Channel Marker

May 9, 2007  6:42 AM

Channel news: Microsoft patches DNS, zero-day; VMWare workstation shows VM future

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Microsoft issues critical updates, patches DNS zero-day flaw Microsoft issued patches to plug 19 holes, including a critical zero-day DNS Server Service flaw as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday bulletin. []

VMware Workstation 6 foreshadows future VMware ESX releases New features in VMware Workstation 6, announced today, will eventually find their way in to the company’s server-focused ESX hypervisor.[]

Hewlett-Packard says quarterly results will top forecast The announcement pushed the company’s stock to its highest point in more than six years. [NYT]

CIOs struggle with open source governance, cite lack of toolsOpen source software is running amuck because IT managers can’t find the right tool to get their heads around the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of downloads within their networks.[] Continued »

May 8, 2007  4:04 PM

Dell and Ubuntu: how important is it?

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Last week’s announcement that Dell will ship laptops and desktops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed may hint that the days of desktop Linux are finally coming closer, but some Linux consultants said those days are still off in the distance.

“It’s hard to tell, but I think [Linux market share would be] be comparable with Max OS X; so maybe in the 10% market at first and then moving up as people see the benefit of it,” said Jeremy C. Reed, owner of Puget Sound Technology, a Linux and open-source consultancy in Washington.

Linux’s reputation could get a boost with Dell backing it, Reed said. On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the first time that it looked like Linux is on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream, and Reed predicted the future holds “more of the same” — slow and steady acceptance, but not a huge jump thanks to Dell.

Meanwhile, Red Hat has responded to the Dell-Ubuntu announcement saying the deal could boost open source applications as a whole — and that it would be releasing some desktop-related news at the Red Hat Summit, which starts tomorrow in San Diego.

Yuval Shavit, news writer

May 8, 2007  7:34 AM

Channel news: Sun plans Java for cellphones; Sun beeft up NetBeans

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Sun plans version of Java for Web-linked cellphones Sun Microsystems will revamp its Java software to compete more effectively in the market for Internet-connected mobile phones. [NYT]

Sun beefs up NetBeans New features of the Sun NetBeans open-source IDE include support for Ruby on the JVM as well as new service and support options. [eWEEK]

Microsoft exec ‘surprised’ by interest in virtual desktop infrastructure  Microsoft’s virtualization guru, Mike Neil, is surprised by IT managers’ eagerness to move to virtual desktops, and thinks most companies should hold off a bit.
[] Continued »

May 7, 2007  12:27 PM

Citrix shakes up channel, services lineup

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Citrix Systems, Inc. today announced that Mitch Parker – its current head of channel programs – will be promoted to lead the company’s services organization. Al Monserrat, currently vice president of North America, will replace Parker as of July 1 and assume the title vice president of channel programs and sales operations.

Monserrat will take charge of the company’s relationships with its approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners – a role Parker held since October of 2005.Monserrat’s responsibilities will include the Citrix Solution Advisor channel, building and maintaining relationships with systems integrators, independent software vendors, and overseeing alternate routes to market.

Statements from Citrix estimate that 90% of its revenue comes in through channel partners. Currently, the company is pushing ahead in areas such as Software as a Service (SaaS), and desktop virtualization.

In March, Infonetics Research Inc. ranked Citrix second in worldwide revenues for SSL VPN market share for 2006.

May 7, 2007  10:37 AM

Training resources for future MSPs

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

As resellers feel the pressure of increasing competition from other resellers, they’re turning to managed services as a means of expanding their businesses. But doing so introduces another set of challenges, both technical- and business-related. Luckily, there are resources available to help.

Garden Grove, Calif.-based service provider Intelligent Enterprise Inc. is in the business of helping their customers and other potential service providers succeed. Intelligent Enterprise is the parent company of Managed Services Provider University. MSP University offers a year-long course on how to become a services provider. Their webcasts, teleseminars and live workshops cover topics like transitioning existing clients, marketing for new clients, restructuring a sales strategy and more.

Would-be service providers can also find help from MSPAlliance, a professional association for the managed services industry. Their two-day services conferences feature business, educational and technical training courses. And MSPAlliance members have access to other resources such as white papers and online forums.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the resources you can find on our very own Visit our Managed Services Topic Center for advice from other MSPs, market analysis, how-tos and more.

May 7, 2007  10:26 AM

Microsoft, Dell and Linux walk into a bar

BKraemer Brian Kraemer Profile: BKraemer

First announced last November, Microsoft and Dell are following up on their promise to make Linux easier to use on their boxes. The details of the agreement allow corporate customers the chance to license SUSE Linux.

