Channel Marker


March 12, 2007  5:01 PM

IT landscape may be in for an overhaul

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The IT industry may be heading toward a state in which vendors and their channel partners focus more on service than software, according to a new report by Forrester Research. The report predicts that a confluence of four factors — commoditization, miniaturization, industrialization, and globalization — will drive major vendors to refine their products in the next five years, resulting in software that’s mostly pre-configured and requires less tinkering by system integrators (SIs) and IT departments.

The effect will be most pronounced at the high-end level of enterprise software, according to Andrew Parker, a vice president and research director at Forrester who co-wrote the report. But even smaller, regional players could be affected, especially as vendors of enterprise software look downstream in an effort to sell beyond an increasingly saturated high-end.

The increased level of pre-configured software could push some SIs back towards more of a VAR operation, with more sales employees and fewer technicians, Parker said. He added, however, that it is too soon to be sure of such a shift. Other SIs could end up as software brokers — essentially mixing and matching products for their clients — or focus on a specific niche — either a vertical industry or a specific software component.

March 12, 2007  4:19 PM

IDC figures show EMC leads in disk-storage subsystems

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

A new report by IDC shows EMC Corporation as the leading revenue-generator worlwide in the external disk-storage systems market at 22.1%.   In second place is IBM with 18.6% surpassing Hewlett Packard Corp. which posted 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2006.  IDC’s figures for 2006 also revealed EMC had a 21.9 market share, with IBM at 15.1% and HP’s with 14.3%.   

For disk storage, IBM has been behind HP for about a decade and only last year closed the gap.

IBM also moved up in the software market, with revenue growth of 10.3% in the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to a year earlier and 28.2% for 2006, compared to 2005. 

IDC’s numbers shore up a Gartner, Inc. report published last week that showed IBM leading HP in worldwide external controller-based (ECB) disk storage in 2006, posting a 15.8% market share to HP’s 13.1%. Another IDC report covering the worldwide server systems market, which was published in February, showed IBM in the number one spot with HP, Sun Microsystems, Dell and Fujitsu following behind in that order.


March 12, 2007  1:30 PM

Ubuntu resellers blitzkrieg French parliament

BKraemer Brian Kraemer Profile: BKraemer

Some interesting Linux Ubuntu news came out of France today. Citing reduced cost and added value to users, the French parliament has decided to make the switch from Windows based machines to Linux Ubuntu. The contract was awarded to two open source software resellers, Linagora and Unilog. This deal is probably as close to El Dorado as these two resellers will ever come.

Creating reoccurring streams of revenue has been the mantra that I’ve been hearing from VARs, vendors and analysts since SearchITChannel.com launched in October. While I don’t know the intricacies of the French political system if their system is anything like the one we have in the States, this is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m speculating, but it seems like the installation, transitioning and support revenue that is created essentially turns these two companies into government contractors. I say good for them.

French resellers aren’t the only people interested in channel business. EMC has recently cut two tiers of its partner program in an attempt to raise the number of certified resellers affiliated with the company. In addition from moving from five tiers to three, EMC has “simplified the accreditation process.”

Sounds like now would be the right time to start taking a look at EMCs certified partner requirements.


March 12, 2007  6:57 AM

Channel news: Tech sales change to channels; Intel updates prices

BKraemer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Technology companies face sweeping changes in IT delivery models Technology companies will need to change the way they operate over the next five years to accommodate a major shift in the delivery of IT services. Instead of buyers integrating technology themselves, it will be assembled and managed by outside providers, according to a new Forrester study. [Tekrati]

Intel prices up updated Core 2 Duos, Quads Steering into the mainstream [TheRegister]

AMD’s well may be running dry The high-flying Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of 2006 has given way to a company in financial peril, saddled with debt and bleeding from a brutal price battle with its larger and suddenly resurgent
Silicon Valley archrival, Intel Corp. [AP]

HP crosses blades with IBM Not so much a Cold War, more a Cooling War. [TheRegister]

Continued »


March 9, 2007  5:57 PM

Salesforce.com partners experience service disruption

BKraemer Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

A scheduled maintenance at Salesforce.com caused a disruption of service to some of the company’s partners earlier this week, preventing them from delivering their software as a service (SaaS) products to end-users.

The Salesforce.com outage, reported by InternetNews.com, affected partners who sell add-ons to the company’s main customer relationship management (CRM) product through its AppExchange. InternetNews.com reported that one anonymous partner complained about the disruption.

Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy at Salesforce.com, confirmed that the company had temporarily disabled one feature, new to its Winter ’07 release, earlier in the week. Only a small number of partners — fewer than 10% — were affected, Francis said, and Salesforce.com tried to notify them in advance.

SearchITChannel.com could not reach any Salesforce.com partners to confirm whether they had experienced difficulty with service. As of the time of this writing, trust.salesforce.com, the company’s real-time services reporting site, showed all its systems operating with a green light.

“We thought we’d talked to all the partners,” Francis said. “Looks like someone didn’t get the message.”

Francis said the company hopes to have the feature working again by Monday and that the disruption should not be compared to the outages Salesforce.com suffered in late 2005.

“We turned off one feature. I don’t think that can be defined as an outage,” he said.

Barney Beal, news director for SearchITChannel.com‘s sister site SearchCRM.com, contributed to this report.


March 9, 2007  3:30 PM

iSCSI Opportunities

BKraemer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

If you are looking for revenue increasing opportunities – and who isn’t — iSCSI may have your number, or numbers depending on your level of motivation.

According to SearchStorageChannel.com article, VARs cash in on iSCSI momentum, SMBs are adopting iSCSI rapidly. Recently the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) interviewed 511 IT professionals, 17% of whom have deployed iSCSI in a production environment, while another 20% plan on deploying an iSCSI storage area network within the next two years.

