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Tech and business news from around the region. PremierGuide adds microsites

Bellevue-based PremierGuide, a provider of private-label local search solutions to local media companies, said it has added microsites. Microsites allow PremierGuide customers, such as newspapers and TV stations, to create detailed online information pages for local businesses in their markets and drive local search traffic and advertising revenues.

Microsites provide data for consumers when selecting a local business, including service details, products carried, brands offered, amenities, business hours, credentials, qualifications, awards, testimonials, payment options and contact information.

IT worker confidence plunges

Worker confidence among IT professionals fell substantially in August, as the sector’s Hudson Employment Index dropped 9.4 points to 103.1 in August. Despite the decline, the latest reading is substantially higher than last August, when it registered 97.5. Based on responses from approximately 9,000 workers nationwide across all industries, the composite index rose one point to 102.9 in August.

The Hudson Index for IT workers also showed:

* After a record-high 21 percent of workers rated their finances as excellent in July, only 14 made that statement in August. There was also a five-point drop to 44 percent in the number of workers who said their financial situation was improving.

* Similarly, the number of workers expecting their employer to hire fell from a near record-high of 40 percent to 31 percent.

* While only one-quarter of the work force was concerned about job security in July, 28 percent shared that sentiment in August.

Vertafone to buy software company

Bothell-based Vertafore, Inc., a provider of specialized software for the insurance industry, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding stock of BenefitPoint, a San Francisco-based software maker.

Vertafore also announced the formation of the Specialty Markets division. This new division will be responsible for directing the existing AMS Benefits and Silverplume businesses as well as for other complementary business opportunities.

Survey tracks outsourcing trends

Venice-based software developer and consultant Venice Consulting Group released a new survey measuring the sentiment of executives on the subject of IT offshore outsourcing.

The survey found that while companies believe outsourcing is here to stay, their preference is to have a client contact that is located in the US. Another finding that indicates a shift away from traditional outsourcing to countries such as India shows that an overwhelming majority-over 85 percent-prefer an offshore outsourcing partner in the same time zone.

Other major findings include:

* Despite all the talk of offshore outsourcing, the majority of respondents (66 percent) have not outsourced an IT project to an offshore firm suggesting further room for growth of the market

* Main drivers for outsourcing continue to be cost savings and lack of internal resources

* About two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents were highly or somewhat unlikely to outsource to India

* Database and Web site design led the way in the most likely projects to be outsourced

MetaInfo buys quarantine tool

Seattle-based MetaInfo, a provider of DHCP-based security products, said the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), a leader in developing innovative programs to help California’s fight against climate change, purchased MetaInfo’s SAFE DHCP Quarantine Appliance with the QualysGuard Host Integrity Module for its network access control needs.

MetaInfo’s SAFE DHCP Quarantine Appliance isolates all unknown systems until the QualysGuard Appliance can scan the system for malware. The QualysGuard Appliance then sends the scan data to the MetaInfo SAFE DHCP Quarantine Appliance, where configurable rules determine if a host can access enterprise network resources.

Adhost, Seattle24x7 team up

Seattle-based Adhost Internet, a provider of colocation and shared server hosting in downtown Seattle, and, Seattle’s business and technology online community and news site, have formed a new alliance.

Adhost will be the official host of while Seattle24x7 will provide Adhost clients a venue for keeping up-to-date on local technology news, an online directory of Seattle-area Internet companies and a place to post job notices.

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