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

  • Virtualization, Real or Not?

    Posted August 26, 2008 - 11:53 am

    There's a renewed push toward virtualization. And with good reason. IT departments can cut server headcount dramatically, reduce electrical consumption and air conditioning loads, simplify administration, deploy new services quickly, and greatly improve reliability. It's for real.
  • 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.
  • Tech Data adds TomTom GPS product line to portfolio

    Posted August 20, 2008 - 2:54 pm

    Not every integrator sells or develops applications that call for GPS enablement. But if your customers have a fleet of vehicles -- appliance repairmen in their vans, school buses, and municipal buses for starters – there's a good opportunity just waiting.
  • 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.

  • You say there's nothing new to sell?

    Posted August 13, 2008 - 4:39 pm

    Lenovo this week showed some imagination. Something actually new and different. Something we haven't seen before. Something with real margin opportunities. Something that's not a commodity product.
  • 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.
  • Is Going Green Good for Business? Ingram Micro Thinks So

    Posted August 6, 2008 - 9:59 am

    It’s not easy for individual integrators or resellers to live green and be green in all things business-related, but one distributor, Ingram Micro, is stepping up to the plate the make it a little easier.
  • 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.
  • Every Small Business Has Two Locations

    Posted August 5, 2008 - 12:18 pm

    A reseller I was speaking to about his adoption of a new product said something quite interesting: every small business has at least two locations. One is the office, store, or shop, and the second is the owner's home. I understood that intellectually, but hadn't heard it put so clearly. Kudos to Dave Sobel of Evolve Technologies in the DC area.

  • 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."
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