5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 1 Dec 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, chatter, rumors, gossip and actual insights to start your day for Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

Actually, today's update includes 16 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

16. CenturyLink Cloud Changes: Channel-friendly cloud pioneer Jared Wray is leaving CenturyLink as is Jonathan King, vice president of platform strategy and business development, Fortune reported. The moves come as CenturyLink tries to remain relevant in the cloud market even as the company tries to sell roughly 60 data centers.

15. Apple Watch Sales: Apple will sell roughly five million to six million Apple Watches in Q4 2015, according to FBR Capital Markets estimates. However, the smartwatch still faces challenges. Wristly says third-party Apple Watch app use is low. And during ChannelE2E's visits to Apple Stores, we noticed that fewer than half of the stores' employees were wearing the watch.

14. Microsoft Mobile App Development: OK, so Microsoft largely missed the smartphone wave, where Apple iOS and Google Android dominate the developer world. But perhaps Microsoft PowerApps -- a new mobile app development platform -- can help the software giant change the rules of the game. We'll be back later today with more insights...

13. Channel Account Management: ChannelEyes will launch OPTYX, a workflow management tool for CAMs, on December 10. OPTYX is a "predictive scoring and prioritization solution that helps channel organizations accelerate sales by optimizing partner interactions based on data science." Translation: OPTYX is yet another example of big data reshaping the IT channel without partners really needing to understand the data magic behind the curtains.

12. Managed Security ServicesTerra Verde, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based cyber security and risk compliance services firm, has OEMed Phishbite and now offers a managed phishing service. Um, wouldn't that be an "anti-phishing" service?

11. CSC Breakup: Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), as expected, has spun off its public sector business -- now known as CSRA Inc. (symbol: CSRA).

10. Docker's Real Value: So, you're still trying to understand why software containers are important to enterprises and DevOps? Perhaps these top 5 use cases for Docker will bring things into focus.

9. Skype for Business Partner: Unify Square, a Bellevue, Wash.-based based startup that helps companies deploy Skype for Business, has raised $4 million in funding to expand its existing network operations center in India. The move comes as Microsoft expands Office 365 and Skype for Business to include cloud PBX services -- essentially triggering a voice battle with traditional telcos.

8. Fresh Funding for RMM (Sort of): AppDynamics, which makes cloud-based application monitoring software, raised $158 million in new funding -- and the privately held company's valuation is now a rich $1.9 billion. The funding reinforces the growing value of application-centric monitoring in the age of hybrid cloud computing. Have traditional RMM (remote monitoring and management) software platforms gotten the message?

7. Hadoop vs. Spark: Lots of pundits think Hadoop and Spark will wind up as competing big data platforms. IBM, for one, is betting heavily on Spark though it certainly continues to support Hadoop. Meanwhile, Hadoop providers are working to show how Hadoop and Spark can live together in big data deployments. A case in point: Cloudera, a well-known Hadoop promoter, has introduced deeper Apache Spark integration within Apache Hadoop environments.

6. Samsung Evolution: Samsung has replaced mobile chief J.K. Shin with D.J. Kon, an R&D guru who oversaw Samsung's mobile operating system (Tizen) and Samsung Pay. Hmmm... ChannelE2E wonders how Samsung's software and channel business may evolve for 2016 as well. And we suspect we'll have the answer in the next couple of weeks... ... ...

5. Top Channel Events of 2016: So, what are the leading channel partner summits and conferences for 2016? Surely, you'll find them on ChannelE2E's Technology Event Calendar. (Is your company listed? If not, check out the calendar and get listed.)

4. Big Banks Cutting Small Business Loans: A boatload of recent data suggests big banks are cutting way back on small business loans, forcing small business owners to lean more heavily on credit cards and alternative lenders. We'll be back with the deeper story soon.

3. Spending Pushback?: Businesses appear reluctant to invest in in the "basic building blocks of the economy" -- such as machines, computers and new buildings, according to The Wall Street Journal's analysis of recent Commerce Department data. Not mentioned in the coverage: How the shift from CapEx to OpEx spending impacts those numbers.

2. Another MSP Acquired: ChannelE2E is just about ready to confirm that a small but very well known MSP has been acquired. We suspect details will surface around 10:00 a.m. ET today (Dec. 1, 2015). Stay tuned to ChannelE2E for potential details.

1. Top Entrepreneurs, Startups and Exits: If that sounds like you or your business be sure to complete our ChannelE2E 100 survey. The results will honor the top entrepreneurs, startups and exits across the IT channel for 2015.

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.