Thompson Leaves Red Wing for ACCPAC: Steve Thompson, a top executive at Red Wing Business Systems for the past seven years, has joined rival accounting software vendor Accpac International as vice president of North American partner recruitment. He replaces Ferdows Manouchehrian, who was reassigned, according to a company spokesman.

Thompson is responsible for expanding a channel of 5,000 resellers, which includes about 1,500 accounting professionals, and 500 professionals certified to advise clients on Accpac products, without reselling them.

Thompson had been president of Red Wing until about a year ago when that company was acquired by Minnetonka, Minn.-based electronic commerce software company, Active IQ Technologies, which reassigned him to vice president of channel development.

Former ACCPAC Execs Join Rival Vendors: Omar Sary, who had worked in international sales at Accpac, is the new international business director at accounting software vendor Softline AccountMate, and Pat Ripepi, who had been Accpac’s partner sales vice president, has joined NetLedger, vendor of the Oracle Small Business Suite online service. All three companies are based in the San Francisco area.

Sary will lead Softline AccountMate’s expansion into new markets, with a special emphasis on Latin America, Canada, North Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim, while Ripepi will lead NetLedger’s overall channel sales initiative.

NetLedger said Ripepi led Accpac’s recruitment of new channel partners and efforts to improve its existing partners. Softline said that before working in international sales at Accpac, Sary was international sales director at SBT Accounting Systems, where he tripled the size of the global reseller channel. Accpac acquired SBT in 2000.

Vendor Eyes Accounting Industry For Resellers: Software Technology Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., has launched a reseller program for its practice management software product, PracticeMaster, and its time and billing product, TABS III.

The new effort is targeting the accounting and financial services industries. Features of STI’s reseller program include: no annual fee; pricing discounts of 35 percent to 60 percent based on volume; lead generation and referrals provided by the vendor; free interactive versions of the products.

"We expect rapid growth in the demand for our software in the accounting market, and are looking for experienced resellers to share and assist in this success," said company president Dan Berlin. STI, founded in 1979, said that it has issued more than 275,000 user licenses for the products for which it seeks resellers.

Interested resellers should contact STI at (402) 423-1440 or visit STI will provide, upon request, a CD that includes slide show demos, multi-media tutorials and free interactive versions of its entire product line featuring TABS III and PracticeMaster.

Best Honors Top Resellers: Accounting software vendor Best Software Mid-Market division bestowed honors on several of its top resellers, including "Customer Satisfaction" awards to Bennett/Porter & Associates of Tigard, Ore., and Lutz & Co. of Omaha, Neb., and an Authorized Training Center of the Year Award to Burch Consultants in Houston. The awards were announced at Best’s Visions reseller conference in mid-May.

Tell E-Biz Clients to Educate Their Customers: In what may be an opportunity for technology consultants, a consumer survey by New York-based technology industry analysts Jupiter Media Matrix finds that privacy and security concerns could cost online businesses almost $25 billion by 2006.

The survey suggested that technology consultants advising business clients on electronic commerce should encourage those companies to educate their customers about their Web sites. The Jupiter study found some ambiguous characteristics about people who visit commercial Web sites.

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. consumers are concerned about their privacy online, but only 40 percent read privacy statements before handing over personal information to Web sites. Moreover, only 30 percent of online consumers find Web site privacy statements easy to understand.

"Neither consumers nor businesses effectively address online privacy issues," said Rob Leathern, a Jupiter analyst. "In this increasingly complex world, even legitimate businesses will suffer when consumers’ perceptions of the control and safety of their personal information online are damaged."

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