ShadowRAM: June 2, 2003

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Many solution providers who participate in Hewlett-Packard's agent program are miffed that the PartnerOne rebate incentives that go with traditional hardware sales don't apply to their agent sales. Rebates,such as those tied to growing your HP business, winning new HP accounts or displacing a competitors' hardware with HP equipment,only apply to non-agent business. HP agents wonder: If HP is so high on growing its agent business, why does the vendor relegate agent sales to second-class status?

From what we hear now, HP may be listening to those complaints. After experimenting with special promotional incentives to encourage agent sales, HP may extend programmatic rebate incentives to the agent program. Stay tuned.

Some solution providers have said working with EMC is like playing with fire. We didn't believe it until now. Tom Raimondi, president and CEO of MTI, which recently stopped manufacturing its own storage array to become an EMC solution provider, got burned by EMC. Literally. Raimondi said walking on hot coals is a yearly ritual for some of EMC's sales execs and partners at the vendor's sales meeting.

The Ottawa Citizen reported that a New Brunswick woman who successfully defended herself against criminal charges accusing her of peddling pirated Microsoft programs is now suing the company for its "unwarranted" pursuit of her. Brenda Avery, whose courtroom battle with the software giant two years ago was hailed as a David-and-Goliath tale, claims her Web-based software marketing firm collapsed because of the ordeal, the newspaper reports. She is seeking compensation and damages from Microsoft, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the lawyers who prosecuted her.

The lawsuit accuses the RCMP of pinning their case almost exclusively on the work of a former Mountie-turned-private investigator hired by Microsoft. Good luck, Brenda. We always root for righteous underdogs.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more weird on The SCO Group front: President and CEO Darl McBride reportedly said that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds for patent infringement. Hmm. Didn't Novell just point out that, according to the U.S. Patent Office, it still owns the (mostly expired) patents relating to Unix?

SCO seems to be going through a meltdown, and the real victims of this debacle could be its shareholders.

As one solution provider put it, "This fiasco has to be the single-weirdest thing I have ever seen in my life and is far stranger than I would be able to make up if I were writing a novel. Truth really is stranger than fiction."

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