5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 16 February 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, February 16, 2017.

Actually, there are 17 timely updates 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…

17. RSA Conference Recap: Among the companies we met at RSA Conference: Avast, Barracuda Networks, BlackStratus, Cisco Systems, Intel Security (i.e., McAfee), Kaspersky Lab, NinjaMSP, One Identity, SonicWall, SolarWinds MSP, Sophos and Webroot. So What Did We Hear?: Our Tuesday meeting recaps are here. And our Wednesday meeting recaps are here. But that's not all. We'll be summarizing more of the chatter we heard at meetings really soon. Stay tuned for updates here.

16. Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs: Does your company rank among the world's Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs? Prove it and get the recognition you deserve. Participate in the ChannelE2E Top 100 Vertical Market MSP survey. Deadline for submissions is March 31. We'll unveil results and honorees during our April 27 Webcast.

15. M&A - Cloud Services Provider: Blackstone has acquired a majority stake in Cloudreach for an undisclosed sum. Cloudreach, founded in 2009, is based in London and has operations across seven countries.

14. Avaya Channel Chief: Avaya promoted Walter Denk to worldwide channel chief. He previously was VP of Avaya Germany's Small and Medium Business Group. There, Denk successfully led initiatives that enhanced customer and partner satisfaction, sales coverage, productivity and alignment. Prior to Avaya, Denk held positions in sales and marketing at Deutsche Telekom, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

13. More Google Fiber Changes: Google Fiber has named Greg McCray as CEO. He previously led Aero Communications. Google also shifted hundreds of Fiber employees to other Alphabet business divisions. The company had fiber layoffs in 2016 as Google began to rethink its residential broadband strategy.

12.  IoT Partnership: Avnet and IBM are launching a Watson Internet-of-Things (IoT) Joint Lab within IBM’s newly opened global Watson IoT Center in Munich, Germany. Avnet will use this unique environment to showcase, demonstrate, develop and sell IoT solutions, the company said. I believe the effort involves Avnet Technology Solutions, which Tech Data is in the process of acquiring from Avnet.

11. Free Cloud Security Audits: Threat Stack has launched a free cloud security trial for Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers. The free trial provides DevOps and MSPs with a risk score for cloud environments based on security best practices established by both AWS and Center for Internet Security (CIS). True believers include Wavefront, which offers SaaS-based cloud monitoring to customers.

But wait. More content awaits you on page 2. Proceed to page two now and sip up the remaining items...

Welcome to page two. Enjoy a second serving of channel content -- items 10 to 1 -- here.

10. Lenovo Data Center Challenges: Lenovo wants partners to sell hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) into midmarket data centers. But so far that effort remains a work in progress, according to the company's latest financial results. Ironically, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins just yesterday conceded that his company's HCI efforts also need to accelerate...

9. SD-WAN Partnership: PlanetOne Communications and Aryaka are now preferred partners in the SD-WAN market. I'm not sure if there's a category for non-preferred partners.

8. IBM, Hortonworks Partnership: IBM is planning to introduce Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) for IBM Elastic Storage Server (ESS) and IBM Spectrum Scale. The move comes as each of the major Hadoop players (Hortonworks, Cloudera, MapR) seek to partner with major cloud providers and hardware infrastructure companies...

7. New Compliance, Privacy Regulation: Keep a close eye on GDPR -- General Data Protection Regulation, a European Union mandate that becomes official on May 18, 2018. Microsoft and other technology giants are preparing to support GDPR... Channel partners should get up to speed on GDPR now.

6. ShoreTel, Google Partnership: ShoreTel has integrated its technology with Google G Suite. Ironically, the ShoreTel-Google move surfaces the same week that Amazon has launched a unified communications platform atop AWS...

5. Service Desk Funding: Samanage has raised $20 million in new capital funding. In addition, Samanage recently launched the new Service Desk, Enterprise Edition, on the Salesforce AppExchange. A growing number of MSPs, VARs and IT consulting firms now leverage service desk, PSA and business management software from AppExchange...

4. Blockchain Partnership: KPMG and Microsoft have launched Blockchain Nodes, which are "designed to create and demonstrate use cases that apply blockchain technology to business propositions and processes." The first joint Blockchain Nodes are in Frankfurt and Singapore, with future plans for a location in New York. the companies said. Here's how Blockchain potentially benefit channel partners.

3. Anti-Outsourcing Legislation: Senate Democrats unveiled a package of legislation Wednesday aiming to reduce the outsourcing of American jobs and forcing corporations to disclose when they ship jobs abroad, according to Detroit News. President Trump, meanwhile, has threatened to implement a border tax for U.S. companies that leverage offshore outsourcing...


2. Channel Ecosystem Forecast: The state of the channel is healthy, but facing pressure. The 2112 Group's 2017 Channel Forecast found the vast majority of partners posted positive results in 2016 that were in line with adjusted midyear expectations. Still, most partners are getting more conservative in the growth expectations and sales potential. Why's that? The 2112 Group's report answers that question and more.

1. MSP FAQ: Trying to figure out your pricing, business model and sales strategies? Check out the ChannelE2E FAQ. Or submit a question to us and we'll track down the answers.

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.