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Seagate adds Brazilian distributor and ships new SATA drives through channel ... McAfee adds features to partner program ... LiveVault expands channel program ... EMC Select adds NetEx HyperIP ... Netgear adds Chinese distributor ... Engenio develops online course for 2882 array.

Consultant: Growth-oriented, Indian service providers may eclipse old-school outsourcers beset by infrastructure costs.

CA initiates an ISP partner program, Signiant announces a new partner program, SonicWall launches a secure wireless technology alliance, SCO partners with Cymphonix, Siebel signs two partners to its alliance program, and Ingram Micro signs UCN.

Contract Watch: A new round of contracts demonstrates renewed interest in outsourcing, but not just for technology. Business processes, off-shift workloads and procurement of manufacturing as well as office supplies fatten the deals.

Opinion: Just like you can tell what type of character someone really has by the way he or she treats a waiter or waitress, you can also tell what type of channel partner a big-time manufacturer will be if you look at the way it treats its ISV partners.

Las Vegas: Focusing on managing technology, rather than information, leaves VARs with the short end of a stick being whittled away by commoditization, according to Xerox honcho.

IBM decides to change terms with staff-augmentation suppliers; suppliers change minds about whether to work with IBM; EDS allies with Cognizant to expand its access to offshore programmers.

Opinion: ERP installations dropped dramatically after the dot-com bubble burst. Now, though, the market is nosing up.

Opinion: No VAR can offer every service or cover every geographic area a customer can want, so partnering with other VARs is a requirement for growth, if not survival.

Microsoft's new strategy to tailor products and services to small businesses separately from midsize companies is resounding with the channel, which for years has said such an approach is needed.

Riverbed launches a partner network, Route1 debuts a channel program, SANRAD adds tiers to its partner program and Entrust signs an agreement with GE's Access Distribution.

Opinion: Rivals see new competition in the market for managed e-mail services; but they also see a major player validating and expanding a growing market.

James Champy of Perot Systems says the next five years hold a lot of opportunity for IT consultants, but that there are some challenges ahead.

Opinion: eWEEK.com's Larry Loeb writes that everyone has a purpose. But some people—and companies—exist mostly to provide a warning for others. That's the role CardSystems Solutions appears to have been destined for.

The role of consultants is becoming more important as both companies large and small wrestle with complex problems, including compliance, business-process automation, global e-commerce and supply chains and other high-demand projects.

IBM rakes in $100 million-plus outsourcing contracts, as Cambridge Integrated allies with McLarens Group to expand their outsourcing businesses, and Accenture plans $100 million investment in info-management services business.

HP will cut about 10 percent of its work force in an effort to be more profitable and more competitive.

Linux might thrive on dispersed development, but Intel has centralized its push to support the operating system in an effort to see where it should go next.

A TPI study shows marked increase in outsourcing deals, but one in five of the new deals are actually renegotiations of existing contracts as customers seek cheaper, more reliable options.

VARs expect Apple-on-Intel to make Mac-based solutions cheaper and to give Macs a more secure development road map. But many customers are put off by Apple's embrace of the enemy and are anxious to see that the switch doesn't divert its own unique development path.

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