News, solutions, and analysis for Value-Added Reseller (VAR) & Channel Partners
  • Microsoft sets hosted-services pricing, irks partners

    Posted July 8, 2008 - 4:43 pm

    Microsoft Tuesday revealed pricing for its forthcoming hosted business productivity services and unveiled its channel model for allowing partners to resell those services. However, while the company painted a rosy picture for the partner opportunity around its evolving software-plus-services business model, not all of its partners were thrilled with the idea of Microsoft competing with them in that market.
  • Playing by the rules

    Posted July 8, 2008 - 9:40 am

    Softchoice and En Pointe Technologies are waging a battle against one another as the two VARs compete for the best and brightest employees.

  • Software slipping through the cracks

    Posted July 7, 2008 - 9:55 am

    Software makers selling through the channel may find their products slipping through the cracks into the so-called “gray market,” according to a news report . The report highlights a KPMG study that says gray market products account for anywhere from five to 30 percent of total IT sales.

  • Lenovo seeks prestige in price-sensitive market

    Posted July 4, 2008 - 3:38 pm

    The perception of Lenovo as a laptop innovator has paid dividends in the enterprise space, but the reputation may not effectively translate to buyers who focus on price over features in the consumer space, analysts said.
  • Unified Communications in the Channel

    Posted July 4, 2008 - 12:16 pm

    Unified Messaging holds a great deal of promise in terms of convenience. Imagine being able to click on an icon for a colleague on your computer screen, and then see a range of options for communicating with that individual. Are they in the office? You would automatically ring up their office number. At home? Doesn’t matter, your UM system would ring up their home instead. In the car in between? Ring the mobile. On the beach in Thailand? Well, you might be out of luck there.
  • Microsoft gets into software rental business

    Posted July 3, 2008 - 1:07 pm

    With "Equipt," Microsoft aims to sign up consumers for $70 a year
  • Everex acquired by NewMarket Technology

    Posted June 30, 2008 - 12:50 pm

    Everex is one of those names that seems as though it has been around forever. A survivor of the early PC era when there were dozens of brands that often were less than 100-percent IBM PC compatible, Everex burst onto the scene in 1983 and has been a solid presence ever since.
  • CDW says Adaptec is a 'gem'

    Posted June 19, 2008 - 10:46 am

    Adaptec is one of those companies that makes products we can't live without, but rarely read about. So let's give Adaptec a shout-out. Reseller giant CDW is adding Adaptec to its Sapphire Partner Program. The CDW program takes a proactive approach to embracing breakout technologies and the companies that offer them.
  • The end is near -- again

    Posted June 19, 2008 - 10:39 am

    Well, here we go again. And this time it looks final. Every integrator, VAR, reseller, dealer, or whatever you're calling yourself this week, needs to know this. Microsoft discontinues the sales of Windows XP effective Mon., June 30. That means there's only two weeks left.
  • Presidio launches managed network services

    Posted June 18, 2008 - 11:56 am

    Presidio Networked Solutions, a systems integrator based in Greenbelt, Md., has formed a business unit that specializes in network-management services.

  • Windows XP SP3: Good for many but not for all

    Posted May 19, 2008 - 7:31 pm

    Today, we know one thing for certain: if your customers are running certain Hewlett-Packard PCs with an AMD processor, head for the hills. Or, at the very least, don't install the update. Too late? Bummer.
  • Facing tough times may be here to stay

    Posted April 11, 2008 - 2:24 pm

    Strategies that some systems integrators are implementing to stay afloat during these tough times.
  • Even the best information is useless if not acted upon

    Posted March 24, 2008 - 1:03 pm

    As solutions providers developing intricate systems, it's important that we not allow our customers to lose sight of the people who operate these systems, put data in, and read the reports that come out. That's not a technical issue, but an education and training issue, likely among the fee-based services you provide. "You got the information, you got the report. Now what action are you going to take?" That's what separates a successful business from an abject failure.
  • Windows XP: The operating system that refuses to die

    Posted March 4, 2008 - 11:30 am

    Windows XP has more lives than your average cat. Hard as Microsoft tries to kill XP, it's the operating systems that just won't die. It's possible to buy a new PC with XP installed, fully 15 months after the worldwide launch of Vista. Lots of individuals and organizations won't go near Vista, not because of the expense it costs to upgrade, but out of naked fear that whatever off-the-shelf or custom applications they use will cease to function.
  • When the economy gets tough, do you get going?

