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The holidays approach, but executives keep playing musical chairs and ATI, HP, Microsoft, Netgear and Sun, to name but a few, keep breaking channel news.

Changing Places

Boeing CEO Leaves & Old HPer Lewis Platt Arrive

Ethics scandal and questions linked to Boeing’s defense contracts cost Phil Condit his job as he resigned on December 1st. Boeing named former Hewlett-Packard CEO and president Lewis Platt, non-executive chairman and declared Harry Stonecipher president and CEO of the company.

Tivoli Channel Chief Is Replced By Two New Officers

IBM’s Michael Twomey is leaving his position as vice president of business development and channels of the company’s Tivoli unit, to become the chief financial officer at NetBotz in Austin, Texas. IBM’s Michael Gerentine and Lou Bifano will take over the Tivoli responsibilities left behind by Twomey. Gerentine will handle channel strategy, while Bifano oversees business development.

Microsoft Adds Two Services Execs to Partner Management

In a memo to its channel partners, Microsoft declared the appointment of two new services executives in an attempt to address the concerns about the departure of consulting services chief Mike Sinneck. Vice president and CIO Rick Devenuti will take over Microsoft Services, and Shahla Aly will be named general manager of partners at Microsoft Services. Despite Devenuti’s new role, he will continue to manage the company’s internal IT function.

And, on December 9th, Microsoft will be opening its 2004 partner programs for good little VARs and integrators. Click here for more.

3Com and EDS Partner for Enterprise Push

In an attempt to fight Cisco Systems for enterprise business, 3Com reintroduced EDS to its channel partner division. According to Anik Bose, 3Com’s vice president of corporate business development, EDS will sell and service 3Com’s array of switches, routers and IP telephony products, therefore creating new sales possibilities for 3Com amid EDS’ base of giant enterprise customers.


Netgear Wants In Enterprise WLAN Space

In an attempt to enter the enterprise market, Netgear announced it will partner with Bluesocket and Propagate WLAN vendors. All three companies foresee their partnership saving enterprises 50 to 70 percent in wireless LAN capital expenses. According to the companies, Bluesocket’s wireless gateways and Propagate’s AutoCell API would supply security and management services to Netgear’s new ProSafe echelon of enterprise-level access points.

Sun Builds on Entry-Level Server Strategy

During its quarterly product launch in Germany, Sun revealed a wide array of servers and workstations. According to Larry Singer, the company’s senior vice president of global markets and strategies, Sun intends to present its first two-way Opteron servers in early 2004, and its four-way servers in mid-2004.

The Sun Fire B100x, a one-way blade server on AMD’s Mobile Athlon XP 1800++ processor listed at $1,795, was one of the new products revealed at the launch. The B10p SSL Proxy blade server was also revealed at $13, 800. According to Sun’s vice president of volume systems products marketing and strategy, Souheil Saliba, both blade servers can co-exist in the same 3U giving customers the ability to mix and match Linux and Solaris operating systems, SPARC and x86 architectures and special purpose servers, all in the same frame. The company also upgraded its Sun Fire V60x and V65x servers to 3.2GHz Xeon processors, and its midrange V480 and V1280 SPARC servers to 1.2GHz processors. The Netra 240, a NEBS Level 3-certified server with a 1.28 GHz processor, 1 GB of memory and a 73-GB hard drive, was introduced on the telecom side at $6, 995.

Click here for more details.

Microsoft Pushs New IP Licensing Program

Microsoft chose to expand more of its IP for licensing, by introducing royalty-bearing licensing plans for its ClearType font-rendering technology and Windows FAT file system. The company’s top legal counsel noted that Microsoft would allow extensive access to its 4,000 patent portfolio and Web service standards, among other things. Under the plan, the company is devoted to licensing IP on understandable, commercially sound terms based on industry norms and reorganizing the plan to make it simpler for technology businesses to work together. Other than Windows FAT and ClearType code, it is still uncertain the degree to which office APIs and .Net code will be offered to which corporations.

