5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 22 July 2016

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

Actually, there are 14 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on. Take a look…

14. Former VARs Launching IPOs?: Sort of. Think of it this way. Several classic VARs have evolved into hybrid IT service providers -- blending managed and cloud services into their product reselling businesses. And handful have the right blend of profitability, growth and recurring revenues to potentially launch IPOs. Among those generating potential IPO chatter: Presidio, a major channel partner that works closely with Cisco, EMC and VMware.

13. Amazon Banking Services?: Wells Fargo's student-lending arm will offer interest-rate discounts to select Amazon shoppers, The Wall Street Journal notes. It doesn't quite mean that Amazon is becoming a bank. But...

12. Coding School Layoffs: You've heard about coding schools, a potential source for tomorrow's IT service provider talent. There's been a coding school boom, which has attracted former college students and workforce members looking for a fast, high-paying career change. But are coding schools about to go bust? I wouldn't go that far -- though General Assembly just cut 7 percent of its staff... Hmmm...

11. AMD Rebound?: It seems like all the major chip companies are facing inflection points amid the PC slump and shifting priorities around cloud, mobile and IoT. You know Intel has had layoffs and ARM Holdings has been acquired (pending regulatory approval). But whatever became of AMD? Actually, there's some good news on that front. AMD generated a profit and grew its sales in its most recent quarter, thanks to a focus on custom chips for videogame makers.

10. Smartwatch Implosion: Is the smartwatch market running out of time to get its act together? Hmmm... Sales of smartwatches fell by nearly one-third in Q2 2016 vs. Q2 2015, according to IDC. The situation was particularly bad for the market-leading Apple Watch, which saw sales fall about 55 percent in Q2 2016 vs. Q2 2015, IDC says. Perhaps all will be well once Apple Watch 2 arrives.  Apple is expected to unveil that device in September 2016.

9. Azure Cloud Security Services: Keep a close eye on Microsoft Azure Security Center, which introduces a range of security services that protect IaaS and PaaS workloads on Azure.

8. Database Monitoring as a Service: Datadog's cloud monitoring platform now supports Azure SQL. According to Datadog, the integration "pulls in key metrics about your database’s utilization, client connections, and resource consumption (CPU, storage, I/O, etc.), plus metrics to aid in troubleshooting, such as the count of deadlocks. Datadog also captures key metrics pertaining to a unique measurement unit for Azure databases: the DTU."

7. Security Channel Partner Program: Securonix, which focuses on user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) for information security, has launched a channel partner and alliance program called Cyber Path Alliance. The company will deliver its solutions to the market exclusively through Cyber Path Alliance member organizations. Key partners include Optiv, Forsythe, HCI and Guidepoint, among others. Darren Gaeta, vice president of partnerships and alliances, is driving the program.

6. PSA Software Upgrade:  Upland Software has launched a major upgrade to Tenrox, the company's professional services automation (PSA) and time and expense tracking application. Among the integration twists: Upland Integration Manager, powered by Dell Boomi, allows for configurable integrations to a variety of Upland products as well as third party systems, the company says.

5. CRM Meets Help Desk, Ticketing: Agile CRM has added Helpdesk and Ticketing functionality to their software, which are available to users at no additional cost.

4. Docker Adoption Trends: Trying to figure out the opportunities and challenges associated with Docker and other software container offerings? Check out this NetEnrich survey and the associated results, which offer clues about Docker adoption and potential opportunities for service providers to assist customers.

3. Virtual Network Services: Verizon Enterprise Solutions has launched Virtual Network Services.Available immediately around the globe, the new services will be delivered as-a-service, "fundamentally transforming the network into software-based solutions running on open platforms," the company claims. We'll take a closer look soon...

2. VMware Upgrade Warning: VMware is advising users of its NSX network virtualization not to upgrade it to the version 6.2.3 released in early June, notes The Register. The update addressed CVE-2016-2079, a vulnerability that allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information. However, VMware has since discovered that NSX 6.2.3 can disrupt some virtual machines, the report says.

1. Ingram Sale Process: Ingram Micro now plans to submit its pending $6 billion acquisition by Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co. Ltd. for review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, The Wall Street Journal notes. The announcement is a reversal for the company, as it had previously indicated it didn’t expect to go before CFIUS, which is tasked with reviewing deals for national security concerns, the Journal says. Still, Ingram expects the deal to close by the end of 2016.

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlusSubscribe 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.