17. E-Rate Wins: Specialty distributor Securematics, Inc. says its E-Rate Advantage Program has empowered channel partners to secure more than $5 million in annual contract revenues to date. Announced in August 2015, Securematics E-Rate Advantage Program makes it easier and more profitable for channel and vendor partners to compete for K-12 business, the company asserts.16. Eye On Cuba: Will service providers emerge in Cuba? That remains to be seen. But a third U.S.-Cuba regulatory dialog took place in Havana on July 12-13. According to a U.S. Department of State comment:
"The U.S. delegation included officials from the Departments of Commerce, the Treasury, and State, and continued discussions from previous dialogues held in October 2015 and February 2016. U.S. officials described regulatory changes that were announced on March 16 related to Cuba-related travel, commerce, and financial transactions. The delegations addressed ways the two nations can work together within existing U.S. laws and regulations."15. Distribution: The Global Technology Distribution Council announced the addition of ELKO Group and TIM AG as its newest members in the EMEA region, plus the appointment of WestconGroup CEO Dolph Westerbos to the organization’s Executive Committee. GTDC members drive more than $130 billion in annual worldwide sales of products, services and solutions through business channels. 14. Managed Azure Cloud Services: NaviSite is the latest midmarket MSP to introduce managed multi-cloud services for Microsoft Azure. For more news from this week's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 (WPC16), see our complete multi-day coverage. 13. MSPs Mastering Customer Data?: More than 50 percent of IT service providers customers’ IT performance, 81 percent of whom are able to use the data to proactively improve service delivery. Yet only eight percent have put in place automated processes for transforming data into actionable recommendations. Those conclusions, and more, surfaced in a LogicNow survey of its MSP customer base. Not by coincidence, LogicNow has been promoting LogicCards -- a big data and machine learning system that gathers data, and helps MSPs to pinpoint additional revenue opportunities. 12. Analytics Partner Program: Sinequa, which specializes in Cognitive Search and Analytics, has launched the Partner Advantage Program to further expand its ecosystem of consulting firms, systems integrators and technology alliances. 11. Next Veeam Suite: Veeam Suite 9.5, coming later this year, will "fully integrate with Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V technologies used in the data center," the company asserts. Hmmm... why announce the product months before release? Perhaps to freeze the market amid intensifying competition... Wait. That's not all. Check out Page 2 for our items 10 to 1. We promise: We're not sending you to a slide show. Welcome to Page 2 of our five updates (or more...) for July 14, 2016. 10. Google Fiber for Small Business: Google is rolling out small business plans for its Fiber broadband unit. Prices range from $70 to $250 per month. Eligible small businesses in Charlotte can now sign up for one of our new plans. Businesses everywhere can check their address and join our list to be among the first to know when we’re available in their area, Google said in a blog post. 9. Consumer IoT: Nest has unveiled its first IoT product in the post-Tony Fadell era. The device, called Nest Cam Outdoor, uses machine learning to alert homeowners of trespassers are on their property. The system apparently "learns" to distinguished people from raccoons and other animals, Bloomber says. Fadell, Nest's former leader, left last month amid morale and R&D concerns at the Alphabet business. 8. Industrial IoT: AT&T and IBM are partnering to launch "open standards-based tools" on the IBM Cloud. The effort will give customers a range of new Internet of Things solutions that also leverage Watson and BlueMix. The deal comes a few days after GE said its IoT platform -- called Predix -- will surface on Microsoft Azure. 7. Brexit and Amazon Web Services: Brexit hasn’t hurt spending for cloud services from Amazon Web Services, Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note this week. But the process remains in early stages, and it’s possible demand could slow in the future if cautious companies defer spending, The Wall Street Journal reported. For a closer look at Britain's decision to exit the European Union and what it means to IT service providers, check out our Brexit center. 6. Help Desk Bots: We told you they're coming. Now, help desk bots have arrived. A key example: Zendesk has launched Automatic Answers, which leverages machine learning to auto-respond to customer tickets with relevant knowledge base articles, helping solve and deflect customer inquiries before they ever reach an agent, the company claims... 5. HealthTech Acquisition: Imprivata, a healthcare IT security company, is being acquired by Thoma Bravo for $544 million. By the way, rumor has it Thoma Bravo may also look to buy Intel's McAfee security business... 4. MSP Acquisition: European managed services provider Claranet has acquired French MSP Diademys -- which has roughly 120 staff members and 200 customers. The acquisition allows Claranet to expand its size and position as leader of hosting and outsourcing of business-critical applications, Telecompaper reported. Claranet now has almost 400 workers and turnover of EUR 76 million in France, the paper added. Claranet also acquired AWS specialist Bashton earlier this year, and LinuxIT and Techgate in the UK last year. 3. Oracle Buying NetSuite?: That's been the rumor most of this week. NetSuite shares have surged on the speculation. Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison was an early investor in NetSuite, which competes in the cloud ERP market against Microsoft and SAP -- and even Oracle. But you won't ever hear about Oracle and NetSuite going to war against one another. In fact, NetSuite has even hosted media parties in Ellison's San Francisco home. Yes, I was among the attendees... 2. HTG IT Channel Summit: ChannelE2E is set to attend HTG's IT Channel Summit in September. If you'd like to potentially meet us at the conference please email me ([email protected]). 1. Another RMM Acquisition?: We hear a deal may happen in the next few weeks. This time it allegedly involves a startup in the RMM (remote monitoring and management) market that works closely with MSPs... Hmmm... More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner Updates. Plus: Subscribe to our daily enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.