First Coffee for 10 May 2006: Alvarion's Results and IBM WiMAX Deal, Neocase's Alliance Program, Churchill Takes Office, SGI's More Storage for CRM

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David Sims
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First Coffee for 10 May 2006: Alvarion's Results and IBM WiMAX Deal, Neocase's Alliance Program, Churchill Takes Office, SGI's More Storage for CRM

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is, again, Nigel Kennedy’s recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons suite:

Israeli broadband and mobile vendor Alvarion Ltd. has announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2006.

Revenue for the first quarter reached $48.1 million, up 3 percent sequentially from $46.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Revenue in Q1 2006 declined 16 percent from $57.2 million in the first quarter of 2005, primarily reflecting a higher revenue contribution from one large customer during the first quarter of 2005.

Gross margin was 46 percent in Q1 of 2006, exceeding the company’s target gross margin of 45 percent.

Alvarion has also announced an alliance with IBM to offer and deliver wireless systems to municipalities and their public safety agencies. The alliance will enable a new approach for delivery of scalable, multi-layer IP-based wireless networks that support data, voice and video for both fixed and mobile applications.

Based on a pilot wireless network implementation in Fresno, the sixth-largest city in California, the IBM and Alvarion information communication technology system is comprised of IBM's suite of mobile applications built on Alvarion's broadband and mobile wireless systems.

The Fresno public safety network is intended to enable police officers to send and receive text messages, still images, and even full-motion video using their car-based mobile data terminals and their handheld personal digital assistants.

Built by IBM using Alvarion broadband wireless systems and IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager, the network features government-grade wireless encryption, roaming and compression to the city's 250 police vehicle fleet.

To protect the city's existing network investments while ensuring connectivity over a wider area, the broadband network features switching at vehicular speeds.

Excluding amortization of acquired intangibles and deferred stock compensation and one time charges, on a non-GAAP basis, Q1 2006 net loss was ($2.4) million, or ($0.04) per share, compared with a net loss of ($3.8) million, or ($0.06) per share in the fourth quarter of 2005, and a non-GAAP net profit of $2.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share in Q1 of 2005.

Tzvika Friedman, President and CEO of Alvarion said the company continues to focus on the adoption of WiMAX. “Since we introduced our BreezeMAX solution, it has generated over $50 million in revenue,” which Friedman claims is “many times the sales of other vendors’ WiMAX products.”

Clearly Friedman’s banking of BreezeMAX for profitability. “In Q1, BreezeMAX again grew to reach 28 percent of our total revenue, compared with about 10 percent in the same period last year,” he said, adding that “with 55 commercial deployments and about 100 active trials, we are still at the very beginning of the adoption curve.”

Friedman’s expecting progress “in each of these areas in the second half of this year.”

Neocase Software has announced the Neocase Alliance Program, established to “help partners effectively market and sell its customer operations software,” according to company officials.

In a separate announcement today, Neocase announced the U.S. release of Neocase 10, the newest version of its flagship CRM offering. Neocase 10 is billed by company officials as allowing customer service agents “the power to access expertise anywhere within a company or to collaborate with external partners for tailored case resolution.”

In establishing the Neocase Alliance Program, Neocase claims flagship deployment partners including BridgeBuilder, DynLink and Quilogy. Neocase is currently enlisting additional partners worldwide.

Neocase partners can market Neocase 10 as a stand-alone licensed application, via an on-demand service model, or as a bundled offering with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. With Neocase's program, VAR and integration partners can deploy a branded, on-demand offering, letting resellers offer software delivered as a web-based service.

Additionally, under both the standard licensed and on-demand models, the partner continues to own and manage the customer relationship.

Elizabeth Harr Bricksin, President of DynLink said “we're already seeing strong interest in Neocase solutions from our customers.”

The Neocase Alliance Program provides partners with such benefits as offering the Neocase product, as well as flexible delivery models, as Neocase applications are “available through three models: licensed, on-demand and as a bundled offering with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.”

The program provides training, customer support and professional services for partners as well.

All partners must meet Neocase's qualifications for participation in the Alliance Program and demonstrate the ability to “effectively represent, implement, service and support Neocase products,” company officials say.

Today in 1940 Winston Churchill took power as the prime minister of Great Britain. At the turn of the 20th century he was the most highly-paid freelance journalist in the world, and he was already a politician of national stature in World War I – one of the very few British politicians to accurately predict how big the war would become – when he resigned his office, joined the army and commanded a battalion in the trenches, the only nationally prominent politician to do so.

In 1932 he warned of the growing danger of a second world war with Germany. No one took him seriously. In a situation with eerie parallels to today, according to Writer’s Almanac, “most people saw Churchill as an arrogant, paranoid warmonger, and most people supported appeasement of Hitler.” Things changed when Hitler took control of Czechoslovakia and Austria, then invaded Poland, Belgium and France, and everyone realized Hitler actually was the threat Churchill had almost alone proclaimed him to be.

Silicon Graphics has announced what it’s claiming is the industry's first 4-gigabit Fiber Channel-based storage system designed for the mid-range market: the SGI InfiniteStorage 4000.

The SGI InfiniteStorage 4000 continues storage technology from SGI's InfiniteStorage product line. It features a combination of capacity and adaptable performance that is being marketed by company officials as “helping IT organizations meet the current and future needs of highly technical computing and business applications.”

John Howarth, director, Storage Group, SG said “allowing smaller businesses and workgroups access to 4Gb Fiber Channel storage means that they can take advantage of technology previously limited to large scale, big-budget high-cost installations; and realize significant cost and time savings.”

SGI InfiniteStorage 4000 is being marketed as offering greater flexibility for IT organizations, “allowing them to balance capacity and performance needs to fit their situation,” especially to organizations with ERP, CRM and corporate databases.

Alternately, for technical environments that require the movement of large amounts of data, the SGI InfiniteStorage 4000 can be used as storage for streaming data.

As a repository for reference data or as a second tier in a data lifecycle management hierarchy the SGI InfiniteStorage 4000 can serve as low-cost, large capacity storage, scaling up to 56TB in a single system. In addition, users can select the appropriate drive type, and allow intermixing between Fiber Channel and SATA drives to maximize performance and minimize costs.

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