5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 6 March 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Monday, March 6, 2017. Actually, there are 24 timely updates for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs), telco master agents and telco agents to sip on. Take a look… 24. Coding Schools & Quality Control: Seventeen well-established coding schools have formed a coalition and agreed to report results like job-placement rates for their graduates so prospective students can compare schools, according to The Wall Street Journal. The metrics will be verified by an outside auditor, the report said. It's a timely move. Thousands of people are foregoing college or changing careers by entering coding schools. The schools, in theory, offer a fast-track approach to programming careers. 23. Windows Server Support Plans: Keep an eye on Microsoft's Premium Assurance support plans for Windows Server and SQL Server. Some pundits think the plans provide a stepping stone (hmmm... or perhaps a push...) toward Microsoft's Azure public cloud. 22. Windows 10 Management: MobileIron and Lenovo are partnering to promote enterprise mobility management (EMM), with a particular focus on Windows 10 mobile device management (MDM). Related Partner Conference: Lenovo Accelerate, set for April 2017. 21. AT&T Outsourcing About-Face: AT&T Southwest -- a regional landline arm of the company -- has agreed to hire 3,000 American workers to do jobs that were previously done by contractors overseas. Some folks will surely celebrate the news. But but take a closer look at the situation: These jobs are in the landline business -- not exactly a  growth market opportunity for AT&T or its workers... 20. Avaya Executive Bonuses vs. Pensions: Avaya is seeking to protect compensation plans that may award $3.7 million worth of bonuses to the company's executives. Avaya needs the bonus plan to protect the company from executive poaching, especially during Avaya's bankruptcy proceedings, the company says. Meanwhile, Avaya retirees and employee advocates are pushing Avaya to safeguard the company's pension plans -- which could be at risk. Those issues and more will gain close scrutiny when Avaya sometime this month files a plan that addresses the company's debt load... 19. VMware Raises Certification Pricing: VMware certification exam prices are set to increase, effective April 1, 2017. Baseline example prices have remained steady over the past three years, the company says. Also, the new pricing is lower than rival programs, the company asserts. However, some of the increases involve the tripling of exam costs, according to Virtualization Review. 18. AWS Partner Program: stackArmor, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) member and value-added reseller, has now achieved Advanced Consulting Partner status in the APN. stackArmor is a cloud-native solutions provider for security focused customers in public sector, financial services, healthcare, and non-profit customer segments, the company says. Related: Check out the Top 50 AWS MSPs. 17. Talent & New Relic: New Relic has hired Kristy Friedrichs as its first-ever Chief People Officer, reporting directly to CEO Lew Cirne. Friedrichs previously spent nearly two decades at Bain & Company. She joins New Relic at a critical time for the company and the overall Application Performance Management (APM) industry. New Relic is growing rapidly, but rivals like AppDynamics (acquired by Cisco), Dynatrace and Datadog, among others, are in the mix. Also, New Relic and many APM rivals are diversifying into infrastructure management and more. Amid those changes, New Relic needs talent that extends beyond core APM expertise... 16. HPE & Big Data Consulting: HP Enterprise is refocusing its tech services group to focus on cloud and big data opportunities. HPE Technology Services is not to be confused with the IT services business that CEO Meg Whitman is spinning off and merging with CSC. 15. Server Revenues Fall: Worldwide server revenues fell 1.9 percent in Q4 2016, according to Gartner. IDC was even more pessimistic, stating that Q4 2016 server revenues were $14.6 billion, down 4.6 percent from Q4 2015. The situation involves more than the shift from on-premises server purchases to public cloud providers. Many of those CSPs, in turn, are building their own servers and don't buy commercial systems from Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Oracle and other server builders. 14. Backup as a Service: Nerdio has introduced a (BDR) module that performs backups as frequently as every hour, and automatically replicates the data to a secondary, out-of-state facility. With the Enterprise level plan, customers can leverage DR (disaster recovery) failover tests in just three clicks, Nerdio claims. 