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


Tech Dominates Top 100 Brands: What It Means for the Channel
The 2017 BrandZ 100 Most Valuable Brands report is out, and it paints a vivid picture of the rapid and drastic disruption digitization is causing in the marketplace.
If Every Company Is a Tech Company, Where Does That Leave Channel Partners?
An oft-repeated phrase when speaking about digital transformation is that every company today is a tech company. So where does that leave the IT channel?
Avaya Networking Biz Saga Ends in Acquisition by Extreme Networks
One chapter of Avaya's long and troubled story may be coming to a close. Extreme Networks has confirmed that it will acquire Avaya's networking business for $100 million.
Why IBM Is Eliminating Remote Workers Despite Millennial Demand for Flexibility 1
Last week, we learned that IBM, an early pioneer of the remote-work concept, is ending the practice for thousands of its employees.
Cisco and IBM Team Up to Fight Cybercrime
In the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled systems around the globe earlier this month, two tech giants have joined forces to fight cybervillains.
5 Bits of Wisdom from 2017's Commencement Speeches
Each May, universities send their new graduates off into the world armed with a degree, student loan debt and some wisdom imparted by speakers during commencement.
New Healthcare Debate Causes SMBs to Weigh Bottom-Line Costs against Long-Term Talent Investment
About 23 million people would lose health coverage in the next decade under the proposed Republican legislation aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare.
What You Can Learn about Business from Cisco’s John Chambers
Cisco's John Chambers admitted that while the company is often criticized for moving too fast, nearly every mistake he’s made has been because he’s moved too slowly.
CompTIA Unveils New Program to Advance Diversity in Tech
The lack of diversity in the tech industry has been a high-profile problem for years.
‘The Machine’ from HPE May Be the Future of IT
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has unveiled the first full-scale version of the mega computer it calls The Machine.
Would Indiana Jones Be a Data Scientist in 2017?
Big data, analytics and actionable insights have been customer demands for several years. But as the channel moves more firmly into a services-based industry rather than a tech-based industry, the way partners think about big data has to change.
Expertise + Automation = Your Customer’s Trusted Advisor
Moving hundreds of users from one computing environment to another is a process fraught with opportunities for error, leading to lost productivity, lost revenue, a lack of business continuity and a serious dearth of patience from the c-suite.
6 Stats to Know When Selling Hybrid IT Services
The research shows that due to influences such as customer demand and cost-effectiveness, hybrid IT is becoming the standard among enterprises, but CTOs and CIOs are taking various routes to get there.
Meet the Channel: Mike Kopp, Colt
It's not often we get someone with experience as a partner, with direct sales, and as a channel chief on Meet the Channel, so we were happy to sit down with Mike Kopp, VP of indirect sales at Colt Technology Services. Read on to get his take on how the telco channel has changed and how today, agents are more important than ever.
Optiv Acquires Comm Solutions, Strengthens Northeast U.S. Presence
Optiv Security, fresh from being acquired by private equity firm KKR, today announced the acquisition of Comm Solutions, strengthening its grasp on the northeast market.

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