Acer to tie up with CA, plans ‘Acer Connect’ for channel

Acer is on the verge of tying up with Computer Associates (CA) to
bundle their enterprise-wide software with every server. CA has tied-up with Acer globally
for development activity. Both the parties want to leverage the global tie-up locally.

Acer has also lined up several channel-related initiatives. Says S
Rajendran, GM, Marketing, "We have learnt that we need to engage resellers
continuously to convince them about Acer as a brand and as a product." The company
had conducted a survey to find out about the training needs of their channel partners and
learnt that most of their resellers required technical inputs and expertise.

"Most channel partners are today dependant on their technical
executives excessively," says Rajendran. "But there is a heavy job turnover in
the channel. We would therefore like to equip our partners to deal with the technical
aspects of all problems effectively."

In an endeavor to provide this, Acer is planning on a series of branded
training program called the Acer Connect. There are plans to have one program every
quarter covering the top four or five metros.

The Connect program has been structured in a manner to ensure that 30
to 40 percent time Acer spends with the partner will be on general technology. This would
cover topics like chipset, SCSI-drives, networking or software and would give partners a
full picture on the technology status today.

This training program comes close in the heels of Acer’s recent
tier-two authorization program called ‘ACE Partnership Program’, which was a
channel empower partnership program. (See Channel Chief on page 18)

Kobian shines at Computex 2000



Kobian Singapore was the only company owned by Indians that
participated in Computex 2000 held in Taipei. Kobian showcased the Mercury range of
products, which includes motherboards, AGP cards, modems (external and internal), USB
modems, casings, UPS, Keyboard, CD ROM Drives, CD R/W, DVD, Sound Cards etc. 

Since Taipei does not offer fancy tourist nightlife, people who attend
the Computex exhibition are considered as serious buyers and sellers. Besides the good
turnout from the Indian sub-continent, the exhibition witnessed visitors from Europe, Gulf
and Africa.

As a consequence to the response, which Kobian got at the exhibition,
it has decided to open an office in Europe. Kobian is one of the largest companies in
Asia-Pacific which sub-contracts manufacturing of its Mercury brand products in Taiwan,
Korea, Hong Kong and China.


Sembawang becomes 100 percent subsidiary of SembCorp



SembCorp Logistics (India) Pvt Ltd, formerly Sembawang Shriram
Integrated Logistics Pvt Ltd, has become a 100 percent subsidiary of SembCorp Logistics,
Singapore. The company is a single window solutions provider for corporates, which need to
outsource logistics.

The parent company SembCorp Logistics, Singapore is one of the biggest

service providers in Asia Pacific region with a strong presence in
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Dubai and Australia apart from India. The group
services the Asian logistics needs of several MNCs trans-nationally.

This acquisition has happened at the end of four years of Indian
operations. The company started operations as a joint venture between SembCorp Singapore
and Shriram Group, Chennai. SembCorp India inaugurated its logistics center in January
1999. Since then the company has commissioned another one at Nagpur, and a third at Pune
will be operational by July this year.

Talking of the company’s future plans, Srinivasan HR, Managing
Director, SembCorp Logistics (India) said, "We are introducing cold chain logistics
with innovative technology shortly. The trial runs have already been conducted and the
results are very encouraging. Apart from that, we have also started an Overseas
Development Center (ODC) for software related to logistics industry and e-commerce
requirements. The company is working on e-fulfillment of supply chain needs."

NIIT partners Sun under iForce initiative



NIIT and Sun Microsystems have signed an agreement, under Sun’s iForce
initiative, wherein NIIT will be licensed to use Sun’s products, like Jini, Java, Solaris,
etc, to create B2B and B2C dot-com solutions for customers. Apart from this, NIIT will
also be able to get its people trained by Sun and avail of technologies before they are
launched in the market.

NIIT will also set up competency centers with the objective of
providing dot-com competency where end-user solutions can be evaluated, developed and
tested. These centers will address both industry and horizontal solutions.

According to Lionel Lim, VP and MD, Sun, the company already has
partners like Aptech, ICICI Infotech, SpectraNet, under the iForce initiative. It plans to
further add more partners.


SyncML Initiative announces wide support and new schedule



SyncML Initiative has announced that its official supporter program has
reached a milestone of more than 150 registered supporters. It also announced a new
timetable for the development of the SyncML protocol. Registered supporters now have
access to the SyncML Architecture white paper in the Supporter area of the company’s
web site. As a result of schedules in development work and wide support in the industry,
SyncML initiative now expects a variety of compliant products to be on the market by 2001.

The SyncML initiative has gained the support of more than 150
companies, representing a wide range of industries, including leading Web-based
calendaring, portal, digital imaging and wireless technologies as stated in their news
release. New supporters include Xircom, Visto Corp, BT Cellnet and Corel Corp. Each of the
supporters will work closely with the founding companies to develop, introduce and adopt
of the initiative industry-wide.

Founded in February 2000, the SyncML initiative is committed to
developing and promoting a new open industry initiative that will make the synchronization
of remote data and personal information consistent across multiple networks and devices,
regardless of platform or manufacturer.

i-flex bags order from Shinsei Bank, Japan



i-flex Solutions, formerly Citicorp Information Technology Industries
Limited (CITIL), a provider of software solutions for the financial and banking industry
worldwide, formed an alliance with Shinsei Bank, Japan, formerly The Long-term credit Bank
of Japan, Ltd to implement i-flex’s Flexcube Universal Banking Solution, Flexcube UBS.
This multi-million dollar deal, expected to earn more than Rs 20 crore is one of the
largest Indian software product deals in Japan.

Flexcube UBS will enable Shinsei Bank to enter new market segments
including the retail banking business by attracting new customers with new products, new
delivery channels including Internet banking, mobile banking and 24×7 hours banking.

The solution being deployed by i-flex consists of three main
components. One, Flexcube UBS will support new and strategic retail banking products, a
flexible and integrated corporate banking platform and a multi-currency general ledger
that will enable Shinsei Bank to expand its banking operations. Two, Flexcube will support
new delivery channels viz., Internet Banking, 7 X 24 hours ATM, mobile banking,
tele-banking and call centers and point of sale terminals, allowing Shinsei Bank to reach
out to new target segments and customers.

Finally, i-flex’s state-of-the-art data warehousing and comprehensive
information management system will equip Shinsei Bank to access and analyze customer
profitability, product profitability and credit risk management.

The alliance with Shinsei Bank is especially important for i-flex as it
now provides the company a foothold into the quality-conscious Japanese market. It is
especially significant for the company coming close on the heels of it being declared the
second largest selling wholesale banking product in its category in an independent survey
by International Banking Systems, UK.

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