Posts tagged ‘solution providers’

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

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

In a cloudy world… does the network matter?

by Diane Krakora, CEO

In this rush to “everything as a service”, has the network – the highway to the cloud – gotten lost? We all KNOW we need routers, switches, hubs and security to access all the goodness the cloud can offer us. Does the quality of the network matter? (more…)

July 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

Increasing Ease-of-Doing-Business and Partner-Facing Staffing May Go Hand in Hand

by Beth Vanni, Vice President

Given the complexity of today’s channel programs, especially among larger vendors, partners are looking for resources (people, portals) to help navigate their way.  Combine this dynamic with rapidly changing solution provider business models and we see a real need for vendor field reps to have a dedicated and responsive support system within their organizations to offload day-to-day program and transactional complexity in order to focus on critical activities such as business planning, and co-selling.

Despite the recent years of partner-facing staff streamlining and cut-backs, vendors who are invested in building their channel productivity are also willing to make the necessary high-touch investments in the staff necessary to properly profile, plan and provide local support to partners through the addition of inside sales staff and help desk functions. They are realizing that while EODB is a key initiative and partners want to eliminate as much complexity (read “cost”) as possible, in order to garner partner trust, loyalty and investment during major market transitions they have to provide high-touch people based support. Helping partners make a business model transition or invest more deeply in specialization or technical certifications requires trusting, local, hands-on relationships – and always has. The ‘next generation” partner account manager (substitute your title) requires a level of business savvy that can be better addressed by dedicated partner facing staff who are adept at anticipating business model changes, measuring loyalty, and navigating the strategic aspects of the relationship. (more…)

June 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Leveraging Social Networks for P2P Collaboration – Are We There Yet?

by Beth Vanni, Vice President

Virtually all companies are now beginning to engage in some type of social media with their customers and their partners.  Facebook and Twitter icons are familiar sights on corporate website homepages, as are links to corporate weblogs. In five short years, social media has become the rule rather than the exception, and conspicuous only by its absence in today’s highly collaborative environment. But for all the customer-facing social media activities, what are vendors doing to foster either Partner-to-Vendor (P2V) or Partner-to-Partner (P2P) collaboration and network building using this powerful medium? (more…)

May 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

The Cloud Comes with Many Financial Questions for Transitioning Solution Providers

by Sallie Martin, Consultant

There was a lot of discussion at the Baptie ChannelFocus conference surrounding the Cloud. A topic that recurred multiple times was the financial aspect of how the channel will be affected by this ‘new’ model. Many Solution Providers who haven’t already transitioned into the MSP model have several issues facing them as they look toward the future. The most glaring point is how to move to a recurring revenue model while trying to pay the bills based on traditional upfront payments. (more…)

May 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

Brand-Franchise Channel Partnerships: Who Do End-to-End Solutions REALLY Benefit?

by Diane Krakora, CEO

At this year’s HP America’s Partner Conference 2011, new CEO Leo Apotheker introduced a newly crystallized set of messaging focused around the ability of HPs broad portfolio to create a “seamless, secure, content-aware experience for an InstantON, connected world.” While certainly admirable, with the proliferation of exceptional products and suppliers from which customers can choose, it begs the question: Who really benefits from the sale of a single company’s end-to-end solution? (more…)

April 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

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