Tag: resellers

SAP wants VARs to cash in on big data

sapbeerSAP is telling its partners that it is time to cash in on big data. The company estimates that its global partner base will earn up to $220 billion by selling its big data and analytics products.

So it sees a huge opportunity for partners and resellers, who could provide more services and products in addition to SAP software.

A recent IDC report revealed that SAP partners could be in for a lot of growth over the next five years. IDC’s Worldwide Ecosystem Analytics and Big Data: Growth Opportunities for SAP Partners found that EMEA partners could earn $70 billion by 2018, dabbling in big data and analytics. Asia Pacific and Japan should climb to $40 billion, while North America will lead the way with $102 billion.

One of the more curious factoids from the report claims that the digital landscape will grow more than 30 thousand percent between 2005 and 2020, from 130 exabytes to 40,000 exabytes. It’s not called big data for nothing.

“SAP and its partners make a significant impact on the global economy,” said Darren Bibby, vice president for IDC Channels and Alliances Research. “SAP does an excellent job delivering great products for partners to work with, as well as effective sales, marketing and training resources. The result is that the SAP ecosystem is well-positioned for the future and customers will benefit from these additional skills and resources.”

Interestingly, the IDC report concluded that 68 percent of the companies don’t have a business intelligence or analytics strategy, while a whopping 63 percent don’t even know what big data is. However, 69 percent said they are looking for staff who can handle analytics.

As it grows, the industry will change. IDC believes 90 percent of industry growth will come through third-platform technology, cloud, mobile and social.

Vole chucks cash at Win 8 tablet peddlers

win8errorMicrosoft is trying to make Windows 8 a bit more appealing by offering resellers a $5 to $10 discount for select Windows 8 devices.

The incentive programme is focused on 21 Windows 8 devices, most of which are tablets or other touch-enabled devices, Computerworld UK reports.

With plummeting sales of traditional PCs, the move is hardly surprising, but the fact that Microsoft has singled out just 21 devices strikes us as odd to say the least.

The programme, dubbed “TouchWins” is clearly tailored to support emerging form factors and make Windows 8 tablets a bit cheaper, although they will remain hopelessly overpriced even with the $10 kickback.

“The whole idea is to provide incentives for the commercial channel for featured devices and tablets, PCs and tablets, and through this program we will provide incentives directly to authorized distributors, as well as reseller partners, who sell featured PCs and tablets that have Windows [8] Pro and are touch-enabled,” said Tami Reller, Windows division CFO.

Devices from nine OEMs, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo, are eligible for TouchWins.

However, many of them are very pricey indeed, so the cash-back incentive won’t mean much.

One example is the Acer Aspire S7 touch enabled Ultrabook, starting at about $1,300. We’re not sure a $10 discount will make much of a difference in this price bracket.

Distie talks up video conferencing

telepresenceDistributor Zycko has claimed that a significant amount of resellers are unfamiliar with video conferencing despite thriving demand, but there is ample room in the channel for capitalising on the technology.

In a survey of 204 resellers, 31 percent admitted they didn’t have a clue about video conferencing, although most respondents acknowledged that they and partners could benefit from it. However, 48 percent were familiar with video conferencing and 21 percent claimed to have a solid understanding of the technology.

The reception was largely positive. 84 percent said their experiences had been good or very good.

Almost half of respondents said they used video conferencing themselves with about a third claiming that it is part of their daily or weekly routine. Sales and management were the top users, mostly using the technology for internal communications , followed by customer calls.

Zycko CEO David Galton-Fenzi said that there is plenty of opportunity for capitalising on flexible and remote working in the channel. Distributors should take the initiative to educate partners on the benefits of the latest remote working technologies – if not selling packages themselves, at least utilising telepresence to deliver personable customer service when meeting in person is not possible.

“Now is the time for resellers to align themselves with channel partners able to support them, and help them engage end users with a solution that will continue to grow in popularity as the ROI potential is realised,” Galton-Fenzi said.

