Channel Marker

April 2, 2010  10:22 PM

CompTIA offers new VAR membership option

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

CompTIA has taken a cue from charities and non-profits and from the managed services industry by coming up with a subscription-based pricing model for VARs, so that they can pay by the month instead coughing up the $250 annual fee all at once.

Under the new program, solution providers can sign up for a recurring $20 per month credit card charge (which will also save them $10 on the year). The idea is to entice more smaller organizations that might want access to CompTIA research and education.

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April 1, 2010  6:25 PM

Cisco’s pipeline remains plugged

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Nope, you weren’t imagining it. Cisco continues to have problems fulfilling orders for some of its more popular networking gear.

Cisco resellers and customers  report long lag times for Cisco’s Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) firewalls and other non-glam but necessary gear.

Kinda makes you wonder if Cisco’s taken its eye its bread-and-butter networking gear to chase the pie-in-the-sky of Unified Computing Systems.

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March 26, 2010  3:02 PM

Oracle execs stick to direct sales mantra

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Oracle and Sun VARs hoping for relief from direct-sales anxiety didn’t come out of last night’s Oracle earnings call with much in the way of reassurance.

Oracle execs did not back down from a planned direct sales push both in hardware and software. Continued »

March 25, 2010  9:43 PM

Microsoft Office Communications Server: A fruitless tree?

NicoleH Nicole Harding Profile: NicoleH


Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 14 is due later this year. But in this lackluster unified communications (UC) market, is that too soon?

This week, Microsoft pushed Office Communications Server (OCS) 14 at VoiceCon Orlando 2010. OCS is an add-on that works with Exchange Server and Microsoft Office. It includes support for instant messaging, voicemail, Internet telephony and conferencing.

Microsoft is touting its latest UC product as a replacement for PBX-based systems. But in a recent call with our Channel Advisory Board, members gave their take on unified communications services, and it wasn’t too promising.

Continued »

March 25, 2010  5:17 PM

Healthcare plan = big bucks for VARs

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow


While many VARs may not agree with the now-approved healthcare legislation, those with a healthcare bent see it as a potential goldmine. This according to one member of the Advisory board. Here are the top five takeways from yesterday’s quarterly advisory board call:

 1: Business is back!

Let’s lead with the good news for once: Several board members said they are seeing brisk business after quarter after quarter of dismal results.

“Last week was our best week in 63 weeks” in terms of services, said Database Solutions’ CEO George Brown. “People are coming back to custom apps work. We’re recovering but slowly.”


Continued »

March 23, 2010  6:43 PM

Arrow enterprise team beefs up services capabilities

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

One of the big perpetual gripes of channel types is the amount of investment it often takes to get their technical services teams up to snuff on certain new technologies, especially when things are as tight as they have been for the past two years. Continued »

March 19, 2010  9:32 PM

Have you automated your professional services biz yet?

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Is it me or is there a heck of a lot of activity going around in the professional services automation (PSA) world right now? I’ve always been intrigued by these applications, because of the discipline and process that they can bring to a solution providers day-to-day operations.

Right now, I’m watching two of the platform vendors in particular: Autotask and ConnectWise.

Continued »

March 18, 2010  5:35 PM

Jerry York, who left his mark on IBM, GM, dead

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Jerry York, the legendary numbers guy who played key roles at GM, IBM, Apple and other fortune 500 giants, died today. The cause was reported to be an aneurysm.


York famously arrived at Big Blue with new Chairman Lou Gerstner, and as CFO streamlined that company’s operations. In one anecdote he toured IBM’s office product supply closets and found the company wasted too much money on different sizes and types inter-office envelopes. He was also involved in Kirk Kerkorian’s failed bid for Chrysler.

 York, who was 71, joined Apple’s board in 1997.


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March 17, 2010  3:29 PM

Ask yourself: How can this vendor program help my company get where it wants to be?

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Empowerment is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot these days, but I really love that Motorola has decided to call upon this theme as the name of its expansive new program for folks rallying around their enterprise mobility and communications technologies. It’s called, simply, PartnerEmpower.

Continued »

March 12, 2010  3:30 AM

Symantec’s partner collaboration ethos

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Most technology vendors talk the talk about why partner-to-partner collaboration is so important for their channel. Symantec continues to encourage it through its referral program, which has now been in place for about a year.

Continued »

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