5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 17 May 2016

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

Actually, there are 16 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on. Take a look…

16. Aspiring Angels, Crowdfunding and Risky Business: A new law allows anyone to invest  $2,000 a year or more in small companies in exchange for a stake in the business, The New York Times notes. Before the law's enactment, only accredited investors ($200,000 in annual income or a $1 million net worth) could take stakes in private companies. On the flip side, businesses raising less than $500,000 can do so with few regulatory burdens. Sounds wonderful -- until you consider how risky it is to put your money into a startup -- especially businesses that aren't heavily audited...

15. IoT Smart Homes Struggle: Although the industrial Internet of Things remains quite promising, so-called IoT smart homes haven't really caught on. Tech Researcher Jan Dawson calls smart homes "a category in search of a problem," pointing to Google's challenges with NEST.

14. Dell Bond Deal: The tech giant could sell $16 billion or more of secured bonds as early as today, The Wall Street Journal says. The pending move will help to Dell finance its $67 billion EMC acquisition, which is expected to become official in July 2016 or so. Dell's most recent quarterly revenues dipped a bit, but the company also reduced its operating loss, according to preliminary results. The figures suggest Dell's overall business is holding up reasonably well amid the cloud computing wave.

13. No More CEOs?: A group called DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is running itself without any executive leadership. Instead, every operating detail involves computer code on a network. DAO is raising money to fund third-party companies. It's part of a grand experiment to see if businesses can thrive -- without executive leaders getting in the way.

12. AT&T Help Desk Bots: ChannelE2E recently speculated that software bots will increasingly reshape and automate IT service desks. The latest evidence involves AT&T, which now leverages about 200 types of bots across the company -- many of which assist the company's service desks....

11. SAP on AWS or Virtustream?: Amazon is making a major push to promote customers that run SAP on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Key adopters include GE Oil & Gas, Kellogg’s, Brooks Brothers, Ferrara Candy Company, GPT Group and more. The hidden message: AWS is striving to compete more aggressively again Virtustream, the EMC-owned cloud business that focuses heavily on third-party applications... particularly SAP.

10. Azure Cloud Management: Rackspace now manages Microsoft Azure Cloud customers in Europe. It's the latest step in Rackspace's effort to manage Azure and Amazon Web Services workloads for customers. That particular effort is going well overall, but Rackspace's overall revenues aren't growing fast enough to meet Wall Street's expectations.

9. Earnings Reminder: Cisco Systems and Salesforce.com both are expected to deliver quarterly results on Wednesday, May 18. Stand by for analysis...

8. Self Fulfilling Prophecy?: Telecoms revenue fraud is a primary driver for increased Apache Hadoop adoption, according to a recent poll of telco and enterprise users by Cloudera and Argyle Data. Communication service providers lose around U.S. $38 billion to fraud every year. Not by coincidence, Argyle and Cloudera promote a "next generation native Hadoop fraud analytics platform."

7. ServiceNow Revenues: The cloud company, best known for its IT services management tools, is expanding into other functions such as customer service, HR and security, ZDnet notes. The overall goal: ServiceNow wants to hit $4 billion in annual revenues by 2020... That's a big number. But consider this: More than 11,000 customers and partners are attending this week's ServiceNow conference -- called Knowledge 16.

6. Apple Rival Imploding?: MCX, a retailer consortium that seeks to counter Apple Pay, is cutting about 30 people -- or nearly half of its staff. Although MCX has been testing its CurrentC technology in some stores, the technology really hasn't gotten off the ground.

5. Managed Services: CompTIA has launched a Managed Services Client Lifecycle tool. It's designed to help "managed services providers (MSPs) navigate the customer engagement process – from initial prospecting through contract renewal."

4. MSP Business Intelligence: Atera, which offers integrated RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) platforms, is now offering MSP business intelligence capabilities known as The Benchmark. We'll share more details soon.

3. SMB Telecom Services: Optus, a telecommunications provider in Australia, is launching a major SMB support campaign. The company has introduced more than 100 specialist stores, a call center, and improved support services, Optus claims. We'll be watching to see what U.S.-based service providers and telcos can learn from the effort...

2. Partner Programs:

  • Platform9, which specializes in private clouds, has launched a channel partner program designed for resellers, service providers and systems integrators. The program aims to help partners more "efficiently design and deploy flexible, enterprise-ready OpenStack private clouds for their customers." We wonder: How does the effort compare vs. that of Mirantis?
  • SAP is building a new cloud business partner program, which will be implemented in three stages, according to ChannelBuzz.ca. Details are sketchy at the moment but more chatter could emerge at this week's Sapphire conference in Orlando, Fla.

1. Join Us -- Top Vertical Market MSPs: We've sorted through our survey data. We've found the top vertical market MSPs across healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, government, education, retail and more. To see the list and learn about the trends, register now for our June 16 Webcast: Top Vertical Market MSPs.

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.