Channel Marker

April 30, 2015  5:58 PM

Cisco test drives greater sales and marketing alignment

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber

MONTREAL – One central theme at Cisco Partner Summit 2015 that washeld here this week is tighter alignment between the sales and marketing organizations, with the goal of a more shared responsibility for revenue growth. Toward that end, Cisco purposefully scheduled, for the first time, Cisco Marketing Velocity and Cisco Partner Summit back to back.

According to Sherri Liebo, vice president of global marketing at Cisco, all Velocity attendees were expected to spend time at Partner Summit. For many Velocity attendees, this is their first time attending Partner Summit.

That was the case for Josie Smoot, director of marketing and communications at Iron Bow Technologies ofChantilly, Va., who has attended three Marketing Velocity events. She said that by attending Partner Summit with salespeople from Iron Bow she’ll get to hear what they hear and will gain more insight into the department she supports.

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April 8, 2015  11:21 PM

Tech Data tool tracks special pricing agreements

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Distributors, Tech Data

Tech Data Corp. today introduced a special pricing agreement tool, My S.P.A. Tracker, which is available to all resellers. The proactive tool is designed to increase revenue for partners by notifying them of revenue-boosting sales opportunities, according to the distributor.

Tech Data has always had special pricing agreements — agreements between vendors and partners administered by the distributor — but never an easy way to communicate all opportunities.

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April 2, 2015  3:20 PM

Trends in IT security signal increased partner opportunity

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
CompTIA, Gartner, IT security

IT security has always been a moving target for businesses. The end result: Some do, some don’t and many don’t do enough.

However, as companies adopt mobile and cloud IT delivery models, and come face to face with privacy and compliance requirements, there’s renewed interest in IT security and new opportunities for channel partners. But providing security solutions will require that many solution providers rethink their posture, according to CompTIA’s recently released report, Trends in Information Security.

For starters, the industry association’s report noted that partners must thoroughly understand the regulatory climate for IT for both the benefit of their own business liability and that of their clients.

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March 30, 2015  5:51 PM

Train and transform: New classes from CompTIA

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
CompTIA, CompTIA certifications, IT training and certifications

Training courses geared to keep IT channel partners skilled and current have been a staple offering from CompTIA since 2011, and the recently released IT Channel Training Guide for Spring 2015 continues that tradition with the addition of three new courses that focus on business transformation.

The new courses are the Quick Start Session to Business Agility, the Quick Start Session to Understanding Your Balance Sheet, and the CompTIA Executive Certificate in Financial Management. These offerings are just a few of more than a dozen training options that focus on the theme of business transformation. The addition of new material for partners doesn’t stop there. CompTIA also added new content in its managed services and vertical markets tracks.

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March 25, 2015  12:00 AM

Citrix specializations, differentiation for partners

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Citrix, IT training, IT training and certifications

Just a couple of months after Citrix introduced four new specializations designed to demonstrate a high level of technical competency, 15 partner organizations have earned one or more specialization and one partner reported winning new business because it earned the credential. Hundreds of partners are in the pipeline to attain the new certifications, according to Citrix.

For LPS Integration in Nashville, Tenn., a Citrix Platinum Partner that earned three of the new specializations, pointing out that fact to a potential customer helped to differentiate the firm from competitors and win the business. The project involved Citrix NetScaler.

“This was a customer that we had done business with before, but they were shopping around,” said said Frank Pulliza, chief operating officer and one of the company’s founders. “So we were in a competitive situation, not just from a price perspective, but there was the threat of someone else coming in and working with our client. Continued »

March 20, 2015  5:06 PM

HP recommits to PPS partners

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber

LAS VEGAS — The doors have closed on Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Global Partner Conference (HP GPC) 2015 – and next year’s event will be different following the split of HP into two companies. But as Printer and Personal Systems (PPS) partners move ahead with what will be called HP Inc. (HPI), they can expect to see a continuation of the partner-focused approach rooted in PPS, according to Jos Brenkel, senior vice president of worldwide strategy and project management office, printing and personal systems at HP.

Today, about 85% of PPS revenue goes through the channel.

The split of HP into two companies makes sense to Paul Kaminski, director of document storage solutions at Innovative Office Solutions, which is based in Burnsville, Minn. Innovative Office Solutions is focused primarily on the PPS side of HP’s business

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March 11, 2015  11:35 PM

Advice for channel partners on going vertical

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Ingram Micro, Microsoft, Tech Data

It’s mid-March and if you haven’t heard the word “differentiation” used this year in conversations about channel partners and the future, you will. Differentiation is a necessity for a partner firm’s future, according to industry experts.

Creating differentiation may mean specialization around a technology practice or alignment with a vertical industry. Industry experts agree that specialization or going deep in a vertical industry is a recipe for partner success.

“Any amount of transformation is good whether a partner gets more specialized or vertical — anything is good,” said Tiffani Bova, vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Research, adding that partners want to be known as the go-to company for targeted expertise. Continued »

February 13, 2015  10:56 PM

Microsoft opens the door to Dynamics CRM Online through partners

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Cloud Services, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics

At Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2014 in Washington, D.C., last July, the vendor pointed to Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM as the future for partners’ success with the company as it encouraged partners to build out a cloud and hybrid practice. Now, Microsoft is following through on a couple of promises specific to Dynamics CRM.

Earlier this month, on Feb. 2, Dynamics CRM Online in Open became available for partners. Microsoft’s Open program aims to make it simple and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to access Microsoft software via a partner selling cloud-based services.

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January 23, 2015  10:21 PM

Channel partners will have to pay for talent

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel, IT salary, jobs

Channel partners looking for new talent are facing an expensive and tough job candidates market. It’s competitive, costly  and the pickings are slim. So what do you need to know about salary expectations as you sift through resumes?

The annual tech unemployment rate is the lowest recorded since 2008, coming in at 2.7%, according to Dice, an online career hub for technology professionals.

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January 17, 2015  12:14 AM

‘Ultra-converged’ infrastructure opportunity for HP and Citrix partners

Lynn Haber Lynn Haber Profile: Lynn Haber
Channel partners, Citrix, Converged infrastructure

The ink was barely dry on the paper when on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Citrix Summit 2015 in Las Vegas, the vendor announced a new high-end ultra-converged infrastructure solution that leverages software-defined storage capability from recently acquired Sanbolic. Citrix completed the acquisition on Jan. 12.

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