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5 Channel Partner Updates: Thursday 15 February 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 Thursday, February 15, 2018.

Actually, there are 11 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…

11. Xerox Lawsuit: Major Xerox shareholder Darwin Deason asked a court on Tuesday to block the company’s merger with Fujifilm, claiming the U.S. photocopier maker’s board failed shareholders by approving a deal that undervalues the company, Reuters reports. Fujufilm in January announced plans to acquire Xerox for $6.1 billion. But Deason and activist investor Carl Icahn were widely expected to question the deal based on their history of attacking Xerox executives for allegedly mismanaging the printer and imaging company.

10. Blockchain Valuation Concerns?: Investor enthusiasm for blockchain-focused startups remains strong, but valuations for such startups are getting a bit too hot, according to multiple sources who attending an angel investor meeting in New York on Tuesday. The investors were quick to draw a line between crypto currencies ("I don't care if they go to zero") and blockchain technologies ("that's where the opportunity is -- though the opportunities are getting expensive...").

9. Crypto Currency Accepted Here: Compliancy Group, which offers HIPAA-related services to MSPs, now accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payment method for its HIPAA compliance software.

8. Windstream Branding: After multiple M&A deals, layoffs and a dividend cut in 2017, Windstream is trying to regain altitude in 2018. Among the recent moves: Rebranding its core businesses as Windstream Enterprise and Windstream Wholesale. The overall company is a network and communication service provider. Partners should keep a particularly close on the Windstream Enterprise business.

7. Cloud Distribution: Pax8 now offers Webroot's full suite of cloud security solutions, including SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection, SecureAnywhere DNS Protection, and Security Awareness Training. Pax8 has gained serious momentum over the past two years as a value-added cloud distributor, and offers partners mix-and-match software stacks from multiple vendors.

6. SAP in AWS: -- SUSE has expanded its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), allowing AWS to resell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications directly on AWS Marketplace. The move is a potential blow for Virtustream, an early favorite for running SAP workloads in the cloud.

5. M&A - Data Centers: Equinix is acquiring the Infomart Dallas building from ASB Allegiance Real Estate Fund for $800 million. The new owned assets will help Equinix expand in Dallas, one of the most connected data center hubs in the U.S. and a key interconnection hub in the Southwest, the company says. Infomart represents Equinix's 22nd acquisition to date.

4. Cisco Regains Momentum: Cisco Systems reported its first rise in quarterly revenue in more than two years and forecast upbeat current-quarter profit, as the network gear maker’s years-long efforts to transform into a software-focused company begins to pay off, Reuters notes. CEO Chuck Robbins offered an extremely upbeat recap of the quarter, stating: “We had a great quarter which demonstrates that our strategy is working. Our business is growing, we have a fantastic innovation pipeline, our balance sheet is strong and we have a team that’s executing incredibly well. The network is more critical to business success than ever, and our new intent-based networking portfolio has great momentum including the fastest ramping new product in our history.”

3. Microsoft for Startups: In a bid to get more startups running workloads in Microsoft Azure, the technology giant has launched Microsoft for Startups. The effort includes a $500 million commitment over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements, technology and community spaces for startup companies. That's good news for startups. But I gotta wonder: How many "free" credits are Microsoft and Amazon giving away to get money-losing startups running on Azure and AWS, respectively?

2. Datto-Autotask Road Show: Datto and Autotask are hitting the road to educate MSPs about their combined assets. The multi-city roadshow should offer clues about the combined company roadmap, which spans data protection, backup, network, RMM (remote monitoring and management), PSA (professional services automation) and file sharing capabilities. A private equity firm acquired Datto in late 2017, and essentially merged Autotask's assets into the business. Related: DattoCon18, the company's annual MSP conference, is set for June. The former Autotask Community Live conference will be merged into the event.

1. Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs 2018: We'll unveil the latest annual list, rankings and associated research today during our Webcast at 2:00 p.m. ET. Register now and join us.

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.