Briefs: April 24, 2006


Channel sources said they are hoping the new brand will have the same impact on the desktop and server business as Centrino had in the mobile market.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini last week referred to the “new platform brand for business” in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. Sources said Otellini is scheduled to unveil the brand at a press conference on Monday in San Francisco.

Intel system builders have been clamoring for a desktop brand similar to the multimillion dollar Centrino assault for some time. In fact, they have privately referred to Intel’s impending plans in the business desktop arena as “Desktrino.”

One source close to the company said he expects Intel to use the Core moniker in reference to the company’s Core architecture. Intel is expected to back up the new brand with a massive marketing blitz.

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Intel’s Woodcrest server processor and Conroe desktop processor will ship in the third quarter, Otellini said.

Cisco Systems last week was one of several companies to contribute to a $16 million investment in Widevine Technologies, a vendor of video encryption products. Canadian telecomunications company Telus joined Cisco in the funding round, which also included contributions from several venture capital firms. Widevine’s products enable the acquisition of premium broadcast and video-on-demand content from all major studios and broadcasters. The company currently has more than 90 telco, cable, satellite and Internet service operator customers.

Widevine plans to use the funding to strengthen its marketing efforts and product portfolio, said Brian Baker, president and CEO of Widevine, in a statement.

Antispyware software vendor Webroot has added a deal registration component to its channel program to improve compensation for its partners.

Webroot’s Channel Edge program consists of Premium and Standard levels, which carry varying requirements for partner training and resource commitment. The vendor’s Premium partners last week began receiving an extra 5 percent off each sales opportunity they register that includes the vendor’s flagship Spy Sweeper Enterprise product, according to Vinay Goel, vice president of worldwide marketing at Webroot. “Deal registration is making sure that partners are comfortable sharing information with us, and it helps us forecast what kind of pipeline we can expect from the channel,” Goel said.

In addition to helping Webroot’s Standard partners realize the benefits of becoming Premium partners, adding deal registration to Spy Sweeper Enterprise will help the vendor boost sales going through channel partners from about 50 percent currently to “as close to 100 percent as possible” within the next six to nine months, he said.

Partners have opportunities to wrap pre- and post-sale services around Spy Sweeper, Goel said. For example, partners can use Webroot’s Enterprise Spy Audit, a vulnerability tool that checks customers’ networks for spyware, to generate reports branded with the partner’s own company logo, Goel said.

“[The report] gets pretty detailed in terms of the level of vulnerability,” Goel said. Enterprise Spy Audit tells you whether the threat is coming from keystroke loggers, Trojans or system monitors, he said.

Motorola last week unveiled plans to acquire Orthogon Systems, a privately held vendor of high-performance fixed wireless products. The addition will expand the vendor’s MOTOwi4 portfolio of IP wireless broadband solutions. Terms of the transaction, expected to close in the first half of 2006, were not disclosed.

Orthogon specializes in Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technology. With the Orthogon acquisition, Motorola aims to enhance OFDM capabilities in its MOTOwi4 lineup, including its WiMax and mesh offerings, the company said.

Motorola is an investor in the company and has been reselling Orthogon technology since 2004.

CA named Michael Christenson its new COO last week. Christenson, who was executive vice president of strategy and business development at CA, replaces Jeff Clarke, who has taken the job of president and CEO of the Travel Distribution Services division of Cendant. Clarke joined CA in April 2004 as CFO and was named COO a month later, according to the software vendor. His tenure at CA included some of the most dramatic moments in the company’s history, such as the departure of Chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar, the restructuring of the company’s business units and a settlement with federal prosecutors. “Jeff Clarke has been an important part of CA’s transformation efforts. He came to CA two years ago when it was in the midst of a crisis and helped to stabilize the company and to recruit a top-flight management team,” CA President and CEO John Swainson said in a statement.

Christenson joined CA in February 2005 after a stint with Citigroup Global Markets. He helped engineer what has been a buying spree for CA, which has acquired and integrated 10 companies during his tenure as executive vice president of strategy and business, according to Swainson.

MySQL this week plans to talk up its plug-in architecture that allows partners to use specialized storage and transaction engines suited for their workloads.

At MySQL’s fourth annual user conference in Santa Clara, Calif., database pioneer Jim Starkey, now a MySQL senior software architect, will discuss the company’s own developing storage engine, code-named Falcon, said Zack Urlocker, executive vice president of marketing at MySQL.

Last week, Solid Information Technology said a version of its SolidDB will be a storage and OLTP engine option for MySQL, joining InnoDB, MyISAM, Memory, Merge and Cluster plug-in engines for the MySQL database.

There are now about a half-dozen such engines, and three or four more such engines are likely.

“Some are very specialized, and not every engine is on par with the others. We could see special engines for data warehousing, OLAP, unstructured data or specialized things like accessing your mail systems,” he said.

MySQL also plans to spotlight MySQL 5.1, a point upgrade to its database that will improve data warehousing, availability, and clustering and partitioning for large databases, he said.

Speakers will include MySQL CEO Mrten Mickos, Oracle Vice President Ken Jacobs,

RightNow Technologies CEO Greg Gianforte, Hewlett-Packard Vice President Christine Martino and Open Source Applications Foundation founder Mitchell Kapor.