Tag: channel

IBM prepares channel for millennials

dellyBiggish Blue is predicting that things are going to change now that the millennial generation has entered the workforce.

IBM projects that by the year 2020 millennials will be the dominant generation in its company and its channel partners.

To deal with this IBM’s Mike Gerentine, global vice-president of channel marketing has set up   the IBM Emerging Leaders Initiative and recruited 40 millennial participants – 20 from IBM’s staff and 20 from channel partners that work together in a buddy system.

Apparently they’re collaborating together the way colleagues normally would, via conference calls, in-person meetings, and perhaps some Snap Chat sessions involving customised Bitmoji.

The generation born 1980 or later has sometimes got a bad rap as being too self-involved and entitled, Gerentine says they aren’t that different from other generations.

They are more social and digitally savvy, but they still want to work in a collaborative environment with people. IBM wants to create a groundswell in business partner firms to start developing leaders for the future.

So far the programme is focusing on non-technical employees, those in functional roles of marketing and sales, and the participants are being asked to take on two projects within IBM.

They must be evangelists of IBM’s internal social app, Gerentine says, and become experts of its new digital marketing platform, helping other employees deploy it and then put it to use.

In a statement Gerentine describes the programme as critical because IBM believes millennials are essential to helping define future needs and interests in the technology marketplace.

“I’m fully committed to ensuring that Emerging Leaders have a voice. Our companywide share new technology solutions with them, listen to their feedback, and learn from their insights.”

The programme is expanding. There’s an open call to recent college graduates that are now working at IBM partners, or the employers that hired them, to get in touch with IBM. A nomination form is required to be filled out for consideration to take part in the programme.

 

Dell signs up Tech Data

Dell logoTech Data will distribute a number of products from Dell in the UK and Ireland.

Dell, which in times past was positively averse to the channel, has changed its tune completely in the last few years

The company said the extended relationship with Tech Data underlines its “continued investment” in the channel.

Tech Data is one of the largest distributors of technology products in the world, with sales of close to $28 billion and a network of 115,000 resellers worldwide.

Andy Gass, MD at Tech Data, said in a prepared statement: “Dell has made a strong commitment to the indirect channel by opening its full product range to us.”

And Tim Griffin, CEO of Dell UK said: “Over the past few years, Dell’s Partner Direct programme has grown exponentially and the channel is now, more than ever, an essential element in Dell’s overall business strategy. Partners like Tech Data are pivotal to our success.”

 

Dell puts more beef into the channel

Dell logoThere was a time when putting the word Dell next to the word channel would produce sheer disbelief in a reader.

But those times are no more.

Today Dell said it has bolstered its channel team as well as announcing incentives and rebates for its channel partners.

The company said it has introduced a programme called “AllStars”, intended for its networking channel to do more business with the companies. Its partners get customer support and initiatives like training. The programme also gives premier and preferred partners in Europe access to C-level sales and marketing councils.

It also said that it has introduced the Vostro 15 3000 business networks aimed at SMEs and giving channel partners incentivies.

Dell has also appointed our old mate Sarah Shields as UK sales executive director and general manager for the UK. Sarah will look after a number of different routes to market.

Sarah said: “Our partners continue to pivotal… I look forward to continuing to build Dell’s offering to ensure that it meets the need of our partners across the UK.”

And Ralf Jordan has been appointed as executive director of EMEA broadline distribution.

 

PC sales slip back into the doldrums

pc-sales-slumpPC sales plunged lower than a Hollywood starlet’s dress in the first quarter of this year, according to Gartner Group.

One big reason for the decline was businesses buying fewer desktop computers, according to the Gartner research firm. It noted companies have mostly finished replacing older PCs that used outdated Windows XP software.

PC sales may get a boost later this year when Microsoft releases its next version of Windows, analysts said, but they’re still expecting an overall decline in sales for this year.

Gartner added that there had been an sales of laptop computers and hybrid models that combine features of tablets and laptops. That could help drive a gradual return to growth by next year.

Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa estimates PC makers shipped 71.7 million computers in the first quarter, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Some computer makers are doing better than others. China’s Lenovo saw an increase in worldwide sales, as did its nearest competitor, the maker of expensive printer ink HP.. However smaller companies, including Dell, saw sales decline.

Global PC sales have fallen steadily over the last three years, but Gartner are projecting a return to growth in 2016. Tablet users are giving up on the technology and are moving back to notebooks.

HP releases storage for SMEs

HPThe storage division of HP said it has released a series of storage products aimed at mid sized companies who don’t want to spend much cash.

HP claimed it has released the most affordable solid state drive (SSD) read caching product which starts off at $1,599.

HP also said it is offering hybrid flash storage in the shape of a StoreVirtual Storagesystem which it claims is 12 times faster than systems using spinning hard drives.

