Calling All Cisco VARs!
In case you haven’t heard, D&H Distributing is inviting its VAR customers to attend the distributor’s latest Solutions Lab presentation, “An Introduction to Cisco UCS for SMB,” tomorrow, June 11, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. During the one-hour webcast, you will learn the basics of Cisco’s Unified Computing System servers, including the Cisco C22 and C24 servers for SMBs. Jeff Hunt, D&H’s resident Cisco sales engineer, will lead the session, which will include a demonstration of a remote OS installation that leverages the Cisco CIMC (Cisco Integrated Management Controller) interface.
The IT Community Mourns One of Its Own
Please take a few minutes to read this article, paying special attention to the link in the last paragraph.
How to Win a Government Contract
The process of winning local, state, or federal government contracts just got a little easier, thanks to Microsoft. OK, maybe not easier—obtaining a government contract can still be a challenge—but Microsoft, through its U.S. SMB organization headed by VP Cindy Bates, has sponsored the new 2013 edition of the Procurement Opportunities Guide, a free e-guide produced by Braddock Communications that helps small businesses navigate the procurement process and explains how to manage business growth after the contract is awarded.
Why should you care? The federal government spends $500 billion on private contracts each year, and 23 percent of those funds are set aside for small businesses—maybe one like yours. And technology-related contracts can be substantial.
Go here for more info and to download the free e-guide. Also read Cindy Bates’ blog, which explains in more detail what’s at stake.
Some Disaster Relief
Business cloud solutions provider Intermedia is offering one month of free hosted Exchange, hosted PBX, and conference bridges to any organization affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Interested companies can call the company for more details and to get set up with services: 1-800-379-7729
Cloud Acquisitions Continue
Today Boston-based, online backup provider Carbonite announced it is buying Zmanda Inc., a provider of cloud BDR solutions in Sunnyvale, Calif.
According to David Friend, Chairman and CEO of Carbonite, “Carbonite has focused on backing up computers and mobile devices, while Zmanda has focused on backing up servers and databases. In the small to medium business (SMB) market, most companies need both. Furthermore, IT resellers and MSPs want to be able to offer their clients a complete cloud backup solution from one vendor that protects both computers and servers…”
Notice the reference to the SMB market, not to mention managed service providers? Now hold that thought, because also today Persistent Systems, a software and technology services company based in India, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire rCloud, the business continuity cloud platform from Doyenz, of Santa Clara, Calif.
Again, one of the reasons Persistent Systems cited for the acquisition in its press announcement is that it enables the company to develop a stronger foothold in cloud offerings AND in managed services.
So, VARs, this should give you pause. if you’re not offering cloud services yet, or even managed services, it’s time to get crankin’.
More Free Software
Lots of freebies out there these days. The latest is from Ninite, with its Ninite Pro, to apply the security patch Oracle recently released for Java 7.
According to Ninite Co-Founder Patrick Swieskowski, “Applying this Java patch is as easy as selecting all your computers, then picking Java 7 from the apps, then clicking install.”
The trial is good for unlimited machines, but for a limited time only (one week!). Get it here:
Patch the Java 7 Zero Day for free with Ninite Pro
Prove Your Competency; Differentiate Yourself
A key takeaway from SMB Forum 2012 was articulated well last month by Channel Pro-SMB’s own Rich Freeman. In his event coverage, “SMB Forum 2012: Cloud Resellers Must Rethink Business Management,” Freeman explains that “IT providers entering the burgeoning market for cloud-based solutions must revamp not just their service offerings but the entire way they run their company.” That sentiment was echoed this week by Microsoft Partner Network general manager Julie Bennani.
Launching in June is Microsoft’s Small Business Competency, a professional status designed to differentiate SMB-focused VARs from their enterprise-centric competitors.
As Bennani articulates in her blogpost, “How You Can Earn the MPN Small Business Competency,” the Small Business Competency will lead with the cloud. “We [at Microsoft] believe this competency will be one of the biggest levers to accelerate cloud partner activation in the small business segment,” she writes.
In acquiring the MPN Small Business competency, Bennani reports that Microsoft Partners will prove capabilities through technical exams, sales assessments, and customer/client references.
Partners will demonstrate a solid expertise of solutions based on Windows, Office 365, Windows server Small Business Server, and Windows Intune.
As Bennani is quick to point out in her blog, attaining a Gold-level Small Business Competency will yield the highest level of support from Microsoft.
Gold-level partners will, for example, enjoy:
- Use of the Gold competency logo.
- Eligibility for a named Microsoft contact for sales support.
- Internal use rights for up to 30 licenses of on-premises products.
- Additional cloud offering license rights for internal usage (IUR).
- Unlimited pre-sales advisory hours...
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