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Good News: Industry ShowsGrowth Some days it's easy to be all doom and gloom in this business, what with the tooth-and-nailfierce competition, dramatically s h r i nking margins, sudden consolidations and shakeouts, and the veritable roller-coaster ride of technological innovations, successes and flops. But there's at least two sides to every proverbial coin. Take the shift of the Internet into the mainstream over the last few years. Yes, software companies are selling products directly to users over the 'Net. And yes, some consumersare placing orders directly with on-line vendors of hardware, undercutting resellers who have the overhead of a physical location. But, as "surfing" grew in popularity, modem sales skyrocketed. This year, Evans Research Corp. says Canadians will buy 2.8 million modems, up from 2.3 units in 1996. Home users had yet another reason to purchase a computer. Corporations bought Web serversand consulting services. And while many businesses are still struggling to actually make money on the Web (some are doing it!), a great many people have done very well setting up clients for the Internet, providing hardware and software, as well as Web site design and hosting services. Moreover, the Internet means better communication with your own customers.

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Get With The Season

As hard as it is to believe, we' re pushing up on the busy Christmas retail season. Check out David Rosen's "Serve Up a Profitable Holiday," (Page 26), for useful tips on havBuying Is Up! Canadians' demand for information tech- ing the cheeriest possible selling season in nology products and services grew 12.1 per a retail environment. If you run a computer store, there will soon be disheartened shopcent in 1996 over 1995, according to pers walking by your window looking for International Data Corp. (Canada) Ltd. And preliminary forecasts suggest IT buy- gift ideas. So provide them! Never miss out ers' demand will increase another 11.2 per on an opportunity to get people into your store.But you also need to offer the prodcent this year. "It's good times," said Paul ucts they actually want to buy. Always Kennedy, president of Toronto-based IDC Canada. have knowledgeable staff available to proCorporations are spending well, par- vide useful suggestions and support. And ticularly on things like network integration, make it easy for customers to actually he said. However, the penetration of com- make the purchase! (Think payment plans, puters into Canadian homes is starting to full credit card support, available products slow down, having reached about 41 per and tellers, and delivery/installation sercent, IDC figures report. (A.C. Neilsen vices, for example.) says 44 per cent.) Perhaps the remaining What are your thoughts on the health homes will open up to some of the Internet of the industry in 1997? How do you feel devices orNetwork Computers that have about the business environment heading been sohyped. If parents can pay an incre- into 1998? Drop me a line at gracec(N mental fee to let Junior access the Web from avideo game device orlow-cost basic terminal-type unit, there will be interest. Indeed $500 is widely held by pundits to be

H''»':=.',«,»Publisher David Ritter Associite PublishersJudy Prange Hari Singh Khaisa EditorGrace . Cosset pan ts »co» t c ' . ) Associate EditorJeff Evans 0effotcpon.corn) ContributingWriters Graeme Bennett Tim Bingham-Waliis Jazz Bhooi

New Niarkets The most powerful computers are becoming ever-morecapable.Our Lab Test this month checks out some of the most powerful PCs on the market — 266MHz or 300MHz Pentium II-based systems (page 38). Indeed, that hefty hardware will enable all kinds of new functionality and markets, including videoconferencing, which is incidentally, our cover story this month. (Please see The Electronic Eye," page 30, by Associate Editor Jeff Evans.) Also this issue, a special feature on the Canadian computing channel by Paul Lima, (Please see "Muddy Waters," page 22), examines overlap in the channels as players look for new opportunities and better ways to deliver product to market. Kennedy says getting product to market is still a problem for many vendors and resellers, hence the interest in such practices as build-to-order. He said manufacturers like IBM and Compaq are realizing "someone else can do it, closer to the customer." Another key problem area in Canada is still effective computer retailing, said Kennedy.

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~g~«»Canadian Computer Wholesaler is published 12 bmes a year by Canad'a Computer Paper Inc. Toronto Office Suite 408 - 99 Atlantic Ave.

Toronto, Oni. Canada M6K 3JS

Tel: (416) 535-8404 F@x: (416) 588-8574

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Sobscriprion applications snd change of address notices must be made in writing to one of the aboveaddresses. ,s'Ftgh subscription roou«ditted individuals, $1 10per year for nonegiied subseritprs» Contents ofCaomfian ComputerWholesaler subject ro copyright. Material sndadvertisingdesignedby Caadlan Computer Wholesaler in this publication msyno«bemproduced in anyform without permission. Ail rightsmserved.The opinionsexpressed in articles are

:norneeessarily«hoseofthepubusher.

Grace Casselman Editor

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I NDU S T RY F L A S H

Sun sues Microsoft over Java, seeks financial damages (NB) — S u n M i c r osystems' JavaSoft Division has announced a suit against Microsoft Corp.,charging trademark infringement, unfair competition, breach of contract, and other contract infractions in the implementation of Java in Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0 browser. Sun is also seeking injunctions against Microsoft, and financial damages. During a teleconference, JavaSoft division president Alan Baratz charged that, over the past six months, Microsoft has "publicly disputed" its contractual responsibility for the full implementation of Sun's Java Developers Kit (JDK), a responsibility he said is borne by Microsoft and 116 other Java licensees. Baratz contended that, with the release of

IE 4.0, Microsoft moved beyond impinging on "the spirit of the law" to violating "the letter of the law." Specifically, Microsoft failed to included two key interfaces — JNI (Java Native Mess aging Interface) and RMI ( Remote Method Invocation) — that Sun has included in theJDK referencemodel, according to Baratz. But "far, far worse" is Sun's finding that Microsoft also "deceptively altered key class libraries, (so that) developers will believe they are writing cross-platform applications, when they are (really) writing (what) will run only on Microsoft Explorer," asserted the JavaSoft president. Sun uncovered these discrepancies during compatibility testing of the IE browser, according to Baratz. Sun, he said, is also seeking several injunctions against Microsoft, including an injunction preventing Microsoft from using the Java logo, along with financial damages. Sun also plans to withhold Java technology from Microsoft pending resolution of the suit, according to Baratz. But Sun's overriding goal is "to get Microsoft back into compliance," the JavaSoft chief told the press.

Windows 98 will offer INh Internet at TV speeds (NB) — Microsoft Corp. executives said Wavephore's WaveTop technology is just the beginning of a new Internet experience at TV speeds. Included as part of Windows 98, WaveTop will allow Windows users with "TV boards"to receive a wide range of free,custom Internet content, free of Internet connections and standard speed problems. 'This announcement is a significant step forward in delivering bandwidth to home users," claims Phil Holden, Microsoft's manager of Windows product group. "What users will see with this technology is Internet content delivered at speeds much like what they see on TV today." Wavephore uses the broadcast signals of PBS National Datacast Inc.'s 264 PBS member stations. The company's technology allows Internet content to be "placed" between standard PBS television programming. Called "vertical blanking intervals" (VBI), the spaces are filled with Internet content which becomes part of the broadcast signal. Any computer with a TV tuner board and Windows 98 can receive WavePhore's Internet content.

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I NDU S T RY F L A S H

Digital camera products contin ue to multiply, now boasting high er resolutions A t th e r ecent Comdex/SCIB show i n Montreal, one outstanding trend was the continuing proliferation of new models of digital cameras. Many major manufacturers, including Epson, Agfa and Sony, had new cameras on display (Panasonic declined to show its new digital camera at the show). At this stage, most of the attention has shifted from the original VGA resolution cameras (480 by 640 resolution, with about 300,000 pixels per image) to a new generation of camera which typically boasts image resolution of up to 1,280 by 960 pixels, resulting in 'megapixel' images (a million or more pixels). Kodak was the Canadian leader in creating this market segment with its LC120 camera, which debuted in the spring of 1997, but at Comdex both Epson and Agfa highlighted their new high resolution digital camera offerings. Epson's new PhotoPC 600 features 1,024 by 768 (XGA) resolution, using Epson's Color True in-camera processing technology to create accurate, realistic color values. The PhotoPC 600 has a built-in, two-inch LCD

monitor, and has a Direct Print option which allows users to directly connect the PhotoPC to an Epson Stylus Photo printer, using a $99 Epson Stylus Photo Direct Print Kit, which consists of software, a PhotoPC 600 AC adapter and special serial cable. To enable larger numbers of pictures to be stored on the PhotoPC 600 camera, CompactFlash storage cards with up to 32MB capacity are also available. The PhotoPC 600 also offers NTSC composite video output, for displaying pictures directly from the camera to a TV monitor Atga's or videoprojector,or for recording onto videotape. The PhotoPC 600 has an estimated street price of $1,099. Agfa included its Canadian introduction of the ePhoto 1280, a 1280 by 960 pixel resolution digital camera, along with several other major digital imaging product releases at the Comdex/SCIB '97 show. The ePhoto 1280, priced at $1,199, is a very nicely designed digital camera with a swiveling FlashTrack 3X optical lens, are a two-inch color LCD, and sophisticated PhotoGenie image processing technology.

Sony of Canada Ltd. showed two new digital camera models at Comdex, the DSCFl, which comes with a 1.8-inch LCD screen with built-in 4MB flash memory, and highspeed wireless image transfer capability, as well as serial cable or NTSC composite video output. The new Sony Digital Mavica camera makes picture saving even easier, by allowing the user to save images directly to a floppy disk, which can then be transferred to a Ma c or W indows personal computer.O therfeaturesof the Digital Mavica include a 10X optical zoom lens, and pre-programmed settings for different lighting conditions, to help ensure the highest quality photos. There are also several in-camera photo image processing options: monotone, sepia, negative art, and pastel. With the new, higher resolution and highly featured digital cameras costing in the $1,000 to $1,300 range, there is likely to continue to be a strong demand for the older, low resolution models, which now cost as little as $450. However, the new hi-res cameras are sure to begin declining in price and increasing in market share in 1998. For more information, contact Sony of Canada Ltd. at (416) 499-1414 or http: // www.sony.corn; Epson at http: //www.epson. corn or 1-800-463-7766; or Agfa at http: // www.Agfahome.corn, or (416) 241-1110.

Gaming platforms are hot

technology,cheap RAM, and high-speed 2D and 3D graphics acceleration has combined with the games oriented features of Windows 95 to makethe PC a very powerful gaming platform. As Don Myles, head of IBM Canada's PC operation recently commented, "the application driving high performance PC technology is 3D games like Doom." On the video game side of the market, Nintendo has made the biggest splash in the Canadian market. The Nintendo 64 system has sold about half a million consoles in its first nine months in Canada, the most successful launch of a computer games system in history. Sony's PlayStation has also sold several hundred thousand units, and the Sega Saturn, though lagging behind the other two major players, has also seen considerablesuccess.

Although the PC and video game software sales channels tend to be separate, the end-users overlap a lot. Many families find that a video game machine, at less than $200 forthehardware, is a cheap way to add additional computing power to the household, freeingup the 'real'computer forhome office, educational and Internet use. The new video games machines, particularly the Nintendo 64, have speed and 3D graphics performance that equals or betters even a high end Pentium MMX PC. Many PC software publishers use the hottest titles on the games consoles as the benchmark to judge the performance of their latest computer titles against. "Better than Nintendo 64" is the proudest, usually exaggerated boast of the PC games publisher in the 1997 Christmas season.

It's a computer game! No, it's a video game! Computer game! Video game! It's two, two, two gaming markets in one! For over a decade, there have been two consumer markets for interactive entertainment software: the video console market (Nintendo, Sega and more recently, Sony), and the personal computer market (mainly MS DOS/Windows,but also, t o l e sser degrees, Apple Mac, Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari and Amiga). In the 1997 holiday market, competinon is settling into two camps: MS DOS/Windows 95, and 64-bit 'next-generation' video consoles. Surprisingly, though, both of these two radically different platform types — the highpowered, general purpose multimedia family PC, and the tiny, single purpose console that hooks onto the family TV set, are increasingly being found in the same households. On the personal computer side, 1997 has seen a

large-scale move by the PC games publishing industry to the Windows 95 operating system, finally giving up on MS-DOS as the preferred operating system for high performance PC games. Therapid increase in the power of 1997's Windows PCs, with Pentium MMX

Canadian groups prepare for research infrastructure (NB) — The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), a government-backed corporation, and the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education (CANARIE) Inc., a consortium of private firms, universities, and the federal government, have announced a joint project to seek ways of developing a new information infrastructure to support research. Guided by a steering committee made up mostly of academics, the group will hold five regional workshops in the next few months to discuss research issues, then put together a set of recommendations to CFI and CANARIE. The focus will be on advanced networking infrastructure to support research. http//wwwccwmag.corn November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 9


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Comdex/SCIB '97, held at the Palais using to fail, at the most embarrassing des Congres in Montreal from Oct. 7 t i me. At Montreal's SCIB, however, it to 9, provided a showcase for much turned out that the principal gremlins of the latest and greatest that the w ere political and linguistic in nature. Canadian high-tech industry has to T h e first keynote speaker, Stephane offer. Vaillancouit, vice-president of inforIt also served to demonstrate the mation highway and multimedia for growing importance of computer and Bell Canada, was scheduled to pretelecommunications technology as an sent his remarks in both French and engine of growth in the Quebec econ- English. He delivered a fine speech in omy. At a time when Quebec is strug- French only, describing in glowing terms the reality and gling to overcome the potential of using the persistent drag on business confinetworking, the Interdence caused by the net, and videoconfer:I encing for applicanational unity questions as diverse as tion, (in Montreal, signs of recent ecobanking, telemedicine nomic progress sit and education. UnComdex SCIB side by side with fortunately, technolo~ i gy f o r communicating numerous "for rent" .- ua I': II~ - . " -": and "for sale" signs), a translated English "m-'- " the information techversionof his remarks - for English attendees nology industry is a b right l ight. T h e and journalists was 1997 SCIB show not deployed for this event, leaving part of featured major product releases from international ven- t h e audience in the dark about what dors such as Epson, Xerox, Agfa, and had been said. The second SCIB '97 Sony as well as from Quebec-based keynote, delivered later that day by firms such as Protec and Makisoft. C o rel founder and CEO Michael Veteran observers commented that C o wpland in English only, similarly under the Comdex banner, SCIB has failed to provide a French version for consistently improved in both the t h e unilingual French attendees. And quality and quantity of attendees and Cowpland managed to refer several exhibitors in recent years. Exhibitors t i mes to French as a "foreign lansuch as 3Com, Novell, Claris and g uage" when asked a question about Adobe showedthei r latestproductsto French-Canadian versions of Corel good crowds, and most o f t h e s o f tware titles. exhibitors CCW talked to indicated But SC I B ' 9 7 s h owed that that interest from both resellers and Quebec is a world class creator of, end users was strong. and market-place for new technoloTypically, when major computer gy, where the partnerships between industry execs stand up to make pre- government, manufacturers, endsentations at a trade show, their main u sers and the reseller community are fear is that Murphy's Law will con- s e rving to make Quebec a successful spire to cause the presentation soft- c o mpetitor in the new national and ware or Internet technology they are g lobal economies.

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(NB) — Yahoo! Inc., operator of several major navigational guides to the Internet, has signed an agreement to buy Fourl! Corp., a privately held company that offers on-line directory services and operates the RocketMail free E-mail service. As a result of the deal, Yahoo! Is immediately launching its own free E-mail service, Yahoo! mail, based on RocketMail technology. Yahoo said it will see a US$4 million charge associated with the deal in its fourth quarter results. It said it expects the deal to be completed in the fourth quarter after a number of conditions have been met. The new Yahoo! Mail service has already been launched and is available on the World Wide Web at http: //mail. yahoo.corn. IIII


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not be applied appropriately in courses given outside a school of engineering, he said. Morris, however, described the engineers' position as "an unnecessary intrusion into university governance." He said universities across Canada are backing Memorial's position. It is not clear whether the case will actually go to court or be settled otherwise. "We could be headed to court," Morris said. "I'm not sure that we are headed to court." The disputeover the use of "software engineering" to describe software design and programming work is a long-running one. In Canada and elsewhere, engineering associations have repeatedly objected to the term's use.

ITC ruling may lead to NEC Canadian supercomputer centre

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(805) 840-3;" ""

(NB) — Faced with opposition from professional engineering societies to its use of the phrase "software engineering" in a course d escription, M e morial U n i versity o f Newfoundland has taken out a Canadian trademark on the phrase. Memorial was granted the trademark in July,university spokesperson Peter Morris said. He said the university does not intend to be heavy-handedin enforcing its trademark rights, but "in essence, Memorial University owns the phrase." Obtaining the trademark was a tactical move by the university in a dispute with the Society of P r ofessional Engineers and Geophysicists of Newfoundland and the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, which have applied to the Federal Court of Canada to stop Memorial using the term "softwareengineering" to describe a program given by its computer science department. Dennis Abbott, communications manager forthe Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, said: "the use of the term 'engineering' is strictly within the domain of the registered professional engineering organizations." The associations are concerned that principles of professional engineering might

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(NB) — Stung by the U.S. International Trade Commission's decision that it is dumping supercomputers, NEC Corp. is thinking of setting up its own supercomputer centre to offer services to customers in the U.S. from outside the country's borders. Canada appears to be high on the list of possible sites. In late September, the ITC ruled by a three-to-nothing vote that NEC and two other Japanesesupercomputer makers Fujitsu Ltd. and Hitachi Corp.— have been selling supercomputers in the U.S. market at well below cost. The government commission imposed a 454 per cent antidumping duty on NEC, and tariffs of different amounts on other Japanese supercomputer makers. The ruling resulted from a complaint by Cray Research, a subsidiary of Silicon Graphics Inc. and a maker of supercomputers. The decision "effectively closed the U.S. market to foreign supercomputers," said Samuel Adams, a spokesperson for NEC's U.S. subsidiary HNSZ Supercomputers, said. So, Adams said, NEC and HNSZ are reviewing their options and are looking seriously at setting up "some kind of data centre somewhere outside the United States." Such

CA N ADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 hrrp/twww.ccwmag.corn

a centre would be able to sell capacity on NEC supercomputers to customers in the U.S. and elsewhere. No decisions have been made on whether to open such a centre or where it w ould b e , A d a m s s a i d. However, he a g reed t hat Canada is high on the list of possibilities, and would be an ideal location for reaching the U.S. market. Toronto is the home base for branches of most multinational technology companies operating in the country and thus an obvious site. However, Montreal might also be a contender as NEC already has a small supercomputer business there, focused on supporting and maintaining an NEC supercomputer that belongs to the Atmospheric Environmental Service, Canada's weather forecasting agency.

