4 Things We Learned Today – February 10

With Twitter constantly churning new tweets, email delivering new bits of news and the phone ringing with the latest buzz, Channelnomics isn’t at a loss for material. What did we learn today? Here are four interesting tidbits that crossed my desk today, in no particular order.

HP Gets Good Reviews on WebOS Tablet
The worst kept secret or the most anticipated release happened yesterday: Hewlett-Packard released its first tablet – the TouchPad – powered by a revamped version of the Palm WebOS platform. So far, the latest Apple iPad rival, which many say is late to the game, is getting mixed reviews. eWeek’s Chris Primesberger says TouchPad is impressive and, with the new Pre3 and Veer smartphones, could position HP to challenge Apple. ZDNet’s James Kendrick qualified his endorsement by saying, “HP has done a good job with the hardware and the software, but the price will determine the chance of impacting the market. Whether HP can get webOS developers to produce tablet-optimized apps will play a big role, too.” Innovation may not be enough to overcome Apple in the tablet wars. HP is now among a dozen vendors offering tablets. While the law of averages says one should be able to take on the iPad’s dominance, Apple has ordered as much as 70 percent of the tablets going into circulation in 2011.

Rackspace Posts Strong Fourth Quarter
Hosting giant Rackspace announced solid financial results in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010. According to company statements, the company took in $214.7 million net revenue, a 27 percent increase over the same period in 2009 and a 7.5 percent increase over the company’s third quarter. More significantly, Rackspace is maintaining steady operating profit margins. In the last quarter, margins were 33.5 percent, slightly up over the same period last year but down about 1 percent from the third quarter. The strong performance of Rackspace underscores the growth in the hosted infrastructure and what Rackspace is beginning to call “the managed cloud.” The results may work in the company’s favor should a large suitor come looking to acquire it. Rackspace is among several large hosting companies rumored to be targets for acquisition by IT companies looking to build their cloud infrastructure.


Symantec is Getting Big in Japan
If you were wondering if Symantec would get creative with the assets it acquired from PGP, wait no more. The security and systems vendor announced a partnership to leverage PGP Whole Disk Encryption with Intel’s Anti-Theft Technology to secure data on mobile computers via 3G mobile networks. Ah, but don’t expect to get that killer combo here in the U.S.  The partnership is through NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading telecom carrier. The two companies plan to launch the service in April.

GFI Scores Big in Channel Chief Hire
GFI Software
, the nimble and innovative security software vendor, scored a big win yesterday when it landed Patricia Hume as its new channel chief. Relatively speaking, GFI is a small company, which makes snatching Hume even more impressive. Until January, she was running channels at business software conglomerate SAP. Her resume is highlighted with long-stints at Avaya and IBM. In her new role as senior vice president of worldwide sales at GFI, she’s charged with growing the company’s channel network.

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Lawrence M. Walsh is CEO and president of The 2112 Group, a technology business advisory service that specializes in optimizing indirect channels and partner relationships. He’s also the executive director of the Channel Vanguard Council. He is the former publisher of Channel Insider and editor of VARBusiness Magazine. You can reach him at [email protected].

On Twitter:
Larry Walsh:@lmwalsh2112 | Channelnomics: @channelnomics

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