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Regulatory compliance worries aren’t solely the burden of larger enterprises.

SMBs (small and midsize businesses) face compliance headaches as well. Maze Information Solutions Inc., a reseller in Orlando, Fla., has cultivated a niche installing compliance solutions for small stock and insurance brokerages.

Specifically, Maze implements Intradyn Inc.’s ComplianceVault E-mail Archiving and Retrieval Appliance, which employs Sony Electronics’ AIT (Advanced Intelligent Tape) automation technology.

The compliance solution works with any e-mail server using the IMAP or POP3 e-mail protocols, according to Intradyn. The appliance comes in two stand-alone models, one with 120 G of raw space, and the other with 250 G. The appliance’s Sony AIT tape drive archives e-mail onto write-once, read-many tape. ComplianceVault also ships as a 1U rack-mountable device.

Since October, Maze Information has deployed several ComplianceVaults, all in Microsoft Exchange environments. Some projects involve just a couple of appliances, but one sales prospect may install appliances in 30 locations, said Brian McCarthy, Maze Information Solutions’ president.

McCarthy said the appliance’s price has helped his company gain traction in the SMB compliance space. In the past, the company couldn’t interest smaller businesses with $30,000 compliance solutions based on e-mail archiving software from Veritas’ KVS business unit. Maze, in contrast, sells the Intradyn appliance for a little more than $7,000, including installation.

Another plus for Intradyn’s ComplianceVault is ease of installation. McCarthy said he can dispatch a technician with a one-page script to deploy the product. In addition, McCarthy said the sales cycle for ComplianceVault is reasonably short, noting that the sign-off process generally takes a matter of weeks. Some technology solutions may be under consideration for six months before they see the budgetary green light, he added.

McCarthy called Intradyn a channel-friendly company. “One of the things I like about them is we can bring them into an account, or do a Web demo or conference call, and they aren’t going to take the deal direct,” he said. Intradyn runs a reseller/partner program.

Channel Veteran Returns to Distribution

Robert O’Malley has joined Tech Data Corp. as senior vice president of U.S. marketing, the company reported Monday.

In the 1990s, O’Malley was president of MicroAge Inc. and later was appointed CEO of that company’s Pinacor Inc. distribution business. Since then, he has held executive posts at Intermec Technologies Corp., a maker of RFID (radio-frequency identification) products, and at Immersion Inc.

At Tech Data, O’Malley will direct the company’s Specialized Business Units, Product Marketing divisions and Marketing Services organization. The Specialized Business Units cover such areas as PC components, document imaging, point-of-sale and data capture solutions, and telephony.

Outsourcing and Middle America.

Outsourcing and Middle America

Exotic overseas locales are the outsourcing location of choice, at least in many people’s minds. But out-of-the-way U.S. cities are starting to attract some attention, too.

Ciber Inc., for example, recently opened a “Made in America” application development center in Tampa, Fla. It joins the company’s other such center, which is housed in Oklahoma City.

The company plans to open additional centers over the next 18 months and “tap into the underutilized technology talent pools of midsized American metropolitan areas,” according to a company statement.

BearingPoint Inc. earlier this month announced plans to open a software development center in Hattiesburg, Miss. The center, located near the University of Southern Mississippi, initially will cater to public-sector clients but eventually will serve commercial clients as well.

BearingPoint cited the local economic development climate, an available workforce, tax credits and workforce development grants in its selection of the site.

Another smaller-city attraction: the lower cost of labor. A programmer in Hattiesburg, Miss., makes, on average, $18.33 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ November 2003 wage estimates. An application software engineer makes an average of $31.93 an hour.

In Oklahoma City, those average hourly wages are $25.11 and $26.33, respectively. In San Francisco, meanwhile, the average hourly wages are $40.15 for a programmer and $43.55 for an application software engineer, according to the bureau.

David Andersen, a partner who focuses on outsourcing at the law firm Bryan Cave LLP, said moving to a lower-priced portion of the U.S. market will result in some labor savings and avoid the “bad PR” associated with sending jobs offshore. But he said the greater labor savings available in India and elsewhere will keep attracting IT outsourcing deals for the foreseeable future.

Political and economic considerations both factor into the outsourcing equation, Andersen said. “But there will come a time in the future when the economic considerations” begin to loom larger, he added.

D&H Offers Leasing

D&H Distributing earlier this month launched an equipment leasing program that the distributor says will give resellers an edge in pursing larger opportunities.

The D&H Leasing Program, administered by NASBA Capital, may be used for equipment, software and services. Solutions must be valued at a minimum of $3,000 to qualify for the leasing program. A lease’s ceiling is determined on a case-by-case basis, according to a D&H spokeswoman. In another financial move, D&H is doubling available credit lines for about 500 resellers.

Product vendors, particularly those targeting small and midsized businesses, also have beefed up financing initiatives. IBM recently unveiled its Financing Advantage program, which aims to simplify IT financing for resellers’ SMB clients.

PointerTo read more about financing deals for VARs, click here.

Perot Meets in India

Perot Systems‘ board of directors met in Bangalore, India, this week.

The company believes that the meeting marks the first time a U.S.-based multinational IT firm has convened its board in India. Perot Systems in February intensified its focus on India, creating a separate business unit to house its India-based TSI application management operation.

PointerRead more about Perot’s progress, click here.

Perot Systems operates in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Noida and Chennai.