To broaden the reach of its tablet client, the company releases a special version for iPad
In a pre-trial outline of his case, the prosecution reduces the charges against three officials, but says
With Kawale leading the team in Canada, the company made several changes to its priorities and partner ecosystem in 2011
The company wants the channel here to take advantage of the now bilingual Partner Marketing Central
In 2011, Avaya moved toward being a channel first company and drove the business toward the SMB market
Virtualization goes mainstream as it prepares for the post-PC era
#1: Leyland Brown of HP CanadaLate in 2011, Leyland Brown, the head of HP's personal systems group (PSG) in Canada, along with many HP Canada employees, customers and channel partners, breathed a sigh of relief from the news that PSG would not be sold or spun off. The announcement brought HP basically full-circle from when the manufacturer unveiled its much anticipated TouchPad tablets earlier this year. 'The tablet is a relevant market. PSG will have a tablet in the market running Windows 7 and you will see us introduce another tablet device that will be an important piece on top of our Windows-based device,' she said. Her strategy in 2011 was to block out all of the distractions and in the end she met and exceeded all PSG's targets. She credits the many channel partners across Canada who stayed with PSG despite the news. Read more: 2011 Newsmaker of the Year: Leyland Brown of HP Canada
#2: Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis of RIMQueen Elizabeth once said she suffered an annus horribilis – a year so bad it couldn't be said in English. Jim Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis, the co-chairmen and co-CEOs of smartphone maker Research in Motion, would probably describe 2011 the same way. The launch of its PlayBook tablet near the end of last year was greeted with complaints about the lack of software and sales this year have been lacklustre, there are delays in getting out a desperately-needed next-generation operating system, there are no exciting handsets right now to face the Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy, software developers would rather create apps for iOS and Android, and, arguably the worst, it took four days to bring October's service outage under control. Read more: #2 Newsmakers: Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis of RIM
#3: Tony Clement of the Government of CanadaAfter May's federal election, MP Tony Clement found himself as president of the Treasury Board and with a new mandate: help make the long-promised dream of shared IT services across the federal government a reality. In August, the government created Shared Services Canada with plans to save between $100 and $200 million annually by consolidating services across 44 government departments and agencies. 'We continue to spend on IT, that hasn't stopped,' he said. 'I can say generally there will continue to be investments.' Read more: #3 Newsmaker: Tony Clement of the Government of Canada
#4: Nitin Kawale of Cisco CanadaLeading the way here during a busy year for the networking giant was Nitin Kawale, president of Cisco Canada. In 2011, the company shifted back to its core businesses, establishing five priority areas. Then in July, Cisco made some major changes to its channel, among people, geographies and go-to-market strategies. 'Speaking to the partner community, I think people are excited about some of the transitions that we're making and our renewed focus on the key areas,' he said. 'Customers and partners; they want to see us come out of the little funk we were in on the global level.' Read more: #4 Newsmaker: Nitin Kawale of Cisco Canada
#5: Mark Aboud of SAP CanadaWith Mark Aboud leading the way in Canada, the German company has been working hard to be more channel and SMB-friendly. In 2011, SAP promoted Eric Duffaut to the newly created position of president of global ecosystem and channel, reporting directly to SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott, in an elevation of the worldwide channel chief role. In Canada, Rene Giguere took over as vice-president of SME and Canadian channel chief. A key release for SAP this year was HANA, SAP's in-memory computing platform. 'It's really around companies wanting to manage vast amounts of data inexpensively and easily.' Read more: #5 Newsmaker: Mark Aboud of SAP Canada
#6: Eric Gales of Microsoft CanadaEric Gales, president of Microsoft Canada, led the subsidiary through several new product releases and products related to its mobility strategy and the cloud. Perhaps its biggest news was the beta launch of Windows 8, the company's 'touch-first,' tablet focused operating system. It also acquired Skype for US$8.5 billion and later announced it would integrate Skype's calling features into many of its products, such as Office, but would also keep it open to competing platforms. During the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in California, the company introduced a multi-billion dollar channel investment strategy, adding incentives for all Microsoft partners and paying out incentives for cloud partners more quickly. Read more: #6 Newsmaker: Eric Gales of Microsoft Canada
#7: Renee Bergeron of Ingram Micro North AmericaThis year, under vice-president of managed services and cloud computing, Renee Bergeron, Ingram Micro North America made some strides in helping its partner community focus on the hot technology. This summer, Bergeron outlined a new cloud strategy, global in scope, but with many local providers involved. Ingram also bolstered its offerings through its 'cloud marketplace' for VARs and managed service providers to capitalize on various vendors' products and services. 'I think it's a natural extension for Ingram Micro. We want to continue to be the one stop shop for our resellers,' she said. Read more: #7 Newsmaker: Renee Bergeron of Ingram Micro North America
