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5 Channel Observations: 8 Oct 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and plenty more to start your day for Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Actually, today’s update involves 13 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

13. Dell & EMC Merger Talk: Rumor has it the technology giants are discussing Dell buying EMC. My reaction: Can you name the last time a massive IT merger actually improved shareholder, customer and channel partner value? Still, there may be some hope for a logical deal. Some pundits think EMC is looking to sell off only parts of its business to Dell.

12. A is for Google: Alas, I can’t get used to calling “Google” by its new parent name, “Alphabet.” But I suppose they’re big enough and important enough for me to get the name right going forward…

11. Accenture and Amazon: The consulting giant and the cloud giant are working together on new cloud migration services for customers. In case you missed the memo, Amazon also is launching multiple certifications and competencies — DevOps, cloud migration services, Internet of Things — for channel partners.

10. More Safe Harbor Fallout: ChannelE2E told you that Safe Harbor’s death was bad news for small channel partners. Now, The Wall Street Journal is echoing that statement. Safe Harbor allowed certain customer data to flow between Europe and the U.S. But a European Union ruling has essentially scrapped Safe Harbor’s protections. Among the 4,400 companies certified by the U.S. Commerce Department to take advantage of Safe Harbor, some 60% are small or midsize businesses, according to the government agency, The Journal reported. One possible Safe Harbor alternative: The Journal is telling small businesses to check out so-called “model contracts.”

9. Mid-Market M&A: Mergers and acquisitions in the mid-market continued to slow down in Q3, 2015 — though deals like Cisco’s buyout of OpenDNS generated plenty of attention, notes The Middle Market. Side note: What a rather amazing website to track all mid-market business activity.

8. Big Data Improves Help Desks: So, big data has no impact on small channel companies? Guess again. Here’s an example: Zendesk says its platform can now leverage big data to predict unhappy customers. For channel partners, that means the platform can help you to mitigate complaints before they happen — or fire your worst customers before they drain your profits.

7. Business Recovery: StorageCraft Technology is offering a free three-day version of backup and disaster recovery software to businesses and non-profit organizations in areas that flooded last week — GeorgiaSouth Carolina and North Carolina. I applaud the effort but I’m not sure what happens to that business data after the three-day window closes.

More: Visit page 2 for details on big data partner programs, new white label NOC services for Amazon AWS, tracking your small business KPIs, the rise of value-added distribution for SaaS-based security and more.

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