Channel Marker

June 8, 2007  2:56 PM

Healthcare industry needs I.T. professionals

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Recently IT Business Edge published a blog titled is IT Integration a National Health Care Crisis. Journalist Loraine Lawson points out that, despite a Bush administration stated goal of having a health care industry with 100 % electronic management records adoption by 2014, the progress has been slow due to inadequate funding.

Lawson points to an article from Baseline Magazine which depicts the story of Bernard Burks – a man who was waiting for Kaiser Permanente hospital to replace his failing kidney. Apparently, his medical records were lost along the credit he had accumulated after spending three years on Kaiser’s kidney transplant waiting list. Kaiser moved their treatment to another medical center.

It turned out Lawson was not alone in his frustrations. A whistle-blower reported increasing wait times and other problems at Kaiser to the media and a subsequent audit exposed a number of information management problems — including a lack of specified procedures in regard to information transfer and no master list or database for patient names.

Lawson’s article points out that at present, the health care industry only invests two percent of its revenue in IT. However, that needs to change. According to a Wisconsin Technology Network article, Without fuller IT adoption, health costs might drain America’s wealth, it needs to change soon. In the article St. Luke’s health systems information officer and vice president John Wade says that healthcare costs now “consume 15.2 % of the nation’s G. D. P.” If left unchecked, those numbers could rise to 28 percent in the next ten years.

Channel professionals could benefit from paying attention to this argument, for obvious reasons. The healthcare industry needs you! You might even want to get in on the debate. What do you think? Please let us know.


June 8, 2007  1:46 PM

IDC figures confirm declines in high end storage system spending

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

IDC today published a new report indicating that while worldwide external disk storage systems revenues grew $229 million in Q107 – a 5.9% growth rate from a year ago to $4.3 billion – what drove the increase was external storage systems priced at under $50,000. 

These findings seem to echo recent company earnings results and a Citigroup study which reflect spending sluggishness on high end storage systems, and is further evidence that a shift to cheaper storage may be a more permanent fixture of the storage market moving forward.

Brad Nisbet, program manager, IDC Storage Systems, said midrange and high end systems priced above $50,000 posted several quarters of solid growth in 2006, but this quarter saw a slowdown in sales for these systems. 

Another market trend is the continued decline of external direct attached storage which has suffered from the adoption of network storage systems, internal storage and developments in server virtualization and multi-core processors.

Regarding revenues, EMC kept the number one spot in the external disk storage systems market, with 21.2% revenue share.  HP and IBM were second and third respectively, although they are in a statistical dead heat with 13.4% and 12.7% of revenue share.  Dell and Hitachi’s number were even closer at 8.9% and 8.5% respectively. 


The network disk storage market (NAS combined with Open SAN) experienced a 14.3% year over year growth rate in Q107 to more than $3.0 billion.  In this market, EMC maintained its lead with 26.9% revenue share, second was HP with 13.5% and IBM in third spot with 11.4% of revenue share.


June 8, 2007  9:15 AM

The Channel Challenges of the moment: Slowing storage buys, collaboration ennui

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

It’s looking like there may be tight times ahead in the high-end storage market, if recent figures bear out. Despite previous bullish predictions for the continued growth of the storage market, a recent Citigroup report indicates that CIOs are becoming reluctant to spend money on high-end storage, despite unceasing growth in storage requirements and additional regulations that create even heavier data management burdens on companies of all sizes.

If the data is true–and there’s certainly room for debate on that–it only increases the storage market’s need for VARs and solution providers to deliver solutions to smaller companies to maintain growth. Technologies like IP SCSI have been getting a lot of traction with smaller businesses, as Paul Myerson of Enterprise Strategy Group said at our first storage channel event in Chicago recently.

Certainly, other technologies that have been a big driver of channel business haven’t slowed down. Server virtualization has continued to be in high demand for cost savings. And while desktop virtualization has gone largely ignored by the mainstream, desktop virtualization vendors are now pushing an idea through the channel that might actually stick–desktop virtualization as a way to protect against malware, and data theft and leaks.
But that may take some major convincing for many channel partners. That’s been the selling point of thin-client computing for some time, and while the appeal of the latest technologies may be broader, it will take a major education initiative by vendors to get many VARs and solution providers onboard. The same is true of technologies that already have significant marketing behind them–like Microsoft’s Sharepoint.

