Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Synnex Wants VARs To Get Greedy

Synnex executives are urging solution providers to go for 100 percent of a customer's IT budget during sales discussions, and this week Peter Larocque, president of U.S. distribution at Synnex, showed VARs how to get there.

In addition to sticking to the tried-and-true formula of a solutions focus, Synnex wants VARs to focus on converged infrastructure, audio/video, SID design and manufacturing, managed print services, large format print, unified communications, health care and AIDC/POS.

Synnex has seen its own revenue in these categories jump 100 percent over the past year, and it's hoping to lead solution providers down the same path of rampant business growth. "Maybe your strength is not selling cash registers, but it is everything else. We can help you learn that to capture 100 percent of the spend, Larocque told CRN this week.


IBM Pumping $6 Billion Investment Into Cloud

IBM this week departed from the typical IT vendor party line by acknowledging that cloud computing will cannibalize other areas of IT. At the same time, IBM is making it known that it's shelling out $6 billion in R&D in this area of the next generation IT architecture.

IBM expects to add about $3 billion of net growth to its business by 2015, but actually intends to grow its cloud business by $12 billion, as the growth in cloud computing is expected to erase $9 billion worth of sales of its current hardware, software, and services.

"Obviously, we have a lot to do in a short time. And we can only do it with you," Richard Michos, vice president of channel strategy for IBM, told attendees at the Xchange Tech Innovators conference this week.

Tech Data Says Health Care Is A 'Never-Ending Pie'

Tech Data says its health-care business has doubled over the past year, and at the distributor's Healthcare Partner Summit in Las Vegas this week, VARs heard about even greater opportunities that exist in electronic health records (EHR) and other health-care solutions.

Tech Data last year created a specialized health-care business unit and added new several vendors and integrated solutions. That has created a situation not unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet for health-care business.

"It's a good business to get into right now because the government is paying doctors and hospitals to implement new systems," Barb Miller, vice president of services at Tech Data, told CRN this week. "But it's also good for the long run because so many new technologies are coming into place. It's almost like a never-ending pie."

Microsoft Revs Up Its Cloud Computing Marketing Engine

Hey, did you hear that Microsoft is "all-in" when it comes to cloud computing? Microsoft was late to the cloud game but it's aware that no one has yet controlled the marketing message around cloud computing, and it's vying to be the first.

Well, the gambling analogy is starting to give way to actual cloud computing initiatives, as Microsoft this week launched a global ad campaign called "Cloud Power" in an effort to educate folks on the differences between public and private cloud infrastructure. Microsoft is invoking the battle cry of "To the cloud" in its marketing for Windows 7 and Windows Live, which can be seen on Any Given Sunday during football game commercials.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also honed its messaging on private clouds this week at its TechEd conference in Berlin, unveiling Hyper-V Cloud, an umbrella of programs and initiatives that bring Microsoft's private cloud deployment strategy into sharper focus.

RockMelt Weaves Cloud, Social Networking Into New Web Browser

RockMelt, the latest startup backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, this week launched a beta of a Web browser that's infused with cloud computing and social networking and promises to deliver a personalized user experience.

"RockMelt is also the first browser to be fully backed by the cloud," RockMelt said in a blog post this week. "This means you can access your personal browsing experience from anywhere, and you get quick updates from the people and sites that are important to you."

Rockmelt is taking on established browser foes like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome by playing up the usability advantages of its approach. "With RockMelt we've re-thought the user experience because a browser can and should be about more than simply navigating Web pages," RockMelt said in the blog post. "Today, the browser connects you to your world. Why not build your world right into your browser?"