5 Channel Partner Updates: 22 February 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Monday, February 22, 2016.

Actually, there are nine items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on…

Adam Slutskin

9. Rise of the Chief Revenue Officer: What's the difference between a Chief Revenue Officer and an Executive VP of Sales? ConnectWise CRO Adam Slutskin will provide some answers later this week. We'll be sure to share the details.

8. Smartphones Become PCs: HP Inc.'s Elite X3 smartphone can be paired with accessories and used as a PC. Basically, all you need to do is connect the smartphone to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. Hmmm... This day has been coming for a long time. But we wonder where Apple and Samsung are amid the race to transform smartphones into complete replacements for PCs...

7. IT Service Provider Peer Groups: Ulistic is expanding beyond its first peer group (called the Ulistic High Performance Club), and is now launching a second group called the Ulistic Rapid Accelerator Club. CEO Stuart Crawford is the contact for those who are curious about the groups.

6. Mobile World Congress: The massive conference kicked off with lots of product announcements on Sunday. Chief among them: New smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG Electronics G5. Alas, the smartphone talk feels a tired to me. The world seems to be waiting for a new, disruptive form factor to arrive. Some of us keep checking the time on our smartwatches, wondering if that time is approaching. The definitive answer remains unclear.

5. Telecoms and Amazon Cloud: Ericsson, the world's leading maker of mobile network gear, has inked a partnership with Amazon Web Services. The result: Ericsson will act as a bridge for its telecom operator customers to use public cloud services. The move comes as big telecom companies like CenturyLink and Verizon rethink their approaches to public cl0ud services.

4. VoIP for SMB: MagicJack VocalTec, the VoIP cloud-based communications company, has launched an SMB subsidiary. The new SMB subsidiary will leverage magicJack's network infrastructure and proprietary telecom software to deliver VoIP services to small- and medium-sized businesses at disruptive prices, the company claims. The company plans to spend approximately $10 million to $12 million in the SMB subsidiary in fiscal year 2016.

3. Telecom, MSP M&A: Comstar Technologies has acquired STC Services, boosting Comstar's annual revenue to $21.5 million. Combined headcount, including STC's 13 employees, is now 77 people. Comstar is based in Philadelphia, Pa., and provides telecom, network cabling, cybersecurity, audio/video, and cloud/managed services. STC has 95 customers across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Cheryl Cook

2. On the Road: Dell Channel Chief Cheryl Cook is expected to be on the road this week, meeting with key sources -- perhaps even ChannelE2E. We'll be sure to share updates if/when we connect with Cook.

1. Top MSPs: There's still time to earn honors for your MSP business. Participate in our Top Vertical Market MSPs survey and your business could be honored when we announce results in Q2 2016.

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.