Ingram Micro promotes channel love-in

IMIngram Micro has opened its doors to 350 channel partners from across the globe.

The distie has hosted what it claimed is its first International Solutions Partner Invitational in Hollywood.

The event, which began on 8 May and runs until today saw partners fly in from North America and Latin America, as well as Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

It is sponsored by 15 technology vendors including Signature Sponsors Motorola Solutions and Psion, now part of Motorola Solutions, and Platinum Sponsors Axis Communications, Elo Touch Solutions and Intermec.

Themed “Mix it Up,” the Invitational is claimed to try and inspire the 600-plus vendor and reseller partners in attendance to think about business differently in 2013, and seek out new markets and  service opportunities that will help them grow faster and more profitably.

The event is also claimed to offer channel partners insight around industry best practices and market trends including where the markets are heading and what channel partners need to do to better position their business for success now, and in the future.

Throughout the event, attendees will hear from speakers including Scott Deming, a customer service and emotional brand building expert, Juliann Larimer, vice president of worldwide channels and sales operations for Motorola Solutions and Paul Bay, president, Ingram Micro North America.

It will also feature new Ingram Micro vendors, including TSC Printers and APG Cash Drawer, as well as more than 20 ISVs from across the Americas.

Resellers need wider mobility portfolios

DominicWordsworth_newResellers must begin to start building wider mobility portfolios and get cosy with disties in a bid to exploit the latest opportunities within the market, Computerlinks has said.

The company, which earlier this week announced an agreement in the UK and Germany with MobileIron, said the recent BYOD trend had been  good for starting conversations about mobility strategies organisations.

However, Dominic Wordsworth, product group manager at the company pointed out that the industry was now moving beyond just securing devices to considering how they can make staff not only mobile but also productive.

“MDM was the ‘knee jerk’ reaction by many to BYOD (both vendors and end-users) – securing the devise is an important start, but enabling and managing applications is the real challenge,” he told ChannelEye.

He pointed out that the companies with insight who initiated pilot mobility projects were now starting to move into company-wide rollouts.

“[This gives] the channel plenty of opportunities to get involved as businesses need to evaluate what applications are needed, who needs them and why. Vanity projects such as handing out iPads to executives are becoming more scarce, as organisations are becoming to demand real value from all of their devices,” he added.

Many channel partners are offering mobility products which allow IT departments to manage devices, however, Wordsworth claimed it was becoming clear that security was not the only factor at play here.

“To exploit the latest opportunities in the market, resellers should be building wider mobility portfolios around devices, applications and content. Focusing on one aspect of the mobility pitch won’t bring in those high-value contracts as organisations will generally be looking for the whole package rather than just a point solution.

“One way resellers can get ahead of the competition is by working with distributors that can offer extra services to help companies get mobile more easily, such as pre-sales support which can gives them access to current market expertise and knowledge,” he said.

Computerlinks claims that its new partnership with MobileIron will further continue to help resellers to drive their customers to deliver useful business applications to users over enhanced mobile networks to a secure endpoint, whatever the device.

It has also promised training for its channel partners around the new announcement, as well as helping them take advantage of its highly qualified pre and post sales consultants to support their own teams.

Avaya loves its partners

Hands across the waterAvaya is moving to help partners and disties speed up access to its portfolio of unified communications, contact centre, networking, and SME products.

The business communications and collaboration systems and services company has announced that it will be rolling out its Avaya One Source globally.

It’s also announced three new Avaya Aura suites of UC, mobility and collaboration applications that help simplify pricing and the delivery of UC applications.

According to the company, the suites make it easy and cost-effective for channel partners and customers to select and deploy the right mix of UC capabilities across their entire workforce.

Avaya One Source is said to speed quoting and ordering of all Avaya products through more efficient pricing, processes and tools.  New automation capabilities, real-time access to standardised pricing, and an integrated and centralised web-based system is also claimed to significantly reduce order cycle times, enabling channel partners to deliver quicker responses to customers.

