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IBM throws open lab doors for partners; McAfee updates channel program

IBM opens up software labs to partners; McAfee delivers tweaked partner program.

IT channel news in brief for May 4, 2010

IBM opens up software labs to partners

IBM is opening up its 70 software labs around the world for use by global business partners to help them more quickly develop and test their software solutions.

The goal is to help both ISV and VAR partners -- there are 5,000 worldwide -- better understand IBM Software's own offering and create business applications with IBM's frameworks and tools. In the past, some IBM partners were able to use the labs and related resources, but it was on a one-off basis, an IBM spokesman said.

IBM is touting the move, announced today at IBM's IMPACT conference in Las Vegas, as a way to strengthen its partner channel at a time when unnamed competitors are scaling back their programs and/or competing directly with their partners. Along those lines, IBM is also wooing big Sun Microsystems hardware partners worried about what Oracle ownership means to their businesses.

IBM also announced plans to buy Cast Iron, a data integration specialist. Terms were not disclosed.

McAfee delivers tweaked partner program

McAfee officially rolled out its new channel program at its annual sales event on Monday. A big part of the effort is to bring Secure Computing partners into the fold. McAfee bought Secure Computing in late 2008, as a big part of its arms race with Symantec Corp.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based security vendor said it will make it easier for loyal partners to earn fatter margins on McAfee product sales with new deal registration capabilities, tiered pricing and better market development funds (MDF).

Check out last week's IT channel news in brief.

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