SHI receives 2 Cisco Partner of the Year awards

Posted by at 1:28 PM

Cisco presents SHI International with Partner of the Year award. From left to right: Brian Marlier, Cisco SVP, US Enterprise Sales; Hal Jagger, SHI Vice President/General Manager - Corporate Sales; Brandon Farrell SHI Director of Strategic Partners, Corporate Division; Key Bymes, Cisco Director  Operation Sales

Cisco presents SHI International with Partner of the Year award. From left to right: Brian Marlier, Cisco SVP, US Enterprise Sales; Hal Jagger, SHI Vice President/General Manager – Corporate Sales; Brandon Farrell SHI Director of Strategic Partners, Corporate Division; Key Byrnes, Cisco Director Operation Sales

At the Cisco Partner Summit 2014 in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, Cisco presented SHI with two Partner Summit Global awards: Meraki Partner of the Year, Americas and New Break Away Partner of the Year, Americas.

Cisco is a large growth area for SHI, especially as we reinforce our focus on data centers, networking, and collaboration. In 2013, we grew our Cisco business 119 percent among corporate and small and medium-sized businesses, and 244 percent in Meraki.

In addition, growth spanned all of Cisco’s architectures:

  • Collaboration revenue increased 55 percent in 2013.
  • Data center revenue increased 137 percent in 2013.
  • Enterprise networking revenue increased 33 percent in 2013.
  • Security revenue increased 55 percent in 2013.

SHI has stepped up to meet the growing demand for Cisco products. In the past year, we doubled our investment in dedicated Cisco pre-sales resources by adding Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)-level solution architects, pre-sales engineers, and SMARTnet management specialists and training each of them to provide the world-class customer experience that SHI has become known for during the past 25 years.

We’re proud of our relationship and growth with Cisco, and are proud to accept these awards in recognition. As always, thanks to our customers and employees for working with us to make this possible.

HP changes availability of firmware updates for HP ProLiant servers: Here’s what you need to know

Posted by at 8:50 AM

HP ProLiant serversHP recently announced that, effective immediately, it will only provide firmware updates to HP ProLiant server customers that have a valid warranty, Care Pack Service, or support agreement. The announcement set off a firestorm online among HP customers concerned that these changes would either force them to invest more money in their HP products or expose themselves to security risks. We’ve received many questions from SHI customers about these changes, so we decided to break them down for you here.

First, it’s important to note that these changes apply to HP ProLiant servers only, and more specifically to ProLiant system ROM and complex programming logic devices (CPLD) firmware. The entitlement requirements do not extend to HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLO), I/O, or controller firmware. In addition, HP will continue to provide security and safety updates to all server customers, regardless of entitlement or warranty.

What HP’s firmware availability change means for you

For organizations that have HP ProLiant servers under warranties or HP-branded support entitlements, the only change is the location where updates are housed. Firmware updates were previously available via the HP IT Resource Center, which has been retired. Now customers can now obtain the latest firmware updates through the HP Support Center (HPSC) for no additional cost.

Customers without an HP-branded support contract or HP Care Pack agreement, or whose server warranty has lapsed, will have to invest in HP-branded support to ensure continued access to firmware and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) updates.

What you get with HP-branded support Continue Reading…

The silent 12th man: How IT could help the Broncos win the Super Bowl

Posted by at 8:45 AM

With Super Bowl XLVIII looming, you can be certain the Seahawks and the Broncos are leaving few things to chance. Coaches are refining their game plans. Players are reviewing tape. Trainers are assuring their teams are in peak physical condition. And while Seattle won’t have its famous 12th man–the loudest fans on Earth–in full force on Sunday, the Broncos will have their own version of the 12th man working behind the scenes: their IT team.

In the typical football game, the IT team is invisible to the fans, but crucial to the players. I’ve heard that when Peyton Manning steps off the field after a drive, he’ll grab his tablet to playback the series and pinpoint any adjustments he needs to make. It’s a smart strategy if connectivity is fast and reliable. But just five minutes of slow Internet could prevent him from watching the feed, eliminate the chance for corrections, and potentially change the game’s outcome.

