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IT Reports: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)’s 35,000 Macs, Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) & Marius Haas, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) on Private Health Exchange

Editor’s Note: Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (NASDAQ:EZCH), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)

Cisco shows how to manage 35,000 Macs (InfoWorld)
About six years ago, Cisco Systems’ IT department was looking for ways to block Macs from the corporate network because the company had standardized on certain Windows PCs and didn’t want “alien” devices in the mix. But a year later, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) began making a U-turn and allowed employees to use Macs as long as users supported themselves. Today, Cisco has fully embraced Macs and has 35,000 in use. The company lets employees choose whether to use OS X or Windows, and IT actively manages and supports Macs as an equal citizen to Windows.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)

Dell’s Haas as Turnaround Boss Honed Profit-Lifting at HP (Bloomberg)
When Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) President Marius Haas was still a rising executive at Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) in 2005, his new boss Mark Hurd entrusted him with a critical task: unearthing sales weaknesses and inflated costs. Haas obliged, arming Hurd with candid information that spawned a flurry of cost-cutting and sent Hewlett-Packard on a five-year run of soaring profits and shares. Improving Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) under Hurd was easy compared with the task Haas now faces as the executive in charge of the $13 billion-a-year enterprise-technology business at Dell, which is poised to be taken private in a $24.9 billion deal that shareholders will vote on tomorrow.

IBM latest company to shift retirees to private health exchange (World Socialist Web Site)
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) plans to shift many of its retired workers from its company-administered health care plan to a privately run health care exchange. The move is part of a growing trend by employers to dump their workers off traditional company plans as health care costs rise. Though not directly connected, IBM’s decision mirrors a provision of the Obama-backed health reform, which will require those without insurance through their employers or other source to purchase private insurance on government-run exchanges or face a penalty. About 110,000 International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) retirees who are eligible for Medicare will be affected by the IBM move, beginning January 1, 2014.

Cisco’s Own Chip Lifts EZchip Volumes: Israel Overnight (Bloomberg)
Trading volumes on EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (NASDAQ:EZCH), Israel’s second-largest chipmaker, jumped to more than 40 times its 90-day average after Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) became the fourth customer to announce development of in-house processors. The Yokneam, Israel-based chipmaker sank 21 percent to $24.52 yesterday in New York, with trading volumes 42 times the daily average volume over the past three months. EZchip led declines in the Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index of the most traded Israeli shares in New York. Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. (PLX) dropped the most in two years after announcing it will raise $60 million through a private placement of convertible notes. SodaStream International Ltd. rose 4.1 percent.

Tech giant IBM in $400,000 grant to improve Belfast living (Belfast Telegraph)
A team of experts will be in Belfast next week to investigate how the city can become a better place in which to live, work, visit and invest. Belfast is the first city on the island of Ireland and only the third in the UK to receive the prestigious consultancy grant from technology giant International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) – worth some $400,000 (£250,000). The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant programme is a worldwide initiative to provide $50m (£32m) worth of services and technical assistance to the most progressive 100 cities around the world through 2013.

HP claims first workstation Ultrabook (TechEye)
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) showed off its ZBook 14 with Thunderbolt technology for high-speed data transfer – touted to be four times faster than the current USB 3.0. HP Z mobile and desktop workstations now can take advantage of high-speed data transmission between Z workstations, displays and peripherals, for a fast and versatile I/O connection. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s Thunderbolt controller chips interconnect a PC and other devices. They transmit and receive information for both PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort protocols. The controller chip switches between the two protocols to support communications over a single cable. Multiple devices can be connected to one Thunderbolt port.

IBM leads the Dow higher (

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