Channel Marker

March 5, 2007  7:51 AM

Channel news: Feds to own less IT; Cisco buys social nets

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Federal IT Outsourcing market reflects shortages and shift away from government-owned IT  The impending U.S. federal IT workforce shortage, war in
Iraq, and federal contract spending slowdown are resulting in a shift within the federal market away from a government-owned, government-operated model toward a contractor-owned, contractor-operated approach, according to analyst firm INPUT. As a result, the analysts forecast the federal IT outsourcing (ITO) market growth at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9 percent, from $13.3 billion in FY 2006 to $17.7 billion by FY 2011.

Berners-Lee’s talk goes back to the Web’s future Opinion: Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, presents a good argument for net neutrality. [eWEEK]

Social networking’s next phase  Next week Cisco Systems, a Silicon Valley heavyweight, plans to announce one of its most unusual deals: it is buying the technology assets of, a mostly forgotten social networking site, according to people close to the companies’ discussions. [NYT]

Continued »

March 2, 2007  2:49 PM

The stock market and the channel market

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

The stock market took a scary plunge last Tuesday in reaction to a sudden drop in China’s market. According to a Boston Globe Article, Misery in the market, the dow dropped 564 points, losing 200 points in ten minutes in the late afternoon. The market hasn’t seen a  decline this drastic since the September 11th terrorist attacks. The photos accompanying the article fall beneath the tagline, “Reverberations around the world” and portray well-suited and panic-stricken financial professionals from Shanghai, New York, San Paulo and Tokyo.

Since Tuesday, the world’s markets appear to be bouncing back.  NPR commentators are saying if investors are in it for the long-haul, Tuesdays sudden crash shouldn’t resound in an echo of panic.

How does this yo-yo economy reverberate in the channel and with SMBs? It doesn’t – or so it appears when one is desperately perusing the net for channel blogs addressing market instability. I haven’t found a thing; perhaps the channel is floating by, blissfully unscathed.

However with Dell reporting a 33 percent earnings decline and Novell reporting a first-quarter net loss of $19.9 million I wonder.

Since I can’t find the word on line, write in and let us know.

March 2, 2007  7:50 AM

Channel news: HDD failures 13X predictions; HP hires channel chief

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Disk drive failures 13 times what vendors say, study saysThe study showed annual replacement rates of disk drives are as high as 13% annually compared to vendor estimates of under 1%. The study also showed there is no correlation between heat and drive failure. In another revelation, researchers found that Serial ATA drives are just as reliable as Fibre Channel drives that cost up to four times as much per gigabyte. [Computerworld]

Worm uses Symantec tools to infiltrate SQL ServerConsidered a moderate threat, the worm gains access to Microsoft’s SQL Server and SQL databases by exploiting vulnerabilities in Symantec’s antivirus software. []

Users sound off: HP or Dell serversHewlett-Packard Co.’s is holding its ground as a top vendor in the worldwide server market, but Dell Inc. is a close second. Users say whihc they prefer.[]

HP taps outsider as Americas channel chiefAfter a four month search, Hewlett-Packard taps a McData Corp. executive to fill the
Americas channel chief post previously held by John Thompson. [ChannelWeb]

Continued »

March 1, 2007  6:07 PM

IBM partners up with SaaS SCM provider

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

IBM and i2, a provider of supply chain management (SCM) software, announced today that they will be extending their partnership for i2’s FreightMatrix, its transportation management software.

Although the two companies have been partners for several years, today’s announcement focuses on the software as a service (SaaS) edition of FreightMatrix. As part of the deal, IBM will be the exclusive hosting provider for the service — which was previously hosted by a third party — and will also help in the sales, marketing and “development” of FreightMatrix.

Dave Mitchell, IBM’s director of strategy for software as a service, said he could not comment on whether IBM will have access to or aid in the development of the program’s code. He was also mum as to what, if any, effect there will be for FreightMatrix’s channel integrators, except to say that “as any application vendor looks at their channel strategy for their SaaS solution, they need to consider that the channel is going to be different,” focusing more on the business processes around the technology, rather than its technical implementation.

IBM spokesperson Kaveri Camire would not comment on whether the deal foreshadows a possible acquisition, except to reiterate that IBM’s “strategy around M&A is aggressive” but it does not discuss acquisitions before they happen.

March 1, 2007  11:59 AM

Perfection is where you find it, even while diving out of a flaming motor home

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

The channel angle on this story is (ahem) thin. But in the interest of keeping readers informed of remarkable accomplishments being discussed online, we present the most perfect lead sentence to a news story ever: 

Lodi News — A jazz musician was injured Friday after jumping from a burning motor home driven by a one-time roller skating stripper from Lodi.  

