Channel Marker

June 18, 2010  7:27 PM

Oracle nixes HP Solaris contract

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

You had to see this one coming.

The Register reports that Oracle has deep-sixed Hewlett-Packard’s ability to sell/support Solaris running on X-64-based HP hardware. Given that  Oracle has said it will only support Solaris running on Sun (now Oracle) hardware, this is not a huge surprise.

What’s unclear is how long it will take for Oracle to nix similar OEM agreements with Dell and IBM et al.

One long-time Sun VAR said that Oracle is squandering the Solaris promise, Solaris being the only Unix that can run on both Intel and RISC processors.

This is just another step down Oracle’s long road to offer pricey Sun-based appliances — data center iPods if you will –for data centers that need to handle uber-high transaction loads. Meanwhile those iPods–the Exadatas– are being touted as the latest and greatest in Sun hardware but take a look at the specs: The operating system? Linux, not Solaris. The chips? Intel xeons not Sparc.

Sun customers want to know why there is so little forthcoming from Oracle about the Sparc and Solaris roadmaps especially given how much the company has boosted their support costs. IBM and HP are besieging Sun hardware shops –often using former Sun techies to talk about how little Oracle knows or cares about hardware.

It’ll be interesting to hear what the company has to say on this topic its anual sales kickoff later this month.

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June 9, 2010  5:44 PM

Quick video refresher on new Microsoft competencies

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

OK, so probably many of you have made your arrangement to fly to Washington, D.C., for the annual Microsoft worldwide partner conference. Last year, the company announced a whole set of new competencies, which means that most of you have had to rejigger your certifications with the software developer.

For those of you who need a little refresher on what’s required, there is a new video on the Microsoft Partner Network Web site. The content features Julie Bennani, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Network, and Pam Salzer, senior director of worldwide partner marketing at Microsoft, discussing what has (and IS) changing. It’s about 15 minutes long, but worth the investment.

Also, between now and the end of the month you have an opportunity to re-do any exam you might have failed. (Yes, a second chance!) Here’s the link for more information.

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June 8, 2010  7:22 PM

Whoops! Oracle/Sun not looking so profitable after all

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Remember when Larry Ellison chastised analysts and reporters for forecasting that  Oracle would decimate Sun Microsystems headcount? Oracle was hiring, not firing, he said.

And, remember Ellison promising that the Oracle-Sun combo would be profitable in February?  This was, in fact, in late January as Ellison, Charles Phillips et al. detailed the roadmap for Sun integration into Oracle.

So far things don’t look too perky on those fronts.  Continued »

June 7, 2010  7:14 PM

Oracle Sun hardware support policies already wearing thin

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Hewlett-Packard, IBM and yes–even Cisco Systems–hope to make hay out of Oracle’s decision to boost support price on Sun hardware.

And there’s no shortage of Sun VARs who claim–off the record– that their customers are irked–make that irate–over the policy changes. Not at all hard to believe. Continued »

June 3, 2010  11:42 AM

Cloud computing craze could oust certain VARs

NicoleH Nicole Harding Profile: NicoleH


A few months ago, I wrote about the bright future of cloud computing services. Many experts agreed that the demand for cloud computing platforms and applications would continue to increase, and it looks like their predictions are proving true. Just check out the news from the past few weeks alone:

Continued »

June 1, 2010  7:22 AM

Autodesk: Partner ranks growing because of clean-tech activities

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

I have covered the technology and channel programs of Autodesk, the giant design, modeling and visualization software company, for what feels like a very, very long time. In my personal opinion, this is the company that pioneered the very first value-added resellers in the PC industry — resellers that sold its flagship AutoCAD software along with hardware that had been optimized to do the application the best possible justice. That’s why I always take briefings about the Autodesk Partner Program, because their innovation is often a harbinger. Continued »

May 28, 2010  7:22 AM

Disties declare turnaround

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Is the recession over for the high-tech industry? Data collected by the world’s top technology distribution companies shows sales levels that now exceed the peak of demand prior to the beginning of the economic crisis in September 2008. So, even though we keep hearing about pockets of skittishness, certain businesses seem to have money to buy again. At least certain things. Continued »

May 27, 2010  5:29 PM

Microsoft wake up call

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Even avowed Microsoft boosters are concerned about the company’s recent travails.

As someone who doesn’t follow the vendor as closely as in the past, it’s still very clear that Microsoft has big “issues” not the least of which is that it lost its market-cap dominance to Apple, the most proprietary–and in some ways most user-unfriendly– vendor in tech.

The departures of Robbie Bach (who will retire in the fall) and J Allard certainly got folks’ attention. One Microsoft partner is anxious about the company, beyond the Enterprise & Device division, which is where Bach and Allard resided.

“I am very worried about Microsoft in general. [It’s a]  comedy of errors, except not funny,” he noted.

Continued »

May 27, 2010  4:46 PM

McAfee’s Thurber still keenly focused on channel

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Wrote briefly yesterday about some management shifts over at McAfee. Last night, I had a chance to follow up with Alex Thurber, who has taken on a new role focused on mid-market business development after only nine months on the job.

Point of clarification: Thurber describes his new title (actually, his new title isn’t quite finalized, but you know what I mean) as an extension of his channel management duties. Indeed, he believes his insight into midmarket sales activities will help him reshape McAfee’s solutions for that customer segment. “I can’t imagine a deal that wouldn’t go through the channel in this space,” he said, when I chatted with him via phone.

The division in question covers all of the security vendor’s unnamed accounts: Thurber says this could be businesses of 20 people or so that have only recently switched from buying technology like a consumer into a different operational approach on up to companies with 2,500 to 5,000 employees.

Thurber’s new mission is to help McAfee and its partners accelerate sales in this space.

Check out more IT channel news on and follow us on Twitter. You can follow Heather Clancy on Twitter by clicking here.

May 26, 2010  5:34 PM

McAfee’s lead channel exec shifts to mid-market role

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

McAfee has announced what it describes as a “new alignment” of its business units, one that it says reflects customer interest not in point products but in solutions. The new divisions are:

  • Endpoint security
  • Network security
  • Content security
  • Risk and compliance
  • Continued »

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