The Evolution of the Software-Defined Solution Provider

"Agile" is a poor little word. We've batted it around mercilessly these past several years. It's good to see it coming into its own now that we realize how agile methodology delivers more agility.

Those who've been around long enough will remember the early days of Cisco and its few competitors. You needed to run software to manage these new-fangled routers, but then you kind of became a sysadmin so it was cool. Then the genius idea came: Put that programming into firmware built right into the box. Much more efficient and tighter management, right? Yeah, no so much. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on September 08, 2021 at 9:48 AM0 comments


RCP 350 Spotlight: Applied Information Sciences

Among our top 350 Microsoft partners in the United States is an awardee that was also among the first members of the original Microsoft Certified Solution Provider program in the early 1990s. Its pioneering nature continued as it adopted Azure when it was still code-named "Red Dog." It also lists the development of its own cloud adoption framework before Microsoft's as further evidence of its leadership.

Applied Information Sciences (AIS) clients range from startups to Fortune 100 companies and include state and local governments, as well as defense and national security agencies. It approximates a sales mix of 50 percent government and 50 percent commercial. It also estimates that 95 percent of the services it delivers are centered around Microsoft technologies with a focus on building solutions that impact its customers' mission. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on August 20, 2021 at 8:10 AM0 comments


Farewell to Gavriella Schuster: Is This the End of an Era?

This is not the first "exit interview" I've ever done with a senior Microsoft official; in fact it's one of quite a few recently. But it feels very different than the others, so I'm going to write about it somewhat differently.

For one, I'm writing it in first person which I seldom do, but this issue is very personal to me so I feel it warrants it. I've been in the channel for quite some time -- in fact, since it was first referred to as a "channel" back in 1981. In that time I've had the honor of knowing and working with many people who held Gavriella Schuster's position as Microsoft channel chief, which was, generally speaking, a corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group/One Commercial Partner, etc. That includes Phil Sorgen, Jon Roskill, Allison Watson and Sam Jadallah. In fact, it goes all the way back to Jon Shirley, who was the closest thing there was to a channel chief from 1983 to 1990 when he was president and COO of Microsoft. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on August 19, 2021 at 6:03 AM0 comments


RCP 350 Spotlight: AvePoint

For RCP 350 partner AvePoint, the company's level of co-sell achievement with Microsoft is a point of pride.

"AvePoint is one of the leading co-sell partners globally, and we're shooting for number one," says Christian Buckley, AvePoint's Microsoft go-to-market director. AvePoint is on the RCP 350, a qualitative list compiled by Redmond Channel Partner of the strongest Microsoft partner companies in the United States. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on June 01, 2021 at 1:31 PM0 comments


RCP 350 Spotlight: Queue Associates

Visitors to the Queue Associates Web site are immediately greeted with the declaration that it is "a global Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultancy, in business for three decades."

No mistaking its commitment to Microsoft technologies. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on May 20, 2021 at 11:32 AM0 comments


RCP 350 Spotlight: Henson Group

The Henson Group is fully onboard with Microsoft's pledge to become carbon negative by 2030.

Microsoft made the commitment as a company in January 2020, setting a 10-year deadline to capture more planet-heating carbon dioxide than it emits. The company also pledged that by 2050 it would remove the equivalent of all the carbon dioxide it's released since 1975 when the company began. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on April 22, 2021 at 11:43 AM0 comments


Exit Interview: Microsoft U.S. Channel Chief David Willis

After 28 years of brilliant service devoted to the partner channel and customers, David Willis has retired as Microsoft's U.S. channel chief .

Dave's is a record of ever-increasing success in which he served as vice president of Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) in Canada, and eventually moved to the same channel chief role in the United States, after stints as Eastern Region VP for SMS&P and as U.S. Dynamics VP. He's been running Microsoft's U.S. channel since 2013, although the organizational name changed in 2017 to become U.S. One Commercial Partner (OCP). More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on April 20, 2021 at 12:46 PM0 comments


Q&A with Microsoft's New U.S. Channel Chief

Tyler Bryson was recently announced as the new Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft U.S. One Commercial Partner organization, replacing longtime partner champion David Willis who is leaving Microsoft after 28 years.

Bryson, himself an 18-year Microsoft veteran, sat down to talk with me recently about his vision for the channel and the industry as he takes up these important reins. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on March 01, 2021 at 8:05 AM0 comments


For MSPs, Where To from Here?

Today's managed service provider (MSP) is faced with a challenge: The downright glut of refugee resellers that have migrated to the MSP ranks without doing the hard work is making it very difficult for those who have done the work to rise.

Some refer to it as a "race to the bottom" for MSPs as they try to deliver excellent service while competing with ridiculously low rates set by those who have no idea what they are doing. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on January 04, 2021 at 7:49 AM0 comments


How To Help Customers Move Up on the IT Maturity Model

It's the IT equivalent of alchemy -- magically turning a large cost-center into a big profit-producer for client after client and, by doing so, dramatically increasing efficiency and effectiveness in their organizations without adding capital investments.

You take something often considered to be a "necessary evil" and convert it into one of the greatest strategic weapons in your client's arsenal. And you turn one of their biggest frustrations into your greatest illustration of innovation. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on December 28, 2020 at 9:06 AM0 comments


Multicloud: The Next Integration Opportunity

The quest for relevance continues. When you first became an integrator it was pretty straightforward. You were considered superior based on your ability to identify the best choice of server, storage, router, switch and other network components, and bring them together to build a better system solution, preferably at a lower cost.

Then came the cloud. Suddenly, most of the components you brought together, and sold, were being operated somewhere else by someone else. You still got the opportunity to integrate routers, switches, firewalls and other networking components, but the servers and storage were pretty much lost to you. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on December 22, 2020 at 7:27 AM0 comments


How an MSP Becomes a CIO for SMBs

Are you doing everything you can to get your clients to see you as their trusted technology partner? Stop. You're selling yourself short and severely limiting the revenue and profit you can be generating from each client.

You absolutely want to be trusted; anybody in business wants to be trusted. Trust is a core component of any lasting business relationship. But by focusing on technology, you're not positioning yourself where you need to be in today's IT industry. More

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on December 17, 2020 at 7:48 AM0 comments