Channel Marker

May 28, 2007  2:18 PM

Beware Best Buy

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

An eWeek article recently reported that Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is suing Best Buy for deceptive advertising practices. According to the article, the prices listed on the in-store kiosks were higher than prices advertised on Bes

In the article Blumenthal is quoted as saying, ” The in-store site was an internet look-alike, commonly with higher prices, that were charged to customers.”

The lawsuit asks restitution be paid to customers who paid the higher price because of Best Buy’s misrepresentation.

I decided to peruse the blogosphere; this is what I found.

A Techdirt blogger named Joe Weisenthal posted an expose dated February 9th. Best Buy’s in-store Web site might not be reports that customers who were drawn to a sale advertised on were told — once they were at the store– that the sale was over. Employees pulled up price information from the in-store kiosks. One savvy customer got on a computer in the store and checked on the actual, which listed the sale as ongoing. This customer concluded that the electronic megastore had a secret internal Web site that looked like the real site. 

On March 2nd, techdirt blogger Mike Marsnick wrote, “We had more than a few Best Buy employees confirm that such an internal site exists.

A Hartford Courant article, also dated March 2, reported that state investigators pressured the company into admitting to the fake  site.

Things aren’t looking good for Best Buy; however blogger Kyle Mom’s wrote “Best Buy is a great company.” He pointed at untrained empoyees who “don’t know how to access the external site” and posted this clip from a Best Buy employee newsletter.

“Have you ever had a customer come in with a printout that reflected on price on a product, but when you looked it up on your in-store kiosk it was another price. That’s because the kiosk in your store reflects your store’s pricing, not necessarily the online offers….Be aware of the differences, so you can price match the prices the customer sees on and avoid confusing the customer.”

My question is why the difference in price? Comments, questions, enlightenment? We’d love to hear from you.

May 25, 2007  7:20 AM

Channel news: Spoofing technique passes filters; Microsoft open-source signals mixed

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Strange spoofing technique evades antiphishing filtersTargets include PayPal, eBay and others. [TheReg]

Microsoft crosses signals on open source Days after saying that open source software infringes on its patents, Microsoft discloses its plan to build bridges between Active Directory and OpenLDAP. []

Connecticut sues Best Buy for deceiving customers State’s Attorney General: “Best Buy treated its customers like suckers” by using “a technological bait-and-switch-plus.” [eWEEK] Continued »

May 24, 2007  12:01 PM

StillSecure’s new network security partner program

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Value-added resellers looking to expand their portfolios in the area of network security have a new opportunity. In his blog, The Converging Network, Mitchell Ashley, StillSecure CTO and GM, has announced that the secure network infrastructure vendor is launching their StillSecure Cobia Partner Program.

Cobia, an open source unified network platform, will allow value-added resellers the chance to offer their customers Cobia’s network security features, as well as appliances, software and support.

According to Ashley, “Cobia changes the playing field in the network infrastructure industry. As an open, modular, community source platform, it offers a virtually unlimited number of products and services that resellers, software vendors and hardware manufacturers can offer. It’s a game changing opportunity for a broad ecosystem of partners who are looking for new revenue sources rather than having to fight it out selling the same traditional fixed appliances with razor thin margins.”

Buzzwords aside, StillSecure is offering three partner programs: for VARs, ISVs and OEMs. According to the press release, the vendor will provide partners with “online sales tools, technical training, support resources and co-marketing opportunities.”

According to Lou Rubbo, Principal of DirSec, one of the numerous VARs already onboard, “With Cobia, DirSec can solve both networking and security needs on one platform. Plus, Cobia’s virtualization capabilities provide us with a whole new market that we can build products and services around.”

~Eric Pierce

May 24, 2007  7:39 AM

Channel news: Dell launches Linux; Office has new 0-day flaw

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Microsoft investigates new Office zero-day flaw Attackers could exploit a newly-discovered zero-day flaw in Office 2000 to run malicious code on targeted machines, Symantec warned. Microsoft is investigating the issue.

Dell finally launches computers with Linux Dell Inc. said it is launching three computer systems, including one notebook, on Thursday that will come with the open-source Linux operating system already installed. [Reuters]

IETF approves new weapon to fight spam, phish DomainKeys Identified Mail specification (DKIM) gained approval as an official IETF standard. The approval is seen as a major step in the fight against spam and phishing attacks.[] Continued »

May 23, 2007  3:40 PM

Quest offers application development suite for SharePoint

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft Sharepoint integrators and value-added resellers (VARs) have a new option for their clients interested in application development.

Quest Software, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based vendor, today announced its Development Studio for SharePoint. A release by the company touts the product’s drag-and-drop interface as a user-friendly way to build applications with SharePoint’s configurable Web parts — and save on development costs. And executives pledge to work with the channel on SharePoint projects.

Quest already offers a site administrator, public folder migrator, recovery manager and discovery wizard for SharePoint. Development Studio is based on the Developer Suite by Workplace Architects, a company whose assets Quest recently acquired. Its starting price is $15,000 per Web server.

We’ll have an upcoming story about channel opportunities in SharePoint, but in the meantime, Quest has this podcast, “Creating the Value in SharePoint.”