Click here for more details.

Channel News

Intel: Less Sales, But More Profit

Intel Corp. expects its fourth-quarter revenue to be somewhere around $8.5 billion and $8.7 billion, do to the elevated demand for PCs and other electronics during this holiday season. Back in October, Intel predicted the revenue to be between $8.1 and $8.7 billion. According to a Thomson First Call survey, Intel is expected to post an earning of 29 cents per share on sales of sales of $8.53 billion for October, November and December.

D&H And VARStreet Partner

D&H Distributing joined forces with VARStreet in a partnership that will give customers of D&H expanded product pricing, one-step ordering and availability search resources. The deal, according to Jeff Davis, vice president of sales at D&H, will make it easier for customers to use one system, ordering and buying a product from one screen. D&H hopes the partnership will help them gain more customers.

Comstor Adds Reseller Marketing Help

Westcon’s networking division Comstor, started a new Comstor Market Vision to assist solution providers’ move into the marketing fixture. Comstor will assist its providers in developing, constructing and evaluating marketing efforts. Some of the services Comstor will provide include advertising, custom-made collateral graphics, insignia, campaign and Web design, and print and internet marketing services.

Intel and MCI Services Partner To Add MCI Services to Intel Channel

Intel and MCI announced a partnership that allows Intel’s 40,000 resellers the ability to provide MCI’s voice, data and internet services. Both companies will create products aimed at clients of the Intel Product Dealer channel. Intel and MCI will advertise and sell product packages including VPNs and wireless hotspot communication.

ATI Launches System Builders Channel Program

ATI Technologies introduced a new channel agenda for solution providers that will assist integrators using graphic cards from its 10 manufacturing associates. To help with this, ATI hired Larry McIntosh, a North American channel sales director, to manage the program. The revised program offers Gold Level associates market development resources, one-to-one sales assistance and custom-made marketing programs. The program will also give Silver Level associates access to a channel-devoted technical assistance call center, online and marketing resources, and discounts on product assessment units.


HP Extends Adaptive Enterprise

Hewlett-Packard has come up with a plan to lower the total PC cost by nearly half, by changing the usual desktop PC with a server blade design. According to HP’s director of utility computing and virtualization, Nick van der Sweep, the company is fine-tuning its BL10e server blades to allow them to be used as desktop PCs. Customers must pay a fee of $1,500 per user to have their desktop PCs replaced with blades. Van der Sweep also noted the new blades are currently only available for use in pilot programs, but will be generally available in March. HP also plans to launch blades with Transmeta processors in March at rate of $799 per blade and $399 for the software.

NewWave Has New Bundle for Resellers

NewWave Technologies introduced a new program to package WORM and Non-WORM tape libraries from Qualstar with software from XenData that will help get enterprise contact and storage management simultaneously under one roof.

Dan Filipek, NewWave’s national sales manager, sees the package as a chance for NewWave’s 5,000 solution providers to concentrate on high-margin storage possibilities. The company also intends to incorporate training on iSCSI technology from StoneFly that will be pertinent to the package.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Altiris Picks Up Wise For Almost $43 Million

Altiris purchased Wise Solutions in a stock and cash agreement worth nearly $43 million. Altiris decided to fork over $31.5 million in cash and issue 348,797 shares of the company common stock for all capital stock of Wise. Company executives think the acquirement of Wise will improve the company’s IT life-cycle management products. Executives also trust Wise will strengthen Altiris’ customer and server management offerings, particularly in software delivery and patch management.

SMARTS, BladeLogic Ally for Data Center Automation

BladeLogic and SMARTS have created an alliance to enlarge data center automation. The partnership is designed to assist solution providers influence both companies’ network management appliances to enhance service reaction and decrease operational costs. It allows VARs to influence the InCharge service from SMARTS and the BladeLogic Operations Manager to examine, identify and fix application infrastructures. Carl Coken, director of product marketing for SMARTS, noted that companies using the automation will only have to hand out a small amount of helpdesk tickets.