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5 Channel Partner Updates: Friday 03 November 2017

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Good afternoon, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to end your day for Friday, November 3, 2017.

Actually, there are 18 timely updates designed 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

18. IBM Branding: More than 10 years into the cloud revolution, IBM has finally developed an overarching brand to describe the company's various cloud brands and offerings. It's called... wait for it... IBM Cloud.

17. Cisco's Alexa Alternative?: Cisco has unveiled Spark Assistant, an artificial intelligence voice assistant for meetings. Instead of licensing Alexa or Siri technologies, Cisco acquired and further developed its own AI offering specifically for business meeting use cases. Company officials say Spark Assistant can navigate voice commands from multiple people in a meeting. However, the offering is not a commodity service. The voice-driven assistant requires high-end Cisco equipment and currently only works with Spark, company officials told ChannelE2E. However, Cisco may extend the technology to additional applications down the road. A development kit also has not been announced... but...

16. Big Honors: World Wide Technology (WWT), a longtime Cisco Certified Gold Partner, received 13 Cisco Partner Summit regional and global awards for 2017.

15. IoT Platforms: SAP is bolstering its Leonardo platform with various blockchain, edge and insight capabilities. Plus, the company has opened more Leonardo Centers worldwide to speed IoT customer adoption. True believers include SKF and Vale, both of whom now leverage SAP Leonardo in various forms.

14. Network Performance Management: Riverbed has updated its SteelCentral platform to help create a "seamless link between end user experience and network performance management."

13. Partner Program: Avaya has launched its 2018 partner program. Yada, yada, yada... details are here.

12. Citrix Evolution: Here's a detailed reality check describing how Citrix Systems has evolved over the past five years...

11. Managed Enterprise Services: Taco Bell has selected Comcast Business Enterprise Solutions to provide managed services, including guest WiFi, at more than 6,200 Taco Bell company and franchise locations across the U.S.

But wait. There's more continue to page two of two for items 10 to 1.

Welcome to page two of two. Here are items 10 to 1.

10. Digital Business Transformation: I'm not a fan of that term. But if you're absolutely passionate about funding the shift to digital business, here are 10 tips from Gartner.

9.Verticals: Druva inSync has been granted an Authority To Operate (ATO) under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). What does all that mean? Simply put, government organizations can now embrace Data Management-as-a-Service (DMaaS) in the public cloud.

8. Tax Cut Debate: Small business groups gave a mixed review Thursday to the introduction of the House Republican tax reform, underlining the difficulties Republicans face in spelling out the costs as well as the benefits of tax legislation, according to The Washington Examiner. Among those opposing the plan: The National Federation of Independent Business.

7. Layoffs: Stack Overflow, the online community where some 50 million developers and others converge to talk programming and many other things, is experiencing layoffs and closing Denver offices, TechCrunch says.

6. Business Continuity & Cloud Backup: Carbonite revenues were $61.6 million in Q3 2017, up 19 percent from the corresponding quarter last year. Shares jumped more than 7 percent o the news.

5. MSP Talent:  Thrive has hired John Panzica as the MSP's new head of sales. He previously was senior VP at vXchnge, where he helped the company evangelize the cloud enabled ecosystem segment, resulting in more than $20 million in annualized sales, Thrive says. Thrive itself has had multiple owners in recent years, but the MSP has returned to growth mode -- including acquisitions.

4. M&A: has acquired Acquisio's assets. The deal includes data science tools that could help better support small business customers, the company indicates.

3. M&A: Right Networks, a provider of cloud-based accounting and business solutions for CPA firms, has acquired Xcentric, a provider of managed IT solutions for accounting firms.

2. ConnectWise Integrations: eesyQ will show off a ConnectWise integration during IT Nation 2017 next week in orlando. eesyQ enables companies to order or request service in two clicks via mobile or online. The result: MSPs gain centralized job-ticket collaboration workflow between across assets, workers and all the relevant customers, the company claims.

1. IT Nation 2017: The show preview is here. Plus, we expect surprises in this area...

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.