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Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina will kick off a major partner event in Los Angeles on March 21. Sources say Fiorina and HP’s PartnerOne team will evangelize the company’s Total Customer Experience (TCE) strategy during the event, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 partners and solutions providers.

Under TCE, a third-party research firm, Prognostics, will conduct customer satisfaction surveys for HP’s Platinum and Gold partners. HP plans to direct more business to partners that score highest on the customer surveys. The vendor’s ultimate goal is to strengthen customer loyalty to HP-branded solutions.

Some partners are worried that HP will cull customer data from the surveys. However, Prognostics will not provide individual customer names or data to HP, in order to ensure proper customer and partner privacy.

HP is calling for Gold and Platinum partners to jump on the TCE bandwagon by November. I’ll share more details about TCE and the March partner event next week. Stay tuned.

Cashing in on compliance

Deal 2 – Cashing in on Compliance: Details are still sketchy, but I’m hearing loud rumblings from within FileNet Corp. Sources say the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company is preparing a major partnership push focused on Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA and other compliance regulations.So, who’s onboard? I’m not sure if the ink on the press release has dried, but the hotline between FileNet and BearingPoint Inc. has been very active in recent days. FileNet recently recognized BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting Inc.) as one of its top partners in the insurance market. Going forward, FileNet, BearingPoint and several other undisclosed partners will design and market content management solutions that empower businesses to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and other government regulations.

With any luck, I’ll share more details with you next week. (Memo to my FileNet sources: Hope you’re enjoying your trip. When you’re done with room service give me another call.)

Deal 3 – Who’s Hungry?: Consolidation among solutions providers continues. The latest deal involves Ciber Inc., which has acquired the IT services division of FullTilt Solutions Inc. The deal, which includes roughly 100 people, essentially doubles Ciber’s consulting operations in Philadelphia, Pa. Ciber expects to gain $15 million in annual revenue from the acquisition, though financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed.

What’s next for Ciber? Keep a close eye on the company’s vertical-market strategy. In particular, Ciber’s presence in California’s legal market continues to grow. Courtroom systems are a bread-and-butter opportunity for the company going forward. If you’re in the legal market, it might be an ideal time to touch base with Ciber.

RFID finally on the mark

Deal 4 – RFID Finally on the Mark: I’ve written quite a lot about RFID. Maybe too much, considering most businesses won’t actually use the wireless supply chain technology until 2005 or 2006. One exception is NYK Logistics Inc, which moves and manages freight for Target Inc., the massive retail chain. NYK, through a partnership with WhereNet, has deployed a real-time locating system to manage more than 50,000 inbound ocean freight containers and 30,000 outbound trailers at its Long Beach, Calif., facility.The technical details are too extensive to explain in a brief column like this. But savvy solutions providers should knock on WhereNet’s door. In addition to the NYK project. WhereNet has completed wireless projects for Ford Motor and BMW.

Joseph C. Panettieri has covered Silicon Valley since 1992. He is editorial director of the New York Institute of Technology . Write to him at