5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 12 January 2017

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Thursday, January 12, 2017. Actually, there are 26 (OMG) timely entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs), telco master agents and telco agents to sip on. Take a look…

PC Management

26. Windows 10 Management: VMware and Adaptiva are integrating VMware AirWatch Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) and Adaptiva OneSite to ease Windows 10 desktop management. The partnership emerges amid rival Citrix Partner Summit, where Windows 10 management and hosted desktops have been major themes. For instance, Flexxible IT has launched a hyperconverged appliance designed to help SMBs simplify the deployment, operations and support of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments and applications, including Microsoft Office 365. 25. Rapid PC Deployment: Dell EMC has launched the ProDeploy Client Suite, which helps the technology giant and/or partners to accelerate PC deployments for customers. 24. Growing Amid PC Weakness: Worldwide PC shipments were 72.6 million units in Q4 2016, down 3.7 percent from Q4 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner Inc. Alas, PC shipments have declined annually since 2012, Gartner says. Still, the rate of decline has slowed a bit. Glass Half Full: Also, four leading PC makers -- Lenovo, HP, Dell and Apple -- saw shipments rise in Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015, Gartner said.

Cloud Services

23. Microsoft Azure Price Models, Partnerships: The Microsoft Azure platform continues to evolve, and the associated Azure ecosystem remains in growth mode. For starters, Microsoft dropped some pay-as-you-go Azure pricing models -- a key development for MSPs that are still sorting through their cloud pricing strategies. Meanwhile, Zaact is now active in the Azure partner program, while Teradata has extended its database and big data capabilities into Azure. 22. Amazon AWS IT Training: Yes, Amazon has gotten into the IT training business -- particularly in the UK, where the company's re:Start program attempts to train and develop AWS experts for cloud careers. We'll share more thoughts soon. 21. Top Cloud Monitoring Software Platforms: IT Central, a user review site, ranks the top 16 cloud monitoring platforms here. Looking for more or different options? Check out ChannelE2E's own Top 50 Cloud Monitoring and Management Tools. 20. Google Cloud Encryption: The new Google Cloud Platform service will allow enterprises to create, use and rotate encryption keys to protect their data, eWeek notes. Cloud service providers (CSPs) and MSPs have been transitioning key management to end-customers, so that customers (rather than partners) can control their privacy fate if regulators and investigators come knocking for information. 19.Business Continuity Patent: Zetta, which promotes business continuity services to MSPs, has earned a patent for the company's direct-to-cloud data protection technology. Many cloud-based backup providers still offer on-premises appliances, but Zetta has been promoting a direct-to-cloud model. Also, rival Axcient earlier this week launched a Fusion trade-up program that allows the company's appliance partners to migrate up to a pure cloud model... 18. Container and Docker Market Forecast: Still skeptical about software containers and Docker? Check out this container market forecast, which suggests the industry will grow to $2.7 billion by 2020.

Funding, Mergers, Acquisitions

17. Employee-owned MSP: Phacil, an IT service provider in Arlington, Va., activated an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) on December 28, 2016. That means Phacil's founders sold their shares in the company to Phacil's new ESOP Trust. It's basically a long-term plan that rewards employees for remaining with the company over the long haul. We're pursuing more details now. 16. Funded -- Asset Monitoring: Roambee just received a $3.1 million strategic investment, and the company plans to accelerate its asset monitoring business. Think of Roambee as a far more sophisticated, corporate approach to the consumer Tile tracking technology. 15. Funded -- IT Monitoring; LogTrust has raised $11 million to expand the company's real-time data monitoring platform. LogTrust is catching on with MSPs, which typically leverage the platform for security monitoring, big data analytics and more. 14. Funding, Brexit and UK TechU.K. tech companies raised more capital than any other European country in 2016, suggesting that Brexit -- Britain's exit from the European Union -- hasn't dampened the UK tech market, according to Bloomberg. 13. M&A - WiFi Infrastructure: Single Digits Inc., which manages high-speed internet access for hotels, malls and other properties, has acquired  Ze-Net Technologies Inc., a provider of Wi-Fi infrastructures for the hospitality industry, UnionLeader reported. 12. M&A - BPO Business process management company WNS Global Services has acquired Denali Sourcing Services for $40 million to improve its capabilities in the sourcing and procurement capabilities, LiveMint reported. But wait. There's more. Visit page 2 of this blog entry for a tantalizing look at items 11 through 1. Welcome to page two. You're about to be tantalized.

Channel Talent

11. H-1B Visa Overhaul?: President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has been actively considering ways to revamp a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs, according to Reuters... 10. Rackspace Leadership: Rackspace has named Jeff Cotten to the president position, where he'll oversee the company's global sales team, its international businesses, and its fastest-growing businesses, including Fanatical Support for AWS, Rackspace Managed Security, and the company's services for customers who run e-commerce and digital marketing solutions. He succeeds Alex Pinchev, EVP and president of Global Sales and Marketing, who will retire at the end of January. Rackspace over the past year has shifted from a public cloud provider to a privately held MSP focused on Azure and AWS managed services. 9. Web Developer Layoffs: Newmedia, the third largest web developer in Denver, has cut 20 percent of its staff, according to BusinessDen. The 20-year-old company now has about 60 employees. Newmedia is preparing to launch Drud, a lower-cost way to design and develop websites.

Partner Programs, Distribution

8. Distribution: Ingram Micro has agreed to distribute Stormshield's security offerings across EMEA (Europe,  Middle East and Africa). 7. MSP Operational Efficiency:  Continuum has launched a eBook designed to help MSPs to boost their operational efficiency. Not by coincidence, operational efficiency typically boosts an MSP's gross margins -- and therefore a company's valuation. 6. SD-WAN Channel Momentum: VeloCloud Networks, which promotes cloud-delivered SD-WAN technology, now has 130 registered channel partners, and the company's revenues grew eight-fold in 2016 vs. 2015. Admittedly we don't know actual revenue figures and the growth rate likely involves a small base from 2015. Still, the fast-growing SD-WAN market is filled with partner opportunities. 5. New Partner Program, Part I: Invincea, an antivirus security company, launched a Next-Gen Partner Program, a channel-only go-to-market strategy for partners. 4. New Partner Program, Part II: Menlo Security has launched the new SafeToClick Global Channel Partner Program. Menlo's specializes in isolation security, protects enterprises from "costly and dangerous problems of malware, ransomware and email phishing attacks." 3. New Partner Program, Part III: Kontena has launched a partner program that provides out-of-the box support for technologies and solutions in four areas: CI/CD Pipeline Tooling; Infrastructure Platforms: Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud; Monitoring and Logging; and ISV Stacks. Initial partners include IBM Softlayer, Splunk, SUSE, Dataloop and Red Hat. 2. New Partner Program, Part IV: ObserveIT has launched "major enhancements" to its partner program, which helps partners to protect customers from insider threats. 1. Veeam Partners of the Year: You'll find the honorees here. We'll share more thoughts soon. 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.