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Benchmark noted by business magazine

Santa Maria-based BenchmarkPortal was honored as the “Company to Watch” by the Pacific Coast Business Times.

BenchmarkPortal joined four other “Companies of the Year,” including Amgen and Dole Foods, as the most influential corporations based in California’s South and Central Coast regions.

In winning the award, BenchmarkPortal topped a list of 10 finalists in the “Companies to Watch” category, all of which were considered to be rising regional companies.

SecureTrieve releases trial version

Los Angeles-based SecureTrieve released a free 30-day trial of its software that protects and retrieves critical files from a lost or stolen laptop. The software, called SecureTrieve Pro, is designed for users who keep important or confidential files on their laptops and are concerned about risks to their business if their computers were lost or stolen.

A 30-day, fully functional version of SecureTrieve Pro is available at www.securetrieve.com.

Gizmondo unit opens L.A. office

Gizmondo Europe Ltd., a subsidiary of Tiger Telematics Inc., will open a Los Angeles office before launching its Gizmondo game console in North America in August.

The West Coast office primarily will work with Jacksonville-based Tiger Telematics to develop sales and marketing opportunities around the country.

The company said its Los Angeles, Texas, and Florida offices also will create relationships with the gaming, music and movie industries in the L.A. area.

The pocket-sized Gizmondo console, which is expected to retail for $399, features games, music, movies, messaging, a digital camera, and onboard GPS.

Printronix partners with Microsoft

Irvine-based printer maker Printronix Inc. will partner with Microsoft Corp. on its radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

As part of the alliance, Printronix will provide RFID labels for demonstration at the Tech Ed EMEA 2005 conference in Amsterdam and will contribute RFID printers to Microsoft’s technology centers, the company said in a release.

Printronix said it also will contribute RFID printers to Microsoft’s technology centers in Redmond, Wash.; Paris; Beijing; and Bangalore, India, among other locations.

Microsoft said Printronix’s RFID printing services will help the company track and ship merchandise more effectively using RFID.

SYS gains government contracts

San Diego-based SYS Technologies said it has been awarded two contracts with a combined value of up to $4.7 million.

SYS will be providing logistics and engineering services to the U.S. Navy, in support of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) International Program Office under a contract valued at approximately $3.8 million to be performed over a three-year period.

SYS makes real time information technology products for industrial and U.S. government customers.

Smith Micro buys Allume Systems

Aliso Viejo-based software maker Smith Micro Software Inc. bought Allume Systems Inc., a subsidiary of International Microcomputer Software Inc. for $12.75 million in cash and stock

Smith Micro will pay $11 million in cash and $1.75 million in shares to purchase all outstanding Watsonville-based Allume shares.

Allume makes compression software. The company’s software includes JPEG, MPEG and MP3 platforms.

Financial Systems partners with Foot Locker

Newport Beach-based Financial Systems Innovation licensed its credit-card fraud protection technology to Foot Locker Inc.

Financial Systems is a subsidiary of Acacia Technologies Group.

The system relates to a computer system to protect retailers and consumers using a credit or debit card. It includes an electronic card reader and the use of a specific number, which identifies each transaction. As a result, the retailer does not have to print detailed information concerning the cardholder’s identity or account number on the customer’s receipt.

In addition to Foot Locker, Financial Systems has licensed the technology to at least 15 other companies including Albertsons, Radio Shack, and Walgreens.

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