||HOT MIDMARKET PRODUCT
| Adtran Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Sells to midmarket customers exclusively through channel partners.
ADVANTAGE: Low product points.
CHALLENGE: Fighting for share against dominant market leader Cisco.
| Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
||Business Class Platform
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Pushes advantages of Opteron server chips to the data center.
ADVANTAGE: 'Native' client and server core micro-architecture delivers energy efficiency, dynamic power management and significant investment protection across CPU product line.
CHALLENGE: Disasterous recent financial performance and major product delays hinder AMD's already difficult task of consistently competing with chip goliath Intel.
| Apple Computer Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Typically hush-hush about channel plans but releases more business-friendly products every year.
ADVANTAGE: The popularity of its iPhone and iPod products is helping it make inroads into the business world.
CHALLENGE: Most business software is still designed for Microsoft Windows.
| Avaya Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Positions its midmarket solutions as an extension of its enterprise-class offerings.
ADVANTAGE: Recent research from Frost & Sullivan found that avaya leads the North American voice and unified messaging market in revenue and shipments.
CHALLENGE: Accelerating its time-to-market and training the channel to sell packaged solutions.
| Cisco Systems Inc.
||Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Business Edition
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Pushes 100 percent of midmarket sales through channel partners.
ADVANTAGE: Broad portfolio of integrated products encourages many channel partners to recommend end-to-end Cisco solutions.
CHALLENGE: Premium pricing strategy leaves Cisco open to attack from lower-cost rivals.
| Citrix Systems Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Creates packaging, pricing andtraining and makes marketing deciscions from a channel-first standpoint.
ADVANTAGE: Has broad vision of branching out beyond servers and into the desktop virtualization market.
CHALLENGE: Overshadowed by rival VMware.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Sells software both as a licensed application and as a technology to let channel partners offer online data protection as a service.
ADVANTAGE: Consistent channel program and lower product prices.
CHALLENGE: Less well-known and much smaller than competitors such as Symantec and EMC.
| Compellent Technologies Inc.
||Storage Center Array
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: 100 percent channel appraoch to marketing a relatively low-cost storage array with many typical enterprise-class features.
ADVANTAGE: Full-featured product with a loyal base of solution providers.
CHALLENGE:Small size and lack of brand recognition.
| CA Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Created a new business unit to sell storage and recovery management software for the midmarket exclusively through the channel.
ADVANTAGE: Has been putting more emphasis on the channel lately and backing it up with products packaged specifically for midmarket customers.
CHALLENGE: Must dispel its reputation as a supplier of mainframe-focused products sold by abd agressive direct-sales force.
| Dell Inc.
||Dell EqualLogic PS5000 Series
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Aims to deliver best price-performance in midmarket with a full portfolio of products.
ADVANTAGE: Uses its Wal-Mart-like purchasing power to deliver best-value midmarket products.
CHALLENGE: Lacks channel and services muscle of No. 1 rival HP. Must prove its new channel initiative is more than just talk.
| eCopy Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Solution stack is built so companies can choose a starting point that best fits their business and then add more features as needed.
ADVANTAGE: Provides a standard document- imaging platform supported by every major multifunction peripheral manufacturer.
CHALLENGE: Needs to expand its channel ecosystem to tap into fast-growth mid-market applications.
| EMC Corp.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Continues to develop its entry-level and midrange Clariion line of storage appliances while building a managed services platform that will be available through its solution providers.
ADVANTAGE: Strong channel-friendly program for small and midmarket business customers, along with a well-known storage brand in larger midmarket businesses.
CHALLENGE: History and long memories of the days when it was known as an aggressive enemy of the channel, plus not as well-known among smaller business customers.
| Google Inc.
||Google Search Appliance
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: To penetrate midmarket accounts with Google Search Appliance, Google Mini, Salesforce For Google Apps, and Postini hosted e-mail and messaging offerings.
ADVANTAGE: Reputation for creative and innovative technology for free or at bargain- basement prices.
CHALLENGE: Small midmarket footprint and a low channel IQ despite a much- publicized distribution agreement with Ingram Micro.
| Hewlett-Packard Co.
||HP BladeSystem c3000
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Strategy is to cede virtually the entire midmarket to solution providers while its direct- sales force handles its largest named enterprise accounts.
ADVANTAGE: Breadth of HP's product portfolio is greater than any other IT company.
CHALLENGE: Must fight to keep its direct-sales force away from midmarket accounts and focused on its named enterprise customers.
| Hitachi Data Systems
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Sells through the channel and through system vendors.
ADVANTAGE: Loyal partner base, plus many reseller arrangements with system vendors such as Sun Microsystems and SGI.
