XChange Events

XSP Day 1, Mar 6, 2011

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THE OFFICIAL SHOW DAILY DAY ONE NEWS AND EVENTS FROM XCHANGE SOLUTION PROVIDER Microsoft: Virtualization Lift-Off Vendor says it has better end-to-end systems management, and at a savings, than VMware By Steven Burke Microsoft is throwing down the gauntlet against virtualization power VMware. Cindy Bates, vice president of U.S. SMB and Distribution for Microsoft, kicked off XChange Sunday night by proclaiming that the software giant offers better end-to-end virtualization systems management at a consistent 33 percent savings over rival VMware. With Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Microsoft is “the strongest choice in the industry for virtualization,” said Bates. “Not only are you leveraging a platform you know is integrated for your customers from the server room to the desktop, the total cost of owner- ship is dramatically different.” She said Microsoft can “very confidently say that we are consistently one-third [less than VMware] or cheaper.” That does not even take into ac- count that many customers already have Microsoft Software Assurance pacts, which means they already own the li- censes to deploy Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization offering, said Bates. That opens the door for Microsoft partners to “close the deal quicker and free up dollars to put to your services.” The throw-down comes with Mi- crosoft in the midst of a campaign to double the number of partners that have Microsoft’s virtualization competency from 200 to 400 over the next three months. The $62.4 billion company is also using its financial muscle to get more partners to take on VMware, which weighs in at about $2.9 billion. Bates offered partners an XChange Monday, March 7, 2011 Walt Disney Dolphin Hotel Orlando, Fla. Tips For A Great XChange By Robert C. DeMarzo At XChange Solution Provider,there is so much to do and see it can overwhelm those here for the first time. Here are a few tips. • Be A Cloud Warrior: The Advanced Cloud Computing Bootcamp is designed for solution providers looking to take their cloud efforts to the next level. If you did not sign up, track down the presenters during the conference to gain some insight. Make sure you find Ray Mota of ACG Research and John Barnes of Model Metrics. • Beat Boardroom Boredom: The heart of XChange is the boardroom, where vendors bare their souls to solution providers and solicit feedback and advice. The hours spent in these rooms are long but critical to the event. The more you give the more you will get back. Your feedback will reshape pro- grams and products of vendors. • Professional Development: If you haven’t signed up for this Wednesday track or plunked down your $295, do so. We have lined up three great presenters covering such top- ics as M&A, negotiation and team building. Like the PGA slogan says, “These guys are good.” Trust me, they are. • Peer Pressure: There’s no specific Incentives: Microsoft’s Cindy Bates details XChange Xcel packs, customer subsidies. Xcel pack to incent them to attain the Microsoft virtualization competency with e-learning vouchers and test codes for as much as $2,000 for solu- tion providers that complete Microsoft virtualization competency testing in April and $1,000 in offers for those that complete it by June. In addition, Microsoft plans to roll out substantial customer services subsi- dies starting in April to help drive Hy- per-V virtualization demand. Partners can take advantage of the offers by e- mailing virtualization@microsoft.com. Bates also said Gartner and For- rester have singled out Microsoft for its end-to-end virtualization management superiority over VMware. There is no other company besides Microsoft with its System Center Suite that can manage from a single pane of glass “physical, vir- tual, private and public cloud,” she said. Some solution providers said they are ready to look more closely at Mi- crosoft as a virtualization partner. Said Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, Charlotte, N. C.: “If they are talking about a real part- nership to get this done, I am going to pay attention. VMware is the gorilla in this market. Microsoft is the comer. But there is no question that Microsoft Hyper-V is a very good product and it’s getting better.” Ben Maschan, director of consulting services at All Covered, applauded Micro- soft’s customer subsidies strategy. “Cus- tomer subsidies kill it,” he said. “Over the last two years, we have had eight major deals that weren’t going to go and were approved because of customer services subsidization by Microsoft.” time or place, but VARs name peer network- ing as one of the top three reasons they attend XChange. Whether you do this during meal breaks or between boardroom sessions, make sure you bond with your fellow VARs. Find out where their profits are growing or shrinking and compare that to your business. You will find lifelong friends as a result. • Vendor Vortex: There are too many to single out, but make sure you attend the vendor keynotes. The top execs come to share their vision and solicit feedback. Many of these sessions are interactive, so don’t hold back when it comes to the Q&A portion. • New Kids On The Block: There are many vendors here for the first time, and this is a good time to size them up. Often times, smaller vendors represent big margin opportunities. We will be highlighting these tech firms so make sure you corner them before you head home. Channel Chairman: Robert Faletra, the CEO of Everything Channel, has forgotten more about the channel than many will know. He will be discussing his take on the chan- nel landscape and cloud during his welcome address Tuesday morning. Make sure you grab him for an impromptu chat during a break or meals. He wants to hear directly from our attendees on their business or thoughts on the conference. Photos: Gene Fedele

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