product suppliers, he said.