5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 16 December 2015

Good morning, channel partners, Resistance leaders and First Order loyalists. Here are five spoiler-free updates to start your day for Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

Yowzers. Today's update actually involves 20 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

20. BREAKING: Carbonite has acquired EVault cloud backup and on-premises appliances from Seagate at fire sale price. Here are ChannelE2E's perspectives on the deal.

19. Tickets In Hand: Let's just get the top item of the day -- hmm... the opening crawl? -- out of the way. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has a 97 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's the type of big data KPI that I really value. It's time to unlearn what we have learned about the prequels. Let's re-start our journey with the sequels, care of J.J. Abrams. Forgive me if ChannelE2E content updates are a bit less frequent than usual on Thursday, December 17 and Friday, December 18.  One viewing won't be enough for this ticket holder...

18. AWS Vertical Market Cloud Partners: Connectria Hosting, which focuses on HIPAA Compliant Managed Hosting, has earned the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Healthcare Competency. And don't forget: That vertical market movement isn't limited to AWS. ChannelE2E has also spotted vertical market Office 365 bundles emerging in Microsoft's channel.

17. New Data Protection Rules in Europe: So, you're an IT service provider in Europe -- or you're looking to extend your business into Europe. Careful with your customer data. The European Union has announced a new set of data protection rules that are worth tracking.

Murali Sitaram Murali Sitaram

16. Google for Work Partner Strategy: In a rapid-fire conversation filled with specific details, Google Channel Chief Murali Sitaram offered ChannelE2E a range of updates last night. And he even confirmed plans for a 2016 partner summit. We'll share details from the conversation later today.

15. The Best Windows 10 Laptops: Which Windows 10 laptops are the best that money can buy right now? The Wall Street Journal is waxing poetic about the Microsoft operating system's high quality, and offering these Windows 10 laptop reviews for your consumption. As for me, I'm still holding tight tight to my MacBook Air. It's three years old... but still feels new...

14. Updated KPIs for MSPs, VARs: ChannelE2E recently wrote a widely read blog about Key Performance Indicators for VARs, MSPs and IT service providers. Building on that theme, check out How to Run Your Company Based on Metrics -- which describes the metrics and related tools that may assist your efforts.

13. StorageCraft Goes Down Under: StorageCraft Technology Corp. plans to launch a next-generation disaster recovery cloud for Australia in Q1 2016.

12. Continuum and Continuum: Continuum Analytics has raised $10 million to drive its analytics platform forward. The company is not to be confused with Continuum Managed services, which offers business and technology management tools to MSPs.

11. Secret Sauce At Datto: How does Datto, the business continuity company focused on MSPs, manage its compensation processes? The answer apparently involves Xactly, a Salesforce.com-compatible platform.

10. Service Outage Mitigation: How can service providers identify the cause of an outage and prioritize remediation? With those issues in mind, ServiceNow launched ServiceWatch, a family of cloud-based IT operations management solutions.

9. Partner Program Growth:  Gigamon, which develops network traffic visibility solutions, says eight new partners have joined the Gigamon Ecosystem Partner Program. More than 60 partners, mostly enterprise security vendors, are now part of the program.

8. Docker Ecosystem: ChannelE2E sees 10 key Docker and container trends for 2016. One area we overlooked: Log management partners that are now integrating with Docker. The list of Docker log management partners is impressive...

7. IBM-Apple Enterprise Milestone: The IBM-Apple enterprise partnership has reached the 100 app milestone -- many of which serve government, healthcare, telecom,  transportation and insurance customers.  What's missing from the conversation? How about a joint channel partner program that empowers IBM's partner ecosystem in the mid-market?

6. Slack Applications for IT Support: Slack is already a super-hot collaboration platform. Now, it is transforming into an ISV ecosystem -- thanks to an $80 million Slack investment fund to attract developers onto the platform. It's a safe bet IT support, project management and productivity applications are on the way... ...

Dima Kumets

5. ChannelE2E Podcasts: In ChannelE2E Podcast 54 (which arrived Dec. 15), OpenDNS Senior Product Manager Dima Kumets describes the company's machine learning security system for MSPs. And in Episode 55 (coming Dec. 17), listen for Ingram Micro to share vertical market IT service provider strategies.

4. MSP Financial Applications: How can MSPs and IT service providers maximize their profits and improve their service deliveries? Sometimes the answer involves taking what you have (say, Autotask and ConnectWise) then layering on additional business intelligence (BI) or analytics software. That's where companies like BrighGauge, ConnectSmart and MSPCFO (among others) enter the picture. Ironically, each of the three firms has been in touch with ChannelE2E in recent days. And each addresses the market in its own way. We'll be back with updates soon...

3. Dell Reality Check: So how is Dell performing as a privately held company? SEC filings suggest that Dell's business hasn't gotten much better since the 2013 exit from public markets... ChannelE2E will take a closer look at the numbers later today.

2. Padmasree's Latest Move: Former Cisco Systems CTO Padmasree Warrior is now CEO of NextEV's U.S. division. The China-based company is a potential Tesla Motors rival...

1. IT Service Provider FAQs: Need to understand managed services pricing models or cloud compensation plans? Check out ChannelE2E's FAQs for managed services, cloud services, business management and more. Also, use our FAQ area to submit your own questions.

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.