By Joe Caponi
December 18, 2012
There are so many different ways of getting access to CRN's breaking news, industry analysis, solution provider tools and vibrant community, in so many different forms, that it's worth spelling them out here:
- CRN.com, of course the flagship site of UBM Technology's Channel Group
- The CRN Tech News iPad app
- CRN Magazine (apply here for our e-mail newsletters)
- Our RSS Feeds
- Our mobile-device friendly site m.crn.com
- Our Twitter Feed
- Our LinkedIn Group
- Our Facebook page
- Meet us at one of our Live events
- Or connect online at at Virtual events
- Or via a Channelcast
- Or take a look at CRN TV
- Or join us in our Discussion Forums
If there's one you've missed, give it a try - and let us know what you'd like to see next!
December 17, 2012
Here, you'll find opportunities to be included in CRN's 2013 directories, rankings and awards programs for solution providers, vendors and distributors. Specific details on deadlines and entry requirements will be available as each project opens for entries.
Note: Slide shows with names such as "Hot Start-ups" or "100 Coolest..." are generally editor's choice, without a formal application process. See How Do I Get My Company Covered for more information.
Emerging Technology Vendors - new and growing companies selling through the channel.
Next Gen 250 - dynamic new solution provider organizations.
Fast Growth 100 - solution providers enjoying annual revenue increases.
Enterprise App Awards - top mobile apps for the enterprise.
Tech Innovators - products offering new opportunities for solution providers.
Business Connectivity Partner Programs - for internet and voice carriers.
Closed for 2013
Solution Provider 500 - the former VAR 500 - our annual list of the largest solution providers in North America, ranked by their solution provider revenue.
Women of the Channel - solution provider, vendor and distribution executives leading the way.
Partner Program Guide - our complete directory of vendor partner programs
Distributor Partner Programs - our listing distribution programs
Tech Elite 250 - our listing of VARs with premier industry certifications
Channel Chiefs - the people driving vendor partner programs.
2013 Editorial Calendar
And if you're comfortable with knowing information about the future, the 2013 CRN Editorial Calendar is available now.
December 16, 2012
First-time visitors to CRN.com can find themselves at sea with some of the terms we throw around. Here's a quick guide:
What does CRN stand for?
CRN was launched as Computer Retail News, covering the early days of the business side of the PC revolution. In 1987, Computer Retail News became Computer Reseller News, focused on those businesses involved with purchasing hardware from manufacturers and distributors, and, then reselling those items to end-user organizations and customers.
Times have changed, and retail and reselling are less central to most technology business companies. Our coverage has broadened to take in consultants, integrators, independent software developers, and others, all of whom we usually group together with the term "technology solution providers". In 1994, CRN's website was launched, and in 2000, the tabloid newspaper Computer Reseller News was reborn as the magazine CRN.
What is the Channel?
When we talk about the channel, it is that ecosystem of people selling technology hardware, solutions and services. These organizations range from single-person consultancies and storefront computer shops, to global organizations like Accenture and CSC, and even the services businesses of IT vendors like IBM and HP. While other channels exist -- manufacturing, chemicals, and automotive, for instance -- we're talking about the technology channel.
In 2007 we estimated that the North American technology channel consisted of as many as a quarter-million solution provider organizations, generating $370 billion in annual sales.
Although independent businesses were selling technology products decades earlier, the modern channel began with the personal computer revolution in the early 1980's. In 2000, CRN published this timeline of some of the important events in the early years of the channel.
In Back To The Future Channel, Robert Faletra reflects on the status of the channel now, at the end of 2012:
"We are seeing a bit of back to the future in channel makeup right now. When the indirect sales channel was first born in the late 70s, it was made up of a lot of small players that got the model right, making them huge players in the market. That happened via both the franchise model and company-owned model.
Looking ahead, the channel makeup will be different in that we will have many more larger partners in North America. At the same time, we will see thousands of newly formed partners move into the market with born-on-the-cloud models that are very different than many of the partner business models of today. "
What's a VAR?
It's a value-added-reseller, of course! Value-add is still the core mission for most solution providers, but reselling isn't. But Bob Venero, Founder of Future Tech Enterprises, told us what he thought makes a true VAR:
"A true VAR is architecting solutions--not just selling equipment. A true VAR walks into his customer with no particular agenda or intent to sell the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. A true VAR sits and listens to the customer's needs, and then leverages technology to create solutions."
December 15, 2012
There's a single editorial staff for CRN.com and CRN magazine. Each of our editors have specific areas of coverage. Whether you're a solution provider with an interesting case study, or a vendor with a new product, the best way to get on our radar is to find the specific editor covering your type of company. Get to know our site, search out articles about companies like yours, and refer to the editorial beats list. Then, e-mail the appropriate editor directly with your news, and be particularly clear on why that news is significant to our solution provider audience. If we're interested, we'll want to talk to your CEO and channel chief, as well as some of your solution provider partners.
Is there a single contact to send press releases to? Can I post my press release on CRN?
No, see above.
What awards does CRN give out? How do I get my executive, (company, product) included in CRN's listings?
See our Directories and Awards FAQ posting.
How can I be included in '100 Coolest...'?
Not all our listings have formal applications - many are editor's choices, based on their coverage. Your best bet is again to follow the steps up in the first paragraph.
Does CRN publish bylined submissions from vendor executives?
No. From time to time, we do publish viewpoints from solution provider executives. Contact the editor whose beat covers similar companies.
More general advice: For the funniest set of PR Tips I've seen, take a look at this classic post from Barry Ritholtz's Big Picture blog PR Weenies: Go Away!. (But please note, he's not from here.) You may also want to take a look at Information Week's Cory Doctorow, on working with bloggers and editors in general.