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


News of Note: Week of October 15, 2017
For your weekend reading pleasure, take a look at our recap of this week's news in enterprise IT.
What Exactly Is the 'Deep & Dark Web'--and Are Your Security Solutions Ignoring It?
Threat intel is like a puzzle. You need to assemble the puzzle and get to the full image as quickly as possible.
What is 'Digital Transformation' & What Is It Doing to the Channel?
People have been talking about digital transformation and the way it would revolutionize all things channel for years without finding any clarity.
New Cisco Services Portfolios Help Ease Resellers into MRR, Supplement Skills Gap
Some may not know that Cisco’s services division is the second largest business in the networking giant’s organization, and the company is betting big on software and services—as opposed to the switches and routers its known for—to shape its future footprint.
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.

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