Channel Marker

July 31, 2008  2:53 PM

Maybe it’s time to call it something other than Web 2.0

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

For the past eight or so months, I’ve been writing a column called Web Sight (spelling intentional) for Entrepreneur magazine. (Here’s a sample piece from the latest issue.) The focus has been on how so-called Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs or social networks or customer feedback tools or real-time analytics, can drive revenue or cut costs for small businesses. It hasn’t been all that hard to find examples to use as case studies, but it has been astonishingly hard to convince anyone in the solution provider channel that Web 2.0 are useful.

Granted, as I write this blog entry, I consider all the VARs and solution providers that have recently befriended me in Facebook or LinkedIn. So, the climate may be changing. Kudos to you, I say, because you are exposing yourself to all sorts of possible new connections and reinforcing existing ties. But as I’ve interacted with various channel executives about this topic over the past few months, invariably they tell me they’re too busy in the real world on sales calls or customer visits to worry about what’s commonly called Web 2.0.

Continued »

July 31, 2008  12:58 PM

Shareholders approve HP-EDS acquisition

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

It looks like the odyssey leading to Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) acquisition of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) is finally over. This morning, EDS shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $13.9 billion purchase, The Dallas Morning News reported. Shareholders owning 98.8% of shares voted in favor of the deal. Continued »

July 30, 2008  5:26 PM

Zimbra wants to out-Outlook Outlook

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

 You have to hand it to Zimbra.The company, now part of Yahoo and seemingly unfazed by all that entails, is nothing if not aggressive. With Zimbra Desktopit’s now taking on the grand poobah of e-mail clients.

Yes, Zimbra is trying to out-Outlook Microsoft Outlook. The nerve!

  Continued »

July 30, 2008  11:34 AM

SAP CEO: Partners key to recruiting skilled workers

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

SAP wants to see at least 30,000 new SAP consultants enter the market in the near future. And partners will be the driving force behind that growth.

That’s the word from Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP Americas and Asia Pacific. My colleague Courtney Bjorlin, news editor for, just posted an exclusive interview with McDermott. She asked him if there’s a shortage of skilled SAP workers, and if so, what SAP’s doing to address that. Here’s what he had to say:

Over these next few years, we’ll add 30,000 to 50,000 trained SAP consultants. Some of that will be SAP. But we’ll be the small amount. Partners will continuously invest in these students from university. Also, hiring from the industry where a lot of these smaller software companies have failed, or companies like Oracle where the demand continues to go down, that supply will be regenerated toward SAP. It’s the partner ecosystem.

Continued »

July 29, 2008  7:43 PM

Former VAR exec to lead Juniper U.S. sales

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Juniper Networks fished an executive out of its own sea of channel partners this week, hiring Philip O’Reilly, former CEO of Solunet, as the new senior vice president of U.S. enterprise sales.

O’Reilly will replace Hayley Tabor, who left the position earlier this year. Working with Juniper’s executive team, O’Reilly will drive sales through the company’s direct, indirect, federal and distribution channel, and he’ll report to the newly appointed executive vice president of worldwide field operations John Morris. Continued »

July 29, 2008  12:25 PM

Vista: Should I stay or should I go?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The great 20th-century British philosopher Mick Jones once asked the defining question of his era: “Should I stay or should I go?

OK, OK, OK. Jones wasn’t a philosopher. He was the singer for The Clash. But his words are ringing truer today than perhaps ever before, as consumers and CIOs alike ponder if they should stay with Windows XP or go to Windows Vista. And the recent advice coming from the analyst community isn’t doing much to help these people answer Jones’ question.

Continued »

July 29, 2008  11:51 AM

If Vista’s so great, maybe Microsoft should pay for it

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

There’s no better way to spend a hot afternoon than in an air-conditioned  gym zoning out in front of ESPN’s afternoon lineup. (Minus Jim Rome, whose appeal remains a mystery.)

Anyway, the various Around the Horn and PTI guys were in fine fettle the other day, yelling about how Goodyear should refund ticket prices for the recent Allstate 400 debacle it sponsored. For those not in NASCAR’s orbit, this race was a joke because cars kept blowing tires and pulling over for repairs. Blown tires? Goodyear? Talk about PR nightmares.

No word from Goodyear on this yet but the whole mess got me thinking about Vista. Microsoft continues to insist that Vista is good for us. The new ads — fruit of the now-famous $300 million campaign — are starting to hit in the New York Times and other venues. It’s not Vista that’s bad, it’s just that people are stupid. Get it? We are still dinosaurs in Microsoft’s view. Parenthetical question to Microsoft: Who’s getting more bang for the advertising buck? You or Crispin, Porter Bogusky? Not sure you’ll like the answer. Continued »

July 28, 2008  11:16 PM

Juniper gets KJ at a hefty price

rivkalittle Rivka Little Profile: rivkalittle

Juniper Networks may have a cozy relationship with newly hired CEO Kevin Johnson, but it didn’t come cheap. Juniper agreed to pay Johnson $5 million for signing on, Jason Davis reported in his The San Jose Mercury News blog Docu-Drama. Continued »

July 28, 2008  1:16 PM

Is Sun in play?

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Gabriel Consulting Group posted an interesting item about Sun Microsystems‘ future. It speculates that the beleaguered tech giant may be taken private. 

Southeastern Asset Management, and its more famous subsidiary Longleaf Partners, has become Sun’s largest shareholders, with a 14% stake. Continued »

July 28, 2008  8:52 AM

An easier way to produce quotes on Dell systems

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

If you’re building out a Dell solutions practice, there’s a new third-party tool available from Aspire Technologies that’s supposed to help solution providers more quickly create sales quotes that include Dell products. Aspire, which is based in Orlando, Fla., didn’t work with Dell on the software, so keep that in mind.

The application plugs into QuoteWerks, an application that integrates with most widely used CRM tools as well as information utilities from distributors Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data. What does that mean? Simply that data and notes associated with any quotes created with the tool are automatically added to the prospect’s CRM record.

Other features of the utility include the ability to export information into an XLS spreadsheet file; a multi-product search function; a group part number builder; and an importing utility that pulls in products listed in a Tech Data shopping cart.

The software can be downloaded at

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