CRN Channel News

  • Business tech integrator BearingPoint focuses on its core clients

    Rand Blazer Is Fired Up!
    Randolph Blazer is feeling pretty good lately. The BearingPoint chairman and CEO recently returned from a trip to China and Japan and is jazzed about the growth potential he saw there. He's also thrilled with the way his beloved Colts are getting the ball into the end zone. As much as anything, however, Blazer is finally feeling better about the state of the market, which he believes just might see a double-digit revenue pop next year.
  • An uptick in services can help product-centric businesses

    At Your Service
    Given much thought to Unisys lately? You know, the Blue Bell, Pa.-based company spawned from the merger of Sperry and Burroughs? The hardware company that consistently lost ground to IBM and Compaq throughout the 1980s and 1990s? What's going on? Is it moribund? Contemplating Chapter 11, perhaps?
  • Your 2004 Survival Guide

    Who's Threatening Your Business?
    When Merrill Lynch issued a report a couple of months ago that detailed its upgraded rating of Ingram Micro, the 13-page report examined issues that could directly affect the distributor's business, such as its cost structure, operating margins--and competitive threats. Among those threats, the securities firm named Dell and increased direct-sales activity from Hewlett-Packard, which represents about one-third of the distributor's business.
  • There’s no such thing as too much information from vendors

    Spread the Word
    No matter what kind of solution provider you are--storefront shop, multinational conglomerate or something in between--chances are you've been there: Certain you're on top of every offering from your vendors, one of your customers suddenly asks about a product, and you realize that, far from being in the know, you're in the dark.
  • How to win customers and influence their tech decisions

    Influence Peddlers
    Norbert Sluzewski tells a familiar tale. His company, 40-person, New York-based VAR DataVox Technologies, was called in by his client to help a big-name product vendor work on a particular IT solution. During the meeting, the client ignored DataVox's recommendations and went with the vendor's solution, which promised the moon and the stars.
  • VARs look to Microsoft to drive their growth in 2004

    Full Sales Ahead
    Sometimes it's good to be the king. King of software, that is.
  • If you’ve survived the brutal economy thus far, congrats

    Making Alterations
    Four Microsoft business partners recently packed into a chilly convention center room in New Orleans to chat up Jeff Raikes, group vice president of productivity and business services at Microsoft. The planned topic: Office System 2003, the latest product darling to emerge from Redmond. Raikes, who is known to regale the suite's technical prowess and business potential, held back this day, at least initially, and asked the partners a simple, stark question: "So, how's business?"
  • Solution providers take charge of their destinies

    Winds of Change
    If there's one overarching takeaway from VARBusiness' 2004 State of the Market survey, it's that solution providers have become adept at creating success on their own terms. Whether it's through cultivating word-of-mouth repeat business within a specific industry or geography, a knack for picking the right partners to reinvent themselves according to the needs of an engagement, or an ability to specialize in cost-effectively executing a solution, VARs are telling us they get the point: Play to your strengths.
  • State of the Market Methodology
    To provide a snapshot of the current marketplace and offer insight into the conditions solution providers can expect to face in the year ahead, VARBusiness conducted its 16th annual State of the Market research of solution providers. Partnering with Answers Research, a Solana Beach, Calif.-based market research and consulting firm, VARBusiness surveyed more than 1,000 solution providers whose revenue categorized them as either a small (earning less than $1 million in gross annual revenue), midsize (between $1 million and $10 million in gross annual revenue) or large firm ($10 million or more in gross annual revenue).
  • A look at how vendors’ best partners fared in 2003

    The Partners Of the Year
    Every year, many of the industry's top vendors dole out their "Partner of the Year" awards to the best and brightest solution providers. In preparing this special Business Intelligence issue, which takes a look at the partners that constitute the channel and the state of their market today, I thought it would be worth looking at how these benchmark solution providers performed in 2003. Would their success, or lack thereof, provide insights on the unique state of affairs in the channel today? Here's what I found.
  • Amazon Opens Up
    These days, when you think about leaders in Web services, you tend to think about IBM, Microsoft or Sun -- or some other tools vendor that is providing interfaces, code and applications servers. But my candidate for the top spot isn't a vendor of computer software. It does sell a lot of stuff, though, in fact more than most Web sites and with a wide range of products and items. My candidate is
  • Musical Chairs At Lotus -- Again
    IBM's Lotus division has lost another channel chief. Frances West, the longtime IBM veteran who has been director of channels at Lotus for just under 18 months, assumed a new position in IBM Research within the past few weeks, leaving a vacancy in the partner post.
  • Cisco Ramps Up Wireless Offerings
    Making the case that Wi-Fi is finally ready for widespread enterprise deployment, Cisco outlined its vision for wireless LANs with an event held to trumpet its latest offerings. The company staged a half-day session on Wednesday for analysts and media to discuss its latest product news and present a panel of Cisco wireless partners and customers.
  • Palmisano Chats Up On-Demand Computing
    IBM Chairman, President and CEO Sam Palmisano held center stage Wednesday extolling the joys of on-demand computing. The occasion was the IBM Leadership Forum, held approximately one year after IBM first introduced the on-demand concept.
  • Accenture Set To Ride the “Next Wave” of Productivity
    The technology industry is about to ride the next wave of innovation and productivity, according to an optimistic Joe Forehand, chairman and CEO of Accenture, which is projecting revenue growth of up to 10 percent for its current fiscal year. The chief exec assembled his West Wing of execs on Nov. 11 in New York to brief the press in a state-of-the-company address that touched on many topics, including outsourcing, the company's burgeoning government business, and its financial expectations for the next year.
  • Capitol Gains For Tech Data
    It's hard to imagine a more appropriate location for Tech Data's TechSelect Fall Partner Conference than Washington, D.C., since much of the distributor's message revolved around unlocking the government market.
  • Looks for solution providers in seven states

    CDW Expands Government Partner Program
    CDW's government division (CDW-G) wants more solution provider partners for its Small Business Consortium program.