‘TECH RESURRECTION’ TO MEET A CHANGED TECH INDUSTRY: International Data Corp. predicts that a “tech resurrection” will occur in 2004, as worldwide information technology spending returns to solidly positive growth. But it warns, “The IT industry emerging from the market downturn of the past three years will not resemble the industry of the past 30 years.”

Chief among the changes that Framingham, Mass.-based IDC foresees is that “spending will be increasingly driven by CEO-level business priorities.” Those priorities will include such things as improved product development and management, new regulatory reporting requirements, and the expansion of business services.

IDC also expects the outsourcing of IT services to foreign markets to continue growing. “It’s a trend that’s here to stay,” said Frank Gens, IDC’s senior vice president of research.

BEST offers GIVE-AWAY FOR NONPROFITS: Best Software has a new give-away to attract the interest of nonprofits — its “Guide to Purchasing Fundraising Software.”

Best says that the guide “takes you step by step through the fundraising management software evaluation and purchase process.” It further says that the guide is designed to help readers evaluate their fundraising operations, identify critical areas, budget for fundraising, develop a product roll-out plan and “know the critical questions to ask your vendor.”

Best, which last year added several fundraising products to its MIP fund accounting software line, hopes that it will be the vendor that nonprofits ask for.

The guide is available by calling (866) 591-4545 or visiting www.mip.com/froffer3.htm.

PAYMAXX PARTNER RECRUITMENT DIPS INTO BEST’S CHANNEL: Four consultants and resellers of Best Software’s Abra line of human resource and payroll products have signed on as partners with rival payroll services provider PayMaxx Inc.

Franklin, Tenn.-based PayMaxx late last year reported that its channel recruitment efforts added the following new partners, which all handle Abra: Able Business Consulting, from the greater Denver area; Eberhart Software Consulting, of Placerville, Calif.: HR Systems Inc., of Devon, Pa.; and Pel-Tech HR, in Tuscon, Ariz.

Each is now also certified to offer the following PayMaxx products: PowerPayroll, an Internet-based payroll, for companies with fewer than 100 employees; PayLoad, a PC-based payroll for companies with 100 to 10,000 employees; and TaxxPro, PayMaxx’s proprietary tax filing and compliance service.

The Best-Abra partners are among eight new channel members that PayMaxx added late last year.

IBM CALLS ACCOUNTING A KEY VERTICAL: Technol­ogy giant IBM says that accounting is among the 12 vertically integrated markets that it’s concentrating on, and cited Web-hosted accounting and business management applications company Intacct Corp. as one of its key partners in accounting. Late last year, IBM realigned itself to develop and market vertical industry-­focused systems, and to move away from generic software development.

IBM spokesman Jay Pierce said that Big Blue’s decision to move away from producing generic business technology hinges on its partnerships with independent software vendors that are already serving the targeted verticals, and that Intacct is already a well-established accounting ISV. In November, shortly before its move away from generic development, IBM announced that it was significantly enhancing its marketing alliance with Intacct and making that company a key component of its “e-Business on Demand” strategy.

Pierce noted that Intacct is helping IBM reach the accounting profession in a manner similar to how other ISVs are helping it reach the other 11 verticals. Intacct’s applications “are built and enabled on IBM hardware and software middleware — a set of software solutions that help ISV applications integrate with a customer’s existing IT infrastructure,” he said.

Pierce also said that IBM’s new vertical focus represents “the biggest shift in its go-to market strategy since the company exited the software application business five years ago” to focus on middleware.

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