Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news observations, insights, chatter, gossip and plenty more to start your day for Friday, Sept. 25, 2015.
Actually, today's update involves nine items for VARs, managed services providers, cloud services providers and total services providers (TSPs) to sip on. Enjoy.
8. Secure Android Smartphone: Amid more weak quarterly results, BlackBerry is set to launch an Android smartphone. Fingers crossed, it will blend the best of Android with the best of BlackBerry's security and enterprise mobile management (EMM) technology...
7. Tech Valuations: It sounds like PureStorage -- the hot storage startup -- is struggling to increase its valuation amid a march to IPO. The company was valued at $3 billion in April 2014. And for the anticipated IPO, PureStorage's regulatory filing says it's valuing itself at $3.1 billion.
6. Free Helpdesk Software: Spiceworks, known for its online community of IT managers, now offers its cloud-based Help Desk application for free. It includes custom dashboards, ticket auto-assignment and user portals -- though I don't know how robust the "free" platform is vs. paid alternatives.
5. New Partner Program: Silver Peak, which offers broadband and hybrid WANs, launched a Global Partner Program. It features three partner levels; sales and technical certifications; a mobile app for partners, and a partner portal to speed onboarding.
4. Big Cloud Relationship: AT&T and Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) are partnering to help customers move apps to the cloud. The relationship leans on AT&T's NetBond technology and CSC's Agility Platform. The duo, like just about every other enterprise IT service provider, points to hybrid cloud security as a differentiating capability.
3. Another PSA Player: Look for Krow Professional Services Automation (PSA), built on Salesforce.com, to debut in the next few weeks. I don't know if Krow PSA is fine-tuned for IT service providers -- but I have heard from readers who are intrigued by the "native on" Salesforce.com strategy.
2. NOC Experts Unite: Continuum and HTG Peer Groups have launched two peer groups for the NOC (network operations center) industry. One is for MSP owners, the other is for NOC managers. Each will span up to a dozen members from non-competing geographies. The groups will meet online 11 times per year, and face to face during Continuum's Navigate conference. Topics range from management, sales and marketing, employee relations and managed services to vendor engagement and more. In the crowded market for RMM (remote monitoring and management) software, Continuum has differentiated itself by offering outsourced NOC services to MSPs.
1. Upcoming Calls: Looking forward to catching up with TruMethods CEO Gary Pica (pictured), Artisan Infrastructure CEO Brian Hierholzer, and All Covered President Todd Croteau in the very near future. Plus, a conversation with Continuum CEO Michael George should surface next week during the company's Continuum Navigate conference. Thanks to all the channel experts who have checked in with ChannelE2E since our Sept. 15, 2015 launch.
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