Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 14 is due later this year. But in this lackluster unified communications (UC) market, is that too soon?
This week, Microsoft pushed Office Communications Server (OCS) 14 at VoiceCon Orlando 2010. OCS is an add-on that works with Exchange Server and Microsoft Office. It includes support for instant messaging, voicemail, Internet telephony and conferencing.
Microsoft is touting its latest UC product as a replacement for PBX-based systems. But in a recent call with our Channel Advisory Board, members gave their take on unified communications services, and it wasn’t too promising.
While many VARs may not agree with the now-approved healthcare legislation, those with a healthcare bent see it as a potential goldmine. This according to one member of the SearchITChannel.com Advisory board. Here are the top five takeways from yesterday’s quarterly advisory board call:
1: Business is back!
Let’s lead with the good news for once: Several board members said they are seeing brisk business after quarter after quarter of dismal results.
“Last week was our best week in 63 weeks” in terms of services, said Database Solutions’ CEO George Brown. “People are coming back to custom apps work. We’re recovering but slowly.”
One of the big perpetual gripes of channel types is the amount of investment it often takes to get their technical services teams up to snuff on certain new technologies, especially when things are as tight as they have been for the past two years. Continued »
Is it me or is there a heck of a lot of activity going around in the professional services automation (PSA) world right now? I’ve always been intrigued by these applications, because of the discipline and process that they can bring to a solution providers day-to-day operations.
York famously arrived at Big Blue with new Chairman Lou Gerstner, and as CFO streamlined that company’s operations. In one anecdote he toured IBM’s office product supply closets and found the company wasted too much money on different sizes and types inter-office envelopes. He was also involved in Kirk Kerkorian’s failed bid for Chrysler.
York, who was 71, joined Apple’s board in 1997.
Empowerment is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot these days, but I really love that Motorola has decided to call upon this theme as the name of its expansive new program for folks rallying around their enterprise mobility and communications technologies. It’s called, simply, PartnerEmpower.
Most technology vendors talk the talk about why partner-to-partner collaboration is so important for their channel. Symantec continues to encourage it through its referral program, which has now been in place for about a year.
Things are getting good in mid-market ERP–a segment that could use some caffeination.
Microsoft is offering NetSuite shops $850 per user in credit to move to its ERP lines. The money goes to end users–presumably the partner benefit would come from implementation work involved in geting those customers on Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV or SL in those shops. UPDATE: Dynamics AX is not covered by this offer. Continued »
Embarrassing to have missed this one but Robert Deshaies, once a channel exec at Microsoft, is now at Sage Software. Sage competes with Microsoft ERP and CRM with a set of product lines even more (ahem) diverse than Microsoft’s own four-brand ERP lineup.
At Sage he works with Jodi Uecker-Rust a former Microsoft Business Solutions executive who had joined Microsoft via its buyout of Great Plains Software. Uecker-Rust was named president of Sage Business Solutions last year.
At last week’s IDC Directions conference, I made a point to attend all the sessions geared toward solutions providers. And wouldn’t you know, each session was centered on the importance of the cloud. If there was one message that they were trying to get across, it was that cloud computing will only increase in popularity over the next few years.
For now, solutions providers should take advantage of certain services that are ready for the cloud, including Storage as a Service, email and batch processing. Sensitive data and third-party software with no cloud licensing rules topped the list of those areas not ready for a move to the cloud.
So what else did I get from eight hours of cloud hypnosis? Some pretty interesting takeaways. From IDC’s IT cloud services survey, the main concerns and challenges for implementing cloud computing are: