5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 25 Feb 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, February 25, 2016.

Actually, there are 10 timely items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on…

10. Government IT Partners: Avnet Government Solutions has expanded its General Services Administration (GSA) schedule to include NetApp products and solutions. The result? Avnet partners can provide NetApp data storage and management solutions to government organizations.

9. HP Cutting Jobs ... Faster: HP Inc. (the PC and printer business, that is) is accelerating planned job cuts. Roughly 3,000 jobs will be eliminated this year. Those cuts originally were expected to happen over three years. HP Inc.'s quarterly revenue dropped 12 percent on weak PC, printer and ink supply sales. The one bright spot: HP's managed print services business is growing. Sister company Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expected to announce quarterly results in March.

8. Salesforce Growing Faster: Salesforce increased its full-year 2016 revenue forecast to between $8.08 billion and $8.12 billion -- up from a previous expectation of $8.0 billion to $8.1 billion. The upbeat outlook lifted Salesforce's stock last evening. Among the channel-oriented trends to track: Salesforce's Steelbrick acquisition, which essentially competes with ConnectWise Quosal and Quotewerks, two popular quoting and sales proposal tools for MSPs, VARs and IT service providers. Plus, FinancialForce -- a PSA platform built on Salesforce.com -- has serious momentum.

7. Microsoft Mobile Development Tools: Microsoft's buyout of Xamarin could make it easier for developers to write applications across Apple iOS, Google Android and Windows. This strategy should have unfolded about three years ago at Microsoft... but at least it's arriving now.

6. VMware Loses SDN Pioneer: Martin Casado, the founder of Nicira, which VMware acquired for $1.26 billion in 2012, is leaving the virtualization giant. His departure comes just as VMware's NSX networking and security businesses are accelerating. Casado will join Andreessen Horowitz, the VC firm. Cisco and Broadcom veteran Rajiv Ramaswami will now lead VMware's networking and security business. The transition comes at a challenging time for VMware. The company recently had some job cuts amid Dell's pending buyout of EMC, which retains a major financial stake in VMware.

5. Partner Programs:

  • Avaya has unveiled the "next evolution" of the company's channel partner program. The enhancements have some familiar themes: increase rewards and reduce administrative requirements.
  • EMC has launched the Provider Cloud System (PCS), a software-defined Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVi) platform for communications service providers (CSPs). Those CSPs, in turn, can now deliver distributed, multi-service, carrier-grade cloud solutions quickly and economically, EMC claims. NFVi is an increasingly hot topic of conversation among service providers. True believers include Affirmed Networks, Cellwize, and Versa Networks, each of which has embraced the PCS reference architecture.
  • Skyhigh Networks, a cloud access security broker (CASB), launched the Cloud Security Technology Partner Program. The program claims to offer "unparalleled visibility, compliance, data security, and threat protection capabilities across 17,000+ cloud services."

4. Midmarket Private Equity: CVC Capital Partners has built a $1 billion midmarket technology investment fund. Early investments include the UK's Wireless Logic (a machine-to-machine communications specialist) and Kount Inc. (a Boise, Idaho-based e-commerce and mobile-devices fraud detection specialist).

3. Tour: Continuum is hosting a "ribbon cutting" for its new offices in Boston today. ChannelE2E will be on hand for the unveiling, which comes as the company reaches another key milestone: Continuum's MSP offerings now manage more than 1 million SMB endpoints and nodes.

2. Top MSPs: Have you built a successful MSP? Looking for some free publicity? Participate in our ChannelE2E Top Vertical Market MSP survey. We'll share results and honorees in Q2.

1. Cisco Partner Summit: It's next week. We'll be there. If you'd like to potentially meet please email me -- [email protected].

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.