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

5 Channel Observations: 9 Oct. 2015

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, gossip and plenty more to keep your day humming along.

Actually, today's update involves 12 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

12. Name War: Datto and Dato (formerly Graph Labs) are locked in a trademark war. Datto had the name first, and claims Dato's name will potentially cause market confusion...

Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell

11. Dell-EMC Negotiations: Dell apparently is trying to raise about $50 billion to acquire EMC. My opinions on this potential deal are quite clear. If Dell makes the purchase it' can't be positioned as a merger of equals. There can only be one leadership organization. One culture. One go-to-market strategy. One mission.

10. Lamest Headline of the Day: It read something like this... "Microsoft Azure to Boost Revenues In Coming Years." I won't reveal the author. But... um... really?

9. So What Happens to VMware?: EMC, as you likely recall, owns a big stake in VMware. So what happens to that valuable VMware stake if Dell buys EMC? Hmmm... And wasn't it just two weeks ago when Citrix Systems allegedly called Dell to see if Michael wanted to buy Citrix?

8. No More BlackBerry Hardware?: The smartphone maker may quit the hardware market by 2016, according to CEO John Chen.

7. Cyber Espionage?: Yes, Uber was hacked last year. Now, investigators suggest the cyber prowler worked for Uber's rival -- Lyft, The Wall Street Journal reported. At a time when we're all worried about hacks from the other side of the world, our biggest enemies remain rivals across the street, disgruntled employees and user error within...

6. Windows Ain't the Problem: PC sales fell nearly 8 percent in Q3, 2015. Pundits have blamed multi-year PC weakness on everything from the poor Windows 8 release and competition from smartphones and tablets. So what's the real PC market problem? Perhaps Windows is no longer the culprit. Even Apple had its weakest Mac sales rate in Q3 -- down 3.4 percent according to IDC (though up 1.5 percent according to Gartner). PS: My household hasn't purchased a PC in three years, but we have purchased one tablet and three smartphones during that period...

Jay McBain

5. Amazon IoT Copies Jay McBain: Well, it finally happened. ChannelEyes CEO Jay McBain several years ago predicted that toothbrushes and other commodity consumer items would ultimately gain sensors linked to the Internet. Fast forward to this week, and Amazon mentioned sensor-empowered tooth brushes during its AWS Internet of Things business launch... Somewhere, McBain is surely smiling (with bright white teeth).

4. Feeling Stung?: I keep hearing about companies cutting their freelance budgets and open positions. "Sorry, but there aren't enough dollars for the worker bees." But when you really poke around the hive, you'll notice a few executive-level folks holding onto all the honey -- and makin' all the money. The problem? Those folks are hanging out in the hive -- and nobody is out in the garden pollinating the market... That's how businesses die.

3. Death of Channel Chiefs?: Business2Community suggests that Channel Chiefs are an endangered species. My reaction? False rumor. Channel Chiefs will be with us for the long haul -- though their titles will change. VPs of Alliances, in particular, will gain strength as the partner ecosystem increasingly shifts to an ISV mindset -- focused on application integrations as well as cloud platform selections.

michael drake

2. The Hero's Journey: masterIT CEO J. Michael Drake and I got wrapped up on a one-hour call yesterday. Sure, we waxed poetic a bit about his business journey and my own journey. But then he turned me onto a term I hadn't heard before -- The Hero's Journey. It describes what motivates us to take a life journey or a business journey. It articulates the milestones on the journey. And it crystallizes where we should focus our time and energy. That's what sparked today's blog about Gary Pica, and his current Hero's Journey. By now, I think you likely understand my "a-hah" moment from the call. The Entrepreneur to Exit Journey (tracked by ChannelE2E) is a Hero's Journey.

1. Closed Monday: Oct. 12 is Columbus Day, a National Holiday in the United States. On the one hand, we're a startup and I could be blogging all day. But on the other hand, ChannelE2E is about the long-term journey we're all on -- in life and in business. So, we'll be closed Monday. And we'll be back on Tuesday -- recharged and ready to bring you more content and insights. Have a great weekend.

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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.