Briefs: August 30, 2004


Mercedes Ellison, BEA senior vice president of marketing, has resigned from the company, a BEA spokeswoman confirmed. Ellison's last day is slated to be Aug. 30. She reported to former BEA chief marketing officer Tod Nielsen, who left BEA last week.

Ellison's resignation also comes on the heels of the departure of another BEA channel executive, Scott Edgington, former vice president of channel and worldwide alliances in charge of ISVs. Edgington has since joined startup Voltage Security. These departures leave Bobby Napiltonia, vice president of channel and worldwide alliances, as the sole channel executive remaining at BEA.

Ellison joined BEA in August 2002 to help iron out the company's marketing strategy after channel advocate and the creator of BEA's first channel program, Rauline Ochs, left the company in April of that year. Ochs is now group vice president of North American channels at Oracle.

Microsoft released to manufacturing its long-awaited Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005, an enhanced management software platform that simplifies and automates the design and management of Windows Server System. MOM 2005 is slated to be available Oct. 1.

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It is the first major upgrade of the platform since MOM 2000 debuted in 2000. In March 2004, as the industry awaited the release of MOM 2005, Microsoft said it would release the first Express version of MOM 2005, which would help reduce IT management costs for SMB-focused channel partners and their customers.

Pricing for the enterprise server license is $729, and an Operations Management License that covers five MOM 2005-managed devices costs $2,689. The Express version"named MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition"is priced at $499.

After acknowledging inventory imbalances, Intel last week cut prices by as much as 35 percent on some of its higher-end Pentium 4 processors, including chopping the price of its 3GHz Pentium 4 to $178 from $218. The price of the 2.8GHz Pentium 4 remained the same at $163. Pricing is based on lots of 1,000 units.

Intel also cut the price of the 3.6GHz Pentium 4 to $417 from $637 and the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 to $278 from $417.

Intel's moves were not unexpected. The price cuts indicate Intel may be ready to resume an aggressive market strategy, even after a series of setbacks in plans to launch its Sonoma wireless processor technology and its 4GHz Pentium 4, among other products.

Spectra Logic broke out its federal business into a new dedicated enterprise federal division.

Spectra Logic Federal, which accounts for about one-quarter of the company's revenue, has its own sales and systems engineers, as well as dedicated channel marketing, said Brian Grainger, director of federal sales, adding that the group does not deal direct with the government.

The company plans to unveil a military-grade version of its Spectra 10K, with more than 20 Tbytes of capacity on AIT-4 tape, for the federal space in a couple of weeks, Grainger said.

Networking giant Cisco Systems said it has agreed to acquire P-Cube for about $200 million in cash and stock options.

Cisco expects to record a charge of no more than 1 cent per share from the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

P-Cube, which currently has 118 employees, develops software for monitoring Internet protocol network activity. The company's team will report to Pankaj Patel, vice president and general manager of Cisco's broadband edge and midrange routing business division.

Business intelligence software vendor Actuate said it has teamed with the Eclipse Foundation on a project to build an open-source business reporting tool.

Actuate has joined Eclipse, the open-source tools group spun off from IBM earlier this year, as a strategic developer and board member.

As part of its membership, Actuate will act as the lead on the new Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project, the goal of which is to build a business reporting tool on the open-source Eclipse IDE, said Mark Coggins, senior vice president of engineering at Actuate. Actuate will contribute at least seven engineers to work on BIRT, a requirement of strategic developer membership with Eclipse.

BIRT was published for community review last Tuesday and is now in a 30-day review cycle, during which community members can provide feedback on the project, Coggins said. By Sept. 24, the project should be accepted by Eclipse and a charter for the project announced. At that point, developers will begin building the BIRT tool, he said.

Samsung is upping the ante in the competitive color laser printer segment, rolling out a new channel program that gives resellers extra rebates of as much as 5 percent if they meet sales goals.

The Information Technology Division of Samsung opened up a "President's Color Club" for resellers with three new levels of compensation as well as extra marketing support.

"This is a great opportunity for Samsung in the color laser segment, where we have a great deal of products coming out over the next year," said Jay Shears, director of office automation for the Samsung IT products division. "We have the opportunity now to enter this brand-new segment with leading products and be able to establish ourselves as a leading brand."

The program, which will be open to members of Samsung's Power Partner Program, includes three tiers with varying levels of compensation for solution providers that resell Samsung's CLP-550 color laser printer and future printer products.

Tier one, the President level, will be available to solution providers that purchase five to 10 color laser printers over the course of 12 months, Samsung said. Other benefits include a free CLP-550 with the purchase of one.

Tier two, the Silver level, will be open to solution providers that purchase between 11 and 100 Samsung color lasers over the course of 12 months. At that level, solution providers will receive 2 percent cash back on Samsung color laser printers, in addition to the buy-one-get-one-free CLP-550 offer, and additional call-in product sales and support.

Tier three, the Platinum level, will include solution providers that purchase 101 or more Samsung color laser printers in 12 months. That includes a 5 percent cash-back rebate plus incentives from other levels and intensive marketing, sales and technical support, according to Samsung.