Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Friday, February 23, 2018.

Actually, there are 13 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…

13. 5G Networks: China's Huawei is set to lead a global charge toward 5G networks, Reuters predicts. Still, Huawei could face an uphill battle in the U.S. market, where regulators are calling on companies to avoid Huawei's products because of alleged concerns involving China's government. Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it assists China with spying or back door security efforts.

12. Momentum - HPE: Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced surprisingly strong quarterly results yesterday. First quarter profit was $1.44 billion, up dramatically from $267 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Moreover, revenues rose 11 percent to $7.67 billion, HPE indicated. The revenues were roughly $500 million more than Wall Street analysts were expecting, according to Thomson Reuters. Demand for storage and networking systems was particularly strong -- an impressive feat considering intense competition from Cisco and Dell EMC, along with continued customer workload shifts to public cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

11. Momentum - HP Inc.: Meanwhile, sister company HP Inc. also announced surprisingly strong quarterly results. Printer revenues surged 13.7 percent to $5.08 billion. And PC revenues jumped roughly 15 percent to $9.44 billion -- roughly $900 million more than Wall Street expected. Overall revenue surged 14.5 percent to $14.52 billion, and net earnings were a strong $1.94 billion. The results are very impressive considering rivals like Lenovo are struggling to manage PC and mobile sales across the channel worldwide.

10. Momentum - Unified Communications: 8x8 claims its global channel partner program has gained serious momentum in the past year. Led by Channel Chief Christopher Peters, the partner program influenced six of the company's top 10 deals for the quarter ended December 31, 2017. Moreover, channel bookings increased 50 percent year over year during the period. 8x8 credits expanded relationships with a range of partners for the momentum, mentioning key names like Ingram Micro, Jenne, and ScanSource, among several others.

9. Momentum - GoDaddy: The hosting and SMB service provider says revenues surged 24 percent to $602.2 million -- roughly $8 million ahead of Wall Street's expectations. Also impressive, GoDaddy's average revenue per user rose 6.9 percent to $139 in the fourth quarter, Reuters notes.

8. Azure Cloud Partnership: Nerdio and SherWeb have inked a global distribution agreement to accelerate Microsoft Azure adoption among SMBs. Nerdio facilitates migration to Azure in a couple of hours with just a few clicks, and streamlines the management of these environments on an ongoing basis, the company claims. SherWeb i a CSP in Canada, serving over 7,000 channel partners with worldwide reach.

7. SD- WANs: AT&T SD-WANs are now available in more than 150 countries and territories. The service first launched to select U.S. customers in 2017.

6. Certifications: Dell EMC has introduced four new certifications. They include:

  • Dell EMC Certified Master - Enterprise Architect
  • Dell EMC Certified Expert Systems Administrator - Multi-Cloud
  • Dell EMC Certified Specialist Systems Administrator - Infrastructure Security
  • Dell EMC Certified Associate - Converged Systems and Hybrid Cloud Platforms

5. IT Service Management & AI: Serviceaide has launched Luma, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled virtual support agent. Luma is part of Serviceaide's overall IT service management strategy...

4. Private Equity: Goldman Sachs has raised $2.5 billion to buy stakes in private equity firms. Private equity firms, as you know, have been buying up MSPs across the globe. Hmmm....

Andy Vandeveld

3. Talent: Commvault has hired Veeam veteran Andy Vandeveld as VP, worldwide alliances. He reports to Owen Taraniuk, head of worldwide partnerships and market development. Vandeveld will head Commvault's new worldwide alliances team, which merges its current OEM and alliances teams, the company said.

Carol Giles Neslund

2. Talent: PartnerPath, which provides channel design and execution services, has hired Carol Giles Neslund as a principal of the firm. Neslund brings deep experience in sales strategy, route-to-market planning and leadership development that will help PartnerPath clients capitalize on channel growth opportunities, the company says. She previously held executive and channel leadership roles with such technology companies as Avaya, Seagate Technology and Westcon.

1. M&A - IT Services: Konica Minolta continues to acquire and tuck businesses into its All Covered managed IT services business. The latest buyout details are here.