CHANNEL NEWS

HP INTRODUCES NEW PERFORMANCE PROGRAM
Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has launched a program that rewards top-performing resellers for their growing sales volumes.

The HP Performance Program is available to value-added resellers that purchase at least $100,000 annually in HP computer and peripheral products through any recognized company distributor or aggregator.
HP will also extend dual-sourcing capability to its largest resellers who purchase through aggregation. In the past, these companies were required to purchase from a single aggregator. Under the new program, they will be able to select an additional source from among HP's authorized aggregator partners. The dual sourcing program is slated to become effective Jan. 1, 1997.
HP's performance program was designed to save resellers time and administrative resources by making use of an exclusive, security-enhanced World Wide Web site. Benefits will be offered in three areas -- technical support, business support and up-to-date information.
One company hoping to cash in on HP's new program is Tech Data Corp., Clearwater, Fla. Its aggregation business unit, Tech Data Elect, was created in 1995 to respond to the trend of open sourcing, in which resellers have greater flexibility in choosing their business partners.
Resellers who specialize in integrated, networked-systems solutions are also eligible to participate in HP's AdvanceNet Program. This benefits plan gives enhanced technical support, evaluation units and financial incentives to resellers achieving annual sales of $100,000 in HP networking products.

COMSTOR TO DISTRIBUTE CISCO SOLUTIONS
Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif., has signed a letter of intent designating Comstor, Chantilly, Va., as a distribution channel for its U.S. federal government resellers.
Comstor will supply federal government resellers with Cisco enterprise internetworking products, reseller support, order processing and order fulfillment services. The company will also qualify new resellers to sell Cisco products in the U.S. federal marketplace. The two companies hope that this agreement will give a wide range of small to medium-sized resellers easier access to Cisco products and services.

OPEN MARKET, MITSUBISHI SIGN PACT
Open Market Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and Mitsubishi Electric Information Network by Digital technology (MIND) of Japan have signed a letter of intent to license Open Market's Internet access management software in Japan.
Mitsubishi is the first company in Japan to license Open Market's OM-Axcess software. MIND will act as a systems integrator, consultant and reseller of the software to other Mitsubishi divisions, as well as to external customers in Japan. MIND will also use the software in their own operations.

MERISEL HAS THIRD-QUARTER LOSS
Merisel Inc., El Segundo, Calif., has reported a 10 percent decrease in sales and a net loss of $117.1 million, or $3.90 per share, for the third quarter of 1996. The company's net loss over the first nine months of this year was $142.1 million, or $4.75 per share.
Contributing to the company's setbacks were a $33.5 million loss on the sale of Merisel's European, Latin American and Mexican operations. Other factors were a $40 million loss due to an adjustment to Merisel's Computer Land Franchise and Datago Aggregation business.
"We spent the first nine months of 1996 operating the business to conserve cash," said Dwight Steffensen, Merisel chief officer in a statement. "Our recent asset sales, combined with our plan to run the business for cash by deferring any non-essential capital expenditures and other cost-cutting measures, has given us room to operate the business going forward. Now we can turn our focus from conserving cash to profitable growth."

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