Partner Advocate

11 Deals that Changed the Channel in 2007

Channel partners saw a lot of upheaval in 2007 among their big vendor partners. Here's a recap of the year's most significant deals.

1. Dell goes retail. Dell Inc. made a huge move into selling its wares in retail stores in 2007. Dell products will soon be available in 10,000 retail locations.

2. Dell-ASAP Software. Dell's bid for ASAP Software in August continued the consolidation trend among Microsoft Large Account Resellers.

3. Dell-Silverback. In a busy year for Dell, Michael Dell also dipped his toe into the managed services provider space with the acquisition for an undisclosed sum of the privately held Billerica, Mass.-based Silverback Technologies Inc.

4. Acer-Gateway. In one fell swoop, all the brands of PCs you bought in the 1990s wound up under one company name. Acer offered $710 million for Gateway, which included eMachines and the right to buy Packard Bell out from under the Lenovo Group. The combined company becomes the world's third-largest PC maker.

5. & 6. Oracle-Hyperion and SAP-Business Objects. Two mighty business intelligence firms are snapped up for billions of dollars by behemoth business application companies as the gorillas of the IT industry continue to inhale everyone else.

7. Microsoft-aQuantive. Speaking of gorillas, Microsoft made its largest-yet acquisition-about $6 billion for online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. The buy is sure to factor into Microsoft's Software plus Services plans.

8. Microsoft-Facebook. It's not yet clear what the business application of social networking might be, but Microsoft's investment of $240 million clears the way for some interesting possibilities.

9. Citrix-XenSource. Citrix Systems Inc. moved itself into the data center and desktop virtualization markets this year with the $500 million acquisition of XenSource Inc., a move that strengthens Citrix's close ties to Microsoft.

10. VMware IPO. VMware Inc.demonstrated with its IPO that corporate parent EMC Corp. has every intention of staying out of the way of VMware's growth.

11. CDW acquired by private equity. Madison Dearborn Partners and Providence Equity Partners spent $7.3 billion to take over CDW in a huge private equity buyout.

A lot of the biggest trends in the channel are in those deals-Dell's intention to become a force in the channel, managed services, Software as a Service, virtualization, social networking and continuing industry consolidation. Did I miss a deal that you found momentous? Let me know at sbekker@rcpmag.com.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.