5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 06 April 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Actually, there are 14 updates for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs), telco master agents and telco agents to sip on.

14. PSA Acquisition: This M&A deal could be of strong interest to IT services providers that want to marry PSA (professional services automation) with Microsoft Dynamics 365...

13. No CSC, DXC Hype: Some media pundits are hyping DXC Technology, the newly branded company that combines CSC and HP Enterprise's former IT services business. But here's a refreshingly honest look at the situation from BizJournals, which points out that both business components -- CSC and HPE IT services -- struggled in recent years amid mismanagement and market shifts. Is a new era truly under way at DXC? I'll keep an open mind. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, folks.

12. Staples For Sale: Staples is exploring a potential private equity sale, according to The Wall Street Journal. The PE chatter arrives after the company's failed merger with Office Depot. Staples had once considered an aggressive push into managed services. Chatter even involved a potential RMM (remote monitoring and management) software buyout. But the company ultimately abandoned those plans and sold off Thrive Networks, its MSP business. More recently, Staples has been licensing its brand for various cloud management services.

11. Partner Program, Part I: Exact, which develops ERP and other types of business software for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), has launched its Macola Unity 2.0 Partner Program for solutions providers.

10. Partner Program, Part II: Bullhorn, a cloud company for staffing and recruiting organizations, has launched a Developer Partner Program and an open source portal to drive API integrations.

9. Security Funding, Part ICritical Informatics, which develops managed cybersecurity solutions, has raised $3.25 million in Series A funding. The company's platform targets midsize organizations in the government, healthcare and financial services sectors.

8. Security Funding, Part II: Armor, which focuses on cloud security, has secured $89 million in equity financing. Armor integrates threat intelligence, automated security orchestration and machine learning managed by a security operations center (SOC) to protect customer assets.

7. SMB Cybersecurity: Pending U.S. legislation, called the Main Street Cybersecurity Act, would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to give simplified resources to small businesses that choose to use the institute's cybersecurity framework. The Hill offers details here.

Anand Ramanathan
Anand Ramanathan
Slawomir Ligier

6. Talent - Security: Skyhigh Networks, a cloud access security broker (CASB), has named Slawomir Ligier as SVP of engineering, Dheeraj Khanna as VP of technical operations, and Anand Ramanathan as VP of product management. The executives previously worked for Barracuda Networks, OneLogin and Proofpoint.

Steve Lobisser
Coley Burke

5. Talent - Storage: Zerto, a cloud backup startup, has hired two Dell EMC veterans. Coley Burke joins as VP of sales for the Americas and Steve Lobisser joins as global director of technical support. They spent a combined 30 years at EMC, according to BizJournals. Related Partner Conference: ZertoCon 2017 is set for May.

4. IoT Service ManagementServiceMax, a GE Digital company focused on field service management solutions, has launched its Winter 17 release. (Sure, it's spring here in the U.S., but who's fact-checking the news these days?) The feature updates include real-time schedule optimization, installed base management and  dynamic planned maintenance. We don't know what those claims mean, either. But you can find more info here.

3. MSP  Playbooks, Service Catalogs: Keep an eye on BitTitan's MSPComplete strategy. We'll share more details soon.

2. Cloud Cost Management: Also, keep an eye on RightScale Optima, a new cloud cost management and optimization solution. Also, here's a more complete list of cloud cost management tools for MSPs and CSPs.

1. ChannelE2E's Next Moves: You may have found some clues here. Maybe I'll share more clues about a month from that blog's original date. Say, April 21? Let's make it a date. I'll say a bit more at that time. But frankly, I suspect Amy Katz has even more details than me. Stay tuned.

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.