News, solutions, and analysis for Value-Added Reseller (VAR) & Channel Partners

Channel News

  • To be a channel member, or sell through a distributor?

    Posted August 29, 2008 - 4:28 pm

    CA is making some major changes to its North American channel program according to recent news reports, and will focus on platinum and gold partners--while letting others that haven't achieved that status work through distributors.

    CA does make heavy use of its channel and there's no indication that it's going to stop doing so. The deal will let CA make better use of its distributors.
  • Microsoft lures Symantec resellers

    Posted August 28, 2008 - 10:54 am

    Last month, Symantec decided to let its biggest customeres buy direct, and also gave SMB customers the option to renew subscriptions directly. Naturally, this had a ripple effect throughout their channel, which does not appreciate being cut out of the loop.

    Microsoft is not one to sit still when an opportunity arises, and they are taking advantage of the situation to target Symantec's partners for their own Microsoft Security Software Advisor program.

  • Will we ever have Mac clones?

    Posted August 27, 2008 - 11:02 am

    The battle between Apple and Psystar will have an easily predictable outcome. Apple will triumph of course, not because they are right, and not because they have superior technology, but because they have money and enough lawyers to bury the small Psystar and anybody else who threatens their business.
  • Saying "no thanks" to low-margin deals

    Posted August 26, 2008 - 12:32 pm

    Tech Data has apparently taken a pass on a couple deals with big customers, which would have totaled about $100 million in revenue.

  • HP closes EDS deal, preserves leadership team

    Posted August 26, 2008 - 11:33 am

    HP said Tuesday that it has completed its $13.9 billion purchase of massive systems integrator EDS, and it also revealed that EDS' top-level management structure would remain largely unchanged.
  • VARs take a hit on shipping

    Posted August 25, 2008 - 5:17 pm

    The price of a gallon of gas hits home everywhere, and VARs, who have historically received free freight on shipments, are now being hit with fuel surcharges and handling fees.

  • Intel: WiMax to slash device time-to-market

    Posted August 24, 2008 - 8:31 pm

    Intel expects WiMax devices to be approved in about one-third the time typically required for typical cell phones.
  • Channel partners looking at unified communications

    Posted August 22, 2008 - 10:22 am

    The market for hosted and managed Unified Communications is hot--and VAR's can't afford to ignore it. This is a service that is coming on strong, with several offerings making a big splash this year. Unlike the shrinking margins afforded by traditional software and hardware sales, unified communications offerings can deliver greater profits for partners.

  • Report calls for more collaboration between vendors and the channel

    Posted August 21, 2008 - 9:55 am

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that the channel is weathering the sluggish economy better than most, but that's not to say there are challenges. There's no question that margins are deteriorating, and members of the sales channel have to do more than just resell products to stay afloat. According to a new Accenture report, channel partners are trying to beef up their bottom lines by continuing to add new services and solutions.

  • SAP launches a partnership for non-partners

    Posted August 20, 2008 - 6:10 pm

    Have you ever wished you could be a software vendor's partner, without having to officially sign up? It sounds counter-intuitive at first, but there are situations where it would make sense. Suppose for example, that you come across deals only occasionally that would involve a particular piece of software, but you don't really do enough business with that software vendor to forge an official partnership.
  • Forrester: Cognos leads enterprise BI market

    Posted August 19, 2008 - 7:53 pm

    Cognos, an IBM company, has announced that Forrester Research has recognized Cognos as a market leader in BI reporting and analysis platforms, according to the July 2008 report, The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q3 2008. Forrester cited Cognos as a leader based on the company's strategy, market presence, and current offering of Cognos 8 BI v8.3.
  • Channel business during recession

    Posted August 19, 2008 - 5:04 pm

    There are certain things that are hard to sell during a recession. RVs, for example. The Midwest RV show was in town, and not surprisingly, nobody's buying the house-on-wheels these days. Okay, I hear you, we're not in a recession. Only a "mental recession", right? Things are better than they've ever been? You work for Exxon?
  • IBM does well by the channel

    Posted August 18, 2008 - 10:02 am

    IBM is often used in business parlance as an example of a megalithic, old-style company that is sometimes hard to work with due to the size of its bureaucracy. But the company hopes to change that perception, at least in terms of how it works with the channel.
  • Apple's iPhone to be sold in Best Buy

