New Year's Predictions From The VAR500

VAR500 Execs Look to the Future

How will 2011 treat solution providers? What IT trends are on the way? We asked 10 VAR500 top execs to speculate on what next year might bring, both economically as well as technologically. Now, read their 2011 predictions.


"Even though unemployment remains high, credit markets are tight, and the housing market has yet to recover, I am fairly bullish on 2011. Companies and investors are sitting on significant cash reserves, and I feel they will begin investing again in their businesses for growth and future returns. This bodes well for IT services. With technology ever changing and an enabler to achieve efficiency gains and open up new revenue opportunities, I believe our industry will experience better than average growth. Hot areas for Axispoint, such as Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration and Business Video, will be key drivers of our business in 2011. The other important trend I see is increased M&A in our space. The market has seen a number of technology deals of late, and I expect M&A to further heat up in 2011, mirroring market growth."

-- Dan DiSano, president and CEO

BlueWater Communications Group

"We’re bullish on 2011. It appears as if the economy is picking up a little bit more steam and our clients are feeling more comfortable investing in new projects. At BlueWater we believe that private and public clouds will continue to be the story in 2011. We see the VCE coalition starting to take off and we should see great traction with clients looking to leverage the tremendous benefits in VBlock solutions. Additionally, Cisco’s UCS platform will become mainstream and the new standard for compute solutions in 2011."

-- Bob Cagnazzi, CEO

Dimension Data

"Cloud will change the landscape of the VAR, SI and Service provider communities. Slideware will become delivered solutions in 2011. Industry consolidation will accelerate with more merger and acquisitions in 2011 than 2010.

Mobility and social networking will continue to change IT strategies and support capabilities. Latin America and Asia growth will continue to get significant investment from global companies."

-- Jere Brown, CEO for Dimension Data for the Americas


"Executives today know that there is a virtually untapped wealth of information in their peers, and the best way to tap into that information quickly is through conversations on social networks. At Logicalis, we listen to what our target customers — CIOs and CTOs — are saying. They’re talking about cloud computing, IT security, and software management and licensing, but they’re not just talking tech; they’re talking on a deeper level about the impact technologies hold for the structure and management of their IT organizations. At Logicalis, knowing our customer translates directly to the bottom line, and in 2011, social media will be one of the most effective tools we use this year to get to know them on a deeper level."

-- Lisa Dreher, vice president of Business Development


"Industry and government will continue to focus on cost reduction, ROI and cost avoidance for reinvestment and refresh purposes. Among the key trends for 2011 will be expanded virtualization. Customers will continue virtualization of desktops, servers and storage, networks, switching, administration/management of data centers and service desks. Likewise, cloud computing will remain hot with ’private clouds’ and cloud solutions in high demand.

Unified communications and collaboration will help bridge the melding of informal and formal learning environments by leveraging unified borderless networks with enhanced capabilities like on-demand video and rich media, tailorable desktop services, telepresence, mobile applications, secure capability and social media. With many organizations facing a real need to reduce requirements for power, HVAC, and space - ’Green’ IT will become a necessity, not just a slogan."

-- Tony Jimenez, CEO

Nova Datacom

"Everyone is trying to do more with less. We’re seeing an explosion in clients who are spending available budgets today to consolidate and virtualize their infrastructure for cost efficiencies tomorrow. Concerned about declining budgets in the future, clients are scrambling to get their hands around their increasing IT management costs. More frequently, our clients are coming to us earlier in the planning process to ensure that their enterprise systems will be secure, scalable and streamlined."

-- Min Cho, CEO


"We wish we had a crystal ball and could see the future clearly….. but what we can see looks good. Fortunately, 2010 was a very good year for NWN and we see continued growth in 2011, especially in services. This growth seems to be driven by two factors: implementing technology that reduces costs (like virtualization of the data center or implementing video applications) or upgrading and refreshing aging infrastructure. We are seeing more planning activity at our customers that should lead to more projects in the coming year. We have also seen much more activity around Managed Services. This is clearly driven by our customers looking to ’do more with less’. We expect significant growth in nCare in 2011 and have expanded our capabilities to accommodate this growth."

-- Mont Phelps, president and CEO


"We are seeing promising signs of increased investment in IT infrastructure projects and services in the coming year. This uptick will likely vary significantly by region, mirroring larger macro-economic trends favoring continued momentum in emerging market economies. This will be followed more slowly by resurgence in developed markets that should see steady growth into 2012 and beyond based on pent-up demand following several years of deferred purchase and upgrade. For the many firms caught up in cost-containment mode during the recession, this will be a period of playing IT ’catch-up’ with their more innovative competitors that kept pace with investments in the latest enterprise 2.0 transformations. In 2011, the race will be on for all firms looking to gain new efficiencies made possible by Web-enabled processes, collaboration and information sharing. We’re expecting to see increased demand for managed services platforms that take an integrated approach to delivering cloud services and include such innovations as mobile computing, business analytics, data warehousing and social networking for the enterprise."

-- Ananth Krishnan, CTO of Tata Consultancy Services

Thrive Networks

"Cloud computing will continue to become more mature and will be increasingly adopted by SMBs. This is due to the fact that there has been a lot of education about how to design an IT infrastructure around the cloud and about cloud based applications. The cloud also offers good alternatives to automate the backup process, and it is critical for every business to have a backup plan.

The security functionality around tables has gotten stronger which makes it more feasible to deploy for business. Tablet computing (for example the iPad) will play a bigger part in the daily business landscape. You will see a trend towards managed firewalls, because it is becoming harder and harder for businesses to keep up with the multitude of security updates. The technology has become very functional in terms of security and bandwidth, which has resulted in the need to outsource management."

-- Jim Lippie, president (Thrive is the IT network services business of Staples Advantage)

ZSL Logic

"The Channel ecosystem will go through its transition in 2011, due to the increased interest of enterprises exploring public and private cloud options part of their data center optimization and green IT effort.

Application Modernization and Consolidation will get major attention in the market, considering the continued focus in technology driven by Innovation and Growth Enablement.

Midsize enterprises and solution providers should start planning to embrace the real-time business analytics and data warehousing, enterprise mobile apps development and desktop virtualization technologies in 2011. Our focus will be empowering the business through value creation and innovation in 2011."

-- Shiv Kumar, executive vice president