Channel Marker

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 »

December 7, 2009  4:44 PM

Happy Birthday Notes!

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Just talked to an industry buddy who wanted to know if I was in Somerville, Mass., 20 years ago today.

Um, interesting question. What happened Dec. 7, 1989 a.k.a Pearl Harbor Day at the Academy of Arts & Sciences in Somerville? Nothing rang a bell. Turns out that was the day Ray Ozzie   Notes 1.0–at the beautiful academy right on the Cambridge line. Continued »

December 2, 2009  10:23 PM

Surprise! Cisco UCS hits bigger in smaller companies

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

CIsco may have pitched its Unified Computing System (UCS) to the biggest of enterprises but smaller companies–typically mid-market players just dipping their toes into server virtualization –are the ones that are actually buying the converged hardware. Continued »

December 2, 2009  6:40 PM

Nimsoft’s monitoring solution keeps tabs on internal and external (cloud) infrastructure

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Pretty much everyone I know in the channel agrees that cloud services will play SOME role for at least part of their customers’ computing needs. The good news for IT solution providers is that there is still plenty of work for them to do in terms of integration and management services. The bad news, as more and more companies are discovering, is that the management challenges associated with monitoring and optimizing and tuning cloud infrastructure in conjunction with internal IT infrastructure are not trivial. Continued »

November 23, 2009  9:29 PM

Cloud storage player Nirvanix seeks channel partners

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Slowly but surely, pioneers of the cloud infrastructure world are figuring out that a direct sales won’t cover all the basis and they’re adding rather specialized partner programs to start recruiting VARs and IT solution providers who are capable of integrating cloud technology with legacy architectures. Continued »

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