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Tech and business news from around the region. Samsill signs pact with Microsoft

Fort Worth-based Samsill Corporation, which makes business cases, media storage, ring binders, and sheet protectors, announced an exclusive multi-year brand licensing agreement with Microsoft Corporation.

As part of the new deal, Samsill will manufacture, market and sell a broad assortment of computer bags and business accessories leveraging the Microsoft brand. Microsoft will assist Samsill in the development of these products, focusing on making them relevant to the digital lifestyle. Products will be distributed through retail and commercial channels including office and consumer electronics stores beginning the first quarter of 2007.

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.

Hitachi picks MyEclipse

Flower Mound-based Genuitec, which makes MyEclipse IDE and a founding member of the Eclipse Foundation, said MyEclipse will expand its customer base into the Japanese application server sector with Hitachi, Ltd. choosing MyEclipse as a premier partner.

Genuitec’s MyEclipse will be bundled and shipped with Hitachi’s uCosminexus J2EE-compliant application server. The distribution is currently slated to begin in late December.

With the Hitachi partnership, MyEclipse 5.0 Enterprise Workbench will be a multi-lingual product that is compatible with the Eclipse 3.2 and Callisto product offerings, allowing developers to make use of these popular new projects without interoperability or language concerns.

Future plans for internationalization and translation of MyEclipse include the German, French and Spanish languages in the coming months.

Layered Technologies upgrades site

Frisco-based Layered Technologies Inc. is upgrading its Web site with a range of new services to complement existing ones. The Layer S suite gives not only a re-energized view of existing VAS and new additional ones but also provides customers with understanding through product specific flash ad snippets

The full suite of services includes: network upgrades, firewall solutions, backup/storage, disaster recovery, hardware upgrades, and remote access options.

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

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