CHALLENGE: Still a relatively unknown brand in the U.S. combined with what many solution providers say is little or no marketing activities.
| IBM Corp.
||IBM System Storage n3600
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Its platform, called Blue Business Platform, includes APIs to enable partners' solutions to work with each other.
ADVANTAGE: Huge base of technology, services and solution providers, coupled with IBM's own technology, along with experience in packaging solutions for midmarket customers.
CHALLENGE: Has gotten rid of its commodity product lines, especially PCs and components, and is moving away from low-end servers, potentially alienating many of its smaller partners.
| Intel Corp.
||Intel Modular Server
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Relentless 'tick-tock-driven' product refresh cycle that gives OEM and system builder partners more powerful, dynamic and energy-efficient silicon with metronomic consistency.
ADVANTAGE: Brand awareness, marketing heft, top-to-bottom server offerings, and fruitful relationship with its system builder channel.
CHALLENGE: Main x86 rival AMD's launch of its first commercial desktop and notebook platforms this year, the possibility of prolonged economic downturn affecting product sales.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: To provide end-to-end systems management and deployment capabilities via affordable and easy-to-use appliances.
ADVANTAGE: Focuses on product sets that are intuitive and easy to use, so no additional staff is needed to manage them.
CHALLENGE: Faces name-recognition issues when up against competitors such as Microsoft, Altiris and LANDesk.
| Kaspersky Lab
||Kaspersky Open Space Security
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Hosted security services targeted at midmarket customers.
ADVANTAGE: 100-percent channel focused.
CHALLENGE: Antivirus focus only.
| Lefthand Networks Inc.
||NSM 2120 Security SaaS with Business Continuity
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Stays close to the channel with solid and focused product line.
ADVANTAGE: Offers both physical (hardware-based) and virtual versions of its iSCSI storage appliances.
CHALLENGE: Dell's acquisition of EqualLogic could put pressure on LeftHand and on all iSCSI-focused vendors.
| McAfee Inc.
||Total Encryption for Protection for Data
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Focuses on delivering products that leverage enterprise-class technology but are easy to install, manage and maintain.
ADVANTAGE: Has product family that delivers a comprehensive compliance infrastructure.
CHALLENGE: Educating customers on the company's midmarket strategy.
| Microsoft Corp.
||Essentials Business Server
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Strategy is all about taking enterprise-level features and functionality and tuning them for midsize companies, both in terms of product design and pricing.
ADVANTAGE: Has legions of devoted channel partners who've long sang the praises of Small Business Server, and they're excited about getting their hands on Windows Essentials Business Server (EBS).
CHALLENGE: Must educate the market on EBS' value proposition that and clarify that it's not just scaled-down version of Windows Server. This includes pointing out the ability for EBS to manage end-user licensing.
| NetGear Inc.
||ProSafe 48-port Gigabit Smart Switch, aka GS748TR
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Recently released several products across its typically SMB-focused portfolio to target businesses of that size.
ADVANTAGE: Offers = ProSafe Lifetime Warranty, which few vendors targeting the midmarket offer.
CHALLENGE: Many of Netgear's customers want to go with a one-size-fits- all approach, often resulting in their choosing an enterprise vendor based on brand recognition.
| NetSuite Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Offers integrated business applications for midsize companies and delivers them over the Internet using SAP-like infrastructure.
ADVANTAGE: More cost-effective alternative to much more expensive products being pushed by competitors.
CHALLENGE: Fragmentation of the market, and the reality that it's tougher to sell ERP than CRM could slow the company's progress.
| Novell Inc.
||Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Optimized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for mid-market customers through alliances such as the recent deal with SAP.
ADVANTAGE: Huge installed base of NetWare customers.
CHALLENGE: NetWare sales declining. Customer base being targeted by competitors such as Microsoft and Red Hat.
| Oracle Corp.
||Oracle Database 11G Standard Edition
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Under Oracle Accelerate initiative, company provides pre-configured bundles of applications tailored for SMBs in vertical industries.
ADVANTAGE: Few competitors can match its broad lineup of database, middleware and application software.
CHALLENGE: Has to step carefully to support all its acquired products while developing its next-generation Fusion applications.
| Progress Software Corp.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Working to expand sales of its application integration and management products to midsize companies.
ADVANTAGE: Has stable of more than 1,500 ISV partners, covering numerous vertical industries and broad geographic areas.
CHALLENGE: Pushing into SOA infrastructure, integration and messaging software market, where technologies are evolving rapidly.
| Sage Software
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Longtime focus on SMBs, relies heavily on the channel to reach them.
