This week in channel history for August 15, 2014

From scandal in the executive suite and corner office turnover to acquisitions, lawsuits and new channel players, join CDN for the first edition of a new weekly feature, where we look back through the years at some of the major events in channel history that happened this week. In the IT world, there are no slow summers…

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A distribution deal

This week in 2001 saw some consolidation in the distribution industry, with Supercom selling its American arm to Fremont, Calif.-based Synnex Information Technologies Inc. Supercom president Frank Luk told CDN he wanted to focus on what he saw as a stronger Canadian market opportunity.

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Read more: Synnex buys Supercom USA

In a decade, VAR concerns haven’t changed much

This week in 2004 saw Evans Research release a report on the concerns resellers have with vendors, and a decade later the concerns still ring true. Analyst Michelle Warren told CDN that partners identified marketing materials, product training and certification and lead generation as the support they needed form vendors.

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Read more: Survey reveals VAR concerns


NexInnovations reveals $72 million debt

This week in 2006 saw NexInnovations, a one time giant of the Canadian channel community, seeking protection from its creditors. Court documents obtained by CDN showed NexInnovations with $72 million in debt, including at least $10 million owed to Tech Data Canada. CEO Hubert Kelly sought time to implement a turnaround plan.

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Read more: NexInnovations’ court documents reveal $72M debt

Dell gets serious about the channel

This week in 2007 saw former direct-only die hard Dell begin a serious channel pivot, tapping former Dell Canada president Greg Davis as its new channel chief. Davis faced the daunting task of essentially building a channel program and community from scratch, and bringing a skeptical partner community onboard.

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Read more: Dell Canada president to become channel chief


A channel veteran moves on

This week in 2008 saw a major change at the top of Ingram Micro Canada, with Charlie Spanno, one-time co-general manager and later CFO, leaving the distributor after 13 years. Spanno briefly shared the top job with Mark Snider, but Ingram later ended the tandem boss experiment. Spanno moved on to publisher CanWest Global.

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Read more: Charlie Spano resigns from Ingram Micro Canada


Court bans sales of Microsoft Word

This week in 2009 saw partners, not to mention Microsoft, shocked by news a Texas court had ruled against Microsoft in a patent infringement case and banned sales of Word in the U.S.  A Toronto-based company, i4i, claimed Microsoft Word violated certain patents relating to the creation of custom XML documents. Needless to say, there was an appeal.

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Read more: Microsoft Word ban takes Canadian partners by surprise


Mark Hurd makes dramatic exit from HP

This week in 2010 saw the beginning of several years of drama at Hewlett-Packard Co., with Mark Hurd stepping down as CEO following an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a former contractor to the company. Hurd would later end up at Oracle, while HP would replace him with Leo Apotheker.

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Read more: HP’s Mark Hurd resigns in wake of sexual harassment investigation


Channel vet bets on cables

This week in 2011 saw former Ingram Micro Canada executive David Walsh updating CDN on his new job as country manager with Cables To Go, a cabling and connectivity products vendor. The company saw significant revenue growth in Canada through innovative products, customer service and strong partners.

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Read more: Cables To Go gets a Canadian boost


Remember the PlayBook?

This week in 2012 saw Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) launch an LTE version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, after the Wi-Fi version debuted to little commercial success. While the 32GB LTE tablet was carried by Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications and Telus, none of them put a big push being the product.

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Read more: Canadians can now get hands on RIM’s LTE BlackBerry PlayBook


BlackBerry for sale

This week in 2013 saw Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) begin looking at a sale or break-up of the company. BlackBerry’s board of directors formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, taking the company private,  joint ventures, strategic partnerships and alliances.

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Read more: BlackBerry bosses pondering a sale


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A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.