Slide Show: What Makes VARs Thankful This Year?

"I'm thankful for quad core. That's really made a big difference in rejuvenating our server business and more effectively driving some upsell in all of our business."

- Joe Toste, vice president of marketing at Equus Computer Systems, Minneapolis, Minn.

"Our No. 1 product is here is NetApps. They incorporated the StoreVault line into their line and we do a lot with that now."

- Mike Murray, account executive, Atec Group, Albany, N.Y.

"Encryption continues to be solid, but I would have to say the area of application acceleration. An example would be Juniper or Riverbed. I'd rather have that on my plate than turkey."

- Dave Gilden, partner and COO, Acuity Solutions, Tampa, Fla.

"Windows Smartphone. It's been the best tool for all of my business needs -- replying to emails by voice, Outlook Mobile, and providing the need to stay connected. Toshiba Portable USB Hard Drive (pictured) [is] a great hard drive since its compact and comes in two different sizes (160GB/250GB) and doesn't need electricity to work. Skype continues to improve its service. It is a great alternative to using hotel phone systems and cell phones with ridiculous roaming charges when traveling abroad. Google Apps Premier Edition has allowed me to significantly reduce my overhead by eliminating the need of a server, an office, and still conduct business and communicate effectively."

-- Frederick Johnson, president and CIO, Ross-Tek

"This year I'm grateful for the next evolution of software in two ways. First is Connectwise as it connects to QuoteWerks and QuickBooks. It's helped our business move to the next level. And also Level Platforms and other managed service platforms. They have helped us change the way we view our relationships with customers and the way we'll grow in the future."

- Jon Eckhoff, president, Venture Computer Systems, Rochester, Minn.

"This is going to sound a bit selfish, but the thing I'm most thankful for is the Xylocore business continuity service that we're offering. The reason for that is it's given us the opportunity to bring small businesses true business continuity that was affordable only by large business."

- Mike Semel, vice president of business continuity and compliance services, Connecting Point Technology Center, Las Vegas

"I would say definitely the new managed services tools. We use Zenith [Infotech] as our medicine. That makes life a lot simpler for us to manage customer environments without having to go there. Also, I'd say we're thankful for the new line of Microsoft products coming to market, such as Windows Server 2008. That will be a really good thing for us going forward. That whole wave provides us a lot of opportunity."

- Arlin Sorensen, CEO, Heartland Technology Solutions, Harlan, Iowa

"I'm thankful for [QlickTech's] QlikView (pictured), a BI tool that we use. We're expanding our business there. We're grateful for HP taking over Mercury [Interactive]. That was a good move. HP's doing a lot of good stuff on the Mercury software. They're a very professional company talking over and I think they'll do wonders with it for years to come. I'm thankful for IBM's initiatives within the channels. Those are our three big [vendor] partners and I'm thankful for all of them."

- Jay Hakami, president of Sky IT Group, New York

"That's an easy one. There's one product that we've added and explored this year. You take away the marketing hype of what we see so often in technology and it's enabled us to bring true value to customers. It's more of a back to basics product. We are most thankful for our expanded relationship with Liebert, a provider of UPSes, cooling systems, data center products. There's more beyond the smoke and mirrors we see so often in this industry."

- John Grove, president of GRS Communication, Harrisburg, Pa.

"We are definitely thankful for Cisco's Unified Communications products as they not only promote business efficiency but the product suite is also environmentally friendly. As it helps companies large and small implement green initiatives and supporting a green lifestyle."

- Mike Thompson, president and CEO of Groupware Technology, Campbell, Calif.