ADVANTAGE: Broad range of products, many targeted squarely at midmarket customers. Consistently gets high grades from solution providers for its channel programs and support.
CHALLENGE: Broad, sometimes overlapping product lines can be confusing. Recent channel management team shakeup.
||Salesforce Partners (PRM)
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Offers broad range of features and functionality.
ADVANTAGE: Maintained a leading position by expanding its portfolio beyond CRM and adding channel- friendly initiatives like AppExchange, a directory of add-ons developed by Salesforce partners.
CHALLENGE: Bigger competitors such as Microsoft and Oracle are all moving into on-demand CRM space, and their influence could eat away at Salesforce's margins.
||460 DXN Digital Display
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Shook up channel programs last year to help grow midmarket business.
ADVANTAGE: Has wide range of products and is putting resources behind digital signage and ultramobile PCs in the midmarket.
CHALLENGE: Beefing up line of printers but will have tough competition from longtime leaders HP and Xerox.
| SAP AG
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Targets mid-market customers through the channel with Business All-in-One application package and Business ByDesign on-demand applications.
ADVANTAGE: Thanks to industry consolidation, SAP has become one of the dominant players in ERP software.
CHALLENGE: Still working on the best ways of selling, running and delivering on-demand applications.
| SAS Institute Inc.
||SAS Analytics Pro for Midsize Business
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Launched Alliance reseller program in late 2006 to expand sales to SMBs using pre-configured bundles of its business intelligence software.
ADVANTAGE: Well-known for sophisticated data management and analysis applications.
CHALLENGE: Continues to search for right mix of products and tactics for its nascent channel efforts to reach SMB customers.
| ShoreTel Inc.
||ShorePhone IP 565g
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Focuses on building quality VoIP products at value prices, driving 100 percent of its business through channel partners.
ADVANTAGE: Has loyal channel following because of its high product quality and strong partner margins.
CHALLENGE: Competes against Cisco, a market-leading, deep-pocketed rival.
| SonicWall Inc.
||NSA 3500, 4500, 5000
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Expanding its footprint to the midsize and enterprise markets.
ADVANTAGE: Has products designed specifically for companies with shortage of IT personnel.
CHALLENGE: With current economy, challenge will be to enable its 10,000 partners to sustain level of profitability.
| Sun Microsystems Inc.
||Sun Fire X4500 Thumper hybrid sever/storage appliance
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Revamped product line in past couple of years to focus on midmarket, including series of high-performance, low-cost x86-based systems.
ADVANTAGE: Strong server and operating system offerings and one of the strongest supporters of the open-source community.
CHALLENGE: Inconsistent channel programs, failed storage strategy (with some strong exceptions), and a brand name associated with either "enterprise" or "stodgy old computers" or "the dot in dot-com."
| Symantec Corp.
||Backup Exec 12
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Offers combination of affordable solutions that help fully protect mixed OS environment.
ADVANTAGE: Has comprehensive range of products.
CHALLENGE: Faces stiff competition from newer vendors entering its space with innovative technologies often at significantly reduced price points.
| Trend Micro Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Strategy incorporates targeting businesses with array of on-premise and hosted security solutions that provide multilayer, multithreat protection.
ADVANTAGE: Focused offerings both designed and packaged specifically to help midmarket customers resolve complex security issues more easily.
CHALLENGE: Getting mind-share of the overworked mid-market IT administrator who has limited, or dwindling, staff, time and resources.
| Verizon Wireless
||Various mobility products
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Focuses on network reliability.
ADVANTAGE: Quality of its network.
CHALLENGE: Operates in aggressive, competitive market.
| VMware Inc.
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Created variety of Acceleration Kits, packages of software and/or training aimed specifically at midmarket and smaller customers.
ADVANTAGE: Has broad product line.
CHALLENGE: Driving awareness of its offerings.
| Webroot Software Inc.
||Webroot Email Security with Business Continuity
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: 100 percent channel-only model.
ADVANTAGE: Service solution eliminates huge infrastructure capital investment midmarket accounts must make to protect their business.
CHALLENGE: Battling myth that data in the data center is more secure than data in the cloud.
| Xerox Corp.
||Phaser 8860 multifunction printer
||MIDMARKET STRATEGY: Relying on broad product line and offerings like PagePack managed print service to help grow midmarket business.
ADVANTAGE: Updated Peak Partner Program last year and has been gaining ground in the channel, winning high marks from VARs for product quality and reliability.
CHALLENGE: With long copier heritage, Xerox still isn't the first name that comes to mind when you're looking for a printer.