At its annual TechEd conference this week, Microsoft was pushing a new buzzphrase: “Dynamic IT”. With the release of Microsoft’s next Windows server platform looming, the company is looking to come up with some mantra to help it push its vision (and its software) through the channel to customers. But it doesn’t seem like the core of Microsoft’s strategy is getting much traction yet. While 75% of US businesses will have tried Microsoft SharePoint by the end of this year, according to Gartner, there aren’t enough SharePoint service provicers to serve the market. Larger businesses who need customization of SharePoint to meet their needs may go unserved as a result.

June 8, 2007  7:46 AM

Channel news: Exchange ‘07 SP1 coming; Qualcomm ban could hurt market

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Exchange 2007 SP1 expected to ship later this year Microsoft quietly previewed plans for its upcoming Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 at its TechEd 2007 conference this week in Orlando, Fla. [ChannelWeb]

Import ban on 3G handsets could hurt industry An import ban on all new models of 3G wireless handsets that use chipsets from Qualcomm could cause a huge headache for several cell phone makers and mobile operators if the matter is not resolved soon. [CNET]

Xandros CEO doesn’t agree that Linux is patent violator Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos said Thursday his company did not agree that its Linux distribution violates any Microsoft patents nor did the software giant ask Xandros to do so as part of the patent cross-licensing deal the two signed Monday. [Network World]

Parallels desktop 3.0 for Mac out Parallels has announced the final release of its Desktop 3.0 for Mac, which sports 3D graphics, over 50 new productivity and security features, and other enhancements to help Mac users get more out of both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. [Tech Tree]

Laptop makers push size, price limits to gain sales Notebook PC makers are stretching the boundaries of light-weight and low-cost computing, rolling out ever slimmer tablet PCs and mass market models costing as little as $200 in their quest to find the next big thing. [Reuters]

Google: Percentagewise, IIS serves up most malware In surveying some 80 million domain names, Google has found that nearly half (49 percent) of the world’s malware is coming from only 23 percent of its servers — those being Microsoft’s IIS servers. [eWeek]

Yahoo Messenger zero-day exploits on the loose Shortly after eEye Digital Security notified Yahoo Inc. yesterday that the portal’s Messenger IM client was vulnerable to attack, a researcher fingered two ActiveX controls as flawed and posted exploit code that can be used to hijack Windows machines. [Computerworld]

Denial-of-service attack targets Windows XP A vulnerability was uncovered in the way Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI+) handles icon image (ICO) files that leaves systems open to denial of service attacks. [eWeek]

MIT team powers light bulb without wires Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers announced Thursday they had made a 60-watt light bulb glow by sending it energy wirelessly, potentially previewing a future in which cell phones and other gadgets get juice without having to be plugged in. [Associated Press]

Digital signatures get Web standards nod A standards group has completed work on digital signature technology designed to ensure data authenticity between interacting Web servers. [CNET]

June 7, 2007  4:07 PM

A new way to hide malicious code

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Viruses, trojans and worms are going into stealth mode.

A recent study by security vendor Finjan has found a new type of attack that researchers say is harder to detect and stop from spreading. They’re called “evasive attacks,” and here’s how they work: They keep track of the IP addresses of visitors to an infected Web page, and only expose users to the malicious code once. When the user returns to the page, all traces of malicious code are gone. And that reduces the chances of detecting the attack quickly.

Finjan says traditional antivirus products and other security technologies will become less effective as these evasive attacks become more prevalent, and the company recommends new technologies to keep the threats from getting to that point. The study, of course, highlights Finjan’s technology that scans code in real time and prevents the attacks from launching in the first place.

June 7, 2007  11:16 AM

Meru Networks’ new and improved partner program

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

A recent press release from California-based Meru Networks announced the mobile and wireless networking vendor’s newly enhanced partner program. According to the release, the new partner program “is designed to enabled and reward partners for the value they add in helping customers address business critical wireless challenges.” To catch the value-added reseller’s (VAR’s) attention, though, they promise “financial incentives and simplified program requirements”.

