5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 21 July 2016

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Thursday, July 21, 2016. Actually, there are 18 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on. Take a look… 18. Ingram Micro Buyout Vote Delayed: The Shanghai Stock Exchange asked for more details about Tianjin Tianhai Investment's pending $6 billion acquisition of Ingram Micro, causing the Chinese buyer to delay a shareholder meeting to approve the deal, The Wall Street Journal reports. It sounds like the vote will now occur July 29. 17. Southwest IT Outages: Southwest Airlines has canceled or delayed as many as 700 flights because of technical issues over the past day, the LA Times reports. The company began having intermittent problems with several computer systems after an outage around 2 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, ABC news adds: "For about three hours, visitors to Southwest.com couldn't buy tickets, check in for flights, or check their flight's status. The site appeared to be working again by late afternoon, then crashed again." According to a July 20 statement from Southwest:

"Southwest Airlines is reducing the number of flights departing after 9:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time Wednesday in an effort to fully restore our system in preparation of tomorrow's operation. Flexible rebooking accommodation will be available to Customers once our systems are fully functional. Customers who are booked to travel tomorrow, Thursday, July 21, should check flight status information on Southwest.com and plan to arrive to the airport early, as long lines may occur. Our Teams will continue to work diligently through the night to resolve any outstanding issues.

Southwest Airlines began experiencing intermittent performance issues earlier this afternoon with multiple technology systems as a result of an outage. We have canceled nearly 700 flights today and hundreds more have been delayed. Systems are gradually coming back online and we continue to enable a fully restored operation. We sincerely apologize to our Customers whose travel plans have been impacted."

16. Startup Funding Still Falling: Venture capital funding of startups continued a decline in the second quarter after hitting record levels one year ago, Bloomberg reported. Deal activity will fall to 2013 levels, according to a new report from KPMG and CB Insights. Even worse, we've now heard from three growing IT startups that have completed "down rounds" -- which means their latest funding rounds were at lower valuations than previous rounds. Still, that could be good news for established technology companies that are looking to acquire startups at more reasonable valuations. 15. The Best Home WiFi Routers: The Wall Street Journal put the latest offerings from Eero, Luma, Ubiquiti and Linksys to the test. Here are the findings. 14. IaaS Cloud Rankings: Amazon Web Services is slightly better than Microsoft Azure for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), a new Gartner report suggests. Indeed, Amazon Web Services scored a 92 percent rating in the report, followed closely by Azure (88 percent) ... with Google Cloud Platform only at 70 percent, the report concluded. 13. Microsoft Cloud Revenues: Microsoft remains on track to reach a $20 billion commercial cloud run rate during the company's fiscal year 2018 (that's July 2017 to June 2018), notes ZDnet -- up from a $12.1 billion figure in 2016. Still, the figures can be a bit misleading since "run rates" simply multiply your most recent month or quarter to compute an annual figure -- rather than adding up actual revenues across all 12 months. In other words, if you generate $1 billion in January but $2 billion in December, your run rate would be $24 billion for the year ($2B X 12) -- though actual month-to-month revenues could be much lower... 12. Business Valuation Tool: Entrepreneur has a business valuation tool that lets you estimate your company's value based on a seven-step process. Is it accurate? I'll let you decide, and I'll also mention that MSPs are typically worth 5 to 8 times EBITDA. The variance typically involves company growth rates, customer quality and retention, intellectual property and more. 11. Data Center Acquisitions:  Netrality Properties, owner and operator of network-neutral carrier hotels and colocation facilities, has acquired three locations (two fiber-rich, network-dense properties and a colocation data center) in St. Louis, Missouri. The acquisitions give Netrality "core interconnection sites" in St. Louis that serve as a "gateway to long haul fiber in the region." The sellers were Digital Realty Trust and 365 Data Centers. Financial terms were not disclosed. But Wait. There’s More. Go to Page 2 for Items 10 to 1. Sorry, no Amazon Gift Cards await you. But some exclusive content surprises are just a page away. Welcome to page two of today’s updates, featuring items 10 to 1. 10. Distribution and Hyperconverged Solutions: Avnet is now offering VCE VxRail Appliance Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite Mobility Solutions Framework. Admittedly, the name doesn't exactly roll off your tongue. But here's what the offering does: The mid-market that links private cloud, public cloud and mobile device functionality. Avnet's EMC partners in the U.S. can now demonstrate the platform as a foundation for their own mobility service delivery programs, Avnet asserts. 9. Distribution and Hyperconverged Solutions, Part 2: Arrow, Lenovo and Nutanix are inviting channel partners to a July 26 seminar in Raleigh, N.C. -- promoting the Lenovo HX Series of hyperconverged solutions to partners. The gathering comes after Nutanix and Lenovo promoted each other at recent partner and customer summits hosted by both companies. Lenovo is working closely with Nutanix, Juniper Networks, Red Hat and SAP HANA on its data center initiatives. 8. Unified Communications: GBH Communications is the first U.S. teleconferencing provider and MSP to resell InfoVista’s Ipanema solution. GBH will offer managed services and application-aware network traffic prioritization to its enterprise customers.

7. Government Identity and Access Management: AS Global is expanding its support of BlackRidge Technology's identity and access management solutions in the government market. Specifically, AS Global is including BlackRidge products on their NASA SEWP V and NATO Blanket Order Agreement (BOA) contracts for the Department of Defense, civilian agencies and NATO members.

6. Big Data In Small Business: How should you get started? Keep these eight big data for small business considerations in mind, according to Carol Roth. Oh, and seek out these 10 traits when hiring analytical workers. 5. Ransomware Education: Carbonite has launched FightRansomware.com to address the rising ransomware epidemic. The site features educational resources, including breaking news, technical analysis, actionable tips and security best practices for small businesses. Ahem: On a related note, join our Not Your Typical Ransomware Webcast on July 28 to learn from real MSPs and MSSPs that have successfully mitigated the risks for customers. 4. Channel Security Talent: Cloud24x7, a cyber security services start-up, has hired former Cyberoam North American channel & enterprise business VP Jacob Thankachen to head the organization’s expansion in the Americas region. 3. Distribution and Cloud Talent: Tech Data has named Bob Kruger to vice president, StreamOne. Kruger will lead the scope, platform development, and support functions for Tech Data's StreamOne suite of cloud marketplace and integration technologies. He reports to John Tonnison, the company's executive VP, Cloud Computing and CIO. 2. IT Industry Confidence: The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index fell in Q3, the second consecutive quarter of decline for the measurement of business sentiment among the country’s information technology (IT) executives. The index is based on IT executives’ opinions of the U.S economy, the IT industry and their own company. All three components fell in Q3. The smallest of IT firms -- those with fewer than 10 employees "continue to exhibit higher levels of sensitivity to volatility or market disruptions," says  Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA. Time to panic? Perhaps not. The index  has recorded a negative reading in Q3 in every year since its debut in 2009, perhaps because small IT solutions providers frequently experience summer slowdowns in business. 1. PSA and Cloud Billing Tools: Autotask's new CSP Boss tool is just the start of the company's cloud billing management strategy. So far, the tool supports cloud billing management capabilities for Office 365 and Azure. But more cloud platform support is on the way, we've heard. Sort of like ConnectWise CloudConsole's anticipated push toward Amazon Web Services... and more. Stay tuned for more details. Soon. 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.