5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 1 April 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, April 1, 2016.

Actually, there are 12 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

12. IoT Managed Services:  How will utilities adopt IoT managed services -- and how soon? Some answers in a Navigant Research report. Roughly 70,000 customers will be in pilot-scale utility IoT engagements across the United States by 2020, representing an estimated $50 million market. The total addressable market for IoT across the country, meanwhile, is estimated to be 1.6 million customers, representing a $500 million market for the utility industry in 2020. Drivers such as cost containment and demand for customer choice will drive adoption, Navigant predicts.

10. IBM Cloud Consulting Buyouts: IBM is buying Bluewolf Group, a Salesforce.com consulting firm. Although financial terms weren't disclosed, the price tag was about $200 million, Re/code reported. The move comes only a few weeks after IBM acquired a Microsoft Dynamics consulting firm with cloud expertise. Anybody else seeing a pattern?

9. Microsoft Azure Cloud Growth: Azure is adding 120,000 new business customers and developers per month, according to Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group. Impressive, though I don't know how that figure compares to growth at Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud and Google Cloud Platform.

8. Secure Connections to Microsoft, Amazon Cloud: A growing number of big service providers and telcos now offer secure, private connections to Microsoft Office 365, Azure and Amazon Web Services. The latest example is Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions... We're checking to see if a reseller market for such connections is emerging...

7. Microsoft Build 2016: TechCrunch is attending Microsoft Build 2016 and has in-depth coverage of the developer-centric show. Among the moves to watch: New tools that allow developers to plug into Office 365...

6. Wealth Management: Wealthfront, the robo-investor money management platform, is introducing a new dashboard and bolstering artificial intelligence for financial services. ChannelE2E last mentioned Wealthfront as part of our retirement planning coverage for IT service providers and entrepreneurs. Much in the way that E-Trade and TD Ameritrade revolutionized online trading in the 1990s, robo investing systems like Betterment and Wealthfront have delivered extremely low cost financial management services to the masses. (If I sound like a fan then it's safe to say: guilty as charged.)

5. The Other Networking & Smartphone Giant: China's Huawei Technologies on Friday posted its biggest annual revenue growth since 2008, boosted by China's adoption of 4G mobile technology and strong sales of smartphone worldwide. That's particularly impressive, considering Gartner sees softness in the smartphone market.

4. IoT Concerns: Amid security concerns about the Internet of Things, The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday promoted a proposal to ensure broadband user privacy. The proposal bars broadband providers from collecting user data without consent. Ahem... but what about edge sensors collecting all that data? Hmmm...

3. Financial Leader: ConnectWise's financial  team has a new leader -- Michael Power, who now carries the title Chief Financial Officer, interim. Power joined ConnectWise in June 2015 and previously was VP and Controller at ACE Group, where he oversaw Sarbanes-Oxley control testing, compliance filings, and overall financial statements.

2. Thank You, Part I: Special thanks to our readers and subscribers for making yesterday's ChannelE2E Webcast a success. During the event, we explored MSP Merger, Acquisition and Valuation strategies and then unveiled the ChannelE2E 100 -- the top entrepreneurs, startups and exits in the IT channel. Stay tuned as we'll be making more noise about the ChannelE2E 100 soon...

1. Thank You, Part II: Goodbye March, Hello April. As we move into Q2 2016, I'm proud to say ChannelE2E's traffic and overall readership have grown every month since we launched this site in September 2015. Thank you for helping to make ChannelE2E the fastest-growing media site that Amy Katz and I have ever built. PS: We promise not to rest on our laurels. More surprises on the way...

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlus: Subscribe 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.