The service is said to be available to all 9,000 Avaya Connect channel partners and will also include simplified global pricing and discounting reduces 1,400 Avaya material price groups to 13 and combines over 200 separate pricing catalogs into one.

Avaya One Source is already deployed in key regions throughout the world, with full deployment planned for all countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific by July.

McAfee, Stonesoft merger bad news for channel

Intel-logoCompetition in the security market is increasing, meaning businesses and consumers could eventually end up paying higher prices to keep their PCs protected, resellers have warned.

The comments come as it was announced that Intel’s McAfee was splashing $389 million on the purchase of Stonesoft a security company that delivers software-based customer-driven cyber security products to secure information flow and simplify security management.

McAfee said Stonesoft’s product portfolio of next-generation firewalls would help it “extend its leadership position in network security.” It said it planned to integrate Stonesoft’s offerings with other McAfee products such as its cloud-based Global Threat Intelligence services.

However, resellers aren’t convinced the company is doing it to perfect the security world, claiming the buyout will stifle competition and keep customers “over barrels.”

“Intel and other big vendors are gobbling up smaller companies, closing the competition,” one told ChannelEye.

“This means that eventually we’ll be left offering clients only a few security software options at higher prices for the vendors but lower margins for us as we try and compensate for their greed.”

Another agreed, claiming companies were using the fact that everyone needed security to rake in the cash.

“The security world has gone mad. But then big security companies can afford to splash the cash. Not only do they charge extortionate amounts for security but have many over a barrel. It’s like car insurance,” he told ChannelEye.

“Everyone needs it to be safe but no one wants to pay the premiums for it.”

Others also pointed out that although it was a good time to be in security, resellers rarely benefited.

“It’s big money in the security software market if you’re at the top, as this proposed buyout has shown,” he said.

“However resellers like us rarely see the fruits of the profits. Our clients are often quite au fait with security and buy off the shelf, or won’t spend the money we require to see rewards.”

Tech Data creates European reseller Windows 8 event

Windows-8Tech Data has teamed up with six OEMs to allow resellers to stay and play with Windows 8.

The event, in connection with Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo and HP will allow resellers to get hands-on experience and see for themselves a range of different devices for both personal and business use running the operating system.

EMS was called upon to design and build a presentation and product demonstration space as well as manage an intensive pan-European tour schedule.

The company said fifty events had been planned over 25 days and the tour was expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Nigel Judd, Marketing Services Director at Tech Data Europe, said EMS had helped Tech Data with the opportunity to give thousands of resellers across Europe a hands-on experience of the latest devices running on the Windows 8 platform from leading vendor partners.

EMS will manage the 10-week tour that starts in April 2013 and will target Brussels, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Berlin/Cologne, Zurich, Milan, , Ferrara, Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, Paris, London, Birmingham.

Ingram Micro floats further into the cloud

clouds3Ingram Micro is expanding its offerings in the cloud.

The distie has decided to add new clould telecoms services to its existing set of 170 services already being offered in this space.

Announcing the new moves at its Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, taking place in Phoenix, this week, the company said it would now be able to offer customers support for  voice video and data from CenturyLink and Time Warner Cable Business Class.

And its not just this service the distie is offering. In its bid to conquer cloud further its announced the hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) program, which claims to allow its channel partners resell packages of hardware, software and cloud-based services for a monthly fee without the need for a large upfront investment.

Other services it said it would be offering for customers in the future were enterprise-class business intelligence platforms from Birst as well as moving into healthcare with services specially for this sector in partnership with  Medweb and NextGen Healthcare.

Ingram Micro brings SAP enterprise mobility to market

IMIngram Micro and SAP are helping customers make the most of the enterprise mobility market, or so they say.

The dynamic duo have teamed up with Ingram Micro claiming to help leverage its value-added reseller (VAR) channel to help push SAP products into small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) market.

