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5 Channel Partner Updates: 30 May 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Actually, there are 16 updates for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs), telco master agents and telco agents to sip on. Take a look…

16. British Airways Outage and IT Outsourcing: A British Airways employee union blamed the airlines’ massive outage over the weekend on IT outsourcing to India. However, British Airways says outsourcing was not to blame. Instead, the airline says a massive power surge knocked out the company’s primary and backup IT systems — which forced more than 800 flight cancelations. Related: MSSP Alert can’t help but wonder if that power surge, which will cost the airline at least $68 million in losses, was somehow related to a cyberattack.

15. Google Salary Data: Accused of underpaying women, Google says it’s too expensive and difficult to gather and share wage data with the U.S. Department of Labor, The Guardian reports. Ummm. Reread that sentence. The world’s most powerful search company can’t cost-effectively gather and share the right data with the U.S. government? Hmmm…

14. Chip Wars: Intel has released new chips to counter AMD. Plus, ARM has introduced new chips to counter Intel. Oh, and Apple has introduced new chips to power artificial intelligence applications. For a dead market, hardware is looking pretty lively…

13. Devices as a Service: HP Inc. and Infosys have inked a partnership to promote retail point of sale (RPOS) and enterprise device as a service solutions. The relationship will help customers to acquire, manage and use devices with end-to-end services, enterprise applications, fleet reporting, analytics, insights and more, the duo says. HP has been developing device as a service partner offerings for more than a year.

12. Avaya Networking Sale: Bankrupt telecommunications company Avaya won court approval on May 25 for its planned sale of its networking business to Extreme Networks Inc., Reuters says. The deal is valued at $100 million. Related: Track all Avaya bankruptcy news here.

11. Cloud IaaS for Channel Partners: ProfitBricks, a channel-focused Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, has opened an East Coast data center facility in Newark, New Jersey. ProfitBricks already has a data center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and three Tier-4-type data centers in Germany. Instead of competing head-on against Amazon Web Services with direct services, ProfitBricks is a channel-centric public cloud provider.

10. Distribution – Security: Pax8, the value-added cloud distributor, now offers Symantec VIP, a cloud-based authentication service that provides protected access to sensitive data and applications from any device. Pax8  has quietly but consistently expanded its cloud distribution services since launching in 2012, though the company’s market voice has grown much stronger over the past 18 months or so.

9. Distribution – Talent: Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa has appointed Rakesh Parbhoo as CEO, effective August 1, 2017. Parbhoo will replace Guy Whitcroft, who held a 12-month contract to fulfill the role of interim CEO of the company for the last year, IT Web Africa notes. Parent Datatec announced in April that it will possibly sell a major share of Westcon-Comstor for over $800 million, though an official deal has yet to be announced.

8. M&A – Web.com Buyers?: It sounds like multiple companies are exploring a potential Web.com takeover. Web.com specializes in small business web hosting, marketing and domain management services.

7.  M&A – Data Centers: Carter Validus, a real estate investment trust, has acquired a Charlotte-based data center for $16.4 million.

6. M&A – Fiber Service Provider: Lumos Networks Corp. shareholders have approved the company’s $950 million sale to EQT Infrastructure. The deal, announced in February 2017, values Lumos at roughly 10 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), ChannelE2E estimates. Lumos is a fiber-based service provider in the mid-Atlantic region.

5. M&A – Artificial Intelligence: Technology giants acquired 34 artificial intelligence startups in Q1 2017, more than twice the amount of activity vs. Q1 2016, Reuters estimates. Few IT service providers specialize in AI, but they certainly benefit from it. Everything from cybersecurity systems to help desk software increasingly leverages AI to improve customer outcomes.

4. M&A – Valuations: Mid-market M&A valuations in Europe have increased to record levels, City A.M. reports. While buyers paid an average of 8.6 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITA), private equity funds paid an average 9.2 times EBITDA — an all-time high since an index to track valuations began in 2004, according to the Argos Mid-Market Index from Epsilon Research and French investment firm Argos Soditic.

3. Seven Step Exit Plan: Want to sell or transition ownership in your business? David A Cole, a CPA, offers up this seven-step exit plan. Want to go deeper? Then this CompTIA Exit Strategies Toolkit offers in-depth guidance specifically for IT services providers.

2. Top Help Desk KPIs: If you’re trying to figure out the most important KPIs (key performance indicators) for IT service management, then check out these 8 KPIs, BMC asserts.

1. From MSP to MSSP: Learn how to build a successful managed security services business practice during our June 15 webcast. Register now to join us.

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