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5 Channel Partner Updates: Friday 22 December 2017

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Friday, December 22, 2017.

Actually, there are 12 timely updates designed 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:

12. Top 50 Partner Conferences for 2018: They're listed here.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

11. Microsoft Culture: What are Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's views on corporate culture, and the growing focus on sexual harassment across U.S. business, government, media and society? He shares plenty of views in this Bloomberg interview.

10. Stepping Down: Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is stepping down from his post but will remain on the company's board of directors. Schmidt was instrumental in driving Google's growth for nearly 20 years, providing "adult supervision" to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin during the journey, the trio often said.

9. Google Cloud Services Contract: Unisys' federal arm has received a potential five-year, $10 million contract to help the National Archives and Records Administration adopt a Google cloud-based email and collaboration system for the agency's 5,300 employees and contractors, Washington Technology reports.

8. AT&T Takes Lumps: While AT&T prepares $1,000 bonuses for 200,000 employees, the company also is laying off employees in at least five states. The mixed message has bruised AT&T's brand on social networks over the past 24 hours -- as employees and critics wonder why the company can't avoid job cuts amid the expected Trump Administration tax cut plans. Gotta admit: I understand AT&T's reasoning for the cuts, which involve laggard business units. But I wonder: Did the company at least consider freezing outside hiring until all of those 'cut' employees can decide whether to interview for openings elsewhere in the company?

Roger Davis

7. Talent: AT&T veteran Roger Davis has joined TELoIP as CEO, and Kinaxis veteran Ed Shepherdson has joined as chief success officer. TELoIP specializes in SD-WAN technology. Curiously, I don't think the company disclosed what happened to its former CEO...

6. Tower Operations Center: You know about Network Operations Centers (NOCs)? But what are Tower Operations Centers (TOCs)? The simple answer comes from Cyient -- which just opened a massive TOC to monitor and manage cell towers across multiple locations.

5. Blockchain, Bitcoin Bubble Warnings: Long Island Iced Tea's stock jumped nearly 300 percent on Thursday after the company said it would rebrand itself Long Blockchain Corp, the latest U.S. firm to tap into the frenzy surrounding crypto currencies, Reuters notes. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies like bitcoin, Bloomberg says. But the bubble warning signs are everywhere. Bitcoin's value jumped from $8,000 to nearly $20,000 this year before the price corrected a bit -- and then dropped more than 20 percent yesterday on Coinbase...

4. Funding: Halogen Ventures has built a $10.4 million fund to invest exclusively in female founders and their companies. On a similar note, Golden Seeds is a long-established angel investment firm that servers women-led startups. What's behind the effort? The Wall Street Journal puts it this way: Investment rounds in startups with all-male founders in 2017 have outnumbered those led only by women by a ratio of more than 18 to 1, according to data PitchBook Data Inc. Male-led companies got bigger checks too, hauling in $2.40 for every dollar raised by female founders, the report says. Halogen Ventures and Golden Seeds are working to close those gaps.

3. M&A - Five MSPs: CommsChoice, as expected, has merged with four other MSPs and is now traded as a public company in Australia. CommsChoice is valued at about $28 million.

2. Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs: Complete this survey and your company could be ranked among the world’s Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs when we unveil results in Q1 2018.

1. Wishing You All the Best: Our team wishes you and your family Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. Goodbye: I'm set to disappear for Christmas and will reappear at ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert on Wednesday, January 3. Hello: Despite my absence, our websites and newsletter will feature new content every business day, so check in daily. My plan for the holidays? I'll be taking time to rediscover my why.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.