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AnswerThink Consulting Group has agreed to distribute and resell Cabletron Systems Inc.'s line of networking products. Rochester, N.H.-based Cabletron and AnswerThink of Miami will conduct joint sales efforts, targeted marketing and training. AnswerThink also will aid Cabletron's support services.

The deal with AnswerThink is part of Cabletron's strategy to increase its use of the channel to distribute products, Cabletron officials said. "We are looking to premier partners like AnswerThink for a dramatic impact of Cabletron products and services into the channel," said Joel Moss, vice president of Cabletron's Synergy Plus partners program.

Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif., and Starfish, a Scotts Valley, Calif.-based supplier of technology for connected information devices, have formed an alliance to develop solutions for mobile PC users.

Starfish developed TrueSync technology in REX card, a credit-card-sized device that holds up to 3,000 contacts, schedules and notes. HP wants to apply this technology to its hand-held devices, company officials said.

"HP continually offers palm-top PCs that simultaneously answer the immediate needs of mobile users and advance the industry in innovation," said Kheng-Joo Khaw, general manager of HP's Asia Pacific PC Division. "HP's relationship with Starfish and the integration of TrueSync technology into HP palm-top PCs supports this strategy."

MobileSoft, a Campbell, Calif.-based distributor of software for hand-held PCs, and Compaq Computer Corp., Houston, have signed an agreement in which MobileSoft will supply Compaq Windows CE application software. The two companies will jointly promote and deliver software for Compaq's PC Companion H/PC.

Under the program, MobileSoft will produce and package CD-ROMs containing a replica of the MobileSoft Web page, as well as additional software applications provided by Compaq. Compaq will ship the CDs with its PC Companion H/PC devices.

NSM Jukebox, a Bensenville, Ill., maker of archival storage systems, signed a deal with Tech Data Corp., Clearwater, Fla., that gives Tech Data Canadian distribution rights to NSM products. Tech Data will provide channel management for NSM, and will work to market and deploy NSM's products and services to resellers focusing on government, financial, education, health care and other markets. "Our customers are telling us that stable mass storage and archiving solutions are a growing necessity for government, legal, financial and medical industries," said Derek Anderson, Tech Data vice president of product marketing.

Tektronix Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., has signed five new relationships to continue an expansion of its reseller program. Agreements have been signed with wholesale distributor Merisel Inc.; direct-response vendors Creative Computers, Computer Discount Warehouse and PC Connection; and NECX, an Internet reseller.

Tektronix, a maker of color printers, launched its reseller push in mid-1997 and has focused on resellers who have not previously been selling color printers. With the most recent agreements, Tektronix now has resellers among U.S. wholesale distributors, aggregators, mail order catalogs, value-added integrators and Internet resellers, company officials said.

Within three years, about 50 percent of Dell Computer Corp.'s sales will be via the Internet, officials with the Austin, Texas-based company said. The Internet will help push Dell ahead of Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., so it becomes the world's biggest PC maker by 2000, said Jan Gesmar-Larsen, president of Dell Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Dell already is one of the biggest sellers on the Internet. Internet sales reached $4 million a day last year. Volume quadrupled last year, company officials said. About half of the Internet sales are to large corporate and government accounts.

-Nick Wakeman

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