Briefs: August 28, 2006


With the $1.3 billion acquisition, the fifth largest in IBM's history, Chairman, President and CEO Sam Palmisano has picked up new security technology for the vendor's Tivoli software line, a fleet of security consultants to add to its IBM Global Services bench and a beachhead in ISS's 11,000 customer accounts. "This is an interesting acquisition, as IBM is not a traditional security player," said Brad Reed, director of Internet security at solution provider Compuquip Technologies.

Channel partners drove 75 percent of ISS's sales in 2005, up from 68 percent the previous year. ISS partners said they hope IBM will continue building on that momentum. Much of ISS's channel comprises security specialists that haven't previously partnered with IBM, a contrast to IBM's recent $1.6 billion deal to buy FileNet, whose partner base already significantly overlaps IBM's. IBM said the deal will be a boon to its partners and ISS's, who will benefit from an expanded product line.

Symbol Technologies last week named an insider as its new channel chief.

Sanford (Sandy) Preizler is taking over as Symbol's new vice president of worldwide channels, filling a position that has been vacant since April when his predecessor, Jan Burton, moved into a new post within the company. Todd Abbott, senior vice president of worldwide sales, has been handling the duties on an interim basis.

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The new channel chief this week is scheduled to sit down with solution providers for the first time face to face since taking on the new role.

Preizler joined Symbol in March 2005 as vice president of worldwide RFID sales, where he was tasked with building the vendor's sales and development teams and defining its go-to-market strategy in the RFID arena. Prior to joining Symbol, Preizler served as a channel sales director in the eastern United States for Cisco Systems, part of a nearly 10-year tenure at the networking giant that also included several international sales management positions.

Preizler said he expects to make minor tweaks but is not planning any revolutionary changes to Symbol's channel strategy.

"I'm not moving into a broken environment. We have a strong and proven team," Preizler said.

One area he will focus on is encouraging more Symbol partners to move into the RFID arena.

Mobile and wireless vendor Symbol brings in 75 percent of sales through the channel, up from 45 percent three years ago.

BEA Systems last week said it's acquiring metadata repository maker Flashline in a move that adds another element to its AquaLogic infrastructure software for managing service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Flashline CEO Charles Stack has joined BEA and is slated to continue heading the Flashline team, which will remain in its Cleveland headquarters. Founded in 1998, privately held Flashline's customers include Countrywide Home Loans, Sabre Holdings and Wells Fargo.

Flashline's technology helps organizations manage and assess software assets like applications and business process tools exposed through Web services. Already rebranded as the BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Repository, Flashline will be a key component of BEA's AquaLogic stack, company executives said in a conference call about the acquisition.

Hewlett-Packard's ProCurve Networking by HP division this week plans to expand its lineup of stackable switches with three new series of Layer 2 Fast and Gigabit Ethernet products.

The new ProCurve Switch 2810 Series, available in 24- and 48-port versions, provides fully managed 10/100/1000 connectivity in a new form factor meant to accommodate smaller wiring closets. The switch is targeted at customers with simpler requirements that don't need the Layer 3 features available in the vendor's 2800 series. "This is hitting someone running basic applications that doesn't need the ability to route or do Power over Ethernet," said Darla Sommerville, vice president and general manager of ProCurve Americas.

The 2810-24G is priced at $2,199, while the 2810-48G is priced at $3,949.

HP is also taking its first step into the "smart," or Web-managed, switch arena with the launch of the Switch 1800 Series. The switches have no console port or command-line interface, but can be managed via a Web interface. Targeted at SMB customers and branches of large enterprises, the line is available in 8- and 24-port versions. The former excludes a fan, making it quiet enough to sit on a desktop. It is priced at $209. The latter offers two optional Gigabit fiber uplinks and is priced at $519.

For customers that require a quiet switch with higher port density, HP is also launching the Switch 2510-24, an offering that has no fan and provides a low-cost migration path to the managed switch environment. It is priced at $419.

All of the switches are scheduled to ship in September and include a lifetime warranty.

Intel has reinstated the notebook processor rebate offered as part of its fledgling whitebook program after some system builders pointed out that the rebate ended before the program developed legs.

Steve Dallman, director of Americas distribution and channel marketing at Intel, said the chip maker last week extended a rebate program that it originally offered in the second quarter. The new offer will be good through September, and Intel will double the rebate for the last two weeks of August, he said.

"We want to get things going after the delays we have seen in the supply line," Dallman said.

The rebate is good on mobile processors available for the Verified By Intel whitebooks sold through ASI, D&H Distributing, Synnex and Tech Data Canada, according to information on Intel's Web site.

Dallman declined to specify the amount of the rebate, but Intel's site said the rebate is up to $20. Doubling it would presumably increase the incentive to as much as $40.

Microsoft and Seagate are still offering the rebates that were part of the original promotion. Microsoft is offering $10 to $20 off the Windows operating system, while Seagate is providing a 4 percent to 20 percent discount on Momentus 5400 hard drives.

The Verified By Intel whitebook program was rolled out in March. The initiative was designed to give system builders a high-quality, barebones whitebook and interchangeable parts, such as power supplies and batteries. The rebate was launched shortly thereafter. System builders were enthusiastic about the program, since a rising number of computer users are migrating from desktop PCs to mobile form factors. But white-box makers said the program has been slow to take off and supply has been constrained.