A single game at Sports Authority Field in Denver eats up as much bandwidth as a typical neighborhood block over a month as announcers, coaches, and players all connect to the network. In an effort to solve this bandwidth problem and gain greater security and control over the Broncos network as a whole, the team sought out a more reliable and manageable solution. Continue Reading…

SHI Financing: Smarter, better budgeting

Posted by at 11:26 AM

SHI doesn’t just have one of the best selections of hardware and software in the business; we also have one of the best and most flexible financing and leasing programs. Sometimes we don’t do as good a job as maybe we should promoting the fact that we can finance your purchases of software, desktops and notebooks, mobile devices, storage, networking products, and a wide range of other solutions.

With interest rates at all-time lows, financing your purchase of hardware and software has never been easier, or more economical. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Talk to your SHI representative about the financing options that are available to you.
  2. Settle on the terms of the financing contract, and choose a payment structure (quarterly, monthly, yearly, etc.).
  3. Sign on the dotted line, and away you go!

What kinds of deals can you finance?

  • Large or multi-year software deals: If a big project comes along, it’s in your best interest to spread the payments out over time. Many software publishers are now selling multi-year terms that allow organizations to use SHI financing and make annual payments.
  • Hardware deals: As technology power goes up and the price goes down, it is logical to lease. Financing lets you more cost-effectively refresh your technology to ensure your organization is always using cutting-edge technology.
  • Surprise requirements: This includes your non-budgeted items, perhaps license compliance issues or end-of-quarter purchases. SHI financing allows organizations to spread out payment of these purchases over time, or even defer them. Continue Reading…

Think digital signage isn’t for you? Think again.

Posted by at 12:13 PM

digital signage solutions from SHIAdvertising has been around for as long as humans have had something to sell. Historians have found examples of commercial messages in Pompeii and lost and found advertising on papyrus in Ancient Greece and Rome. As time rolled on, advertisers found opportunity to place ads on everything from billboards, cars, buses, boats, to even an athlete’s skin. Now the question becomes, how can business leaders capitalize on advertising in the digital world to drive their businesses into the next decade?

Enter digital signage. Already seeing widespread use in malls, airports, and train stations, digital ads are making their way into every industry. What’s driving this shift? Since digital signage can be both frequently and easily updated, it saves you the printing and construction costs associated with traditional signage techniques.

Think there isn’t a place for digital signage in your organization? Look to these four industries for inspiration and direction. Continue Reading…

The impact of sequestration on IT

Posted by at 3:53 PM

I chose not to blog about sequestration until now because, like most people, I never really thought it was going to happen. Much like January’s fiscal cliff, the prevailing sentiment was that the “D.C.” in Washington would stand for “Don’t Cut” and that an 11th hour deal would be made.

But now that the deadline has passed and the only thing delaying the start of sequestration is a presidential signature, we must all seriously begin to consider what will happen to those affected by the automatic spending cuts.

As reported by Computerworld this morning, the potential budget cuts are already causing uncertainty within a sector that relies on secure funding to foster growth and innovation: IT. Even though the official OMB report from the White House says that “no amount of planning can mitigate the effects of these cuts,” IT organizations should still start anticipating what those effects will be in order to properly manage them.

If cuts are indeed made, here are some questions IT managers will need to consider. Continue Reading…

5 ways the Dell buyout will (or will not) affect the channel

Posted by at 10:12 AM

When word broke about Dell’s decision to go private, it triggered a firestorm of reactions across the industry. Responses ranged from the customer doomsday predictions featured in HP’s official response to Microsoft’s 83-word, $2 billion endorsement. News articles do everything from analyzing the events that led to this strategic move, to identifying the implications of the buyout, and predicting how the deal will ultimately play out in the future.

While I can appreciate the continued dialogue and debate, those of us tasked with supporting IT organizations all day, every day really just want to know: What does the Dell buyout mean to us, right now?

In the days following Dell’s announcement, SHI customers have approached their account teams to learn how the acquisition will (or will not) affect them. Here are the five questions we’ve been asked the most: Continue Reading…