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5 Channel Partner Updates: 18 May 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Actually, there are 28 entries (OMG…) for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on. Take a look…

Mergers, Acquisitions, Funding & Exits

28: That GoDaddy-FreedomVoice Buyout: Several MSPs have told me privately that they’re concerned about GoDaddy’s buyout of FreedomVoice — a VoIP and cloud PBX specialist that works closely with MSPs. Does GoDaddy truly understand the channel and partner opportunities — particularly the MSP ecosystem serving SMBs? ChannelE2E will share more thoughts within the next few hours…

27. Ingram’s Other Merger Discussions: Ingram Micro apparently discussed merging with another major distributor in early 2015. CDN speculates that the discussions likely involved Tech Data or Synnex. But ultimately, HNA Group (a Chinese logistics giant) in February 2016 announced plans to acquire Ingram for $6 billion. That deal is expected to become official in the next few months…

26. Microsoft Dials E for Exit: Microsoft is selling its entry-level feature phone assets to FIH Mobile Ltd and HMD Global Oy for $350 million. Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones from OEM partners, Reuters reported. The asset sale arrives amid a smartphone industry slump, and Microsoft’s inability to gain meaningful market share in that weak market. Other than those issues, the company’s smartphone strategy has performed splendidly.

25. IBM Shutters Somers: IBM is shutting down its Somers, N.Y., campus. Roughly 2,000 workers will be relocated by March 2017 to a neighboring facility in North Castle, N.Y. Although IBM has had layoffs in recent months, overall headcount could be relatively flat by the end of 2016 because of hiring and M&A in other areas, CFO Martin Schroeter told The Wall Street Journal last month.

24. Buyout Tips: So, you want to make sure your tech business lives on after you sell it. Trina Chiasson, a senior product manager at Tableau Software, offers this guidance to anyone on the sell-side of the table…

23. Top 3 Reasons Angels Will Fund Your Business: The short-list includes (1) management team, (2) ability to understand technology and (3) potential return on investment, according to Propel(x), an online angle investment platform. I’m not sure I agree with the list or the order. But perhaps that’s why I haven’t been active in the angel market in more than a year…

22. HPE Venture Capital: HP Enterprise’s new venture capital arm is seeking to invest in about 10 to 12 companies per year, and has already made two such deals this year, Bloomberg says. The VC effort, called Pathfinder, is targeting big data, security, cloud and data center startups. While HP Enterprise has pushed hard into the hyperconverged data center, the company has also suffered from falling sales in its small SaaS business. Translation: HP Enterprise likely remains too dependent on hardware revenues…

21. Dell Debt: Dell sold $20 billion worth of secured bonds on Tuesday — a key step toward finalizing the $67 billion takeover of EMC. Dell is adding a large amount of debt to its balance sheet but is hopeful that it can quickly pay down a decent portion of that debt with the cash it generates from its still-lucrative businesses, The Wall Street Journal asserts.

20. Data Centers Sold: Equinix Inc. is selling eight data centers to DigitalRealty Trust for $874.4 million. The move is designed to help Equinix strengthen its balance sheet. Several other large companies — including CenturyLink and Verizon — have been exploring potential data center sales. Some big service providers are retreating to network services and deferring the public cloud market to Amazon and Microsoft.

Partner Programs

19. Empowering to the MSPs: APC by Schneider Electric has launched a dedicated power and cooling managed services practice for partners. Yes, APC wants to work more closely with MSPs — offering up special financing packages. But we’re double-checking to see if the overall MSP program offers hardware in a “pay as you go” model…

18. IT Service Management: TUC Managed IT Solutions/CareWorx (TUC), which specializes in service desk, managed IT and cloud services, has launched a new partner program designed specifically for service providers and technology vendors. Key benefactors will include MSPs and ISVs, among other audiences, according to Marco La Vecchia, VP of sales at TUC.

17. Another Google Partner Program: Google is set to launch a partner program for agencies that build Android apps, according to 9to5Google.

Cloud & IoT Services

16. IoT Security: Webroot has unveiled BrightCloud Threat Intelligence for IoT Gateways. The cybersecurity service is designed for partners and developers that want to protect IoT systems from malicious threats, unauthorized network access, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

15. AWS Security: Logicworks, a Top 50 Amazon MSP, has launched Cloud Patrol, which helps partners and DevOps professionals to ensure cloud security policies are consistently built and enforced across enterprise AWS environments.

14. HIPAA Compliance and Amazon’s Cloud: Got questions about achieving/maintaining HIPAA compliance while running workloads atop Amazon Web Services? This HIPAA Compliance on AWS Q&A may offer some guidance.

13. Long Live Colocation: I still think the public cloud wave is unstoppable. But colocation services also continue to thrive — especially for companies that want off-premises private clouds. A case in point: Rockwell Automation Inc., a provider of industrial automation and information services, is turning to colocation as a strategy to ensure data security as it moves to the cloud.

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