Channel Marker

January 13, 2010  1:21 PM

FusionStorm establishes charitable foundation. What’s YOUR New Year’s resolution?

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Actually came across this item before Christmas, when I was research IT solution providers’ use of social media. Managed services provider and systems integrator FusionStorm has established a foundation to support research and awareness about climate change and other “complex issues that face our planet.”

Continued »

January 12, 2010  1:50 PM

Microsoft Word, Office snafu grows

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

So, remember when Microsoft said it could pull the copies of Word 2007 and Office 2007 that ran afoul of a legal ruling  and replace them with non-offending versions in  time for a January 11 deadline? Yeah, well, that didn’t turn out to be true.  

 MIcrosoft’s online store and MSDN pulled the offending versions of Office and Word, but didn’t have much up to replace them, according to several reports.

An appeals court judge last month affirmed a lower court finding that Microsoft Word 2007 (and by extension Office 2007) used an XML editor that infringed on the patents of Toronto-based i4i.  At that time Microsoft said it would comply by removing the affected products as ordered by January 11. It also said it had already worked a fix for the problem and would substitute versions of Word and Office with that fix.

Last Friday, Microsoft said it would (re) appeal the lower court ruling.


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January 11, 2010  6:56 PM

HP, Cisco partner events face off

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Talk about counter programming. Hewlett-Packard slated its partner conference directly opposite  Cisco’s previously planned partner summit.

Here’s the VAR Guy’s take on this move–which will put joint Cisco and HP VARs–and there are plenty of those –in a tizzy in a few months. Continued »

January 4, 2010  5:45 PM

Good riddance to a bad decade

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Face it, the first decade of the 21st century was a bummer. As it closes, it’s time for the obligatory look at the major IT stories of the aughts. Based on a completely unscientific survey  of VARs and colleagues, here are the biggest stories of the that painful decade.

1: The fizz (and fizzle) of the Y2K bug. Whatever apocalypse was supposed to happen  didn’t.  It still isn’t clear whether that was because Y2K software issues were overblown or that the hype forced businesses to proactively fix problems before the new year. In any case, a lot of software got patched and updated.

Continued »

December 21, 2009  7:49 PM

Customer satisfaction now core to Microsoft Gold designation

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Spoke with Julie Bennani, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Network, Worldwide Partner Group, about the new customer satisfaction survey process that will be part of earning a Microsoft Gold badge moving forward. Solution providers seeking the designation will now need to produce 10 completed surveys for each specific technology specialization. There is no special level they have to attain; the surveys just need to be from customers who were active over the past 12 months.

Here are some specific details on the new customers satisfaction survey process, from a related blog I posted last Friday. I’ll be interviewing some Microsoft partners about customer satisfaction metrics after the New Year. (I know many of you are trying to close out your books, so I’ll lay low on extraneous interviews until January.)

Hang in there, everyone, only 10 days until this wretched year is behind us!

December 21, 2009  4:16 PM

Microsoft CFO to be General Motors CFO

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Chris Liddell must like a challenge. The outgoing CFO of Microsoft is now the ingoing CFO for General Motors.

Liddell had spent four years at Microsoft, following a stint at International Paper. Starting in 2010 he will be vice chairman and CFO of the struggling US carmaker. He will report to GM chairman Ed Whiteacre.

Microsoft had announced Liddell’s plans to leave in late November and said Peter Klein will be the new Microsoft CFO.

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December 16, 2009  6:39 PM

Shuttleworth taking some time?

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Canonical’s got a conference call slated tomorrow with CEO and founder Mark Shuttleworth on tap, as well as COO Jane Silber.

No one’s saying nothing, other than to be available at 11 a.m., but here’s guessing that Shuttleworth will relinquish some day-to-day stuff–and the CEO title to Silber. This is, after all, a guy with other interests!

Well, that’s what I’m  saying anyway.


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December 15, 2009  7:01 PM

HTG members will receive special CompTIA membership

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Members in good standing of the HTG Peer Groups, a community of self-governing groups with the professed goal of helping solution providers improve their business acumen and operating models, are being offered a chance to join CompTIA for a discounted membership fee.

HTG members will receive the benefits of associate member for a one-year fee of $49. That will give them access to all CompTIA member communities and special interest groups, including those focused on debating Managed Services, Cloud/SaaS and open source. Other benefits include business templates, best practices information, discounts on certifications, and free attendance to CompTIA Breakway in August 2010. Continued »

December 9, 2009  4:57 AM

Hot channel trends to watch in 2010

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Desktop virtualization will be big. Cloud computing and new client hardware? Also hot topics, but there’s less agreement about whether they’ll drive channel opportunities and profits. Yes, the channel advisory board has weighed in on the hot technologies they see driving business in 2010.

There was pretty strong consensus that desktop virtualization is gaining traction. One VAR said DVI is most cost effective for shops with 200 or 250 or more users, but another said he can make a case for desktop virtualization for companies with 35  employees or so.

Without further ado, here are the top takeaways from this week’s advisory board call:

1: Get up to speed on VDI

The aforementioned desktop virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is really coming into its own, said George Brown, CEO of Database Solutions. And, interestingly, VMware, with its dominance in server virtualization, is not a lock on the desktop.   Citrix is getting a lot of long looks–and some wins–from customers, several board members said. Continued »

December 7, 2009  5:51 PM

Does your would-be customer have adequate credit?

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Spoke with Janet Schijns, vice president of global channel programs for the Motorola enterprise mobility solutions group, about several topics looking forward into the New Year.

Two of her themes, in particular, struck me as particularly relevant on the cusp of 2010. They are actually pretty inter-related, which sort of makes things easier for you. Continued »

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