VAR500: Unisys Finds Cloud Top Concern; Glasshouse Ditches IPO

VAR500: Solution Providers In the News

This week, CRN's VAR500 solution providers had quite a bit on their plates.

Glasshouse broke off IPO plans; a Unisys poll found solution providers remain concerned about cloud computing; CDW offered SMBs a virtualization tool; GovPlace grew its busines; IBM opened a Singapore services center; Presidio expanded SAP sales through a partnership and Accenture provided the California Franchise Tax Board with technology architecture and an enterprise data warehouse.

Glasshouse Scratches IPO Plan

Solution provider Glasshouse Technologies said Wednesday it would not pursue plans for a $75 million IPO--marking the second time in two years that the VAR500 company pulled out of such plans. In a statement, Chief Executive Patrick Scannell cited the volatile economic climate as the reason for the change in plans. Scannell assumed the reins at Glasshouse only a few weeks ago, after Mark Shirman was asked to step down after 10 years with the VAR. During Shirman's tenure, Glasshouse filed for a $100 million IPO in 2007, but withdrew the plan in 2009.

Unisys: Cloud Computing Top IT Concern

Fifty percent of respondents to a recent Unisys online poll said that cloud computing is the top IT investment priority for 2012. That poll, which drew 300 responses, was conducted on the web site in September and October 2011. Other respondents to the poll listed cybersecurity (21 percent), mobile/social computing (21 percent) and big data (8 percent) as their top 2012 IT priorities. This marks the second consecutive year respondents to a Unisys poll named cloud as the chief priority for IT investments in the coming year. In a similar poll conducted in December 2010 and January 2011, 44 percent of 262 respondents said that cloud computing topped their IT priority list for 2011.

Govplace Expands

Govplace has announced plans for a $20 million facility that will help the VAR500 firm accommodate federal business orders in the peak months of September and October, as well as enhance its ability to source product directly from a wider variety of manufacturers. The Reston, Va.-based IT solution provider worked with GE Capital's Commercial Distribution Finance business for a line of credit. The venture will provide Govplace with short-term accounts receivable funding for handling existing large federal contracts without impacting its existing line of credit. The arrangement aims to help the integrator compete more effectively for new contracts.

"We have been experiencing double-digit growth per year since 2006," said Adam Robinson, CEO of Govplace, in a statement. "This line of credit will help facilitate our continued expansion."

CDW Helps SMBs With Virtualization

VAR500 integrator CDW is offering help to small businesses wanting to get started with virtualization. The CDW Server Virtualization Preparedness Self-Assessment Tool is a self-administered questionnaire that helps small businesses individually determine their readiness to deploy and manage server virtualization.

In August, the CDW Small Business Server Virtualization Roadmap found that 25 percent of small businesses have virtualized at least some of their servers to run multiple, independent, virtual operating systems on a single server. On average, small businesses that have virtualized say they are freeing 18 percent of their IT budget, or $19,400 per year, for other uses.

IBM Opens Services Hub In Singapore

Big Blue has opened a new services integration hub in Singapore that will drive the adoption of reusable solutions in growth markets and throughout the Asia Pacific region. The hub aims to help clients in Asia Pacific deploy powerful solutions more quickly through the use of "reusable solution content," called services assets. Assets range from components to complete systems, and mark a shift in the delivery of IT services, which have traditionally relied on one-off, customized solutions, built from scratch repeatedly. IBM's approach makes services more like software, creating flexible applications that can be assembled quickly from pre-existing parts. IBM will invest in infrastructure and skilled resources within the hub during the next few years, including employing several hundred services professionals.

CGI, Accenture To Streamline Calif. Tax Collection

Two VAR500 solution providers will together provide the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) with technology architecture and an enterprise data warehouse to help the organization more effectively deliver and manage its mandated services. Accenture and prime contractor CGI Group will help streamline the California FTB, which processes personal and business tax returns, answers inquiries and collects more than 65 percent of the state's general fund revenue ($60 billion in 2010). As a primary subcontractor to CGI on the project, Accenture will implement service-oriented architecture (SOA) and workflow architecture components to help provide FTB greater system flexibility and improved operational efficiencies, as well as implement an enterprise data warehouse to provide centralized data processing and integration of data currently stored in multiple systems.

Presidio Partners To Enhance SAP Sales

Bodhtree Solutions has partnered with VAR500 solution provider Presidio, allowing both firms to work together to provide customers with business intelligence solutions leveraging the SAP BusinessObjects solution. Working as a team, Presidio and Bodhtree, a certified SAP Gold Channel Partner and reseller of SAP BusinessObjects solutions, will provide their joint customers with end-to-end solutions that help manage and grow their businesses.