Apparently, Meru is attempting to make their partners’ jobs of selling their products easier. One of the larger changes to the vendor’s partner program is the offering of free software downloads and discounts on products so that VARs will have the latest releases and versions of Meru’s products to demonstrate to potential customers.

With these changes and fortifications to their partner program, Meru is joining a growing number of networking vendors who are recognizing the importance of their resellers and partners, and doing their best to meet those partners’ needs. For more information on their partner program, contact Meru.

~Eric Pierce

June 7, 2007  11:11 AM

SOA in enterprises is catching on, but companies should understand the benefits

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Almost half of companies that have not yet started implementing service oriented architecture (SOA) plan to within three years, according to a survey by TechTarget sister site

SAP’s NetWeaver shows customers the benefits of SOA better than Oracle’s Fusion project, according to experts quoted in the article, but IBM surpasses both. Of companies that responded to the survey, 84% haven’t started implementing SOA at all.

Companies should understand their businesses needs before they pick SOA products to address them, experts said, and they should consider that SOA isn’t about specific products — it’s about the approach for getting those products to work together.

June 7, 2007  8:59 AM

Microsoft’s Stirling security suite: A VAR’s-eye view

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

On Monday Microsoft announced Stirling, a codename for the next release of its Forefront business security product. According to new reports, Stirling “integrates Microsoft’s antivirus, antispam and content filtering software, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, Forefront Client Security and network access control> tools while working with the Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP) policy.”Over in Redmond, Microsoft isn’t exactly bashful about touting what it believes to be the many virtues of Stirling. Their senior director of Security Product Marketing, Margaret Arakawa, had this to say:

The reality is other vendors are not able to deliver the level of integration or unified protection, reporting and visibility that Microsoft can. It is not easy to take disparate security technologies and management capabilities that sit in various parts of the infrastructure and the IT organization and unify them in an interconnected system of protection and management. Microsoft can do this because we have developed our Forefront portfolio with comprehensive protection and secure-access technologies across the infrastructure and have built Forefront on a common management and policy infrastructure.

These are strong claims indeed. At our sister site,, Christina Torode notes that the better connections promised in Stirling might be good if they don’t unduly handcuff IT managers:

Some IT managers remain cautious about the potential that an all-in-one offering like Stirling has to restrict IT shops flexibility. “Being able to use one product would be a good thing because a big problem we have [with security] is that we have too many places to look for relevant information,” said Peter Gluck, technology director with advertising agency Cline Davis and Mann Inc. in New York. “In general, consolidation across products is good as long as it remains flexible. All-in-one frameworks tend to get rigid,” he said.

But that’s a big if. VARs will have to wait to see if Microsoft can deliver that elusive combination of power, integration and flexibility. If Stirling does live up to its billing, it could provide VARs with a powerful network security suite that makes enterprise network security deployments less painful. But of course Symantec, McAfee and other Microsoft rivals won’t sit idly by while Microsoft sucks up their market share, so VARs would be wise to adopt a wait-and-see approach before recommending Stirling to their clients.

Matt Donnelly

June 7, 2007  7:33 AM

Channel news: Linksys’ new channel program; House passes spyware bill

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Linksys mirrors Cisco with new partner program Linksys is following in the footsteps of its parent, Cisco Systems, with a revamped channel program that adds technology specializations for partners focused on small businesses. The program is slated to be unveiled Wednesday. [ChannelWeb]

Net firms lose in House spyware vote Over objections from Internet companies and online advertisers, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill touted as an antispyware measure, a move that sets the stage for a political showdown in the Senate later this year. [CNET]

Online shoppers will pay more for privacy People are willing to pay more to buy items from online retailers who make their privacy policies clear, a new Carnegie Mellon University study showed. [Press Esc]

LG Electronics signs pact with Microsoft South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. has signed a patent cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. covering a variety of hardware and software products, the companies said Thursday. [Associated Press]

Sun CEO says Apple shifting to Solaris file system Sun Microsystems president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz, speaking at a company event, said that Sun’s ZFS file system will be “the” file system for Apple’s upcoming Leopard version of Mac OS X. Apple will announce this, he said, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference June 11-15 in San Francisco. [eWeek]

