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5 Channel Partner Updates: Tuesday 05 December 2017

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…

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