Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and more to start your day for Thursday, November 9, 2015.
Actually, today's update involves 13 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.
13. Unicorn Correction and You: Square's IPO has priced at $9 per share -- considerably below the $11 to $13 per share that the unicorn (ahem, $1 billion startup) was seeking. Even worse, Square raised money at $15.46 per share last year, The Wall Street Journal says. Do the Math: Imagine being a VC or late-stage investor that pumped $1.55 million into the company in 2014 -- and only a year later that investment is worth about $900,000. Connect the Dots: Even worse, what if mutual funds participated in that high-risk investment pattern? That's why the SEC is so worried about bad unicorn investments eventually harming mainstream investors -- not just deep pocketed VCs.
12. OpenStack Cloud Management: If you're poking around the OpenStack cloud market, keep an eye on Canonical's new OpenStack Autopilot software to potentially ease customer cloud management. Canonical, as you may recall, originally pioneered Ubuntu as a Linux desktop. But the company now focuses heavily on Ubuntu and OpenStack for cloud services.
11. Managed WordPress Partner Program: Pressable, a managed WordPress hosting provider, has launched the Pressable channel partner program for designers and digital agencies that develop websites on the WordPress platform. Partners can earn recurring monthly commissions for up to three years, and a commission payout that scales as a partner’s book of business grows.
10. Citrix's Biggest Mistake: For those who are watching the Citrix Systems stock meltdown and layoffs, here's my spin. Sure, investors are disappointed with Citrix's financial performance and the company's plan to spin off its GoTo business. But what was the company's biggest mistake? Instead of looking at the company's technology portfolio and business strategy, look at Citrix's talent base and succession plan. When investors pressured former CEO Mark Templeton to retire there was no clear successor in place... Therefore, the company's biggest mistake was lack of leadership succession planning. Replacing Templeton -- a strong leader at the company for two decades -- won't be easy but it should have been part of the company's business plan.
9. Hosting Providers and Continuum: At first glance, Continuum's managed services platform is designed for MSPs that support small and midsize SMB customers. But take a closer look and you may notice Continuum's backup platform -- R1Soft -- catching on with hosting providers. We may share more views on this soon...
8. Data Lakes and Channel Partners: You're already familiar with Data Warehouses. Fast forward to the big data wave, and Data Lakes potentially manage unstructured data and lots more for customers. Still not sure about potential use cases? Check out some EMC Data Lake 2.0 guidance.
7. Microsoft Graph - This Is Big: Keep a close eye on Microsoft Graph (formerly Office 365 Unified API). It allows partners to customize their Office experience and to extend their applications with Office 365 data.
6. Salesforce Delivers: The cloud CRM and SaaS company says revenues will top $8 billion in its next fiscal year, up from an estimated $6.65 billion this year (which hasn't closed yet).
5. Apple Watch Version 2: The next Apple Watch is expected to ship in April 2016, according to early speculation. Hmmm... Will channel partners wear Apple Watch 2 in April when they arrive at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2016, Synnex Spring Varex 2016, New York Tech Day 2016 and Internet of Things World 2016? Shameless Plug: Frankly, I'm more interested in the shameless plug for ChannelE2E's Technology Event Calendar, which lists all of those events and hundreds more for 2016, 2017 and beyond. Is your partner conference or summit listed?
4. Google App Streaming: To use an iOS or Android app on your smartphone or tablet, you need to download and install the app on your mobile device. Right? Not in Google's new view of the world. The company has built a technology that allows users to stream Android apps that they have yet to download. I'm intrigued.
3. Point of Sale M&A: Lightspeed POS has acquired SEOshop, an e-commerce software specialist that will be rebranded as LightSpeed eCom. Lightspeed has 26,000 point of sale customers. Yes, there's a Lightspeed Reseller Program.
2. IT Services M&A: I'm willing to bet the house that a certain IT service provider is about to buy another IT service provider. Stay tuned, and perhaps ChannelE2E will share details with you today sometime after lunch but before dinner (using eastern time zone as our common clock).
1. Next Moves: Amy Katz and I wrapped up business travel to IT Nation 2015 and Ingram Micro ONE in recent days. Jim Collins' keynote at Ingram's conference -- and his key point about the 20 mile march -- really sunk in. For us, December 2015 will be about planning -- and executing -- multiple 20 mile marches in 2016. We look forward to the ongoing journey with you. Thanks for your readership, insights and feedback.