5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 19 Jan 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, rumors and much more to start your day for Tuesday, January 19, 2016.

Actually, today’s update involves 14 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

14. MSP Acquisition:  MNJ Technologies, a full-service technology solutions provider, has acquired Chicago-based Equivoice, a high-end solution and services provider.  We'll share more details soon.

13. Apple Watch 2: It sounds like Apple Watch 2 -- the next major smartwatch release from Apple -- will arrive in September 2016 rather than March 2016. Although the company hasn't disclosed sales figures, market researchers think the initial Apple Watch has captured about 50 percent of the smartwatch market -- though most pundits think the device has failed to significantly lift Apple's growth prospects...

12. IoT Machines Dial Help Desks: What if machines could call help desks to request support, a technology fix or a service technician dispatch? That's the goal behind ServiceMax's new Connected Field Service platform. It leverages the PTC ThingWorx IoT platform -- allowing ‘smart’ machines to initiate service request.

11. Major Fail Whale: Twitter has suffered from major outages across Europe, Japan and Africa over the past 24 hours or so, though service seems to be coming back online.

10. Telco Hybrid Cloud Management: Hewlett Packard Enterprise is striving to simplify network function virtualization (NFV) for telcos. The effort involves HPE Service Director, a platform that automates many tasks for big telcos, cloud services providers and telecom firms that are introducing hybrid services.

9. Rumored Buyout: Check Point Software apparently is negotiating to buy CyberArk, which offers privileged-account security inside corporate networks. Chatter about the rumored M&A talk surfaced in an Israel-based newspaper.

8. European Data Privacy: The European Union wants new guarantees that limit the United States' data spying powers. The chatter emerges as European leaders and the U.S. attempt to hammer out a so-called Safe Harbor 2.0 agreement -- which would allow certain data to flow between the U.S. and Europe. The original Safe Harbor agreement ended in 2015.

7. Seriously?: Donald Trump says he will convince Apple to manufacture products in the United States. It's tempting to offer a comment. But...

6. Shifting IT From Support to Innovation: Walmart has combined its corporate IT and e-commerce technology groups, and the combined team now reports to Walmart's ecommerce chief, according to The Wall Street Journal. The key takeaway: IT isn't about keeping the lights on. Instead, the growing priorities are innovation that drive revenue growth.

5. Mobile App Development: Axway has acquired Appcelerator, a well-known provider of application development tools for enterprise customers and service providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

4. Managed Cloud Partnership: IBM and CSC are partnering to accelerate hybrid cloud adoption. Watch for CSC -- the big consulting company -- to leverage IBM Cloud in projects for healthcare, insurance and finance customers.

3. Midmarket M&A: "An astonishing 60% of middle market companies (revenues $5MM to $2B) are involved in M&A currently or are open to being involved in 2016, according to a new survey from Citizens Commercial Banking. This is up sharply from roughly 40% last year," reports StreetInsider. What's driving the M&A interest? We'll share more details later this week.

2. MSPs In Retail Vertical: EarthLink has launched a Cloud Vendor Selection Advisory Service to help retailers select a cloud-based platform ideally suited to their business and technical needs, along with a Cloud and Network Maturity Assessment tool to help retailers gauge their progress moving to the cloud. The announcements surfaced at this week's National Retail Federation conference in New York. In a related move, Comm-Works is showcasing a range of managed services at the retail conference. We'll share more details soon.

1. Speaking of Vertical Market MSPs: If you're a top vertical market MSP then get the recognition you deserve. Complete the ChannelE2E Top Vertical Market MSP survey and you could potentially be honored as part of our Q2 report and list.

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.