MicroScope's top stories, week ending 28 March 2014

Catch up on all the biggest channel news stories from the past week, including full coverage of HP Global Partner Conference and Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas

Cisco kills off Silver Partner tier in packed summit keynote

In the space of barely an hour on Tuesday, Cisco’s Bruce Klein and Edison Peres performed major surgery on the vendor’s partner programme designed to help partners respond to the growth of the Internet of Everything, excising the Silver Partner tier for good, changing programme requirements and incentives, and launching a whole new element to Cisco’s channel outreach in the shape of a new Solution Provider programme.

Setting out the coming changes, SVP of worldwide channels Edison Peres explained: “We’ve been incentivising you to move along the journey of adding managed services, cloud, and hybrid IT. You’re making those transitions, managed services is one of the fastest growing, most profitable areas for many. Many of you are cloud builders, many are becoming providers.

“The cycle continues into the Internet of Everything so we’re going to start incentivising you to talk about business outcomes and software. We want to give you applications to take to your customers, to truly help you catch the market transition.”

The death of the Silver Partner level was perhaps the most eye-opening change made and came, according to Peres, in response to partner requests.

“Why retire silver?  It’s based on your feedback,” he explained. “You say the value proposition and brand strength of Silver is not that strong … we’re making investments but not getting a return, and the brand has no value to end users.”

Cisco launches cloud services, Intercloud network at Partner Summit

Having made its name building the backbone of the Internet twenty years ago, Cisco turned its attention to the backbone of the cloud on the opening day of its 2014 Partner Summit in Las Vegas, launching Cisco Cloud Services and pledging a billion dollar investment over two years to construct the world’s largest global Intercloud, or cloud network, with partners at the heart of its plans.

Cisco says it will pump a billion dollars into the cloud by 2016

Architected with the Internet of Things in mind, the Intercloud will provide a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value app workloads, real-time analytics, ‘near infinite’ scalability and in a post-Snowden world, compliance with data sovereignty laws.

Cisco claims its open Intercloud will deliver a “new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for business, service providers and resellers,” and vastly enhance the services it can offer through the channel.

The Intercloud will span a swathe of services, which include platform- and infrastructure-as-a-service, SAP HANA, collaboration, security, infrastructure management, VDI, collaboration, video, virtualised mobile internet, virtualised managed services, remote management services, compliance and configuration management, IT services management, and energy management.

Capita buys security VAR Network Technology Solutions

IT services giant Capita has handed over an undisclosed sum to acquire security VAR Network Technology Solutions, which provides security support and managed services to both public and private sector clients.

Capita IT Services executive director Peter Hands said that the company had a number of clients in sectors that Capita already operates in, and had established a strong reputation in the market.

“As part of our technology solutions division, Network Technology Solutions will strengthen our security capability and ensure we continue to meet the needs of our clients across the UK,” he said.

Worries mount around XP-based ATM machines

With time almost up for support on Windows XP the focus of warnings is concentrating around the banking sector which uses the operating system as the platform in thousands of ATMs.

With less than two weeks left until Microsoft turns support off the channel is awash with warnings about the need for migration and explanations for the delays as resellers find themselves in pole position providing advice to concerned customers.

Cisco pushes partners towards enterprise mobility at Partner Summit

Cisco announced a number of enhancements to its mobility business at Partner Summit 2014 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, as it continues its attempt to push the channel towards software, the Internet of Everything, and the need to address the Line of Business (LOB) buyers increasingly bypassing IT departments and CIOs.

Discussing the $35bn opportunity around mobility – a stat that includes security, apps and datacentre market – Cisco director of marketing, Enterprise Mobility Group, Prashanth Shenoy said mobility could increase a deal size for Cisco partners fourfold or more.

HP opens Las Vegas channel conference with major PartnerOne refresh

Top brass at HP kicked off their annual Global Partner Conference (GPC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday with a keynote address to EMEA partners heralding a number of enhancements to its PartnerOne channel programme, among them support for software enthusiasts, hybrid cloud deployments and new sales training options.

SolidFire: flash evangelists missing the big picture

Flash storage specialist SolidFire has released a new version of its operating system and called for partners to rally to its banner, saying it can help them win against the vast array of flash vendors currently making a racket in the market.

Brocade claims first-mover advantage in SDN evolution

Brocade EMEA channel head John Mitchell has been discussing the growth of, and the company’s commitment to, software-defined networking, following the launch of a new channel track dedicated to advancing the evolution of the network.

Google reveals price cuts to push Moore's Law into the cloud

The take-up of public cloud services should increase as Google announces price cuts to its pay-as-you-go services of up to 85% as it tries to widen the market for its hosted services.

Context: wind down of XP support boosts PC sales

The demise of support for Windows XP has had a positive impact on PC sales as customers across Europe take steps to ensure they are using an operating system that continues to get support.

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