Channel Marker

April 24, 2009  12:15 PM

CDW sees profit in new non-profit team

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

What does CDW know that the rest of us don’t know? Is everyone who is being laid off ditching corporate life to do some good for the world or the environment or someone other than himself or herself?

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April 23, 2009  2:48 PM

Microsoft research: More than half of SMBs will maintain or increase IT spending this year

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

There are two big reasons Microsoft should be concerned about the health of small and midsize businesses: First, because many of its revenue dollars are tied up in this chunk of the commercial market. Second, many of channel partners happen to fall into this chunk of the U.S. business universe.

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April 21, 2009  3:09 AM

Top five questions about Sun-Oracle

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Here’s a completely non-scientific list of my top five questions arising from Oracle’s $7.4 billion buy out of Sun Microsystems.

5: How could it have been surprising that Oracle was the white knight here? Larry Ellison is the go-to guy for distressed tech companies who don’t want or cannot be acquired by IBM or Microsoft (hell, better throw Google into the mix for the new millenium. ) This goes way, way back. Back in the paleozoic era, Lotus Development Corp. CEO Jim Manzi tried like all get out to get Oracle to buy Lotus so it wouldn’t end up in IBM’s clutches. That didn’t work out so well.

4: What happens to Oracle’s ardent courtship of Dell and Hewlett-Packard? One can only guess that the HP-Oracle Exadata “Database machine” is a goner now. Not that it was setting any sales records.

3: Which virtualization play will survive the inevitable putsch?

2: How soon will a big hunk of Oracle’s revenue be going by way of hardware bundles with Sun servers? This is very much a page ripped right out of IBM’s DB2 playbook. And Ellison could barely contain himself when talking about that “shelfware.”

1: What was deal with Scott McNealy on the call?  He sounded ummmm, medicated.  Even though this signals the end of the McNealy era in tech (hell, Jonathan Schwartz and the open source pony tail epic already rang the bell on that one.) Still for $7.4 billion, couldn’t Scooter have mustered a little enthusiasm for three minutes? Listen to the playback. It’s shocking

April 20, 2009  11:56 AM

Oracle buys Sun

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Well that didn’t take long.

Oracle is buying Sun, in a deal worth about $7.4 billion, the company said in a statement released early Monday. Oracle is offering $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at about $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt. 

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April 16, 2009  2:04 PM

Shiny, happy VARs

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

ARLINGTON, VA.–If there’s a potential bright spot for IT VARs now, it’s the soon-to-be-flush government sector. Nothing puts the spring in a VAR’s step like the prospect of big bags o’ loot, and the government stimulus is providing at least the prospect of such. Tech Data’ s headline is that it will help VARs capitalize on $135 billion in government sector spending. You know what they say: A billion here and a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money. 

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April 15, 2009  9:38 PM

McKinsey report brings cloud concept down to earth

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

The goodly researchers at McKinsey & Co. have released an analysis of the business benefits of cloud computing and have found the concept wanting for larger companies. Its findings, in a report called “Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing,” were presented at the Uptime Institute’s Lean, Clean & Green IT Symposium held in New York.

McKinsey had several recommendations for CIOs and IT executives who are puzzling about what to do with cloud computing. More than anything else, the report suggests, that instead of being distracted by building out internal clouds, IT leaders should focus on virtualizing server storage, network operations and other components of their existing IT infrastructure.

There are four big hurdles that will make it tough for enterprises to move to cloud computing, according to McKinsey.

  1. Cloud computing as currently expressed is not as cost-effective as existing data center strategies.
  2. Security and reliability concerns need to be addressed and applications will have to be re-architected to take advantage of the cloud model
  3. Quality of service expectations need to be managed.
  4. Organizations will need to adapt to a different concept of project priorities.

You can download the presentation about the report at this link and ponder some of the data for yourself, but it will definitely make a great briefing document if you’re trying to figure out how to position cloud services within your business.

April 7, 2009  6:23 PM

McAfee slaps brand on Secure Computing products

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

McAfee is putting its mark on Secure Computing’s products.  And by that I mean ALL over them.

So, say goodbye to IronMail and hello to McAfee Email Gateway.

So long Webwasher; hey to McAfee Web Gateway.

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April 6, 2009  5:58 PM

Open source meets economic stimulus

NicoleH Nicole Harding Profile: NicoleH

We’ve all heard about the nightmare mishaps in hospital surgeries — doctors look at the wrong charts and you come out of what was supposed to be routine surgery with missing limbs. What would happen if you presented them with a complex electronic system of health records?

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April 6, 2009  1:14 AM

Conglomeration conga

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow


Whether Sun and IBM ever actually do tie the knot, the M&A craziness will continue.  It’s interesting to parse reactions to this possible deal. For IT shops, there’s angst because some Sun partisans hate IBM and people with religious devotion to IBM won’t touch Sun. If those two data center giants converge, the fear is less competition and higher prices.


VARs are acutely interested in this because a vendor they may have been selling against may soon magically morph into their vendor.  This raises interesting channel conflict issues. Despite its well-documented troubles, Sun has gotten good reviews for its channel management by a handful of its elite partners. They’re not eager to be thrown into the IBM pot.


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March 31, 2009  2:48 PM

Security is security is security

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

We in the high-tech industry (and media) love the word convergence. You’ve heard seemingly forever about the convergence of voice and data networks. More recently, the buzz has shifted over to how the physical infrastructure concerns of companies are merging with their technology infrastructure concerns.

One great example is expressed in the recently formalized partnership between 1NService (a group of regional integrators and services companies that collaborates to help extend their members’ scale) and PSA Security Network (a cooperative of security systems integrators with expertise in access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other environmental safety systems).

The two organizations have been flirting with collaboration for some time, based on the notion that the IP network is a great place to consolidate both cyber-security and physical security concerns. The new arrangement allows for members of either organization to get involved with the other one at reduced expense. PSA Security and 1NService are seeking to encourage cross-enrollment and are putting together a unified advisory board to focus on matters of security concerns of all types.

A great example of how a network integrator might benefit from this sort of relationship is Data Systems Worldwide, a 1NService member that has become heavily involved in video surveillance solutions over the past year. This focus has helped the integrator (which began life as a classic Cisco Systems VAR) penetrate dynamic verticals such as gaming and hospitality, which are somewhat more recession-proof then traditionl industry segments. Here’s some more information.

If you’re exploring whether or not to add physical security solutions (think door control systems or surveillance), you should check out the PSA Security Network organization.

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