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Computer Market Research unveils marketing funds tool for partners

In this channel news roundup, CMR launches a tool for managing vendor-provided marketing funds; Ingram Micro expands its ProAV/Digital Signage portfolio; and more.

On Tuesday, Computer Market Research Ltd. (CMR) launched its Multivendor Co-op/MDF solution, a web-based module for channel partners to help manage vendor-provided marketing funds.

CMR said it developed the module after industry research suggested channel partners fail to use nearly half of the marketing funds, including co-op advertising dollars and marketing development funds (MDF), made available to them by their vendors. CMR's solution allows partners to create an account and populate a database with their network of vendors, which partners can monitor from a unified dashboard.

CMR is currently offering an "early bird" promotion that waives the module's standard set-up fee. The promotion, which is limited to the first 50 account sign-ups, also features a reduced monthly subscription fee of $49.95 per internal user, CMR said. Companies must participate in co-op advertising or MDF programs with multiple vendors to qualify for the promotional offer.

Ingram Micro shores up its ProAV/Digital Signage portfolio

This week, distributor Ingram Micro Inc. bolstered its footing in the ProAV/Digital Signage market by expanding its U.S. ProAV/Digital Signage portfolio. Ingram Micro's portfolio now features 10 new vendor lines from Epiphan Systems, Jelco Inc., Konftel, Mediplay Inc., NanoTech Entertainment Inc., PROconnect, RelampIt, Vidyo Inc., VS Networks and ZTE Corp. The expanded portfolio is immediately available in the U.S., the distributor said.

Ingram Micro said its dedicated ProAV/Digital Signage business unit provides partners, AV professionals and vendors access to specialized support resources; business enablement tools; and field-deployable personnel, such as market development specialists, sales experts and technical engineers.

Also this week, Ingram Micro announced an exclusive agreement with media solutions vendors PROconnect and Sherlock Systems LLC, making the distributor the first to offer PROconnect's new five-head media player from Sherlock Systems. The media player is also now available to Ingram Micro's U.S. channel partners.

Information Builders and Arrow ECS sign distribution deal

Information Builders Inc., a provider of business intelligence (BI) and analytics, information integrity and integration solutions, partnered with Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions Inc. (ECS) this week. The partnership allows Arrow ECS to distribute WebFocus Express, a product designed to deliver BI to companies that range from large enterprises to small businesses.

According to Information Builders, Arrow ECS will offer two versions of WebFocus through its solution provider network. One is a software-only option for IBM Power Systems running Linux, and the other is an Intel version running both Linux and Windows. Additionally, as part of the agreement, Arrow will manufacture and distribute a third version of WebFocus Express -- an IBM Power Systems Linux Appliance option -- in North America and EMEA.

SilverSky expands its market reach Asia-Pacific region

This week, cloud-based managed security services provider (MSSP) SilverSky announced its partnership with ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corp. (CTC), a Tokyo-based IT solutions provider. According to SilverSky, CTC will leverage SilverSky's technology and security expertise to deliver managed security services to its customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

SilverSky currently has three Security Operation Centers (SOCs) that are located in Raleigh, N.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Manila, Philippines, said Richard Dobrow, chief compliance officer and president of the Asia-Pacific Region at SilverSky. CTC will officially launch its managed security business unit and the fourth SOC in Yokohama on Oct. 1.

"One of the reasons we went to Japan is all the analyst reports that we had seen indicated that Japan is an underserved MSSP market," said Dobrow.

CTC has targeted customers that include companies in financial services, manufacturing and public sectors, and aims to bring in a minimum of 100 customers by 2015, SilverSky said.

One of the challenges of the expansion is adapting to another country's regulatory requirements, Dobrow said. "The biggest challenge today that we're facing regulatory-wise is each country has different data residency requirements," he said. "And those [requirements] would be things like, 'Where can live data be physically stored and be accessible by the legal or court systems within the countries themselves?'" For example, "If a legal proceeding was taking place and the Japanese court issued us a subpoena for data, would they have the legal right to access that data if it was housed just purely in the U.S.?"

SilverSky will provide CTC-MSS with a security team, internal processes and controls, and technology. CTC's SOC infrastructure will be based on SilverSky's Network Security Platform, SilverSky said.

According to Dobrow, once the Japanese SOC launch is successful, SilverSky plans to expand further into the Asia-Pacific region to Singapore and then to Malaysia. "All of our system environments will now be internationalized to the degree where we can have similar partnerships rolled out fairly quickly in other countries where we need to localize language support," he said.

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