5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 18 May 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Actually, there are 28 entries (OMG...) for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on. Take a look…

Mergers, Acquisitions, Funding & Exits

28: That GoDaddy-FreedomVoice Buyout: Several MSPs have told me privately that they're concerned about GoDaddy's buyout of FreedomVoice -- a VoIP and cloud PBX specialist that works closely with MSPs. Does GoDaddy truly understand the channel and partner opportunities -- particularly the MSP ecosystem serving SMBs? ChannelE2E will share more thoughts within the next few hours... 27. Ingram's Other Merger Discussions: Ingram Micro apparently discussed merging with another major distributor in early 2015. CDN speculates that the discussions likely involved Tech Data or Synnex. But ultimately, HNA Group (a Chinese logistics giant) in February 2016 announced plans to acquire Ingram for $6 billion. That deal is expected to become official in the next few months... 26. Microsoft Dials E for Exit: Microsoft is selling its entry-level feature phone assets to FIH Mobile Ltd and HMD Global Oy for $350 million. Microsoft will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones from OEM partners, Reuters reported. The asset sale arrives amid a smartphone industry slump, and Microsoft's inability to gain meaningful market share in that weak market. Other than those issues, the company's smartphone strategy has performed splendidly. 25. IBM Shutters Somers: IBM is shutting down its Somers, N.Y., campus. Roughly 2,000 workers will be relocated by March 2017 to a neighboring facility in North Castle, N.Y. Although IBM has had layoffs in recent months, overall headcount could be relatively flat by the end of 2016 because of hiring and M&A in other areas, CFO Martin Schroeter told The Wall Street Journal last month. 24. Buyout Tips: So, you want to make sure your tech business lives on after you sell it. Trina Chiasson, a senior product manager at Tableau Software, offers this guidance to anyone on the sell-side of the table... 23. Top 3 Reasons Angels Will Fund Your Business: The short-list includes (1) management team, (2) ability to understand technology and (3) potential return on investment, according to Propel(x), an online angle investment platform. I'm not sure I agree with the list or the order. But perhaps that's why I haven't been active in the angel market in more than a year... 22. HPE Venture Capital: HP Enterprise's new venture capital arm is seeking to invest in about 10 to 12 companies per year, and has already made two such deals this year, Bloomberg says. The VC effort, called Pathfinder, is targeting big data, security, cloud and data center startups. While HP Enterprise has pushed hard into the hyperconverged data center, the company has also suffered from falling sales in its small SaaS business. Translation: HP Enterprise likely remains too dependent on hardware revenues... 21. Dell Debt: Dell sold $20 billion worth of secured bonds on Tuesday -- a key step toward finalizing the $67 billion takeover of EMC. Dell is adding a large amount of debt to its balance sheet but is hopeful that it can quickly pay down a decent portion of that debt with the cash it generates from its still-lucrative businesses, The Wall Street Journal asserts. 20. Data Centers Sold: Equinix Inc. is selling eight data centers to DigitalRealty Trust for $874.4 million. The move is designed to help Equinix strengthen its balance sheet. Several other large companies -- including CenturyLink and Verizon -- have been exploring potential data center sales. Some big service providers are retreating to network services and deferring the public cloud market to Amazon and Microsoft.

Partner Programs

19. Empowering to the MSPs: APC by Schneider Electric has launched a dedicated power and cooling managed services practice for partners. Yes, APC wants to work more closely with MSPs -- offering up special financing packages. But we're double-checking to see if the overall MSP program offers hardware in a "pay as you go" model... 18. IT Service Management: TUC Managed IT Solutions/CareWorx (TUC), which specializes in service desk, managed IT and cloud services, has launched a new partner program designed specifically for service providers and technology vendors. Key benefactors will include MSPs and ISVs, among other audiences, according to Marco La Vecchia, VP of sales at TUC. 17. Another Google Partner Program: Google is set to launch a partner program for agencies that build Android apps, according to 9to5Google.

Cloud & IoT Services

16. IoT Security: Webroot has unveiled BrightCloud Threat Intelligence for IoT Gateways. The cybersecurity service is designed for partners and developers that want to protect IoT systems from malicious threats, unauthorized network access, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. 15. AWS Security: Logicworks, a Top 50 Amazon MSP, has launched Cloud Patrol, which helps partners and DevOps professionals to ensure cloud security policies are consistently built and enforced across enterprise AWS environments. 14. HIPAA Compliance and Amazon's Cloud: Got questions about achieving/maintaining HIPAA compliance while running workloads atop Amazon Web Services? This HIPAA Compliance on AWS Q&A may offer some guidance. 13. Long Live Colocation: I still think the public cloud wave is unstoppable. But colocation services also continue to thrive -- especially for companies that want off-premises private clouds. A case in point: Rockwell Automation Inc., a provider of industrial automation and information services, is turning to colocation as a strategy to ensure data security as it moves to the cloud.

