Channel Marker

August 9, 2010  8:13 PM

Despite broader economic jitters, IT sector continues to improve

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Even if the broader U.S. figures suggests that economic uncertainty lingers, the IT sector continues to show signs of a turnaround both in the United States and in Europe.

According to data from The Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), U.S. hardware sales in the second quarter grew sequentially by 10 percent compared with the first quarter. On a year-over-year basis, 2Q revenue for IT hardware increased by 20 percent, the organization reports. The GTDC says sales in Europe were up by 15 percent year-over-year for the period.

The numbers are part of the NPD Group Distributor Track, which is based on sales-out information provided by GTDC members.

Here’s some commentary from the press release provided by the council’s CEO, Tim Curran:

“Among other key trends, we’re seeing SMB and larger enterprises invest more heavily in networking, storage and other IT infrastructure to support current and future growth. The range of solutions and services provided by IT distributors is also increasingly diversified, including a growing number of products that would have sold exclusively through other channels in the past.”

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August 6, 2010  9:32 PM

Hurd out at HP

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Mark Hurd is out as CEO of HP. That little stunner dropped after close of business today when Hewlett-Packard disclosed an internal investigation into a relationship between Hurd and an unnamed marketing consultant.

In a statement, Hurd said:


“As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career.”


For its part, HP said the company’s sexual harassment policy was not violated but its standards of business conduct were.


HP partners are no doubt stunned by this. Members of HP’s VAR councils were big fans of Hurd’s leadership and cited his willingness to meet with them over their concerns. He helped temper HP’s “double down” mantra by telling them that they, too, would profit more if they worked more with HP.

HP’s CFO Cathie Lesjack will fill the interim CEO slot and has taken her name out of consideration for the full-time gig.

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July 26, 2010  2:05 PM

Forrester: Growing opp in energy management software

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Forrester Research’s latest survey on green IT trends (its seventh) highlights a big jump in the number of businesses that are planning to invest in some sort of software or solution for tracking their carbon footprint or energy consumption. Continued »

July 15, 2010  8:27 PM

Clearing up the Gold mess at Microsoft

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Still have questions about the Microsoft Gold, Advanced, no Gold competencies? Here’s an explanation of the branding changes that took place on the cusp of this week’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

To re-iterate: What was to be the new Advanced Competency and plain ol’ Competency levels will now be Gold and Silver competencies. And the Gold and Silver designations will come within a certain area of expertise, or business solution area. So you can be a  Gold partner within content management or business intelligence or whatever. You can also be a Silver partner in other solutions area.

Got it? Get it? Good!

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July 14, 2010  4:01 PM

Still much gnashing of teeth about the economy

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Thought y’all could use a bit of non-Microsoft news this week. (No offense, Barb.) In any event, there are two new research tidbits out from CompTIA that relate to our national obsession: the economy. Continued »

July 14, 2010  12:27 PM

Microsoft makes bite-sized services available to partners

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Microsoft has tweaked its “Services Ready” deliverables to make the more flexible and affordable for VARs and integrators.

Continued »

July 13, 2010  6:18 PM

Microsoft partners will once again go for the gold

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

So remember all that stuff about Microsoft ditching the “Gold” partner designation because it didn’t mean anything? Well, never mind.

Continued »

July 12, 2010  2:39 PM

Microsoft positions Azure as the cloud for all

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

A couple of positioning statements from Monday’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference keynotes.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was careful to claim that virtualization does NOT equal cloud computing. That’s what I would say too if I were trying to displace the VMware juggernaut.  Continued »

July 11, 2010  11:33 PM

Top five questions for Microsoft at WWPC

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

As the kickoff for Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 approaches, here are some questions Microsoft partners would love Steve Ballmer, Bob Muglia et al.

#1: Why should partners go for the Microsoft Partner Network’s “advanced” badge?

The zillion dollar question this week is: “Why should we keep selling Microsoft stuff?” Continued »

July 9, 2010  3:30 PM

Microsoft partners expect cloud deluge at WWPC

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

There’ll be a lot of cloud talk at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in D.C. next week.

What Microsoft lost in being late to the party–compared to, Amazon, Google–it will try to make up for in hyper vigilance now. That’s why partners have already heard a lot about why they must sell Business Productivity Online Services–Microsoft hosted Exchange mail and SharePoint collaboration services.

They’ve been reminded that Microsoft is now “all in” the cloud per CEO Steve Ballmer.

At WPC, there will be sessions on why Microsoft Transactional Partners: Distributors, LARs, VARs should take an interest in Windows Azure, for example.  And others on selling cloud-based solutions. And many on BPOS.

Microsoft partners are already well aware of BPOS, the $10 per user per month mail and collaboration service that takes on Google Apps in the market. Some say Microsoft’s obsession with it–and pressure to push BPOS–might have had some unintended–and unwanted–consequences.

“We had our forced indoctrination on BPOS from Microsoft and by the time they were done. we all went out to look at Google Apps again, given the amount of energy Microsoft put into badmouthing it in their presentation.  More than half our team liked Google Apps better. I still like BPOS better and since we’re getting away from licensing [revenue] and moving away from the suite to the cloud, we’re taking a hard look at BPOS,” said an exec with a large Midwestern VAR.

Microsoft would very much like its partners to use BPOS as well. Last year it gave qualifying partners at WPC 250 free seats. Andy Vabulas, CEO of IBIS Inc., a Microsoft Business Solutions ERP partner, said his company will probably move to BPOS with the next release and may resell the services as well.

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