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Supercom signs Matrox deal Matrox Graphics Inc. has announced a manufacturing and distribution agreement with Supercom Canada. Supercom will integrate Matrox products into the Touch Brio, DTK and Acer Open systemsmanufactured by Supercom.


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C ANA D A W A T C H

SAP Canada active, under new president

Sea Change will distribute SmartGate security

There's plenty cooking at SAP Canada Inc., under the leadership of new president Robert Beauchemin, who stepped up to the job this summer, after serving as vice-president of operations for SAP. SAP Canada is a subsidiary of Germany's SAP AG, which produces high-end client/server-based business applications for use in corporations and mission-critical environments. Beauchemin's new position necessitated a relocation to Toronto from Montreal, but Montreal too now reports an SAP gain, as Filbitron scores large that city is hosting a new research and develpen contract — Cheers! opment centre which will initially be staffed Markham, Ont.-based mobile pen computing by 10 employees who will work on Canadacompany, Filbitron Marketing Corp., has specific product, customization and preconwon a contract with Brampton, Ont.-based figuration, said Beauchemin, during a recent Bacardi-Martini Canada Inc., a producers of stop in Calgary. He said the Montreal R&D spirits, beer and wine. centre will also seek to get a world mandate The h a l f -million-dollar c o n tract forcertain SAP product development. replacesa paper system and involves the use SAP has also opened a call centre in of Fibitron's pen-based WriteTrac system for Moncton, N.B., for bilingual toll-free cusBacardi sales reps. They' ll be able to access tomer support, employing another 10 people customer accounts and product information initially. B eauchemin said then-premier on theroad, and take inventory, record orders Frank McKenna was instrumental in personand transmit orders via a modem. a lly persuading SAP t o c o nsider hi s province's technical and human resources for the SAP Canada Bl Business* "Best Overall Notebook Help Desk. Value" dealer survey raxngsr Those jobs are Eurocom B.9 IBM B.2 part of 80 new jobs NEO 7.B ABT 7.6 SAP plans to create Compaq 7.6 ioshiba 7.6 before year-end. The *May res current staff total is 325, up from 200 . l®~ ) f ~ e mployees, as o f Jan. 1, 1997. "We ':45'49'NQM'6(Pt have a definite strati ON3) s e gy, for a m u c h 'I'0256M8 ED'0 $Af A recent agreement will see Sea Change Corp. distribute the V-One Corp. SmartGate client-server security product in Canada. The product combines authentication technology with encryption and applicationlevel access control. Sea Change claims the product can be deployed to an unlimited number of users in just seven minutes, using the product's on-line registration/dynamic enrollment process.

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stronger commitment to our customers," said Beauchemin. The three focusesforthe company are: people, product and processes, he said. A key part of t hat v i sion i s Ro bert BBauchemin Accelerated SAP (ASAP), in which 80 per cent of installations are now completed in less than nine months. "This is good news." He said Sony Canada's SAP implementation took seven months, and an implementation at the Canadian Space agency was completed in eight weeks. Particular focus industries for SAP include: the public sector, oil and gas, utilities, telecommunications and healthcare. Former SAP Canada president Bryan Plug is busy as the new president of Pandesic (http: //www.pandesic.corn) — a joint venture between SAP America Inc. and Intel Corp., offering electronic commerce solutions to business. SAP's Canadian Certified Business Solution providers include: Fin Tech Services, Optimum Software Solutions, Primonics Inc., Ernst & Y o ung, Anderson Consulting, Deloitte and Touche, and OmniLogic. Also in Calgary, at the DocuWorld '97 show in October, Xerox Canada Ltd. said it had teamed up with Ottawa's JetForm Corp. and BGR Consulting, of Toledo, Ohio, to introduce a solution for SAP customers looking to create "impactful customer-focused documents." The technology enhances the standard SAP layout sets by adding field tags to the data, says Xerox. The intended result is to allow formatting adjustments such as adding logos, boxes, shading or barcodes, to be made without SAPscript programming. Ltt)Ni

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Editor: GraceCasselman Call: (403) 262-7890 Fax: (403)262-7892 E-mail:graceconetcom.ca We welcome your ideas regarding news and feature topics forCanadian Computer Associate Editor: Jeff Evans Wholesaler.Feel free to contact the edi- Call: (416) 535-8404 tors directly with your suggestions. Fax; (416) 588-8574 E-mail:Jefftattcport.corn

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CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 httpyiwwwccwmagccm

Contact: Steve Halinda Call: (416) 535-8404 Fax: (416) 588-8574 E-mail:steve@tcpon.corn


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cdg~exjei- existing reseller channel, most of the clones p mss time, CEO Paul Gossen couldn' t "ffe . ~M+j. -Now that Apple has ended its:cgloim iment" by acquiring the assets of Power were sold directly„causing more channel dif- reached forcomment because the company's 'T:,~" '.h". ,i'd; . Computing, many resellers expect, more f i c ulties. With these high profit machines p h ones had been disconnected with no. for-i"~" 'g' s in the channel, With-the'~@~i (-c ontinuing to leave the channel, many Apple w a rding nttmber. The company did i~ : p r ess release stating the Apple announcement,'::,',„' .„'„Ii out of its way, what's next in Applehs bag of r e sellers added other product lines to stay to limit cloning caused investors to "put tricks? Only, Steve Jobs knows —.and he's p r o fitable, For over a decade Toronto-based Elm f i n ancing," rhett talking, at least not yet. ~ ~ le, Apple U.S. is urging its retailers to create spe- Street Appland had been an Apple-only store@cial areas within their stores devoted solely to f r o nt reseller. Recently though, the dealership ; Apple products. In addition, the'xo~y added C ompaq and Hewlett-Packard to its Whether cloning would have been good for resellers and customers in the long run is e reiterated its commitment to domg business o f ferings. "At one point Apple had the chan only with retailers who demonstrate a serious ne l everyone else wanted," explains David q u estion likely to be debated for years. What .,=:=".-= focus on Apple products. Some see that as P o ng, apartner at the company. "ThenAppie is for certain, however, is that until Power;=:-:,lower sales p otential c ombined w it h br o ught on the super stores and mail-order Computing and other clone makers such ',v';< I . increased effort and expense. It doesn't take a c ompanies. A [traditional] dealer can't afford Motorola clear out their old inventory, the ' ,„, marketplace will be glutted with excess sup+, 4. i ' ';~@ to deal with mail-ordex.'" ~.. i . - , ,.-Ggl Amelio to figure there@,'„:, "

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dSs'.,:ftIInp-.' ' estimated that Power Comptft@gf vh ping US$400 million in product pei year. In fact,according to independent rpsearch group Dataquest, Power Computing afoimraceounted for nearly 10 per cent of the entire Mac market. This was bad not only for Apple but . also for its resellers since Power<~ ng : had grown its business using a direct sales modeL Things got worse for Apple by the end '~-:.„:of the second quarter of this year„-,=. '.W~ch d i ,+::~,-"'the company says 25 percentof'aIJM'ie„s sold were clones,What's worse, many of these. ..' computers were high-end systems,-,,sitob. as - == .:-. cines destined for Apple's profitab&:graphics„ >~-=:=video and publishing markets. Although ~ some Mac cloners such as Motoio1aused the

Albeit Daoust, a computer industry analyst at Evans Research Corp„ is less guarded about Apple's channel dalliances. Daoust says: "Apple has let a lot of people down on the cloning issue." He cites the recent closure of Vancouver-based Vertegri Research as a good example of how Apple is shooting itself in the foot. Vertegri was the first to market licensed PowerBook clones in the form of the imediaEngine v5. Business was booming and orders were coming in.. Then -the problems started. When Apple announced it would curtail clones, Motorola (Vertegri's supplier) exited the clone business. Vertegri went into limbo when it couldn't produce iaptops based on Motorola's licensed MacOS technology. At

18 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 st gpi//wwwccwmag.corn 1;„

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Apple posts loss AppleComputer Inc.has announced a net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 26, of US@81 million. It would have been a USSR' .. million loss before the inclusion of restructuring charges and the Power Computing purchase. That's compared to a net profit of US$25 million this quarter last year. Revenues for the quarter were US$1.6 billion, down 30 per cent from the fourth quar-

ter a yaer ago.

In other news, both Dave Manovich, serIIOi'' vice-president of internstional sales, and James IlllcClunay, senior vice-president of world&tfe operatioihs, have left Apple to' "pursue other interests."

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Oracle Message Gathers Momentum by Grace Casselman A crowd of more' than 20,000 Oracle fansand Oracle-curious swarmed theoverheated city of Los Angeles in late September for OpenWorld, tuning into the latest surrounding the Oracle8 database and all things Network Computer. There, a significant agreement on the Oracle8 front was unveiled, as a licensing deal was announced with Tibco Software Inc. through which Oracle will embed Tibco's TIB/Rendezvous publish/subscribe messaging s oftware i nt o O r acle's p r oducts, According to Oracle, this kind of technology frees up network bandwidth by sending a message once to multiple users, rather than multiple copies simultaneously. Users get information as an "event" happens, whether that's a financial transaction or a process change, without having to ask for it or knowi ng w h ere t h a t d a t a r e s ides. K r i sh Bharagavan,product marketing manager for Tibco, explained the technology can be used in many ways. It can broadcast information, send an alert to select users across a network, or make a necessary change in an application in a network computing environment. In a statement, Mitchell Kramer, analyst at the Patricia Seybold Group,said:"Widespread use of publish/subscribe technology signals the beginningof a new era in enterprise co m p uting called business event processing. Networked softRay Lane: ware applications will Doitforthekids. now be able to transmit important business events automatically from the database to other applications and to user desktops, rather than forcing the receiving application to repeatedly request information of corporate database or othersoftware applications." And Fujitsu Ltd. i s d eveloping a COBOL cartridge to include with Oracle Web Application Server, starting with the next release. The result will be the ability to exploit legacy COBOL applications in the development of Internet and intranet systems. Oracle just released quarterly results for the quarter ended Aug. 31. With revenues at US$1.37 billion, the company saw 30 per cent growthover the same quarter last year. 18

N et income increased 33 pe r c ent t o (lower the cost of computing). We are all US$149.8 million. together against Bill." In other news, Oracle Corp. has "The NC is an idea that is just now two announced the OracleAuthorized Reseller yearsold," said Jonathan Tice, senior marketprogram, which the company says is designed ing managerfor Oracle Corp. Canada Inc.,of to sell Oracle solutions into the "general busi- Mississauga, Ont. "A large amount of ness market." In Canada, alliances sales man- momentum hasnow been generated."And he ager Katie McLean said: "We wanted to said demo models of NCs based on the extent ourreach to the broader market, Network Computer Inc. (NCI) specifications beyond the top 250 businesses in Canada. Our are just now being launched into Canadian goal is to reach more customers and provider corporate environments our customers with better solutions." for evaluation. ' ',l',i'/; "How can we be in To qualify, resellers must maintain cer',rf tain revenue and participation requirements, an information age when says the company, such as running a mini70 percent of American mum of onelead generation campaign and families don't have commarketing campaign per year; and maintainputers?" began Larry ing an Oracle demonstration environment. Ellison, Oracle CEO, in LarrYElhsom (McLean said that revenue amount in Canada his k eynote a ddress. Relocate complexity. hadn't yet been set, at press time.) The proWith NCs appearing as gram provides these authorized resellers with cheaply as RCA's US$295 device, Ellison is "an increased level" of Oracle resources, betting that Oracle will have a role in changtraining, education, sales and marketing sup- ing that ratio. "PCs are incredible engineering port, and customer leads. devices. And they' re absolutely incredibly Current Oracle Authorized Resellers or enormously complex. We need to relocate the OARs, include: GE Capital, Onyx, Arqana complexity off the desktop and relocate it and CAC. McLean said the company expects back into the network where it belongs." to sign about 12 OARs in Canada this year. Oracle is heading into the schools to And Oracle is definitely big on Java. For help spread the message of network computexample,the company announced JDBC dri- ing. For example, Oracle announced it would vers for the Oracle database, and said its provide NCs to the 100 most economically OracleEnterprise Manager product is being challenged schools in California. First off in rearchitected in Java for distributed manage- that effort was the George Washington Carver ment of multi-tier environments. As well, Middle School in Los Angeles, where NCs Personal Oracle Lite 3.0, which is currently in are initially going into five classrooms. "You don't really get it, until you sit beta, supports a range of Java features, including: Java access classes to let developers cre- down beside one of these kids and say: 'What ate classes that store the state of Java objects; are you learning?'" said Ray Lane, president native JDBC access; Java stored procedures and chief operating officer of Oracle, at a and triggers; and a Java object browser. presstour of the school. "This is a great opportunity for us to Oracleis,of course, ever-fierce in the promotion of the Network Computer. And to learn more about all different kinds of subsome, at least, the message is getting through. jects," Sandra Hernadez, a 12-year-old stuStephane Dodier, president of Montreal- dent at the school, told visiting media. "I based Oracle technology consultant Orisoft, want to be an astronaut and think these comwas in attendance at OpenWorld. He said a puters are going to help me a lot in my studyear ago, people weren't thinking a lot about ies now and in the future." the Network Computer concept. But today, he Oracle said it also plans to sponsor netsaid,ascorporations are looking for managework computing in the Canadian education able PC alternatives and secure environ- system, but no details were announced. ILLS ments, NCs are viable options. "We' re developing a lot of systems to work with Network Grace Casselman is Editor o f Canadian Computers. NCs are not just one company. Computer Wholesalerand can be reached at It's Sun, IBM, Oracle, Netscape... wanting to gracec I netcom. ca.

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Philosopher Charles Taylor writes that in the modern age in Canada, citizens can with ease lay claim to multiple and competing identities. The same description might be applied to the computer industry, where the various channels of distribution and resale of products are starting to "overlap," says Tony Olvet, manager for Canadian channels research for Toronto-based market research firm International Data Corp. (Canada) Ltd. In other words, there are: PC manufacturers selling directly to end-users or setting up build-to-order programs via the reseller and distribution channels; distributors becoming more specialized and "value-added;" and application-oriented resellers turning to more lucrative opportunities in systems integration.

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ing their heads and trying to figure out how build-to-order, with its promise of next-day delivem to an end-user, can actually work in the Canadian its scattered population and lack of available manuilities, adds Daren Khatib, director cal sales group forthe Mississauga, ech Data Canada Inc. of the consumer and small business ket, the state of the channels are unhealthy an d d y sfunctional," Susan O'Dell, president of the Ont.-based Service Dimensions Inc. ors areconsidering various routes ect selling and build-to-order; while different skill-sets. urn may drop certain product lines, hink we are going to see some shifts of this kind in the 8 months," says O'Dell. Yet, she adds, vendors who go appreciate "it is a skill-set they do not necessarily posg in sync with the customer is something that Dell e most successful practitioner of this model, took some "They went through some pretty rough patches (at

se C All this talk of change and adjustment just means a lot of headaches and much worse for resellers, says Albert Daoust, an ana- ti lyst with Toronto-based Evans Research Corp. "Their nerves are fi frayed. It is like someone going through an unhappy time in their ors have undertaken price-cutting in response to pressu marriage." ell, which can afford to directly sell its PCs at 15 per ce hat its competitors charge by avoiding distributors and Build-to-order programs on the surface appear to involve the resellers, unlike the direct selling strategy staked out by Dell re gether, says Daoust. Computerand other vendors where theirrole M anufacturers, he adds, are all over the is non-existent. But the perception is strong map on the direct-selling model. among. VARs and retailers that they are likeIBM, which has sold almost all its prodPC Products uct on a direct basis at some point or other "is ly to be adversely affected over the long increasingly turning sales over to channel term. Once build-in-order is firmly established, adds Daoust, "then it becomes easier partners." In the meantime, while Compaq to b yp ass resellers." has never shown any indication of going this '".","''::It"'SpliP~' : Gired' ':,. ~s way in Canada, NEC and Apple have recently Others like Michael O' Neil, senior vice1997„; announced their intention to go direct. president at IDC Canada, suggest that the But in the latter's case, according to the build-to-order model, developed by major PC vendors in the U.S., is dependent upon Evans analyst, it stems from "Apple dealers large resellers being central to the process. getting new product lines because they are But here in Canada, he adds, "there are very spooked by all the news about Apple (regardI few resellerswho have the resources to do ing its financial situation)." H ere again, IDC Canada pokes a big hole this kind of assembly." j'„"f~ j PC Spending = 5.49 billion Distributors in Canada are still scratchin this perceived trend. Its latest voluminous .