The reality, unfortunately, is less interesting than the facts, despite the exclusion from the lead of information that would have further strained the reader’s credulity (the one-time roller-skating stripper was male), or shattered it completely (alcohol was not a factor).Still, it has potential. We see it as a gender-bending buddy movie directed by John Waters, with Johnny Depp as the jazz musician and Will Farrell as the roller-skating stripper driving the flaming RV.

March 1, 2007  8:30 AM

Channel news: Data-theft-suspects arrested; TJX errors listed

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Men arrested in Stop & Shop data theftsFour California men were arrested in what police said was a scheme to switch checkout-lane credit card readers at Stop & Shop supermarkets as a way to steal customers’ numbers and passwords. [Redmond]

PCI DSS auditors see lessons in TJX data breachFollowing the recent TJX data breach, several PCI Data Security Standard auditors say the retailer violated basic requirements of the PCI DSS. But they say there are lessons to be learned from TJX’s mistakes. []

Multiple Vulnerabilities in 802.1X SupplicantThe Cisco Secure Services Client (CSSC) is a software client that enables customers to deploy a single authentication framework using the 802.1X authentication standard across multiple device types to access both wired and wireless networks. A lightweight version of the CSSC client is also a component of the Cisco Trust Agent (CTA) within the Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) Framework solution. [Cisco]

Warezov worm fiends target Skype Dial M for Malware. [TheReg]

Continued »

February 28, 2007  2:49 PM

SMB naming standards

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

It’s no secret that small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are a hot topic these days. Companies like SAP and Oracle are giving SMBs more attention, and analysts predict this trend will continue in 2007.

But it’s also no secret that “SMB,” like so many TLAs and buzzwords, is incredibly broad. The first question to ask anyone who talks about SMBs is what they consider to be the definition of a small company, and what constitutes midsized.

Well, wonder no longer. TechTarget sister site has put together a list of how various vendors and analysts define SMBs.

And they’re even nice enough to provide a list of other potential meanings of the abbreviation, so you’ll know when talking to SAP execs that they’re probably not talking about a Server Message Block, or the Society for Mathematical Biology, or — no matter how much having one might help — a Screaming Mechanical Brain. Just feel lucky they’re not talking about Super Mario Brothers or the Steve Miller Band. Even retro cool can’t survive being that retro.

February 28, 2007  2:03 PM

IBM will not support Oracle Unbreakable Linux, for now

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The newest kid on the Linux block got a bit of a kick in the shin earlier this week with the announcement that IBM does not plan to support Oracle Unbreakable Linux. The announcement means that users who have problems running IBM software on Oracle’s Linux distribution will have to go to Oracle, not IBM, to get things working.

Unbreakable Linux is a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which IBM does support. The decision not to support Unbreakable Linux is due to lack of demand, according to Lisa Lanspery, spokesperson for IBM, as reported by news writer Jack Loftus.

IBM also supports Novell’s SUSE Linux; it and Red Hat comprise about 90% of the enterprise Linux market together, Lanspery said. If that changes in the future and more customers demand support for Unbreakable Linux, she said, IBM may offer it.

The news from IBM falls in line with earlier sentiments from systems integrators (SIs) and analysts that the battle for Linux dominance doesn’t matter too much to them. Although Novell, Red Hat and now Oracle are all vying to be the leaders in enterprise Linux, SIs can for the most part adapt to what their customers want, and ISVs are safe sticking to the most one or two popular distributions.

February 28, 2007  8:09 AM

Channel news: Mobile phone threats; remote/branch office IT agendas

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Wireless security: IT pros warily watching mobile phone threatsSecurity experts have warned repeatedly that mobile phone attacks will grow as the devices become more sophisticated. IT administrators are starting to believe them.

Security, compliance, disaster recovery are top IT concerns at remote and branch offices

Security, compliance, and disaster recovery top the list of remote office and branch office (ROBO) IT priorities, according to a new study by Enterprise Strategy Group. Improving application performance and accessibility for ROBO users were next in line in terms of importance. [Tekrati]

Windows adds ‘maybe pirate’ category

The company’s antipiracy software adds a “yellow state” for times when it just can’t tell if software is genuine. [CNET]

Continued »

February 27, 2007  5:56 PM

Competitors laud Cisco acquisition of Web-services accelerator

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Vendors in the XML application–acceleration market seem to be applauding Cisco Systems Inc.’s acquisition of Reactivity Inc., this week, if only because it validates a broad-based need for appliances that can make complex Web-services based applications run efficiently.

Both analysts and vendors say application-acceleration is one of the hottest part of the networking market right now, as end-user companies try to simplify and accelerate their networks, even as they re-design applications to use those networks more heavily.

Vendors of services-oriented application (SOA) application development and management products say Cisco’s interest proves the need for speed, but also for security, as XML-based attacks increase.

To secure SOA applications, security vendors have to be able to deconstructe SOAP and other Web services protocols and work quickly and securely with the XML itself.

The full version of this story appeared on TechTarget sister site

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