5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 17 January 2017

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Actually, there are 21 (yowzers) timely entries 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… 21. Gartner IT Spending Forecast: Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.5 trillion in 2017, a 2.7 percent increase from 2016, according to Gartner. However, this growth rate is down from earlier projections of 3 percent. Hardly surprising most of the increase involves cloud-oriented software and associated IT services. 20. Aruba Retirement: Aruba Networks President Dominic Orr is retiring at the end of this month. Co-founder and CTO Keerti Melkote will run Aruba going forward. HP Enterprise owns the wireless networking company, which is set to host the annual Aruba Atmosphere 2017 conference in February. 19. GSA Rebrand: Keep a close eye on the General Services Administration, which is rebranding some of its government IT efforts... 18. Microsoft StaffHub: Microsoft has launched StaffHub, an Office 365 app for shift workers who typically don't have desks or computers. Microsoft expects retail stores, restaurants and factories to embrace the app -- a free Office 365 add-on -- to manage employee scheduling. 17. Comcast and Microsoft Azure: Comcast Business now provides enterprise customers with private Ethernet connections to Microsoft Azure. Most major telcos and cable companies have been introducing private connection options to Azure and Amazon Web Services. 16. Hybrid IT Monitoring:  HOSTING, a provider of managed cloud services, has launched HOSTING Monitoring Insights. The solution combines HOSTING managed services and proprietary dashboards with ScienceLogic's hybrid IT monitoring solutions to deliver a "holistic" view of hybrid cloud environments. 15. ESOP Lawsuit: Here's a timely reminder that ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) can potentially turn sour. In one recent case, the CEO of an ESOP-owned company allegedly stacked the board of directors in his favor to retail his leadership position. A lawsuit ensued. The legal case is still pending. 14. Florida Expansion: Western Digitech, a Miami-based IT solutions provider, is expanding its Tampa office. Moreover, the company expects to open at least two additional satellite offices in the next 18 to 24 months within the state of Florida. 13. Relocating to Florida: BlueLine Associates, a professional services firm, is relocating its global headquarters from Cary, North Carolina to Tampa, Florida, according to the SaintPetersBlog. For the move., BlueLine expects to invest more than $2 million in the local economy and create 150 new jobs, paying an average wage of $71,909, the blog reported. While the firm currently has offices in Tampa, the relocation of its headquarters will expand the company’s footprint to include its financial, legal and human resources groups. BlueLine acquired a technology staffing business last year, one of our Top 100 Mergers and Acquisitions for 2016. We'll unveil the complete list during our January 26, 2016 webcast. 12. Datacenter Financing: Compass Datacenters has reached a deal with the $170 billion Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to provide long-term capital for its projects, according to Dallas News. RedBird Capital Partners is also a major player in the new venture, the report stated. 11. M&A - Unified Communications: – PGi, a provider of collaboration software and services, is acquiring Denver-based ReadyTalk, a provider of cloud communications services, including audio, web and video conferencing, and self-service and managed webinar solutions. The deal is expected to close at the end of this month. But wait. The content buffet is still open. Proceed to page two now and consume items 10 to 1. Welcome to page two. Enjoy a second helping of channel content -- items 10 to 1 -- here. 10. M&A - IT Services: General Communications Inc. (GCI), an Alaska-based IT services provider, has acquired Northpoint Consulting, a networking consulting firm in Seattle. We'll share more details soon. 9. Retail IT Services, Part I: EarthLink and Boston Retail Partners (BRP) have launched a new Unified Commerce as a Service offering to help retailers transition from current faux omni-channel environments to a true unified commerce platform, the companies assert. The Unified Commerce as a Service offering combines EarthLink’s network, voice and hosting services and BRP’s consulting and implementation services. EarthLink is in the process of merging with Windstream. 8. Retail IT Services, Part II: Samsung is spotlighting its "next generation" IoT innovations at this week's National Retail Federation (NRF) conference in New York. The challenge? Hundreds of rivals also are promoting IoT strategies at the massive conference... 7. ServiceNow Strategy: Computer Design & Integration LLC (CDI), a national IT solutions provider, is making strategic bets on ServiceNow -- the IT service management platform. We expect to share more details before Knowledge 17 -- ServiceNow's annual customer and partner conference. 6. Managed Services Certification: Yorktel, which specializes in unified communications and video managed services, has achieved Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Advanced Certification, and designation for TelePresence as a service (TPaaS) Specialization.

5. NOC Services: INOC, which operates 24×7 Network Operations Centers (NOCs), has launched NOC services for subsea cable companies. INOC will discuss its new NOC services offering for subsea networks at PTC'17: Changing Realities, the annual conference of Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC).

4. Box Partner Program: Box, the file sync and sharing company, has launched a partner portal to support international partners.

3. Oracle Cloud Partner Program: It's a safe bet Oracle CloudWorld in New York today will pave the way for new Oracle Cloud partner program milestones. We'll be sure to share the details with you.

Taychakhoonavudh Taychakhoonavudh

2. Salesforce Cloud, IoT Partner Strategy: How is Salesforce expanding and evolving its partner program -- especially amid the rise of IoT services? Our next ChannelE2E Podcast, set for 9:01 p.m. ET this evening, reveals the answer. Join CompTIA and ChannelE2E as we interview:

  • Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, VP of Salesforce's partner program and marketing
  • Dylan Steele, senior director product marketing for Salesforce's App Cloud & IoT Cloud
1. What's Cooking?: Send your IT channel updates, insights and trends to me ([email protected]). I'll be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as we prep additional ChannelE2E content. 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.