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IT Channel News Briefs, Nov. 3

Today's headlines: Avnet adds EMC financing; Sun posts losses.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Monday, Nov. 3, 2008.

Avnet offers EMC financing

Avnet Technology Solutions will now offer EMC leasing services to its value-added reseller (VAR) partners. The agreement with EMC Global Financial Services will help these VARs ease customers IT funding, Avnet said Friday. In the current economy, leasing may be a more attractive option for acquiring and updating new technology for cash-strapped businesses.

Sun posts big loss

Sun Microsystems posted a $1.7 billion loss for its last fiscal quarter but managed to squeeze out some revenue growth in storage.

Last week, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said revenue for storage products was $507 million, an increase of 0.4% over the same quarter a year ago. Disk and array-based product billings grew 3%, while tape declined 4%, according to Following restructuring after the $4.1 billion acquisition of tape vendor StorageTek in 2005, Sun converged its storage and server businesses into one systems business about a year ago and has pushed "open source storage" as its long-term strategy.

BT Services head resigns, earnings slip

The head of BT Group's global services unit is stepping down as the company announced slipping fiscal-year earnings, stemming in large part from its services business. Services generally drive growth for BT, but it has seen a continued sales decline in the U.K. and didn't cut costs quickly in the second quarter, ending Sept. 30. Division head Francois Barrault resigned and will be replaced by chief financial director Hanif Lalani, the former head of BT's Northern Ireland operations. "I want to be clear I think this is an internal BT operational matter and not anything to do with the external environment," CEO Ian Livingston said in a conference call Friday.

Sprint and Nextel break up plans on ice

Sprint has thrown up its hands in the effort to unload its Nextel cell phone unit, saying last week that it will hold onto the division and renew a partnership with Motorola to provide network support for Nextel devices, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The two companies merged in 2005 and have struggled ever since. Sprint began seeking a buyer earlier this year. In the second quarter, Sprint lost 901,000 customers, largely because of Nextel defections. Sprint saw some initial interest in Nextel, but the credit crunch dried up potential deals.

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