Briefs: August 16, 2004


"Most employees live in low areas, or have family in low areas," said Elio Levy, senior vice president of marketing at Tech Data.

Solution providers can order via Tech Data's Web site and its other distribution centers remained open, according to a recorded message to callers in Clearwater.

The storm could be Tampa Bay's first direct hit by a hurricane in more than 80 years, Levy said. "We've had a lot of brushes with storms, but not direct hits. It can be easy or disastrous. You never know what will happen," he said.

Some solution providers in the area affected by Hurricane Charley stayed open through at least Friday morning, scrambling to get orders filled to the few customers that likewise remained open. "It's fine outside right now. We have stuff to do," said Pat Walsh, president of Computer Station of Orlando, Longwood, Fla. "If it's not getting here until 5 [p.m.] or 8 [p.m.], why wouldn't you [stay open]? I don't blame Tech Data, though."

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Avnet beat Wall Street estimates by a penny, earning $48.7 million, or 40 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended July 3. The results compare with $11.5 million in net income, or 10 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The distributor reported $2.64 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, up 21 percent from $2.19 billion in the year-ago quarter.

"The global technology industry recovery gained momentum throughout our fiscal year and we finished with the highest quarterly year-over-year revenue growth rate in over three years," Avnet chairman and CEO Roy Vallee said in a statement. "Fiscal 2004 was a year in which revenue growth combined with operating efficiency to drive a dramatic increase in operating income. Leveraging Avnet's global capabilities to enable the success of our customers and suppliers has allowed us to capitalize on the improved technology market."

An Intel executive said the chip maker has found the glitch that pushed the launch of the next-generation Centrino mobile CPU, code-named Sonoma, to the first quarter of 2005, and confirmed that some units will ship to PC makers in the fourth quarter.

"We wanted to make sure we addressed a quality issue we found in a late stage of validation," Anand Chandrasekher, vice president of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, told financial analysts last week. "We have since found that issue and fixed it."

Intel still expects the chip's volume rollout to be in the first quarter, Chandrasekher said.

Intel has been beset recently by a series of execution problems, including the delayed launch of Sonoma, a delay until next year of the forthcoming 4 GHz version of the Pentium 4, and inventory imbalances. Those issues, among others, convinced top brass at Intel to tell customers they would undertake a top-to-bottom review of Intel's entire product road map to ensure there would be no further slips or disappointments.

IBM, Microsoft, BEA, SAP AG and Sun Microsystems last week submitted the latest version of WS-Addressing, a key Web services specification, to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

WS-Addressing defines a standard way for identifying and exchanging Web services messages between multiple end points. The specification was originally created by IBM, MIcrosoft and BEA to help enterprises build interoperable Web services applications that work across disparate hardware platforms and operating environments.

"This is a natural progression in our Web services efforts, and represents a different kind of industry collaboration that is taking place right now," said Dave Mendlen, Microsoft's director of Web services technical marketing.

"To us, interoperability is what it's all about," said Karla Norsworthy, director of dynamic e-business technologies at IBM. "Interoperability is one of the key value propositions about Web services that our customers are looking for, so we think it's essential that we get the industry to agree upon a single set of specifications."

WatchGuard Technologies extended its Firebox X family of integrated security appliances to address the needs of remote offices and small- to midsized businesses.

The new devices comprise the Firebox X Edge line, a series of wired and wireless devices that cost less than $1,100.

The new line delivers firewall, VPN, wireless security, Web-filtering and managed desktop AV capabilities in a single integrated solution. What's more, the line is designed to interoperate with Firebox X appliances located at a central site for seamless network protection across a geographically distributed organization.

All Firebox X Edge models also come with an initial subscription to WatchGuard's LifeSecurity Service, which helps customers stay on top of emerging security issues and threats with vulnerability alerts, expert advice, software updates and live customer care. The Firebox X Edge is available in three models: Firebox X5/X5w, Firebox X15/X15w and the Firebox X50/X50w.

Cisco Systems posted a 42 percent jump in earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter as the networking giant continued to benefit from corporate spending on technology and success as it branches beyond its core business of routers and switches.

For the three months ended July 31, Cisco earned $1.4 billion, or 20 cents per share, compared with profits of $982 million, or 14 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Cisco said its performance was due to its success in maintaining its routing and switching market share as well as expanding into other markets and products such as Internet telephony, home networking and security.

"This was a record-breaking quarter for Cisco on a number of financial and operational levels," said Cisco CEO John Chambers. "The investments we've made in emerging markets around the world, coupled with continued innovation in our core business and advanced technologies, are generating record results."

Array Networks launched two series of traffic management platforms that provide a broader and cost-effective range of options for accelerating and streamlining Web site content and application delivery. The TM-X2000 and TM-X4000 series devices will be available to channel partners by September. Pricing was not immediately available.

Building on Array's core TM-X technology, the new traffic management series are available in two- and six-port versions. Both series feature tightly coupled Layer 4-7 server load balancing, high-performance caching, SSL acceleration, dynamic-content compression and clustering.