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C HA N N E L U P D A T E research on channels demonstrates that indirect The agency model, where the reseller is " =.' channelsgenerated 75 per cent of revenues in primarily involved in sales and marketing and the information technology in this country. does not take ownership of a vendor's prod9EkV iSQgfOFS Also,channel usage is increasing among the ucts, has only gained a foothold in the comI @® largest IT vendors and large firms earned "proputer industry; but it may be a precursor of a 'Ik fOr TOpgl portionally more revenues from channels." new trend. IDC Canada states at 21 per cent, N OAWam' VARs will n e ver d i sappear, just it is the fastest growing channel in the server evolve," says Olvet at IDC Canada. His orga. IreCi. Vilnds and workstation sector at least. nization expects VARs this year to experiMore dire predictions have for some time • 4/ ence an upsurge in revenue growth of just been aimed at the broadline, high-volume dis{ s' under 10 per cent, with the integrators among tributors with their notoriously razor-thin martet them demonstrating major gains of 20 per gins, although none of the big ones have yet keeledover and closed their doors in Canada. cent; while their application-oriented counAs ma'or terparts lose money, part of a process of flat J suPPliers of reseller credit and or negative growth over the last two years. I the sole representatives for hardware and softNot surprisingly, he notes, Na lot of applicaware vendors in the Canadian market, this tion VARs are becoming integration VARs." channelin one form or another appears secure. Olvet is confident that many VARs are "nimble" enough to folNevertheless, many commentators including Bruce Stuart, presilow the prescription for survival, which involves keeping up with the d ent of Vancouver-based Channel Corp. Management believe the future market/technology changes, continuous skills upgrading and a focus o f wholesale in the PC industry lies with more specialized value added on "moving upstream" in terms of providing valued-added services. d i stributors carrying a smaller line of products. The Guelph, Ont.-based VARs should also move away from what they do not do best and d i stributor, EMJ Data Systems Ltd., with its focus on Unix and point of let another channel take it over, says Bob Pritchard, president of the s ale products, is a much cited example. IDC Canada's research seems Toronto-based R.J. Pritchard k. Associates. He sees the value, for to b e arthisout,inanexaminationoftheCanadianmarket formidrange instance, of distributors taking on configuration. "Many resellers still s e r ver and workstation products. The technical, value-add distributor do configuration but they are not good at it. It is more cost-effective g e nerated 63 per cent of the revenues in 1996, a jump from only 11 per for them to focus on selling and the customer interface." cent in 1995, while the broad-line distributors experienced a drop from 89 percent two years ago to 37 per centlast year.

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Software is often cited as the Achilles heel for distributors, with the increasing likelihood that many packages will be bought directly over the Internet from suppliers by consumers. "The 'Net is hammering the hell out of the volume portion of the distribution business," says Stuart. But over at IDC Canada, channels watchers Michael O' Neil and Steve McHale, counter that it is too soon to write off the role of distributors, and resellers for that matter, suggesting that some brands are too specialized to be sold on-line. Also, with managing software licenses, it may be the distributors who will take on a greater role. "There are too many players in all the channels," says Elio Levy, president of Mississauga, Ont.based Tech Data Canada Inc. It seems these days that the only certain thing about the channels — is the uncertainty itself. EW

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Up a Prof itable Holiday. by David Rosen

'Tis the season to be jolly — especially if you' re a computer retailer. This year sales are booming in many computer stores but the best is yet to come: holiday season! Since a huge portion of any retail business is generated around the holiday season, it pays to plan ahead. Just what's at stake? According to Albert Daoust, an analyst at Toronto-based Evans Research Corp.,holiday computer shipments can comprise 40 per cent or more of the entire year's sales. With numbers such as these, holiday season can be a make-orbreak opportunity. One of the many challenges facing resellers this year is that customers are less loyal and increasingly willing to drive a few miles for a "better" deal. This means they won't wait for you to order an out-of-stock item. Guessing what your customers will buy is always tricky but doing this during holiday time is even more complicated. First, manufacturers and developers seldom tell retailers what they' re going to advertise and generate demand for. Second, inventory management during the holidays is problematic since you need everything on the shelves within minutes of delivery, Meanwhile, of course, you need evety person on deck to sell.

What to do? Organize now. Here's how: • Run demos and "how-to" sessions. Now's the time to invite reps from the hardware, software and accessory companies to spend an hour or two on a weekend doing in-store promotions. Food stores do this and so do hardware outlets. It works for them and it just might work for you. Don't forget to let all your customers know about the sessions, either through a customer mailing or even a posting on your Web site. • Concentrate on specific markets. Everyone is buying for kids during the holiday season so have special promotions on kids' prod26

ucts.David Pong, a partner in Toronto-based Elm Street/Appland suggests keeping a highly visible display of items at low price levels, especially for the holidays. "Under $10, from $10 to $20 and between $20 and $30 are key levels for us," he explains. Also, don't forget the small stocking stuffers that make the holidays extra special. • Decoratefor the seasonl M ake some festive storesignage to showcase your products.Sure you can wrap up those boxes with shiny paper and tinsel but there's a lot more that can be done to jazz up your store. For example, Paper Direct has dozens of different paper patterns all set to go. (1-800-272-2377). Even if you' re not a store-front reseller, you can still take part in the festivities. Holiday promotions are reasons in themselves to contact your customer base. Spice up your on-line messages with monthly reminders about products you want to promote. Gary Smith, president of Apple VAR United Computer Resources, suggests having a different sales theme every month, not just November and December. Despite the near-constant threat of a postal strike and the high cost of mail here in Canada, many resellers still send out holiday greeting cards to t h eir best customers. Business Book (1-800-558-0220) has customizable holiday cards that you can order with your company name, special discount offer — or anything else you want • It'simportant to select targeted greeting images.In most cases, this will mean sending non-religious greetings. Many Canadians have secularized the traditional religious holidays making them into annual family gettogethers. Think " snowmen" and " t r ee scenes" instead of "Santa" or "Nativity." • Create bundles of presents with all the necessarybitsand pieces. Complete bundle solutions are even more effective during the holiday season. No one wants to have their kid open a present that they can't put together anduse that very day because of a mi ssing

CA N ADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 hrtp//wwwccwmag.corn

cable, battery or extra ink cartridge. But don't go overboard by including too much in your bundles. Comparison shoppers need to see a real value in the bundle else they' ll s ta y c l e ar of y ou r p r o ducts. Concentrate on a few key items in each pack and emphasize their usefulness. Avoid the trap into which many computer advertisements fall: stressing the product's features, but failing to sell customer benefits. • Categorize gift bundles in terms of both price and age group. Myles Kesten, owner of The CD-ROM Shop suggests sorting edutainment titles by gaming sophistication as well by age. • Make gift -giving easy for your customers. If you have time (and your margins allow), pre-wrap some bundles (leaving a couple bundles out for display). This way your customers make a selection, pay for it and give the pre-wrapped gift. Two tips: first, ensure you usedifferent paper foreach giftto avoid pricing confusion. Second, keep photocopies of theUPC labelson a card by the cash register so that scanning the purchase doesn' t involve unwrapping the gift. • Finally, put together a package of presents that people normally wouldn't get for themselves. For example, lotsofpeoplehave cellular phones and laptops but how many can collect their email on the go? Would any of yourbusiness customers benefit from a bundle containing a PC Card modem, a prepaid phone card and a cellular modem kit? No matter what you do this season, m ake it easy for your customers to buy gifts for their friends, family and business contacts. If your prices are competitive and your presentation is well done, everyone will leave your storehappy this holiday seasonincluding you. ICIWI David Rosen i- s a Torontobased journalist who specializ- csin hightechnology .reporting He can bereached at Dav.id YY.Z@aolcom


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While the concept of the virtual private network has been around for a while, recent developments seem to be bringing the field into renewed focus. And if more companies start seeing the VPN as a viable solution for their distributed operations, it may mean new opportunities for VARs and consultants. However, as with most emerging fields, there's plenty of hype along with emerging and often competing standards. This is sure to keep decision-makers on their toes. The allure of the VPN comes down to the promise of cost savings: the convenience of wide area networking or remote access to central resources without the expense of dedicated leased lines or other private infrastructure and internetwork management costs. Companies won't have to set up a private infrastructure because the virtual network concept relies on the so-called public infrastructure of the Internet. You might think somebody's got to have some kind of nerve to use secure and Internet in the same breath. The unprivate nature of the 'Net has to be near the top of the list of concerns that users have, and it's one of the main reasons for the reluctance to post things like credit card numbers on shopping sites. But the lack of security is the boogie man that the popular press likes to revisit to point out the unruliness of the Internet. In fact, companies have been working to securethe 'Net for private uses for years. Firewalls between corporate LANs and the Internet at large is one example. IBM says it has been using its own Secured Network Gateway firewall for several years to protect its internal network from incursions by unauthorized outside (Internet) users. More recently, other solutions have been to improve the security of Internet link-layer protocols. We' ve seen a couple of attempts at this. Microsoft has extended the point-topoint protocol to something called the point28

to-point tunneling protocol, or PPTP. Cisco has an alternative protocol called layer-two forwarding, or L2F. A draft protocol combining the two, called layer-two tunneling protocol, or L2TP, has been proposed. Tunneling is the way of securing the point-to-point link. By using something like L2TP, a secure link is established between the ISP and the company's internal network. It' s secure to the extent that other Internet traffic is restricted from using the tunnel. What tunneling doesn't address is authentication or data encryption, but other solutions are being developed. For example, RSA Data Security Inc. of Redwood City, Calif., is lobbying to have its DNSsafe anti-spoofing engine adopted. Spoofing occurs when someone intercepts a user's request to a Web site and substitutes the site's DNS address with another — so the surfer unknowingly ends up at a different site. As part of the effort to curb spoofing, RSA says it will be providing the Internet Software Consortium (ISC) with a free licence to use DNS safe. Meanwhile, PPTP seems to be gaining some support. In S eptember, Extended Systems of Boise, Idaho, introduced a remote access VPN called ExtendNet VPN. The advantageover regular dial-up remote access is the savings that can be realized by dialing into a local ISP, instead of incurring extra long-distance charges. Remote users would need PPTP capability on their Windows 95 or NT system, but could access the corporate LAN via a regular modems a cable modem or an ISDN connection. Another company that is aggressively pursuing VPNs is 3Com. In October, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced a set of VPN solutions along with a road map for their delivery. Among the products announced were TranscendWare software, 3Access VPN Tunnel Switching architecture and network hardware products. 3Com says its new tunnel switching architecture allows seamless integration of a corporation's LAN and its VPNs without compromising its access security mecha-

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nisms as would be found in a corporate firewall. A t the N etworld+Interop show i n A tlanta i n O c tober, V-One Corp. i n Germantown, Md., announced the M ultiAccess Virtual Private Network, and claims it is the first product that offers security across several layers of the OSI network protocol stack. According to V-One, the multi-access product "enables a corporation, for the first time, to secure communications across multiple layers between all classes of users (remote employees, business partners and customers) utilizing all open network environments (Internet, intranet and extranet) to access multiple types of applications (Web, client/server and legacy)." V-One explains that existing VPN security implementations operate on single layers: a remote access solution for mobile users,or an electronic commerce solution for transactions, for example. The company says its multi-access solution allows the multiple layers of the network to perform the specific functions they' re best suited for. The multiaccess engine analyzes the packets, then applies the appropriate security module "to enable a secure end-to-end VPN across the optimal network layer." Contacts: 3Com: http: //www.3com.corn Cisco: http: //www.cisco.corn Extended Systems: http: //www.extendedsy stems.corn IBM: http: //www.ibm.corn MIcrosoft: http: //www.microsoft.corn RSA Data Security: http: //www.rsa.corn V-One: http: //www.v-one.corn David Tanakaisa Vancouver-basedjournalist and Editor of The Computer Paper. He can be reached atdavid@tcp.ca.


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VIDE0C0NFERENCING strongly pressuring their key partners to install videoconferencing facilities so that meetings can be held more quickly and cheaply. Many universities are incorporating videoconferencing into their regular programs, to allow international and remote seminars and conferences.

On The Home Front The 'second market'for videoconferencing is the consumer and SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) market. In this market, sales tend to be of the 'onesie-twosie' variety, where a customer wants to put a videocapture card and a camera onto a PC,and connectto othervideoconferencing users over POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines. Even if an individual user has an ISDN or cable modem connection, most of the other videoconferencing users they will be connecting to, will not. This market is growing rapidly in spite of continuing problems of low bandwidth and high support requirements, and most of the business is going to resellers who work to make it easy for the end-user to get videoconferencing capability installed on their PC. In some cases, dedicated hobbyists do their own complete installation, but this isoften a prescription foran frustration and expensive service and support burden.

The Market That Dares Not Speak Its Name The final, 'half market' for videoconferencing is one that made instant fortunes for a few canny entrepreneurs in late 1995 and much of 1996. This is the adult, one-way videoconferencing market, where an adult 'performer' with a videoconferencing system provides a live video feed for subscribers via the Internet. Those who got into this market in its earliest stages were able to charge subscribers up to US$6 per minute of connect time. Some were reported to be making millions of dollars of profit for modest investments — the subscribers only needed a basic Internet service hookup and simple to use software to do the video downloading, so there was little in the way of tech support required. Aside from moral questions surrounding what is essentially an extension of the traditional sex trade, by mid-1997, so many com-

consuming travel to real meetings. The results of many videoconferencing installations have proven the usefulness of the technology, and positive word of mouth has spread, encouraging its wider use. Also, and perhaps most critically, business videoconferencing systems generally make use of existing high-speed networks, giving the best possible performance, and modern videoconferencing solutions fit comfortably into professional MIS departments' capabilities. Also, successful vendors of business videoconferencing systems tend to be highly skilled professional firms with the capabilities and experience to deliver a high degree of reliability and ease of use to a videoconferencing network. Many major manufacturers,such as car companies, are now

Videoconferencine: A Guide To Sime lÃ.Thw Plajire And>roitiiees PicturGTGI adapter, NTSCvideo camerp„headset microphone, desktop microphene, built PictureTel is a major manufacturer of videoconferencing systems worldwide,- " in acoustic echo cancellat'ion (for reducittg the distortions of ambient.boise and videoconfarencing softwafe. with an extensive line of products that focuses on the business market. and echoes, Intel has collaborated widely with other technology vendors in the videoAmong its latest products is the SwiftSite compact videoconferancing system, a 812,000 idiot-proof videophone/videoconferencing appliance that sonferencing field, including Microsoft (wbose NetMeeting-software is integrated wdft the, Intel Busmess Video soltdicn), and concluded an agrialnent requires only a phone line and a TVset to function. Picture Tel also offers more traditional videoconferencing products that are installed into PCs, and which with AT&T whereby Intel'dProShare videoconferencing product, along with Picture Tel's products, were selected to be the suppliers for trade-in products offer multipoint switching.(http Jtwwwpicturetei.corn) for AT&T's canoe)ed Vistium Personal Video systems. As Intel's own videoIntel r Intel'Cdrp. has taketr':a' strategic position in the:uideoconferenclng market, :~~jugnferamiirtI),,tekhaeleg)ig&a eitolvat('r@pfd)y,:a '5bnyay4on kit iftlr, inta(' PtoShare users to upgrade to the new late( Business Video Confenancing where Intel CEDAndy Grove has personally taken to demonstrating and using Intel videoconferencing products at major public events. At the recent product has recently been announced. An Intel Business Video Conferencing Pentium II consumer launch in Toronto, Intel Canada architecture manager Product Development Kh'Q.DK) is also eeiiable, to enable VARs,:solution Doug Cooper also personally used Intel videoconferencing technology, to :providers and third-party developers to cfeate custom solutions for clients. highlight tha power of Intel's latest CPUs. In June, 1997, Intel launched its t (htfpttwww inta/corn) TeamStation system, a multifunction corporate videoconferencing and net- IPC)3D I)IIiero SD Micro Computers Ltd. has recently featured a very slick IPC Pentium PC working solution, based on a Connected PCand server system. According to Scott Darling, general manager for the Business Communications Products with a videoconferencing system preinstalled. When tested, this system was Operation of intel: "Conventional room system videoconferencing products by far the easiest to use of any retail videqconferencing solution we' ve tried, have been too limited and too expensive. Intel's TeamStatlon systiuh based on :: a' ce no installation was required I>yeither the reseller or the end-user. With. 'e addition of an Ethernet card, and connection to the Rogers Wave high a Connected PC can deliver the benefits that persorial computing has historically brought to the business community-lower cost, increased functionality speed Internet service, the IPC videoconferencing system was hard to beat. and greater manageability." The TeamStation is a complete soiution that is (http ltwww3dmicro.corn) f'Jggpity ' p l - ,ig')fit.'"„,"r '~~"'.f(„,";,,".„:Q)(-~ g','r:, " "v," I', bundled inside a complete Intel Pentiqm II based PC. Intel's new Intel Business Video Conferencing with ProShare b'undle has a 8ony is pefhaps the wof'Id leader in video technology, and a major player in suggested retail price of U8$1,199, including an audio/video card, ISDN many other segments of the computer industry, including digital cameras, ',

