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Are You Really Green or Green with Envy?

In thinking about Earth Day this week I was contemplating the opportunities that are out there for channel partners to go GREEN. Rarely have partners been able to effectively articulate a business strategy built around Green IT initiatives. A lot of channel providers talk about green, they want to be green, but at the end of the day, are they really more green than the rest of the IT industry?

And yet there are so many opportunities to make this real. Look at what VMware did in 2007 by leveraging their virtualization products to reduce power and cooling consumption. VMware worked closely with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) – who have already paid energy credits and refunds on 5 projects with another 60 pending – while at the same time executing on Green IT initiatives that saved companies about 7,000 kwH per server that they virtualized.

And now Dell is in the news, Michael Dell was a keynote speaker at Fortune's Brainstorm: GREEN Summit where he was introduced as one of the most forward-thinking CEOs in the country when it comes to environmental issues. It was interesting to me as a fairly new employee at Dell (due to the EqualLogic acquisition) that there were so many Green IT initiatives underway. One of the new product introductions this year is the new Dell blade series that boasts a 28% improvement in energy efficiency and at the conference Michael Dell previewed the company’s smallest and most environmentally-responsible consumer desktop PC. Scheduled to be released later this year, the computer is approximately 81 percent smaller than a standard mini-tower desktop, uses 70 percent less energy and comes in recycled and recyclable packaging – talk about products that channel partners can leverage to begin building a real go to market strategy around Green IT. Add to that a strategy around server and storage virtualization and channel talk becomes channel action. Making it real. What else can we do?

While traveling in the UK this past summer, I met a channel partner that has already made this strategy real for their clients. At the core of their business model was virtualization but they made sure their clients understood virtualization was a means to realize their vision for reducing client power and cooling costs. But they do not stop there, they are active in community green forums, they belong and contribute to the GreenGrid initiative and they actively market their green strategy. Wow, a partner really doing it and serving their customer’s IT needs at the same time.

What is your company doing? How are you making it real? What are the other real efforts out there?

I want to know.

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