Channel Marker

February 18, 2009  6:56 PM

Sorting out Microsoft Online Services licensing

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft spent the better part of last year pushing its Microsoft Online Services to partners, who worried about shrinking margins and fewer services opportunities.

Much of that campaign focused on the customer demand for cloud computing, or Software plus Services, as Microsoft calls it. And that was a very valid point. A lot of businesses would rather let someone else deal with management, support and the other back-end hassles associated with Exchange, SharePoint and other software — especially when the economy is going down the toilet.

But Microsoft neglected to mention the flip side of that coin: Software plus Services adds a whole new layer of licensing options, which are already confusing enough for Microsoft partners.

Continued »

February 18, 2009  6:10 PM

SAP-Infor saga shows ups, downs of vendor exclusivity

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow



It’s always good to watch the shifting allegiances of VARs and their vendor partners.


Take SAP for example. Last week, the ERP giant, trying to boost its midmarket cred, blasted out a press release touting the migration of companies and VARs from Infor to SAP Business One. Continued »

February 18, 2009  4:32 PM

Your organization should be blogging

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

I am constantly amazed at how many of your customers get the bulk of their IT news from blogs. That’s right, blogs. In fairness, they tend to take the source into consideration when evaluating the quality of the information; corporate blogs may be less trustworthy than an independent source, but your customers are reading them, and you need to be in the fray.

I am surprised by the number of reseller websites I visit that do not have a blog, or, worse, that have a website that hasn’t been updated in the past few months. Continued »

February 17, 2009  9:25 PM

Extending credit: Tech Data is latest to expand financing options

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Have you been having trouble this year getting customers to pay quickly? Recognizing a common refrain across the channel, distributor Tech Data says it has been working with its product vendors and financing partners to come up with additional financing, flooring and leasing options. Continued »

February 16, 2009  3:41 PM

Microsoft partners: Ready to climb the profitability ladder?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Viral videos are supposed to be “viral” in the sense that they spread like wildfire from website to website because they’re so popular. Most of Microsoft’s recent attempts have been “viral” only in how sickeningly bad they were.

There was the cheese-tastic “Rockin’ Our Sales” music video by Bruce ServicePack and the Vista Street Band, and how we can forget channel chief Allison Watson’s rap at last year’s Worldwide Partner Conference?

But now Microsoft has finally done it right with “Camp Network,” an over-the-top skewering of all the sales mumbo-jumbo dished out at partner events. Watch as partners literally climb the profitability ladder and “hunt for the wild boar of success”:

February 13, 2009  3:14 PM

Training: Why you should be offering it

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

In my last entry, I cited a survey Symantec fielded last fall indicating that IT budgets would either stay the same or go up in the following 12 months. The survey drilled down a bit on training: 78% of respondents said training budgets would either stay the same or go up in the next two years.

That figure makes sense. Think about it: In the past few years we have thrown a lot of solutions at customers: server virtualization, networked and virtualized storage, archiving, improved data protection, and disaster recovery. Continued »

February 11, 2009  8:20 PM

How will the economic stimulus package help resellers?

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

Are you really asking yourself that question? Then you are about ready to go out of business. I find that most businesses that are waiting for the winds of Washington to determine their future, even government-focused resellers, are in serious trouble.


What is in this spending bill that will really help resellers? Continued »

February 11, 2009  2:35 PM

Welcome to our new blog location on IT Knowledge Exchange!

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Dear Channel Marker readers:

I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to some of our new blog features and also some of the features on IT Knowledge Exchange.

Continued »

February 7, 2009  12:37 PM

MySQL diaspora

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

It’s been 13 months since Sun Microsystems announced its  plan for a $1 billion buyout of MySQL and almost a year to the date since the deal closed. Now, the MySQL executive diaspora is on. Monty Widenius, one of the tech geniuses behind the open source oriented database left last week. Former MySQL CEO and front man Marten Mickos soon followed. (David Axmark, Widenius’ co-founder, had already hit the trail last October.) Continued »

February 5, 2009  11:13 AM

SharePoint as Borg (and the rise of Microsoft Management Reporter)

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

With Microsoft moving the scorecarding and analytics of PerformancePoint server into SharePoint it sure seems that SharePoint is the go-to repository for all the capabilities that Microsoft doesn’t really know what else to do with. Remember Microsoft Content Management Server? That got sucked into SharePoint too. This strategy could turn out for good or ill depending on your view of swiss army knife product packaging.

Something called Microsoft Management Reporter, may be the exception to prove the rule. I’m assuming this is the same Management Reporter that is now part and parcel of the soon-to-be defunct PerformancePoint, but stay tuned. Microsoft is looking to make that the successor reporting tool for Microsoft Dynamics partners and their customers, replacing the venerable FrX, Forecaster and Enterprise Reporting products that many customers use with their Dynamics ERP applications.

Continued »

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