From April 15, 2013, Ingram Micro Mobility will provide its VAR community access to the SAP mobile platform, which includes the SAP Afaria mobile device management service.

Ingram Micro VARs will also have access to SAP’s extensive portfolio of more than 300 mobile apps that support tasks from simple productivity to complex transactions across 24 different industries, employing mobile devices using iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry operating systems.

Here’s their spin. Leveraging Ingram Micro’s extensive distribution infrastructure and expertise will make the SAP apps available in an on-demand fashion through the proven Ingram Micro distribution model to the VAR community and end customers, the company has boasted.

Ingram Micro and SAP expect the relationship to benefit VARs and end-users by providing a cost-effective solution for the SMB market to take advantage of enterprise-class mobile solution software applications to dramatically improve productivity.

Embotics goes Microsoft Hyper-V

Hands across the waterEmbotics has released its Embotics V-Commander for Microsoft Hyper-V.

The virtualisation and cloud management software company claims that the new platform, with a new multi-tenant cost model capability, will help deliver IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) with support for multi-hypervisor environments, as well as help customers make the right economic decisions for their virtualised data centres.

Whilst the channel has done a great job of helping their customers to virtualise their IT environments, some customers have traditionally found it difficult to cut through the tough-talking and hyperbole from Microsoft and VMware about which vendor offers the most cost-effective hypervisors.

The new cloud management platform is said to change this offering easy-to-use rapid provisioning, self-service, service catalogues, IT costing and charge back, workflow automation, resource optimisation and lifecycle management capabilities and will now also give users a cost comparison functionality.

Embotics V-Commander is also said to help users integrate Hyper-V into their data centre environment for rationalisation via reclamation, optimisation and workload migration through multi-hypervisor adoption. Apparently data centres can implement Embotics V-Commander and accelerate cloud maturity without simultaneously accelerating costs or complexity.

Embotics V-Commander return on investment (ROI) is gained later through automation and the standardising of services for the best fit.

Additionally, by examining the historical view of the environment and how it grows, Embotics V-Commander can retrofit the environment to achieve ROI. It can also identify waste and help recycle, migrate and reclaim that waste on the Microsoft Hyper-V platform.

Resellers cautiously welcome the budget

gosborneResellers have cautiously welcomed some parts of the Budget, saying elements could help smaller businesses and the IT industry.

However, they have warned that by giving benefits and breaks to SMEs and start ups larger companies may find room for complaint.

The comments come as Chancellor George Osborne set out plans to drive the economy by offering SMEs reductions in National Insurance.

The latter was described as a “tax off jobs,” offering every company in the UK the option to take the first £2,000 pounds off their National Insurance bill.

Additionally, he said the Coalition will provide funding for any external advice companies needed.

According to Osborne, roughly 450,000 small businesses  could end up paying no jobs tax at all under the new outlines. He said that for those starting their own businesses and looking to employ staff, “a huge barrier would be removed” when the legislation passes next April.

Responding to the budget, a source at a large reseller told ChannelEye the £2,000 credit against employer’s NI contributions is “a great initiative” and “could also help start-ups too”.

“Not so good for bigger firms who may in the long run face competition from the up and coming businesses with smaller overheads offering cheaper IT services,” the source said.

Another added: “I suppose it’s good that the budget is proposing a cut in corporation tax and boosts for SMEs, however, whether that will pay off remains to be seen.”

Both resellers queried plans to hold off infrastructure plans until 2015, which the Chancellor hinted at when he claimed that, although the government planned to support the economy with the infrastructure it needs, he would only look at throwing £3 billion a year at broadband and mobile telephony investments from 2015 to 2016.

“The reduction in the growth outlook means there will be no new money for infrastructure until 2015/16,” this large reseller told us. “This means we are left in limbo as an economy. This will have a knock on effect on the IT sector, which thrives through new initiatives and businesses.”

