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5 Channel Observations: 14 Oct 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, gossip, chatter and more to start your day for Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015.

Actually, today’s update involves 15 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

15. Ripe for Managed Services: When it comes to IT service management (ITSM), UK organizations seem to be ahead of the curve. Indeed, 80 percent of UK organizations have an ITSM maturity level of 3 or higher — compared to 66 percent of organizations worldwide, according to an Axios Systems survey. To me, that means the vast majority of UK customers understand the value of IT automation and proactive support — even before you start the managed services pitch. (Admittedly, the survey likely included larger organizations… but perhaps that means the midmarket is ripe for MSPs…)

Office 365 Logo14. Office 365 Password Management: Thycotic, which offers password reset solutions, recently launched password synchronization with Office 365, help desk integration and Activate Directory Attribute Integration. Password management is a hot-button issue for many MSPs and software vendors. LogMeIn just acquired LastPass — a password and identity management company. And PassPortal has been gaining momentum as a password management solution that integrates with many MSP software platforms.

13. New Partner Program: Applied Systems, which develops vertical market software for the insurance industry, just launched the Applied Partner Program. Partners come in many shapes and sizes, but it sounds like ISV integrations are especially welcome.

12. Recurring Revenue Tips: How can VARs and MSPs really build out their recurring revenue models? Maybe you should steal a page from SaaS software companies and their subscription models. With that thought in mind, here are 10 tips for running a profitable, subscription-based business, according to CIO.

11. Server Industry Concerns: Intel’s latest quarterly earnings, announced yesterday, included stronger-than-expected profits. But there were several warning signs to consider for Intel and the broader IT channel. Intel’s net income actually fell a bit, revenue essentially was flat, and  Intel’s server-related revenue forecast disappointed some investors.

michael-dell10. Dell Tries to Exit PC Business?: Before Dell acquired EMC this week, private equity parent Silver Lake tried to sell Dell’s PC business to rivals. Indeed, Silver Lake last week contacted HP and Lenovo, among other companies, to see if they were interested in buying Dell’s PC business, according to re/code. Apparently, there were no takers…

9. Surface Book Solid Out: How’s this for ironic. While Dell apparently considers a PC market exit, Microsoft’s push into the PC industry continues to show great promise. The company’s new Surface Book notebook is “sold out” at various online stores. Of course, we don’t know actual production levels/manufacturing figures. But early buzz for the high-end laptop (which doubles as a tablet) has been strong.

8. Small Business Wage Gains… But…: Attention entrepreneurs who run small companies. Many of your peers plan to raise wages — not that the overall business climate is all that positive. Indeed, 67 percent of small business owners say the U.S. business climate is fair to poor, and 63 percent think the U.S. is on the wrong path, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

More: See Items 7 through 1 — including top IT spending priorities in banks, a warning about commodity IT services, why it’s time to master APIs again, and how to get ahead with Amazon cloud consulting and migration services.

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