5 things, Channel partner programs, CSPs, MSP, VAR

5 Channel Observations: 7 Oct 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Greetings from Orlando, where I'm attending Gartner ITxpo today. But enough about me. Here are five technology news insights, updates, chatter, gossip and more to start your day for Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Actually, today's update involves 13 items for VARs, managed services providers and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on. 13. Safe Harbor No More: A major European court ruling -- involving so-called Safe Harbor -- may change how channel partners, MSPs and cloud services providers manage and move customer data between Europe and the U.S. Just about everyone thinks the ruling -- which ends Safe Harbor -- is a really big deal. But few people have described exactly how channel partners will be impacted. Here's our view on Safe Harbor's demise and the channel impact. 12. Fiorina's HP Tenure: The Wall Street Journal took a closer look at Carly Fiorina's tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The picture still isn't pretty. But some Fiorina defenders insist that her vision ultimately benefitted future HP CEOs like Mark Hurd. I'm not sure I agree. 11. Real Data Compliance vs. Sports Fantasy Systems: How do sports fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel gather, protect and manage data? The New York attorney general will investigate those questions and more. The big concern involves insiders -- company employees -- who can potentially gain access to DraftKings and FanDuel information and algorithms for potential financial gain. Hmmm... Instead of rigging the outcome of a sports contest we now live in a world where insiders can potentially rig -- or leverage -- the data. I wonder: Are Organized Crime groups are keeping up with the changing times? 10. Samsung Rebound... And More: Samsung predicted its first quarterly profit growth in two years. Sounds great. But I have a hunch (hmmm... )there are more surprises coming -- particularly in the area of vertical market software and applications... And partners. Stay tuned. 9. MSP M&A: Logicalis Group, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, has acquired Lekscom, a Jersey-based networking and collaboration provider. We're poking around for more details. 8. Ironic: Some pundits expected MSPs to become CSPs. But in Rackspace's case, the CSP is looking more and more like an MSP -- providing remote monitoring and management services to third-party clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure... 7. Microsoft Surface Book: I've spent the past 24 hours or so thinking about Microsoft Surface Book, the company's first full-blown notebook computer. I keep coming to the same conclusion. Sometimes, you have to alienate to innovate. Sometimes that means irritating partners in your quest to deliver something that's really great. And let's not forget: It's not like PC makers are somehow exclusively loyal to Microsoft these days -- especially as Chromebooks continue to gain some popularity in some niches. More: See Items 6 through 1 -- including new partner programs and the next stage for RMM (remote monitoring and management) on next page. Today's top channel partner updates, continued: 6. New Partner Programs: Several companies have announced new partner programs in recent hours. They include:
  • ClearData Partner Program: Dubbed Excel Partner Program, it's designed for system integrators, VARs, IT consultants and ISVs (independent software vendors) dedicated to supporting healthcare providers, payers and life sciences organizations. Rackspace veteran John Perales has joined ClearData as channel sales director.
  • HP Partner Programs: Details about new Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. partner programs emerged here. The company is set to split into Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (servers, storage, networking, etc.) and HP Inc. (PCs, printers) on Nov. 1. We'll be back with more perspectives soon.
  • Alpheus Communications, a provider of Texas metro-regional fiber and networking solutions, expanded its channel partner program with the addition of new channel managers Gabriel Casanova and Jim Longtin.
  • Amazon Partner Network (APN) Competencies: Amazon's latest AWS partner competencies include APN DevOps (27 qualified partners so far); APN Migration (coming soon) and APN IoT (coming soon. Stay tuned for more details from ChannelE2E.
5. Still Searching for the Real Steve Jobs: Here's a timely reminder that people aren't "all good" or "all bad." John Sculley, who led Apple three decades ago, reacts to the latest Steve Jobs movie with this quote in The Wall Street Journal:
“Part of his personality was he was a passionate perfectionist, but there were so many other parts of Steve’s personality that I knew because Steve and I were not only business partners, but we were incredibly close friends for several years,” Sculley says. “I could tell you that the young Steve Jobs that I knew had a great sense of humor. He was on many occasions, when we were together, very warm. He cared a lot about the people he worked with and he was a good person. So, I think those aren’t the aspects that are focused on in this movie.... If one tries to come away with a complete picture of who was Steve Jobs, they wouldn’t get it from this movie."
4.  Building Big SaaS Malls: AppDirect, which helps businesses to build SaaS application marketplaces, raised $140 million from J.P. Morgan and other backers. Care to learn more about the company's long-term strategy? Check out this After Nines Inc. podcast with AppDirect Co-CEO Daniel Saks from earlier this year. 3. AgTech Opportunity: I know nothing about farming. But I know a few farmers. I know nothing about agriculture. But I know a few AgTech experts. Some HTG Peer Groups members come to mind. And that's why I keep an eye on the state of the AgTech market -- where big data, Internet of things, sensor technologies and drones are taking flight. 2. MSPs and VARs Helping Veterans: Continuum and HTG Peer Groups, are set to raise funds for the Hire Heroes. The effort is designed to help returning troops find jobs in the IT industry. Toward that end:  Continuum, HTG and "participating vendors" will host a silent auction on Nov. 10-11 during an HTG gathering in Orlando. 1. RMM Plus Analytics Plus Amazon Cloud: People keep asking me... "Where is the RMM (remote monitoring and management) software market heading next?" My answer usually points to companies like NewRelic. The company blends analytics with cloud application monitoring. More than half of New Relic’s customers report data from an AWS environment to New Relic through application and server monitoring. The latest features include: (1) Monitoring with Context, (2) Manage Any Instance Lifespan, (3) Understand Your Monitoring Coverage (4) Monitor in Minutes and (5) Migrate with Confidence. I'll be back to explain those capabilities and more later today. Read Them All: Did you miss one of our 5 Channel Partner Observations? Find the archive here hereSubscribe: Receive ChannelE2E’s blog headlines, insights and updates in your inbox daily. Subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.   
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.