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5 Channel Partner Updates: Friday 12 January 2018

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Friday, January 12, 2018.

Actually, there are 16 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…

MapR CEO John Schroeder
John Schroeder
Matt Mills

16. MapR Surprise CEO Change: MapR has shifted founder John Schroeder back into the CEO seat, replacing Oracle veteran Matt Mills. The surprise announcement, released this morning, emphasized MapR's momentum in the data platform market. Mills is exiting the company for unknown reasons. In a podcast with ChannelE2E and CompTIA earlier this year, Mills explained MapR's strong momentum and business strategy, but seemed to hint that partner engagements and training in the market were taking a little longer than expected to take hold. MapR is privately owned and venture funded. Rival Hortonworks is publicly held. Rumors about a potential MapR IPO have swirled for years...

15. IBM C-Suite: IBM's CFO position has shifted from Martin Schroeter to James Kavanaugh, effective yesterday. Schroeter moves to a new position -- senior VP, global markets. The move comes amid reports that IBM plans to cut 10,000 Global Technology Services (GTS) positions through attrition. Overall, however, IBM's financial picture has brightened in recent months. The company's most recent quarterly results, announced in November, broke a string of 22 consecutive quarterly declines.

14. SAP Hit and Miss: SAP did a lot of things right in 2017 -- including sharpening its focus on midmarket partners. Thumbs up. But a new SAP SuccessFactors effort (designed to migrate customers' HR applications to the cloud) failed to mention if or how partners fit into the migration process. Bummer. Read between the lines and SAP is trying to beat Workday to the HR cloud finish line. Too bad SAP forgot to mention partners as a major way for customers to succeed in that journey...

13. Facebook News: Facebook is updating its algorithm to emphasize friend updates ("I love my wife, my kids are better than yours, have you seen my new car?" rather than news reports ("Trump Said This..."). PS: To those who are friends with me on Facebook, thank you for consuming dozens of ChannelE2E & MSSP Alert updates from me per week.

Dropbox COO Dennis Woodside

12. Dropbox IPO?: Dropbox appears to be pursuing an IPO -- potentially timed for the first half of 2018. The file sync and sharing company had a $10 billion valuation amid a funding round in 2014. If the IPO occurs, financial details could provide clues about Dropbox's channel momentum. Former channel chief Thomas Hansen exited to join Carbon Black in July. The name to know these days is COO Dennis Woodside, who oversees sales, partnerships, user operations, and several other teams. Rival Box is already public. Within the MSP-centric sector, niche alternatives like eFolder Anchor and Autotask Workplace (now owned by Datto) have emerged.

11. Compliance: ePlus has completed the Type 2 SSAE 18 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements) examination for its Managed Services Center and OneSource family of software products.  Yada, yada, yada ... the company is focused like a laser on corporate compliance.

10. Global PC Sales Fall (Again): PC shipments fell 2 percent in Q4 2017 vs. the corresponding quarterly in 2016, according to Gartner. It was the 13th quarter in a row of falling PC sales, and the sixth year in total that PC sales have dropped, Barron's noted. Still, HP say shipments rise 6.6 percent in Q4 2017, while Dell and Apple also saw slight increases. Lenovo saw a slight decrease worldwide, while Acer (down 5.4 percent) and Asus (down 11.3 percent) saw steeper declines in the period, Gartner estimated.

Rob Cato

9. Lenovo U.S. PC Sales Plummet: Lenovo's Q4 2017 PC shipments in the U.S. fell a drastic 23.6 percent, Gartner estimates. Translation: Interim North America Channel Chief Rob Cato faces major challenges as he strives to fix Lenovo's partner program ahead of the company's Accelerate 2018 conference in May. Former channel chief Sammy Kinlaw, widely respected despite some of Lenovo's corporate mandates and partner program changes, earlier this week confirmed plans to join Lexmark.

8. Partner Program Momentum: Actifio, a data-as-a-Service company, says 79 partners have won customer deals with the company since a new partner program launched in 2017. Moreover, the company's channel-driven pipeline has grown 500 percent since the program's inception -- though actual financial figures were not disclosed. Nearly 90 partners have earned 350 accreditations -- including the Actifio Certified Engineer (ACE) and Actifio Certified Sales (ACS) designations, the company says.

7. Partner - ServiceNow: Aptris of Rockford, Ill., is now a ServiceNow Gold Services Partner, indicating that the company has achieved a  proper certifications and a 9+ customer satisfaction to provide superior ServiceNow implementations and consulting services.

6. M&A - Financial Services Software: SS&C Technologies is acquiring DST Systems for $5.4 billion, expanding its financial technology software prowess through its largest deal to date, Reuters notes.

Adam Famularo, CEO, erwin

5. M&A - Data Governance: Erwin Inc. has acquired A&P, a consulting firm in Rome, Italy. The deal is part of a bigger strategy that transforms Erwin into data governance company, CEO Adam Famularo told ChannelE2E. Leveraging Erwin's software and consulting know-how, all stakeholders in a company can be "empowered to act as data citizens, directly involved in defining the terms, rules and policies that govern data use," the Erwin team asserts.

4. MSP Practice: SenecaGlobal, a global IT outsourcing company, has launched an Enterprise Cloud and Managed Services practice. The effort's four pillars are Cloud Advisory, Cloud Architecture, Cloud Transformation and Migration, and Cloud Managed Services. SenicaGlobal VP Eric Crump, a veteran of Racemi, IBM, Vertafore and Plumtree, is driving the effort.

3. Puerto Rico Tech Recovery: Puerto Rico's technology companies and service providers are jumping operational hurdles and client challenges following last year's Hurricane Maria, according to Nearshore Americas. Almost four months after Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico tech sector is showing great resilience, overcoming continued operational difficulties while facing the challenges of staying relevant in today’s world, the report says. Special thanks to Nearshore America's founder Kirk Laughlin, a former peer of mine at Ziff Davis, for keeping Nearshore Americas focused on the recovery efforts. Kudos to Matt Kendall for this particular report.

2. Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs: Today is the final day to complete ChannelE2E's Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs survey. Results and honorees will be announced in February.

1. How Much Is Your Business Worth?: Find out by attending ChannelE2E's webcast on Thursday, January 18. We'll cover actual valuation figures for IT service providers, and KPIs you can use to lift your company valuation. Plus, we'll unveil the Top 100 M&A deals involving VARs, MSPs and CSPs from 2017. Register now.

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.