5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 17 March 2016

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Thursday, March 17, 2016.

Actually, there are 17 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

17. International Data Privacy: The EU-US Privacy Shield, a pending agreement to protect data as it moves between Europe and the US, now faces its critics. U.S. officials will travel to Brussels this week, in a bid to stir up support for the transatlantic pack, according to Reuters. The deal requires approval from EU member states -- some of which may think it doesn't go far enough to protect European data from U.S. spying. EU-US Privacy Shield, positioned to replace the expired Safe Harbor deal, is especially important to cloud service providers and MSPs that manage customer data across country boarders.

16. Hosted Unified Communications: Ingram Micro will soon offer Fonality’s cloud data business phone systems and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) to channel partners throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Interested partners should keep a close eye on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace and the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in April.

15. Strengthening Encryption: Amid the FBI vs Apple battle over iPhone encryption, several technology giants plan to double down on encryption technology. Keep an eye on moves by Facebook, Google and WhatsApp, including a push that may involve voice encryption.

14. Storage Patents: EMC has won a partial patent victory against Pure Storage. A jury awarded EMC $14 million in damages but the potential damage to Pure's business sounds minimal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

13. Google Apps to Office 365 Migration: Agrei Consulting has migrated about 40,000 Google Apps mailboxes to Office 365 during a four-weekend project for a large global business, the IT consulting firm says. The project, which involved close work with BitTitan, is documented in this video:

Video link

One qualifier: We're not suggesting the world is moving from Google Apps to Office 365. You can find case studies on both sides of the fence. And we continue to hear about Google Apps momentum -- including in the education market.

12. Coding School M&A: Skip college, go to coding school and get a high-paying technology job. That rally cry has inspired thousands of high school graduates to pursue software programming careers without earning a college degree. Within that hot market, FullStack Academy of New York has acquired Starter League of Chicago. The big question for channel partners: In addition to recruiting talent from colleges -- should you be recruiting from coding schools?

11. HealthTech M&A: Canon is buying Toshiba's medical equipment unit for $5.9 billion. The move comes as Toshiba tries to recover from a major accounting scandal that has triggered layoffs and an accounting probe of the company.

10. Application Performance Management: Shoppimon, which develops eCommerce monitoring and APM tools, has raised $2.3 million in seed money to further SaaS product development. The APM software, tools and cloud market has been particularly hot as players like AppDynamics and New Relic chart rapid growth.

9. The Channel Gets Agile: Avnet's cloud marketplace has inspired the distributor to extend agile software development practices across the company, according to CIO Steve Phillips. Hmmm... Sounds familiar. A similar agile journey is under way within ConnectWise, where LabTech's team is moving to an agile approach that mirrors the rest of the company. Meanwhile, Avnet as a whole has extended its IT vision beyond the cloud to increasingly focus on digital transformation, company executives tell ChannelE2E.

8. Government IT Services: Avnet Government Solutions has expanded its General Services Administration (GSA) schedule to include Cisco Systems products and solutions. Many distributors seem to be doubling down on the government market amid Ingram Micro's pending sale to a Chinese-based logistics giant. Ingram says its government business and GSA schedule standing will not be impacted by the deal.

7. Azure Cloud for Government IT: Microsoft has launched two new Azure Government public cloud regions -- which are specifically designed for the U.S. Department of Defense.  Channel Partners should pay particularly close attention to the FedRAMP High Pilot program, which Microsoft explains here. The U.S. federal government has followed a cloud first IT mandate since 2011 -- which basically means federal government agencies should seek out cloud partners whenever possible instead of building in-house IT systems.

6 . Data Center M&A: CyrusOne has acquired CME Group's Chicago-area data center, which houses CME's electronic trading platform. Price tag: $130 million. CME will lease back space in the data center to continue running the trading platform. CyrusOne owns 33 data centers across the US, Europe and Asia -- with a growing emphasis in the financial services market. Meanwhile: Data center M&A activity has been heating up in recent months. LeaseWeb just last week acquired seven cloud data centers; and smaller scale deals have involved Zayo and TierPoint. Meanwhile, CenturyLink and Verizon have also been exploring data center sales but no deals have emerged.

5. Hosted Docker ContainersCloudLinux has launched KuberDock, a platform that allows hosting providers to deploy dockerized applications and offer them to customers in just two hours, the company claims. The big question: Are channel partners wrapping their arms around Docker containers to manage customer workloads?

4. Docker for Channel Partners: To learn about the container and Docker market I highly recommend attending DockerCon 2016 -- though the date conflicts with DattoCon16, LabTech Automation Nation 2016 and Nutanix Next Conference 2016. How did I know all that off the top of my head? Check out the ChannelE2E Technology Events Calendar -- which tracks hundreds of channel-friendly conferences for 2016, 2017 and beyond.

3. Cloud Partner Programs: Cato Networks has launched PartnerCloud, a channel partner program for Cato’s network security as a service (NSaaS) solution.

2. All Channel Partner Programs: Need to find a particular product or service, or a specific channel partner program? Check out the ChannelE2E Channel Partner Program database. Memo to vendors: Submitting your partner program to the database is fast, easy and free...

1. CompTIA Annual Member Meeting: Yes, ChannelE2E is attending CompTIA's Annual Member Meeting (AMM) next week in Chicago. If you'd like to potentially meet please email me ([email protected]).

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.