Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

At first glance, Titan Corp.’s business appears as sturdy as the company’s name. The San Diego-based Integrator won a massive Linux contract last fall and earlier this week announced a Naval Air contract that may be worth up to $460 million.

I spent recent weeknights trading e-mails with Titan’s top spokesman, attempting to nail down the integrator’s most recent Linux deal in the legal market. But neither Titan nor its newest Linux customer were available to talk.

That’s understandable. In recent days, Titan has had its hands full trying to minimize fallout from a foreign consulting scandal at the company. On March 5, Titan confirmed that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal inquiry into the company. The investigation aims to determine if Titan’s consultants made improper payments to foreign officials. Some skeptics believe the investigation could torpedo Lockheed Martin’s proposed buyout of Titan. And Standard & Poor’s is examining Titan’s credit rating for a possible upgrade—or downgrade.

Forgive the comparison, but the Titan investigation reminds me of the Martha Stewart scandal. Only 2 percent of Titan’s revenue came from international operations last year, meaning that this investigation likely involves comparatively small sums of money. Yet Wall Street smells smoke and some investors are screaming “fire.” Titan shares are down roughly 9 percent since the company announced the investigation on March 5.

Safe at Home?

Deal 2
Safe at Home?

Tech Data Corp., which is slated to announce quarterly results today (March 10), has launched a new business unit for resellers. The new unit will target the converging IT and consumer electronics markets.

The Digital Environments Specialized Business Unit (SBU) will promote IP security cameras, video projectors, plasma and LCD displays, and media center PCs. A new Tech Data lab in Clearwater, Fla., will allow resellers and integrators to design, test and troubleshoot converged technology solutions.

There’s no stopping technology convergence in the home, but I’m not sure the trend requires resellers. Consumers despise paying for telephone and cable repairs. And when a DVD player breaks, they toss it in the garbage and buy a new one rather than seeking repairs.

Paying for a reseller to “integrate” Wi-Fi switches with PCs, digital music players and videogame systems sounds like a big stretch to me. After all, our kids have set our VCR clocks for nearly two decades. Surely, they’re ready to troubleshoot our home networks.

Pinpointing the Problem

Deal 3
Pinpointing the Problem

Veritas Software and BearingPoint Inc. are partnering to promote new services that detect and correct application problems within customer settings. BearingPoint consultants, using the Veritas i3 suite, will analyze ERP, CRM and supply chain applications for performance bottlenecks and other problems.

That’s quite a tall order.

I’m not sure I’d trust a single integration firm to tune up multiple third-party applications—say, Oracle financials, PeopleSoft HR, BEA WebLogic and so forth. Application vendors already charge a small fortune for such maintenance services.

Agilysys Turns Double Play

Deal 4
Agilysys Turns Double Play

The solutions provider has signed a value-added reseller agreement with Mountain View Data Inc., which specializes in Linux management software. Separately, Agilysys signed a similar agreement with BEA Systems Inc.

Agilysys plans to promote BEA’s WebLogic application server software to midsize businesses with annual revenue up to $1 billion. In particular, the duo will target Hewlett-Packard Co.’s server customers and HP authorized enterprise resellers. Agilysys has deep roots in the HP market, and many resellers promote BEA WebLogic running on HP servers.

About Contract Watch: Each week, this column examines customer engagements that are stirring the channel, and the solutions providers behind them. Our goal is to strip away the hype and tell you what’s really selling—and what isn’t—in today’s IT marketplace. Send your tips to my e-mail address below.

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