Briefs: October 10, 2005


The new program also includes improved credit terms, vendor promotions, quarterly regional road shows and improved e-business tools for solution providers, according to Tom Ducatelli, senior vice president of U.S. sales for Tech Data.

Steve Shelton, technical sales manager for Tritech Corp. of America, a Tech Data customer, said the initiative is part of Tech Data&s culture to go “above and beyond to help” VARs win business.

The distributor has about 100 inside sales reps including 60 new hires focusing on helping VARs win more small business opportunities, Ducatelli said. “There is tremendous amount of potential with a high degree of differentiation to support customers focusing on small businesses,” he said.

Samsung has enhanced its Power Partner Program for the channel and incorporated it within its Global Samsung Business Network infrastructure, according to the company.

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“[Samsung] Global is following the lead from the United States& [division],” said Helman Lukito, reseller marketing manager for Samsung&s Information Technology division.

“Samsung is unifying its strategy for the commercial channel by following more into a global type of strategy, rather than having independently run product portals,” Lukito said.

In particular, Samsung&s U.S. channel program is now tied directly into the electronics and IT products giant&s worldwide ERP system, which executives said will provide better efficiency and tools for channel partners.

Microsoft announced several licensing changes designed to lower costs of virtualization for its Windows server system and improve usage rights on its forthcoming Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Longhorn Server. The changes will go into effect Dec. 1, Microsoft said.

First, licenses for the upcoming Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition will allow customers to run up to four virtual instances of a server application on one physical server at no additional cost, according to Microsoft. Moreover, licenses for Windows Server Longhorn Datacenter Edition will give customers the right to run an unlimited number of virtual machines running workloads on one physical server.

Microsoft also announced updated retail and OEM licensing, including per-processor licensing, which will enable customers to stack multiple instances of a Windows Server System on a machine by licensing for the number of virtual processors being used, rather than physical processors. This will enable customers to run virtual instances on dual-core processors with no additional costs.

Finally, customers will no longer be required to license every “inactive or stored” virtual instance of a Windows Server System product, Microsoft said. Customers can create and store unlimited numbers of virtual instances and pay only for those that are actively running at any time.

F5 Networks this week is rolling out its new Application Security Module, a software add-on for its Big-IP application switch.

The new module, built on technology F5 picked up via its acquisition of MagniFire in 2004, adds an integrated application firewall to the vendor&s traffic management platform.

The application firewall also continues to be sold separately as F5&s TrafficShield family of security appliances. The integrated functionality is enabled by F5&s Traffic Management Operating System, a complete rewrite of Big-IP&s underlying OS that was introduced last year as a first step toward building functionality such as content acceleration, traffic compression, bandwidth optimization and security features into the application switch. The module is available now for $12,500 and runs on F5&s Big-IP 6400 and 6800 models.

A new Microsoft Open Value license deal for small businesses and partners supporting them wraps Windows XP, Office 2003 and Small Business Server CAL into one easy to understand three-year license, according to the company.

The new Small Business Platform SKU “is sort of an enterprise agreement for small businesses, bringing with it all the services and upgrade rights of Software Assurance,” said Cindy Bates, general manager of Microsoft&s U.S. Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners Group.

The SKU costs about $922, compared to $2,381 if the customer bought all the pieces separately. In addition, through March 2006, Microsoft will make out a check to the customer&s partner of choice to cover implementation and services connected to deployment.

Meanwhile, Microsoft acknowledged last week that its upcoming Office 12 applications will support the popular PDF format.

Office 12 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, Visio and InfoPath will be able to save to the Adobe portable document format that has become the lingua franca of electronic documents.

Corel WordPerfect Office has offered PDF support for years, and Sun Microsystems& StarOffice 8 does the same, but until now Office users needed a third-party product, such as Adobe Acrobat, to convert their documents to PDFs. EX-PEOPLESOFT CEO CONWAY JOINS SALESFORCE.COM BOARD
Former PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway has joined the board of

“Craig is a seasoned executive who brings a wealth of industry and business knowledge that will benefit as we continue to redefine the ... marketplace,” Chairman Marc Benioff said in a statement.

The appointment may add an intriguing twist to efforts to thwart a looming threat from Oracle, which bought PeopleSoft last year.

Conway, a former Oracle executive, starred in a Silicon Valley software drama during much of 2003 and 2004 as he defiantly fought Oracle&s hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft and railed against his former boss, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

After fighting Oracle for more than a year, PeopleSoft&s board fired Conway a year ago, saying it had lost confidence in his leadership. PeopleSoft was sold to Oracle for $11.1 billion two-and-a-half months after Conway&s departure. Conway has kept a low profile since his firing.

Oracle last month struck a $5.85 billion deal to buy another rival, Siebel Systems, an acquisition that puts it on a collision course with

With about 308,000 subscribers, is expected to book about $300 million in sales for the fiscal year ending in January 2006.