Monday Morning Impact – September 1

Published On: August 30, 2014Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

By Ken Presti, Senior Consultant, Channel Impact

Palo Alto Networks Announces Updates to Its Channel Program

Palo Alto Networks has updated its partner program to include new technical training, marketing tools, deal registration updates and pay-for-performance enhancements.

The program is now taking a more market-based approach aimed at focusing partners on market opportunities and mutual investments, as opposed to the previous theater-based approach. The company’s deal registration procedures and policies have also been simplified as an attempt to make those programs more user-friendly. New pre-sales technical accreditation is designed to enable partners to deliver comprehensive demos and evaluations. In addition, Palo Alto Networks intends to deliver a pay-for-performance partner profitability model in a phased approach, wherein distributors and resellers may be rewarded with rebates, incentives, and/or discounts based upon defined parameters and the value they bring to each deal.

Channel Impact:
One of the key aspects of building successful channel program is to be able to extend the program to meet the needs of an evolving market. The downside of this is that very often the programs will evolve into something that can become very complex and difficult to use. The changes discussed by Palo Alto Networks represents an attempt to deal with both of those issues at the same time, which is positive for the channel.

VMware, NVIDIA and Google Announce New Initiative to Support Graphics-Rich Applications

VMware, NVIDIA and Google have announced a new alliance to deliver high-performance virtual desktops and workstation-class graphics to Google Chromebooks. Showcased as a technology preview at last week’s VMWorld, the solution demonstrates the three company’s vision for the next generation of high-quality visual computing.

“We are breaking down traditional barriers to adopting virtual desktops and offering new economics for the delivery of graphics-intensive applications through the power of the cloud,” said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “Organizations of all industries and requirements will soon be able to embrace the mobile-cloud using a solution that offers a new way to work from three proven industry leaders.”

The joint solution optimizes the use of NVIDIA GRID vGPU for sharing GPU acceleration between multiple virtual desktops. Combined with VMware Horizon in the data center, the solution is designed to optimize graphics and CPU utilization to allow more desktops and applications to be deployed on a single server.

Channel Impact:
It is no secret that Google is attempting to leverage end-of-support for Windows XP as a means of driving stronger market share for its Chromebooks. Initiatives such as this one, combined with a cost of ownership argument, can go a long way towards contributing momentum to that objective.

Avaya and HP Combine Forces in Unified Communications Initiative

Avaya and HP Enterprise Services have announced a multi-year agreement to offer enterprise-class cloud-based unified communications/contact center technology, and management solutions for enterprises.

The two companies intend to sell a combined portfolio of Unified Communications-as-a-Service, Contact Center-as-a-Service, and infrastructure modernization services, leveraging Avaya’s product portfolio in combination with HP’s service delivery expertise.

As part of the agreement, HP will assume service delivery of a significant portion of Avaya Private Cloud Services2 (APCS), at least partly enabled by a limited transfer of APCS employees and contractors to HP. Sales contracts, service level agreements, and overall client experience will remain with Avaya.

Channel Impact:
This looks to be an interesting one, from the standpoint of the indirect channel. These types of arrangements can go a long way towards stimulating demand, and therefore represent a solid opportunity for both vendors. But whether this arrangement is complementary to, or competitive with, the channel will depend largely upon execution.

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