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Industry News - March 19th, 2010



Westcon Appoints Former Moto Exec. as CMO

Westcon Group has named Bob Clinton senior vice president and chief marketing officer. In this position, he has responsibility for Westcon Group's entire global marketing organization, including its Comstor, Westcon Convergence and Westcon Security business units. Clinton's appointment comes as Westcon Group celebrates its 25th anniversary this June.

Clinton brings a strong and extensive background within the technology industry to Westcon, having spent over 25 years in key executive roles at Codex Corporation, Motorola, Inc., and CA, Inc. During his tenure at Motorola, he served in a variety of management positions of increasing responsibility including product marketing, strategic planning, field and channel sales and marketing, and vertical marketing. In 1994, he co-founded Motorola.com and led several of the company's customer-oriented global online initiatives. While at CA, he held several key executive positions with global responsibility, the most recent of which was as senior vice president of marketing planning and operations


Arby's Franchisee Installs WAND POS

WAND Corporation has successfully installed a NextGen Point of Sale solution with Carisch, Inc., an Arby's franchisee. Carisch is the first Arby’s franchisee to pilot test WAND NextGen POS. WAND's NextGen POS solution has been designed specifically for QSRs to address their main concerns like customer satisfaction and increasing the average guest check, while also meeting needs like reducing food costs and streamlining labor management for franchisees.

WAND's creative team was responsible for the unique digital images displayed on the customer-facing side of POS terminals and overall visual look of NextGen POS. Benefits of NextGen POS include: Conversational Ordering with order confirmation, labor management, and advanced food costing modules. These benefits help stores deliver more products to customers and less to trash cans, ultimately improving the bottom line. Sales data and marketing actions are integrated into the application, along with web-based remote management of sites


Autotask Acquires Cloud-Based E-Commerce Platform

Autotask Corporation has acquired the cloud-based VARStreet e-commerce platform, rising above all IT Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions by adding powerful tools to automate and streamline the entire IT product sales and procurement process.

VARStreet is a hosted e-commerce automation platform for technology resellers, currently supporting almost $1 billion in IT product sales annually. With the acquisition, Autotask Corporation announced the immediate availability of several new products for Value Added Resellers (VARs), Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and all types of solution providers who need a more affordable way to manage, buy and resell technology products.
There are three VARStreet products which are available immediately:

VARStreet Back-Office is a completely integrated IT Product Sales and Procurement platform that includes real-time pricing and availability from distributors, advanced product quoting, sourcing and fulfillment.

VARStreet e-Commerce includes VARStreet Back-Office plus a complete VAR-branded and controlled e-storefront.

The existing high-end VARStreet XC platform, with more power features and controls, rounds out the product line.

An embedded e-commerce module for Autotask is scheduled for release in late April, 2010.

"IT engagements and Managed Services naturally carry a product component when VARs consult on the full solution," said Bob Godgart, CEO of Autotask Corporation. "However, without the right automation tools in place, they find that the sales and procurement process is too time-consuming to cover the small margins associated with commoditized products. And worse, when their customers choose to buy technology products through other channels, solution providers lose control over the relationship and can miss out on installation, training, maintenance and managed services revenue."

The existing VARStreet XC product line is widely regarded as the most powerful and comprehensive suite of hosted e-commerce automation tools on the market, and is currently used by hundreds of the largest VARs in North America, such as Emtec, Inc., Pomeroy IT, and Zebra Technologies. Additionally, Autotask Corporation has expanded the product line to include VARStreet Back-Office and VARStreet e-Commerce, putting the technology within reach of any solution provider.

"This technology is now available for any VAR, MSP or solution provider that wants to make more money selling products -- not just the VAR 500," said Godgart. "That's why we've introduced the VARStreet Back-Office product at just $99 per month and the VARStreet e-Commerce product, which also includes e-Storefront, starting at $299 per month."

"Every day, the solution provider's customers are going online to buy IT products, accessories, consumables and supplies, such as printer cartridges, cables, paper and other commoditized items," added Godgart. "This is the perfect opportunity for VARs to create new revenue streams for themselves with very little work. The orders come in through the stores, are drop-shipped directly from the distributor, and the VAR gets paid. No touch. All margin."

Autotask customer Andrew Harper, CIO for Gaeltek of Virginia is looking forward to gaining more efficiency throughout his sales process, "Autotask's addition of the VARStreet e-Commerce and VARStreet Back-Office products will allow me to sell more for less. I am going to save a lot of time and money in managing my product procurement, as well as gain more control over my product sales process. We enjoy the visibility and ease that Autotask brings to our services business, and now this will give us the same ease of doing business on the product side."
The VARStreet by Autotask Corporation e-commerce platform is currently available only in North America, but the company has a global roll-out of the technology on the product roadmap.


Zebra Appoints VP Channel Development, Specialty Printing

Zebra Technologies Corporation has promoted Deborah (Debbie) Murphy to vice president of Market and Channel Development for Specialty Printing Group (SPG). Murphy reports to Mike Terzich, senior vice president, global sales & marketing. 

As vice president of market and channel development, Murphy will be responsible for developing a global, multi-year SPG market plan that encompasses new vertical markets, channels and applications.

Murphy will also be tasked with strategic alignment and continued development of our critical global alliance relationships.

Murphy brings more than 20 years of strategic planning and market development experience to her new role within Zebra. Her extensive background in business and marketing strategy began at MCI Telecommunications and later moved to a document management/imaging technology division of GTE, where she served as Director of Marketing. Most recently, she served as Zebra's director of marketing.


Radiant Systems, RBS WorldPay Reduce PCI Burdens

Radiant Systems has released Token Replacement, a new payment security feature that allocates a unique identifier, or token, to cardholder data at the RBS WorldPay host to prevent personal information from being stored on the point of sale. 

"Token Replacement allows restaurant owners to place a greater focus on their operations by helping to ensure payment processing occurs in a secure environment," said Jeff Hughes, vice president of hosted solutions at Radiant Systems. "Unlike other competitive alternatives, there are no additional transaction fees associated with our Token Replacement feature. This is one of many examples of how Radiant is striving to help our customers better manage data security."

Token Replacement is designed as a point-of-sale feature that is tightly integrated into the latest version of the Aloha POS. When credit cards are swiped, data is first sent to the secure RBS WorldPay host, which then processes the payment and returns a unique token identifier to the POS for future reference. In addition, the seamless integration of Token Replacement with Aloha POS software increases speed of service by reducing processing time to let sales happen faster and maximize profits.


Men's Wearhouse to Spend $30 Million on IT in 2010

Half of capital expenditures for the Men's Wearhouse in 2010 will go toward IT investments in applications, distribution centers and headquarters projects. The other half will go toward new stores, store remodels and store relocations, according to Neil Davis, EVP, CFO, Trasurer and Principal Financial Officer for the men's apparel chain.
According to Chairman and CEO George Zimmer, the company "replaced its primary e-commerce technology engine supporting our Men's Wearhouse business unit." In addition, he noted, "We added incremental functionalilty to the site to enhance the customer experience. We now have over one million unique visitors monthly to the site. Conversion rates are imprving and revenues are growting significantly."
Zimmer also noted that the company has "millions of customer files at the SKU level that have largely remained untapped." He admitted this is the case because "traditional specialty retaielrs are, by admission, product-drivenb and allocate resources and align functions accordingly.
Overall, the company reported a loss of $0.11 per common share for the quarter and a decline in same store sales by 7.1%


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