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CompTIA study reveals a decline in IT industry business confidence

In this channel news roundup, the latest CompTIA research provides insight into executive business confidence during the third quarter; BiTMICRO globally expands its partner program; Arrow seals a distribution deal with Fujitsu; and more.

The latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index, an index based on IT executives' opinions of the U.S. economy, the IT industry and their own company, shows a slight decline in business confidence during the third quarter, CompTIA said this week. CompTIA based its third-quarter index on a July 2014 online survey of 293 IT industry companies.

However, while the Index dipped to 60.1 (on a 100-point scale) from 61.3 in the second quarter, CompTIA said it projects a two-point increase over the next six months.

According to the CompTIA study, three in four of the companies surveyed for the index reported that they are either on target or ahead of their 2014 revenue goals at the midpoint of the year. Ninety-three percent of medium-size IT firms and 80% of large companies said they met or exceeded their revenue targets for 2014, while 74% of small companies and 58% of micro firms said they are on target or ahead of their revenue goals.

Industry executives cited a number of factors that they feared could upset progress. The No. 1 concern was price-sensitive customers who may hesitate to spend. Forty-four percent of executives cited this concern. The CompTIA study also displayed a slight increase in the concern over labor costs for IT workers -- rising from 24% in the second quarter to 28% in the third quarter.

BiTMICRO globally expands its channel partner program

This week, flash-based solid state vendor BiTMICRO Networks Inc. globally expanded and formalized its BiTChannel Partner Program in an effort to drive new revenue opportunities for partners looking to sell its solid state drive (SSD) solutions in enterprise and commercial markets.

According to Zophar Sante, BiTMICRO's vice president of worldwide sales and marketing and COO of BiTMICRO Philippines, BiTMICRO's partner program previously served a small base of resellers in the military and industrial spaces only. About four years ago, the company shifted from doing mainly direct business in the military and industrial spaces, setting its sights on the significantly larger enterprise and commercial markets in the U.S. and China, Sante said. BiTMICRO designed its expanded BiTChannel Partner Program to develop a base of value-added resellers (VARs) with experience in these markets.

BiTMICRO's reason for targeting the market in China is because of strategic partnerships the vendor has, specifically with RunCore, said Sante.

The new BiTChannel Partner Program has a flat structure without tiers. The partner program features deal registration, marketing co-op funds, lead generation support, product training, BiTMICRO-supported demonstrations and evaluation units, and frontline technical support. Arrow signs enterprise distribution deal with Fujitsu

On Wednesday, distributor Arrow Electronics Inc. and Japanese ICT company Fujitsu signed an agreement that makes Arrow the main distributor of Fujitsu's line of enterprise products in the U.S. Arrow will now distribute Fujitsu Primergy, Primequest x86 servers, Eternus storage systems and other Fujitsu products. Under the agreement terms, Arrow and its solutions providers will gain access to Fujitsu data center solutions, as well.

Tech Data Mobile Solutions enhances CellManage platform

At this week's CompTIA ChannelCon, Tech Data Mobile Solutions revealed improvements to CellManage, a cloud-based portal that facilitates the management of mobile devices for enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers.

According to Tech Data, the enhanced CellManage now allows EMM providers to deliver security and policy enforcement for all devices. Additionally, CellManage features four new services: consultative services for establishing mobile programs, policies and processes; remote and onsite device preparation, logistics, and training services; expense management services and lifecycle services.

Ingram Micro rolls out new professional services

This week, Ingram Micro Inc. added two new professional services -- the EMC VNX Deployment Services and Voice and Video Readiness Assessment Services -- to the Ingram Micro Professional Services organization. The two Micro Expert Services are white-labeled, offered to partners at a fixed rate and billed upon completely. The services are available now in the U.S. and Canada.

Avnet Technology Solutions signs with Nutanix

On Wednesday, distributor Avnet Technology Solutions signed a distribution agreement with Nutanix, a web-scale converged infrastructure company. The agreement allows Avnet Technology Solutions to offer the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform to its partners in the U.S. and Canada.

The platform will enable Avnet partners to design and develop converged compute and storage infrastructure in virtualized data centers, the distributor said. Partners can offer solutions based on web-scale architecture to their enterprise and government agency customers and also leverage the platform to deploy cloud computing capabilities, the distributor said. Additionally, with the help of the Avnet Global Solutions Center, partners can also design, integrate and assemble computing appliances based on the platform.

Pluribus introduces the Pluribus Pro Program

Earlier this week, software-designed networking company Pluribus Networks launched its Pluribus Pro Program, a channel partner program that targets VARs, system integrations, hardware manufacturers and IT solution vendors.

The partner program has three tiers -- One-Time, Gold and Platinum -- and offers partners sales lead generation and lead distribution; joint marketing and selling with the Pluribus Team; sales training and access to dedicated Pluribus sales representatives; deal registration; referral fees for non-reseller partners; access to tools, information, case entry and management through the Pluribus partner website; ongoing web-based and onsite training; and regular product and technology roadmap updates, according to Pluribus.

Vantage launches the two-track AdVantage channel program

Vantage Data Centers, a data center solutions provider, launched the AdVantage channel program last week.

The company said the AdVantage channel program consists of two tracks. One track is dedicated to agents and representatives that support Vantage during the sales process. The other track is for vendors and referral partners, which include systems integrators, value-added resellers, and other service providers serving data center customers, that bring leads to Vantage. Through the AdVantage program, Vantage offers compensation and recognition programs for partners that drive lead generation and provide sales support, the company said.

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