I got a press release today in the mail that was a great of example of how not to run an advertising campaign. The release in question was expensive, hard to understand and not very memorable (except insofar as it was unmemorable).
When I researched an article last year on how to develop a marketing campaign, one of the tips VARs had was to keep mailings simple. Gimmicky mailings are expensive to produce, and if the message isn’t readily evident, there’s a good chance it won’t get through.
So, let’s take this release as an example: I got a bottle of liquid soap along with a one-page press release. The postage was $4.59, and the soap — I looked it up online — costs $5.75. Even with bulk pricing, this vendor probably paid about $15 per unit including the box, copious bubble wrap, and labor.
Before we get to the channel play, let’s go over the news: For the first time, Dell has PowerEdge blade servers optimized for virtualization, including support for VMware, Citrix and Microsoft hypervisors. There’s a new EqualLogic storage array that includes a VMware Auto-Snapshot Manager. And Dell is offering consulting services to help customers manage their virtual environments.
It’s official, Incentra Solutions CEO Tom Sweeney says the solution provider will pause for a bit of a breather in its whirlwind acquisition spree, which has seen the company buy out at least a half-dozen other VARs over the past three years. Now, we’ll have to see if the company can repeat the extraordinarily high rates of growth it has recorded over the past several years through more organic methods (like its burgeoning managed service practice for midtier companies). Here’s all the companies you now find under the Incentra umbrella:
- Star Solutions (February 2005)
- PWI (March 2005)
- NST (April 2006)
- Tactix (September 2006)
- Helio Solutions (August 2007)
- Sales Strategies (a.k.a. SSI) (September 2007) (No WONDER the CEO wouldn’t return my calls last fall!)
Wow. Looks like all that speculation about bad blood between Joe Tucci and Diane Greene wasn’t just true — it was worse than people thought.
The New York Times today has an explosive story with the ugly details of July 7, when Tucci, the EMC CEO and VMware chairman, fired Greene, VMware’s CEO and co-founder.
Citing anonymous sources, the paper says that Tucci called Greene into a room, along with her husband, VMware co-founder and chief scientist Mendel Rosenblum. First, Tucci fired Greene — right there, in front of Rosenblum. Then, adding insult to injury, he turned to Rosenblum and offered him his wife’s seat on VMware’s board!
After slamming Dell last week for ignoring partners in its news announcements, it’s only fair to point this out: Dell gives its channel partners prominent mention in today’s press release about the new PowerEdge T100 server.
The second sentence of the release says: “Starting at $449 and available from Dell and its more than 40,000 channel partners, the T100 is an ideal first server for businesses looking to build a networked server environment to enhance productivity, flexibility and security – a top-of-mind issue among SMBs globally.”
The Financial Times (FT) website reported rumors today that Juniper Networks is interested in acquiring either Meru Networks or Aruba Networks — both WLAN providers.
FT attributes the rumors to sources close to the company, but also quotes two analysts that support the speculation.
A WLAN acquisition for Juniper wouldn’t be shocking. At this point, Juniper needs to secure its place in the WLAN market if it intends to take on Cisco. Cisco controls a dominant share of that market sector, which it bought its way into through the acquisition of Airespace in 2006. Juniper is in the process of reorganizing its executive team and strategy, and has made no bones about its goal of stealing a dominant share of the enterprise networking market from Cisco. Continued »
Microsoft wants customers and partners to know that it’s really, really REALLY ready to virtualize. So it’s hosting its “Get Virtual Now” event Monday.
It’s invited a few dozen of its best-friend vendors (if that’s not an oxymoron) to Bellevue for its big day. Among the Platinum sponsors the usual suspects are well represented. Intel? Check. Dell? Hewlett-Packard? IBM? Hitachi Data Systems. Check, check, check and check. That makes sense. The server guys will claim their boxes are Hyper-V ready or Hyper-V capable or Hyper-V elite. Whatever the label is, it means little except in marketing terms. (“Hey HP, what’s technologically different between this server today and your server last week? Nothing?” And so it goes.)
The most interesting result from the Society for Information Management (SIM) latest survey isn’t so much the fact that IT professionals want technology infrastructure to align better with their business goals, it was the dramatic increase in importance that the survey respondents placed on “IT strategic planning.”
SIM, which is prepping for its annual conference in November, released some of the results of its annual survey as a teaser for the meeting. The top IT Management Concern, as designated by the 300 respondents, was “IT and business alignment,” as it has been for the past five out of six years. The second most critical priority was “Build business skills in IT,” up from third place last year. One of the most interesting results for me, however, was the fact that “IT strategic planning” jumped into third place from an eighth place showing last year.
It’s official: Dell’s practice of ignoring channel partners in its news announcements is a trend.
For the third time since May, Dell made no mention of its resellers during a major* news announcement. And as any journalist will tell you, if something happens three times, that’s a trend.
In case the speculation of a Microsoft-Nortel acquisition wasn’t enough to keep partners talking, now there are rumors that IBM could snap up the networking company, according to Mark Evans at the All About Nortel blog.
Those rumors (and Evans stresses that they are rumors) aren’t exactly shocking. For one, as Evans points out, Nortel is trading at under $6 now. That makes me think two things: 1. If I were Nortel, I might spin these rumors just to raise my share value. 2. (The more likely one) If I were IBM, I would be thinking two words: fire sale. OK, maybe I would be thinking a full phrase: Fire sale on a once-solid company that still has incredible potential. Continued »