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5 Channel Partner and MSP Updates: Tuesday 20 October 2020

Here are five (actually, more) technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Sip up.

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A. What’s Happening Today

1. M&A - Telecom Services: Verizon is acquiring some assets from Bluegrass Cellular, a rural wireless operator serving central Kentucky. Bluegrass Cellular provides wireless service to 210,000 customers in 34 counties, Verizon says. Financial terms were not disclosed.

2. M&A Pushback: White Hat Capital Partners LP plans to vote against Ivanti’s proposed acquisition of MobileIron during MobileIron’s upcoming special meeting of stockholders. White Hat believes the deal undervalues MobileIron, according to a letter to the company's board.

3. Talent - MSP: NetGain Technologies, an MSP that serves the South Central and Southeastern U.S., has hired Hayder Allebban as VP of operations.

4. Data Management Software: NetApp has enhanced its NetApp ONTAP data management software. The company also announced a more flexible NetApp Keystone Flex Subscription service and a new NetApp SolidFire Enterprise SDS solution. With these updates, partners and customers can "optimize performance and security, reduce costs, easily extend data management from on premises to any cloud, and consume hybrid cloud infrastructure as a service, NetApp asserts.

5. Cloud-based Workflow Management: SkyKick has released a new Cloud Manager -- a no-code and low-code automation, workflow and management application designed to transform how partners administer and secure their customers in the cloud, SkyKick says.

6. SAP Application Deployments: Blue Prism announced new automation capabilities designed to accelerate SAP ECC and S/4HANA deployments.

7. Free CRM Tool:  Zoho Corporation will offer free access to Remote Sales Office through the end of 202. Remote Sales Office is a a CRM toolkit designed to help sales teams using Zoho CRM to maintain productivity and adapt to virtual selling.

8. IBM Financial Results: IBM revenue was $17.56 billion in Q3 2020, down 2.6 percent from Q3 of 2019. Also, net income was $1.698 billion, up slightly from $1.672 billion in Q2 2019. IBM pointed to cloud revenues of $6 billion, up 19 percent from Q2 2019. The results, which were in line with Wall Street's expectations, come as IBM prepares to spin off its managed infrastructure business sometime in 2021.

B. Channel Partner Programs & Strategic Alliances

1. Talent - MSP Data Protection: Axcient has hired Webroot veteran Charlie Tomeo as chief revenue officer (CRO). The move is part of a larger Axcient sales push to more deeply engage and assist MSPs (managed IT service providers) with data protection services in the SMB market.

2. Talent - Managed Communications Service Provider:  Windstream Enterprise has promoted Brad Smith to head of strategic channels.

3. Partnership - Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Uniphore has acquired an exclusive third party license for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology from NTT DATA to drive innovation, quicken time-to-market and deliver intelligent front office automation for modern contact centers, the companies say.

4. Partnership - 5G Networks: Verizon and Microsoft are partnering to create new ways for enterprises to accelerate the delivery of fast and secure 5G applications, the companies say.

5. Partnership - Managed VPN Services: Comcast Business has leveraged Aruba from Hewlett Packard Enterprise to launch Comcast Business Teleworker VPN.

6. Partner Program - Sales and Operations Planning: Kinaxis has unveiled Kinaxis PartnerLink, an enhanced partner program.

7. Momentum - Distribution: The volume of partners leveraging D&H Distributing's Solutions Enablement Team has tripled since its late-2019 relaunch, increasing across all its service areas—despite the pandemic that has dominated much of 2020, D&A says. The team works closely with partners during the pre-sales process, determining each customer’s unique needs for implementing complex, multi-vendor deployments. This includes projects in such areas as ProAV, Esports, remote networking, distance learning, and digital security, in addition to established areas like SMB server and WiFi installations, D&H notes.

C. Technology Conferences and Virtual Partner Events

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.