    Posted August 15, 2008 - 10:15 am

    Apple's channel strategy has always been, well, pretty nonexistent. There is a network of Apple VARs, but the company has never been known for being channel-friendly. The iPhone sales strategy has followed the same philosophy, and until recently, you could only buy an iPhone at an Apple store or an AT&T outlet.
  • VARs rethinking services

    Posted August 14, 2008 - 5:21 pm

    Last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told channel partners to get with the program and focus on Software-as-a-Service, in particular, Microsoft's own new version of Software-as-a-Service called "Software Plus Services." It won't be an easy shift for a lot of VARs and integrators, but Microsoft's call to action was right on the money.
  • Canonical promotes Ubuntu in the channel

    Posted August 13, 2008 - 6:00 pm

    The VAR guy opened up a discussion about the success, or lack thereof, of Canonical's reseller program with Ubuntu.

  • Cisco combines SMB engineering teams

    Posted August 12, 2008 - 4:19 pm

    Cisco Systems has combined the engineering teams for all its small and medium-sized business (SMB) products, forming a single group to develop products for the Cisco and Linksys brands.
  • More competition for cloud computing services

    Posted August 11, 2008 - 1:19 pm

    With many of the major software vendors--and most recently, Microsoft--implementing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, integrators and resellers are struggling to figure out how to make the switch and still make money. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and the most recent monkeywrench in the works is the entrance of telecom carriers into the SaaS business.
  • HP bypasses smaller partners in CDW deal

    Posted August 8, 2008 - 5:32 pm

    Does it bother anyone else to see "small business" defined as "500 or fewer employees"? I don't know about you, but a company with 500 employees is not a small business in my book. But I digress. HP has apparently made a sweetheart deal with CDW to target small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

    Under the deal, HP co-funds 110 new HP-only salespeople for CDW.
  • Does Microsoft Have Too Many Partners?

    Posted August 7, 2008 - 11:15 am

    There is a simple logic in partner strategy; the more people you have selling your products, the more products you sell. Unfortunately, it's not all that simple. Too many sales partners dilute the pool, and means a smaller slice of the pie for everyone. Then partners start to drop out, because it's just not worth their time. From a vendor perspective, the optimal number of partners is the greatest number possible before the dropout starts to occur.
  • IBM Pushes Linux on the Desktop

    Posted August 6, 2008 - 9:10 am

    IBM announced yesterday a push to expand Linux adoption in the SMB market. Hoping perhaps to compete better against smaller and more nimble PC makers, IBM is now joining the anti-Microsoft bandwagon and pushing the concept of the "Microsoft-free" PC.

  • LiMo Heats up Competition for Open Mobile Handsets

    Posted August 5, 2008 - 2:34 pm

    The purpose behind an open platform, or at least the spirit behind it, is to eliminate the confusion and fragmentation that results from having multiple competing proprietary systems. Instead, we're seeing confusion and fragmentation resulting from multiple competing open systems. I guess the industry's just naturally competitive.
  • SaaS projected to grow in SMB sector

    Posted August 4, 2008 - 5:19 pm

    It occurred to me at my 30 year high school reunion that nobody likes change, and we don't like to admit it when it's upon us. Even though most of us are now fat, bald and otherwise unrecognizeable, we spent the evening talking about how we all look "just like we did in high school."
  • Partners targeting academia with Google Apps

    Posted August 1, 2008 - 10:36 am

    Technology companies love college students. It’s certainly not because of their wealth. I for one, certainly remember picking through seat cushions to find change for beer money. Rather, it’s because of their future wealth. All those campus party animals will be making tomorrow’s corporate buying decisions at some point, so marketing strategies targeting college campuses are really investing in the future in more ways than one.
  • Cisco: To catch a thief

    Posted July 31, 2008 - 5:37 pm

    While in China recently, I had the good fortune to see the Olympic torch relay. At first, I was even tempted to sidestep the huge crowd and skip it. After all, I thought, it's really just a guy running down the street, holding up a big stick that's been set on fire. But see it I did, and it was quite an impressive spectacle. In all, and aside from obvious and legitimate criticisms that have been brought up, China's doing an impressive job in preparing for the Olympics.

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