Amnet in rare company among Microsoft partners

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When Amnet Inc. took over the information technology contract at Mitsui Advanced Media-America, the office of 40 ran on eight different servers, some of which couldn’t communicate with each other.

The company’s software and hardware was “antiquated,” said Amnet owner Trevor Dierdorff, and it was using a variety of operating systems, including Unix and Novell.

Correcting the chaos resulted in Amnet being recognized as part of the Microsoft partners program. Dierdorff’s company was one of four finalists in the technology innovation category, and the only U.S. company. The winning company was from Canada. The other finalists were from Egypt and India.

More than 7,000 Microsoft partners — companies that receive licenses to market and sell Microsoft products — were on hand for the awards ceremony last month. Dierdorff said being selected as a finalist from more than 380,000 Microsoft partners worldwide was a big step for the Colorado Springs-based company.

“Only the most competent and mature companies are Microsoft partners,” he said. “The awards were open only to partners — and they come from around the world. We’ve never participated before, because this was the first major project we did that we thought had a chance. We are fortunate to be able to put a solution like this into place — and fortunate to be recognized for it.”

Microsoft partners are “critical,” said spokeswoman Ellie Ford. The awards are one way the company showcases the work partners are doing, she said.

“Partners drive product, solution and licensing adoption,” she said. “They develop applications and create solutions for Microsoft products. Partners are how Microsoft engages with its customer base.”

The company uses partners as its sales force, with 95 percent of its revenue coming from partner sales to clients, she said.

“We estimate that for every $1 of software revenue Microsoft receives for its products, the partner channel drives an incremental of $7 of revenue,” Ford said. “The partner system profits resources throughout the world, affecting economies across the globe.”

The company uses its partnership program to reach customers around the globe — partners provide Microsoft with a business presence in 67 countries and products available in 27 languages.

The relationship between business partners and Microsoft is mutually beneficial, Ford said. Because the company has money to spend in research and development, partners can benefit in their businesses.

“Microsoft has spent more than $20 billion in research and development over the past three years to develop the current pipeline of products, which will deliver innovation and opportunity to our partners,” she said. “Microsoft has incrementally invested more than $2 billion in partners as part of a continued investment to deliver the core values partners need to run their business.”

XAware hosts Webinars

XAware Inc. is hosting three Webinar presentations featuring recordings of John Hagel III, author of “Out of the Box — Strategies for Achieving Profits Today and Growth Tomorrow.”

Each seminar is about 40 minutes long.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24, Hagel will provide an introduction to service-oriented architecture. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 7, he will discuss business cases and challenges associated with service-oriented architecture. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 21, Hagel will discuss successful approaches for service-oriented architectures.

To register for any of the Webinars, visit www.xaware.com/webinars.aspx or call (866) 607-7706.

Spectranetics reports

Spectranetics Corp. has reported financial results for the second quarter of 2006.

Revenue was $16 million, up 50 percent compared with $10.6 million for the second quarter of 2005. Revenue growth was driven primarily by strength in atherectomy product sales, which increased 77 percent compared with the prior year.

For the quarter, disposable product revenue rose 54 percent to $12.9 million, laser revenue rose 28 percent to $1.4 million, and service and other revenue rose 43 percent to $1.7 million.

The worldwide installed base of lasers increased to 548 laser systems as of June 30, which includes net laser placements of 25 units during the second quarter of 2006, compared with 17 net placements last year.

Gross margin for the quarter was 76 percent, compared with gross margin of 75 percent during the second quarter a year ago. Operating expenses during the quarter were $11.7 million, up 58 percent compared with the prior year.

The increase is primarily related to ongoing investment in an expanded field sales organization, physician training, clinical research and product development initiatives to further penetrate the large and growing market for treating peripheral arterial disease. Operating expenses also include stock compensation expense of $607,000.

The company reported net income of $521,000, or 2 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $242,000, or 1 cent per diluted share, during the second quarter of 2005. Pre-tax income, including stock compensation expense of $607,000, was $862,000, compared with pre-tax income of $643,000 during the second quarter of 2005.

Amy Gillentine covers technology for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.