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5 Channel Partner Updates: 3 Feb 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Wednesday, February 3, 2016.

Actually, there are 16 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on…

16. Office 365 Managed Services: Logicalis US, a large MSP, has introduced managed services for Office 365 — including administration support for Exchange as well as help desk support for passwords, email clients, smartphones and more. Meanwhile, it sounds like ConnectWise is getting ready to shift CloudConsole beyond beta testers to the mass market. CloudConsole is a cloud management system that initially supports Office 365, with additional platform support coming soon…

15. Safe Harbor 2.0: European and U.S. negotiators agreed a data pact on Tuesday that should prevent European Union regulators from restricting data transfers by companies such as Google and Amazon across the Atlantic, Reuters reports. But this isn’t limited to big cloud companies. The so-called Safe Harbor 2.0 agreement should help smaller service providers to understand how they can manage data on both sides of the pond.

14. FireEye Partner Program: The new FireEye Fuel partner program has two familiar goals: Increase customer security and partner profitability. Partners should check out new Power and Essentials product editions. The Reward for Value program has been updated to offer FireEye Fuel partners up to twice their normal discounts in 2016, the company says.

13. Big MSP Deal: All Native Managed Services has won a $10.4 million contract to provide IT automation and technical support services for the Army’s National Capital Region.

12. VAR Spin-Off: ShoreGroup, a professional services VAR, has spun off Optanix, a 400-person software provider focused on financial services, media, technology and federal government agencies. Optanix’s software platform improves IT operations management, the company claims.

11. Ingram Micro Cloud Summit: Registration is now open for the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (April 11-13). The conference is expected to attract more than 1,000 VARs, MSPs and cloud services providers.

10. Lenovo Tumbles: Lenovo’s quarterly revenue declined for the first time in more than six years amid weak demand for smartphones and PCs. The company’s stock fell 10 percent — Lenovo’s biggest share decline in two years. Hmmm… We’ll take a closer look soon to see how Lenovo’s server and storage businesses are performing…

9. Bad M&A: Lots of folks are talking about Yahoo layoffs and the company’s pending breakup plan. But not enough folks are talking about Yahoo’s $4.5 billion charge to write down the value of Tumblr and other businesses. Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in May 2013 and promised not to “screw it up” at the time. The only problem? Tumblr lacked a clear revenue model. You can blame CEO Marissa Mayer for the deal… but how about giving equal blame to Yahoo’s board for approving the deal?

8. Microsoft Surface Shocker: Microsoft recalled 2.3 million power cords sold with Surface Pro tablets. Microsoft received about 60 reports of AC cords overheating, emitting flames and causing electrical shocks to consumers… The good news? Microsoft apparently has sold at least 2.3 million Surface Pro tablets. Wink, wink.

7. Big Blockchain Investments: Both Goldman Sachs and IBM are now investing in Digital Asset Holdings, which  is adapting blockchain technology for use in financial markets. Hmmm… Blockchain. Definitely an emerging technology/industry to watch for IT channel partners.

6. Shared Cybersecurity Data: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will start sharing cybersecurity threat information with private industry this month. The shared information will be “about indicators, not incidents.” Hmmm… Shared business intelligence on cybersecurity threats. That’s long overdue. Perhaps the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act will accelerate sharing in the month ahead…

5. Top Five CIO Priorities: They include data, integrating IT into the business, driving innovation, cybersecurity and getting digital right, according to a Wall Street Journal gathering of CIOs. Seems to me IT outsourcing to VARs and MSPs will remain critical as CIOs try to pursue those priorities…

4. MSP M&A: Plan B, which specializes in business continuity and managed voice solutions for New Zealand customers, has acquired ICONZ — an MSP focused on cloud, data center and networking services.

3. IT Consulting M&A: Avtex, a technology consulting firm focused on customer experience, acquired Webfortis, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM provider. This is the latest in a growing list of Dynamics CRM channel partners that have been purchased in recent months. We’ll describe the trend more fully in the days ahead.

2. Law Firms Going IoT: Paul Hastings LLP, a major law firm, has set up an Internet of Things practice. We’re poking around for more information…

1. Top MSPs Revealed: Have you built a top performing MSP? Celebrate your success. Participate in our Top Vertical Market MSPs survey, and your company could be honored as a top performer in healthcare, retail, financial services and other vertical markets.

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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