Content, 5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: Tuesday 05 December 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Actually, there are 19 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: 19. MSP Platform Expansion: Sovaton, a cybersecurity-focused distributor, has agreed to offer Continuum's RMM platform and associated resources across South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The move comes as Continuum also continues to build out its SOC (security operations center) platform for MSPs. The SOC's general availability is expected sometime in 2018. 18. SAP Innovation Centers: SAP has opened a new SAP Co-Innovation Lab at its North America headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. SAP Co-Innovation Lab locations provide infrastructure and space for SAP and its partners and customers to co-innovate new solutions. This lab, SAP's second in North America, addresses emerging technologies in such areas as IoT and big data analytics. SAP now has 15 Co-Innovation Labs worldwide. The labs also reinforce SAP's expansion beyond enterprise settings -- with growing momentum in the small and midsize enterprise (SME) sector. 17. Oracle NetSuite Partner Program: Oracle NetSuite has attracted several new partners to the company NetSuite’s Solution Provider Program and Alliance Partner Program. For instance, Apps Associates, BTM Global and iSP3 are expanding their longtime Oracle partner relationships to add NetSuite practices to their portfolio, Oracle announced today. Related: Apps Associates has been acquired by a private equity firm. 16. Cisco Spark Adoption: Orange Business Services has registered more than 200,000 user subscriptions for Cisco Spark and hundreds of the popular Spark Boards for more than 20 multinational enterprise customers, and the momentum is accelerating, the massive service provider asserts. 15. Trusted Collaboration: ScaleFT has launched Access Fabric, a globally-distributed real-time authorization engine. Inspired by Google’s BeyondCorp, which allows employees and contractors to work securely from any location across the globe without the use of a VPN, the ScaleFT Zero Trust Access Management platform protects sensitive company resources through an application layer authentication and authorization model that factors in dynamic user and device conditions, the company claims.

Talent Updates

Among the executives making career moves...
Michelle Ragusa-McBain
14. Office Depot Hire: Cisco Systems veteran Michelle Ragusa-McBain has joined Office Depot as senior director of technology sales and services. McBain, well-known as a channel advocate and CompTIA member, joins Office Depot as the retailer strives to transform into a next-generation B2B company. Toward that end, Office Depot acquired CompuCom for about $1 billion in October. 13. CEO Hire: FiberLight LLC, which offers networking services and owns 1.7 million miles of fiber optic networks that stretch from Florida to Texas and Washington D.C., has promoted Don MacNeil to CEO. He succeeds Jim Lynch, who shifts to executive chairman. MacNeil joined FiberLight as COO in September of this year. 12. Channel Talent: TPx, a managed services carrier, has added Grant Bowman to its growing team of national channel managers. Based in San Diego, Bowman supports TPx channel partners in California and the country’s West region . Previously, he was a corporate and partner sales executive at NetFortris. 11. COO Hire: vCORE Technology Partners has hired former Dell EMC executive Bay Young as president and COO, effective January 1, 2018. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based solutions provider has engineering practices in such areas as hybrid cloud, application and information security, networking, data protection and software-defined infrastructure. Continue to page two for items 10 to 1 Welcome to page two, home of items 10 to 1 10. Hybrid Cloud Deployments: VMware has unveiled VMware Cloud Foundation 2.3. The new offering, expected to ship on or before February 3, allows service providers and customers to embrace Cloud Management Platform (CMP) capabilities to speed hybrid cloud deployments, the company asserts. Among the features to note: Version 2.3 now automates the deployment and configuration of VMware vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight for consistent operations across clouds, the company says. Key partners include Dell EMC, CenturyLink, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Rackspace and Intel. 9. Distribution: Intelisys, Inc., a ScanSource company, has announced PeakView Communications  as its 13th Sales Partner to reach Platinum status. An Intelisys Sales Partner since 2014, PeakView specializes in cloud, contact center, data and network management, security, and unified communications solutions for its customers. 8. Azure Migration Services Part One: ViON Corporation has earned a three-year, $1.4 million contract for public cloud acquisition services by the Department of Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Under terms of the deal, ViON will migrate the agency to Microsoft's Azure government cloud. 7. Azure Migration Services Part TwoAtmosera, a premier Tier-I Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), has unveiled an Azure Migration Assessment Program for organizations focused on transitioning website infrastructure to Microsoft Azure. The new program includes a free assessment that helps prioritize requirements to optimize performance, realize continuous operation, and leverage automated testing for e-commerce and high-traffic websites. 6. AI Regulations: Expansion of artificial intelligence in financial services, healthcare, transportation and other fields poses new challenges to governments charged with regulating those industries, according to Google VP Geoffrey Hinton, Reuters reports. Here's why. 5. ServiceNow Integration: TeamSupport, a B2B customer support software app, now integrates with ServiceNow's IT support management tool. That means agents can get real-time ServiceNow updates to streamline internal communications while using TeamSupport to deliver great customer service, the company asserts. The integration eliminates the need to create duplicate tickets, allowing agents to track internal and external issues in TeamSupport. 4. Crisis Communications: BlackBerry has launched a Crisis Communications specialization, which empowers partners to help customers communicate and collaborate when disaster strikes. 3. M&A: Integrity360 has acquired managed IT security specialist Metadigm, expanding the firm's presence in the UK. Financial terms were not disclosed. We'll share more details later today on MSSP Alert. 2. What Proposed Tax Cuts Mean to Small Businesses, Part One: No doubt, the recent House and Senate Bills to cut taxes have triggered a range of emotions on both sides of the aisle. But here's an actual bullet list explaining each bill -- including the similarities, differences and implications on various small business tax rates. The bullet list comes from the Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council, which has applauded the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The National Federal of Independent Business Owners (NFIB) has also endorsed the tax cut efforts. 1. What Proposed Tax Cuts Mean to Small Businesses, Part Two: Smaller "pass-through" entities--businesses in which the owner pays taxes on the profits at his or her own income tax rate--would see the rate reduced to 25 percent from a top tax rate of 39.6 percent (the Senate bill would let most pass-throughs deduct 17.4 percent of their income), Inc. reports. Companies would also see new, different types of tax breaks, including the ability to deduct all the costs of purchasing new equipment for five years. However: There are limitations, Inc. notes. For instance: Professional services would not qualify for the pass-through tax rate, encompassing many architecture firms, law offices, and consultancies, Inc. says. Action item: Time for VARs and MSPs to check in with their accountants to see if their businesses are positioned as professional services firms...
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.