#8: Bruce Ross of IBM CanadaHow many companies from 100 years ago are still around today? Not many, yet IBM Corp. hit that mark in 2011, showing no sign of slowing down. Bruce Ross runs the show north of the border as president of IBM Canada, and from a super computer to new programs for the channel, it was a busy year. On the channel front, IBM held its first partner conference in a few years in February and made a $100 million investment in its channel marketing programs. Read more: #8 Newsmaker: Bruce Ross of IBM Canada
#9: Ed Vos of Onx Enterprise SolutionsEd Vos, in his usual jovial manner, told CDN earlier this year to keep an eye on the Toronto-based solution provider. He promised bigger and better things were coming from Onx Enterprise Solutions. Vos was at the time hiding the fact that the company he runs was about to seal a deal to acquire one of the top aboriginal resellers in Canada, FoxWise Technologies Inc. That transaction was completed in March. In one of the more surprising developments in the channel, Vos also orchestrated a significant deal with the solution provider arm of Agilysys Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based software developer for the hospitality and retail industries. Read more: #9 Newsmaker: Ed Vos of Onx Enterprise Solutions
#10: Apple Inc.No newsmakers list would be complete without Apple, arguably one of the biggest drivers of the consumerization of corporate IT. 2011 saw the launch of new products and services, including the iPhone 4S, its voice software Siri, the iPad 2, the updated iOS 5 and the iCloud service. On the home front, Wendy Hayes returned to Apple Canada after a two-year absence. Most notable, though, was the death of co-founder and long-time CEO Steve Jobs at 56. Just months before his death, Jobs had resigned as CEO. His successor Tim Cook, the company's former COO, became a household name but also drew questions about the company's future. Read more: #10 Newsmaker: Apple Inc.
#11: David Wright of Citrix SystemsWith virtualization having already conquered the data centre, Citrix Systems set out to conquer the PC in 2011 by advancing the concept of desktop virtualization. Along with fellow virtualization vendor VMware, Citrix trumpeted the 'post-PC era' and said, in a bring your own device (BYOD) world, virtualization can make the endpoint less of a concern for the IT manager. Leading the way in Canada is David Wright, as area vice-president for Canada. Citrix invested in technology and released offerings in 2011 allowing the IT department to deliver a secure, corporate-sanctioned virtual desktop to any endpoint, be it a personal laptop, a tablet computer or a smartphone. Read more: #11 Newsmaker: David Wright of Citrix Systems
#12: Stefan Bockhop of Lenovo CanadaLenovo in 2011 made a concerted effort to increase investments in channel programs, training and marketing. Lenovo Canada director of channel sales Stefan Bockhop lead this charge in an attempt to go deeper with solution providers. From 2010 to 2011, Lenovo has gained 3,600 new solution providers and has grown 25 per cent in units in Canada, with a year-over-year revenue growth rate that reached 40 per cent. As Lenovo battled the market perception that the PC is dying, the hardware maker announced at its first ever channel conference a two part cloud strategy intended to enhance the computing experience. In an attempt to strengthen channel sales in Canada, Bockhop also developed a strategy to enter the retail space in Canada. Read more: #12 Newsmaker: Stefan Bockhop of Lenovo Canada
#13: Ross Pellizzari of Avaya CanadaWhat do you do for an encore if you are the Avaya Canada president after successfully integrating Nortel? For starters, you start outperforming the market in Canada. That's what Ross Pellizzari, president of Avaya Canada, and his team at the Canadian subsidiary did this year. Avaya's business in unified communications and contact centres has met expectations, especially in Canada where the IP Office products grew a whopping 296 per cent. The Canadian operation grew 21 per cent. Avaya has redefined itself as a collaboration company. The new direction meant changes to its channel program that will see partners rewarded more for delivering value-based solutions over straight volume selling. Read more: #13 Newsmaker: Ross Pellizzari of Avaya Canada
Channel innovation gets rewarded at the 2011 Microsoft Canada Impact Awards
Cloud Computing on cameraA crowd of more than 200 people packed the Paramount Conference and Event Venue in North Toronto in September to find out which company would be named Solution Provider of the Year as part of CDN's 2011 Channel Elite Awards. Meet the winners for categories such as best cloud solution, best mobile solution and, of course, solution provider of the year in this CDN slideshow.
Best Collaborative SolutionGold winner IT Weapons has won multiple CEAs by being innovative. An example of this was with its customer First Capital Realty, a real estate business that required a revolutionary way to manage its many, many deals. With the consultative help of SharePoint experts Concatenate of Toronto, they created the Deal Workflow System for leasing, new business, budgeting and forecasting. Ed Galasso from Tech Data Canada presented them with their award.
