If there was a hot-button topic for IT channel partners in 2014, it was the Internet of Things (IoT). Who wasn’t talking about it?
As we previously quoted Pew Research, the IoT is a catchall phrase for numerous devices, appliances, vehicles, wearable material and sensor-laden parts of the environment that are interconnected and feeding data back and forth.
The IoT is poised to transform the data center as we know it, according to Gartner. It’s primed to drive new business opportunities for vendors and partners alike.
And, in a November blog post for partners, Steve Benvenuto, senior director for business development with Cisco’s worldwide partner organization, wrote that the company launched three specialization programs — Connected Safety and Security, Industry Expert, and Manufacturing — designed to offer collaborators IoT-specific tools and training.
Benvenuto projected the market for Internet-connected devices to be worth $19 trillion in 10 years. The Cisco executive also noted that the company will introduce additional IoT specializations sometime in the first half of 2015 to support new products and solutions.
Perhaps one of the leading indicators of just how important IoT is, is the jockeying for prominence by vendors and others around the creation of standards around how newly created IoT devices will talk to each other and share data.
As a private company, Dell is no longer required to make public the company’s fiscal results. However, Dell channel chief Cheryl Cook shared some partner status info as of the end of the fiscal third quarter, which ended Oct. 31, and according to the top partner executive, things are moving in the right direction for the vendor and its partners.
Current global partner count is at 224,000, including systems integrators, representing more than 40% of total company revenue. That figure is up from prior years, where partner revenue accounted for closer to one-third of overall revenue. Dell has 4,300 certified partners, which represents a 15% year-over-year increase.
According to Cook, certified partners are those who commit to making investments in training, certifications and competencies.
At the same time, registered partners — those who contract with Dell and are authorized to do business but may not have training and competency status — was also up by 7% year over year.
HP Simply StoreIT resellers can expect to see additional resources in the program to reflect enhancements made to the vendor’s MSA storage system that were announced today.
The company added data tiering, thin provisioning and other storage capabilities to the entry-level HP MSA storage system, aimed at improving efficiency and productivity for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
HP launched the Simply StoreIT program, a program aimed at helping SMBs choose among storage products, 18 months ago. The program also includes tools, resources and incentives to help HP reseller partners improve sales opportunities with SMB customers. Today’s enhancements to the program include new tools that target the enhanced MSA, such as quote and configuration templates, co-branded lead generation materials, training resources designed to help partners improve sales and time to revenue, and a new Quick Start guide, according to the vendor. Continued »
Hoping to propel partners to drive revenue related to the Internet of Things, Cisco’s Steve Benvenuto, senior director of channel partner programs, announced this week in a blog post that the company is adding three vertically focused, IoT-specific specializations. The specializations teach partners about core routing and switching technologies as well as how Cisco approaches the IoT market, which Gartner projects to deliver $1.9 trillion in global value-add by 2020.
The Connected Safety and Security specialization is aimed at the physical security business, for partners that design, resell, install and manage video surveillance and access control systems, according to Benvenuto. The specialization requires participation by four roles in a partner’s business: account manager, systems engineer, field engineer and Cisco Qualified Specialist.
Today at Riverbed Force 2014, being held Nov. 3-6 in San Jose, Calif., the vendor announced the Riverbed-Ready Technology Alliance Program, a total redo of its current technology alliance program. With the launch of the new program, Riverbed Technology is looking to grow the number of technology partners it works with and increase the number of integrated solutions the company’s 2,500 partners can offer customers.
According to Joel Noll, director of technology alliances at Riverbed, the company’s goal is to integrate new technologies that extend the functionality of its application performance platform and create a broad ecosystem of solutions for partners to sell. Riverbed’s application performance platform allows customers to analyze, diagnose and resolve application, network and end-user performance issues across a hybrid enterprise. More than 90% of the vendor’s products are sold through its worldwide network of channel partners, according Noll.
Almost one year ago, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Cloud OS Network with 25 hosting service providers. Today, the number of hosting service providers has quadrupled to more than 100 worldwide with more than 600 local data centers. What that means is expanded opportunity for Microsoft’s cloud service provider ecosystem of more than 26,000 to deliver Azure-enabled cloud to their customers.
In another six months, on April 27-30, the Cisco Partner Summit 2015 will kick off in Montreal. However, what’s important for partners is what happens between one global Summit and the next.
Just weeks ahead of Dell World 2014 being held Nov. 4-6 in Austin, Texas, the vendor at its Dell Security Peak Performance Conference for partners taking place this week in Orlando, Fla., reported that in a recent survey partners ranked network security, mobile security and cloud security as the top threats facing their customers.
The survey was conducted with 120 randomly selected Dell channel partners at the event. Approximately 600 partners from North America, Latin America and Europe are attending the three-day conference, according to the vendor.
The survey results, which were highlighted during yesterday’s keynote address, noted that network security and unified threat management (UTM) accounted for the greatest security concern, cited by 77% of respondents, with mobile security following closely behind, cited by 61% of respondents, and cloud security, cited by 39% of responses.
In an August interview, Mike Fouts, then Americas Channel Chief at Citrix, said that the company’s No. 1 goal for its channel partner community was to get more partners proficient on the XenMobile line of products (Fouts has since moved on to a position at Citrix with job responsibilities outside of the channel and was replaced in early September by Rafael Garzon, managing director, Americas channel). The XenMobile software provides mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM) and cloud file-sharing capabilities. XenMobile was part of the Citrix acquisition of Zenprise in early 2013.
SAN FRANCISCO — Timing is everything.
As the countdown to the close of Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business comes to fruition tomorrow, Lenovo’s presence on the exhibition floor of Oracle OpenWorld 2014 here this week is being met with curiosity and excitement. That’s good for existing Lenovo partners, IBM partners that have already made the decision to align with Lenovo and new partners considering adding Lenovo as a vendor partner.
While it’s not the first time that Lenovo has set up shop at the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference, it is the first time the company has been armed with some heavy enterprise-class x86 server product and, equally important, the entire x86 business with annual revenue earnings of just under $5 billion; 7,500 employees, including those responsible for R&D, manufacturing, sales, marketing and services; and the global leadership team of IBM’s x86 server business, including Adalio Sanchez, general manager for IBM x86 and PureSystems Solutions.