Content, 5 things

5 Channel Partner Program and MSP News Updates: 28 April 2021

Here are five (actually, more) technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Sip up.

What’s In Our Daily Brew?

  • Who We Serve: Content for managed services providers (MSPs), IT service providers (ITSPs), technology solutions providers (TSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs), IT consulting firms, systems integrators, VARs, independent software vendors (ISVs), and any other partner acronym that further caffeinates our already stellar SEO.
  • Frequency: Every business morning.
  • Reaching the Barista: Send news, tips and rumors to [email protected].

A. What’s Brewing Today: Technology News

1. M&A - Managed Print Services & Channel Conflict: Xerox has acquired Group CT, a managed print services (MPS) provider in Canada. This is Xerox's second acquisition targeting the Canadian SMB market in the last year. Xerox acquired Digitex in 2020. The Xerox acquisitions reinforce potential competition between printer makers and their channel partners. Xerox rival Ricoh has been acquiring MPS providers across Europe.

2. Funding - Endpoint Management: Automox has raised $110 million in Series C funding led by Insight Partners, along with participation from Blackstone and existing investors Koch Disruptive Technologies and TechOperators. Also, CrowdStrike co-founder and former CTO, Dmitri Alperovitch – a member of the Automox board of directors since May 2020 – has been appointed chair of the board.

3. MSP Software - Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Launch: ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho, has launched RMM Central, a unified remote monitoring and management solution for MSPs. RMM Central helps MSPs to "discover networks, monitor device performance, detect and manage faults, deploy missing patches, enable remote access and provide a complete overview of all hardware and software inventory," the company says. Pricing starts at $1,195 for 50 devices per year. A 30-day trial is available, as well as a free edition that manages up to 25 devices.

4. MSP Software - Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Growth: Action1's revenue rose 840 percent in Q1 of 2021 compared to Q1 of 2020, though the RMM software provider did not disclose actual dollar figures associated with the growth percentage.

5. IT Product Sourcing: VARStreet has upgraded its sales quoting and e-commerce platform for VARs. The platform, which manages roughly $10 billion worth of VAR transactions annually, competes against such options as ConnectWise Sell (formerly Quosal), QuoteWerks and the newly launched Datto Commerce (based on the Gluh acquisition of July 2020). Ironically, Datto's Autotask business briefly owned VARStreet from about 2010 to 2011.

6. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) - Google Cloud: Automation Anywhere's RPA software platform, called Automation 360, has announced early access support on Google Cloud.

7. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) - Talent: UiPath has hired ServiceMax and Symantec veteran Bettina Koblick as chief people officer (CPO), reporting to UiPath co-founder and CEO Daniel Dines.

8. Restaurants & IT Spending: MSPs and IT service providers that support U.S. restaurants should check out the Small Business Administration's Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program provides restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are spent for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Permitted use of funds include restaurant business operating expenses.

9. Unified Communications as a Service: 8x8 has announced contact center, voice communications, chat, and meetings product enhancements.

10. Public Cloud Storage: Excelero has added public cloud storage support to its flagship NVMesh elastic NVMe software-defined storage solution. Available first for Microsoft Azure, NVMesh will eventually roll out to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, Excelero hinted.

11. Microsoft Quarterly Financial Results: Microsoft met analysts' quarterly sales expectations and beat profit estimates, but its shares fell slightly reflecting some skepticism about one-off benefits included in the results and high hopes after a year-long rally, Reuters reports.

12. Google Quarterly Financial Results: Google parent Alphabet reported record profit for the second consecutive quarter and a $50 billion share buyback -- but warned a surge in usage and ad sales during the pandemic may slow as people resume in-person activities, Reuters notes.

13. AMD Quarterly Financial Results: Advanced Micro Devices raised its annual revenue forecast, betting on strong demand for its chips used in data centers and personal computers as its CEO said she was confident the company could source the chips despite a global supply shortage, Reuters reports.

14. Arm Chips: New launches are described here...

B. Channel Chiefs, Partner Programs and Strategic Alliances

1. ServiceNow Partner: NetImpact Strategies has been named a ServiceNow Elite Partner.

2. Partner Program - Managed Power Services: Schneider Electric has launched the Edge Software & Digital Services Program -- a suite of benefits, support tools and certifications that enables IT solution providers to create a Managed Power Services practice, the company says. The new new Edge Software & Digital Services Program is part of the mySchneider IT Solutions Partner Program, formerly known as the APC Channel Partner Program.

3. Partner Program - Security: Check Point Software Technologies has announced new initiatives in its global Check Point Partner Growth Program. The perks include

  • extra discounts for deal registration and new technology sales;
  • a new professional services certification program;
  • pre-packaged lead generation campaigns; and
  • an enhanced ‘White Space’ program.

4. Partner - VMware: Otava has achieved VMware Cloud Verified status.

5. Partner - VMware Cloud on AWS: ePlus has achieved VMware Cloud on AWS VMware Master Services Competency.

C. Channel Partner Summits, MSP Conferences and Virtual Events Calendar

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.