5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 3 March 2016

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Greetings from 30,000 feet. I'm publishing this blog in real-time during a flight home from Cisco Partner Summit.

So... here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Thursday, March 3, 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. Three MSP Industry Players Acquired: The deals involve...

  • TelePacific Communications, an SMB and midmarket MSP, continues to expand from its southern California roots to deliver nationwide services. The latest move involves TelePacific buying DSCI, an MSP in Waltham, Mass. We're digging for more details.
  • Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), purchased The Via Group, a Texas-based solution provider specializing in unified communications and voice. The seller Logicalis' parent company, Datatec Ltd. Hmmm...
  • Tailwind Capital -- a midmarket private equity firm -- has acquired Stratix Corp. -- a provider of outsourced Managed Mobile Service (MMS) solutions.

13. Speaking of MSP Buyouts: If you want to know how to run your MSP effectively, improve your valuation and perhaps even become an M&A buyer or seller, than join our upcoming webcast: MSP Mergers, Acquisitions and Secrets to Sustainable Success. The speaker lineup includes:

  • Patrick Wiley, president and COO of Aldridge, a leading IT service provider that has acquired 13 businesses to date.
  • Jamison West and Scott Hamlin, the leaders of two Seattle-area MSPs (Arterian and PacketDrivers) that Aldridge acquired in February 2016.
  • Joe Panettieri (that's me) moderating the conversation.

12. RingCentral Embraces Partner APIs: So, you're a channel partner that wants to plug into hosted VoIP services and cloud PBXes in a new or unique way. RingCentral wants your attention. The hosted voice company is beta testing WebRTC APIs (application programming interfaces), which should allow partners to build new and/or unique links to that platform. And unique links often lead to higher partner margins.

11. Legal Case Against iYogi: Based on our outreach, we just received an update from the State of Washington's Attorney General, describing the ongoing legal case against iYogi. We'll share those details later today. For those who aren't familiar with the case: The IT help desk provider faces a lawsuit alleging a range of violations, and the company's website was dark for portions of March 2, 2016 though we see that it's online today (March 3, 2016). iYogi has previously stated that the State of Washington lawsuit is without merit.

10. IBM Layoffs 2016: Apparently, they've started.

9. Slack Valuation -- Genius or Greedy?: Slack apparently is seeking to rase $150 million to $300 million according to The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Read a little more closely, and you'll see that the cloud-based workforce collaboration tool is seeking a valuation of nearly $5 billion. Um... why not just IPO?

8. Selling to Midmarket CIOs -- Who Are Millennials: Now here's a timely twist on the millennial conversation. Millennials are now becoming CIOs within midmarket companies. So how are those millennials driving digital transformations within those businesses? Perhaps this IDC study can supply some timely answers for midmarket channel partners who want to serve those millennials.

7. HIPAA for MSPs: Vertiscale has launched "the industry’s first" Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) solution specifically designed for managed service providers (MSPs) in the healthcare market. The offering enables "secure, remote access to applications, desktops, and protected health information (PHI) from any device." Hmmm... I'm intrigued but I'm also wary when vendors claim they are "first" to market -- particularly in the HIPAA industry. More thoughts soon.

6. Backup, Disaster Recovery and Distribution: Tech Data has agreed to distribute StorageCraft's backup and disaster recovery solutions in North America. It's the latest in a long list of StorageCraft moves to accelerate the company's already strong channel and MSP business. TA Associates, a private equity firm, invested $187 million in StorageCraft earlier this year. The company also hired a new CEO and several channel veterans from Dell SonicWall.

5. New Channel Chief: Veeam Software has hired Kevin Rooney as its new channel chief, Computer Reseller News reported. Rooney is a VMware and Hewlett Packard Enterprise veteran who is looking forward to helping his new employer become a billion-dollar company, Computer Reseller News added.

4. Tech Trade Groups Back Apple: Three technology trade groups -- the Internet Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Internet Infrastructure Coalition -- are filing briefs to back Apple in its privacy battle against the federal government, Re/code says.  Hmmm... I wonder how other groups like CompTIA are leaning on this issue? Here's a recent blog from CompTIA, by the way, but I'm not sure if it represents the organization's official privacy policy on Apple vs. the U.S. government.

3. A Different Twist on Application performance Management, Virtual Desktops: Secure-24, a global provider of managed cloud services, IT operations and applications hosting, generated double-digit revenue growth for 14th consecutive year in 2015. The company's cloud and managed services involve SAP HANA, Oracle E-Business Suite, Hyperion, JD Edwards and Microsoft, among others. Among the big focus areas in recent months: Application Performance Management as a Service (APMaaS) and Engineering Desktops -- a managed service for virtual desktops that run engineering applications. We'll share some more info about those efforts soon.

2. Managed WiFi for MSPs: Xirrus, which offers cloud-enabled WiFi networks, has launched an "enhanced Managed Service Provider (MSP) partner program"featuring CommandCenter, a new control function that "radically simplifies" the ability of MSPs to offer Wi-Fi-as-a-Service (WaaS) to their customers. Those are some lofty claims. We'll be listening for reality checks from MSPs.

1. Top Vertical Market MSPs: If you've built a successful MSP business then it's time to earn some credit and free publicity for your achievements. Participate in our ChannelE2E Top Vertical Market MSP survey. We'll announce results and honorees in June.

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.