5 things, Channel partner programs, CSPs, MSP, VAR

5 Channel Observations: 16 Oct 2015

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, gossip and chatter to start your day for Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 15 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers to sip on.

15. Bye, Bye Passwords: Yahoo's email system now allows you to log in without passwords. The catch? You have to use Yahoo's mobile app.

Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell

14. Dell World: Only one week after Dell announced plans to buy EMC, Michael Dell and his executive team will step onto the stage for Dell World 2015 (Oct. 20-22, Austin, Texas). Sure, Michael will be tempted to describe his vision for how Dell and EMC will rule the IT world (and solve customer problems, of course). But Dell's buyout of EMC isn't expected to be completed until at least May 2016. And EMC is allowed to entertain alternative buyout offers -- if any emerge. Amid all those reality checks, Michael will likely offer some quick big-picture thoughts on the deal. But I doubt he can say too much at this point.

13. Channel Partner Summit Calendar: How did I know Dell World 2015 is next week? Because it's on the ChannelE2E Event Calendar -- which tracks hundreds of partner summits and technology events through the end of 2016 and beyond. Is your company's partner conference or summit listed? Why not?

12. New Partner Programs: Companies launching or enhancing their partner programs include Ariba (an SAP company) and Facebook (yes, Facebook).

11. Women in Technology: Girls Who Code -- which teaches girls across the U.S. to master mobile app development, HTML, CCS and more -- is partnering with more than two-dozen technology companies to help connect women with technology careers. Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft and others have pledged to consider hiring Girls Who Code alumnae, The Wall Street Journal reported.

10. Another Awakening: The first complete Star Wars Episode VII movie trailer is set to debut during Monday Night Football on Oct. 19, according to multiple sources on both sides of The Force. Star Wars Episode VII is set to debut in U.S. theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

James Foxall

9. The Other Oracle of Omaha?: I'm set to catch up with Tigerpaw Software CEO James Foxall later today. Tigerpaw Partner Conference 2015 arrives later this month (Oct. 28-30, Omaha). I'm curious to know how the business process automation software company's partner ecosystem has evolved over the past year or two. Moreover, I sense that Foxall is preparing some mobile and cloud surprises for that partner base...

8. Done Deal: Barracuda's buyout of Intronis, the cloud-centric backup provider, is now official, according to an SEC filing. Within Intronis, key executive and channel leadership remain in place. Barracuda is expected to learn from Intronis's MSP-centric channel partner strategy before potentially cross-promoting products across its partner ecosystem.

More: See Items 7 through 1 — including a new rumor about SolarWinds ownership; a major IT automation acquisition; where Kaseya's former channel chief is now; views from Cisco's global channel chief and more.

Page 2 of 2: Today's top channel partner updates, continued:

7. Sounds Unlikely: Several private equity firms, as you may recall, may consider making a takeover bid for SolarWinds. Now the potential twist: Two sources suggest SolarWinds may spin off or sell off its N-able business as part of the parent company's current strategic review. I find the rumor doubtful since SolarWinds has been buying technology to round out N-able's portfolio. The latest addition involves N-able's remote control software.

6. Red Hat's IT Automation Push: Red Hat has acquired Ansible, an IT automation company that focuses that strives to simplify how businesses manage DevOps, hybrid clouds, OpenStack and software containers like Docker. We're watching to see how Ansible's partner network integrates with Red Hat's channel strategy.

Liz Lederer

5. After Kaseya: Former Kaseya Channel Chief Liz Lederer is now senior VP of channel partners and programs at Covertix -- which develops data protection and security solutions. We'll be watching for channel partner milestones...

4. Customers Demand Amazon MSPs: Roughly 40% of AWS customers already use a third party or partner to help manage AWS, however there are services they are not getting from their current providers that they would like to have, including Backup and Restore (50%), Systems Security and Systems Admin (35%), and AWS Monitoring, Alerts and Escalations (27%), according to Connectria.

Phillip Liu

3. Cloud Monitoring: Keep a close eye on SignalFx, a startup that offers a range of cloud and application monitoring services -- particularly for Amazon Web Services. CTO and Co-Founder Phil Liu described the SignalFx strategy to me yesterday. We'll recap the conversation in our next ChannelE2E Podcast (Episode 048, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015).

2. Data-Driven Help Desks: Only 5 percent of Mac users within IBM need help desk support, compared to 40 percent of PC users, according to Apple Insider. Admittedly, I don't know if that data is based on monthly, quarterly or annual help desk inquiries. But the simple logic: If you're an MSP charging the same fee for Mac and Windows support, your margins are likely far better on the Mac side of the house...

Wendy Bahr

1. Cisco Channel Chief: Wendy Bahr sees three major opportunities for channel partners in the months ahead. They involve services, software and security. But that's not all. In a wide-ranging interview with ChannelE2E yesterday, Bahr described her first 90 days as Cisco's global channel chief -- and the road ahead for Cisco and its channel partners. We'll publish complete details soon.

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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.