5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 15 March 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

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

14. CompTIA AMM: Heading to CompTIA Annual Member Meeting? We'll be there, too. Feel free to email me about a potential meeting at the conference ([email protected]).

13. MSP Support: NinjaMSP, the RMM platform launched by former PacketTrap team members, is partnering with Live Virtual Help Desk (LVHD) to offer MSPs NOC (network operations center) and IT help desk support services. The move comes amid a flurry of activity at NinjaMSP, which recently launched network-centric monitoring capabilities.

12. PSA Milestones: Keep a close eye on Promys, an independent PSA (professional services automation) platform provider. It's a safe bet the company is working on some vertical market updates for specific regions across the globe...

11. Small Business Networking: Linksys is introducing clustering, at no additional cost, across its entire portfolio of wireless access points (APs) for small businesses.  Clustering enables easy management of core AP functionality without the cost and complexity of cloud-based controllers or hardware wireless LAN controllers, the company claims. Linksys previously limited the clustering feature to its Pro Series Access Point. Customers and partners can download a firmware upgrade to activate the clustering capabilities in small businesses. Meanwhile, we're still keeping a watchful eye on Datto, which is expected to ship a small business WiFi router -- called the Datto Network Appliance -- in June 2016.

10. Microsoft Azure Heads North: Microsoft is now testing Azure cloud services in Canadian data centers, a key move for MSPs and channel partners that want to keep Canadian customer data on local soil. Demand for IaaS services in Canada is expected to growth 48 percent annually through 2019, with SMB demand growing at a healthy 27 percent annually, IDC predicts.

Stephen Pratt
Stephen Pratt

9. After Watson: So what comes after IBM Watson? Perhaps former Watson leader Stephen Pratt has the answer. He and TPG Growth have formed Noodle Analytics, an enterprise artificial intelligence startup. Sort of ironic. IBM is laying off thousands of people and trying to recruit data and analytics talent into the company. Big Blue calls the move a workforce rebalancing. But sometimes, there's no hanging on to true entrepreneurs... ...

8. DaaS and WaaS: Yesterday, we mentioned a range of desktop as a service (DaaS) and workspace as a service (WaaS) companies that seem to be gaining momentum with channel partners. But we also need to eat some humble pie because we forgot to mention quite a few sources. Chief among them: Itopia, Infinite Ops and AppSense -- which LANDesk acquired yesterday (more on that soon).

7. Big Data Training: Spark training sessions at Strata+Hadoop World 2016 (March 28-31) are sold out. The message for channel partners: The big data opportunity with end customers involves far more than Hadoop. IBM is betting that Spark -- another open source platform -- emerges as a data platform the way Linux emerged as a compute platform...

6. eFolder Channel Strategy: The data protection and file sharing company had a pure MSP strategy. But take a closer look, and eFolder is now extending into two-tier distribution to reach VARs and resellers. We'll share more details soon.

5. Ransomware Attacks: Hackers using tactics and tools previously associated with Chinese government-supported computer network intrusions have joined the booming cyber crime industry of ransomware, Bloomberg reported. Our take? World War III, a digital edition, is unfolding in front of our eyes. But we've yet to organize a true strategy or response to it...

4. Channel Conferences & Partner Summits: The ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar has been updated to include Riverbed Partner Summit 2016, Internet of Things World 2016 and TruMethods Schizzfest 2016. If you host or organize a channel partner summit feel free to submit it for possible listing on our event calendar. Sorry, we don't list road shows or third-party webcasts.

3. EMEA Managed Services: Druva, which focuses on converged data protection for Office 365 and mobile applications, is working closely with five MSPs to drive growth across EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa). The partner lineup includes AnylinQ; BinaryCloud (ahem... anybody got a URL for them?); Gabsten TechnologiesLAN2LAN; and ORIIUM.

2. Help Wanted: Tech Experts (Monroe, Michigan) is seeking a help desk technician. Check out that job listing -- and dozens more -- on the ChannelE2E Job Board. There's no charge to post your company's career opportunities. The only caveats: Opportunities must involve channel-friendly companies, and ChannelE2E reserves the right to review all submissions prior to publishing the entry on our job board.

1. What Leads to Happiness?: Perhaps it's money or fame. Or not. A multi-decade survey from Harvard University begins to reveal some answers to that question. The clearest answer from the 75-year study is good relationships keep us happier and healthier. But is the secret to happiness really that simple? See the Ted Talk video below for the deeper details.

Video link

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlus: Subscribe 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.