Channel Marker


August 28, 2006  10:27 AM

Google Going After SMB Messaging Market



Posted by: Brein Matturro
Collaboration software, Direct reseller channel conflict, Google, Microsoft, Software as a service (SaaS)

All you Microsoft partners doing Outlook/Exchange/Microsoft IM installs in the midrange market or providing hosted Exchange services, take note: Google wants to eat your lunch.

The NY Times reports: “Taking aim at Microsoft, Google plans to offer a package of software for business users.”

The initial software bundle, called Google Apps for Your Domain, will provide e-mail (based on GMail), calendaring and instant messaging, as well as a Website development tool–for free. The bundle is obviously aimed at the same space as Microsoft’s Windows Live services.

Google plans to offer a paid version of the service later that will include technical support and other services. I’m betting those other services include Writely, the web-based word processor that Google recently acquired , and a Google spreadsheet application. I’m also betting that the services will eventually also be bundled with the Google Mini search appliance for an all-in-one solution for document and knowledge management.

Free is a hard price to beat, particularly at the price point Microsoft currently offers Exchange seats at. And with Microsoft looking to capture the same audience with its own software-as-a-service play (Windows Live), it’s going to get increasingly difficult to make any kind of money providing core software and services for SMB’s like messaging and basic knowledge worker applications. But that was true before Google got into the market — the safer ground is still customization and integration.

But if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

August 25, 2006  11:50 PM

Sun Server Sales Up in Shrinking Market



Posted by: Brein Matturro
Servers and desktop hardware, Systems and systems management

IDC claims Sun regained the #3 position in overall server market share this summer, with 12.9% of a weakening market, stepping over distressed Dell. IBM still leads the server space, and HP remains in second; but only Sun saw an increase in market share, and a bump in revenues as well.

The UltraSPARC platform is still Sun’s main money-maker…

“…but the growth in the company’s Opteron-based products are having a positive impact,” IDC enterprise server research director Steve Josselyn said.

…reports BetaNews.

Well, duh.  Having a viable product to compete with Dell (with less heat issues) certainly should have a “positive impact.”


August 25, 2006  11:38 PM

Lenovo Burns A Hole In Dell Management



Posted by: Brein Matturro
Direct reseller channel conflict, Servers and desktop hardware, Systems and systems management

The NY Times reports that Lenovo has hired yet another exec from Dell–the fourth in 8 days.

Lenovo, the Chinese computer maker that bought I.B.M.’s personal computer business for $1.25 billion last year, has been trying to beef up its executive ranks and transform itself into a global computer giant in a fiercely competitive market.

The new hire is Christopher Askew, VP of Dell Services. Previous hires were David Schmook, a VP of marketing; David Miller, head of Dell China; and Sotaro Amano, director of Japanese home and business sales.

Considering Bill Amelio, the CEO of Lenovo, is a former Dell denizen as well, it leaves room to wonder if Lenovo is planning on stealing Dell’s business model as well by emphasizing direct sales at the expense of the channel. And the hiring of Askew indicates that Lenovo may be looking to be a lot more to large customers than just a laptop supplier.

Askew’s hire comes on the heels of news that Dell is taking over desktop support for Citigroup as part of an outsourced services deal, though it’s not clear that Askew was involved in that transaction. Neither Dell nor Citigroup have spoken publicly about the deal, which was revealed by an irate soon-to-be-ex-Citigroup technician with a blog.


August 25, 2006  11:11 PM

Windows Patch Hell Redux



Posted by: Brein Matturro
Systems and systems management

Another reason to hate Patch Tuesday– it isn’t just your imagination that applying patches to Windows network clients using Microsoft System Management Server tales forever. A bug in SMS’s Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates can dramatically slow down scans of client systems, causing scans to take up to five minutes per client. A fix is in the works, but it could be more than a month away.

And the problem, for those who are experiencing it, is only going to get worse–it’s linked to the number of patch files that get loaded onto clients, so as more patches are applied, the scans get progressively slower.

Fortunately, there’s only one Patch Tuesday between now and when the fix comes down. Maybe.


August 25, 2006  2:34 PM

Welcome to Channel Marker



Posted by: Brein Matturro
Channel

Hello, and welcome to Channel Marker, the weblog of TechTarget’s Channel Media Group. We’re preparing to launch a comprehensive set of websites to serve those on the pointy end of the IT industry sword–the resellers, service providers, integrators and consultants who build, deploy and support solutions for business customers.

Personally, I owe a lot to the channel — I spent several years in the early 1990s in the channel, working for a VAR, for a systems integrator, and as a consultant before being drawn over to the dark side of technology journalism. I attribute a lot of my success as a technology journalist and as a technology practitioner to what I learned back then.

Obviously, a lot has changed since then. But what hasn’t is the need for channel professionals to be able to stay on top of developments in many technologies, to be able to act on that knowledge to put together and support solutions for customers’ business problems, and to anticipate what customers’ needs will be next. Our goal is to provide the news, information and market intelligence that will help you do all of those things.

If there’s something you’d like to see us cover that we’re missing, feel free to let us know by commenting here, or by sending me email. We look forward to talking with you.

–Sean Gallagher, Editorial Director, Channel Media Group, TechTarget


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