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Adaptec Unveils OEM, Revs Guidance

Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) has finally revealed its OEM deal with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
after months of suggestive talk (see Adaptec Announces and Adaptec Posts Q4 Profit). The company also made it clear it will count on revenue from the deal to make up for soft channel sales.

Adaptec CEO Bob Stephens first said in April that Adaptec would announce a "Tier 1" OEM later this year. IBM was considered the favorite because of its strong relationship with Adaptec, and Byte and Switch reported last Friday that Adaptec supplied Big Blues new DS300 iSCSI low-end system (see IBM Slips iSCSI Into SAN and Adaptec, IBM Get Cozier).

Today, Adaptec announced it is IBM’s OEM for not only the DS300 but also the DS400 low-end Fibre Channel system, which Adaptec probably won over IBM’s midrange OEM partner Engenio Information Technologies Inc.

The IBM deal solidifies an already strong relationship with Adaptec. In June, Adaptec acquired an IBM business unit and expanded an OEM deal to provide RAID controllers for Big Blue's servers (see IBM RAIDs Adaptec Controllers). Now IBM is rolling out the Adaptec systems as the first two of its DS (formerly FastT) family.

The wait on the IBM deal, however, was longer than Adaptec has let on. Sources say IBM originally wanted to bring out the low-end system last quarter, when EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)
and Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) announced their co-branded AX100 entry level systems, but Adaptec was slow on delivering (see Nexagent Hires VP of Sales).

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