IT Channel News Briefs, Nov. 13

Today's headlines: Cisco cancels its global sales meeting, and Tech Data upgrades its lead-generation and license management tools for VARs.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008.

Cisco nixes global sales meeting

Cisco Systems has canceled its global sales meeting for internal sales staff, according to published reports. The cancellation is part of an effort to slash $1 billion in spending in the coming year -- a move that CEO John Chambers said would hit travel and events budgets. Cisco has also cancelled its Women's Leadership Forum scheduled for this week, and the company has yet to release details of its annual C-Scape analyst event, which is typically held in December.

TechData enhances reseller tools

Tech Data today announced upgrades to its MyTools lead generation and license management resource for resellers. The MyLeadTracker feature now alerts resellers about potential hardware and software upgrade opportunities, environmentally friendly upgrades and replacements for discontinued software. And the MyLicenseTracker feature, which lets resellers obtain lost or deleted software keys, has added support for CheckPoint, Corel, Diskeeper, Kaspersky, Parallels and VMware.

Intel lowers forecast

Chip giant Intel cut its forecast by at least $1 billion in sales. The company had expected $10.1 billion to $10.9 billion in revenue but now anticipates that figure to be about $9 billion.

Intel now expects fourth-quarter sales to fall 12% from last quarter instead of the 3% rise previously projected. The company also lowered expectations for its closely watched gross margins, from 59% to 55%. Intel's statement echoed the now-familiar refrain: The company sees weaker-than-expected demand in "all geographies and market segments." Intel will release its fourth-quarter results Jan. 15.

Verizon Business continues support of Nortel through telepresence deal

In a sign that Nortel partners haven't bailed despite severe financial losses, Verizon Business said today it will work with the networking company to deliver managed telepresence. Until now, other major phone companies like AT&T have gone with Cisco for managed telepresence. Nortel's services include setup, preconfiguration and management of high-definition videoconferencing. Nortel's video bridging system and gateways are interoperable with systems from other manufacturers, so users can hold intercompany video meetings.

Microsoft SMB bundles hit the shelves

As expected, Microsoft launched its midmarket and small business server bundles this week. Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008) -- which bundles Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008, System Center Essentials 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange and Forefront Threat Management Gateway -- targets companies with up to 300 PCs.

Prices range from $5,472 for five client access licenses (CALs) to $7,163 for the premium edition. Payments can be stretched out for 24 to 60 months with Microsoft financing to cover hardware, software and installation and management services. The same payment and financing options apply to Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008), which is for shops with up to 75 PCs. It includes Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. SBS 2008 Standard Edition costs $1,089 for five CALs, and the premium edition is $1,899.

Check out yesterday's IT channel news briefs.

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