Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before: Vendors want VARs to focus on specialization.
Whether it’s IBM seeking specialized partners or Autodesk honing in on partner specialties, this isn’t a new trend. But Access Markets International (AMI) recently surveyed 650 SMB VARs, and it would appear that vendor desire for specialized competencies will be a factor in the cloud computing services market.
Based on the types of solutions partners offer, growth areas, margins and skill sets, AMI came up with five high-value competencies (HVCs) that VARs can be judged on: Business analytics (BA), unified communication and collaboration, business process management, mobility and infrastructure alignment. These competencies are then rated. So for a partner to get a BA competency, they have to offer a substantial amount of on-premises and cloud BA solutions (about 25-30% total, according to AMI).
AMI queried each respondent for 35 minutes on their experience with the competencies and maintains that because these competencies provide higher growth and margins, they will help partners have cloud success.
Of the 650 respondents, 45-50% had at least one competency and 15-20% had two or more. Avinash Arun, director of channels at AMI, said that these numbers are a continuation of a changing landscape and a sign of the all-in-one partner’s demise.
“Once partners have isolated competencies, offering cloud services becomes easier,” Arun said. “One-third of respondents with at least one competency offer some form of Software as a Service (SaaS) whereas only one-tenth of partners without competencies provide SaaS.”
Arun said that 15-20% of SMB VARs are presently getting revenue from the cloud, but over 25% with one of these competencies are getting cloud revenue.
Competencies have always been important to vendors, not customers, and some SMB VARs have said that their work in the field should take precedent over competencies. But as cloud services become more prominent, VARs who didn’t value specific competencies before may need to need to adjust on the fly.
Mick Gallagher has resold Oracle and NetSuite software and services for quite some time. Now, he’s fully into the cloud with App360.
This service, built atop NetSuite infrastructure, plus an up-front service call, will help companies get a handle on what they’re really spending for all of their information technology and better allocate resources accordingly. Continued »
The deeper that IBM Software gets into analytics, the deeper it gets into territory that hackers and other nefarious cyber-criminals are likely to target. Little wonder, then, that the giant IT services and software company today snapped up a British security technology firm, i2, to aid in its protection of businesses, healthcare organizations and governments using its technology.
Two of i2’s touted credentials: it is used by 12 of the top 20 retail banks in the world and eight of the 10 biggest companies. The technology is also used at the national security level in 60 different countries, according to its web site.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, IBM executive Craig Hayman, who is general manager of IBM Industry Solutions, said:
“IBM’s goal is to better equip public safety officials and businesses with the information and tools they need to ensure safer cities. The combined capabilities of IBM and i2 will help customers uncover patterns and trends that will allow them to more effectively protect the privacy and safety of citizens, businesses and governments.”
The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter provided all the usual regulatory hurdles are surmounted. i2 has its base in Cambridge, England. Its 350 employees are located there, as well as in McLean Va.; Tucson, Ariz.; Canberra, Australia; and Ottawa.
How can this wacky Hewlett-Packard saga get even nuttier? LOTS of ways. Here are a few things to ponder going forward.
1: Track Jon Rubinstein. The former Apple hardware whiz , aka The Podfather, went to the beach for awhile before getting snapped up by Palm. Now that HP’s TouchPad is dead (or IS it?) he might be looking for other things to do and it would be extremely tantalizing if he ended up back at Cupertino’s Infinite Loop for Apple now that Steve Jobs has left the building. Of course, there were some hard feelings when Rubinstein took a hike, so it remains to be seen if Tim Cook would deign to let him back in. Continued »
Talk about mixed messages.
First Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker says the company might spin off or sell off its huge PC business and kill off its new TouchPads. Then a cadre of other HP execs hit the phones to tell partners–the partners that HP has pushed to sell more, more, more PCs and laptops– that PCs remain a priority at HP. Continued »
What self-respecting IT services provider ISN’T trying to position itself as an expert in cloud computing? After all, pretty much everyone has their own definition of what it means. What’s that old saying? There is margin in mystery? Continued »
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Here’s the thing about Steve Jobs. All that stuff about the charisma, the “reality distortion field,” all the crap that PC-oriented journalists caught up in the Microsoft-Intel duopoly derided as fan-boy BS, it was very real. Check out this video from MacWorld Boston (remember that???) in 1997, especially the piped-in appearance by Bill Gates about 30 minutes in. (An amazing amount of hissing for an industry event. And let’s not get into the boobirds.)
Stunning. To plagiarize myself, what has always struck me about Apple compared to Microsoft is that Apple, at least under Jobs, always left its customers jazzed but wanting more. Microsoft, on the other hand (and this coming from a long-time Windows user) seems to leave its users exhausted and wanting less.
That’s a big fundamental difference.
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Hewlett-Packard will, in fact, offer full refunds to VARs for any TouchPad tablets they have in inventory. it will also “price protect” customers who bought the TouchPad at full price. But it’s not advertising that fact. Continued »
This just in from a SearchITChannel.com spy. Yes, that’s a gigantic TouchPad banner hanging off HP headquarters as of Tuesday morning. Kind of eerie, ain’t it?
Last week, most stores were well-stocked with HP TouchPads. But now that HP nuked its tablet business, TouchPads are selling like hot cakes at $99 each. Our eye witness saw 35 to 40 people (no badges so not HP employees) lined up at HP before 9 a.m. for the hot-selling-but-dead product.
VARs said HP’s cost for the high-end TouchPad, which listed for $499, was $380. VARs could make 4% of list, or $20 from each sale> Small problem: Precious few sold at $499. But now VARs say customers are begging them for the $99 deals. Not likely, said one. “I expect to ship them back to Ingram [Micro] for a full refund.”
Is interest in the HP’s moribund TouchPad the ultimate irony, or is it a great – if unprofitable – guerilla marketing campaign from HP?
Hewlett-Packard PR would really, really like to talk to reporters about its VMworld news next week. But I’m guessing there aren’t many takers given recent HP bombshells.
Last week, CEO Leo Apotheker told the world that HP was killing the new, heavily-hyped TouchPads, might sell off/spin off its huge PC division, and was exploring options for WebOS.
Oh, and it would buy little-known Autonomy for $10.3 billion.
One HP partner reached on Friday needed to be talked off the ledge.