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VIDE0C0NFERENCING alliance by including videophone support in its new release of Internet Explorer 4.0 PictureTel is the undisputed leader in the videoconferencing mar ket. The company's 1996 revenues were around US$500 million, and included a decent profit margin. PictureTel's Canadian resellers include blue chip companies such as Adcom Electronics, one of the leading players in the professional audio/video sales and rental market in Canada, and IBM Canada. According to PictureTel representatives 1997 revenues will likely be slightly higher than 1996, but the number A Gathering Of of units sold, due to the rapid drop in prices, will be 'much greater. Giants Intel's interest in videoconferencing is complicated. The compa Much more significant in the ny has long been interested in videoconferencing because it is the per feet 'power application it benefits greatly from faster processors long run was the movement of higher capacity servers, and higher' bandwidth telecom and networking the PC i ndustry's biggest players into the business end infrastructure — all areas that Intel has a vested interest in promoting of the videoconferencing Similarly, Microsoft wants to see computers converging with tele market. The traditional pio- phone and television, so that Microsoft can stake out new territory and neer of videoconferencing, sell more software into the new, communications-oriented technologi cal frontiers. And IBM, which makes most of its money from network ATILT, essentially threw in the towel in its attempts to servers, software and support, sees videoconferencing as an excellent promote a consumer video- application through which to grow its business. Other vendors of tele phone. To satisfy those cus- corn and networking products, including 3Com and Lucent, have also tomers who had bought the become active in supporting the videoconferencing push now-orphaned videophones, Standards, And Non-Standards A T&T announced that i t would h onor a tra d e-up In theory, adding videoconferencing capability to an individual corn puter is relatively simple: connect a video camera and a video capture arrangement where customers could e xchange the ol d v i deoP hones with card, to bring the video into the computer, use a microphone videoconferencing products from the new market leaders, Intel and PictureTel. For their part, Intel and PictureTel announced I i l • • joint ventures to promote business videoconferencing solutions, and M i crosoft j oined the il •• I I petitors had flooded into the one-way adult videoconferencing market, that connect time rates declined to less than one-tenth of the original price levels, and profitability declined proportionately.

massstorage devices,and semiconductors.The com-, panyhas made many attempts to broaden Its presence in the computing industry, most recently with its VAIO line of premium PCs, and it sees videoconferencing as a strategically important market where it believes it can leverage Its existing strengths to take a large slice of a rapidly growing new market. Sony has therefore taken direct aim at Picture Tel with Its new TriniCom 3000 WorkGroup Videoconferancing and TrinICom 5100 SuperSite Systems. These are very sophisticated, high performance videoconferencing systems that feature auto-tracking cameras that focus on the speaker, and which also claim powerful, simple to use multlpoint videoconferencing-capability. The TriniCom 5100 system is intended to be a user friendly 'turnkey' system for under $30,000, and can offer full speed 30 frames per second video on a 384 Kbps network connection. In discussions with Sony representatives at the recent CBTA show in Toronto, CCWlearned that Sony is looking at sxisting Picture Tel dealers, and VARs and dealers with that level of technical and marketing capability' to help push its move into the Canadian market.(http//wwwsony.corn( Linkup Technologies This Canadian distributor of the VideoLink bundle, a good $289 videoconferencing kit, has just announced a new software upgrade that allows video Email to be sent to any PCuser with an Internet browser. According to Anson Llao of Linkup, since the company began to distribute VideaLink in June 1997, sales have more than doubled every month. Llao claims that the most successful resellers are those who use a store demo unit to attract customers and sell the benefits of videoconfersncing. He also says that pre-Instalgng videoconferencing units rather than letting end-users attempt this feat

34

results in much lower support costs, and higher customer satisfaction (http//www linkup. on.ca, (416j 499 4707) Gentek Mnrketing/GVC GVC Canada announced the launch of Its Vlsl-Talk VideoPhone system in August 1997, claiming to offer an 'affordable and extremely easy to use state-of-the-art VideoPhone (to) make it very easyfor consumers to enter the world of two-way video communication over the Internet. The Vlsi-Talk prod uct consists of a digital camera, capture board, microphone, connectors and software, and is designed for Windows 95 PCs,for a retail price around $400 (http//www gvc.ca Digital Vision ComputerEyes/PCI Digital Vision, a long-time leader In PC video, offers a very nicely engineered consumer videoconferenclng bundle, which includes the excellent WhitePine CU-SeeMe Video Chat software. The vldeoconferencing software features color video, audio, chat, and white board communications for Windows and Macintosh platforms. It can be used on the Internet or any TCP/IP network for real-time person-to-person or group conferencing, broad casts and chats.(http//www.cuseeme.corn/1 Toshiba On Sept 8, Toshiba announced the Tecra 750COT, $' a10,000, 233MHz Pentium 'dream machine' which includes an integrated videoconferenclng system Toshiba, which Is also a major vendor of digital cameras, sees

C A NADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 hnpiiwwwccwmag.corn


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connected to the Ak PC's sound card to input v o ice, and a modem or networking card to send and receive the audio, video and any o ther (such a s w h i t e boarding, or collaborative applications) data streams. In practice, videoconferencing can still be very tricky. For example, if using regular phone lines: data streams are slow, and audio and video quality is poor, and making and keeping a connection between two users is very iffy. Users of consumer videoconferencing products get used to frequent, mysterious interruptions and redialings. On a network, videoconferencingperformance can be much betterin terms of speed, and it's possible to support multipoint videoconferences through the use of a server. However, this entails a whole new level of complexity and cost, and is generally something beyond either the average end-user or retail reseller's abilities.

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Another big problem is compatibility. In theory, all current videoconferencing systems conform to standards set by the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The most important of theITU standards are the T.120 data conferencing standard, which allows for shared file transfers and 'whiteboarding,' the H.320 standard for public circuit switched networking, which allows audio and video to be shared among different conferencing systems, and the H.323 standard for Intranet or Internet "IP networks." The H.323 standard will allow videoconferencing to become universal over the Internet, since it includes the H.263 and H.261 video standards, as well as G.711. G.722, and G.728 audio standards. The H.324 is a standard aimed at supporting interoperability over regular (POTS) phone lines. What all of these letters mean is that according to the UN, all videoconferencing systems should talk to each other. Maybe one day they will, but at the moment, some vendors' earlier videoconferencing products are incompatible with their latest offerings.

Advice To VARs And Resellers To be successful in the videoconferencing market, resellers have to develop the specific expertise needed for a rapidly changing and technically demanding market. This means having in-house experts in videoconferencing. Potential customers have to be shown the technology at work, which means demo units up and running at all times. In the case of the business market, a high degree of competence with networking technology is necessary. In the case g

videoconferencing as a,. major growth marketin „ high-end b u siness computing, and is aiming the Tecra 75OCDT at:;, the early adopters' who would be willing to experiment with mobile „ tele o.dnfe rene:I'ngi,"'" (httpJlnjIIw.tosh(ha.ca j,

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From Quebec's Les ' Technologies Vectron ,'! Parametre 678 Inc. comes the Vectron Web8ight, a very com- ""-, plete videoconferencing kit that includes a 32-bit m'pturecaid, high reseiu= tion CCD camera, microphone, and Microsoft NetMeeting software, whiph g is compatible with Internet Ejplorer 4.6; The kit co~gg$, g14i'744a~;Q cn Eye ' INicro Technologies/Golde The PC Videoconferencing Kit from Micro Technologies is a capable entry level product which includes the usual digital camera, microphone and software, but doesn't require.a capture card. ((416)715-1643J Corel '-

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36

C A NADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 hnp/twwwccwmag.corn


VIDE0C0NFERENCING of the consumer market, installation should be doneby the vendor atthe vendor'sservice facility, by a qualified technician. In one sense, the continuing relatively high level of complexity of high performance videoconferencingis good for specialized resellers and VARs, but as costs and difficulty decrease, the market will grow exponentially, making for much greater opportunities for retailers.

The Future In order to become a universal alternative to the voice telephone, videoconferencing has to meet some as yet outstanding requirements. First, support for videoconferencing has to be integrated into all computer operating systems, and all Internet browsers. This is being done, but vendors such as Sony and PictureTel still promote proprietary videoconferencingsoftware, which operates separately from browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Video quality also has to improve to the level of consumer VHS video. This is the biggest hurdle, and will slowly be overcome by betterdata compression and faster network cone netwarked computing 'seat' by 30 to 40 per cent per year.(http//www.coreLca)

3Com When 3Cam bought up U.S. Robotics, it also bought into the videacanferencing market, in the form of the Bigpicture video kit and video modem and capture card products. U.S. Robotics announced X2 upgrades (56Kbps download capability) for the Bigpicture products in the spring of 1997. In variaus configurations, the Bigpicture system offers good video I capture capability as well as videacanferencI ing, for prices ranging fram 3350 to@50. Although 3Cam's long-term strategy . towards offering complete videacanferencing .:,ealut)ans is unclear, it seems.-gki;ly.th'at the company, in its role as a major networking technology vendor, will be involved in videoconferencing solutions on a wide front. (http.//www.usr corn/bigpicturel

nections, PCs and servers. And, finally, videoconferencing products that are true videophones: cheap, compact, and idiot-proof, l ik e t h e P i cture Tel SwiftSite, but at a fraction of the cost, will have to be made available to the non-computer-using population. Only w he n v i d eophones number in the hundreds of millions will anyone with a video capable computer be confident of being able to call virtually any business, school, governmentoffice, or home, and expect to see the face of the person they are calling pop up on their computer screen. IIII

Jeff Evans is Associate Editor for Canadian Computer II7tolesaler. He can be reached atj eff@tcpon. corn.

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Bey Networks Earlier in 1997, Bay Networks Inc. annaunced a worldwide distribution agreement under which Bay Networks would offer First Virtual Carp.'s (FVC) video network product line, which com.bined with Bay Networks' switching architecn -.:ture, would enable eBusihess-qbelhj -video l networking and callebaretian...(ta provide) multimedia capabilities throughout the entire enterprise from room-systems, desktops, LAN and WAN backbonesta branch aflices." The First Virtual products included ATM video Media Gateways, and ATM-attached Media Storage Servers, and the V-Caster, an ATM-attached live b r oadcast server. (httpJ/ttrtttrwbaynetworks.corn) IZW

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he Pentium II is getting a lot of attention in the market-place; more so than its predecessor — the Pentium Pro. The Pentium II is manufactured in the same process as Intel's Pentium Processor with MMX technology. The addition of MMX has allowed faster operation in 16-bit mode and 32-bit mode operations in NT environment. It is the addition of MMX technology that addressed the sluggish 16-bit operations and has put Pentium II on the production lines in a big way. Of course, the Pentium II is undoubtedly the fastest processor in the market with speeds of 233MHz and 266MHz, in both single and dual CPU configurations.

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try has"the' spe'edy tool necessary' foi' a tr4e saturation in the computing industry. Pentium II's incorporation of MMX technology has already enabled specific software targeted for the multimedia market. And there will be sig nificant advancements in MM X c orporate software development, mainly in the areas of videoconferencing and other CPU-savvy applications. Graphics professionals are already using Adobe PhotoShop MMX enabled scripts that outperform Pentium Pro by a wide margin.

Success and Competition

The Pentium II faced immediate competition AMD has introduced the K6 — a 233MHz 7.5 Million Transistors chip with a RISC-like core and MMX tech The architecture of this new Pentium II chip is nology. The K6 h'as been tested in similar unlike others. By packing 7.5 millions transis- environments with the Pentium II and has tors into this new processor, Intel has been failed to match up Pentium II performance able toachieve these unprecedented speeds. However, K6 has managed to surpass the perWhile the Pentium and Pentium Pro plugs into formance ofa 200MHz Pentium Pro. When Socket 7 and Socket 8, respectively, the budget is an issue, the K6 may be a better Pentium II plugs into Slot 1. Another new slot? option for your customers. Yes. This had to be done due to the physical nature of the Pentium II cartridge assembly as New Processor Markets well as engineering concerns associated with What should a consumer buy? First you must the cartridge, such as electrical signal issues educate them about the new processors Consumers looking for an inexpensive desk associatedwith high-speed processors. top should be presented with the original New Dawn For Multimedia Pentium processor. For those who can afford And Vldeoconferenclng a bit more, offer a K6 system. This will give This is truly one of the first instances where the best price and performance ratio. For the the multimedia and videoconferencing indus- real power-hungry enthusiasts, present the 38

C A N ADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 ht tp//wwwccwmag.corn

'en 'Pehtidi& --' Rase'A systems."Furthert6pmore, customers running multimedia-inten sive applications should be offered systems that incorporate Pentium processors with MMX. Corporate server clients should be presented withlow-end servers based on Pentium II and Pentium Pro processors that are scalable

Our Tests We asked vendors to send us machines equipped with either 266MHz or 300MHz Pentium II processors and 64MB of RAM. We left the remaining components up to them, but told them that we were looking for systems that are ready for anything. What we got was both intriguing and surprising at the same time. A few opted to fit their systems with DVD drives and 3D accelerators,w hile others chose to keep things pretty tame Many systems arrived late this month as vendors were anxiously waiting for their sup pliers to send them the latest 440LX mother boards. Unfortunately, a s mall n umber arrived too late to be included in the survey

These include Mynix, INET and OA Comp Look for a brief follow-up to these machines in next month's edition. We ran the BAPCo benchmark suite on all machines running Windows 95 and set to a resolution of 1,024 by 768 at 16.7 million colors, with the excep tion of the IBM machine which was run at 65,536 colors due to its 2MB limit on the video card


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AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) provides a wide dedicated graphic bandwidth for higher 3D graphic performance • Supports Ultra DMA IDE protocol • Optimized SDRAM performance • ACPI for Microsoft PC97 power management compliance • Supports Concurrent PCI architecture • 2 highly integrated SGA packaging chips (492 pins, 324 pins)

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• 10M/100M LAN

Another proven success of QDI's innovative technology - the New Legend Series. It uses the latest Intel 440LX Chipsets, which incorporates the most advanced AGP support. For those who are striving for perfection in multimedia performance and power server platform, the new Legend Series is definitely the choice for you. It does not only offer you the best multimedia performance, but a variety of choices to meet your every special need as well. The series has also tailor-made for both Server applications e.g. SCSI, LAN and Home Users

• Supports TV Out • Sound Chip on-board

requirements e.g. TV out, Sound on board etc. QDI is the true pioneer in computer technology. With our continuous efforts in dedicating ourselves to innovations, our products are highly recognized from customers worldwide and renowned magazines. This new Series is no doubts another proven results of bringing QDI to a newer height of the high-end products ladder. High and motharboards are no more a legend - QDI is your ans H/er!!!

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A-0 en CCW's Labs for offering good performance at very competitive prices. To start, we have a Pentium II CPU operating at 266MHz which sits on a newly-released A-Open AX6L motherboard with an ATX form factor bearing the latest Service Depots: 440LX chipset from InteL As requested,the m achine was equipped Atlantic — Nova Scotia with ahealthy dose of 64MB of high-speed SDRAM. Speaking of high speeds, this A-Open system was configured with the new Quebec — Montreal Ontario — Markham, Hamilton, Ottawa Matrox Millennium II AGP video card. Storage components British Columbia — Vancouver include a 6.4GB Quantum hard drive with Ultra-DMA support, and an LS-120 floppy drive. Multimedia is delivered with the help of a Support For Resellers: 24X CD-ROM, an Acer AW35Pro sound card and a pair of Co-op advertising. WaveSonic 160W speakers. Also included in the package are an Reseller referrals with toll-free tie-in to resellers. Acer ALN201 network card, an Acer 56Kbps modem and a proToll-free tech support. grammable keyboard capable of adjusting volume, controlling CDVolume Discounts:Yes. ROM activity and calling up the Windows 95 calculator at the press E-mailFor Channel Use: com ax@arex.corn of a button. Although the system was one of several which encountered problems with the database portion of our benchmark suite, it Editors' Notes: Computers bearing the A-Open name are well known to us here at still managed to produce good results for a machine in its class. Suggested Retail Price:$3,999 Street Price:$3,740 Reseller Price:$3,400

IBNI PC 30NL was equipped with an additional 6 4MB, bringing the total up t o 9 6MB. The video card i n t h i s , "' k i machine was an S3 Trio64 V2 with 2MB of DRAM onboard. This meant we had to test this machine in a 16-bit color depth, as opposed to 32-bit which was used fo r a l l o t h er machines. IBM's own 4.2GB hard drive is used for storage in this system. This drive has some impressive benchmark results, and will no only provide ample storage, but will also keep data moving quickly throughout the system. The system also includes a 16X CD-ROM, a 10/100Base-T network card, and a Sound Blaster Pro compatible sound system. Although we tested this machine with Windows 95, it should be noted that it ships with Windows NT Workstation 4.0. An overall score was not obtained for the machine due to a problem it encountered with the Desktop Presentation portion of the benchmarks, but its other scores indicate satisfactory performance.

