ePartners Makes Change At Top: Stanley D. Strifler has stepped down as president and chief executive of ePartners, the nation’s largest reseller of accounting software and enterprise solutions targeted at middle-market and small businesses.

Strifler, who joined Dallas-based ePartners in 1999 when it was known as TexSys RD, said that he was leaving for "personal reasons." He has been replaced on an interim basis by Daniel Shimer, a former chief operating officer, who joined ePartners from Austin Ventures, a venture capital firm that provided seed money to the reseller company in the late 1990s.

Shimer said that ePartners’ mission going forward is "to leverage the organization and drive incremental gains in customer service and market share, despite a difficult market." The company, which reported $110 million in revenue in 2001, handles solutions by 15 software vendors, including accounting software developers, Best, Microsoft/Great Plains and Solomon.

Strifler joined ePartners when the company was very active in acquiring other reseller organizations and was planning to become publicly traded. Since then, its acquisition work has slowed considerably and there’s been no indication of when it may go public.

Wireless Emerges As Lan Strategy: Wireless local-area networks are slowly replacing traditional wired LANs and are emerging as a preferred business technology strategy, driven by demand from the small office/home-office market, according to International Data Corp.

The Framingham, Mass.-based technology industry analysts said that WLANs would impact network equipment in a manner similar to how mobile phones impacted the traditional voice network. It said that worldwide revenue for WLAN equipment is expected to grow to $3.72 billion in 2006, from $1.45 billion in 2001.

"Mobile connectivity is being driven by the acceptance of wireless devices and infrastructure both in and out of the enterprise," said Jason Smolek, an IDC research analyst at Enterprise Networks. "The largest opportunity will come from the SOHO and home networking space, where Asia/Pacific vendors are driving WLANs to the masses in all corners of the world."

Other factors driving WLAN demand include new verticals, such as education and retail, deployment in visitor-based networks such as airports and hotels and the introduction of 5GHz products. The findings are in IDC’s report, "Worldwide Wireless LAN Equipment Market Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006."

Accountmate Adds Manufacturing Tool: Accounting software vendor AccountMate has added manufacturing management capabilities to its flagship Visual AccountMate line by forming an alliance with Everest Manufacturing Software, a developer of stand-alone systems for manufacturers.

The two vendors have created a link for AccountMate and Everest’s technology that yields what they call "a seamlessly integrated business management and manufacturing solution." The alliance also provides Everest with the selling power of AccountMate’s approximately 3,000 partner-resellers worldwide, many of whom are accountants or are affiliated with accounting firms.

The resellers gain access to important technology, as Novato, Calif.-based AccountMate estimates that more than 40 percent of its customers are in the manufacturing sector. Everest’s solutions track and manage the manufacturing production cycle from the receipt of raw materials through the production process to finished goods.

St. Clair Shores, Mich.-based Everest develops solutions for such manufacturing sectors as discreet, make to order, make to stock, light assembly and process.

Internet Crm Vendor Interface Reports Big Quarter: Interface Software, a provider of Internet-enabled client relationship management solutions for professional services firms, reported 14 new clients for the three months that ended March 31, making it the company’s most productive quarter ever.

The Oak Brook, Ill., company, which now has some 300 end-user organizations, said that its latest "wins" included two management-consulting firms, three accounting and consulting firms and nine legal firms. It cited "burgeoning demand" for InterAction, its flagship CRM software.

Its newest clients include Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, a Nashville, Tenn., CPA firm that had been using several separate applications to handle the CRM work now being done by InterAction. "We needed to leverage our collective knowledge and bring it under one database," said LBMC managing partner Michael Cain.

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