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DICKSON JOINS PLANTE & MORAN Michael Dickson, who played a major role in promoting the Certified Information Technology Professional credential, has joined Southfield, Mich.-based Plante & Moran as manager of the technology consulting and solutions practice of the Southfield office.

Before joining the firm, he was president of Business Technology Group, which specialized in IT risk assessment and assurance.

TBC TOPS OPEN SYSTEMS

Partner Insights

TBC International, based in Salado, Texas, was named as top partner for Open Systems for 2004/2005, an honor it won for the third time in the last four years.

TBC, which had $1.5 million in revenue for its last fiscal year, had seven full-time employees and also works with eight outside consultants. The company sells Traverse, Open Systems' Windows package, and its Cobol-based Open Systems Accounting Software.

INTUIT PREPS POS CHANNEL

Intuit has been experimenting with establishing a reselling channel to handle its point-of-sale software product.

Although the company has not publicly announced the program, it apparently believes that the QuickBooks POS software cannot be sold solely through direct sales because it needs support. Called QuickBooks Retail Solution Providers, the participating firms are required to become QuickBooks ProAdvisors. They can receive POS products and upgrades at a 40 percent margin.

AMEX PROGRAM GOES GLOBAL

American Express Tax and Business Services, which markets its own edition of SAP's Business One Software, is expanding its program to sell software outside of the United States.

The program was expected to begin this month in Australia and New Zealand, with some other countries, not yet disclosed to follow soon. Harvey Goss, an AmEx managing director, says that his company will deal directly with SAP partners in the first two countries. It will not extend the alliance to all nations. "We are looking at it country by country," says Goss. AmEx is also considering an entry into the Norwegian and British markets.

MICROSOFT SETS BUSINESS TITLE

Microsoft has established a new designation, Small Business Specialists, for firms that support its small business products.

Candidates, who can include VARs, must pass a sales and marketing test and a technical test, says Steve Guggenheimer, the vice president who handles Microsoft's Small Business Accounting. The specialists will work with products such as Small Business Server, SBA, and the Small Business Edition of Microsoft CRM.

BLYTHECO ENTERS MARKETS

Blytheco, a Laguna Hills, Calif.-based Sage Software reseller, has opened offices in Phoenix and Chicago as part of a national expansion that has the company eying more locations, and the acquisition of smaller VARs.

The reseller also has a New York/New Jersey office and will probably move into four more cities, says president Steve Blythe. He says that Sage has implemented restrictions on firms that sell outside their territory. "We have employees 15 who live outside southern California," Blythe says.

TECTURA GOES EAST

Tectura, the rapidly growing value-added-reseller, has entered the east Asian market with the acquisition of Enterprise Solutions Group, a Hong Kong-based company with 300 employees.

The deal gives Tectura 14 offices in countries from India to Japan, including Thailand, and China. Tectura says the ESG, which was founded in 1999, has annual sales of $16 million. Tectura opened a subsidiary in Barsa, Turkey, in May.

LBMC ADDS PARTNERS

Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain has named two new partners in the risk services division of the Brentwood, Tenn.-based CPA firm.

One new partner is Mark Fulford, CISA, CISP, ABCP, who focuses primarily on IT audits, information security, continuity planning, and IT management. The other partner, Paul Demasture, CPA, CIA, COE, has experience in internal audit services, including operational compliance and finance auditing.

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