Content, 5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: Monday 11 December 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Monday, December 11, 2017.

Actually, there are nine 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:

9. IT Hiring Trends: IT sector employment grew by an estimated 8,100 jobs in November, according to CompTIA’s analysis of U.S. government statistics. Meanwhile, IT occupations in other industries grew by an estimated 243,000 jobs in November, the largest monthly job gain since 2015, CompTIA reports. For the year, IT occupations have grown by 223,000 positions, further confirming the demand by businesses across every sector of the economy to deploy technology wherever possible, the association says.

8. OpEx Failure: At first glance the entire IT world is shift from CapEx to OpEx. But here's a timely reminder that rising tides don't always lift all boats. Lumoid, a tech gear rental startup that raised nearly $6 million over the past four years, has shut down. The company was counting on a rental-driven business with Best Buy, but Lumoid apparently couldn't find more funding to scale that relationship. Lumoid Founder Aarthi Ramamurthy has joined Facebook's Payments business.

7. Will Apple Ban Impact Channel Apps?: The Apple App Store is now empowered to ban apps created by a "commercialized template or app generation service," according to TechCrunch. Among those that could be impacted: Channel-centric template apps that are re-skinned for individual vendors to use, ChannelE2E believes. Media apps -- digital magazine apps & news apps built from commercial templates -- could also take a hit. We're checking in with various channel-centric app producers to see if the ban will potentially impact their businesses...

Ted Hulsey
iTopia Chief Revenue Officer Ted Hulsy
Diane Greene
Microsoft CFO Amy Hood

6. Google Cloud Platform Gains Momentum: Microsoft CFO Amy Hood says the company is starting to see Google Cloud in more competitive customer bids, though Amazon Web Services is still Microsoft Azure's top cloud rival. Hood praised Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene's leadership during a recent Wells Fargo Tech Summit, but stopped short of saying Google was now on equal footing with Azure in competitive bids. True believers in Google Cloud Platform include iTopia, a desktop as a service (DaaS) offering for hosted Windows desktops that MSPs can promote to end-customers. eFolder and SonicWall veteran Ted Hulsy is driving iTopia's MSP push.

5. Massive Remote Monitoring Project: The New York Power Authority, the largest state public utility in the U.S., has flipped the switch on a digital system that will monitor its 16 power plants and 1,400 miles of transmission lines, The Wall Street Journal notes. The new remote-monitoring system is part of a $500 million investment to modernize the authority. A new network operations center (NOC), featuring a nine-foot by 80-foot monitoring screen, cost about $4 million to build, the report says. GE was the main contractor.

4. Network Monitoring Projects: Kenson Network Engineering, a UK-based IT solutions provider, is promoting SolarWinds Orion Network Performance Monitoring into  corporate settings. The corporate deployments potentially foreshadows SolarWinds' next move in the MSP market. Indeed, the company has suggested that network-centric monitoring capabilities will ultimately surface in the SolarWinds MSP business unit...

3. Tax Bill Hits Small Investors: A little-discussed provision in the Senate tax bill could lead to a higher tax bill for millions of small investors and cause many to unload stocks before year-end to avoid those costs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Under the Senate’s $1.4 trillion tax overhaul, investors would lose the ability to choose which shares they can sell to reduce a position. Instead, investors selling partial stakes in a company would have to unload their oldest shares first, a process known as selling on a “first-in, first-out” basis, the Journal says.

2. Funding: Inflect, an online marketplace for Internet infrastructure, co-location and cloud services, has raised $3 million in seed funding. We'll share more details soon.

1. BREAKING - Five MSPs Merge Together: Five MSPs are merging to form a single IT service provider that generates about  US$15 million annually. We'll share details and the long-term business strategy by about 11 a.m. ET on ChannelE2E's homepage.

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.