5 things, Mergers and Acquisitions, SASE, Network Security, Networking, Channel markets, IT distribution

Channel Brief: Zscaler, Airgap, Wiz, Gem Security

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Grab a cup of your favorite morning beverage and check out our daily market briefing for managed services providers (MSPs), IT service providers (ITSPs), technology service providers (TSPs), cloud service providers (CSPs) cybersecurity consultants, systems integrators, VARs, independent software vendors (ISVs), and distributors.

Check out regular updates our industry Mergers and Acquisitions list. We have a fresh list posted for 2024, and our data archive goes all the way back to 2020. Check out the whole thing here.

Scroll down for a quick view of upcoming in-person channel and MSP events at the bottom of this post (while we spiff up our industry calendar behind the scenes. It will return!)

And please send your news tips, information, and industry chatter to editorial director [email protected].

A. Today’s Tech, Channel and MSP News

1. OT security acquisition - Zscaler has signed an agreement to acquire Airgap Networks, which provides agentless segmentation for enterprise IT and OT environments. With this acquisition, Zscaler will combine its Zero Trust SD-WAN with Airgap to extend the Zero Trust Exchange to protect east-west traffic in branch offices, campuses, factories and plants with critical OT infrastructure.  The company said the move will eliminate the need for east-west firewalls, NACs and microsegmentation to deliver greater operational simplicity.

2. Cloud security acquisition - Cloud security provider Wiz has acquired New York-based startup Gem Security. Wiz has a valuation of $10 billion and $900 million raised to date and offers a Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP). The acquisition advances Wiz's Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) capabilities.

3. IT managed services market grows - Global spending on IT and business services rose in the first quarter as the market for cloud-based services returned to growth, driven in part by rising interest in generative AI, according to the latest state-of-the industry report from tech research firm Information Services Group (ISG). Data from the global ISG Index, which measures commercial outsourcing contracts with annual contract value (ACV) of $5 million or more, show first-quarter ACV for the combined global market (both managed services and cloud-based as-a-service) was up 4 percent year over year, to $24.7 billion, its highest level since the second quarter of 2022. It was the first time the combined market grew year over year since the fourth quarter of 2022, but the third consecutive quarter it has risen sequentially.

4. Google releases secure browser controlled by IT admins - Google is releasing a premium paid version of its popular Chrome web browser that is built for enhanced security. Chrome Enterprise Premium provides advanced security features. For example, it enables IT administrators to create custom permissions. It also offers automatic warnings on malware and protection against phishing. The browser is priced at $6 per user per month.

5. Government contract for secure network - Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) scored a $73.6 million contract with the U.S. Government Accountability Office  (GAO) to transform its network, data, voice and video connectivity. The contract calls for Lumen to provide secure managed network services, virtual private network services, ethernet transport services, internet protocol services, video conferencing services and voice and toll-free services.

6. Channel podcast list - Looking for a channel podcast? There’s plenty to choose from these days. Canalys has compiled a list of 121 different channel podcasts, and says this area of the channel media landscape has experienced explosive growth in the last few years. The full list is here.  

7. Distribution deal - Kandao has selected Image Star as a new authorized distributor for its line of collaboration and conferencing solutions in the U.S. and Canada. Kandao is a global provider of high-definition camera and virtual reality technology. Through this partnership, Image Star will support Kandao dealers with inventory, distribution, and dropship fulfillment services across the company’s line of video and audio conferencing solutions.

B. In-Person MSP and Channel Partner Events

  1. Kaseya Connect - April 29-May 2, MGM Grand Resort, Las Vegas
  2. Dell Technologies World - May 20 -May 23, The Venetian, Las Vegas
  3. IT Nation Secure, (hosted by ConnectWise) June 3-5, 2024, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
  4. Pax8 Beyond, June 9-11, 2024, Gaylord Rockies Convention Center, Denver, Colorado
  5. FLOW Automation Conference (hosted by Rewst) – June 17- June 19, The Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, Tampa, Florida
  6. CompTIA ChannelCon, July 30 - August 1, 2024, Atlanta, Georgia, Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.