5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 8 March 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

Actually, there are 13 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on…

Sid Earley
Sid Earley

13. Dell and Distribution: Tech Data has named Sid Earley as its VP, Dell Solutions Group within the company's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) division. In this new role, Earley is responsible for the strategic direction and go-to-market execution of Tech Data's unified Dell, EMC and VMware solutions teams.

12. MSP Help Desk Milestone: Continuum's white-label Help Desk now supports more than 50,000 users. The support services, which flow through Continuum's MSP partners, are part of a U.S.-based contact center in Cranberry Township, Pa. Roughly 125 technicians work on the help desk, which offers 24x7x365 support.

11. Salesforce Opens Arms to Fired IBMers: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is telling laid off IBM works to send Salesforce their resumes. The IBM layoffs have some extra sting because severance packages are limited to one month severance, according to multiple sources. Plus, eight in 10 employees within IBM Global Technology Services will be located outside the U.S., some reports suggest. IBM has positioned the layoffs as a workforce rebalancing because the company has been hiring in growth areas like analytics, cognitive computing and cloud computing...

Alison Moore

10. Chief Revenue Officers on the Rise: SoundCloud, an audio streaming company that faces mounting losses, has hired Alison Moore as its first chief revenue officer (CRO). In recent weeks, we've been analyzing the CRO role vs. more traditional sales VPs and executive VPs. First up was our profile of ConnectWise CRO Adam Slutskin. Coming soon: A conversation with Datto CRO Brooks Borcherding. Then, plenty more to follow...

9. Beyond SQL Server for Linux: Well, it's finally happening. Microsoft is porting its SQL Server database from Windows to Linux. Most folks think the move is designed to counter Oracle's high-end Linux offerings. But I think CEO Satya Nadella is thinking even longer term. Most major big data projects and services run on Linux. So I suspect SQL Server is a "learning" step for Microsoft, setting the stage for a portfolio of Linux-based solutions from the company. And of course, Microsoft's Linux love involves on-premises servers as well as the Azure cloud...

8. HIPAA and Mobile Apps: The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued new guidance to help mobile app developers to "determine how federal regulations might apply to the products they are building." You can find the details here.

7. Data Science Education:  MIT Sloan School of Management has announced the launch of a new specialized Master of Business Analytics (M.B.An.) program designed to prepare students for careers in business analytics. Poke around and you'll find many colleges and universities launching big data-related areas of study. The reason? The U.S. needs about 190,000 new data scientists to fill anticipated career opportunities by 2018, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

Stuart Crawford

6. MSP Marketing: Ulistic is developing an SMS marketing solution for MSPs, according to CEO and Creative Director Stuart Crawford. I haven't given it a try just yet. But stay tuned...

5. Disaster Recovery as a Service: Backup Technology (BTL), an iomart company in the UK that specializes in online backup and disaster recovery services, has launched ClouDRaaS. The offering is a 'one click' Disaster Recovery service. We're checking to see if the service is available outside of the UK.

4. Open Compute Project vs Hyperconverged: The Open Compute Project, originally launched by Facebook, is hosting a summit this week in San Jose. The timely gathering seeks to help data center professionals leverage open source hardware and software. In some ways, Open Compute Project technologies could compete with hyperconverged solutions like Cisco HyperFlex and Nutanix. But in other ways, Open Compute Project seems to have inspired new innovations and closer working relationships between networking companies and customers. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins hints at the trend here.

3. MSP Software Delay: Autotask had been planning to launch a deeply integrated PSA-RMM upgrade in February. But the new cloud services have yet to officially debut, and are now expected to arrive this spring... I don't know what triggered the delay. Many MSP software companies have been striving to erase the line between professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM). Key players on that journey include ConnectWise, Kaseya and SolarWinds N-able.

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola

2. Kaseya PSA: Speaking of integrated offerings, later this week I expect to take a close look at Kaseya Business Management Solution -- the rebranded PSA platform that the company acquired as part of the Vorex technology buyout. CEO Fred Voccola introduced aggressive pricing to drive adoption, but rivals such as ConnectWise say PSA success requires far more than an aggressive price. I'm certainly not a "hands on" business software reviewer, but I look forward to seeing what exactly Kaseya BMS can do -- and can't do -- for MSPs.

1. ChannelE2E 100 Unveiling -- Join Us: Want to take a look at the top 100 entrepreneurs, startups and exits in the IT channel? Then register to join our March 31 webcast. As part of that event -- focused on MSP Mergers, Acquisitions, Valuations: Secrets to Sustainable Success -- we'll unveil the ChannelE2E 100.

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.