Content, 5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: Monday 04 December 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Monday, December 4, 2017.

Actually, there are 14 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:

14. Alexa for Business vs. Cisco Spark AssistantCrestron is leveraging Amazon Alexa for Business to bring voice control to conference rooms across North America. The move comes less than one month after Cisco unveiled Spark Assistant -- another voice-enabling technology for meeting technology. The artificial intelligence underlying the voice recognition technology is courtesy of MindMeld, a conversational AI company that Cisco purchased in May for $125 million, TechCrunch notes. Leveraging Alexa wasn't an option, Cisco insists, because the MindMeld technology supports multiple voices in a conference setting. Somehow, we're convinced Amazon will ultimately solve the same problem through open APIs with Alexa for business.

13. Hyperconverged Infrastructure: Nutanix's Q1 financial results beat analyst expectations, and the company's forecast stronger results for the current quarter than Wall Street had been expecting. The company competes with hyperconverged infrastructure from Dell EMC, Cisco Systems (Springpath) and HP Enterprise (SimpliVity), among others.

12. Microsoft Hardware Project: Microsoft is rumored to be creating an ARM-powered notepad device with two screens that fold over much like the Courier concept, and a new job posting reveals that the company is planning some type of Surface ARM hardware, The Verge says.

11. Smartphone IPO: Xiaomi Corp., the Chinese smartphone maker that was once the most valuable startup in the world, is in talks with investment banks about a possible IPO and seeking a valuation of at least $50 billion, Bloomberg says.

10. Asset Management & Blockchain: Keep an eye on the Multichain Asset Managers Association -- a new trade body, initiated by Melonport AG, which represents asset management companies, investors, technology providers, service providers and ecosystem players interested in working towards a new vision for asset management using blockchain and other supporting decentralized technologies. Hmmm...

9. Talent - Exit: Jim McCarthy, a top Visa executive who was the company’s key decision-maker on deals with big tech companies, has been fired for behavior that “violated” company policy, Recode reports. The nature of the violation was not disclosed.

8. Data Centers: Flexenclosure, a Swedish developer of prefabricated data centers, is planning to build up to 20 new data centers across Australia, according to Data Center News Asia. Flexenclosure will partner with local telecommunications provider Virtutel to roll out the facilities over the next three years, the report says.

7. New Infosys CEO: Infosys, India’s second largest IT services company, named Capgemini veteran Salil S Parekh as its CEO on Saturday, picking an outsider for the job for a second time and handing him the twin challenges of reviving growth and forging peace between its founders and board following a public spat, Reuters notes.

6. Monitoring Trends: Ninety-three percent of network professionals now monitor switches, 87 percent monitor routers, and 79 percent monitor firewalls, according to a HelpSystems survey. Additionally, 44 percent of survey participants reported keeping tabs on critical applications such as ERP and CRM. Ensuring uptime for building management systems also appears to be a growing trend, with 23 percent of respondents monitoring sensors and 18 percent keeping an eye on HVAC systems, the survey found.

5. Cloud Cost Management: DoubleHorn, an Austin-based cloud solutions provider and services broker, has released the DoubleHorn Marketplace, an interactive pricing tool designed to provide transparency and eliminate guesswork when evaluating costs for cloud services, the company says.

4. Tax Bill Winners and Losers: The tax bill passed by Republicans in the U.S. Senate over the weekend may boost profits for industries from banking to retail to fossil fuels -- and it also could squeeze hospitals and renewable energy firms, according to Bloomberg. Also of note, according to the report:

  • The technology industry stands to benefit from the provision allowing cash stockpiled overseas to be returned home at a lower tax rate.
  • Telecommunications companies, which need to regularly upgrade their networks, will be winners if provisions that increase the deductibility of capital investments stay in the final versions of the bill.
  • Venture capital firms also could benefit, according to a separate report from The Wall Street Journal.

3. Talent: ConnectWise Sell General Manager Kent McNall has retired from the business management software provider, he confirmed on Facebook over the weekend. McNall previously was CEO of Quosal, a quoting and sales proposal software platform that ConnectWise acquired and rebranded as Sell. Amid McNall's retirement, Sam Demulling has been promoted to VP of ConnectWise Sell, the company has confirmed.

2. M&A - Telecom: Telecom Italia's board will this week discuss options for its fixed-line network, including possibly splitting it off, although no decision is expected to be made, Reuters reports...

1. M&A - IT Services: BV Investment Partners, a midmarket private equity firm, has made a majority investment in Apps Associates, a global IT services organization focused on supporting mission-critical business applications. Apps Associates has Oracle, Amazon Web Services and Salesforce expertise. Much of the company's recent work involves database migrations from Oracle to the AWS cloud...

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.