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Tech and business news from around the region.

WebEx WebOffice noted

Santa Clara-based WebEx WebOffice, was named the Best Live Collaboration Solution in the InfoWorld 2006 Technology of the Year Awards.

WebEx WebOffice, introduced in October 2005, allows business people to conduct online meetings, share documents, calendars and databases, assign and track tasks, and post group announcements in a secure online workplace.

WebEx WebOffice currently has more than 325,000 users worldwide. The service is offered in two versions, one for small businesses and one for individuals.

Hosting.com buys Irvine facility

Kentucky-based Hosting.com recently bought a 36,000-square-foot state-of-the-art data center facility in Irvine. The facility will offer managed colocation hosting solutions and provide additional redundancy to Hosting.com’s global customer base.

Hosting.com operates data centers in Louisville and Boston. The company offers a suite of managed web hosting solutions around colocation, dedicated, Virtual Private Server (VPS), and messaging products and services.

As part of the arrangement, Hosting.com added 15 workers, bringing the company’s total employment to 65 workers.

About five of those positions will be added in the Louisville office, and the remainder will be in California.

Diodes to buy Taiwan company

Semiconductor supplier Diodes Inc. agreed to acquire Anachip Corp. for about $30 million in an all-cash deal.

Taiwan-based Anachip makes circuit products for LCD monitors, portable DVD players and TV/satellite set-top boxes. The company expects to record $35 million in revenue and $2.5 million in net income for the year ending Dec. 31.

The companies said on Dec. 6 that they were in discussions over the deal.

Westlake Village-based Diodes said the acquisition, expected to close in January, will add to its 2006 earnings.

CIO Spring hiring plans projected

Thirteen percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed for the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report plan to add full-time information technology (IT) staff in the first quarter, while 1 percent anticipate personnel reductions. The net 12 percent hiring increase compares with a net 9 percent forecast one year ago and is unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2005 when the net hiring increase reached its highest level in 14 quarters.

Some key findings from the study include:

* Executives at the largest firms (1,000 or more employees) forecast the highest levels of IT hiring activity.

* Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP) administration remains the technical skill set most in demand.

When asked which technical skill sets were needed most within their IT departments, 81 percent of CIOs reported demand for Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP) administration expertise. Wireless network management was cited by 50 percent of respondents, followed closely by SQL Server management (46 percent).

When technology executives were asked which specialties were most in demand in their departments, 22 percent said networking. Help desk/end-user support was cited by 13 percent of CIOs while applications development received 11 percent of the response, an increase of two percentage points from its fourth-quarter ranking.

Overstock.com to offer Ingram Micro products

Santa Ana-based computer products distributor Ingram Micro Inc. will begin selling its product lines through online retailer Overstock.com.

Ingram Micro offers computer-related products to reseller customers worldwide. The company also provides contract manufacturing and warehousing, customer care, financing, logistics and enterprise network support services.

Overstock.com will be able to offer a broader portfolio of electronic and technology products through its Web site, as well as products usually offered through corporate computer dealers, the company said.

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