Looks like the Linux server virtualization trend is really starting to pick up some steam. Between VMware teaming up with Linux and this latest news, VARs should start getting up to snuff on installing and supporting Linux. Selling should never be easier. VMware is on board with Linux. Microsoft and Dell are on board now, too. For those non-technical customers who don’t know what Linux is or how it works, this news should provide some leverage for pro-Linux VARs.

Make sure you check out our Linux server virtualization learning guide. It’s got the latest news and technical advice for making an installation easy. Bear in mind, that taking over a company’s servers may be a good foot in the door to landing a managed services contract.


May 7, 2007  6:56 AM

Channel news: TSA loses PC with payroll data; lax security led to TJX crack

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

TSA loses hard drive with personal info The Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees. [AP]

Lax security led to TJX breach Security pros left windows open. [TheReg]

Windows activation Trojan can catch the unwary Watch out – the bad guys have stepped up their Trojan creation nastiness by creating Trojans that look like real Windows alerts which wouldn’t fool experts but could easily catch novices. [ITWire] Continued »

May 4, 2007  7:29 PM

Trends in application integration

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

According to Technology research giant, Gartner, Inc. application integration trends are pointing at service oriented architecture (SEO). Interoperable, customer-centered systems are becoming the norm, giving end-users more choice and power.

In 2006, a Gartner press release identified five application trends that would change business applications: service oriented architecture (SEO) and event driven architecture would be the dominant design style; enterprise service bus (ESB), which provides secure interoperability between enterprise applications, would become the dominant communications service; integration logic would be separated from presentation; middleware appliances would impact the market – sometimes competing and sometimes complimenting; and event processing would improve real-time analysis and insight into business operations.

Recently, interviewed Gartner analyst, Darrell Plummer, about what these trends mean to the channel. He said interoperability opportunities and customer empowerment present resellers opportunities to work directly with vendors on specific operations, or create new products by adding to existing systems, based on what end-user needs. A more detailed article about application integration trends will be posted on the site in the near future.

This trend seems to be blanketing other IT industries, too. It mirrors business intelligence (BI) and analytic trends. Last year, posted a Q & A with Howard Dresner, the self-proclaimed “father of business intelligence” in which he talked about coining the term, “information democracy” and defines it as getting information into the hands of constituents.”  Today, many BI tools such as dashboards that track performance and up-sell opportunities, are embedded into user-friendly software programs

Web sites such as Ebay,  UTube and MySpace have set the tone for internet culture in general, it seems time for the enterprise to join the choir. How do you plan to turn this trend into an opportunity? We’d love to hear from you.

Esther Friedman

May 4, 2007  6:55 AM

Channel news: Spammers get inventive; Juniper beefs up security appliance

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Spammers use fresh technique to evade filters Taking advantage of an inability common to most anti-spam systems, spammers and malware purveyors are sneaking into e-mail inboxes via encrypted or password-protected file attachments. [Computerworld]

Juniper beefs up security appliance software As part of its strategy to give organizations more visibility into what’s going on in their networks, Juniper Networks this week launched new versions of the software that runs its security and intrusion prevention and detection appliances. [ChannelWeb]

Microsoft to release DNS patch Tuesday In addition to a fix for the DNS Server Service flaw, Microsoft plans to patch critical flaws in Windows, Office, Exchange, CAPICOM and BizTalk.
[] Continued »

May 3, 2007  3:17 PM

Ingram Micro preps NOC-for-hire for MSPs, VARs to rebrand, resell

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

SAN DIEGO — Ingram Micro plans to announce on Monday a set of back-end services, including a managed network operating center (NOC), helpdesk, and email hosting including anti-virus and anti-spam filtering, a company executive told attendees at the CompTIA Managed Services summit today.

The services, part of Ingram Micro’s Seismic program, will be sold to managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) who will be able to rebrand them as part of their portfolio to end users, said Justin Crotty, vice president of Ingram Micro’s North America services.

The program will essentially create a virtual NOC VARs and integrators can sell to their own customers, but the service is even more virtual than that. Ingram isn’t building the NOC itself; those will come from Network Synergy — a network services and design company in Trumbull, Conn.

Ingram will resell Network Synergy services to VARs and integrators, who can rebrand and resell the same services themselves.  

The arrangement is the next step in the commoditization of managed services that some MSPs have worried about even as they started their migration out of a traditional break-fix model. Crotty said MSPs should focus not on the services themselves, but the consulting and business-specific relationships built around them.

“The tools are commoditized today,” Crotty said. “If you’re competing at the tool level, yeah, you’re going to have a problem.”

Continued »

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