Dell to exit LCD television business Dell Inc. is leaving the LCD television business to focus on its core PC products amid an ongoing company overhaul by founder Michael Dell, Taiwan media reported on Thursday. [Reuters]

Cisco’s Linksys One brings SMB-focused gear tied to services After more than a year-and-a-half delay, Cisco this week launched its Linksys One offering, aimed at providing small businesses with packaged routing, switching, voice, wireless and security gear tied to managed services. [Network World]

Vendors virtualize Microsoft environments Software vendors this week at TechEd are taking the opportunity to update their application virtualization products to support Microsoft environments including
Vista. [Network World]

Canonical refines mobile Ubuntu Linux At the Computex trade show in Taiwan, the company announced particulars of a mobile version of Linux, Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded Edition. The first full release of the software, which will permit video, sound and full-featured Internet browsing, is due to arrive in October. [CNET]

Microsoft delivers test build of new tool for building line-of-biz apps Microsoft released a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) build of “Acropolis,” a set of components and tools for building line-of-business, portal-style .Net applications. [All About Microsoft]

Gartner: Portal, process and middleware market on the rise The market for portal, business process and middleware applications rose 16 percent in 2006, according to a new report from Gartner. [eWeek]

Zango zapped in first part of PC Tools legal battle Adware company Zango has lost the first part of its legal battle to stop antimalware company PC Tools flagging its software as potentially troublesome adware. [Computerworld]

IRS moves to close tax shelter after IBM uses it to save $1.6 billion For the second time in 12 months, the government has moved to block a tax shelter that had been aimed at converting billions of dollars of corporate profits, on which taxes have yet to be paid, into profits that will never be taxed. The move by the Internal Revenue Service came two days after International Business Machines said that it used the technique to avoid paying $1.6 billion in income taxes. [New York Times]

June 6, 2007  7:28 AM

Channel news: Sun’s new blade architecture; Microsoft threatens MVP

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Sun launches new blade architecture Sun Microsystems is after a larger piece of the blade space with a new line of systems that will offer three choices of microprocessors, including the first Sun server to use an Intel chip since the two companies announced an agreement earlier this year. [eWeek]

Microsoft threatens its most valuable professional What’s the best way to attract a pile of threatening lawyers’ letters from Microsoft? Sell pirate copies of Windows? Write a DRM-busting program? Londoner Jamie Cansdale has just discovered a new approach. He had the temerity to make Redmond’s software better. [The Register]

Symantec releases raft of security, storage fixes In the past week, Symantec has patched several vulnerabilities affecting its storage and System Center security management products. [ChannelWeb] 

Google acquires programming toolmaker PeakStream Google has acquired PeakStream, a start-up that sells tools for writing software that can take advantage of multicore processors as well as graphics and gaming chips. [CNET]

Vendors seek unity on identity protocols Microsoft will participate in a meeting later this month with vendors and organizations that are backing several different identity management systems, an indication that cooperation between the software giant and its peers is improving. [NetworkWorld]

Channel role in Asia’s SaaS market is hazy Software-as-a-service, or SaaS, is growing very rapidly in
Asia with increased adoption and awareness. Yet, the role of the traditional IT channel in this new software ecosystem is still unclear, according to a study by Springboard Research and Channel Enablers. [Tekrati]

Mozilla plugs Thunderbird security hole Mozilla is certainly having a nightmarish security week. Late June 4, it released a security-fix Version of its Thunderbird e-mail client, after updating its Firefox browser, a Firefox Google toolbar extension and its SeaMonkey Web application suite — all within the last six days. [eWeek]

3PAR, NetApp hook up on new utility storage package Utility storage vendor 3PAR and NetApp announced June 5 a partnership to build a storage package that unites 3PAR’s InServ Storage Server with NetApp V-Series systems. [eWeek]

Firefox 3.0 may block sites fingered by Google Mozilla Corp. is considering adding a tool to Firefox 3.0 that would automatically block Web sites thought to harbor malicious downloads, but the company’s security chief refused to spell out details, saying Mozilla is “not ready to talk about the feature.” [Computerworld]

IBM settles SEC probe of options report An investigation of IBM Corp. by the Securities and Exchange Commission ended Tuesday without penalty, although the government found that the technology company misled analysts about employee stock-option expenses in 2005. [Associated Press]

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