5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 01 July 2016

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Friday, July 1, 2016.

Actually, there are 15 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on. Take a look...

Carolyn April
Carolyn April

15. Congrats: To the CompTIA team and Senior Director Carolyn April. Chatter about the organization's latest managed IT services research has gone mainstream -- extending the MSP business model conversation all the way to The Wall Street Journal. Our spin on the research results is here.

14. Alliance Program: RES, which focuses on enabling, automating and securing digital workspaces, has launched the Tech Alliance Program. Key members include Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Nutanix, ServiceNow, TOPdesk, Unidesk and VMware.

13. Big News Coming?: Three-day weekends here in the U.S. typically trigger two types of technology news. Either (A) a big earnings warning from a tech giant or (B) M&A discussions. In both cases, the players involved use the holiday weekend in an attempt to avoid the media spotlight. But we'll be watching -- and listening -- for developments... ...

12. Microsoft Business App Store?:  Microsoft appears to be building a business app store, according to PC World. The company put online a test version of a service called AppSource that’s designed to help businesses find software that augments the Microsoft products they already use, such as Power BI and Dynamics AX, the magazine said... Could an official announcement surface at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016? Hmmm...

11. PCs as a Service: HP Inc. has formally launched its Device as a Service program -- basically, business PCs available as a fixed monthly fee. The move comes as HP Inc. also acquires David Vision Systems -- a 3D scanning technology specialist. As we pointed out in mid-June, HP, Microsoft and other technology giants are looking to jumpstart hardware as a service -- but the best example of success likely comes from the world of finance, where GreatAmerica has successfully introduced hardware as a rental.

10. MSP Acquisition Down Under: Blue Central, Australian IT solutions and services provider and an IPMG company, has acquired VCPro -- an MSP in Sydney, Australia. As part of the deal, VCPro's Peter Ikladios is now Blue Central's managing director. The M&A deal pushes Blue Central deeper into the hybrid cloud services market. Financial terms were not disclosed. Blue Central parent IPMG is the largest independently owned marketing group in the southern hemisphere.

9. Nutanix Partner Program: Nutanix has bolstered its Elevate Technology Alliance Partner Program. It now includes “Nutanix Ready” technical designs, and marketing and enablement investments for the company's partner ecosystem. Key alliance partners include Lenovo's server division, which is working with Nutanix and channel partners to push deeper into SMB hyperconverged data centers.

8. M&A: AMD has acquired HiAlgo, a developer of software tools that improve a PC's gaming performance and image quality, and also prevent a PC's CPU and GPU from overheating while playing demanding games, TheStreet noted. Terms were not disclosed. Amid the PC sales slump, AMD's move shows that certain customer niches -- i.e., gamers -- will continue to pay a premium for high performance.

7. Half Price Sale: Zenefits, the unicorn undergoing layoffs, has halved its previous valuation to $2 billion to head off investor lawsuits, according to TechCrunch.

6. One-Man Media Giant: At a time when many "digital" media companies pursue private equity or venture capital to pursue astronomical growth, John Gruber has built "the world's most powerful one-man media company." I love the model but prefer twice the horsepower. In my mind and in my heart, I know two-person media companies are the way to go...

5. Brexit and Data Privacy: For a technology journalist, Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union) is the gift that keeps on giving. The latest story angle, according to The Wall Street Journal: Britain’s exit from the European Union risks stripping companies of their ability to freely store information about EU residents on British soil, potentially creating a new barrier to trade in the region. That's one reason why many data-driven companies may seek data center alternatives outside of the UK.

4. Managed Azure Services: Connectria Hosting, a global cloud hosting company, has launched Managed Azure Services for customers running workloads in Microsoft's cloud. It's part of a larger industry trend, in which MSPs are trying to give public cloud customers peace of mind -- and improved service levels. Rackspace also has been an aggressive mover toward managed cloud services across Azure and Amazon Web Services. But the company isn't alone. These 50 MSPs are gaining traction with managed AWS services. We expect a similar list of leaders to emerge in the Azure ecosystem.

3. Managed Office 365 Services: Cloud|AG has launched a new set of managed services offerings for Office 365 customers. Leveraging AvePoint's DocAve Online, Cloud|AG will offer best-in-class managed services for modern businesses seeking enhanced backup, recovery, and administration of their Microsoft cloud services, including Office 365 and Azure, the company said. The effort comes as many MSPs struggle to sort out their cloud services offerings, according to a recent CompTIA research report.

2. Office 365 Identity Management: GSX Solutions, has launched of end-to-end identity management monitoring for Office 365 environments...

1. Calling a Time Out: Welcome to the first day of the second half of 2016 -- an ideal time to look back and look ahead on the age-old topic of life-work balance. On that note, I'll be on vacation the week of July 4-8, returning July 11. Be sure to check ChannelE2E daily during my time off the grid. We've got plenty of daily surprises in store for you. But don't stare at the screen too long. Look up. Look around. Life awaits -- but waits for no one...

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlusSubscribe to our daily 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.