The other added: “The Budget is more focused on helping smaller businesses, so surely delaying this could have a knock on effect on the economy”.

Microsoft hands over Office 365 to resellers

msMicrosoft has lived up to its pledge made last summer by making cloud suite available through Open licensing from 1 March.

Resellers can bill customers directly for Office 365 eight months after the move was unveiled to applause at the vendor’s Worldwide Partner Conference  in 2012.

This mean that Office 365 will be available to partners on Open and Open Value licensing programmes from next month.

At the moment partners have to use a referral model for reselling Office 365 and get payments for what they sell, with Microsoft controlling billing.

But the new move will mean that resellers the chance to set their own margins and bill customers. It gives them the ability to control and bundle products.

This is important in cloud offerings where resellers show up and offer a one stop shop cloud operation.

It has been a long time coming. Some resellers were expecting to see the plan enacted by the end of the year particularly after Vole launched it with such a big fanfare.  Microsoft claims that the idea has a lot of support, so it is not clear why the plan was so delayed.

However Microsoft still might sail up the nasal passages of resellers by offering a different SKU which means that some customers may still be forced to bypass the partner on billing.  This could be confusing for many customers and resellers who might think they have a product that they don’t.

Microsoft Windows 8 OEM prices may drop in UK

Windows-8Despite claims that Microsoft is planning to offer discounts on Windows 8 OEM prices over in Taiwan, disties and resellers have said that they have not seen the same happening in the UK.

However, they have hinted that if the rumours are correct, there could be a knock on effect on UK sales later on in the year.

The comments come as DigiTimes reported that Microsoft would lower OEM licensing costs by offering a discount of $20 for 11.6-inch and below notebooks that are equipped with touch screens.

Sources and vendors said this was because Windows had fallen short of expectations in driving demand mainly because its notebooks and tablets were too expensive

For below 10.8-inch notebooks, tablets and hybrids, Microsoft  is said to offer the $20 discount plus free Office 2013 software, from the beginning of April, while retail prices for 11.6-inch touchscreen Windows 8 notebooks were expected to be reduced beginning June to reflect the discount.

However, a big distie who works closely with Microsoft in the UK said that it had not seen evidence of this.

“We haven’t heard of any reductions but we can confirm that these are failing to shift,” he told ChannelEye.

“I suppose if the news is coming from the Far East we can expect to see similar announcements in the next few weeks/months.

“These sources are rarely wrong and it would make sense given the way these products are failing to fly off the shelves.”

One reseller was less convinced, telling ChannelEye: “Sales are slow but I don’t think they are at a pace to send Microsoft into a price slashing frenzy just yet.

“It’s invested a lot of money in these products as well as us, its resellers, so it’s going to hold out. Of course that puts pressure on us to sell, but c’est la vie.”

Ingram Micro rides high on reseller programme wave

IMIngram Micro said that its time and investment in its resellers is paying off and has launched more partner programmes as a result.

The distie, like many, centres its efforts around education and training for its partners, which it hopes will boost morale and help them sell more products.

And according to Arnet the company is riding the wave of success as a result of a range of initiatives launched over the past year. This includes its enablement training programs, aimed at the SME market, and helped bring in the bucks for the resellers in this sector.

The distie has also launched major programmes including  the Microsoft Training Academy and Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience, which it claims are doing so well that they have been over-subscribed and forced the company to lay on more of these events over the next month, while its Symantec and VMware launch and learn events have also paid off.

The company, which said it a statement that it believed “education and training were key enablers for its reseller partners” has now launched two more programs for March.

Veeam Campus is a program claimed to provide training and certification for Veeam products, while Cloud Advance has been created in partnership with UberGlobal and Microsoft to assist resellers in identifying and capitalising on cloud service opportunities.

The distie warned that interest in both new programs was strong already and early registrations were filling quickly.

IM resellers can register for both free programs immediately.