Content, 5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: Monday 08 January 2018

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Monday, January 8, 2018.

Actually, there are 17 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...

17. Micro Focus Miss?: Micro Focus, which acquired certain HPE assets last year, disappointed investors with its latest earnings report. Shares are down about 15 percent this morning, though CEO Chris Hsu says the company is generally on track with where he expected the business to be at this point. Also, CFO Mike Phillips is shifting to a new role as director of M&A.

16. Managed Services: ServerMania, a provider of dedicated and cloud server hosting, has introduced various server management services, empowering server hosting clients to focus on their business while ServerMania takes care of routine security, configuration, and monitoring tasks, the company claims.

15. Net Neutrality: The Federal Communications Commission released the final version of its net neutrality rule rollback Thursday evening, clearing another hurdle toward internet deregulation and hastening formal court challenges, as well as legislative measures that could undermine it, Law360 notes.

14. Battery Recall: HP Inc. has announced a worldwide battery recall for certain notebook computers and mobile workstations. Find a recall summary and FAQ here.

13. Under Pressure: Activist hedge fund Starboard Value said on Monday Israeli chipmaker Mellanox Technologies' 2018 financial targets were insufficient and too heavily reliant on revenue growth, according to Reuters. Read between the lines and Starboard could be mulling some moves against the Mellanox board...

12. Layoffs: Comcast apparently fired 500 employees in December, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Ironically, Comcast in late December announced $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees, in response to the Trump tax cut. The fired employees will be eligible for a “$1,000 supplemental severance payment,” the Inquirer report said...

11. Avaya Stock: Watch for Avaya shares to start trading around January 17 on the NYSE. The company emerged from bankruptcy protection in December, and the annual Avaya Engage conference is scheduled for later this month in Las Vegas.

10. Intel Caution Flag: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's sale of company stock while Intel was handling concerns about security flaws in its chips was a highly unusual move that risked attracting regulatory scrutiny, according to lawyers and analysts who follow executive stock sales, The Wall Street Journal says. Hmmm... perhaps I was wrong to suggest earlier that Krzanich was merely doing what every other tech CEO does regularly -- diversifying his holdings...

9. Accenture Under the Microscope: An internal audit report from Ireland's Garda has raised concern over the force's management of a multi-million euro IT contract with the consultancy firm Accenture, according to RTE -- Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster. Among the big question marks: Are proper controls and best practices in place for the outsourcing relationship?

8. Talent - Mentoring: KPMG has launched an apprentice program called KPMG360° Digital. The four-year program combines on-the-job work experience with the opportunity to gain a bachelor of science degree from BPP University in digital and technology solutions, economia reports. The program is based in London, Manchester and Leeds, where students will have a chance to work across the firm’s technology solutions, cyber security and forensic services.

7. Partnership: Zoom and OpenExchange are partnering to provide managed video communications in the financial services market.

6. Cloud Backup Benefits?: Why should you migrate your backup and disaster recovery services to the cloud? Druva Software points to this checklist...

5. PSA Software Deployments: Top Step Consulting has managed more than 300 NetSuite OpenAir PSA deployments for customers over the past decade. Looking ahead, Ronn Breaux is taking over as owner and president of the PSA deployment specialist, Top Step says.

4. Funding: IntelePeer Cloud Communications has received a $15 million venture loan facility to drive the company's cloud-based unified communications business. Key financial backers include Horizon Technology Finance Corp.

3. M&A - MSP: Hilltop Consultants has acquired Strategic Integration Partners, an Atlanta-based managed IT services provider. The move bolsters Hilltop's focus on the legal vertical market. We'll share more details soon.

2. More On ConnectWise Acquiring HTG: As we reported Friday, ConnectWise is acquiring HTG to bolster Technology Solutions Provider education worldwide. Much of the effort involves executive peer groups learning to run their businesses more effectively. Bonus: What if ConnectWise leveraged HTG membership to spot potential investments for a $25 million incubator fund? Hmmm... We'll share more thoughts soon.

1. Enter Now: Don't forget to complete the Top 100 Vertical Market MSP Survey by this Friday, January 12. That's the deadline for submissions. We'll unveil honorees later this quarter. Thanks to those who have already completed the survey.

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.