Channel Marker

July 13, 2010  6:18 PM

Microsoft partners will once again go for the gold

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

So remember all that stuff about Microsoft ditching the “Gold” partner designation because it didn’t mean anything? Well, never mind.

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July 12, 2010  2:39 PM

Microsoft positions Azure as the cloud for all

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

A couple of positioning statements from Monday’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference keynotes.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was careful to claim that virtualization does NOT equal cloud computing. That’s what I would say too if I were trying to displace the VMware juggernaut.  Continued »

July 11, 2010  11:33 PM

Top five questions for Microsoft at WWPC

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

As the kickoff for Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 approaches, here are some questions Microsoft partners would love Steve Ballmer, Bob Muglia et al.

#1: Why should partners go for the Microsoft Partner Network’s “advanced” badge?

The zillion dollar question this week is: “Why should we keep selling Microsoft stuff?” Continued »

July 9, 2010  3:30 PM

Microsoft partners expect cloud deluge at WWPC

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

There’ll be a lot of cloud talk at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in D.C. next week.

What Microsoft lost in being late to the party–compared to, Amazon, Google–it will try to make up for in hyper vigilance now. That’s why partners have already heard a lot about why they must sell Business Productivity Online Services–Microsoft hosted Exchange mail and SharePoint collaboration services.

They’ve been reminded that Microsoft is now “all in” the cloud per CEO Steve Ballmer.

At WPC, there will be sessions on why Microsoft Transactional Partners: Distributors, LARs, VARs should take an interest in Windows Azure, for example.  And others on selling cloud-based solutions. And many on BPOS.

Microsoft partners are already well aware of BPOS, the $10 per user per month mail and collaboration service that takes on Google Apps in the market. Some say Microsoft’s obsession with it–and pressure to push BPOS–might have had some unintended–and unwanted–consequences.

“We had our forced indoctrination on BPOS from Microsoft and by the time they were done. we all went out to look at Google Apps again, given the amount of energy Microsoft put into badmouthing it in their presentation.  More than half our team liked Google Apps better. I still like BPOS better and since we’re getting away from licensing [revenue] and moving away from the suite to the cloud, we’re taking a hard look at BPOS,” said an exec with a large Midwestern VAR.

Microsoft would very much like its partners to use BPOS as well. Last year it gave qualifying partners at WPC 250 free seats. Andy Vabulas, CEO of IBIS Inc., a Microsoft Business Solutions ERP partner, said his company will probably move to BPOS with the next release and may resell the services as well.

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July 7, 2010  2:35 PM

Going to Breakaway? Put my green IT session on your schedule

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Thanks to the CompTIA services professional group for asking me to handle a session on green IT issues during the upcoming Breakaway 2010 conference in San Antonio next month (it’s almost August, for Pete’s sake!)

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July 6, 2010  6:15 PM

Badass VAR earns martial arts honor

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

If you see Kevin McDonald on the street, or on a customer call, behave yourself.

As proof that tech nerds can also kick butt, McDonald–who is executive VP for Alvaka Networks and member of’s advisory board– was just inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame, a group dedicated to martial arts aficionados.

McDonald is a third-degree black belt in (gulp) Outlaw Street Style Tai Chi. If you don’t believe me, here he is.

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July 5, 2010  6:40 AM

Gartner: Service providers still need to focus on cost, not innovation

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

A new survey from market research firm Gartner shows that the main things that IT buyers are looking for more external service providers are cost reductions and technologies to help “keep the lights on.”

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July 1, 2010  5:51 PM

Cisco changes channel leadership

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

There must be something in the air. Within weeks of Microsoft tapping new channel leadership, another tech giant, Cisco Systems, is following suit.

Edison Peres, SVP of worldwide channels has been dubbed the de facto “channel chief.” reporting to Keith Goodwin,  SVP of Cisco’s worldwide partner organization, according to a Cisco blog post. Continued »

June 29, 2010  7:00 PM

Oracle to VARs: Specialize

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

So, if you’re an Oracle VAR (or a Sun VAR wanting to become an Oracle VAR) here’s what you gotta do: Specialize.

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June 29, 2010  6:33 PM

Inspiration for tech legal eagles

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

If you have never thought about targeting law firms as a potential customer segment, you might want to take a look at a new survey conducted by CompTIA, the self-billed non-profit trade association for the IT industry.

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