Channel Centric


  • Solution providers gearing up for XChange 2014 understand that a major transformation is under way, one that is being driven by cloud, mobility, changing buyer behavior and other forces that are causing IT integrators to rethink their value propositions.

  • It's Saturday night and I am in a windowless conference room in Los Angeles crammed with 50 techies who are trying to figure out the holy grail of IT -- building recurring revenue streams.
  • This year's BoB conference will add the Solution Provider 500 Conference and awards and the Channel Leadership Forum to the mix.

  • In a few days, several hundred solution providers, vendors and industry experts will be converging on Orlando, Fla., for the XChange Solution Provider conference.

  • With XChange Solution Provider 2013 only a few days away, here's a quick rundown of what's on tap.

  • At last week's XChange 2012 Conference in Dallas, UBM Channel honored several major and emerging vendors during the XChange XCellence awards.

  • Hundreds of solution providers and vendors are gathering at the Texan Gaylord Hotel in Dallas for XChange 2012.

  • The growing acceptance of virtual events along with a convergence of disruptive technologies paved the way for Comdex to return Nov. 16-17 as a virtual and interactive event, Comdex Virtual, featuring industry luminaries and conference tracks on various technology and business topics.

  • The single most important characteristic of midsized CIOs is that their community or network is extremely important to them.

  • Everything Channel, in conjunction with the XChange advisory boards and key vendor executives, has been working to refresh the event's content and develop a track for solution-provider executives who want to transform business practices.

  • he Annual Report Card is a year in the making, which means we are always working on this massive partner study that captures the ratings of more than 4,000 VARs. The results this year are significant because they captured the mind-set of VARs as many of them were grappling with the devastating effects of the economic downturn.

  • Whether the maker of network security solutions can successfully sell shares to investors during one of the most turbulent stock market periods in decades is anyone's guess, but if the bull market continues, Fortinet has a good chance of raising at least $100 million.

  • Based on the financial results posted by Ingram Micro and PC Connection last week, it is difficult to decipher just when the channel will experience a widespread rebound.

  • For a change, tough talk emanated out of Cisco's recent partner conference.

  • Acer's Gianfranco Lanci has the distinction of being the only CEO of a company that sells through the channel to duck us.

  • Neither IBM nor Sun are commenting on reports that they are talking to consolidate their Java efforts or server platforms; and Dell's deal is a defining moment with broad implications for its competitors.

  • Everything Channel decided to stop publishing VARBusiness as a stand-alone magazine and integrate its management strategy coverage into CRN.

  • There is really only one thing on everyone's mind right now: the state of their business. Sure, the overall economy is an issue but the VARs and IT vendors we speak with every day are concerned solely about their business.

  • Talk about strange coincidences. On the day we were poring over data from hundreds of VARs who had answered a survey about their 2009 growth plans, a sizable solution provider left me a message saying he was closing his doors. Despite more than a dozen years serving up IT solutions in a solid niche, this VAR could no longer find a way to map out a profitable growth strategy. It was such a damn shame.

  • Earlier this year, we all had a skip in our step. Sure, pressures were mounting, but no one could have forecast how far things would fall.

  • We have often said that you will not find much in the way of revolutionary findings in our State of the Market study, but what you will find is the evolution of the VAR model. The most fascinating part of the study is examining just how adaptable solution providers are to market conditions today and the adjustments they make to their business models based on customer behavior and their attempts to drive profitability higher. But this year we have an exception, maybe a whole bunch of exceptions based on VARs adapting their business models to the deteriorating economic conditions.

  • If you or your top lieutenant are not watching expenses like a hawk, then your board needs to consider new management.

  • Despite the trials and tribulations of the economy and Wall Street, it appears as if innovation is alive and well.

  • Watching the talking heads on CNBC the other day, I was struck by a rather innocuous remark by one expert who offered advice on how technology firms can profit from the economic downturn. Initially, this sounded a bit like ambulance chasing but, then again, what's wrong with a little ambulance chasing when there are fewer to chase?

  • Based on conversations with VARs, customers are taking longer to sign off on deals and are asking for more detail on justifying purchases.