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Top five channel hot spots

There’s nothing like a channel advisory board call to recharge the batteries.

Here are the top five takeaways from’s quarterly call earlier this week:

First: It’s probably a no-brainer, but solution providers expect a big hardware refresh to accompany the Windows 7 launch this fall and hope to bundle an array of services around that upgrade binge.

Second: Customers really are asking for metrics around energy use when it comes to new server or other data center purchases. Not coincidentally, board members see renewed interest in non-traditional Atom-based server hardware

Third: Cisco’s decision to “end of life” some popular product lines may come to bite it in tuchus. Popular infiniband and other products go byebye at the end of Cisco’s fiscal year next month and customers are already looking for (non-Cisco) alternatives.

Fourth: There’s interest in solid-state storage and it may be a good idea for VARs to brush up on the technology if only to best counsel customers on where solid-state is not appropriate. There was one comment along the lines of: “I like to be able to offer solid-state storage, so i don’t have to sell it. Having it starts a lot of good discussions.”

Fifth: There is customer interest in clouds, but some VARs still advise caution about the public cloud scenario, citing recent hacks of Twitter and other cloud-based services as cautionary tales.

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How instrumental is a CIO in building a culture of employee engagement in the workplace?
a tool is only as effective as its adoption and usage. CIOs can push a technology but the people who adopt and use are important. CIOs need to make sure that they are in on that ground floor.
Very critical - keeps the employeess thinking about issues and innovative solutions to solve the problem
We've taken (some) people out of their cubicles, but left their minds as cut-off and boxed-in as ever. We need to build a culture of collaboration and teamwork, not isolated superstars.

First identify the problem as ONE problem. Many separate bits and pieces, but a single problem that needs to be resolved. Then build a team to tackle it together. Happier workers, better results.