Kris Blackmon

The VAR Guy

Kris Blackmon is the Editor-in-Chief of The VAR Guy. She is responsible for the overall editorial direction of brand, and plays a key role in Penton Technology's annual Channel Directions Live conference, webinars, videos and podcasts. She is based in Dallas, Texas, and can be reached at


Altaworx CEO on the 'Painful' Switch to Recurring Revenue
The switch from a dominant one-time charge business model to a channel-wide emphasis on recurring revenue is one of the biggest paradigm shifts the channel has ever had to navigate.
Changing of the Guard at AT&T's Partner Exchange
Earlier this month, AT&T decided to shake up its partner ecosystem. Longtime channel chief Brooks McCorcle is stepping down, and her successor, Zee Hussain, will oversee AT&T’s merger of its three separate indirect channels under one umbrella.
AT&T Bets Big on IoT, Virtualization at the 2017 Partner Exchange Summit
At its annual Partner Exchange Summit in Dallas, Texas, this week, AT&T made several product announcements that underscore their determination to help shape the emerging channel.
How to Sound Smart Selling AI Marketing Solutions 1
Gone are the days when setting customers up with digital marketing solutions meant getting them set up with Salesforce and HubSpot and calling it a day.
Helpful Hints on How to Hyperspecialize in 7 Hot Sectors
Analysts and channel experts have been hammering home the need for partners to hyperspecialize in order to succeed in the new channel ecosystem.
Six Areas of Opportunity for Partners When the CIO & CFO Can't Stop Bickering
Everyone knows that the digital transformation holds big opportunities for the channel, but a new report from Forbes Insight and Dell EMC has some specific insights that may help partners identify where their best chances of success lie.
Project Management Solutions Provide Big Value-Add to Partners Solving for Business Outcomes
If you’ve made the switch from product sales and one-time services to offering your customers ongoing solutions, odds are you’ve become familiar with favorite project management tools such as Asana, Basecamp or Jira.
Intermedia Wants to Help the VAR Guy Be Less Stressed Out
As the digital transformation brings new ways of provisioning IT, it’s also changing the way much of the industry expands its business.
Jay McBain's Top 5 Channel Trends, Part 5: Mystery Drives Margins
If you’ve read the first four parts in this series, you know that the channel isn’t as cut and dry as it was in the days of one-time sales and spiffs.
Jay McBain's Top 5 Channel Trends, Part 4: The ‘Shadow Channel’ Is Coming into the Light
It goes by many names: the new channel, the emerging channel and, as McBain calls it, the shadow channel. Whatever you call it, there are new types of partners coming out of the woodwork and changing this space.
Jay McBain's Top 5 Channel Trends, Part 3: Hyperspecialization Is the New Verticalization
Yesterday, we dove into the rise of the LOB buyer and the exact numbers as to how much it’s presenting new challenges for the channel sales process. But McBain says there’s a way not only to avoid the hazards lines of business present, but to actually take advantage of them to drive increased revenue.
Building a Digital Channel Business: a Channel Partners Evolution Workshop
Led by channel experts and thought leaders, a group of about 30 partners engaged in a high-energy discussion about what it means to be a digitally savvy business, and what partners need to be paying attention to in their pursuit of success.
Jay McBain's Top 5 Channel Trends, Part 2: The Rise of the LOB Buyer
For the last 30 years or so, it’s been up to IT and operations to make technology and telecommunications decisions, and there’s no question the traditional channel knows how to sell to the IT department. But it struggles as the bulk of the buying decisions shift from IT to the line of business (LOB) buyer.
Jay McBain's Top 5 Channel Trends, Part 1: The Channel is Aging Out
The channel today can be roughly divided into two segments: traditional service providers and resellers, and an emerging channel comprised of digital agencies, consultants and highly specialized shops. But in just another few years, that first group may have disappeared.
CCleaner Malware Attack Far Worse than Originally Thought
Both Cisco and Avast released findings this week that show the CCleaner malware outbreak is way worse than initial reports indicated.

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