Channel Marker


March 11, 2015  11:35 PM

Advice for channel partners on going vertical

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Ingram Micro, Microsoft, Tech Data

It’s mid-March and if you haven’t heard the word “differentiation” used this year in conversations about channel partners and the future, you will. Differentiation is a necessity for a partner firm’s future, according to industry experts.

Creating differentiation may mean specialization around a technology practice or alignment with a vertical industry. Industry experts agree that specialization or going deep in a vertical industry is a recipe for partner success.

“Any amount of transformation is good whether a partner gets more specialized or vertical — anything is good,” said Tiffani Bova, vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Research, adding that partners want to be known as the go-to company for targeted expertise. Continued »

February 13, 2015  10:56 PM

Microsoft opens the door to Dynamics CRM Online through partners

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Cloud Services, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics

At Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2014 in Washington, D.C., last July, the vendor pointed to Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM as the future for partners’ success with the company as it encouraged partners to build out a cloud and hybrid practice. Now, Microsoft is following through on a couple of promises specific to Dynamics CRM.

Earlier this month, on Feb. 2, Dynamics CRM Online in Open became available for partners. Microsoft’s Open program aims to make it simple and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to access Microsoft software via a partner selling cloud-based services.

Continued »


January 23, 2015  10:21 PM

Channel partners will have to pay for talent

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel, IT salary, jobs

Channel partners looking for new talent are facing an expensive and tough job candidates market. It’s competitive, costly  and the pickings are slim. So what do you need to know about salary expectations as you sift through resumes?

The annual tech unemployment rate is the lowest recorded since 2008, coming in at 2.7%, according to Dice, an online career hub for technology professionals.

Continued »


January 17, 2015  12:14 AM

‘Ultra-converged’ infrastructure opportunity for HP and Citrix partners

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel partners, Citrix, Converged infrastructure

The ink was barely dry on the paper when on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Citrix Summit 2015 in Las Vegas, the vendor announced a new high-end ultra-converged infrastructure solution that leverages software-defined storage capability from recently acquired Sanbolic. Citrix completed the acquisition on Jan. 12.

Continued »


January 9, 2015  5:35 PM

Citrix Summit 2015 preview: Marketing tools, sneak peek at Citrix Solution Advisor

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel partners, Citrix, IT Marketing

With Citrix Summit 2015 just days away, the vendor launched the latest Citrix MarketingIQ platform for partners and offered partners a sneak peak at its new Citrix Solution Advisor partner program.

This year’s Summit is the second annual event where Citrix underscores its strategy to bring together its internal sales teams and channel partners from across the globe to kick off the New Year and focus on joint success. Citrix Summit 2014 consummated the new strategy.

According to the vendor, the new enhanced MarketingIQ platform is a complete overhaul of the Citrix Marketing Concierge program that the vendor has offered for the past four years. Continued »


December 22, 2014  4:13 PM

Cisco launches service provider technology specializations

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Certification and specializations, Cisco, Internet of Things

Keeping its word to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) specializations, Cisco today announced a suite of service provider technology specializations for partners interested in expanding into new business opportunities.

The new service provider specializations are designed to position Cisco partners to monetize on the growing IoT market, projected to be worth $19 trillion in 10 years, according to Steve Benvenuto, senior director of business development for Cisco’s worldwide partner organization, at the launch of the vendor’s first IoT specializations in November.

Continued »


December 16, 2014  11:50 PM

PartnerPath maps out key partner channel trends

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel, IDC, IT trends, Market trends

A recent one-hour PartnerPath webinar, titled “3 Vital Channel Trends Affecting You in 2015,” pinned down trends in three key areas: cloud, enablement and partner types. The webinar was aimed at a vendor channel audience.

Five years into cloud computing and there’s no let-up in momentum, agreed Darren Bibby, program vice president for channels and alliances at IDC, and Diane Krakora, CEO at PartnerPath.

While the day when talking about cloud simply as software isn’t here yet, the projections for public cloud (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) and the greater cloud market (public, private and the enabling IT and services) are strong.

According to IDC, cloud adoption is up, and public cloud services and sales are expected to reach $70 billion in 2015 and $127 billion by 2018. Similarly, the greater cloud market will hit $118 billion in 2015 and reach $200 billion by 2018. These figures represent 5x the growth rate of IT spending overall.

These dollars represent across-the-board opportunities for partners. Continued »


December 12, 2014  10:01 PM

The IoT is coming into focus for the channel

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel, Channel partners, Cisco, Internet of Things

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.

Continued »


December 5, 2014  2:34 AM

Dell’s Cheryl Cook highlights 15% year-over-year partner ranks growth

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel partners, Dell

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.

Continued »


November 18, 2014  10:47 PM

HP augments Simply StoreIT to support MSA storage enhancements

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Hewlett-Packard, HP, HP storage

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 »


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