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Microsoft Office 365 intrigues, Cisco perplexes: Top May 2011 blogs

Top Channel Marker blogs for May ran the gamut from Office 365 plans to Cisco screwups.

May was a mixed bag for Channel Marker readers. News about Microsoft’s channel plans for Office 365 took top honors. But readers also wanted to hear how Camera Corner Connecting Point CEO Rick Chernick could give vendors pointers when it comes to hosting tech events.

Also of interest: Cisco's screwups and Doug Burgum's life after Microsoft.

1: Microsoft tells partners to register Office 365 customers
Last month, Microsoft told its partners to start registering potential customers for Office 365, the company’s upcoming hosted application services. So far, the role partners would have in Office 365 remained unclear.  One issue with the current Business Productivity Online Suite -- which Office 365 will replace -- is that partners can sell it but they don’t bill for it and thus don’t “own” the customer. It looks like that will remain the status quo for Office 365, although partners are hoping that will change

(Update: Last week Microsoft said it will formally unveil Office 365 June 28 in New York City. It remains unclear when the service will actually be available, however.)

2: Super Show of Technology Expo IIIVI: Top Five Takeaways
Camera Corner Connecting Point’s annual customer event brought the company’s customers and top vendors to the shadow of Lambeau Field for sessions on hot new technologies including desktop virtualization and tablet computers. Also, a lot of Green Bay Packers swag. What could be better?

3: What’s up with Cisco?
Cisco Systems used to be the company others wanted to emulate. It executed well and dominated in its chosen field of networking hardware. That’s changed since Cisco priorities exploded and its execution on them fell short. While Cisco has done well in servers, most agree that the company took its eye off its key networking business, and that damage will take time to repair.

4: Doug Burgum wants to bring Great Plains model to health care
Doug Burgum sold Great Plains Software to Microsoft ten years ago. Then he helped build Microsoft’s Business Solutions with the help of an army of partners that built ERP and CRM applications on the company’s software foundation. Now, with Intelligent Insites, Burgum wants to replicate that partner-fed success in real time location systems (RLTS) for the health care industry.

5: Jobs, Apple crush Dell; Dell turns to partners. Coincidence?
Michael Dell once said Apple Computer should be scrapped for its piece parts. Now Apple is worth ten times Mr. Dell’s eponymous company, leading some to demand that Dell kiss Steve Jobs’ ring. Apple’s consumer-focused iPhones and iPods and iPads clearly paid off while Dell is viewed as the stodgy company. But glitz aside, Dell’s done very well recently in servers and some say that success comes because of Dell’s new found partner religion.

Check out the top Channel Marker blogs for April 2011.

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