5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 11 Feb 2016

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Thursday, February 11, 2016.

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

Zane Long
Zane Long

12. Dialing a New Channel Chief: RingCentral, which offers cloud-based unified communications, has hired Zane Long as its new VP of global channel sales. Long previously was Vonage's VP of global strategic partners...

11. Cisco Pros and Cons: Cisco Systems' latest earnings results and business forecast, shared yesterday, were stronger than most pundits expected. Although revenues only grew 2 percent, that's reasonably strong compared to hardware-centric companies like IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Still, Cisco faces some challenging areas -- including a 4 percent decline in the company's core switching business, and a 3 percent decline in  data center solutions. Next up for CEO Chuck Robbins: Cisco Partner Summit 2016 later this month in San Diego.

10. Cognizant Buys Oracle Partner: Cognizant Technology Solutions has acquired KBACE, a 400-person organization that focuses on Oracle cloud solutions. We'll share more details soon.

9. Small Business Loans: Need a loan? Keep an eye on American Express, which plans to expand its lending to small businesses. In particular, watch American Express's relationship with Fundera -- and the small business loans that potentially emerge there.

8. PC Sales Shift From Gloom to Doom: The notebook computer market is about to go from bad to worse. Indeed, notebook sales will likely fall 26 percent to 25.85 million units in Q1, according to Pacific Crest. The market watcher says Q1 2016 will deliver the biggest-ever drop in quarterly notebook PC sales...

7. Midmarket M&A Slowdown: While M&A activity remains fast and furious among small IT service providers, the same can't be said in the overall midmarket M&A industry. Indeed, the number of midmarket M&A deals in January 2016 was the lowest figure since 1991, according to Thomson Reuters. We'll share more analysis soon.

6. Avnet, VMware Partnership: Avnet has joined the VMware Partner Professional Services Program (PPSP). The upshot? Avnet will offer VMware-focused professional services to its network of channel partners.

LinkedIn: AC Global Risk Chief Revenue Officer Bill Falk

5. Next Move: Kaseya and Datto veteran Bill Falk has joined Infrascale as chief revenue officer. Among his key priorities: Accelerating the disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) company's channel partner program.

4. Microsoft on IoT: Sam George, the director of Microsoft's Azure IoT platform, says the Internet of Things market is nearing a tipping point -- with more and more customers investigating IoT opportunities built atop Azure, he told The Wall Street Journal. The goal: Make sure Azure harvests and analyzes signals from lots and lots of devices.

3. UK Data Privacy: You already know about the new EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, the Safe Harbor successor that aims to protect data as it travels between Europe and the U.S. And you already know that European regulators are very concerned about the U.S. NSA spying agency. But here's the twist: UK regulators are equally worried about the British government's surveillance powers. Big Brother, it seems, is alive and well on both sides of the big pond.

2. Big Data Bright Spots: Hortonworks, the Hadoop big data software provider, delivered better-than-expected Q4 results yesterday and raised its forecast for 2016. The results, announced yesterday, helped to quiet critics who wondered if Hortonworks and the big data market are overhyped. Rival MapR, meanwhile, says its billings doubled in 2015 -- thanks at least in part to a growing channel partner ecosystem.

1. Searching for Channel Partner Programs: Are you trying to find the right channel partner program for business continuity, cloud services, networking, storage, security, etc? Check out the ChannelE2E Partner Program database -- it's free and easy to search.

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.