Channel Marker

October 10, 2008  6:18 AM

What will the financial services crisis mean for the IT offshore outsourcing movement?

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Earlier this week, a rather interesting news item crossed my desk: Seems India-based IT services giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will buy the business process outsourcing arm of Citigroup for $505 million. The transaction is supposed to close in the fourth quarter. Just curious, does anyone find that number sort of modest? I’m betting it would have been valued a lot higher just 18 months ago.

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October 8, 2008  1:15 PM

Brocade pulls off the impossible: Financing

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Brocade snagged $1.2 billion in funding for its $3 billion acquisition of Foundry Networks Tuesday, a day when the Dow Jones fell more than 500 points and technology companies were slammed.

The financing, which came from Banc of America Securities, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, HSBC Bank USA and Keybank National Association, includes a $1.1 billion term loan and a $125 million revolving credit facility. Continued »

October 8, 2008  10:11 AM

Prospering in the recession: Preparation

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

That’s right, I’m going to talk about prospering, not just surviving. You know you have been in IT solutions too long when the current economic situation is not your first rodeo. This is the third or fourth time I’ve seen a downturn hit our economy in general and our industry in specific. And it always seems that people and companies that are prepared, focused and aggressive actually grow and prosper.

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October 6, 2008  4:40 PM

Vendors: Invest more in channel sales and less in operations, study says

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

If you’ve ever felt like the last thing you need from a vendor is yet another channel web portal, and what you’d really rather have is a darn good lead, you’re probably not alone.

A new report is attempting to make your point.

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October 6, 2008  11:12 AM

Microsoft plots SQL Server 2010

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Microsoft’s database folks say that SQL Server 2010 (yes, that’s the shocking name of the next release) will make it out in the 36-month window the company has prescribed for database releases.  It’s promised for the first half of Calendar Year 2010. SQL Server 2008 shipped last August.

“We remain committed to the 24- to 36-month schedule” of upgrades, said Tom Casey, general manager for SQL Server. Internally, the product has gone under the code name Kilimanjaro. A CTP is promised for the next year.

In addition, there will be an update to the current SQL Server 2008, adding better data warehousing capability from Microsoft’s acquisition last July of DATAllegro. That update will be demonstrated at the Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference in Seattle this week. Those scalability enhancements known as Project Madison, should also be available in the first half of 2010.  Pricing and packagine remain TBD.

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October 5, 2008  8:07 PM

Cisco fights channel partner over deal registration in court

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Cisco is in Superior Court of Orange County, Calif. this week facing off against a former channel partner that claims the networking giant violated a deal registration agreement and poached a $3 million dollar IP telephony customer, turning the business over to AT&T.

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October 3, 2008  11:30 AM

An SMB CEO’s view on where innovation equals technology

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Historically speaking, IBM understands better than almost any other high-tech company I’ve come across how corporate innovation can be facilitated by (or hampered by) technology investments. It certainly has plenty of research to illustrate this, including its most recent “Enterprise of the Future” study, which includes results from the company’s Global CEO survey of more than 1,100 chief executives.

Since I know many of you are mainly focused on SMB prospects, I wanted to share a few findings focused on midmarket companies as well as some thoughts from one of the midmarket CEOs I spoke with when the study was released a few weeks back. (IBM defines midmarket companies as those with between 100 and 1,000 employees.)

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October 3, 2008  10:20 AM

Aggregating manufacturers: Very bad for the channel

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

I’m taking a quick deviation from the economy today for some thoughts on what I call the aggregators. These are manufacturers that for one reason or another have stopped or slowed down on innovation and are using their position in the market to acquire companies.

This is not good for the channel, especially the part of the channel that still wants to add value to manufacturers’ products through integration (that’s why they’re called integrators, right?). When manufacturers offer EVERYTHING (including services), it removes one of the best ways that a VAR can add value: integration.

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October 2, 2008  12:43 PM

Dell: HP playing catch-up with LeftHand acquisition

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

There’s an Oreo commercial that’s been out for a few weeks now, where Venus and Serena Williams hold a press conference to announce they’re joining some cookie-eating league.

Then the camera pans over to Peyton and Eli Manning, who starred in the ad campaign last year, and Peyton smugly says: “My brother and I are proud to announce this was a great idea when WE thought of it, like, a year ago.”

That was basically Dell’s repsonse to yesterday’s news that Hewlett-Packard will acquire LeftHand Networks. Two company bloggers wrote posts yesterday, both saying that HP made the move to catch up with Dell — which acquired LeftHand’s iSCSI SAN competitor, EqualLogic, back in January.

“With the purchase of EqualLogic over a year ago, our Partners were offered an ease-of-use, intelligence and automation of EqualLogic’s systems,” wrote Amie Paxton, Dell’s channel community manager.

And David Graves, editor of Dell’s Inside IT blog, wrote, “Obviously HP is coming to recognize what Dell did a long time ago – simple, intelligent, automated storage is what the mid-market wants.”

The Oreo ad devolves into a lame back-and-forth trash-talk session with phrases like “you’re goin’ down” and “ooooh, we’re scared.” Let’s hope Dell and HP have a little more serious competition … although it would give me a lot more blog fodder if they didn’t.

October 2, 2008  10:30 AM

Windows Cloud coming to Microsoft PDC

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

For much of this year, Microsoft has been trying to convince people that it’s serious about Software as a Service (or “Software Plus Services,” as Microsoft calls it … always gotta be difficult, don’t they?).

Yesterday, the company took its boldest step yet. CEO Steve Ballmer told partners at an event in London that Microsoft will announce a “cloud operating system” at the Professional Developers Conference later this month, according to InfoWorld. He dubbed the OS “Windows Cloud” for the time being, and here’s how he described it, according to The Register:

Just like Windows Server looked a lot like Windows but with new properties, new characteristics and new features, so will Windows Cloud look a lot like Windows Server.

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