Suggested Retail Price:$3,639 Street Price:$3,539 Service Depots: Ontario — Don Mills IBM has business partners across Canada who are service authorized, so wherever a customer resides in Canada they can find a service depot. Support For Resellers: Co-op advertising. Reseller referrals. POP displays. Toll-free tech support. Demo Unit Availability:Yes. Editors' Notes: The new PC 300XL from IBM makes use of the 266MHz Pentium II processor on a 440FX motherboard, and comes standard with 32MB of EDO RAM. The model sent to us for testing, however,

ELCO '

Suggested Retail Price:$3,690 Reseller Price:$3,295

E-mail: elcoyyo@pathcom.net

Editor's Notes: Elco's submission this month features a Pentium II processor running at 300MHz on an EPoX KP6-LA motherboard using the latService Depots: est 440LX chipset from Intel. It contains 64MB of high-speed Quebec — Montreal SDRAM, a new Diamond Viper V330 video card with 4MB of Ontario — Ottawa SGRAM onboard for blazing graphics, a Sound Blaster AWE64 British Columbia — Vancouver sound card, a Western Digital 4.3 UDMA hard drive and a Toshiba DVD-ROM drive. For out-of-the-box communications, there's a Support For Resellers: USR Sportster 56Kbps fax modem. Also included in this system Co-op advertising. are a pair of great sounding 320W speakers for the absolute maxReseller referrals. imum multimedia experience. This machine managed to score Web site includes technical information, drivers, and dealer-spereally well on our benchmarks, coming in second place overall in cific space. the 300 MHz-class. This system is loaded with Grade-A compoVolume Discounts: Yes. nents and is a hard one to resist. Reseller Authorization Requirements: Pre-approvalfrom Elco systems (Canada) is necessary.

40

CA N ADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 http t//wwwccwmagcom


Q DI's Hurri cane swept through motherboard industry ThousandsofprofessionalSystem Integrators have I;urned to us!! Bus Master -IDE Improves IDE devices performance by offloads the processor

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E-mail For Channel Use: jwswong@aiei.corn Service Depots: ay, t~~ I)$ Editors' Notes: Atlantic — St. John' s, Saint John, Halifax and Charlottetown Machines with the Express Micro Quebec —Boucherville, Ville-St-Laurent e 8' name are well-known for utilizing Ontario — Clinton, Cochrane, Hamilton, Hearst, Markham, Sault high-quality components and offering Ste. Marie and Timmins Saskatchewan — Melfort, Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon and excellent performance as a result. This month was no exception for this Swift Current 300MHz screamer. The machine uses Alberta— Calgary and Edmonton British Columbia — Coquitlam, Courtenay, Nanaimo, Richmond an A-Open AX6F ATX motherboard with Intel's 440FX chipset and 64MB of EDO RAM. Multimedia accessories are once again first and Victoria grade, starting with the AWE64 Gold from Creative Labs, and a Support For Resellers: DVD drive from Sigma Designs. A Creative Labs Modem Blaster Co-op advertising. 56Kbps voice/fax modem is also part of the system, as is a Katron Reseller referrals. network card with coax and 10Base-T support. As an added bonus POP displays. that any gamer will appreciate, we have the latest 3D accelerator Toll-free tech support. from Matrox, the M3D. There is also an impressive speaker system included with this machine, consisting of a subwoofer with two Volume Discounts:Yes. satellite stereo speakers and a microphone, and there is a long list of Demo Unit Availability: software titles that are included. The system includes Microsoft's Authorized dealers are allowed to purchase one demo system per Side-Winder Pro Joystick. Overall, this machine offers excellent location, every three months. featuresand solid performance. Street Price: $5,499

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Ed e Wholesale KTX Suggested Retail Price:$4,295 Street Price:$3,795 Reseller Authorization:Yes. Service Depots: Quebec — Ville St Laurent, Montreal Ontario — Markham, Toronto B.C. — Richmond, Vancouver

Support For Resellers: Marketing funds. Toll-free tie in to resellers. POP displays. Web site includes technical information and drivers. Volume Discounts:Yes. E-mail:edge-tor@edge.net.au

Editors' Notes: One of the fastest machines in this roundup, this machine is

packed full of great components that would please anyone, especially the serious garners. Its processor is a 300MHz Pentium II, sitting on a KTX motherboard with the new 4 40LX chipset w it h 6 4M B o f SDRAM o n b oard. A T I 's ne w Xpert@Work AGP card with 8MB of SGRAM provides not only superfast graphics, but is capable of very high resolutions. The system includes: a new Maxtor DiamondMax 7GB hard drive with UltraDMA support, a built-in Zip drive from Iomega, a Creative Labs DVD drive, a Sound Blaster 16 sound card, and a KTX 56Kbps fax modem. Performanceon this machine was spectacular,coming in at an overall score of 272, and having no problems whatsoever during the benchmark. Software titles included with this machine are IBM's AntiVirus, and the IBM WorldBook Pack, as well as Lotus SmartSuite 97.

Daiwa Suggested Retail Price:$3,799

motherboard includes the Sound Blaster 16 chipset for 16-bit sound without the need for a separate sound card. Once again we Street Price:$3,419 see the Matrox Millennium II card being used with 4MB of Reseller Price:$3,299 WRAM onboard, and the Quantum Fireball 6.4GB drive with Ultra-DMA support. Creative's DVD drive is also part of this sysVolume Discounts:Yes. tem, and is ready for a slew of DVD movies already available on Demo Unit Availability:No. DVD disc. A U.S. Robotics Sportster 56Kbps voice/fax modem is E-mail For Channel Use:sales 1@daiwa.net included for your customers' communications needs, as well as a Editors' Notes: pair of Yamaha M15 speakers. This was one of a few machines This month's system from Hits Electronics features a Pentium II this month to encounter problems with our benchmarks, specifiprocessor operating at 266MHz, an ASUS KN97-X ATX mother- cally the database portion of it. Aside from this glitch, other scores board with the 440FX chipset and 64MB of EDO RAM. The indicate average performance for a machine in its class. 42

CA N A DIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 httpltwwwccwmagcom

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440LX 440LX 440LX 440LX 64MB SDRAM 6' 4 M B EDO 64MB SDRAM 64MB SDRAM 64MB SDRAM Matrox Millennium IIAGP Matrox Millennium li Lesdtek WinFast L2300 Matrox Millennium II Matrox Millennium II 8MB SGRAM 4MB WRAM 4MB WRAM 8MB WRAM 4MB WRAM None None None None None Acer AW35Pro Sou n d Blaster AWE64 Sound BlasterAWE64 SB-16 on motherboard Sound BlasterAWE64 Quantum Quantum Fireball Qua n tum Fireball Qua n tum Fireball Maxt o r DiamondMax 6.4GB UDMA 6.4GB UDMA 4.3GB UDMA 6.4GB UDMA 4.3GB UDMA A-Open 24X Panasonic 24X CreativeLabs DVD Panasonic 24X Cre ative DVD Motorola VoiceSurfr USR S ortster56Kb s USRS ortster56Kb s USR S ortst er56Kb s Acer56Kb s None None None None Acer ALN201 Award Award Award Award Award Windows 95 Windows 95 Windows 95 Windows 95 Windows 95 Rock-Excel 150W Yamaha M15 LS-120 floppy Yamaha M7 speakers WaveMaster speakers speakers Programmable 240W speakers LS-120 floppy keyboard Microsoft Natural Keyboard WaveSonic 160W speakers

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'November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 45


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Azure The 4.3GB Quantum Fireball provides not only ample storage, but Reseller Price:$3,350 alsogood performance to keep data moving quickly. The popular Matrox Service Depots: Millennium II video card with 4MB Quebec — Montreal onboard will give the system superiOntario — Toronto or 2D graphics performance even in British Columbia — Vancouver very high resolutions, making everySupport For Resellers: thingfrom games to spreadsheets fl y. National advertising. As far as multimedia is concerned, you get nothing but the latest Two-year warranty includes parts and labor. and greatest in terms of hardware, such as the Sound Blaster Toll-free tech support. AWE64 and Creative Labs DVD drive. A Motorola VoiceSurfr modem is also included in the system, as are a pair of 240W Editors' Notes: The Azura system this month features a 266MHz Pentium II WaveMaster speakers and a Microsoft Natural keyboard. processor on a new ASUS P2L97 ATX form factor motherboard Although the machine encountered problems with the database with the 440LX chipset. The 64MB of high-speed SDRAM in the portion of the benchmarks, its other scores suggest it has good system will make multitasking with several applications a breeze. overall performance. Suggested Retail Price:$3,999

Corn ucon Suggested Retail Price: $4,490 Reseller Authorization Requirements: Can't be nearby to an existing authorized reseller, and "vicinity" is subject to the discretion of Compucon. Service Depots: Alberta — Calgary British Columbia — Richmond Support For Resellers: Co-op advertising. Reseller referrals with toll-free tie-in to resellers. Two-yearwarranty includes parts and labor. Web site includes technical information and drivers. Volume Discounts:Yes. Demo Unit Availabi%ty:For authorized Compucon dealers only. E-maiIForChannel Use: sales@compucon.corn

Editors' Notes: Of the 300MHz machines reviewed this month, this Compucon system offersgood performance, a great mix of quality components, and a price that's not out of reach. The 300MHz processor is housed on a new ASUS P2L97 motherboard with the ATX form factor and using the latest 440LX chipset from Intel. Along with the speedy processor are 64MB of SDRAM, a Leadtek WinFast L2300 video card with a whopping 8MB of SGRAM onboard, a Sound Blaster AWE64 card, a 6.4GB Ultra-DMA hard drive from Quantum, a Panasonic 24X CD-ROM drive, and a U.S. Robotics Sportster 56Kbps modem. A new LS-120 floppy drive is added to round out the system, along with a pair of 150-Watt speakers from Rock-Excel. Priced at $4,490, this machine carries a three-year warranty on both parts and labor.

Ultinet Suggested Retail Price:$4,549 Street Price:$4,135

machines,"says Mike Roudsari, VAR sales manager at Ultinet.

Reseller Price:$3,928

E-mail For Channel Use:varCeulti.net

Reseller Authorization Requirements: Must fill out reseller application and provide provincial reseller

Editors' Notes: This month's system from Ultinet certificate. offers good performance, and a nice Service Depots: mix of corn ponents.Powered by a Toronto depot to serve resellers Canada-wide. 300MHz processor on a 440LX motherboard, the system features 64MB of high-speed SDRAM, Support For Resellers: a Matrox Millennium video card with 4MB of WRAM onboard, Co-op advertising. a Quantum Fireball 4.3GB hard drive, a 24X CD-ROM from Reseller referrals. Panasonic,a USR 56Kbps voice/fax modem, and a Syquest Two-yearwarranty includes partsand labor. SyJet, a 1.5GB internal unit. For multimedia, there are a pair of Toll-free tech support. 160W speakers and subwoofer teamed up with Creative Labs' Volume Discounts:Yes. Sound Blaster AWE64 to deliver superb sound. This machine is Ultinet's View Of The Market/ also network-ready, with an Intel EtherExpress Pro100 network "(There is) very good demand for this new high performance seg- card. This was yet another machine which managed to make it all ment of the market, which allows for greater value-added profit the way through the benchmarks without getting into any trouble margin especially during declining margins for lower performance along the way. 46

CA N A DIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 ha p//www ccwmag.corn


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Dominate the Canadian Computer Market Advertise in Canada's Leading Computer Publications Canadian Computer Wholesaler (604) 608-2688 / (416) 535-8404 The Computer Paper National Ad: (416) 588-1580Vancouver: (604) 688-2120 Calgary: (403) 228-3355 Alberta, Saskatchewan, R Manitoba: (403) 228-3355 / 1-800-407-3355 Toronto: (416) 588-1580

Montreal: (514) 843-4770 Ottawa: (613) 789-6431 Halifax: (902) 457-4390 Computer Player! B.C. (604) 608-2688 Toronto Computes!Toronto: (416) 588-6818 Ottawa Computes! Ottawa: (613) 789-6431 Quebec Micro! Montreal: (514) 843-4770 Government Computer: (613) 789-6431


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Editors' Notes: If yourcustomers are looking for a Pentium II system that won't break the tj '1 bank, look no further. This system from STD is packed with everything you need and then some. It features a 266MHz processor on a new QDI motherboard with the new 440LX chipset, 64MB of SDRAM, the latest ATI Rage Pro AGP video card with 4MB of SGRAM onboard, an Opti 931M sound card with 3D sound, a Quantum Fireball 6.4GB hard drive with Ultra-DMA support, a Panasonic 24X CD-ROM drive and a Linkskey 56Kbps fax modem. Software htles include 01 Communicate 32, and the Microsoft Plus Pack for Windows 95. This was, strangely enough, one of only two machines in the 266MHzclass which made it all the way through the benchmarks without any problems. This one is hard to pass up.

Suggested Retail Price:$2,799 Service Depots: Atlantic — Dartmouth, N.S. Quebec — Montreal,Quebec Ontario — Toronto, London, and Ottawa Manitoba — Winnipeg Saskatchewan — Regina Alberta — Edmonton, Calgary B.C. — Vancouver

Support For Resellers: Co-op advertising. Resellers are listed on the Web site. Two-year warranty includes parts and labor. Toll-free tech support. Dedicated technical BBS. Volume Discounts:Yes. O8tlUS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

\ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ~ • • • • • •

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Suggested Retail Price:$3,850 Street Price:$3,800 Reseller Price:$3,250

Editors' Notes: The Darius system from TK-IDM t echnology this month is of t h e 266MHz P e ntium II var i e ty, Reselle rAuthorization: e quipped with t h e l a test Q D I Must be in business for more than one year and have a full-time Legend I motherboard with the in-house technician. 4 40LX c hipset an d 6 4M B o f SDRAM. The Matrox Millennium II Support For Resellers: Co-op advertising depend on sales volume and margin. card once again makes an appearReseller referrals. ance,as does the popular Sound Blaster AWE64 card. The hard Two-yearwarranty includes parts and labor. drive in this system is also a new model from Maxtor — the 4.3GB DiamondMax with Ultra-DMA support, with an average Volume Discounts: Yes, to resellers who deal with educational institutions or corpo- seek time of under 10ms. Panasonic's latest CD-ROM drive is @so part of this system, operating at a maximum speed of 24X. rate employee purchase plans. Rounding out the system is a U.S. Robotics Sportster 56Kbps Demo Unit Availability: voice/faxmodem with speakerphone and a pair of Yamaha M7 Limited to one demo unit per reseller at five per cent less than the multimedia .speakers. In the way of software, you get Corel's regular reseller cost. WordPerfect Suite 7.0 OEM, (or 8.0 once it's available OEM), or E-mail:darius@istar.ca Lotus Smartsuite 97. I

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The New ' weet Spot' in the P Market by Jeff Evans When I started going to my wife's family's cottage, I was introduced to an oldcamper's treat— a gooey mix of marshmallows and chocolate chips calledS'mores (so named because after you eat one, you' ll ask for s'more). At the end of 1997, the "sweet spot" in the Canadian PC industry (the place where resellers go to make a good profit margin) seems to be the SMORG market.