    Posted January 31, 2008 - 9:49 pm

    The point here is pretty simple: When there no money to spend, there is always money to be saved. And usually, those opportunities are not easily identified from within the IT organization. Fresh eyeballs are almost always necessary. Once identified, it's up to you to provide the products and services to achieve these goals.
  • Apple's MacBook Air ultra-thin could spawn improved PC notebooks

    Posted January 16, 2008 - 10:57 am

    duly impressed.

  • New Year tips for systems integrators

    Posted January 3, 2008 - 12:37 pm

    and take a brief look at several topics.

  • Dreaming the impossible dream for 2008: A patch-free year

    Posted December 19, 2007 - 4:23 pm

    So here we are at the end of yet another year. It's always a whole lot easier to look back than to look forward, but if there's one thing that stays with us from year to year, it's security, or, rather the lack of it in many cases.
  • There's never an Office doctor around when you need one

    Posted November 20, 2007 - 10:18 am

    For many, the Microsoft Office 2007 experience has been, well, something that falls well short of bliss. For others, it is a breath of fresh air. It would seem I fall somewhere in the middle.
  • Seagate Ratchets Up Support for System Builders

    Posted September 24, 2007 - 4:18 pm

    Perhaps the single most crucial aspect of any data center is storage. Servers can crash and printers can fail. While that is a pain, it's not that big a deal. But mere talk about storage subsystems failure is enough to drive any IT director to update the old rsum. Seagate appears to be doing something about it. On Monday (Sept. 24), disk drive maker Seagate announced a major initiative in which it is ratcheting up support for system builders with a new campaign to drive adoption of high-capacity storage with Windows Vista. That's a good thing. After all, when a single edited, multi-layered Photoshop file from a 10 megapixel camera can easily grow to 300MB or more (I have many hundreds like this) people need all the storage they can get.
  • Open XML Rejection by ISO Means Status Quo -- For Now

    Posted September 9, 2007 - 9:21 pm

    Back in seemingly prehistoric times -- September 2005 -- the People's Republic of Massachusetts announced that it would dump the proprietary file formats of Microsoft's Office applications and adopt the XML-based OpenDocument Format instead. Since Office didn't support ODF, the move meant getting rid of Office from thousands of state-owned computers and replacing it with ODF-compliant applications. Much has happened since then. 'Twas the 'Save As' heard 'round the world.
  • Network outages should spur integrators to stay in contact with customers

    Posted August 27, 2007 - 3:48 pm

    You've to feel for the 20,000 people stranded recently at Los Angeles International Airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal and the 200 million more around the globe who lost access to Skype. Television and general-interest news organizations ascribed the woes to the ubiquitous "computer glitch." We, of course, know better. And usually the truth is a lot scarier.
  • Intel works to boost build-to-order whitebook channels

    Posted August 6, 2007 - 2:20 pm

    It wasn't that many years ago when we first heard the term "whitebox," referring to built-to-order desktop PCs tailored to customers' specific needs and often branded with the systems integrator's house-brand logo. It's happening again, but with notebooks.
  • Microsoft preps partners for a very different future

    Posted July 12, 2007 - 3:56 pm

    Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference is running in Denver this week, and, not surprisingly, the software giant is singing its praises to the channel. The fact is, for much of what Microsoft sells, this is true. And it's equally true for hundreds of other technology vendors, alas, they just don't get the same amount of publicity.
  • Should you place a bid on eBay?

    Posted June 25, 2007 - 11:08 am

    Last week, eBay and friends rolled into town for something called eBay Live, the worldwide gathering of eBay employees, eBay users, and lots of ancillary eBay services. Who woulda thunk -- but there's an integrator angle.
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