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5 Channel Partner Updates: 13 April 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

Actually, there are 12 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

12. ConnectWise IPO?: The business software provider to technology companies is “thinking” about a potential IPO, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The chatter surprises nobody. However, I believe that’s the first time ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini has opened up publicly about that potential aspiration…

11. MSPs and Medical Marijuana: Yup, an MSP is supporting marijuana businesses in Colorado and Oregon. We got the early details during a background discussion last night. Let’s see: An emerging, highly regulated industry that requires customers to carefully gather and protect data across licensed growers, dispensaries, physicians and patients? Yes, that’s a real opportunity for managed services.

10. Partner Program: Netscout Systems, focused on service assurance and cybersecurity, launched a unified global enterprise channel partner program called CONNECT360.

9. Chat Bots for IT Support: Facebook, as ChannelE2E suggested last week, is developing chat bot technology for its messaging apps. We speculated that such technology will eventually find its way into IT service desk software. A somewhat related example: Salesforce announced Salesforce Messenger, a way for customers to communicate directly with brands through the Salesforce platform. As an example, a person who knows they are going to miss their flight, could message the airline and get a new booking in a familiar way, just by chatting in Messenger, TechCrunch said.

8. Apple Watch Sales: Looks like sales of Apple’s smartwatch are plummeting, according to KGI. The researcher says Apple Watch shipments will fall 25 percent this year. The reason? No killer apps, a somewhat awkward design, pricing, and perhaps the wait for Apple Watch 2, which is expected to launch later this year. Apple Watch Use Cases: On a relate note, here’s how owners actually use their Apple Watches, according to a recent customer survey.

7. EU-US Privacy Shield: European privacy regulators said on Wednesday a new commercial data transfer pact between the European Union and the United States needed to provide more reassurance over U.S. surveillance practices and the independence of a new U.S. privacy ombudsman, according to Reuters. The so-called EU-US Privacy Shield replaces Safe Harbor regulations that expired last year. Cloud service providers are waiting on the EU-US Privacy Shield regulations to help define data protection policies.

6. What Took So Long?: California lawmakers on Tuesday took a major step toward outlawing the use of so-called “ransomware” to hijack computers for money, passing a bill through its first committee with the support of law enforcement, Reuters says. Ummm… So ransomware apparently is legal for the time being?

5. Fewer Unicorns: Startups are raising money at lower valuations, leading to fewer so-called Unicorns ($1 billion startups). The potential death of some money-losing unicorns could harm the platforms upon which they run — Azure, Amazon Web Services, etc. But Forrester Research actually sees some upside from the unicorn correction. It involves talent and IT hiring

4. Direct AWS, Azure Connections: RCN Business has launched Amazon Web Service (AWS) Direct Connect for customers. The result: RCN Business can connect customers to the AWS Cloud via a dedicated point-to-point fiber-based E-Line service, with available speeds up to 10 Gigabits. Similarly, CyrusOne now offers Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute within all of the company’s data center locations in Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Phoenix, Sterling (Northern Virginia), and San Antonio, among others. Bottom Line: Numerous telecos and and network providers now offer direct, high-speed connections to AWS and Azure…

3. Thank You: To a lengthy list of sources that granted ChannelE2E interviews at this week’s Ingram Micro Cloud Summit. The conversations gave us — and our readers — a closer look at Alert Logic’s growth; Dropbox’s channel strategy; Ingram’s transformation into a software company; and the future of ConnectWise CloudConsole.

2. Next Channel Partner Events: So, where is ChannelE2E heading next? And what channel partner summits are approaching rapidly? Check out the ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar for details… Or, submit your channel event for potential inclusion on the calendar.

1. Top Vertical Market MSPs: The list and associated research are coming soon. Register to attend our Top Vertical Market MSPs Webcast — at which time we’ll reveal all of our findings and honorees.

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlus: Subscribe to our daily enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.

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