CDN’s Top Newsmakers of 2011: Part One

Each year, the CDN editorial staff sits down to discuss the events of the past year in the Canadian IT channel community, and to select CDN’s Top 25 Newsmakers of the year.

This year saw individuals and companies making the list for a variety of reasons, from major product successes and channel program investment to poor performance in the market.

In part one of our CDN Top 25 Newsmakers of 2011 slideshow series, meet our first 13 newsmakers, and learn what put them on our list.

By CDN Staff
slide 1

  • #1: Leyland Brown of HP Canada

    Late 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
    slide 1

  • #2: Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis of RIM

    Queen 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
    slide 2

  • #3: Tony Clement of the Government of Canada

    After 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
    slide 3

  • #4: Nitin Kawale of Cisco Canada

    Leading 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
    slide 4

  • #5: Mark Aboud of SAP Canada

    With 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
    slide 5

  • #6: Eric Gales of Microsoft Canada

    Eric 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
    slide 6

  • #7: Renee Bergeron of Ingram Micro North America

    This 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
    slide 7

  • #8: Bruce Ross of IBM Canada

    How 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
    slide 8

  • #9: Ed Vos of Onx Enterprise Solutions

    Ed 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
    slide 9

  • #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.
    slide 10

  • #11: David Wright of Citrix Systems

    With 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
    slide 11

  • #12: Stefan Bockhop of Lenovo Canada

    Lenovo 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
    slide 12

  • #13: Ross Pellizzari of Avaya Canada

    What 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
    slide 13

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