Last week, many of VARBusiness and CRN's editors were in Chicago for XChange '04, highlighted by the VARBusiness Annual Report Card Awards, presented at a lavish event featuring comedian Colin Quinn. The ARC is VARBusiness' yearly ranking of solution providers' satisfaction with their vendor partners, and involves obtaining scores from literally thousands of individual solution providers participating in dozens of vendor programs. Complete results will be published in VARBusiness's October 4 issue, but you can see the winners right now. In addition, VARBusiness presented special awards for Lifetime Achievement and Channel Chief of the Year. You'll find all the news from the show in our XChange '04 News Center.
I, however, was not among my colleagues. I took advantage of everyone's distration to get away with my family and spend the week visiting New Hampshire, having a terrific time touring the mountains, coastline and fine brewpubs that state has to offer. And I can report, as T.C. Doyle has already commented, that there still are a lot of hotels and inns out there that lack wireless, or in fact any, broadband Internet access. What are we waiting for?
In all, it put an exclamantion point on three months of frenetic activity here at ChannelWeb. We've spent the summer rolling out new features and tools on our sites, all the while getting to know the exciting challenges of our new TeamSite publishing system.
It's natural for things to change. But unlike the Old Man of the Mountain, New Hampshire's iconic stone face that changed into a rocky heap just over a year ago, changes at ChannelWeb are geared to providing solution providers with vital information to grow their businesses. Here are some of the most significant changes of the recent bunch:
The State of Appplication Development: In this exclusive VARBusiness study, solution providers building custom software solutions were surveyed on both their technology choices and their business plans in rolling out application development projects to customers.
CRN's Salary Survey: The eagerly awaited report is online, complete with a salary database and calculator you can use to figure out what you should be bringing in. CRN's companion piece, the annual Certification study, goes online next week.
Channel Champions: CRN's look at partner satisfaction surveys readers on their experience with vendors in twenty-five product categories. CRN editor Michael Vizard looks at what it takes to make it to the top.
Blogs: The Chart, CRN's newest blog, is written by veteran reporter Ed Moltzen. According to Ed, it "offers a look at the finances, markets and performance of high tech and channel companies--and what people in the know say about them." His first filings have concerned the Google IPO, Sun's results, and the winners and losers in the unending fall of storage prices. The Chart joins Heather Clancy's The Buzz weblog, and there will be more to come soon.
Newsletters: We've launched two new bi-weekly newsletters: VARBusiness 500, focusing on solutions providers serving the enterprise market, and the Linux Advisor, focused on open-source technology solutions and business opportunities. Subscribe to these or any of the other ChannelWeb newsletters to stay in the know.
The VARBusiness 500: The annual ranking of the largest 500 solution providers in North America (by revenue) is a summer standard for VARBusiness. This year's package includes a searchable database of the business activities, vendors resold, top technologies and verticals served of all 500 companies, along with the winners of June's VARBusiness 500 awards, chosen by VARBusiness editors to honor the most innovative solution providers.
Is this all working for you? Let us know how you think we're doing, and what tell us what topics are important to you, in our Discussion Boards.