For resellers, the key is to sell 'value,' composed of quality, and service, competitive but not cutthroat pricing. AST Ascentia 'M' When CCW recently went to talk to l eading Canadian executives from I BM, m a ss market PC space, AST, NEC, Packard Bell, HP, and Compaq, a t least temporarily. they all had a remarkably consistent vision All the brand name of the 1998 PC market. After several years P C m akers, led by traditional of great success in the retail PC mark et, b u s iness computing leaders like IBM and where home PC prices actually Compaq, are instead training rose as t echnology-hungry their sights on the SMORG consumers drove the demand market in 1998, believing that for high-powered graphics, is where respectable profits sound, processors, hard drives can still be made. A host of Gimme S'More SMORG, Please and Intemet services, the easy new desktop, notebook and S MORG stands for Small and Medium pa r t o f the home PC market server PC products are aimed Organization: companies or departments h a s f i na lly been stuffed with at appealing to the business with between one and 50 computers. The p r o duct.Home PC sales are user. Built in network manSMORG market space is the most rapidly fla t , andmargins have become agement, and plug and play installation are the subjects of g rowing part of the business computing mar- p a per t hin, or d i sappeared ket, as home-based and small businesses and entirely. Some home PC makgreat RtikD activity. "Total departments proliferate and create most of e r s even report a resurgence in Cost of Ownership" (TCO) is the new jobs inthe Canadian economy. demand for 14-inch monitors, a mantra being repeated by all SMORGs typically don't have an integral to go along with bargainthe big vendors. The aim of information technology department, but they p r i ced 800-or-less $ entry level companies such asMicrosoft do want the kind of high reliability network- P C systems. The only way to and Intel is to promote staning that a traditional large enterprise has. a t t racthe t less well-heeled PC dards that will reduce the soft SMORGs, therefore, are prime candidates b u yer, i t seems, is by squeezcosts of business PC ownerfor complete system solutions: desktop PCs, i n g syst em prices well south of ship: down time, installation, n otebooks and servers, mass storage and t h e $ 1000 , mark. Makers of training, m aintenance, and IBM Server — Netfinity backup, monitors, network/Internet services, p r e mium home PCs, such as technical support. With the i nsurance, leasing, security, applications t h e N EC Ready, IBM Aptiva, and HP t o t al cost of ownership of the average PC software, peripherals, ergonomic furniture P a v i lionlines, which charge higher pri ces r u n ning at $8,000 to $12,000 per year (with and equipment, supplies, and offer better margins for lav ish o n l y 10 to 15 per cent of that being hardIBM PC300PL consulting, and warranty feature sets and multimedia integ ra- w a r e c osts), there is l ots of r oom f o r support. In other words, tion, report respectable sales. How- improvement. SMORGs don't just want ever, the high-end home PC segment to buy the lowest price is a small and relatively limited mar- The Price ofSecurity clone PC box when the ket. In order to capture the remain- In the non-hobbyist PC space, there is an business increasingly deing 60 per cent of households that enduring value placed on a recognized don't have a PC, computer vendors brand name. For the comfort factor of qualpends on the continuous may have towait for even cheaper, ifying for f i r st-rate warranty support, operation of the enSMORG customers are much more willing tire office computer simpler to use and more appealing to pay something extra for a first-tier comsystem. The more home PC products than are currently available. AST Canada, for puter system. Ii ttt they need reliabiliexample, though it still has ty, the more likely t hey are to b e home PC product in the Jeff Evans is Associate Editor of Canadian Computer Wholesalerand can be reached at willing to pay a /.-'i .' channel, has largely w ithdrawn from t h e jeff Cet tcpon. co>n. bit extra for it. '

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httpltwwwccwmag.corn November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 4 9


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Resellerrebounds from tough times, now looking forwards by Michele McLean and formed franchises. He also started the C anadian I nstitute o f B us i ness a n d Technology Corp., a career training program verance. in China. His company — ANO Office AutoHis company was growing rapidly — in mation is expecting to see $10 million in sales this year, and employs 200 people in 10 fact, too quickly — and it led the start of a locations across the country. Yet, the road has downward spiral. "We expanded intolocations (then) we lost control," Chu recalled. been a rough one. The company has seen "We saw it coming, and tried to turn things some tough times; but has rebounded. ANO is a supplier of microcomputer around — to close locations that weren' t systems, photocopiers, fax machines, techni- making money. We were doing all the things thatany management would do." cal support and training; and an authorized reseller and service provider for Canon, His career school didn't take off as Compaq, IBM, Lexmark, Novell, Okidata, expectedand management and resources were Panasonic, Raven, Hewlett-Packard and being stretched thin. Then the bank pulled his line of credit. "The bank pulled the line (of Motorola. The company provides connectivity solutions — from consulting to design ser- credit, in March 1996) and I raised some vices, engineering to installation, testing to money, brought in some new partners and network maintenance. bought everything from the bank and we built it from there," he said. The Struggles "It sounds simple, but Last year, ANO Office it's very painful." Automation fell from Chu described an $18-million sucthe situation as his cess story into the dol.- I worst nightmare and drums of receivership I ''le a scarring experience. and climbed its way "My mistake was back to success again. expanding too f ast "Times may be tough, without the capital. I but as long as y o u ;h was expanding on focus and put your money loanedto me. mind to it and don't let I never should have "At the worst go, it will come back," Chu said. done that. If you expand on equity your bank of times I went five to seven days without has their hands around your neck." However, sleeping because of the stress." But, instead of in the same breath, Chu said the bank was quitting, Chu turned the company around. "very supportive" throughout the recovery The Story process."We worked together hand in hand," Chu founded the ANO reseller business in he said. "We collected money forthe bank and 1986, then started growing into the corporate paid them out." market. "At the peak we were considered one Chu added that, unlike a fire sale, invenof the largest corporate resellers in western tory was sold at nearly market price. "I Canada," Chu said. In 1993 he was named one arranged with the investor, created a new of the top 40 business persons under age 40 by company, bought all the assets from the bank, Businessln Vancouver m agazine and hisbusi- collected all the money from the old company ness was ranked the 33rd fastest growing and paid them (the bank) off. We got them off company inCanada by ProfitM agazine. our backs and started rebuilding from there." In 1994, he went public and sold all his Chu admitted the stress during the tough shares of ANO to Annova Business Group, time kept him awake for a week straight. He which became the parent company. He said he devoted 24 hours a day to rebuilding expanded the Vancouver-based head office his company. "I built a good reputation out

Vancouver reseller Toby Chu might be considered a study in determination and perse-

50

CA N A DIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 ht tp:/lwwwccwmag.corn

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there with suppliers, as well as customers, and I d idn't want t o put it all down the drain."

"l arranged with an investor, created a new company, bought all the assets from the bank, collected all the money from the old company and paid (the bank) off.n David Wu, general manager with ACP Marketing Inc., has dealt with ANO since 1991 as a supplier and customer. "We lost money and we negotiated," he said. "We set up a new accountand only dealt in COD terms for about a year." Wu admitted even he is amazedwith the company's speedy recovery. "It looks like Toby Chu is really a genius," he said. "He falls, but he can get up. And how he gets up I don't know." Since the restructuring, Chu has focused mainly on small- and medium-sized businesses. (Ano recently bought a remanufacturing copier business.) "We want to revolutionize the computer industry," he said. "Our approachiscomputers, copiers and faxes all in one. We provide full service and sales." Chu also credits his staff for the recovery. Most of his management team has stuck by him, he said. ANO's staff of 200 staff is a considerable jump from the skeleton crew of 80 during the tough times."There's a lot of (positive) staff morale," he said. "I couldn't let them down. They believed in me so I had to make it work." Chu looks back at the troubles not as a failure, but as the greatest learning experience in his life. "If I have any words of advice for other people, it's don't expand on borrowed money and never, never quit." CCW Michele McLean is a Toronto-basedjournalist.


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MakingMoney's No Easy Job In This Industry. How Can You ChooseA Financial Planner To Help You Make The Most Of It?

by Douglas Gray

As an owner of a comput- the key aspects of my ft'nancial planning life? • Will the planner show you a sample finaner reselling business, you Just as you select a doctor or lawyer, you cial plan that they have done for another busineed to juggle a lot of should base your decision on a number of ness owner? (Obviously without disclosing balls to s urvive. For factors: education, qualifications, experience, confidential information or client names.) example, what do you do integrity, ethics and reputation. • Does the planner just give financial advice, withthe money you have When selecting your financial planner, or do they also sell financial products? left at the end of day? choose one you can work with confidently. • Will the planner's advice include only Since you are going to You are asking this person to help shape your generic product categories or specific product have to rely on your own wits, savings disci- financial future and quality of life in retire- recommendations? pline and investment success for your own ment, and you are paying him or her to do so. • Will the planner spend the time explaining retirement, you need and want to get objec- It is your responsibility and right to fully theirreasons for recommending a specific tive professional advice. So where do you enquire about the planner's background, product and how it suits your goals, circumfind it? numbers of years in practice, credentials, stances and tolerance for risk, and put it in Keep in mind that anybody can call client r e ferences, an d o t he r r e l evant writing? themself a financial planner, financial consul- information. • What follow-up does the planner do, to tant or financial advisor. In fact though, they Call the planner and ask for a meeting. make sure that your financial plan is implecould just be sales reps selling investment Use this opportunity to get a sense of your mented? How often i s i t r e viewed and and other products for a commission. No fed- compatibility and to discover exactly how the revised? eral, provincial (except for Quebec), or local planner will work with you. Ask questions • How is the planner compensated? laws require qualifications such as those about financial planning that will give you a Are there any potential conflicts of interest in imposed on other professionals, including basis for comparison with other planners you the investments the planner recommends? accountants and lawyers. have contacted. In short, get the information • What professional licences and designations There are several ways of locating a you need to feel confident that this person is has the planner earned? • What professional liability insurance coverfinancial planner. One of the most effective right for you and your needs. ways is to contact the Canadian age does the planner carry for utl. Association of Financial Planners negligent advice and how is your responsibility and right to fully (CAFP) head office in Toronto. much is that coverage'? Will quire about the planner's background, The toll-free number is 1-800they confirm that in writing? 346-2237. All members of CAFP numbers of years in practice, credenhaIS, once again, it is recom» mended that you meet with at must have professional liability C lient r eferences, and other relevant informatiOn least three financial planners insurance. The CAFP will give you the contact • By asking the following questions, you before you make your final selection. To p hone number for th e chapter in y o ur should get the information you need to make work effectively with a planner, you will need to reveal your personal financial information, province. By contacting this number, you will your decision on which financial planner to be sent a free publication called A Consumer hire. As you think of others, add them to your so it's important to find someone with whom Guide to Financial Planning. You will also list. Keep in mind how the answers fit your you feel completely comfortable. «tlti be senta roster of members who have been personal needs. awarded the Registered Financial Planner • Does the planner offercomprehensive Douglas Gray, LL.B. is a Vancouver-based (RFP) designation in your province. This list financial planning services and how long speaker, retired lawyer, columnist and author shows experience,credentials, and services have they been doing so? of 15 best-selling business books, plus a real provided, lists any financial products sold, • What did the planner do before becoming a estate investment so ftware program. His and states the method of payment, such asfee financial planner? books include The Complete Canadian Small forservice,commission, or both. • W hat arethe planner's areas of expertise Business Guide, Home Inc.: The Canadian After you' ve decided to seek the ser- and what services do they provide? Home-Based Business Guide (both by vices of a financial planner, you may have • What type of clientele does the planner McGraw-Hill Ryerson), Start and Run a other questions: Which professional is right serve? Do they have particular skill in under- P rofitable C o n sulting B u s i ness a n d for me? How do I identify a competent finanstanding the many needs of a small business Marketing Your Product (both by Selfcial planner who can assist in coordinating owner? Counsel Press). httpttwwwccwmag.corn November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 5 1


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D OC U M E N T M A N A G E M E N T space include the likes of PC DOCS and Open Text Corp. "It turns out that not of lot of these (document management) companies have very good channels," Yockelson said."PC DOCS actually has an excellent VAR channel, but Documentum, at the high end, deals with more major systems integrators and consultants. They may have a total of 30 partners. "Most of the companies are new enough and small enough not to have created very large channels, however." Any discussion of document management probably begins with PC DOCS. The product began life as tool for lawyers and today, according to Kauffman, almost every major federal government department uses it. PC DOCS runs onSQL databasesoffered by such companies as Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft. It includes a full text search engine that, among other things, allows you to search for word document strings. According to Kauffman, PC DOCS' systems are extremely customizable and that's where the opportunity for resellers and integrators lies. Among the skills required for qualified PC DOCS resellers are a thorough understanding of Novell NetWare and/or Windows NT. PC DOCS' is completely dependent upon the security provided by these network operating systems. "When I look for an integrator, they need to have top quality network skills and they also need to have a background in SQL," Kauffman said. "I have a couple of resellers in [western Canada] who are absolutely cleaning up because it's very sparse (out there) in terms of document management integrators. "Although it started in Ottawa, PC DOCS is now being rolled out everywhere and it's typically local integrators that are going to do the implementation,'* she added. "Our model is the channel and we rely on it heavily to help us market, sell and do the integration. In terms of integration opportunities, which is really where the money is...there' s probably a 5-to-1 ratio of services to product in IT dollars." Waterloo, Ont.-based Open Text Corp.'s Livelink suite includes four integrated primary components — workflow, collaboration, full textsearch and retrieval.The product runs from a Web browser on the client side and is driven from a Web server. "Value-added resellers sell, deliver, install and are the front line support to the end client," explained Lanny Klassen, channel manager for Open Text. "Our (VAR) program has a discount structure so they can actually buy, resell and make money on the product itself, in addition to the services they provide." VARs who are in the business of installing Internet and intranet services constitute those qualified to sell and support Livelink. Open Text also offers a reseller certification program for both technical plus sales and marketing people. Like most other document management vendors, Open Text continually seeks partners. "The program is still fairly young and hasn't had a chance to m ature," Klassen said. Lotus Development Corp. with i t s Domino.DocManager product is another serious contender by virtue of the sizable Notes user base. The Lotus document management application includes check in and check out that can be accessed via Web browsers or Notes clients. In addition, archiving and version-control tools and security features let the "owner" of certain Notes documentsspecify a range ofaccessprivileges. "The number one requested application from customers in the existing Notes user base is document management," said Mare LeBlanc, product manager for Montreal-based Lotus Canada Ltd. "Notes and Domino are very document-centric. There's a lot of workflow and security built right into the product."LeBlanc described Domino.doc as an out-of-the-box solution that includes a server piece which manages the documents themselves and a client piece that fits onto Notes and runs in the background. The product integrates with Microsoft Office and Lotus SmartSuite. The opportunities for VARs are in the area of product customiza-

tion."We' ve got a tool for VARs and business partners to go into a customer site and say, 'whatyou've been looking for all along we can now do for you.' I think the opportunity is really, really great," LeBlanc said. Novell's GroupWise 5.2 includes a new document management application that features workflow, check in and check out, revision and version control. The company is currently developing a product — code-named the Jefferson Project — which will bring the ability to access and publish directly to the Web, documents directly out of the document management and GroupWise systems. The product is expected to ship by year end. According to Mike Levy, director of marketing for Novell Canada, VARs are always in short supply and in big demand. "The whole document management area is an interesting one because its not understood by a lot of organizations and a lot of resellers," he said. "So it's an opportunity to develop a unique area of expertise. "Right now I would say there are a relatively small number of resellers who really understand it from the consulting point of view, in terms of working with organizations and helping them put together solutions." LCCW Contact information: Lotus — 1-800-565-0878. Novell — http: //www.novell.corn (under GroupWise) Open Text — http: //www.opentext.corn PC DOCS — (416) 497-7700 Dan McLean is a Toronto-based journalist who specializes in hightechnology reporting.

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the company phone at a later time to confirm corn), is a partially offline method of transferring money without having to transfer any the order and take payment information. sensitive information on-line. Methods of More and more companies are going for authenticating who is at the other end, via digthe full on-line method, however. ital keys, are also being implemented A number of years back, the Internet psychics predicted an age where everything a (it ttpt//wwwverisign. corn). These things have consumer could possibly want to buy would be gone a long way to assuaging the nervousness of potential on-line shoppers, but there's still a on-line. Want airline tickets? Just click here. distanceto go before people are as comfort¹w furniture? Surf on over to this site. A new house? Check out the real estate listings, then able shopping on-line as they are in person. Part of becoming a fully-fledged on-line surf on over to the bank. Knickknacks to pitt sales site involves deciding which of these into the new house? No problem! options would best serve the Web site and, Certainly,some steps have been taken towards realizing this kind of on-line experi- more importantly, the customer. Bu t i t' s important not to get so bogged down in the ence, but as of yet, the ubiquitous digital shopping blitz has yet to materialize. Why? technical aspects of conducting on-line sales s a reseller who is considering con- Among other reasons, the perception has that the psychological ones are forgotten. ducting sales on-line, the security Despite the many security features that been that giving out a credit card number over on-line sales methods now feature, there will concerns of the potential customer the 'Net is so insecure that mailing cash to are,necessarily,your concerns. What's more, random addresses would be just as effective. probably still be that little voice in the back of the customer's head: Is this really secure? Is getting to the point of conducting sales on- People envision ill-willed hackers sitting in line is far from a trivial process. Some com- the dark, just waiting to grab credit card num- someone going to snatch my credit card numbers with a p acket panies have invested months (and even bers i n tra n sport interceptor? How do years!) of development before the first on- between servers. I know who's going line sale. It's important to determine whether In actuality, a the preparation required to conduct sales on- credit card number is even unencrypted, is possibly to have access to this line is worthwhile for your company, and information after it probably at more risk arrives there? Should whether the corporate Web site will actually of being copied down Credit Card tO S s eO I trust them? process on-line sales, or simply act as a digi- and used illegitimately tal brochure. An easy way to when your card is preDespite the increasing sophistication of deal with this consented as payment at a on-line sales methods, a lot of companies are restaurant. From the time a restaurant patron cern is to offer the customer the same option still opting to use of their Web site as an infor- hands a card to the serving person to the time as the half-and-half method: all information mation-only medium. If devoting a lot of time the credit card slip reaches its final destination, can be taken on-line, or the customer can opt and money into creating an on-line sales site the card number may have gone through five to have a sales representative call to collect is not an option, just keeping an up-to-date or more sets of hands. On the 'Net, the sophis- the rest of the information. Toll-free numbers database of sale items and a list of contact ticanon required to grab credit card informa- should be included, if available, along with methods (a phone number to call, E-mail tion from electronic transactions is much high- as much other contact information as possiinformation, a physical address, for example) er.E-mailing a creditcard number, even unenble. And, it never hurts to explain to the cuscan beeffective. crypted, is possibly tomer along the way exactly what security Other companies measures are in p lace (http: //www.dell. are taking a half-and- "As of yet, the ubiquitous digital „,'„",',„,',",",",„, ',„'", corn/store/info/security.htm) for example, in half approach. All the 5hQPPI4it bi st tQ lo s o meone in a local case they' re concerned. information necessary When selling major items over the 'Net, to conduct a sale can materialize." it always pays to remember that the customer be collected (items to ing of security in dig- shopping at your Web site is a person, too, and be ordered, customer name, address and ital transactions has increased recently, due to may have legitimate concerns with regards to phone numbers) and processed on-line a few mitigating factors. Encryption between security in web sales. Although there is no way through a relatively simple calculation and to make any transaction totally secure, you can browserand serverhasgotten a lotbetter,and submissionscript;however, creditcard numstill do a lot to ease their concerns. CCW : has been r eceiving g reater a ttention. bers would not be submitted via this method. Microsoft's "wallet" ()t ttpt//www.microsoft. Instead, the customer would be given the Sean Carruthersdoes Web consulting for corn/commerce/wallet/) provides a safe place option of phoning in the order (with a refer- to store sensitive information on your com- Armchair Airlines Computer Services (httpt ence number for the processed order, per- puter while allowing access to authorized par- //wwwarmc)tairmb.ca) in Brandon, Man. He haps), orofhaving a salesrepresentative from ties. "Digital cash" (h ttpt//www.digicash. can be reached atorteiros@armchairmb.ca. •

