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Live Blog: CompTIA ChannelCon 2016 Day One

Greetings from CompTIA ChannelCon 2016 — well, almost. We’ll arrive at the conference around 3:00 p.m. ET today. But news at the conference is already emerging. Here’s a sampling of Day One developments. Keep checking back for live coverage throughout this evening.

1. Technology Acquisition: Artisan Infrastructure is taking at least two big steps at the conference. First, the company is rebranding as Neverfail. Second, Neverfail has acquired a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Workspace as a Service (WaaS) specialist that works with MSPs. Check out the M&A details here.

2. MSP Acquisition: Wheelhouse IT, a national MSP, has acquired Untangled Solutions — an IT service provider that specializes in health care and patient privacy. We’ll discuss the deal a bit more during an Exit Strategy Panel on Wednesday morning at the conference. Stay tuned for more details.

3. IoT in the Channel: Recent CompTIA research suggests one-third of IT service providers expect to generate revenues from the Internet of Things within the next 12 months. At first glance I respectfully disagree with the figure, which appears a bit to optimistic. But take a closer look and consider this: Without directly monitoring and managing IoT devices, MSPs and VARs will still leverage data gathered from such systems — perhaps without even knowing it. Cloud security platforms, for instance, now leverage machine learning connections to sensors and IoT endpoints. And all that “information” will ultimately help IT service providers to more effectively sell, service and support cybersecurity solutions.

Dana Bullister

Dana Bullister

4. Future Leaders?: CompTIA recently honored three “future leaders” as so-called ChannelChangers. The honorees are under 30 years of age, and are driving change within the IT channel. And therein resides the irony. The CompTIA Future Leaders are already leading change across the channel. A case in point: Dana Bullister, a program manager at LogicNow (recently acquired by SolarWinds) helped to shape that company’s big data systems — which are now woven into LogicNow’s RMM platform. Bullister described the strategy to ChannelE2E readers in 2015.

5. Beyond HIPAA Compliance: Art Gross, the man behind HIPAA Secure Now!, continues to build out Breach Secure Now! — an enhanced breach prevention service that MSPs can white label. Among the nifty offerings — emails that test whether customers will fall for phishing traps…

6. All Smiles: The Passportal executive team looked and sounded especially upbeat during an impromptu “hello” at the registration desk. CEO Colin Knox and President Dan Wensley sound like their focus on password management for MSPs continues to gain momentum…

Jason Dettbarn

Jason Dettbarn

7. Mac Management for MSPs: Addigy, which develops an RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform for Apple Macs, is based in Miami and recruits talent from many of Florida’s best universities and colleges. But the company’s talent pool also includes really sharp hires who have immigrated from Cuba, according to CEO Jason Dettbarn.

8. Auvik Still Growing: CEO Marc Morin continues to point Auvik toward network-centric RMM. The company wants to blow past the 1,000 MSP mark (stay tuned) and march toward 10,000 (stay tuned a bit longer). Auvik has some VC backing but is also looking to raise more money. A healthy portion of the company’s talent includes BlackBerry veterans. Also of note: Morin is a coder himself who spent a decade at HP during an earlier career stop. Fast forward to present day and he’s a blended business and technology leader.

9. Additional Updates: Check back every few hours today. We’ll update this blog several times amid meetings with a range of VAR, MSP, CSP and IT vendor sources…

Ahem: Got a news tip to share from the conference? Email me: Joe@AfterNines.com.

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