CRN Channel News


  • Videoconferencing Tailored For All
    When it comes to videoconferencing, the old axiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” can be readily replaced with “a video is worth a thousand e-mails.” While videoconferencing has been around for some time, the technology only recently has become affordable for small businesses, thanks in part to the availability of broadband Internet connections and the steady decline of hardware prices. Perhaps the most difficult part of deploying videoconferencing stems from compatibility and ease-of-use issues. Luckily, that is where solution providers can show their mettle.
  • SOHOWare Builds Direct-To-VAR Sales
    With a lot of vendors competing for the attention of VARs focused on small businesses, it’s not easy for a small hardware vendor to stand out.
  • Product Pick: Iomega REV Removable Hard Disk drive
    Many small-business operators are finding that tape backup is becoming an expensive burden. After all, backing up to tape can be a time-consuming process, and the cost of media seems to be escalating beyond budgetary limits.
  • Firebox X Stands Guard
    For a tiny and affordable security appliance, the Firebox X from WatchGuard promises a lot. Devices in the product line boast intrusion detection and prevention, as well as antispamming capabilities and a stateful packet inspection firewall. What’s more, with an upgradable design and a host of expandable port options, the device scales with businesses over time.
  • The Next Debate: Scaled Up Or Down?
    As the battle for the small-business market heats up, an interesting debate is brewing among both vendors and solution providers. I have been pushing the point that this is the year we will see enterprise technology hit the small-business market in a big way.
  • Beyond The C
    Mitch Cannady envisions a time when CRM will disappear from the small-business market. Not the functionality, mind you, just the category known as customer relationship management. In its place: a term such as business management that denotes a single platform from which nearly all employees within an organization can conduct their work.
  • Case In Point
    When Chris Gripp first talked to Spinnaker Solutions, he just wanted to find a way for his salespeople to concentrate on selling. What the president and CEO of Sign Warehouse received was a single console for sales, order entry, technical and customer support and credit card approval. What the Denison, Texas-based manufacturer and seller of sign-making equipment didn’t get is equally important: the need to install accounting software on sales reps’ desktops, or train them on a second application.
  • 3 Questions, Roger Greene, Ipswitch
    CRN Selling Small Business Editor Larry Hooper spoke with Roger Greene, President of Ipswitch, a small-business e-mail and network management software vendor in Lexington, Mass.
  • Tradition, stubbornness and A DESIRE for QUICK results all conspire to make the supply chain between vendors and VARs less efficient, say executives at the CRN Volume Distribution Roundtable. Here's what they plan to do about it.


    Links In The Chain
    Manufacturers and solution providers may say they want each other to succeed, but only distributors actually need both ends of the supply chain to work in order to be profitable. Distributors say they spend a lot of time and money trying to ensure that both parties can be successful. But history, a reluctance to change and the pressure for immediate results sometimes lead vendors and solution providers into thinking they should fend for themselves.
  • Skype Expands Peer-To-Peer Phone Program
    The creators of Skype, the peer-to-peer program that lets computer users make free calls to each other anywhere in the world, are releasing a new version that lets users dial regular phones from a computer.
  • Microsoft Racks Up Strong Q4
    Two days after stunning the financial community with its plans to return an estimated $32 billion in one-time $3 dividends to its shareholders, Microsoft went on to post strong results for both the fourth quarter 2004 as well as end its full fiscal year on a high note.
  • When the VARBusiness 500 Talks...We Listen
    Some of the biggest solution providers in the business are enjoying resurgent sales and increased customer engagements, although profitability remains a persistent challenge, said participants at the VARBusiness 500 Executive Roundtable, an annual gathering in New York of top managers representing companies that charted the VARBusiness 500.
  • The 2004 VARBusiness 500 Awards honor channel standouts


    Meet the Jewels In The VARBusiness 500 Crown
    Fighting back from years of consolidation and tethered ambition, a top flight of solution providers were celebrated for their ingenuity and success at the 2004 VARBusiness 500 Awards at Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room in New York last month.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Ed Coleman
    Few technology executives can claim the kind of experience and pedigree Coleman possesses. He has amassed 30 years in the IT industry, and much of that was spent in the channel.
  • Executive of the Year Award Winner: Rick Kearney
    Executive Rick Kearney, CEO of Mainline Information Systems of Tallahassee, Fla., had a particularly good year. For starters, his company, No. 90 on this year's VARBusiness 500 list, grew by 25 percent to $411.4 million. It was the third year in a row that Kearny drove top-line revenue growth of $100 million or more, lifting Mainline from its 109 position last year.
  • What you should look for, and what vendors want in return


    How To Team With A Vendor
    Like all smart VARs, you know you'll never deliver a championship fiscal year if you don't think like a team player--and that means communicating with your vendor partners so they know what you need from them, and you know what they expect from you.