Channel Marker

February 27, 2009  8:27 PM

CDW tracking poll suggests unified communications as bright spot

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

First off, I have to say that I’ve been covering computer telephony aka IP telephony aka unified communications for MORE THAN 10 years now. Only recently, however, have these solutions become a truly realistic option for the small and midsize businesses that feed most VARs’ sales pipeline.

Continued »

February 24, 2009  8:24 PM

Selecting a CDP strategy

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

In a recent article on, Curtis Preston provides a thorough explanation of continuous data protection (CDP) for end users and how it differs from near-CDP. So what does this technology mean for the channel, and what should you be looking for in the tool you select?

The first question to ask yourself when approaching a CDP project for customers is whether it even makes sense for them. Continued »

February 24, 2009  7:47 PM

IDC white paper identifies places VARs might help customers trim support costs

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

An interesting e-mail landed in my inbox this morning that I first deleted as irrelevant (to me personally). Then, it occurred to me that this is just the sort of link that could help a VAR fine-tune his or her sales pitch.

The resource in question came from SoftwareCEO (an online resource for software executives that is part of the CompTIA organization), and it is entitled “3 Strategies for Rationalizing the IT Support Budget.” In reality, this is a rather basic white paper from IDC published in January that runs you through certain areas that a VAR might be able to investigate within existing or prospective accounts in order to find budget. Still, it might offer tips where you might be able to find money that could otherwise be spent on new projects you’re pitching. Here’s the link where you can register rather painlessly for the download.

February 24, 2009  4:14 PM

Parallels CEO predicts Xen’s death

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Before last week, some Citrix partners — and even some high-up Citrix execs — felt the company’s server virtualization efforts were lacking.

The most common complaints were variations of “You spent $500 million on XenSource, and you’re not doing anything with it!” and “This partnership with Microsoft is gonna come back to bite you where the sun don’t shine!”

But with last week’s news that Citrix will give away XenServer and associated features like live migration, the company seemingly reaffirmed its commitment to server virtualization, and most of those complaints seem to have subsided.

I say “most” because at least one person still sees trouble ahead for XenServer. In fact, he predicts its demise. That person is Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels, the virtualization company best known for its technology that runs Windows on Macs:

Continued »

February 24, 2009  1:54 PM

Lessons of the great Gfail saga

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

It’s been just a few hours, but it’s safe to say that the February 24 Gmail outage will go down in history as the day that proves that people get what they pay for.

Kneejerk reaction was that Microsoft, home of the great paid email Exchange colossus, will make hay about Gfail. But then again, Microsoft freebie Hotmail and its Exchange/Outlook duo have weathered their fair share of complaints. In fact, the most laughable tweet this morning was “Gee, Hotmail never goes down.” Oh, really??? You, my dear, have a short memory.

Continued »

February 23, 2009  6:28 PM

Implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server: Know your options

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server brings pitfalls around every turn.

One of the biggest decisions that can determine your ultimate success or failure in implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is how you distribute the deployment. Luckily, our sister site is offering some guidance from SharePoint expert Joel Oleson, who just published a tip about the three distribution models for implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server: centralized, regional and distributed.

Continued »

February 19, 2009  6:12 PM

What do you do after Vista?

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

What do you do after launching Windows Vista after many long years of development and several crumbled pillars? Apparently you record an album–er a CD.

Somehow this juicy item slipped through the cracks last week.  Jim Allchin, ex of Microsoft (ex of Banyan) and the guy behind Vista is cutting disks now.  A Microsoft insider has heard it and said Allchin had long surprised colleagues with his blues guitar expertise. “His playing is really excellent” this person said. But what about his singing? “Next question.”

February 18, 2009  6:56 PM

Sorting out Microsoft Online Services licensing

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft spent the better part of last year pushing its Microsoft Online Services to partners, who worried about shrinking margins and fewer services opportunities.

Much of that campaign focused on the customer demand for cloud computing, or Software plus Services, as Microsoft calls it. And that was a very valid point. A lot of businesses would rather let someone else deal with management, support and the other back-end hassles associated with Exchange, SharePoint and other software — especially when the economy is going down the toilet.

But Microsoft neglected to mention the flip side of that coin: Software plus Services adds a whole new layer of licensing options, which are already confusing enough for Microsoft partners.

Continued »

February 18, 2009  6:10 PM

SAP-Infor saga shows ups, downs of vendor exclusivity

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow



It’s always good to watch the shifting allegiances of VARs and their vendor partners.


Take SAP for example. Last week, the ERP giant, trying to boost its midmarket cred, blasted out a press release touting the migration of companies and VARs from Infor to SAP Business One. Continued »

February 18, 2009  4:32 PM

Your organization should be blogging

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

I am constantly amazed at how many of your customers get the bulk of their IT news from blogs. That’s right, blogs. In fairness, they tend to take the source into consideration when evaluating the quality of the information; corporate blogs may be less trustworthy than an independent source, but your customers are reading them, and you need to be in the fray.

I am surprised by the number of reseller websites I visit that do not have a blog, or, worse, that have a website that hasn’t been updated in the past few months. Continued »

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