It is also releasing a scalable StoreOne Backup appliance and StoreEasy storage file serving appliances aimed at protecting SME data in case of a catastrophe and providing cloud backup.

HP said it is wooing its channel partners to target the SME market with a range of products that cost 23 percent less than its more grown up products for big enterprises.

It said that the scalable nature of its StoreOnce 2900 Backup appliance, for example, with up to 31.5 terabytes of storage in a 2U system.

HP has also refreshed with StoreEasy storage products using ProLiant Gen9 servers that start at under $5,500.

Most of these products will be available by the end of this month, HP said.

 

Lenovo still distributing Superfish

1413884897_463198Lenovo is still peddling notebooks pre-installed with dangerous, HTTPS-breaking adware, despite saying it had abandoned the practice.

Initially, Lenovo said the Superfish ad-injector posed no threat, a position it quickly reversed and then said the company stopped bundling the software in December.

Executives promised to release a removal tool that would delete all code and data associated with the adware.

However it looks like Lenovo might not have have told the full truth.

Ars Technica found that a new $550 Lenovo G510 notebook which was ordered in early February more than four weeks after Lenovo said it stopped bundling Superfish, still had the software.

It was not as if it was old stock stuck in the channel either, the onboard Windows had a December build date.

The next promise was about the official Superfish removal tool, which the PC maker states will “ensure complete removal of Superfish and certificates for all major browsers.”

While the tool removed the dangerous certificate—and as a result closed the serious man-in-the-middle vulnerability it posed—Lenovo’s software didn’t remove all Superfish-related data.

A Lenovo spokesman wrote in an e-mail to Ars: “If an individual customer has a specific question about their experience with the removal tool, they should contact the Lenovo Service line directly.”

Microsoft offers start ups Azure credits

Pic Mike MageeMicrosoft has launched a package to lure start-ups and SME’s to its Azure profile by offering them $500,000 in Azure credits. 

The deal, announced by partner Y Combinator, is only available to Y Combinator-backed companies and will be offered to the 2015 Winter and future batches.

It seems that Microsoft is following Google, AWS and IBM which already offer incentives for start-ups to join them.

Microsoft is giving Y Combinator start-ups a three years Office 365 subscription, access to Microsoft developer staff and one year of free CloudFlare and DataStax enterprise services.

It is starting to look like Microsoft is getting more aggressive in its competition with Amazon Web Services and Google, both of whom already offer credits and freebies.

Amazon offers $25,000 in AWS credits and other freebies, while Google offers $100,000 in Google platform credits and IBM offers $120,000 in credit for SoftLayer infrastructure of BlueMix PaaS.

Writing in his company’s bog Sam Altman said that this brings the total value of special offers extended to each YC company to well over $1,000,000. “The relentless nagging from partners to grow faster we throw in for free,” he said.

It is likely that the YC deal is the first of many which will be rolled out worldwide to Microsoft’s partners.

 

Cisco promises partners a sticky end

 honey1Cisco Systems executives have been promising their channel partners that its Cisco ONE Software Suite will be stickier than a hive of bees who stuck super glue on their feet and went skating on the honey combs.

Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment) is a software licensing program that provides flexibility for customers to acquire the latest software for infrastructure. Yes, apparently, you can be sticky and flexible at the same time; we looked it up.

The networking supremo appears to be removing the la carte method with separately priced products it has also removed the concept of a software license being tied to hardware.

Under the new system, Cisco ONE covers data centre, WAN and network access software as a subscription. Later this year Cisco ONE will offer perpetual licenses and hearing aids for those who were damaged by Cisco shouting ONE at them all the time.

John Brigden, senior vice president of software strategy and operations for Cisco, said all this means that Cisco is now in the business of flogging “business outcomes” instead of products.

Cisco ONE provides flexibility and drive greater deal sizes as well as more margin incentives through the Value Incentive Program (VIP), OIP, and TIP, he said.

For the channel it prevents multiple sales cycles because it is software tied to maintenance and support with SmartNet brings in a more predictable revenue stream.

“This is very sticky for partners.”

Microsoft takes on Chrome

Chrome-4-Wallpaper-Background-HdSoftware giant Microsoft appears to be attempting to give the Chromebook a run for its money.

Vole has arranged a few deals with some of its hardware partners to create $199 to $249 Windows laptops which are based around cloud storage systems.

HP will be Microsoft’s number one chum and will lead the way to lower-priced Microsoft Windows computers this year.

First off the block will be a $199 laptop dubbed the HP Stream 14. Details for the device leaked to Mobile Geeks. The data sheet that the magazine got its paws on shows a  14-inch laptop which could provide an interesting alternative to a Chromebook.

The HP Stream 14 is a bit like a Chromebooks.  It has a 1366 x 768 display and energy-efficient AMD chips. It has an untaxing 2 GB of memory and either 32 or 64 GB of flash storage as well as an SDXC card slot. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, three USB ports, HDMI out and a webcam.

