5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 20 Jan 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, commuter tips and so much more to start your day for Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

Actually, there are 17 items for you to read as I wait for Oracle CloudWorld to start in New York. Here's the lineup so far -- specifically written for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs).

17. Autotask Growth: The MSP-centric software company plans to hire 50 new salespeople in 2016. That's on top of 70 new Autotask hires in 2015. Autotask is set to unveil deeply integrated PSA and RMM upgrades for IT service providers in February 2016.

16. Backup as a Service: Ricoh has developed a backup as a service cloud platform leveraging Veeam technology. I don't know if the Ricoh service is related to the company's mindSHIFT MSP business.

14. M&A: Riverbed Technology has acquired Ocedo, a provider of software-defined networking and SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area-network) solutions. Watch for new software-defined networking (SDN) opportunities to reach Riverbed channel partners soon...

13. Veritas Disappoints: Carlyle Group will pay Symantec $1 billion less in cash for Veritas than originally expected. The $1 billion cash setback shows just how much Veritas's storage business has deteriorated amid spin-off concerns plus customer spending shifts toward cloud computing. Overall, Symantec says the purchase price was reduced to $7.4 billion "in a difficult environment" from the $8 billion it originally agreed to in August, Reuters reported. That's a $600,000 price cut, though the cash portion of the payment involved the $1 billion cut...

12. Hortonworks Disappoints: Hortonworks, the fast-growing Hadoop provider just launched a partner program, but a secondary offering has raised concern on Wall Street. Shares have plummeted roughly 22 percent since the announcement. That's too bad -- considering the IT channel is just starting to warm up to big data and Hadoop opportunities promoted by Hortonworks and rivals like Cloudera and MapR.

11. How Startup Employees Get *crewed: Imagine this... Hard-working employees at startups actually lose money on a company sale. The latest example involves Gilt, a startup that was recently purchased for $250 million. Sounds like a great day for all employees. Guess again. Due to certain stock transactions and the deal's valuation, some Gilt employees actually owe money after the deal. Ouch.

10. MSP Pricing: Kaseya's annual survey results on MSP pricing trends arrives today. We'll share our analysis soon.

9. Pentagon Security Delays: Channel partners working with the Pentagon may breathe a sigh of relief. But hackers are smiling. Indeed, the Pentagon has delayed for almost two years a requirement that as many as 10,000 companies show that they have systems to protect sensitive but unclassified information from cyber-attacks before signing new defense contracts, according to Bloomberg. The net result? More ways for cyber attackers to potentially poke and prod one of the most mission critical organizations in the world...

8. Big Data Trends: According to a user survey by Syncsort, the three big trends to watch for 2016 involve Apache Spark moving from a talking point into deployment; offloading big data projects toward Hadoop will accelerate; and Hadoop will gain more momentum for predictive analytics applications.

7. CIOs Worried About Failing IT Startups: As venture funding begins to slow down, CIOs may start to shift more of their IT spending toward proven vendors that are profitable. That's the spin from today's Wall Street Journal. The trade-off? CIOs also want to keep innovating. And sometimes, the most innovative technology is only available from innovative startups...

6. IBM Strengths and Weaknesses: In case you missed it, IBM says its annual cloud revenues (the true "as a service" portion) climbed to $4.5 billion in 2015, a more-than 40 percent jump from 2014. Impressive but CEO Ginni Rometty still faces these big challenges. And... IBM's 2016 profit forecast disappointed Wall Street...

5. Cloud Computing Donations: Microsoft will donate $1 billion worth of cloud computing cycles to universities and non-profit organizations over the next three years. Skeptics may dismiss the gesture as a publicity stunt. But I'm a believer. Building and running a reliable cloud service isn't a cheap endeavor.

4. PC Chip Security: Keep an eye on Intel's new on-chip security technology, dubbed Authenticate. The technology will promote multi-factor authentication -- and could help VARs and MSPs to usher in a new wave of PC upgrades for compliance-obsessed verticals like healthcare and financial services.

3. Public WiFi Shows Promise: Amy Katz and I spent considerable time about a decade ago tracking Public WiFi -- city and town projects that aimed to bring broadband to the masses. Our efforts involved MuniWireless -- a website founded by Esme Vos. After a decade of hits and misses, Public WiFi is finally showing some promise -- especially in New York, where free crazy-fast broadband is starting to take hold...

2. New Partner Program: Xinuos has launched a partner program to help VARs deliver services and support to Xinuos OpenServer 10 customers. Hmmm... Is this the old Novell server operating system business reborn elsewhere? Stay tuned and we'll get some more details.

1. Top Vertical Market MSPs: Are you a top MSP serving health care, financial services, retail or another vertical? Be sure to earn the honors you deserve. Complete the ChannelE2E Top Vertical Market MSP survey. Results and honorees will be unveiled in Q2.

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.