Stories by Rob Irwin

Intel pushes closer channel ties in Asia-Pacific

Chip giant, Intel, has responded to channel partner feedback on its growing product range and training by adopting a back-to-basics approach, according to the company's Asia-Pacific channel chief, Kamil Hasan.

Jobs on the block at Kaz

Telstra-owned integrator, Kaz Group, will axe 200 staff following a company review. A Telstra spokesperson says the review revealed duplication across the business, opportunities to make business processes more efficient, and a new strategic direction for the company. "We are constantly reviewing the business to ensure it is operating effectively and efficiently and in the best interests of our customers and shareholders," the spokesperson says. "This applies to all parts of Telstra, including Kaz." Not all staff being cut have been made aware of their fate. Most of the job losses will come from its NSW and Victorian offices. The staff cuts are part of a Telstra-wide transformation announced in November 2005, centred on an investment in simpler IT systems, new technology for customers and a reduction of duplication within the business. "Like all services industries, this is a dynamic and fast-moving industry and KAZ needs to continually adjust its work force to best meet customer needs," the spokesperson says . Telstra acquired Kaz, one of the largest ICT services providers in Australia, in 2004 for $333 million.

Training tops Intel channel chief's list

IT industry veteran and Intel journeyman, Kamil Hasan, has taken the reins as the chipmaker's channel chief in Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore. He replaces Marcus Low, who has been appointed as Intel director of South-East Asia.

Former Teac Australia boss faces court

Former Teac Australia boss, Gavin Muir, has been arrested and released on bail as part of an ongoing investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The Queensland resident was charged in Melbourne Magistrates Court with 11 counts under the Corporations Act, including seven counts of failing to act in good faith in the best interests of Teac Australia; two of dishonestly using his position as a director of Teac Australia; and two of falsifying company books. The electronics vendor was sold to Singaporean interests in 2007 after going into administration in 2005. Representatives of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu were appointed to look after the interests of Teac's local unsecured creditors, who were said to be owed more than $80 million. An ASIC release stated that the offences Muir was charged with relate to conduct following the discovery of a $6 million shortfall at settlement on the sale of Teac Australia's Port Melbourne premises to Muir's private company, Bay St Corporation, in May 2002. Muir, who had voluntarily presented himself for arrest, was granted bail with conditions including the surrender of his passport, not associating with any co-accused, and reporting to a police station three times a week. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will be prosecuting the case against Muir with a mention date set for the Melbourne County Court on June 21.

Online technical training from Symantec

Symantec has taken the wraps off an online program to assist partners to validate their skills on its technology offerings. The technical specialist initiative was based on online product assessments to measure partner knowledge, vice-president, channels, Asia-Pacific and Japan, John Donovan, said. "We want to let the technical members of our community download the information they need and then do the tests to become accredited," he said. "In the past, partners would have to go through local channel leaders just to get the information. There was no unified way of doing all of this." The program arrives as part of an ongoing series of channel updates, including opening up its silver, gold and platinum levels to resellers across specific market segments. The vendor has also introduced an opportunity registrar. "We have 60,000 partners in system. The process of tying together Veritas and Symantec and working out the online training, opportunity registrations and so on has been massively complex," Donovan said. Symantec estimates it has made a three-fold investment over the past 12 months in updating its PartnerNet partner portal platform. "We've tried to roll this out as smoothly as we can," he said. "It's not the sexiest thing, but people expect a portal to be robust and available 24x7."

Kingston pushes memory upgrades with Vista

Memory maker, Kingston Technology, is touting the arrival of the RAM-intensive Windows Vista operating system as an add-on opportunity for whitebox builders in the New Year.

IBM: CEOs rely on resellers

A recent IBM Global CEO Study found half of local CEOs regard resellers as the best source of new technology ideas.

Free Vista coupon expected in Australia

Local builders have confirmed foreign reports that Microsoft is on the verge of announcing a free Windows Vista upgrade plan for Windows XP-based PCs sold between this month and March 2007.

Poulos plans channel review at F5

F5 Networks will review its channel structure with a firm eye on the west following the appointment of former Trend Micro boss, Chris Poulos, as managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Leung confirmed as AMD country manager

AMD's local office is gaining greater independence from its Singapore-based parent with the elevation of A/NZ sales manager, Caleb Leung, to the role of country manager. The chipmaker hasn't fielded a country manager for almost two years.

Australia: Specialist ISVs excel

A newly released report has found specialist ISVs took almost $1 billion of Australia's $2.7 billion software industry pie during 2004-05.

Intel's Lego for notebook makers

Intel is a step closer to its aim of notebook PCs based on common components, signing major whitebox (and branded) builders Asus, Compal and Quanta to its Intel Interchangeability Initiative.