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Juniper cloud specialization unveiled; plus, IBM, Tech Data, more news

The new Juniper cloud specialization establishes three new partner types; IBM searches for a new channel chief as Bill Donohue steps down.

Juniper Networks takes partners to the cloud

Juniper Networks Inc. on Thursday unveiled an extension of its Partner Advantage program, Juniper Partner Advantage Cloud, thereby defining its go-to-market strategy for cloud and the strategic business opportunity it brings to partners.

Partner Advantage Cloud becomes a new specialization available to qualifying Juniper Networks Elite partners.

The Juniper cloud program has three partner types: Cloud System Integrator (CSI), Cloud Services Partners (CSP) and Cloud Infrastructure Partner (CIP).

The CSI partner needs software-defined networking (SDN), network infrastructure and advanced security authorizations, and the Partner Advantage Professional Services specialization. CSIs must be able to implement customized cloud solutions, including professional services, to cloud service partners or private cloud customers, according to the company.

Partners with the Partner Advantage Support Services specialization can qualify for CSP, which extends the right to sell and provision cloud services or managed services based on Juniper equipment, but not to resell products.

Juniper cloud technology provider partners with an SDN authorization can apply for the CIP designation. Those partners are typically capable of delivering cloud solutions based on Juniper's infrastructure, including the company's Contrail SDN product.

Partner Advantage Cloud partner enablement includes sales and technical training, sales and marketing tools, community engagement and investment, and Cloud Innovation marketing development funds, as well as partner discounts and rebates, according to Juniper.

IBM searches for new channel chief

The hunt is on for a new channel chief at IBM now that 32-year IBM veteran Bill Donohue, vice president of business partner and midmarket sales, announced his retirement this week.

According to the vendor, Jim Gregory, vice president of competitive sales initiatives for North America, will fill in for Donohue until a replacement is found.

At IBM PartnerWorld in February, Donohue laid out IBM's North American business partner priorities for 2013 in three key areas: business partner community, business partner coverage and business partner experience.

Some of the channel chief's goals were to strengthen high-value solution skills to accelerate growth; provide programs and enablement support for high-value solutions such as business analytics, cloud and mobility; drive greater field engagement via increased dedicated channel sales and technical resources; and improve the ease of doing business with a focus on order management, deal registration, pricing and programs.

New channel chief at FireEye

Real-time threat protection vendor FireEye Inc. has appointed Steve Pataky as vice president of worldwide channels and alliances.

The former vice president of worldwide channel development and programs at Juniper Networks will be responsible for building out FireEye's partner relationships and channel program, including day-to day operations, recruitment and go-to-market strategies.

Pataky brings with him more than two decades of channel experience, having held channel sales and development positions with 3Com, Vertical Networks and NetScreen, in addition to his post at Juniper, according to the company.

Tech Data teams up with VMware for hybrid cloud service

Fresh from VMworld 2013, held in San Francisco in late August, Tech Data Corp. announced this week that it will offer VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service to its channel solution providers.

For Tech Data partners looking to expand their cloud business portfolio, vCloud Hybrid Service provides the infrastructure to move customer applications to the public cloud and manage both on-premises and off-premises environments, according to the distributor.

Built on VMware vSphere, the new hybrid cloud service offering allows partners and customers to use the same skills, tools, network and security models across environments.

On Aug. 26 at VMWorld 2013, VMware Inc. announced the general availability of its vCloud Hybrid Service, new data center locations and new capabilities to bring applications to the cloud.

Big data spending driven by machine learning

According to a new report from ABI Research, titled "Unlocking the Value of Big Data in Enterprises," global enterprise spending on big data is projected to exceed $31 billion in 2013 and reach $114 billion by 2018, accounting for a 29.6% compound annual growth rate.

According to company analyst Aapo Markkanen, salaries account for almost half of the current spending, and IT organizations that lack internal expertise -- "data-rich but skills-poor," said Markkanen -- are spending money for outside expertise.

The latest figures are derived from ABI's M2M Service Delivery Platforms, and Cloud Content and Services research services. The research looks at several vertical industries, including information, transportation, financial services, retail, utilities, manufacturing, mining, and oil and gas.

CompTIA joins the Tax Innovation Equality Coalition

With tax reform issues on consistently shaky ground, CompTIA has moved to join the Tax Innovation Equality (TIE) Coalition to protect the interests of small and medium-sized IT firms in the United States.

Looking for equity for small tech firms, CompTIA put together a 2012 tax survey to identify issues that are important to small tech companies. The results of the survey were used to develop a slate of policy and legislative recommendations for the organization's advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.

According to the survey findings, 56% of respondents said that a reduction in the corporate tax rates was important or very important. However, the industry association expressed concern about how lowering the corporate tax rate would impact the 67% of IT firms that pay taxes at individual tax rates, as a sole proprietor or pass-through entity.

CompTIA said it appreciated the goal of the TIE Coalition to preserve equal tax treatment for an industry or type of income.

In August, CompTIA provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee and Entrepreneurship for a roundtable discussion on the effects of tax reform on small businesses.

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