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5 Channel Observations: 6 Oct 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and perspectives to start your day for Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.

Actually, today’s update involves 10 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

10. Trans-Atlantic Ruling: Let’s say you’re an MSP or CSP that wants to move data between Europe and the U.S. Be careful. The European Union has struck down the “safe harbor” data-transfer pact. That means giant CSPs (Amazon, Microsoft, Google), social media networks (Facebook), app providers (Apple) and many other types of business (perhaps even you) will need to rethink how they manage data.

ibm-cleversafe9. IBM Buys Cleversafe: The deal involves object storage and hybrid cloud services…

8. Amazon Internet of Things: Stay tuned for some big news from Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2015 conference sometime this week. It sounds like AWS will gain an IoT platform that allows developers to connect devices to Amazon’s cloud. Why? For monitoring, data gathering and analytics — of course. More details soon…

7. N-able’s Next Moves: Anybody else notice that N-able’s parent — SolarWinds — is showing off the following tools at AWS re:Invent 2015:

  • Librato for Docker container management;
  • Papertrail for log management; and
  • Pingdom for web performance monitoring.

Read between the lines, MSPs. SolarWinds will most definitely blur the lines between traditional N-able monitoring capabilities and these additional cloud management tools.

AWS Partner Network6. Managed Services Partner for AWS:  Connectria Hosting is the latest MSP to earn that designation. Most of the MSPs on Amazon’s partner list seem to be larger players. I’m curious to know if smaller MSPs — say, companies with 25 or fewer employees — are on the list as well…

5. Business-side Managed Services: What should small business owners outsource to MSPs and VARs next? Instead of a technology-side discussion, maybe it should be a business-side conversation. According to the Paychex Small Business Survey, 56% of small business owners are administering payroll on their own. Sixty-five percent say they are handling HR administration themselves, and 59% reported taking care of their own benefits administration. I wonder: How many IT-side MSPs will pursue those business-side conversations? And will they use tools like Clarity Intelligence Platform to educate their customers?

4. Algorithm Economy: You likely know about the Application Economy — in which software is reshaping our digital, business and personal lives. Now comes the closely related Algorithm Economy, in which businesses actually share machine learning algorithms for the greater common good. IBM has hinted to me that they will build an algorithm marketplace — where businesses can go examine and select shared code for their big data, sensor and machine learning projects. The topic came up again at this week’s Gartner ITxpo in Orlando… Stay tuned.

3. Surface Pro 4: Microsoft is expected to launch the Surface Pro 4  today in Manhattan. There’s even a rumor that Google will show off apps for the new Microsoft tablet/PC. And what about channel partners? Some resellers were upset to learn that big PC makers like Dell and HP will sell Surface to customers… potentially eliminating smaller channel players from the process. I wasn’t all that upset by the move. Maintain the customer relationship, and Surface Pro should remain one piece of the larger overall mobile solution set that partners offer to customers… Oh, one more thing: Microsoft will unveil new smartphones today… Hmmm…

UPDATED: Microsoft unveiled the SurfaceBook at today’s event. Looks pretty slick. I almost expected a voiceover from Jony Ive in this video…

Hadoop Logo2. Hadoop in the IT Channel: Watch for a key development later today… Actually, it just got confirmed here.

1. Managing Microservices: MSPs and VARs are used to building and/or managing large, unwieldy applications. We’ve written a bit in recent weeks about the shift to so-called microservices — smaller pieces of code that form the larger application or a larger set of services. Increasingly, channel partners will need to manage cloud-based microservices for customers. The potential microservices upside? Improved agility, efficiency, resiliency and revenue opportunities, according to Matt Miller, a partner at Sequoia Capital — which will host a Microservices Summit in January 2016. Sequoia is an investor in Airbnb, Docker and Xoom. (I’m still waiting on summit details…).

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