Downtown meets uptown for CEA

My Channel Elite Awards (CEA) tour that I did earlier this year I think really paid off.

The number of submissions dramatically increased.

We were up by 14 per cent from last year.

I want to thank everyone I met with. I appreciate their time and their effort made an impact.

One quick hit before I go. Looks like Cygnal Technologies is in trouble. We will be reporting on this story this week along with SecTor conference.

— Posted by Paolo Del Nibletto, 8/10/07, 10:00 AM, paolo@itworldcanada.com

On tour with the Channel Elite Awards

Well, day one of my Channel Elite Awards (CEA) tour did not go very well as my only meeting was canceled, but day two was a lot better.

I met with the fine people at Strategic Ampersand who handle EMC, Cisco, Novell, CDW and many others. They were all very excited at the possibility of highlighting their clients’ technology through channel partners.

I got a chance to meet virtually the entire team there, which was great for me to put a face to the many people who call and e-mail me.

One of those PR practitioners, Katie Rankin, was telling me about all of the clients she works on. There were so many that I stopped counting at eight.

I realize that reporters covering this industry have to be broad but not necessarily deep, while PR practitioners must go deep with just a handful of high tech vendors.

My second stop was at CGI, the proud home of clients such as Belkin, SAS, Websense and dare I say it Dell. We met at the Second Cup café, which isn’t my favourite place, but I do not like to complain so I will move on. I had a great meeting there. The team at CGI had lots of questions and great ideas. They too are interested in promoting client technology through channel partners who are recognized at the CEA awards.

Tomorrow I meet with reps from Tech Data, Ingram Micro and Symantec.

No quick hits today. It must be summer.

New levy targeted at iPod

Good news Future Shop is having a sale on Ipods. You can get one for $199 with 4GB or spend $364.99 for an 80 GB version.

But how would you feel if Future Shop or Best Buy or the Apple Store or any other IT retailer slapped a $75 levy on the purchase price of your Ipod? That can happen if the Canadian Copyright Collective has there way.

Currently, Canadians and only Canadians pay 21 cents on every blank media purchased.

I think that is totally stupid, but that is another story for another day.

At the heart of the issue is this gray area of what is storage media and what isn’t. And, not all storage media is being used to copy pirated versions of Celine Dion tunes.The recording industry is still out to lunch on this topic as they can’t see that people (their customers) have left them behind on this debate and continue to receive music online.I thought this levy was a dead issue. I have been writing stories on this for nearly a decade and this blatant tax on businesses and resellers who use storage media to hold data and not songs from Shania Twain lifted from the Web.

If the levy gets increased to that ridiculous number mentioned above what will happen is that vendors will not ship devices such as the iPod to Canada. This creates a grey market for the product and either way the levy lovers don’t get their money.

And, with cellphone today having extra storage for MP3s what will this levy do for that market?

One quick hit before I go. Yegor Kuznetsov joins Brainware Inc. as director of analyst and media relations.

— Posted by Paolo Del Nibletto, 8/8/07, 9:30 AM, paolo@itworldcanada.com

Channel Elite Awards tour

I am on the road this week touring several vendor media reps to tell them all about the Channel Elite Awards (CEA).

You can get all the details by visiting www.itbusiness.ca/cea or email me at pdelnibletto@itworldcanada.com and I will send you a pdf on it.

Channel Elite Awards is a true industry recognition program for the channel and to a certain extent the IT vendors. CDN encourages IT vendors to nominate its top partners so that they can share in the recognition.

This program is the only win-win situation out there that I can see. The awards will be presented on Nov. 14 at the Paramount Theatre in North Toronto.

Along with the Top 100 Solution Providers event, the CEA has become the defacto event of the fall for the channel. We get more than 200 channel partners attending this show and the reason for this is because the channel supports the channel community and the IT industry like no other. It truly is a beautiful thing to see.

I will update you on my travels throughout the week.

One quick hit before I go. Friend of CDN Gregg Jorritsma has landed. He will be the new managing partner and vice-president of Americas sales for Identita, a developer of next generation, multi-factor-logical and physical security solutions. I wish Gregg all the best.

— Posted by Paolo Del Nibletto, 8/7/07, 11:00 AM, paolo@itworldcanada.com

More on the Intel ad kafuffle

One reader took the time to comment on Intel pulling a potentially racist ad for circulation.

This is what Hin Tang said: I agree with you that the ad and the ensuing kafuffle were both unnecessary. I think what it does reveal is that we have a way to go in terms of racial sensitivity. I am surprised that it’s still a black and white issue. I wonder if there was much thought that went into who should be the “business casual” character. We still default to Caucasian for those roles. And I think this is where the insensitivity comes in.

In addition, regardless of how much respect we have for athletes who train extraordinarily hard to compete at the highest levels, there still is a truth to the fact that most of the owners who are making the money off of the hard work of the athletes are Caucasian. And that is where the reference to slavery comes in. I agree that no one would want to “go there”. And Intel shouldn’t have. Pulling the ad was the right decision.

If they had cast an Asian or a Hispanic or some other ethnic minority in the role of the “business casual”, I bet it wouldn’t have caused nearly as much controversy. Bad casting decision.

I want thank Mr. Tang for his time and comments on this issue. I think he makes a valid point for sure. I too wanted to add my two cents about freedom of speech and I guess in this case freedom of expression. We have those rights in Canada and the U.S. and many, many other places. I back Intel’s right to pull the ad because it is their business and who am I to tell them what to do or how to run its business. But, as a work of art it should be shown. This ad should be discussed and not banned.

This ad reminds me of the old Duran Duran video Girls on Film, which has been banned by TV censors for decades because nudity. What I thought was more disturbing was the scene were a scantily clad women dressed in cowgirl outfit rides a naked black man with cardboard cut out of a horses head on his head into a ring where he is eventually whipped by the woman.

Is it disturbing? Yes. Is it a form of art? Yes. Therefore it should be shown. Music critics over the years have said Girls on Film is one of the best videos ever, but it is a shame few people have ever seen it.

I don’t know if it is on YouTube, but it would not surprise me if it is.

One quick hit before I go. Former Qwest CEO has been sentenced to six years in the crowbar saloon for insider trading. A U.S. federal judge also ordered Joseph Nacchio to forfeit US$52 million in assets and to pay a fine of US$19 million.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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