The laptop runs Windows 8.1 and is connected to Microsoft’s cloud storage services. Like a Chromebook, the HP Steam 14 will come with 100 GB of OneDrive storage for two years, which is the identical

It appears that Microsoft is not going to give the bottom of the market to Google without a fight and we are expecting to see other products from Volish partners in the $199 to $249 price range in the coming months.

Dell puts Hammer on the table

Hammer logoMajor channel player Dell said it has appointed distie Hammer as an international OEM covering its complete portfolio.

The partnership means Hammer will sell into 40 verticals including military, defence, media, entertainments and telecommunications.

Gerard Marlow, general manaer at Hammer said that his company’s experience in bespoke server design helps it to be a Dell OEM.  The company has over 50 sales and technical professionals in house.

Dermot O’Connell, executive director of OEM business at Dell says that the partnership means Hammer will be part of his company’s overall channel strategy.

Dell to extend its channel model

dellchannDespite the BBC World Service this morning claiming that Dell will carry on making desktops, notebooks and servers in perpetuity, there’s another string  to the hardware giant’s bow.

And here in Budapest there’s a three day security conference which is exclusively about software. And, of course, security.

This all follows Dell’s acquisitions of Force 10 and SonicWALL – it hopes that will help it build its data centre business.

Andy Zollo, VP of Dell EMEA, opened up by asking how long the Brits stayed up last night. Apparently until 3AM, it seems. Growth areas include the cloud, big data, and mobile. Mobile he said generates 592MB per month for each device. And 50 percent of mobile device traffic is video. He said by the end of this year there will be more mobile devices than people on the planet.

Dell’s revenues from security in EMEA accounts for 51 percent of revenues. Its products it is positioning include security and data protection.  It has formed a security named account team covering different sectors with around 2,000 customers across Europe. It intends to build its channel presence in the future. There was a lot of direct business while SonicWALL was largely indirect.  Zollo says Dell EMEA is placing its best on the indirect model.

HP rejigs its channel people

HPDiversity and change are cited for the reasons that there’s been a reshuffle at HP Enterprise Group channel  personnel. Diversity and change. Change and diversity – those two magic words say so much and at the same time so very little.

Out is Kevin Matthews while in is Johnny Ansell.

Ansell is the new UK and Ireland indirect director for HP’s enterprise group.  He’s been at HP for fifteen years but most lately ran the HP networking business for the last 10 quarters.  Who has replaced him at the networking business remains a mystery.

According to a statement from Andy Isherwood, HP’s managing director, Matthews and others have driven “continuous growth” for over five years.

Isherwood cited his achievements as growth, relationships, and “innovation”.

What’s happened to Matthews?  HP isn’t ready to say but Isherwood said he will let us know, “once we have fully transitioned the channel business to the new leader”.  Happy transitioning.

Sennheiser hires channel woman

Jane WheelerHeadset and UC manufacturer Sennheiser said it has created a post of reseller sales manager and hired a woman for the role.

Jane Wheeler will be reseller sales manager for Sennheiser Comms.

Her job will be to work with the channel, build relationships and affiliations and to educate resellers about the products, build training programmes, organise events and provide support for resellers selling products to people.

She said she is looking forward to promoting the products into the channel, while sales director Jane Craven said Wheeler has a track record in the sector.

Channel can’t cope with cloud

cloudbustChannel players are finding it tough to cope with the fast change in cloud services, according to a report from MTI.

MTI surveyed both UK resellers and services providers and 77 percent of those responded said that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) was the top priority for their clients.

Less than half provide IaaS directly and only 22 percent can provide the service through vendors, MTI claimed.

That, claimed Chris Roberts, channel sales leader at MtI, meant there’s a gap between what clients want and resellers offer.

“It’s very difficult for resellers to be flexible enough to provide solutions as and when they come into fashion when demand from clients peak,” he said.

Nearly two thirds of resellers and service providers generate 40 percent of their turnover services.

Databarracks helps reseller victims

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeCloud service company Databarracks said it has introduced a reseller network called the deProgramme.

What does this mean?  According to Phil Gunning, channel manager at the company, channel players have been “victims of complexity. The point of any channel partnership for both parties is to reach more customers.”

He hit out at labels and jargon.

“Customers don’t care whether you’re a gold certified partner or if you’ve sat through hours of vendor training.”

His deProgramme, he claims, will eliminate red tape.

“The vast majority of channel programmes are broken. They’ve been too prescriptive without offering enough individual support or incentive for partners to thrive. Our most successful partners are the ones who work with us and take advantage of our resources to sell more and better support their customers.”

Databarracks will show off its services at Cloud Expo at the horrendous Excel conference centre, later this week.