5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 15 Jan 2016

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, rumors and much more to start your day (and perhaps end your week...) for Friday, January 15, 2016.

Actually, today’s update involves 16 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

16. Microsoft Buys Skype for Business Expertise: Sure, Microsoft owns Skype for Business. But the company has opened its wallet to acquire even more expertise and technology for the platform. The latest buyout involves the UC Commander product suite from Event Zero -- which will bolster Skype for Business management tools.

15. Ingram Micro Cloud & IBM: IBM Cloud, already available via Ingram Micro Cloud in the U.S., is extending across the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K., with plans to extend the offering into additional markets soon, the companies say.

14. Hosted Desktops & File Sharing: nGenx, which offers a hosted workspace service, is partnering with eFolder to blend file sync with virtual desktop services. The resulting solution is called nFinity Drive.

13. New NOC, Helpdesk Services: GMS Live Expert is making some key moves designed for the IT channel. We'll share more details later today.

Mark Hurd
Mark Hurd

12. Oracle Cloud Invades New York: Oracle CEO Mark Hurd will be in New York on January 20, speaking at an Oracle CloudWorld event designed for corporate IT and business leaders. That reminds me: Oracle Cloud Partner Program changes and updates are scheduled to activate in February. We'll check to see if Oracle is on track with those updates...

11. Intel Data Center Challenges: Intel's latest quarterly results included weaker-than-expected growth for the company's data center processors. Data center revenue for Intel's Q4 ended Dec. 27 was $4.31 billion -- below Wall Street's expectations of $4.42 billion, Reuters reported. The result: Intel shares slid nearly 6 percent in after hours trading...

10. Microsoft Azure Price Cuts: Microsoft has cut some Azure pricing by up to 17 percent -- and continues to stand by a commitment to match Amazon Web Services pricing. However, Google Cloud Platform apparently is less expensive than both Microsoft and Amazon on may fronts...

9. Intermedia Hosted Exchange: Intermedia, which has long offered Hosted Exchange and other SaaS services to channel partners, just launched a new Dedicated Host Microsoft Exchange on AWS. We're checking to see if there's a partner angle.

Tracy Pallas

8. Channel Chief Hire: Illusive Networks, a venture-backed startup focused on cybersecurity, named Tracy Pallas to drive the startup's 100-percent channel strategy. She previous held key channel positions at Extreme Networks and Palo Alto Networks.

7. How Hackers Took Down a Power Grid: So, how exactly can hackers infiltrate a utility or industrial equipment and make a power grid go dark? BusinessWeek offers a close look at a Ukrainian hack that knocked out at least 30 of the country's 135 power substations for about six hours. It's a timely read for any IT service providers that are going vertical, working with mission critical systems or stepping towards the IoT.

6. Hotel Cyberattacks: Hyatt, which disclosed a cyberattack breach in December, now says the four-month attack (August through December, 2015) mostly targeted the restaurants within the home chain. The malware stretched across 250 Hyatt hotels in 50 countries. Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton were among the hotel chains attacked in 2015. Hmmm... Mind if I pay with cash?

5. Happy Birthday: Salesforce.com's AppExchange turned 10 years old yesterday. One of the world's first cloud app stores, the AppExchange reminds us that early bets on certain IT moves can pay huge dividends. So what's next? Hmmm... Salesforce will launch an IoT platform later this year -- though the company will face plenty of competition this time around...

4. Progress Software Up for Sale: The application development and tool provider apparently has hired JPMorgan to pursue potential buyers for the company. Progress Software's market cap is about $1.2 billion. The most likely buyer: One or more private equity firms, according to Reuters.

3. Freshly Funded: Tech startups raising money to fuel growth include...

  • Appthority (San Francisco, Calif.), focused on mobile enterprise security services, raised $10 million in Series B funding from multiple backers.
  • Bolste (Scottsdale, Ariz.), which is developing a business operating system for teams of corporate users, raised $5 million in Series A funding from multiple backers. Hmmm... I wonder if Bolste realizes that ConnectWise has often positioned its software as the business operating system for technology teams...
  • Fugue (Frederick, Md.,), which claims to be developing a cloud operating system, raised $20 million in Series C financing led by New Enterprise Associates.
  • VeloCloud Networks (Mountain View, Calif.), which develops a cloud-delivered SD-WAN solutions, raised 27 million in Series C finding from multiple backers.

2. Top Vertical Market MSPs: If you're an MSP working successfully in a key vertical market (healthcare, financial services, retail and plenty more) than it's time to celebrate your success. Participate in ChannelE2E's Top Vertical Market MSPs survey. Your business could be honored when we announce results in Q2 2016.

1. Closed Monday: ChannelE2E will be closed Monday, January 18, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But... we'll be sure to update the site if any major news breaks or if any juicy rumors spill into our inbox...

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.