IT services consolidation was a top ticket among VARs this year. A blog post on Dell's buyout of Perot Systems was the most read Channel Marker blog entry for 2009. Other hot Channel Marker topics: All things Cisco. The networking giant is certainly front and center as it builds its data center server business and alliance with VMware and EMC and deals with bringing its army of networking VARs along for the ride. Oracle's continued shopping spree -- including speculation on whether Red Hat is on the shopping list was another top item.
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So, without further ado, here are the five most-read Channel Marker posts for 2009.1: Big changes for the spawn of Perot Within one week, Dell announced plans to buy Perot Systems and its services expertise and Hewlett-Packard redubbed Electronic Data Systems as HP Enterprise Services. Both Perot and EDS were the brainchildren of entrepreneur and one-time presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. 2: Next up for Oracle: Red Hat?
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison causes industry consolidation simply by wielding his checkbook. So why shouldn't Oracle buy Red Hat to make its Linux love official? Ellison made Oracle a huge contender for the enterprise apps crown with his buyouts of PeopleSoft/J.D. Edwards, Seibel Systems, et al. He trumped IBM's WebSphere dominance when he bought BEA Systems. And he will win hardware credibility vs. IBM if and when his Sun Microsystems deal completes.3: Cisco in sales revamp to form new strategic partner org Cisco's new Strategic Partner Organization was launched to manage accounts from both its worldwide channels and strategic alliances groups and reports into Keith Goodwin. At the time of the news, many Cisco VARs were still smarting over the company's tendency to favor a few, very big, partners over smaller VARs. 4: Will Cisco customers upgrade en masse?
Will customers really fork out the dough to replace $9 billion worth of Cisco networking gear coming off support? Heather Clancy really wanted to know and, it turns out, this was a really, really good question. Even though VARs love to sell new stuff, they don't like telling customers that a lot of their existing stuff has been de-supported. Especially when HP offers lifetime warranties.5: Top five IT channel lessons for the quarter
Want to know what's happening in the channel? Check out SearchITChannel.com's Advisory board top five lessons for the quarter. They're usually spot on.
Board members displayed continued uneasiness over cloud computing in general and Google's enterprise apps push in particular. Other than cloud fear, most agreed that VARs should watch Cisco -- and its CEO John Chambers-- like a hawk. There is some concern that the vendor's channel-friendliness is already eroding. "I'm a lot more concerned about what John Chambers is up to than with whatever the Microsoft CEO is doing," said one member.
Check out the top ten VAR news stories for 2009.