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There’s nothing the channel loves more than complexity. After all, where there is complexity, also known as mystery, there is profit. So as we all look forward to 2008, the one technology the channel should be looking to for additional profits in 2008 is virtualization.

On the face of it, virtualization may seem relatively simple. The customer gets some virtualization software from VMware, Microsoft, Citrix or Virtual Iron and, presto, one physical server is now multiple virtual servers. You might even argue this is bad for the channel because it could theoretically reduce the need for additional physical servers.

But like any major shift in new technology, the issues that customers have to grapple with once they start to implement a virtualization strategy are likely to lead them to look from more, not less, help from their local IT services companies.

The needs of the customer will be one of the primary themes of the Ziff-Davis Enterprise Channel Summit that will be taking place on Feb. 7 in Dallas.

Click here now to register for the Ziff-Davis Enterprise Channel Summit

In addition to meeting all the usual luminaries of the channel, we’re going to bring multiple CIOs to the event to identify what they need most from their IT services providers. And just to back that up, we’re also going to reveal at the event the results of an exclusive survey about what CIOs actually want in 2008 from IT services companies in the channel.

Given all the interest in virtualization, sorting through all the complexities this technology shift gives rise to is sure to be at the top of the list. Included among those complexities are learning how to manage virtual servers, limit virtual management sprawl, improve virtual server performance and deal with licensing issues. And that’s not even the half of it.

What’s going on in IT these days is nothing less than the total transformation of enterprise computing thanks to the adoption of not only virtual servers, but virtual storage, clients and networking technology. And the only way most IT organizations are going to successfully adapt is by relying on the technology expertise of their IT services partners in the channel.