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54 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997

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A SIA S C A P E

Sony, Philips, Sharp develop large flat-panel display

Sharp and Sony have been working together on displays based on PALC technolPhilips Electronics, Sharp Corp. and Sony ogy, which is slightly different to other plasma displays,since September 1996 and were Corp. say they have jointly developed a 42-inch flat-panel PALC (Plasma Addressed joined in July by Philips, which is contributing its research and development work in Liquid Crystal) display. high-aperture, high-resolution technology for The news follows similar announcelower power consumption and higher-picture ments from NEC, Fujitsu and Hitachi. The new screen has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio brightness. The basic PALC technology was and has a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels, or developedby Sony and Tektronix Inc.,of the wide-VGA. It is capable of displaying 16.77 United States. Features of PALC include an active million colors and has a maximum brightness matrix system that separately addresses each of 400 candelas per square metre. Contrast is ucs 100:1 and it has a viewing angle, in all direc- pixel of the liquid crystal, making for bright, by Newsbytes high-contrast, distinct images, according to tions, of 140 degrees. Sony. For addressing, plasma is used as an Matsushita wows Japan electronics show with portable DVD electronic switch rather than a light source. A year ago, visitors to the Japan Electronics t i o n, widescreen LCD (liquid crystal display) Fujitsu was the first manufacturer to Show were fighting their way to the stands of w i t h a DV D Video player. The unit also announce a commercial high definition plasMatsushita Electric Industrial and Toshiba a c cepts CD-Video and audio CD discs. ma display panel (PDP) based monitor. The Corp. to get a glance at DVD Video. This The entire unit occupies little more area unit had a 42-inch display and will go on sale year, DVD was again in the spotlight as t h an a 12 cm DVD disk and features a fold- alongside the company's currentstandard Matsushita, better known by its Panasonic u p to with built in LCD. definition PDP. NEC announced it had develbrand name, unveiled prototypes of the Output sockets on the rear of the device oped 50- and 42-inch high definition PDPworld's first portable DVD p layer, the al l o w it to be connected to a standard televi- based televisions and monitors and Hitachi DVD-L1. sion monitor or to any devices supporting showed a prototype of its new XGA resoluThe new player combines a high resolu- o p t ical inputs. Pricing had not been set. tion PDP screen.

Asia plans commercial Internet exchange J

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Asian companies will find it easier and more cost-effective to conduct business over the Internet later this year with the first neutral, highcapacity commercial Internet exchange in the region. Digital Equipment Corp. and Kuala Lumpur-based Wargamedia have revealed plans to build the new facility in the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor. The Kuala Lumpur Internet Exchange (KLIX) will replicate Digital's highly successful Digital Internet Exchange (PAIX), introduced last July in Palo Alto, Calif. "KLIX is a mayor step in facilitating the implementation of the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor and will foster the growing business-to-business use of the Internet by companies in Malaysia and the e ntire Asian region," said H arJono Zaln-AI-Abidin, CEO o f Wargamedia, based in Kuala Lumpur. Wargamedia Sdn. Bhd., is a privately held enterprise that combines expertise in telecommunications, computing and multimedia to provide value-added services to the Asian business community.

New Japanese cybermall opens Japanese Internet users have a new place to shop >L s — The Super Mall. The on-line shopping mall was launched at the beginning of October by Dentsu, the world's largest advertising agency, and the Fujisankei Communications Group, a large media conglomerate in Japan. The site was launched as a tie-in with a television program on the Fujisankei-affiliate Fuji Television Network. The group said that generated great response and even led to three sales of US$ L25 million. The Super Mall can be found on the World Wide Web at http: //www. supermall.or jp. The mall is divided into two zones, the media zone and the shopping zone. The former contains free content with advertising and paid content while the latter currently houses eight stores. lIIII

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T ECH N O L O G Y

':C:o Iii'm n

Dusting Off

The Crystal Ball To help get a picture of what's going to be hot (and not) over the next little while, let's see if we can fire up the crystal ball and look ahead to the near future. That covers the next six months or so — past there, my crystal ball gets increasingly fuzzy.

More New Processors, Motherboards And Chip-Sets Right now, the best price/performance in a traditional Pentium-style (Socket 7) motherboard can be obtained from AMD K6 CPU, which offers better performance at most tasks at a somewhat lower price than Intel's Pentium MMX line. The mind-share, however, belongs to Intel. Resellers would be doing your customers a favor by directing them to K6-powered machines, but should also feature Intel-powered models for buyers more influenced by Intel's TV ads. Higher-end Pentium II models have been hindered by the lack of motherboards that supported all that processor's power; the recent release of Intel's 440LX chip-set finally makes it possible to break through that bottleneck. Make sure that any Pentium-II models you' re selling come with an LX-powered motherboard. Similarly, Pentium-type models sporting the 430TX chip-set offer some of the best future support. Among current offerings, these are the only ones that will be compatible with new power management and plug and play features in Windows 98 and NT 5.0. Expect to see as many new CPU releases in 1998 as in 1997 (in other words, lots of new models and lots of confusion), and watch for system changes to support ever-faster processors.

New Peripherals Lots of fancy technologies were promised for 1997; none, however, have reached mass acceptance. Universal Serial Bus (USB), Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), Firewire, Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) among others are still looming for the future. None of these are going to be must-have technologies in the short term. The release, sometime next year, of Windows 98 and NT 5.0, however, will finally give these technologies operating sys56

tern-level support; at that time, we may start to see more than a few products supporting them, and the ramping up of user demand. For now, while you don'tneed to off er these technologies on the bulk of your product-line, you should be able to support them as an option. System motherboards, for example, should include pins allowing easy addition of USB ports. Offering and promoting such features now, however, can help differentiate your product line from the competition's models, and can get you an edge with the powerusers,each of whom often helps influence the buying decisions of many less technologically sophisticated consumers.

Notebooks Will Only Get Hotter

by Alan Zisman name-brands as well) to ensure that your company won't get left out of this profitable and growing market.

Plan For The

Longer Term Intel, Microsoft, and Compaq have been publishing specifications for next year's computers each summer for the pastfew years.Manufacturers are supposed to have their desktop models in line with these specifications by next July. Here' s some of what's in the PC98 Design Guide: • 66MHz or 100MHz internalbus (you may find some 75MHz settings on systems with Cyrix Logic CPUs and 83MHz bus speeds on AMD-powered systems), along with support for either AGP or 64-bit PCI to improve communications between the new generation of CPUs and the rest of the system. Expect AGP on the higher-end models, 64-bit PCI on the entry-level machines. • Bus-mastering hard drives on entry-level models, SCSI on high-end machines. No, SCSI isn't dead, and will continue to be an important technology for users wanting to add scanners, CD-ROM writers, and other important minority features — at least until USB takes off. • Motherboards that support the new manageability features promised fornext year's crop of operating systems, such as the ability to power-down but 'wake-up'when called over a network. • Continued support for the ISA bus —but only for a little while. The ISA bus and older ISA peripherals are the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Plug-and-Play becoming a truly functional standard. Last year, many expectedISA supportwould be dropped from the PC98 spec. It hasn't happened yet, however, as too many manufacturers want to continue to offer too many products built for the 1984generation ISA bus. Microsoft has announced that effective January 1999, it will no longer offer a Windows logo to anyone manufacturing a system that includes ISA slots. ICC JW

With the recent release of Intel's Tilamook line of notebook processors, the market is quickly being flooded with 200MHz to 233MHz models, breaking past the 133MHz to 150MHz level where notebook performance has been stalled for the past year or so. Active matrix screens of 13 inches or more have become far more affordable,and increasingly models are able to accommodate both CD-ROM drives and floppy disk drives at the same time. The result is that notebooks are able to remain portable while replacing desktop units for many buyers — both corporate and home. The notebook market is far different than thedesktop market.A few large name brands (Toshiba, IBM, Compaq) control far m ore market-share, while profitma rgins are higher than in the wildly competitive market for desktop units. Partly, this has been because most notebooks have been purchased by big corporations for use by mobile employees, and corporations have been willing to pay higher prices to standardize on a few name-brand product lines. As notebook models become increasingly attractive to small business and home office buyers, there will be a windows of opportunity for other vendors to increase sales. Acquire rights to market notebooks Alan Zisman is a computer journalist and comingfrom one of the Taiwanese manufacteacher,living in Vancouver. He can be turers (who often manufacture models for the reached atazisman@rogers.wave.ca.

CA N ADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 hi t. /Iwwwccwmagcom


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At the i r res p ective keynotes at th e r ecent Seybold Publishing conference in San Francisco, Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates and Apple "interim CEO" Steve Jobs both espoused the power of brand advertising. To Gates, with his vision of the Web lifestyle still driving The Road Ahead, brand identity is the most important message for a company to deliver with its Web site. Gates claims that Microsoft's Web site is now its primary marketing tool. Actually making money with the Web, admits Gates, isn' t easy."The business model has been difficult. The way you cansucceed," Gates told the Seybold audience, "is to get your brand out there." A day later, Steve Jobs also touted brand power, ashe demonstrated the company's new "Think Different" ad campaign. The ads neither show nor talk about computers at all, but instead associate the Apple logo with images of Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Amelia Earhart and others the ad characteri zes as "the crazy ones, the ones who dare to think different." By associating the Apple brand with geniuses and iconoclastic figures, Jobs hopes to make a bigger impact than is possible by comparing MIPS and megahertz.And, hey, the bad grammar might get people talking, too. Brand is, of course, about recognition. And, as Microsoft has shown with its Internet Explorerand Windows platform efforts,persistence pays off. As Seybold's vice-president for content development Craig Cline said: "One thing you h ave t o a d mit a bout Microsoft — they never quit. They just keep working until they get it right." Indeed, the company's nascent Windows NT 5.0, demonstrated in dozens of locations around the Seybold show floor, is ample proof of that principle. Now more than five years old, NT is finally showing signs of maturity. The company has partnered with

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graphics heavyweight Adobe to develop the OpenType font format that builds Type 1 and TrueType font capabilities into the OS, and Adobe has helped develop the system's PostScript printer driver. A particularly powerful demonstration of the new NT printing architecture allows the user to search for available printers using the system's "Find" command. With NT 5.0, you can specify search criteria to locate all the color printers on the network and then narrow the search to, say, the tabloid-size color printer nearest you. Then, with a right-click, the system installs the printer driver, downloads a color management device profile automatically and you' re ready to print! Slick. Microsoft has partnered with color experts Linotype-Hell to produce this systemwide color management system that Gates says will also extend to Internet Explorer, so that on-line purchases will result in products of the color the customer expects. And, in what is likely to be a damaging blow to Apple's dominance in publishing, Quark has agreed to port its Quark Publishing System — long a Mac-only product — to Windows. With Adobe, Quark and most other major Mac developers already busy producing Windows versions of their product lines, the Windows-based publishing market is poised for significant growth in the over the next six to 12 months, with NT 5.0 and multiprocessor PCs spearheading Microsoft's "Windows: the Platform for Publishing" push. Gates is convinced that a "Web lifestyle" is shaping the new consumer. Gates cites the automobile and the television as two types of lifestyles that are so ingrained in the fabric of North American culture that we don't even think about it. Gates believes that college campuses aresome of the best places to find people who do their banking via the Web, use it to gather information before making major purchases, and so on. Bill Gates provided some interesting statistics during his speech, such as his observation that about half the installed base of 80 million PCs are already connected to the 'Net. Gates also observed that, in the corpo-

rate space, almost half the new machines sold are portables. Nevertheless, he believes that it will be small form factor mobile computing devices (currently numbering about four million) and family room TV-type devices that finally make the Web lifestyle pervasive. Gates foresees that, within 10 years, natural language, visual user recognition, handwriting input and continuous speech input will be ubiquitous. He also wryly postulated on whether there was an equivalent to Moore's Law (in which the amount of information storable in one square inch of silicon has roughly doubled yearly every year) for digging ditches. The need to dig ditches to lay fiber-optic cable, of course, is one of the major holdups (along with regulatory issues, of course) to the growth of the Internet. Gates says that, at best, ditch digging equipment improves at a rate of only about three to four per cent a year, a sobering thought to those of us used to the rates of growth possible in the computer indusny (not the least of which has been Microsoft, which has seen its stock value double this year). Gates did note, however, that storage devices seem to be following a Moore's Law exponential improvement curve.

Brand Power Tips: • Consolidate your image. If you have more than one logo, pick the best one and stick with it. If your corporate logo was an inhouse DIY job, consider having a professional designer do a makeover. A good designer will provide you with templates, Pantone colors and other items that add up to a comprehensive and memorable identity. • Don't underestimate the power of positive association. As Steve Jobs pointed out, "Kinney sells shoes. Nike is about athletics; about success." T herein l ies t h e p o wer o f b r a n d advertising. IL'C1W Graeme Bennett is the Senior Editor of The Computer Paper and a former computer retailer. He ca n b e re a ched a t graeme®tcp. ca.

http/twwwccwmag.corn November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 57


B OO K

R E V I EW

Ion/i .

The Definitive 'How-To' Book For Network Design?

Mph

by Stephen Ibaraki

Ask yourself these questions. Are you or your customers looking for the definitive "how-to" book on network design? Does implementing an effective security plan for a network appear to be a daunting task? Are you inundated with network problems which you are having difficulty troubleshooting? Perhaps you find topics such as time synchronization, partitioning, and replication confusing. The solution to all your networking woes isNovell's Four Principles of NDS Design. As the program convenor for business computing programs at a full-service college with accredited diploma and degree programs, I recommend Novell's Four Principles of NDS Design. The theoretical base is academically sound, but the book is full of useful network design tips and guidelines. In discussions with my colleagues, we believe the book is useful, even for those designing non-Novell networks. In our advisory services which we provide to industry, and in the design our of own college's wide area network, we have used the principles clearly outlined in this book. JeffreyHughes and BlairThomas have more than 18 years of networking experience as part of Novell's global troubleshooting strike force. The authors are members of the select "Novell Consulting Group" with extensive backgrounds in network design, installation, optimization, and troubleshooting. Their expert knowledge clearly shows in this comprehensive guide to networking. The coverage is so useful that the book forms the basis of Novell's capstone "NetWare Design and Implementation" course which details designing an entire global network. There are numerous illustrations, diagrams, and tables explaining every point. Of particular value are the "Consulting Experience" highlights which describe what really works or how best to implement a particular feature. The book gears itself towards LAN administrators, system administrators, consultants, resellers, and any others who design Novell networks. There is no one technique in designing networks, but the book gives the reader all the necessary guidelines and rules for creating a system much more efficient than others. Efficiency results in a stable network, which is easily extensible and with the minimum amount of traffic. For the uninitiated, when laid out on paper, a network gives the appearances of branches in a tree. With Novell networks, Novell Directory Services, or NDS, maintains the "tree" database representing users, groups, and other network objects. In Part I, "The NDS Tree Should Represent the Network Infrastructure," the design guidelines provide rules on making the tree top reflect the physical network and the tree bottom model the company's organizational structure. Part II details how to, "Di vide NDS into Parti tions and Replicas, which Provide Scalability and Fault Tolerance." The NDS, which forms the database holding network objects, requires distribution to protect against network failures and to minimize network traffic. The considerations for dividing the NDS into sections and then copying the sections to different servers are detailed. 68

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Part 3 covers how to, "Use NDS objects to establish the organization, administration, and user access."Topics include: • naming standards, • organizing network objects such as users, groups, printers, and servers using containers, • providingefficientaccessforusersto network resources, • setting up access for mobile users, • establishing efficient login scripts, and, • providingaccess forusers ofolder versions ofN ovellsoftware (bindery services). The naming guidelines are universal principles and are useful in any network system. The guidelines presented will keep your network tree filled with the objects that model the organization's business structure. The result is easy network access, administration, and comprehensive security. Imagine a global network consisting of 2,000 servers. How does thesystem keep track of the order of events and transactions? Which came first, the sale made in London or one in Vancouver? All of these questions come under the concept of time synchronization. That is, how can all the times in the servers be coordinated to one universal time for the entire network? In Part IV, "Configure Time Synchronization to Support NDS Operations," the reader learns the rules for the configuration and proper setup of time synchronization. The network administrator wants to configure the time to do the job without overdoing it — without wasting limited network resources. In summary, Novell's Four Principles of NDS Design, is easy to read and lays a network foundation one cannot find elsewhere. The book distills the essentials into something that can be read over one weekend. There are numerous real-world examples, and tips in NDS tree design. I highly recommend this one-of-a-kind resource for all network administrators, installers, consultants, or students of networking. LICttl Stephenlbaraki,ISPis a lecturer, writer,advisor and co-convenor fo> the BADM Computing Program at Capilano College, which has won a number o finternational,national and provincial awards. He is Novell NEAP and Mi crosoft AATP-certified and can b e r eached at sibaraki@capcollege. bc. ca.

