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IT channel partner program news for June 2009

Notable IT channel partner program news for June 2009 includes headlines from Ingram Micro, Tech Data, IBM and Microsoft.

Ingram Micro to matchmake VARs with stimulus grant money

The new IMStimulus program could help Ingram Micro VARs find economic stimulus grant money for customers' information technology infrastructure, broadband and healthcare projects. Ingram Micro Inc. teamed with the Grants Office, which tracks which grants go to what sorts of projects. Of all the billions to be distributed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 60% will flow via line-item appropriations or existing contracts. But another 40% will go out via the grant process, said Bob Laclede, vice president of business development for Ingram Micro Inc. U.S.

Laclede said VARs with public sector, education and healthcare practices can actually find money that their own customers don't know is out there.

Tech Data teams with Force10

Tech Data Corp. adds Force10 Networks' products to networking lineup card as of mid-June. Force10 products include the S-Series 1 GB and 10 GB Ethernet switches for small and medium-sized businesses and larger companies, as well as high-end data center switches and routers.

IBM wants business partners to get social

There's Facebook, there's LinkedIn, there's Plaxo. And don't forget Second Life. All the IT vendors are jumping into social networking tools -- some more business-appropriate than others -- with both feet. IBM's latest foray is PartnerWorld Communities, built atop IBM Lotus Connections collaborative infrastructure.

The vendor pitches the social network/community as a place for IBM business partners to get what they need in terms of IBM subject matter experts. The goal is to develop leads and deliver the goods to customers, according to Channel Marker blogger Heather Clancy.

Microsoft taps Neutron Jack to address partners

Jack Welch, former chairman-of--General-Electric-turned-author, will speak to the assembled masses of Microsoft solution providers at July's Worldwide Partner Conference. The event kicks off July 12 in New Orleans. Other scheduled keynoters include Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO; Kevin Turner, COO; Bob Muglia, president of the server and tools group; and Stephen Elop president of the business division.

Channel advocate preaches self-reliance for VARs

Pat Taylor says VARs should take a harder line with their vendors and suppliers. Taylor, a former system builder who was also part of Intel's Premier Partner Board of Advisors, founded Atypical Business, which he wants to use to assemble a network of "channel entrepreneurs" to share ideas.

Prospects include resellers, managed service providers, VARs, system builders, and the goal is to help these channel partners strengthen their collective bargaining positions with technology suppliers.

Check out last month's IT channel partner program news roundup.

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