Welcome To CRN Solutions Inc.

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The IT services world is a lot like construction—everything starts with a foundation. VARs are finding that more than 80 percent of the time, that foundation is called Microsoft. The company's products have become as ubiquitous to the channel as concrete has become to a construction site. But, like most foundations, Microsoft's operating systems are only the beginning to building a profitable solution. The real opportunity for profit comes in the form of add-ons and services that rely on that foundation. With that said, welcome to CRN Solutions Inc.

Can be reached via e-mail at fohlhorst@cmp.com.

CRN Solutions Inc. aims to provide the Microsoft solution provider community with the knowledge to maximize services and product sales, using third-party products that integrate with Microsoft's own products. In other words, how to build revenue from the Microsoft ecosystem.

With such a substantial hold on the market, Microsoft has become the primary software company for all computing, ranging from the desktop to the server to the office suite. But, Microsoft's offerings don't end there. The company provides a plethora of products that run the gamut from accounting software to enterprise resource planning to development tools. Those products are readily available for solution providers to build solely on Microsoft's environments, but practicality dictates a different assessment. Hence, the abundance of third-party products.

Successful solution providers learn quickly when or when not to use a certain product to build a solution—after all, it is the integration that counts the most. CRN Solutions Inc. was created with that in mind, and this and future issues will guide the VAR to opportunities and accomplish a great deal of the legwork needed to make informed decisions. This issue highlights two areas that are potential gold mines for solution providers: building appliances and providing business continuity. Solution providers will also find valuable details surrounding the latest trends, 25 ISVs you should know, and a column from one solution provider on the power of partnerships.

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