Go to Page 2 for Entries 12 to 1

Our five (um... make that 28) channel partner updates for Wednesday, May 18. Page 2 of 2.

Lots More Stuff

12. Managed Services for Government: Comtech Telecommunications Corp. has won a $2.3 million government contract for managed network services. The deal, which runs through May 2017, extends an existing business engagement for Comtech. Heads Up: We'll unveil a list of the top MSPs serving the government sector (and other verticals) during our June 16 webcast. Register now to join us.

11. Google I/O 2016 Preview: The search giant's massive developer conference kicks off today. It's safe to expect updates on Android N (the next Android release); Android Wear; Android Apps for Chromebooks; Virtual Reality Headsets; an Amazon Echo alternative code-named Google Chirp; and more, according to TechCrunch. Still, I'm far more interested in Google Cloud Platform updates -- a few of which will likely surface at the conference... 10. Careful of the SDN Deployment Hype: Two-thirds of enterprises have deployed software-defined networks (SDN), according to a Viavi Solutions survey of 740 CIOs. Um... Sure, SDN is the future. But that present-day deployment figure sounds quite inflated to ChannelE2E. The big question: How widespread are those SDN deployments within each business? Hmmm... 9. HP 3D Printers: HP Inc. is launching two 3D printers for the manufacturing vertical. They include:
  • HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 printer is ideal for prototyping, offering improved productivity and the capacity to grow usage at a lower cost per part. Starting price: $130,000.
  • The HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer is designed for prototyping and short-run manufacturing needs, with high productivity to meet sameday demands at the lowest cost per part. Starting price: Undisclosed.
The 3D printers arrive at a critical time for HP Inc., which remains far too dependent on PC revenues. 8. SAP Group Hug: That's the theme for this week as the SAP Sapphire conference continues in Orlando. Rivals Microsoft and Amazon are opening their respective arms wider to SAP cloud customers. SAP Hana will now be available on Microsoft Azure, and Outlook will now integrate with SAP's Concur expense management software. Meanwhile, Amazon claims a growing number of customers are deploying SAP on Amazon Web Services. 7. SAP for Small Business: SAP Anywhere, designed for small businesses with 10 to 200 employees, is rolling out across the U.S. We're checking to see if/how partners can participate in the initiative. Meanwhile, SAP VP Meaghan Sullivan describes the company's SME (small and midsize enterprise) partner strategy in this ChannelE2E podcast.

Business Management

6. The Two Secrets of Managing A Fast-Growth Business: First, relinquish your own power by hiring great people who have authority, responsibility and accountability. Next, focus on the single most important priority and let everything else slide. Those tips are care of Julie Wainwright, former CEO of Pets.com. 5. Salaries and Labor Costs: Under the new regulation to be issued by the Labor Department on Wednesday, most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year must receive time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a week, according to The New York Times. The previous cutoff for overtime pay, set in 2004, was $23,660. The change goes into effect on December 1. Among the potential outcomes noted by the paper:
  • Many workers will receive more pay when they work overtime, but others may end up working fewer hours if employers move to limit their time at work.
  • In other cases, employers may decide to increase the salaries of some workers to push them over the cutoff so that the employers will not have to pay overtime or hire additional workers after limiting hours for existing employees.
4. Small Business Owner Hub: Aflac, the insurance provider, has launched a Small Business Hub. It's designed for "small-business owners looking for insight to better support their employees and manage their business." 3. Billing Management: NetSuite has unveiled SuiteBilling, which enables businesses to "adopt any business model from product-based, to time- and services-based, to usage- and subscription-based, or any combination of these without limit." In theory, that means VARs and MSPs could leverage SuiteBilling to manage blended business models... 2. NetSuite and ConnectWise: By the way, ConnectWise's Quosal team has a major presence at NetSuite's SuiteCloud conference this week... Quosal, the quoting and sales proposal platform, is designed for all types of sales teams -- not just VARs and MSPs... 1. ConnectWise Europe: Solar Communications, a fast-growing business in the UK, plans to standardize on ConnectWise for sales, finance, administration, project management and other business services. The win reinforces ConnectWise's growing focus on international markets. Rivals like Autotask got the early jump on the international market, but ConnectWise's international revenues have been growing about 50 percent, according to chatter from the company. We'll share some more details from ConnectWise President David Bellini later this week... 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.