5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 10 Dec 2015

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and so much more to start your day for Thursday, December 10, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 17 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

17. SMB Security Spending: A lofty 81 percent of respondents plan to increase their annual IT security budget for 2016, by an average of 22%, according to a Webroot survey. Moreover, 81 percent of those SMB leaders say outsourcing IT solutions like security would help them to focus on core areas of the business.

16. Another RMM Startup: Just when you thought the remote monitoring and management (RMM) software market was saturated... along comes this potential disrupter: NinjaMSP. The company -- launched by Dell, Quest, SonicWall and PacketTrap veterans -- announced their debut yesterday.

15. IT Services M&A: Evolve IP, a cloud services provider, has acquired APT Inc., an IT services provider and software consulting firm in Allentown, Pa. ChannelE2E will share more details soon.

14. MSPs and Microsoft AzureBitTitan has launched an Azure Started Kit to help MSPs and other types of partners to sell, onboard and service Microsoft Azure workloads. BitTitan claims the kit requires no special training or expertise. Hmmm...

13. Active Directory Cloud Backup: As Amazon and Microsoft battle to promote cloud-based directory services, Dell is stepping in to protect such services. Indeed, the new Dell Recovery Manager for Active Directory (updated Jan. 20, 2017: now called Quest Recovery Manager for Active Directory) allows "organizations running hybrid Active Directory environments with Azure AD Connect the ability to back up, view and restore changes to AD objects in real time on-premises and in the cloud."

12. New Office 365 SMB Plans: Microsoft has finally released long-awaited Office 365 plan updates for small business customers. But while you're poking around, be sure to check out customized Office 365 vertical market bundles from several channel partners.

11. Business Continuity Certification: Continuum Managed Services has launched a Continuity247 certification program, allowing MSPs to become experts in the company's backup and disaster recovery platform.

10. Remote Support for MSPs: Here's yet another option for MSPs and IT professionals seeking remote support technologies. It's called Splashtop On-Demand Support (SOS). The company senses that MSPs are "unhappy with the escalating renewal prices and inadequate customer services " from existing remote support solutions. Hmmm... Is Splashtop poking at a specific vendor?

9. Slack Enterprise Edition: Slack, the wildly popular social collaboration tool, will launch a Slack enterprise edition sometime in early 2016. The corporate version will support federation across multiple teams; a unified team directory; unified security; data retention and compliance capabilities; analytics and reporting; and consolidating billing. Pricing has yet to be disclosed. The big question: Will there be a partner program?

8. Microsoft Offers Linux Certification: You read it right. Microsoft now offers a Linux certification for partners and customers working within the Azure cloud. Anybody else remember when Azure was branded as "Windows Azure"? Those days are long gone.

7. Wireless for the Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) apparently could disrupt traditional WiFi and cellular networks. The thesis goes like this: Parking meters, vending machines and IoT sensors are going to need a different wireless technology to communicate with each other or with the broader Internet. Hmmm...

6. Another Profitable Unicorn: Atlassian, a unicorn (valuation over $1 billion) that's actually profitable, is going public today. The company's platforms help businesses with software development, project management, collaboration and code quality. Oh, and they happen to make HipChat. ChannelE2E has been critical of some unicorns, suggesting that lofty valuations coupled with money-losing business models is a dangerous business combination. But Atlassian is the second "profitable" unicorn we've heard about in recent weeks. The other: Datto, which raised $75 million in November 2015.

5. Encryption Back Doors: Southern Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is once again pushing Silicon Valley to offer the government back doors to encrypted technologies. Graham points to a terrorist event that allegedly involved encrypted information that the government couldn't monitor. Silicon Valley has repeatedly rejected back door requests, insisting that terrorists could potentially leverage them for nefarious purposes. The encryption back door debate will likely be the top security story of 2016.

4. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Walmart Pay?: Just when you thought you were starting to understand the mobile payment market... along comes a twist called Walmart Pay. Indeed, the retailer plans to launch Walmart Pay for its customers. The big question: Will this be a single-retailer platform... or will Walmart Pay somehow extend to third-party retailers?

3. Fresh Funding:

  • Anodot, based in Sunnyvale (Calif.) and Israel, raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Disrupt-ive Partners. Anodot develops real-time analytics and automated anomaly detection platforms.
  • CloudEndure, with offices in Israel and New York, has raised $7 million led by Infosys and Magma Venture Partners. The company focuses on live migration and disaster recovery solutions.

2. Reframing the IPO Conversation: In some IT circles, critics consider IPOs "selling out" to Wall Street. But Gild CEO Sheeroy Desai says going public often is "the best way to stay alive." I certainly can't argue with his logic.

1. Top 100 Entrepreneurs: Participate in our ChannelE2E 100 survey. Why? You or your company could be honored as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs, startups or exits of 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.