13. Symantec Venture Capital: Symantec has launched a venture capital arm to invest in cybersecurity startups. The company did not disclose how much money Symantec Ventures is prepared to invest in startups. Many of the leading hardware, software and cloud companies have venture capital arms -- which means Symantec is a bit late to the game with this move. Still, then company seems to be moving more quickly now that Blue Coat veterans are running the business. 12. Corporate Compliance & Cloud Services: Cloud9 Technologies, a cloud-based voice trading communication platform for financial firms and institutional traders, has received ISO 27001 Certification, an international standard that describes best practices for an information security management system (ISMS), the company says.  11. Data Center Power Management & IoT: Modius Inc., which specializes in data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solutions, has upgraded its Power Capacity Management (PCM) module for OpenData v3.7. Before IoT, data centers provisioned power capacity based on the power requirements published by the manufacturer of each piece of IT equipment, Modius asserts. That method often led to gross over-provisioning of power infrastructure and artificial limits on the amount of equipment that could be supported, the company claims. In stark contrast, the new PCM Module provides actual power usage over time, allowing operators to fine tune power capacity provisioning to support more equipment and free up "trapped" power to avoid or delay a data center build-out costing millions of dollars, the company says. But wait. More content awaits you on page 2. Proceed to page two now and sip up the remaining items... Welcome to page two. Enjoy a second serving of channel content -- items 10 to 1 -- here. 10. Government Cybersecurity: Former NSA leader and Retired Gen. Keith Alexander says government agencies working on cybersecurity are too “stovepiped” to safeguard the nation from digital threats, The Hill reported. Alexander said that the four groups handling cyber issues — the Homeland Security and Defense departments, the FBI, and the intelligence community — are too “stovepiped,” meaning they bottle up information instead of sharing it with one another and across the government, the report said. Instead of reorganizing the security efforts, additional officials said the best solution would be to launching an integrating body... 9.Boeing Security Breach (Sort Of): Boeing is investigating an internal security breach impacting thousands of workers in four U.S. states, according to DefenseNews. The problem started when an employee accidentally sent a spreadsheet containing information for 36,000 employees to his spouse in November 2016. But there's no evidence the employee leakage triggered problems beyond that... 8. Who Launches DDoS Attacks?: Roughly 43 percent of DDoS (distributed denial of service) victims believe rival firms are behind the DDoS attacks, according to Kaspersky Lab. Indeed, industry sabotage was voted more likely than cyber criminals, disgruntled employees and political conspiracy to trigger DDoS attacks, Silicon UK noted. 7. HIPAA Breach, Fine: Chicago-based Presence Health has become the first health care organization penalized for not reporting a HIPAA privacy breach within a 60-day window, as federal regulators slapped the operator of 11 Illinois hospitals with a $475,000 fine, according to the Cook County Record. Meanwhile, covered entities had until March 1, 2017 to report small HIPAA breaches from 2016. 6. Healthcare Security, Compliance: HITRUST has enhanced its Common Security Framework, including a new CSF initiative aimed at helping smaller healthcare organizations with their risk management programs, Healthcare IT News reports. Founded in 2007, the HITRUST Alliance believes "information protection should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges." 5. Application Security Testing: Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing has emerged... You can find details here. 4. What Is IoT Testing?: Actually, IoT testing is an emerging market opportunity for IT channel partners and service providers. Here's a summary. 3. M&A - ERP Software:  Infibeam has acquired DRC Systems, a cloud-focused ERP consulting and software development firm. 2. M&A - CSP: Australian cloud integrator Ocius Digital has acquired cloud services provider Flying Fox IT. The deal gives Ocius a larger footprint in the UK. We'll share more details soon. 1. Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs: Participate now in our Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs survey. Why? Your company could be ranked and honored among the top vertical market MSPs when we unveil the list and associated research during our April 27 webcast.
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.