5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 14 November 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Monday, November 14, 2016.

Actually, there are 13 entries 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…

13. Industrial Software M&A: Siemens is acquiring Mentor Graphics for $4.5 billion in cash deal. The German engineering company gains software for designing semiconductors. The price represents a 21 percent premium for Mentor Graphics.

12. ERP Investment: Koch Industries's investment arm is nearing a deal to acquire a minority stake in Infor. The deal will value Infor at roughly $10 billion, Reuters reported. Infor, led by former Oracle President Charles Phillips, has been attracting private equity interest since at least September 2016.

10. ESOPs and Employee Ownership Upside: Looking for an exit strategy? Perhaps selling the business to your employees -- gradually -- through an ESOP fits the bill. Just ask Forum One, a $16.8 million digital marketing firm that generates EBITDA profits of about 8 percent to 10 percent -- or nearly $1.7 million. Three business partners are majority owners with a 70 percent stage in the company. Employees own the other 30 percent -- with more and more ownership shifting to employees each year. Here's how the ESOP (Employee Ownership Stock Plan) works.

9. ESOPs and Risk: On the flip side, there can be some risks with ESOP ownership. Check out the drama unfolding here.

8. Managed Security Service: EventTracker, which promotes SIEM security solutions, has launched EventTracker HoneyNet, a managed security service that enables small, midsize and large enterprises to add a deception network layer to its cybersecurity defenses.

7. Cloud Backup Distribution: U.S. Signal, a network and cloud hosting provider, has agreed to offer Acronis-based data protection services to MSPs. Acronis, now led by former Parallels executives, has been overhauling its business and partner strategy in recent months.

6. New ConnectWise Integrations: Intermedia, Pax8SkyKick and WatchGuard have announced new ConnectWise integrations in recent days. The moves largely surfaced at ConnectWise IT Nation 2016 last week in Orlando, Fla.

5. SMB Unified Communications: Alcatel Lucent is best known within enterprise and telco settings. But now the company's ALE business is making an SMB unified communications push... Hmmm...

4. Ingram Micro Buyout Deadline: Although deadlines have slipped a bit in recent months, it sounds like a Chinese logistics giant expects to finalize the $6 billion Ingram Micro buyout by December 15, 2016. Tianjin Tianhai announced the buyout in February 2016.

3. Rise of "Specialized" Channels: Traditional resellers aren't necessarily going to get vendors into new markets like cognitive computing, big data and the Internet of Things, according to 2112 Group. Instead, specialty resellers, designers, domain service experts and new types of OEMs are emerging, the research firm asserts. Deeper details are found in a new research report -- Understanding & Leveraging Specialized Channels.

2. This Week's Channel Partner and MSP Summits: Several major channel partner conferences and IT gatherings are set for this week. Among the ones we're tracking:

1. Help Wanted: Trying to find and hire talent? Post your job openings on the ChannelE2E Job Board. Or check out the board for MSP, VAR, channel and technology industry opportunities.

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlusSubscribe to our daily enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.

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.