Dell signs distributors; IBM plans more job cuts

Headlines: Mountain to Mohammad: Dell signs distributors; IBM plans more job cuts; other IT channel news.

IT channel news for March 26, 2009

Mountain to Mohammad: Dell signs distributors

Dell is now selling select products exclusively through Ingram Micro and Tech Data, the big IT distributors.

Vostro desktops and notebooks for small and medium-sized businesses will go through the distributors, now part of the company's evolving PartnerDirect program.

The company said the move, which is now live in the U.S., comes in response to partner feedback. The strategy shift is noteworthy considering Dell's direct sales roots which often puts it at odds with VARs that view Dell as a channel-unfriendly competitor. In the past few years, the company has tried to mend fences with VARs.

In a statement, Dell said the systems available through distributors "will be competitively priced with similar products available direct from Dell, giving partners added flexibility in the way they obtain Dell technology for their customers."

Dell continues its full build-to-order services through PartnerDirect.

IBM plans more job cuts

IBM is poised to axe about 5,000 U.S.-based employees, mostly in its giant services arm, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The company employs almost 400,000 people worldwide. The news follows several reports that IBM has been redeploying manpower outside the U.S. The company had cut just under 5,000 positions in January and told U.S. employees wanting to move to emerging markets in other countries that they have to apply for those jobs and will be paid in local currencies. All of those moves sparked criticism, especially from the Communications Workers of America, which is trying to unionize the company.

Even when deployed, BI is underutilized

Only a small subset of workers at companies with deployed business intelligence (BI) tools and software actually use them, according to SearchDataManagement.com. And, just a quarter of BI customers are fully satisfied with their vendors' support services, according to a recent survey of BI customers, consultants and vendors, conducted by the Business Application Research Center.

Red Hat reports profit loss

Red Hat's fourth-quarter net income came in at $16 million, or 8 cents a share, down from $22 million, or 10 cents a share, reported in the year-ago period.

Analysts had expected that the company would earn 20 cents a share, not including special items, and $166.9 million in revenue. The number for revenue actually came in below expectations, rising 18% to $166.2 million. During after-hours trading, shares of Red Hat Inc. increased more than 4% to $15.72.

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