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A wave of recent channel changes at BMC Software Inc. reached a crescendo this week when Lori Cook was named vice president of global services, channels and emerging markets at the enterprise management software provider.

Cook joins Houston-based BMC as vice president of global services, channels and emerging markets. Cook is a 24-year veteran at IBM, where she most recently developed IBM’s emerging markets strategy.

She will be reporting to Cosmo “Cos” Santullo, senior vice president of sales and services at BMC. The two executives worked together at IBM earlier in their careers. Santullo was hired by BMC last November.

Cook replaces Paige Erickson, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, who will be taking a personal leave of absence from BMC, effective next week.

BMC’s Worldwide Channels Leadership team will now report directly to Cook, including Chip Nemesi, worldwide vice president of professional services; Becky Fuller, vice president of emerging growth and channels, Americas; and Edouard Fourcade, vice president of emerging growth and channels, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Cook is climbing aboard BMC during a time of turmoil for the company. BMC revealed in early April that it would cut staff by 825 to 875 employees, approximately a 12 percent reduction of its workforce.

The company had 6,429 staffers at the end of 2004. Among the employees cut was former channel director Willy Donahoo.

BMC unveiled a new channel program called the BMC Partner Network in early March. The program was formed to help VARs take advantage of BMC’s recent acquisitions of Remedy Corp. and Marimba Inc., and the Magic Solutions assets it acquired from the former Network Associates Inc.

It also was built to address partners’ needs for a more coordinated system for delivering business service management solutions.

Some VARs say the jury is still out on the program.

Jeff Stoddard, president and CEO of Los Alamitos, Calif.-based solution provider Advanced Integrated Solutions Inc., said he was concerned about BMC housing so many partners under one roof.

“It will be very difficult for one person to manage the sheer number of partners because these products serve very different channels,” Stoddard said. “I hope they spend time to educate channel folks rather than cross-pollinating products because I don’t think the desire to do that will be there.”

Stoddard noted that bringing multiple product lines under one program can be a tricky proposition. On the plus side, Stoddard said working with BMC’s direct sales force has been a positive experience.

“Their sales team actually represents all products in BMC, and then they bring in a specialist to handle specific products,” he said. “I think that’s a very good move.”

Stoddard also said he was pleased about BMC’s decision to hire Cook.

“That bodes well,” he said. “She will bring institutional knowledge with her, so I am pleased they hired someone like Lori.”