Our sister site SearchStorage.com found that IDC – iSCSI growth rocketed last quarter,  increasing its revenue by 32%.

And It looks like iSCSI has been growing steadily over the last two years.  An article posted June, 2006 on NetworkComputing.com reported a“105 % revenue growth year over year.” for iSCSI SAN. In December of 2005, HPC wire reported a significant financial coup in ,IDC reports record growth for disk storage systems which stated open/iSCSI SAN market growth of 19.6 percent, doubling its revenue.

Are you planning on catching the iSCSI wind and riding its momentum? Have you caught it already? If so how is it going? We’d like to know!


March 8, 2007  8:26 AM

Channel news: Second Cisco scam; Intel seeks e-mail; Intel won’t upgrade

BKraemer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

New Jersey man cuffed over $10m Cisco scam A public sector computer technician from
New Jersey has been arrested over allegations he took Cisco for $10m through a fraud that exploited the networking giant’s programme for replacing broken or defective kit. Arrest is
second for Cisco scams in less than a week. [TheReg]

Intel has a month to search for lost e-mails  Blog: The judge overseeing the Advanced Micro Devices-Intel antitrust case has given Intel 30 days to figure out which e-mails it failed to preserve as part of a lapse in document retention, and to submit a report to the court. [CNET]

Savvy hackers take the hardware approach  Sophisticated hackers are finding ways to break into systems by exploiting security flaws in a computer’s device drivers, physical memory and PCI cards. As SearchSecurity.com Executive Editor Dennis Fisher explains, while enterprise software vendors are good at plugging holes in their applications, the same security prowess is lacking for hardware.
[SearchSecurity.com]

Report: Some companies lose data six times a year Sixty-eight percent of companies are losing sensitive data or having it stolen out from under them six times a year, according to new research from the IT Policy Compliance Group. [eWEEK]

Continued »


March 7, 2007  3:06 PM

Cisco’s Unified Communications 6 is packed with upgrades that didn’t get coverage

BKraemer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Cisco Systems, Inc. has released version 6.0 of its Unified Communications suite. The announcement came earlier this week, but most coverage focused on the addition of mobility to the suite’s abilities.

A more useful aspect of the debut was ably covered by our sister site SearchVoIP.com, specifically focusing on a joint venture between Cisco and IBM under which Unified Communications 6.0 would integrate with Lotus Notes, SameTime nand a variety of other IBM applications.

But there’s a lot more there — a lot more. UC6.0 brings mobility to call manager, the ability to switch from WiFi to cell nets and back again more easily, better integration with directories, toolbar-icon-level integration with Exchange and other Microsoft apps, more effective management, better phones, and — most significantly for much of the channel — new packages designed specifically for the mid- and small-business markets.

UC500, designed for companies of under 500 end users is probably the most interesting part of the new release, because its simplicity and ease-of-installation (not to mention the cost) brings UC within reach of almost any customer, according to Matt Briggs, partner and director of sales for Single Path, a voice-over-IP/Unified Communications specialist Cisco named its Midwestern Regional SMB Partner of the year for 2006.

Prices haven’t been released yet, nor has a release date, though Cisco announcement materials list May of this year as the target for the first shipments to customers. More details and more VAR reaction on the way.

In the meantime, here’s the key Cisco presentation on Unified Communications 6.0, with the full list of features and dates. Warning: it’s 35 pages worth of PowerPoint, but most of them have enough information to justify the slides.


March 7, 2007  10:36 AM

Software as a Service: The Hype Must End

BKraemer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Software as a Service (SaaS) can’t possibly live up to the hype that’s being lavished upon it these days. Despite all the talk about creating a channel–or to borrow a more in-vogue term, an “ecosystem”–around Saas as a platform, and some significant early successes, it’s time to snap out of the reverie and smell SaaS for what it is.

And what is it? SaaS is already-widely-failed business model with a new happy Web 2.0 front end slapped onto it. Its main attraction is its promise of affordable scalability–and the accounting trick of moving enterprise software from the capital expenditure to the expense category in the books.

But what organizations might gain in accounting benefits, they will inevitably lose in productivity and flexibility. In other words, they lose all the benefits that we got from the shift to a distributed computing model in the first place.

All of the big technology vendors would just love for SaaS to become the dominant model for delivering their products. Sun, IBM, and HP all would just love to resell some more of their data center compute cycles for it as they try to find new ways to sell more hardware without calling it hardware. But there are a few things standing in the way of SaaS achieving total domination of the software distribution model in its current form–and they’re the same things that brought the ASP model to its knees for all but a selective few who managed to squeeze a profit out of it.

Continued »


March 7, 2007  8:06 AM

Channel news: EMC users switch; Msft readies VoIP, responds to DOT ban

BKraemer Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Users quit EMC over replicationTwo former EMC storage users said they switched vendors last year because of confusion and complexity within EMC’s replication portfolio. [SearchStorage.com]

Microsoft responds to DOT ban on Vista, Office 2007The Department of Transportation has put an indefinite ban on upgrades to Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007. Microsoft has issued a response to some of the charges outlined in the DOT moratorium memo.[All About Microsoft]

Microsoft set to deliver enhanced VoIP solutions Microsoft is predicting that in just three years, the average VoIP solution for business will cost half what it does today. It also announced plans to distribute the public beta-test version of Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft’s VoIP and unified communications server, and Office Communicator 2007, Microsoft’s unified communications client, to millions of testers later this month. [Playfuls.com]

Stormy weather for malware defenses Virus writers go after anti-virus vulnerabilities [TheReg]

Continued »


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