Archive for July, 2011

Getting Carried Away in the Channel

Kevin Rhone – Director, Client Services

I’ve been both engrossed and aghast over the past weeks by the posturing and just plain politicking going on in Washington over the financial future of our country. In a recent article by Maureen Dowd in the NY Times, she argued that we can never go back to the past, and cited as proof a study from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in which their research showed that since “a single photon or unit of light cannot exceed the speed of light”… so Einstein was right – the concept of time travel “back to a more civilized era” is just that, a whimsical concept best reserved for science fiction or the movies.

So if our politicians need to accept that we live in a new world and make plans for the future, it got me to thinking about how that applies to the ecosystem in the Channel, and specifically about the role of Service Providers/Carriers in the era of the Cloud. (more…)

July 29, 2011 at 9:17 am 1 comment

Borders Bites the Dust – a Prediction for IT Integrators in the Wake of Cloud?

Beth Vanni – Vice President

That heavenly aroma — the fresh pulp of new book pages, combined with the aroma of a strong cup o’ Joe.  All in one setting, creating a feeling of becoming enlightened and alert all at the same time.  Thousands of product choices surround you, calling your name to try, experiment, stock up for later.   Book superstores are darn near heaven for me.

So, the demise of one of those famed bibliotech institutions, Borders Book Stores, scares me on multiple levels.  First, because I love that environment, that aroma, those high-touch experiences.   My iPad is really cool, but my friends and I agree it’s not like perusing a fresh, new book in an institute of higher learning and caffeination.  And, second, because I think the death of Borders offers chilling parallels to what’s rapidly happening to today’s traditional IT product integrators. (more…)

July 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Do or Die: To Cloud or Not to Cloud

by Sallie Martin, Consultant

We all know it… the Cloud is coming onshore quickly.  How VARs will fit into this new model is of abundant concern.  The first step is deciding whether to stay in the on-premise-only model or test-your-toes-in-the-Cloud pool.  In my opinion, if you wait too long, the answer will be made for you.

Customers are starting to understand the cost and flexibility benefits of the Cloud.  If you as a VAR are unable to have these conversations with them, then quite simply they will find someone that will.  This is a perfect door opener for your competition to enter into your best accounts.  A benefit of the Cloud is the reduced time for deployment of offerings.  This includes sales cycles, and your Cloud-savvy competitor isn’t going to wait for you to join the game.

If you are still on the fence post, talk to your favored vendors to understand their Cloud model.  Talk with a trusted Service Provider to understand how you can partner with them.  Read up on the areas that can affect your business such as different billing adaptations, new sales and consulting skills, and financial models.

The Cloud is one of the largest trends to hit technology in awhile.  The longer you put off starting the process, the greater the opportunity cost of missing the financial benefits. Adopt or be left behind.

July 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Wanna Be An Astronaut?

by Diane Krakora, CEO

I certainly do! And Sir Richard Branson might actually be able to make that childhood dream come true. The Microsoft 2011 Worldwide Partner Conference closing keynote speaker was thought provoking and motivational, in a reserved, subdued manner.  Sir Richard Branson is world class entrepreneur and it is inspiring to get a glimpse of the $18 billion kingdom he’s built. If you’re over 40 years old you remember what vinyl is and you certainly know Virgin Records and hopefully you’ve been able to experience the unique value proposition of Virgin Airways.  Branson’s 60,000 employee Virgin empire holds over 50 separate entities including record labels, retail outlets, exported music publishing, computer gaming, broadcasting, satellite television and radio, and film and video distribution, a digital magazine, spirits and sodas, a health care group, airships and balloons, cosmetics, renewable fuels, several non-profits, a formula one team, and Virgin Galactic – my ride into outer space. Virgin Galactic licenses the technology behind Spaceship One, which is funded by Microsoft co-Founder Paul Allen – which is probably why he’s on the WPC stage. It certainly isn’t because of the Virgin Group’s decision to standardize on Google Apps. (more…)

July 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

Hire a Cloud Kid

by Diane Krakora, CEO

In the days of web 2.0 technologies and social networking, job seekers are being very creative – from setting up Google Alerts, to leveraging KnowEm and updating on-line profiles weekly to stay at the top of queue. Here at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, about 100 recent college graduates are walking around wearing bright blue “Hire Me” t-shirts. (more…)

July 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Cloud Little Brother

by Diane Krakora, CEO

My older brother made me better. He was born two years before me and not only paved the way through our parents’ faulty expectations of curfews and perfect school attendance; he also motivated me to greatness. I was always trying to keep up – playing his sports (football, baseball, kick the can), stealing his books and listening to his music. I learned faster by following him around – and he continued to be pissed he wasn’t farther ahead than his annoying little sister. Maybe we’re unique because we’re both competitive, however there is evidence the second child develops more rapidly when they are close in age to their sibling.

Sitting here at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, I’m starting to believe a similar phenomenon is happening with solution providers transitioning to the cloud. (more…)

July 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

Sub-dude

by Diane Krakora, CEO

The 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Summit kicked off today in Los Angeles with a tone previously un-experienced at a conference. No rock and roll band jamming “it’s a beautiful day” at 8am – a respectable 9am start time with a cool, but understated, synchronized dance act from Japan –  with the message “there is power in walking together”. The opening video segment highlighted a Japanese software company that developed a cool app on Azure to help quake victims find people, share stories and photos and connect with each other. It was a good example of winning together (the conference theme), however a bit sobering to recall the tragedies befallen the globe in the last 365 days. (more…)

July 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

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