May 23, 2007  9:43 AM

Channel news: OpenOffice users hit by malware; Cisco focuses on one future

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Malware targets OpenOffice users Malware miscreants have crafted a cross-platform worm targeted at OpenOffice users that’s capable of infecting Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The OpenOffice/StarBasic macro worm, dubbed BadBunny is a proof-of-concept worm that’s not been seen outside the lab. Most anti-virus firms describe it as a low-risk threat. [TheReg]

Cisco pushes forward, while being flanked by competitors CEO John Chambers promises impressive productivity increases, wider acceptance of advanced technology. But while Cisco plans, are Avaya, HP and others nibbling away at its base? [ChannelMarker]

Cisco warns of new IOS flaws The new flaws are classified as “low,” but if exploited they could result in a sustained DoS condition, Cisco said.
[] Continued »

May 23, 2007  9:40 AM

SAP, Novell form support partnership

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

SAP and Novell announced last week that SAP is offering support for Novell’s SUSE Enterprise Linux through its Solution Manager, the solution through which customers report and track troubleshooting tickets.

The partnership is designed to cut down on “finger-pointing” that can arise when users running SAP applications on Linux file a ticket which is tracked to a problem with the operating system itself, according to Frank Witte, director of SAP’s global open source office.

Once SAP’s Linux lab determines that the problem is with the OS itself, customers often find they do not have an adequate support contract from their Linux distributor, Witte said. Under the partnership, customers will be able to purchase a “premium” support package from Novell through the Solutions Manager application, he said.

In addition to SUSE, SAP is also certified under Red Hat and Red Flag, a Chinese Linux distribution. Of those, only SUSE is currently included in the Solutions Manager, but Witte said SAP is in negotiations with Red Hat would consider a deal similar to the one with Novell.

SAP is also endorsing SUSE Enterprise Linux as a “preferred platform” and plans to work with Novell on future integration, including virtualiation and stability under high-load situations, Witte said.

Other Linux companies have announced similar programs that aim to deliver customers a complete stack with a single point of contact. Oracle, one of SAP’s main rivals, announced in October its Unbreakable Linux, a support program for a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat itself unveiled the Red Hat Exchange (RHX) earlier this month, a Web portal through which the Linux vendors distributes and supports third-party applications.

But Witte said the SAP-Novell deal, which was first brainstormed a year and a half ago and ramped up about three months ago, was driven by customer demand and is not a response to other companies.

Yuval Shavit

May 22, 2007  7:55 PM

Interop reporter’s notebook: Cisco pushes forward, while being flanked by competitors

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

In the long term it’s often developments from small companies that end up being the most interesting to debut at major industry trade shows like Interop, which is under way in Las Vegas this week.

But the headlines always focus on tussles among the big players, and this year is no exception.

Microsoft Corp., for example, grabbed some of the spotlight by announcing it had joined forces with the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) to create a specification that will allow each company’s network access control (NAC) products to work well together. Continued »

May 22, 2007  10:17 AM

PatchLink moves to 100% channel strategy

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

PatchLink, a Scottsdale, Arizona security vendor, plans to sell all of its products through its value-added resellers (VARs).

The company, best known for its security patch and vulnerability management products, made the announcement this morning. Its multi-tiered channel program, called the Global Solution Provider Program, began in 2005 and has brought PatchLink 340 new customers since the beginning of this year. Company executives hope their 100% channel strategy will drive that number even higher.

PatchLink joins a growing list of security vendors putting more emphasis on their channel programs. Boston-based Sophos went to a 100% channel model last month, and Symantec enhanced its partner program with bigger rewards in late winter.

–Colin Steele

May 21, 2007  7:18 PM

EMC’s new products target backup and recovery market

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

EMC Corporation has a whole new set of hardware and software to sell to customers including the introduction of the EMC Disk Library 6000 series, which was unveiled today at EMC World in Orlando, Fla.  For large data centers, the DL 6000 consists of the DL6100 and the DL6300 and gives users the ability to store up to 1.8 petabytes of capacity and can backup more than 11 terabytes of data per hour.  The DL 6000 is based on EMC’s DMX-3 storage platform, which allows customers to use tiered storage within the array.  The DL6000 costs $1 million, and will be sold primarily through EMC’s direct sales representatives.

There was something, however, for authorized resellers servicing  small and medium size businesses (SMBs) including the Avamar data deduplication software version 3.7, an upgrade that now comes with VMware integration for customers who are consolidating their storage through virtualization projects and need a tool to eliminate information redundancy. “Customers can now reduce virtual machine backup times by up to 90%,” said David Donatelli, EMC’s executive vice president, storage product operations. The company has also designed Avamar to integrate with more EMC products such as the Celerra network attached storage (NAS) systems.

The EMC HomeBase, a new software tool that provides bare metal recovery of servers was also introduced today.  HomeBase works with EMC’s backup and recovery software NetWorker, as well as VMware and Avamar.  NetWorker also received a refresh and now supports more native languages for multinational customers like those in the Asia Pacific region. 

Finally, a new version of EMC RecoverPoint software for continuous remote replication was also announced.  Now RecoverPoint supports Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) a tool that manages backup and restore functions for Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server.  

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