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Citrix NetScaler gains Vblock certification; more news

Citrix's NetScaler has been certified as VCE Vblock Ready; Ingram Micro adds 3D printers to available products; VMware acquires AirWatch.

Citrix NetScaler gets VCE Vblock Ready certification

This week Citrix informed channel partners that the Citrix NetScaler platform is certified as VCE Vblock Ready, meaning that VCE will support partners that recommend NetScaler for Vblock Systems environments.

In September 2013, Citrix signed the VCE Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program agreement and this week completed its first step in the partnership with the Vblock Ready certification for NetScaler.

The certification demonstrates that a partner solution has met all entrance, integration and interoperability, and technical criteria for use with Vblock Systems.

According to Citrix, customers that use NetScaler can maximize performance and availability of applications and data in cloud environments.

3D printers now at Ingram Micro

The U.S. Document Imaging business unit at Ingram Micro Inc. this week announced that it now carries sub-$5,000 3D printers that partners can offer their customers.

The two 3D printer offerings include 3D Systems Cube, a consumer-grade device, and the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, which offers professional-quality output, according to Ingram Micro.

While 3D printing has been around for a while now, products are just beginning to move downstream to the SMB market and are more attainable for smaller businesses, according to Ryan Grant, senior director of document imaging and managed print at Ingram Micro.

Opportunities for partners include the SMB market as well as vertical markets where rapid prototyping is commonplace, such as education, clothing, architecture and healthcare, for example.

"As we learn more about the market and the demand, we'll probably add more products to our portfolio over time," Grant said.

According to a 2013 Gartner forecast for 3D printers worldwide, consumer and enterprise 3D printer shipments are expected to grow from 38,000 units in 2012 to more than 1 million units in 2017, reaching $5.7 billion in spending at that time.

VMware acquires AirWatch

VMware Inc. announced this week that it has acquired Atlanta-based AirWatch, a provider of enterprise mobile management and security products, founded in 2003, for $1.54 billion.

According to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, the acquisition of AirWatch "adds a foundational element to our end-user computing portfolio that will enable customers to turbo-charge their mobile workforce without compromising security."

In a Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software report, dated May 2013, the company positioned AirWatch in the leader quadrant along with MobileIron, Citrix, Good Technology, Fiberlink (acquired by IBM in December 2013) and SAP.

According to the report, the company more than doubled its customer base in 2012, with more than 70% of customers deploying cloud-based Software as a Service (Saas). The company also offers an on-premises solution.

AirWatch has several partner programs: Referral Partner, Reseller Partner and Service Provider Partner.

CompTIA releases IT Industry Outlook 2014

CompTIA this week released its IT Industry Outlook 2014, which projects an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent for the global IT industry with the potential of 5.9 percent.

According to the report, IT services and software show the most growth potential in 2014, and IT hardware is projected to grow at a slightly lower rate due to intense margin pressure.

Forty-one percent of companies will increase investments in staffing for technical jobs and 32% will increase investments in non-technical jobs, with medium-size IT firms being the most aggressive across both areas.

The IT channel association also named 12 trends to watch this year, broken down into macro trends, technology trends and IT channel trends. Among the IT channel trends are rebranding of the "trusted advisor" moniker and reinvestment in technical expertise.

New Year, new website for Ingram Micro

Partners who visit Ingram Micro's corporate website will notice it got a major upgrade. The distributor announced this week that it has unveiled a more modern and easier-to-navigate website.

According to Ingram Micro, partners worldwide as well as customers and other stakeholders will be better served with the new design. The company said the website has made it easier to access information and services, including those from its new growth businesses, Ingram Micro Mobility and Ingram Micro Logistics. Links, information and corporate content for Ingram Micro Cloud solutions are also easier to navigate, the company said.

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