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IT Channel News Briefs, Dec. 9

Today's headlines: and Google get closer, and Ingram Micro launches a wireless activation portal.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. tightens Google ties

Software as a Service (SaaS) pioneer this week unveiled for Google App Engine, a toolset that will help developers build business applications that run on both Google and infrastructures, according to The free tool is available from either or Google.

The two companies had already collaborated on for Google AdWords, an application that lets users track Google AdWords programs in and integrate's CRM with Google's productivity applications. The latest joint project represents another step in's attempt to move beyond its roots as a hosted CRM provider into a more broad-based platform for business application development.

Ingram unveils wireless activation portal

Ingram Micro launched a new online wireless activation portal this week that will let partners activate accounts and manage commissions. The portal, called Ignition, handles accounts from Sprint and AT&T and will soon cover Verizon Wireless.

"Whether it's a wireless embedded notebook, router or point-of-sale product, Ignition allows us to activate the technology on behalf of the customer remotely at any time," said Laura Voll, support specialist at MobileTek, one of the first partners to use the service. "Better still, we can use Ignition to deploy a self-service portal that our customers can use to activate their products upon receipt."

Ignition is available now in the United States and is free to Ingram Micro partners.

Cisco enhances video

Cisco announced new technologies this week that make IP networks better able to deliver rich video and multimedia in home and office settings. The central part of the release is the Cisco Media Experience Engine 3000, which simplifies on-demand media sharing across PCs and mobile devices by automatically formatting video for the correct screen type.

As part of the release, Cisco also pushed the Advanced Video Services Module (AVSM) for the ASR 9000 router. The Cisco AVSM enables terabytes of streaming capacity at the aggregation layer while offering content caching, ad insertion, channel change and error correction. Cisco also enhanced its telepresence offering by enabling the service over satellite for areas lacking broadband connections.

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