Best Enterprise SolutionCompugen actually took home the gold and silver solutions in this category, a first in CEA history. The gold award recognized Compugen's work with Finning Canada, a Caterpillar equipment dealer with 4,000 users and 60 locations across Western Canada. To solve PC fleet management issues, Compugen implemented a one-stop solution for complete PC lifecycle management - everything from procurement to disposal, including leasing. The end result was that it eliminated a lot of hassles and unnecessary costs, while providing aggressive hardware maintenance SLAs and a sophisticated approach to parts sparing that have significantly improved PC repair turnaround time. Mike Ansley from Cisco Systems presented Compugen's Luis Lima with the award.
Best Cloud SolutionWith their client moving offices, instead of migrating their seven servers to the new location, our Gold winner 3 Peaks Inc. migrated them to the cloud instead, building a private cloud solution that leverages public cloud storage. The result is a more flexible IT infrastructure with lower energy costs and a lower carbon footprint, with employees in North America, Asia and Europe more easily able to share information. Cisco's Mike Ansley presented their award.
Best Managed ServicesWith its Gold-winning solution, i3 Solutions Inc. helped make a hospital stay a little less painful. It developed a managed services offering that not only brings better entertainment options to the patient bedside, but better access to patient information for medical professionals as well. With the Patient Bedside System, patients are able to access all services such as entertainment, telephone and internet access through a simple swipe card, and hospital staff can turn the entertainment console into a patient records system. Sandi Sandiland from Dell Canada presented their award.
Best Channel Marketing InitiativeBroadview Networks of Winnipeg was determined to develop a marketing strategy that would gather over 200 IT professionals into the same venue to listen to a detailed presentation on a new product roadmap, and generate qualified leads. They also wanted attendees to enjoy themselves and set up a private screening of the movie TRON: Legacy in 3D. Approximately 200 IT professionals from around Manitoba attended the event. Presenting the Gold marketing award was Ed Galasso from Tech Data Canada.
Best Mid-Market SolutionGFI Solutions Group's client was dealing with the government imposed eco-fees and needed to charge customers in some stores but not all, because only a handful of provinces passed this law. GFI designed a customized solution to help dealers manage environment fees, based on its existing Acomba point-of-sale solution to great results. They were presented their award by Cisco's Mike Ansley.
Best Mobile SolutionFor health care providers, pandemic preparedness and response is a key concern, and Tenet Group Inc.'s Mobile Emergency Management application addresses those concerns. It facilitates cooperation and coordination during emergencies, by ensuring that users always have up-to-date information stored in their BlackBerry smartphones, including critical documents and contact lists, and automatically collects information from internal or external systems, and pushes it to designated BlackBerry smartphones. Their Gold award was presented by Sandi Sandiland from Dell Canada.
Best Service OrganizationSupporting Hewlett-Packard through its contract to provide IT service and support to a major worldwide mining company's Canadian operations, Compugen wasn't just called in to service desktops or upgrade infrastructure in a downtown office. Its technicians were called out on service calls to underground operations and operations in extremely remote isolated locations, having to deal with the constant dirt, heat, humidity and even danger found in industrial environments. Presenting their gold award was CDN editor Paolo Del Nibletto.
Best Small Business SolutionOakville Blueprinting, a full-service digital print provider that caters to the architectural and engineering industries, needed server migration along with a large amount of data storage, but didn't have the necessary space to house all this IT equipment. They required a transformation and our Gold winner, Atum Corp., built a solution for hosting large documents, online portals, collaboration tools and order submissions, and migrated them to a reliable and efficient VPS solution. Sandi Sandiland from Dell Canada presented the award.
Solution Provider of the YearOur solution provider of the year worked with a health care product supplier burdened by an outdated and inadequate IT infrastructure. Infinite IT Solutions brought its client into the 21st century with a complete forklift of every aspect of their IT environment, from a new network, firewall and phone system based on the latest Cisco technology to network-based security and a unified communications strategy. Basically, everything is new except the desktops. It was a soup to nuts IT overhaul that leveraged every area of this solution provider's expertise, and is a performance clearly worth of a solution provider of the year. The award was presented by Ed Galasso from Tech Data Canada.
Tackling mobile securityBusinesses of all sizes are struggling to deal with the consumerization trend. While iPhones, Android phones and other mobile devices take over the workplace, there is an opportunity for the channel to help enterprises deal with the security risks involved. As part of this year's Channel Elite Awards, James Quin, a security analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group, gave solution providers some tips on dealing with mobile security. Click to watch the video.
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