Channel Marker

August 6, 2008  1:14 PM

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Five months after its official launch, SQL Server 2008 released to manufacturing today.

Microsoft made the announcement this afternoon during a conference call with Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the data and storage platform division. He touted SQL Server 2008’s out-of-the-box data management and business intelligence capabilities. VARs and customers will also be happy to know that this latest version does not come with a price increase.

Continued »

August 5, 2008  11:52 PM

Cisco will go acquisition hunting in FY ’09 — but not necessarily for EMC

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers said Tuesday that regardless of “challenging macroeconomic times,” the company would make major acquisitions in the coming year — though he didn’t indicate that one of those purchases would be EMC.

Chambers made the comments during a fourth quarter earnings call. Continued »

August 5, 2008  10:37 AM

Novell channel chief departs

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Novell channel chief Pat Bernard has left the company.

Novell said today that Bernard, its first vice president of global channel sales, left to pursue other interests. The company named Tim Wolfe, president and general manager of Novell Americas, as her acting replacement. Wolfe said in a statement that the company will move quickly to find a permanent successor.

Novell has seen strong growth this year, and the company expects that momentum to continue — with help from channel partners. Next year, more than half of Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise revenue will come through the channel, a company exec told me back in June. But that prediction could be off target if the channel’s leadership is in limbo for an extended period of time.

Bernard, a former Hyperion executive, joined Novell in November 2007. She took over for former channel chief Steve Erdman, who held the title of vice president of North American channels and aliances.

August 4, 2008  10:46 PM

New leadership for Motorola’s handset division

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Motorola said Monday that it appointed former Qualcomm executive Sanjay Jha to head its struggling wireless handset business. Appointing Jha was the first major step toward spinning of the handset unit, a move Motorola announced in the spring.

Jha will also serve as co-chief executive office with Gregory Q. Brown, who will lead the company’s home and enterprise broadband business. Continued »

July 31, 2008  2:59 PM

What are VARs’ biggest concerns?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Learning about new technologies, winning new business and recruiting skilled professionals are some of the top challenges facing solution providers today.

How do we know? Well, we asked you.

We surveyed our readers, got the results back, and now we’re doing something with them. We just launched an IT Channel FAQ guide on the Top VAR Business Concerns, featuring channel expert Paul Myerson from Enterprise Strategy Group. A lot of you said you’re VARs looking to get into managed services. Paul has advice for you — even if think you’re too small to be an MSP. Or maybe you’re having a hard time finding new customers. Paul says what you can do to set yourself apart from competitors.

You can either browse the list of VARs’ top concerns, or you can listen to the guide in podcast form. Either way, check it out and let us know what you think!

July 31, 2008  2:53 PM

Maybe it’s time to call it something other than Web 2.0

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

For the past eight or so months, I’ve been writing a column called Web Sight (spelling intentional) for Entrepreneur magazine. (Here’s a sample piece from the latest issue.) The focus has been on how so-called Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs or social networks or customer feedback tools or real-time analytics, can drive revenue or cut costs for small businesses. It hasn’t been all that hard to find examples to use as case studies, but it has been astonishingly hard to convince anyone in the solution provider channel that Web 2.0 are useful.

Granted, as I write this blog entry, I consider all the VARs and solution providers that have recently befriended me in Facebook or LinkedIn. So, the climate may be changing. Kudos to you, I say, because you are exposing yourself to all sorts of possible new connections and reinforcing existing ties. But as I’ve interacted with various channel executives about this topic over the past few months, invariably they tell me they’re too busy in the real world on sales calls or customer visits to worry about what’s commonly called Web 2.0.

Continued »

July 31, 2008  12:58 PM

Shareholders approve HP-EDS acquisition

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

It looks like the odyssey leading to Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) acquisition of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) is finally over. This morning, EDS shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $13.9 billion purchase, The Dallas Morning News reported. Shareholders owning 98.8% of shares voted in favor of the deal. Continued »

July 30, 2008  5:26 PM

Zimbra wants to out-Outlook Outlook

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

 You have to hand it to Zimbra.The company, now part of Yahoo and seemingly unfazed by all that entails, is nothing if not aggressive. With Zimbra Desktopit’s now taking on the grand poobah of e-mail clients.

Yes, Zimbra is trying to out-Outlook Microsoft Outlook. The nerve!

  Continued »

July 30, 2008  11:34 AM

SAP CEO: Partners key to recruiting skilled workers

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

SAP wants to see at least 30,000 new SAP consultants enter the market in the near future. And partners will be the driving force behind that growth.

That’s the word from Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP Americas and Asia Pacific. My colleague Courtney Bjorlin, news editor for, just posted an exclusive interview with McDermott. She asked him if there’s a shortage of skilled SAP workers, and if so, what SAP’s doing to address that. Here’s what he had to say:

Over these next few years, we’ll add 30,000 to 50,000 trained SAP consultants. Some of that will be SAP. But we’ll be the small amount. Partners will continuously invest in these students from university. Also, hiring from the industry where a lot of these smaller software companies have failed, or companies like Oracle where the demand continues to go down, that supply will be regenerated toward SAP. It’s the partner ecosystem.

Continued »

July 29, 2008  7:43 PM

Former VAR exec to lead Juniper U.S. sales

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Juniper Networks fished an executive out of its own sea of channel partners this week, hiring Philip O’Reilly, former CEO of Solunet, as the new senior vice president of U.S. enterprise sales.

O’Reilly will replace Hayley Tabor, who left the position earlier this year. Working with Juniper’s executive team, O’Reilly will drive sales through the company’s direct, indirect, federal and distribution channel, and he’ll report to the newly appointed executive vice president of worldwide field operations John Morris. Continued »

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