CA N A DIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 ii t tpltwwwccwmag.corn


P ROD U C T S

Optiquest rolls out 19-inch and 21 -inch color Inoniters

ASUS introduces AGP boards A SUS C o m puter In t e rnational h a s announced the P2L97 series of motherboards, alongwith the new 3DexPlorer graphicscard. ASUS says the products will let VARs build systems to take advantage of the AGP bus, which yields speeds of 66MHz and 133MHz. The new ASUS motherboards support Pentium II processors up to 333MHz. They incorporate the Intel 440LX AGP-based c hipset, and supp o rt s SDR A M , UltraDMA/33, Concurrent PCI and ACPI. The motherboards include PC health-monitoring features for voltage, temperate and system resources. For more information, see http: //www. asus.corn, or call: (408) 474-0567.

On Oct. 7, Optiquest with a viewable display of announced a new V95 2 0 inches, dot p i tch o f / -* s a dvanced per f o r .26-mm, maximum resolumance 19-inch color tion of 1,600 by 1,280 pixI. monitor and a V115 els, and high 87Hz refresh 21-inch monitor, as rate at 1,280 by 1,024 pixels, well as a range of low and a price of $1,979. c ost 1 5 - inch a n d V iewsonic has a l so 17-inch monitors. recently announced a V773 The rec e ntly 17-inch monitor for general introduced 19-inch (18-inch viewable) moni- business and SOHO users, with a .26-mm dot tor category, which has seen earlier models pitch and 1,280 by 1,024 pixel resolution, and coming to market from other vendors such as a price of $789. As well the V655 15-inch Hitachi, has shaken up the high-end monitor (13.8-inch viewable) monitor is a high qualimarket, since a 19-inch monitor has nearly ty unit being promoted for bundling with PC the viewable area of a 20-inch or 21-inch systems, with .28[mm dot pitch, maximum monitor, at about half the cost. The footprint 1,280 by 1,024 resolution, and anti-glare and and price of 19-inch monitors is very compa- programmable screen modes, for $419. Also rable to 17-inch monitors. The V95 has a new is the Q51 15-inch (13.7-inch viewable) maximum display resolution of 1,600 by monitor, which is designed to compete with 1280 pixels, and can support a very high and displace 14-inch monitor sales, with a 88Hz refreshrate at 1,280 by 1,024 resolu- larger viewable area and good resolution tion. With a MRSP of $1,409, the V95 is capability (1,024 by 768 maximum), for aimed at the serious graphics, desktop pub- $369. lishing, and Web applications areas. For more information, contact http: // The V115 model is a 21-inch monitor www.optiquest.corn or (416) 491-7088.

Packard Bell PC line gears up for holidays Packard Bell is offering a combination of leading-edge technologies in its home PCs, including Pentium II processors and DVD, but it's also featuring a new suite of software designed to make managing a home PC easier for end-users and lesscostly forresellers. Packard Bell's latest PC offerings feature software titles such as CyberTailor, a user-customizable environment within Windows 95; CyberCoach, for user assistance and tutorials; CyberWarner, to aid in troubleshooting; SystemWizard for onboard or on-line problem resolution; and PC-Doctor, a diagnostic program. According to Henry Porsch, vice-presidentof consumer marketing for Packard Bell NEC Canada: "The software titles complete the customer service experience by selfdiagnosing, correcting and empowering the user to fully utilized his or her computer without making a critical mistake." Packard Bell's new Platinum and Multimedia PCs have estimated street prices ranging from $1,699 to $3,799, and include processors up to Pentium II 266MHz, hard drive capacities up to 7GB, 24X CD-ROM drives, and U.S. Robotics' X2 modems. For more information, contact http: //www.packardbell.corn or http: //www.nec-computers.corn.

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Fujitsu launches tiny 1.66B hard drive Fujitsu Computer Products of America is shipping its M2724 2.5-inch 1.6GB hard drive for mobile computers. At a list price of US$255, the M2742 is expected to appeal to notebook PC owners looking to upgrade the storage capacity of their computers. Fujitsu claims to have become the fastest growing hard drive supplier in the world in recent quarters. According to Doug May, vice-president of marketing for Fujitsu Computer Products of America, "our growth in the channel contributed significantly to Fujitsu's recent rise in worldwide hard drive rankings. This is just another step in our commitment to our channel partners." For more information, contact http: //www.fcpa.corn, or call: 1-800-626-4686.

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itttp//wwwccwmag.corn November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 69


P RO D U C T S

NEC launches new 200/233MHz Versas

Protec adds new version of Web Share Internet device As the Internet and networking technology will support higher Internet access speeds. Protecrepresentatives atComdex/SCIB continue to merge, many small business or home office computer users are looking for in Montreal claimed that the first model of cheap, simple ways to connect several com- WebShare, while popular with many cusputers to the Internet while avoiding the tomers, had certain limitations that the new financial and administrative overhead of models have overcome. adopting a full-blown computer networking According to Protec marketing manager solution. Blanca Novoa, small organizations have Point-Claire, Que.-based P r otec embraced the WebShare concept because it Microsystems Inc. has announced two new, beats the high cost of multiple Internet greatly enhanced veraccess, and now with this new sions of itsWebShare release supporting h i gher Internet sharing solution. speed modems, users can be WebShare is a hardware even mo r e pro d u ctive. device that allows up to But while the new WebShare is three PCs to transparently faster than previous versions, WebSh are share Internet access using only one phone getting started is still simple. Just connect line, one modem, and one Internet service WebShare to your phone line using the model provider account. with the integrated modem, connect up to The new versionof WebShare comes in three PCs to the WebShare using serial cables two versions, one with an integral 33.6Kbps provided, and instantly give Internet access modem, and the other with an RJ-45 jack to to three users. WebShare pricing starts at allow a user to attach it to his or her modem $345. of choice.The new WebShare models are For more information, see http: //www. much faster than the original version, and protec.ca or call: 1-800-363-8156, ext. 224.

NEC Co m p uter Sys t ems Division (CSD) Canada has announced the shipment of two new 'desktop replacement' notebooks — the Versa 6220 and the Versa 6230. The new Versas feature a 13.3-inch XGA TFT screen, 3D graphics, MPEG video, 3D stereo, a 20X CD-ROM drive, and PC97 and ACPIcompliance.Depending on configuration, the new product prices range from $6,019 to $8,119. Gordon Neff, manager, systems products for NEC CSD Canada, said: "For profess ionals w h o nee d advanced graphics and multimedia capabilities while on the road, these notebooks provide maximum proc e ssing power, a full sized display, and superior multimedia functionality." For m o r e i nf o r mation, c o n tact http: //www.nec-computers.corn.

lomega Corp. Just keeps zipping along Hard Drives Western Digital 1.2GB EIDE 1.6GB EIDE 2.5GB EIDE 3.2GB U-DMA 4.3GB U-DMA 6.4GB IJ-DMA

CPU's Pent-166Mhz Pent-200Mhz P-200Mhz MMX P-233Mhz MMX P-Pro 180Mhz P-Pro 200Mhz Pent-II 233Mhz Pent-II 266Mhz Pent-11300Mhz AMD K6-200 MMX AMD K6-233 MMX Cyrix M II-166 Cyrix M 11-200

Co-ROMS Toshiba, Panasonic, Cyberdrive 20X IDE int. 24X IDE int. All items in stock, check our web site www.gestools.corn

Video Cards

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Motherboards Intel 430VXPCI Chipset Pent 75-200MHZ w/512Kpb Cache Intel 430TXPCI Chipset Pent166-233Mhz MMX w/512KpbCache We carryASUS P2L97AGPset w/Intel 440LX

Memory 72-Pin EDO IX32-60 4X32-60 2X32-60 8X32-60 SDRAM

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Iomega Corp., manufacturers of the popular Zip 100MB disk drive, has announced that sales of Zip drives have passed eight million units worldwide. In addition to the popular desktop PC version of the Zip drive, lomega has announced that its mobile version of the Zip drive has been adopted by a wide array of notebook makers including Acer, Compal Electronics, Hitachi, Clevo, Micron, and Chicony. The notebook Zip drive is expected to become available in quantity in late 1997. Iomega has also announced a new ZipPlus version of the Zip drive, which mmntains backwards compatibility with disks created with original Zip drives, while offering up to 40 per cent speed increase, autodetect, multimedia software, and a compact external power supply for mobile use. Iomega has also gained attention in the desktop video market by launching its Buz multimedia producer, an audio/video/framecapture bundle that allows users to digitize full motion or still images plus sound, and then manipulate them with included software such as MGI VideoWave SE Plus, PictureWorks HotShots and Iomega's RecordIt. Iomega's other main mass storage product currently is the Jaz drive, which has sold over one million units. Iomega has announced a new model of Jaz drive — the Jaz 2GB Ultra SCSI drive, with twice the storage capacity and up to 40 per cent faster speed. All of these new products and alliances come after a period of extraordinary success for Iomega. However, 1997 saw a major new challenger for Iomega, in the form of the LS120 floppy drive system. This drive and disk format offers equivalent storage capacity to the Zip drive, but also is compatible with regular 3.5-inch floppy diskettes. The latter feature of the LS120 has led some PC makers to use the LS120 drive instead of a regular 3.5-inch floppy drive on some new PCs. Iomega repson a presstouracrossCanada in September claimed thatthe company is well aware of the LS120 challenge. New Iomega products in addition to those already announced can be expected in the months to come, they said. For more information, see http: //www.iomega.corn or call: (801) 778 1000. CCW ttp Jtwww. ccwmag. corn


P EO P L E

SCI Canada adds Western GM

Simon Witts is new Microsoft Canada CM Simon Witts is the new general manager of M icrosoft Canada Inc. British-born Witts has more than 15 yearsexperience in the computer industry, with nine years with IBM, and about six years with Microsoft U.K. Witts will report to ex-Microsoft Canada general m anager Frank Clegg, who i s n o w Microsoft'svice-president of Canada and the Central U.S. region. CCW first made Witts' acquaintance at a joint IBM/Microsoft Canada briefing in Toronto in late September, when IBM Canada's Don Myles admitted OS/2 would essentially no longer be promoted by IBM. Existing major OS/2 users will be supported for the indefinite future, according to IBM, but the rest of the Intel PC operating system field is essentially now Microsoft territory. M icrosoft Canada has experienced sustained, rapid growth in the years prior to Witts' appointment, Best estimates of Canadian sales (Microsoft resists breaking out national portions of its sales) for 1996 are in the neighborhood of US$750 million. This represents a doubling of Microsoft's sales in Canada over the previous three years. Witt means to repeat that performance overthenext three years,and increase sales to US$1.5 billion. To accomplish this, he will be focusing on the Windows NT business computing market, which is growing "explosively," as well as strongly pidmoting Internet Explorer 4.0, and Microsoft's business applications software. A t th e C o mdex/SCIB show i n Montreal, Witts was engaged in calming Quebecois irritation over Microsoft's riotorious delay in publishing a French Canadian version of Windows 95 when that product was released in the summer of 1995. For the launch of Windows 98, Witts promised, a French version would be made available at the same time as the English version. 'The commitment is to simultaneous shipment," Witts stated. "Getting the French-Canadian product is very important," Quebec is an important part of Microsoft's plans, according to Witt; as sales there are currently increasing at an even faster rate than in the rest of Canada.

Silicon Graphics Canada Ltd. has appointed Gary Croxton as general manager, Western Canada. Croxton was most recently Novell Canada Ltd.'s Western regional manager. He is based in Calgary. The new appointment was made along with the following: Dave Wharry, general manager, marketing development; Rich Gaasenbeek, general manager, central Canada; Blair Nichols, general manager, Ottawa and Eastern Canada. The addition of these regionally-focused general managers reinforces the appointment lastyear of Martin Pinard as general manager, Quebec, said SGI Canada.

CalSray — Nw. S ~ ea S a lhmae Ilaaeewar —Nmr. S UeeaohrSISraemeala By lawyersMichael ErdleandTobeyMarzouk Contact: SequoiaCorp. Call:(202) 955-9373

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John Roth is new CEO at Northern Telecom (NB) — John Roth has been appointed chief executive of Northern Telecom Ltd., replacing Jean Monty, who has become president and chief executive of p arent company BCE Inc. Roth, who has worked for Nortel since 1969 andisa former president of its research and development subsidiary, Bell-Northern Research Ltd., has been president of the company since February 1997, and chief operating officersince 1995. He will remain president.

Informix names CFO Informix Software Inc. has appointed Jean- Yves Dexmier, as executive vice-president and chief Jean-yves pexmier financial officer. He reports to Informix chairman and CEO Bob Finocchio. Dexmier's responsibilities include financial management of Informix's treasury, investor relations, controllership, audit, operations, MIS and real estate.

AccountMate adds execs AccountMate Softwarehas hired Bob Steps — a 33-yearIBM veteran, as AccountMate's vice-president of corporate development. For thelastfive years, Steps has been responsible for IBM's worldwide strategy for selling AS/400s to smaller businesses. AccountMate has also recruited Bob Ramers, who has been a consultant to VARs for companies such as DEC, Sun Microsystems, Pioneer Technologies and SBT.

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The Seeoad laaaal NINo N FM Srtye San Francisco Call: (415) 252-8008 http: //www.pida-expo.corn Oo you havean upcoming event you'd like toseelisted in CC(4rsCalendar? E-maihccw©tcp.ca.

hrtpitwwwccwmag.corn November 1997 CANADIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER 6 1


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The Canadian SeftwarI e lndnstrIY — 4 Ilehal PlaYer by Leslie Arrand and Margery Leach Canada boastsone of the most impressive indigenous software industries in the world. It is home to a number of marketleaders,such as Corel, Cognos, Geac, Fulcrum, Hummingbird, and JetForm, to name only a few. Beyond theseestablished leaders,new and innovative companies continue to emerge. Together, the "who's who" and the "who's next" are helping to develop a reputation for Canada as a leading force in the global IT market, setting examples in such areas as document management and text retrieval, technology-assisted learning, geographic information systems, multimedia and graphics, and Internet/intranet applications. With Canadian companies making such a strong impression in both developing and developed countries around the world, it is well worth pausing to profile the industry. Following are just a few facts about the top 100 independent Canadian software companies, as tracked in the Branham500 database of the Canadian software and IT professional services industries: In 1996, the total worldwide revenuesof Canada's top 100 software companies was $2.014 billion, a growth of

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4.7 per cent over the previous strive to excel through unique and focused year of $1.923 billion; the strategies that incorporate current and future top 100 companies employed trends in the economy, target markets, techapproximately 10,000 people nology and industry as a whole. in Canada in 1996; 76 per cent of the top 100 companies are Leslie Arrand is a consultant and Margery privately held; and over 80 per cent Leach is a senior consultant at Branham of the cumulative revenues of the top 100 are Group Inc., a leading international "Go to generated outside of Canada. Market" consulting firm providing strategic Within the top 100, the top 10 compa- and tactical advice to information technology nies present a unique picture. Revenues range organizations. (Phoner (613) 725-2955, from $30 million to over $450 million. Eight Fax: (613) 725-0318,http:/Iwww.branham.ca) of the top 10 companies are publicly traded, with foreign ownership playing a significant role. And, over the past fouryears,the top 10 companies have consistently generated more than 50 per CD-ROM drive 62o/o 32% cent of the total revenues of 8 the top 100 software compaSound board 53 ]7 1 6 N. nies. In 1996, they were External speakers ..„-,::::. 51 responsible for 65 per cent Tape drive 17 20 of total revenues. Scanner/scanning device 16 Q 7 e Regardless oftheirappRemovable cartridge drive 11 'l0 roach, Canadian software LAN card 22 companies must continue to

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Last issue, we asked: Has Apple done the right thing for its business by deciding to not license the Mac OS 8 to CHRP-compliant clone makers?

You said: P7%%u pYes! 44%%up No! PgQ I don' t know. This issue: Economists and pundits have cautiously been speaking of upturns in at least some sectors of the Canadian economy. But coming out of the traditional autumn busy time and moving right into the holiday buying season, we wonder what Canadian Computer Wholesaler readers have to say about this incredibly competitive environment.

Our questions to you: Given tight competition, yet some indications of a strengthening economy, what are your impressions of the health of the overall IT industry, this year over last?

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Which most closely reflects your view? The industry is very strong and healthy, experiencing lots of positive growth compared to last year. Business in the industry is much the same as last year. With more consolidation, players are being squeezed and knocked off. This business is getting tougher. For purposes of our survey, how do you describe 1997 profItablllty and health at your business, compared to 1996? My business is growing positively, seeing new opportunities, markets and greater demand. My business is doing more or less similar volumes of business to last year, with similar profits. Profits have slid, due to shrinking margins and increasing competition in the market-place, compared to 1996. Log into our Web site:

http: //www.ccwmag.corn, E-mail: ccw@tcp.ca, or send your responses, and comments, by fax, to:

CA N A DIAN COMPUTER WHOLESALER November 1997 ht tp//wwwccwmag.corn

(604) 608-2686.


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