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5 Channel Partner Updates: Wednesday 13 December 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Wednesday, December 13, 2017.

Actually, there are 13 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:

13. Broadband: AT&T has started trials in Georgia state and a non-U.S. location to deliver high-speed Internet over power lines, the No. 2 wireless carrier said on Wednesday, marking its latest push to offer faster broadband service to more customers, Reuters notes.

12. Box Consulting Services: File sync and sharing specialist Box has launched Box Transform -- a new service from the company's consulting team. Box Transform is a "white-glove program that offers customers a dedicated, long-term Box consultant to drive implementation of advanced cloud content management use cases, embed in and help reimagine critical customer business processes, and integrate Box with other key digital transformation initiatives across their organization." Hmmm... Does that mean Box will compete against partners in the enterprise?

11. Lenovo Server Sales Tank: Yesterday, we mentioned the server market showed strong growth in Q3 2017, according to Gartner's figures. Yet Lenovo lost 33.5 percent of its server market share since last year. It's the latest sign that Lenovo has to make serious fixes ahead of the company's Accelerate partner conference in May 2018...

10. Technology as a Service Financing: Tech Data has launched a technology as a service campaign to help partners improve cash flow, accelerate IT refresh cycles, and shift from CapEx to OpEx business models. The move comes several months after rival Ingram Micro announced a similar initiative. Most major distributors and hardware providers are bolstering their financing options to assist partners with the as-a-service tidal wave.

9. Google Cloud Channel Hires: Google has made three key Australian and New Zealand executive hires as it looks to ramp up its cloud channel business in 2018, according to CRN Australia. The new team members include former IBM ANZ global business partner director Rhody Burton, VMware and Microsoft veteran Anita Moorhouse and CA Technologies’ ANZ veteran Kevin Van Gils. The moves come as Google Cloud Platform also ramps up its MSP partnerships.

8. Microsoft Azure vs. AWS Market Share: When it comes to enterprise public cloud adoption, Microsoft Azure is giving Amazon Web Services serious competition, according to these data points.

7. Microsoft Price Increases?: Microsoft's new Unified Support eliminates counting hours, but some organizations will now pay for what had been free, Gartner asserts...

6. IT Service Management: Koho Software has joined Agiloft's partner program. Koho plans to promote Agiloft's ITIL and ITSM service desk suite to customers.

5. Funding - IT Monitoring: Alpin, a Boulder, Colorado-based provider of SaaS monitoring and management tools for IT administrators, has raised $1 million in funding. Many of the team members and advisors have experience at TechStars, a leading incubator. We're checking to see if Alpin will have a multi-tenant version for service providers.

4. BitTitan Layoffs: BitTitan, a cloud services provider designed to empower MSPs, has cut about 15 percent of its staff and will get back to its startup roots, according to GeekWire. The company now has about 200 employees, and is well-known for its Office 365 enabling solutions. The staff cuts are concerning considering BitTitan raised $15 million in June 2016 -- with plans to have more than 260 employees by the close of 2017, GeekWire notes.

3. M&A - Data Center: AGILE has acquired Gannett's primary data center in Silver Spring, Maryland. As part of the deal, AGILE has begun to integrate its legacy, multi-site data center colocation business with these new private digital network capabilities.  AGILE offers IT infrastructure, private and hybrid cloud, data, and network solutions to its clients.

2. M&A - Oracle Partners: Velocity Technology Solutions Inc., which specializes in enterprise and business application cloud managed services, has acquired Mercury Technology Group, a cloud managed services provider focused on the Oracle applications suite. Financial terms were not disclosed. We'll share more thoughts soon.

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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.