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


Vive la Résistance! Ladar Levison’s Fight for Digital Privacy
In September of 2013, Ladar Levison, founder of encrypted email service Lavabit, sat in front of a European Parliament hearing in Brussels, Belgium. He’d been asked to testify as part of a European Union investigation into the revelation that the National Security Agency was engaged in illegal surveillance activity on its own citizens and on sovereign nations that considered themselves allies of the United States.
Meet the Channel: Joe Santamorena, Bay Dynamics
This week we sat down with Joe Santamorena, VP of sales for the Americas at Bay Dynamics.
Six Things to Note About the Digital Transformation
"Digital Transformation" (DX) is quickly becoming one of the most overused terms in business--for good reason. The influence of cloud, mobile, analytics and social media technologies are changing the way modern organizations do business and throwing seasoned executives and newbies alike for a loop.
Dell EMC Enhances Cloud Service Provider Program, Introduces Rebates
Dell EMC’s launch of its new unified partner program a few weeks ago was just the beginning. This week, the company announced an expansion of its Cloud Service Provider (CSP) partner track, including the addition of rebates into the program, a new dedicated product business unit to build futures and functions for the market segment and an entire sellout organization to create go-to-market traction in the filed.
Cisco Pushes Software-Based Solutions with New Offerings
Cisco is betting big on guiding networking customers and partners through the digital transformation. This week, it’s announced a new line of firewalls, as well as additional products and services to its Digital Network Architecture (DNA) program, expanding its scope to help the channel leverage new automation and security technology in a consultative approach.
Meet the Channel: Scott Erickson, M-Files

This week we chatted with Scott Erickson, vice president of Channel Sales at M-Files

CompTIA Aims to Address Cybersecurity Skills Gap with New Certification
Despite the increased amount of training, new software solutions and advanced hardware dedicated to reducing cyber-attacks, the problem is worse than ever. Solution providers and IT professionals need their cyberdefense skills to evolve as hackers become more advanced and creative with their methods of attack.
Latest Jobs Report Details Grim Times for Tech
2016 was not a hallmark year for tech industry jobs. According to the latest report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 18 percent of all jobs lost last year were in the tech industry. All told, tech layoffs were up 21 percent from the year before, but here's the kicker: job cuts were down 21 percent in 2015. That means there was a 42 percent change in the last two years.
New CompTIA Report Says the Future of the Channel Is Now
Every year, IT industry analyst firm CompTIA releases its annual IT Industry Outlook report. The report features a mix of hard data and expert insight from CompTIA analysts, forming an insightful picture of evolving trends in technology, the workforce and the channel. We took a deep dive into the channel aspects of the report to find out where the experts say partners should be focusing in 2017.
Scrambling to Survive, Once-Great Toshiba Floats Sale of Chip Business
Tech conglomerate Toshiba is considering selling a majority stake in its memory chip business.
Meet the Channel: Keith McManigal

This week we sat down with Keith McManigal, vice president of Worldwide Channel Sales at AppViewX

Tech Watch: Accenture Posts a New Milestone in Blockchain Adoption
Accenture has released a system that integrates blockchain technology with hardware security modules to help secure data.
Privacy Advocates Celebrate as Judge Rules Microsoft Can Sue the DOJ
That “so-called” judge is at it again. U.S. District Judge James Robart, whom President Trump lambasted recently for issuing the court order that halted his temporary travel ban, has ruled that the federal government can’t get out of being sued over its surveillance operations.
Five Leadership Traits You (Wrongly) Think Are Good
Five Leadership Traits You (Wrongly) Think Are Good
From “hard work ethic” to “results-driven” to being “hands on,” there are as many much-touted characteristics that are supposedly critical to good leadership as there are good leaders to recommend them. But as business models, social mores and generational preferences change, many of these traits become outdated and ineffectual.
Distribution Watch: Ingram Micro Named Key Global Disty for New Dell EMC Program
One day after Dell EMC officially launched its new unified partner program, IT distributor Ingram Micro announced it was named a key 2017 Dell EMC Distribution Partner in the U.S.
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