5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 23 February 2016


Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Tuesday, February 23, 2016.

Actually, there are 17 hot items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on…

17. IBM, VMware Cloud Partnership: IBM and VMware are partnering in the cloud market. The deal seeks to ease on-premises VMware connections to IBM's cloud data centers, and vice versa. The result should be hybrid clouds that potentially ease IT management for service providers and customers. After struggling to shape a public cloud strategy, VMware has focused on a multi-cloud management strategy while also preparing NSX enhancements for that effort.

16. Telecom vs. Silicon Valley: Major European telecom companies resent the fact that they spend billions (of dollars/euros) deploying network infrastructure, and then Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google essentially get to ride those railways for free -- pushing telecom-like applications like WhatsApp and Hangouts along the way. In response, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and others are campaigning to extend carrier regulations and taxes to Internet companies... Hmmm...

15. Office 365 in EuropeAppDirect is helping service providers and VARs go to market as Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners in Europe. For Syndication Partners, AppDirect offers Dual Service Management, a set of capabilities that eases the transition from the Syndication to CSP program by allowing partners to transact simultaneously as both partner types, the company claims. For service providers and VARs that have not previously sold Microsoft services, AppDirect also enables companies to meet all Microsoft criteria, get to market, and begin selling Office 365 and other cloud services as approved CSP partners quickly and cost effectively, AppDirect asserts. The big question: Can all of those Office 365 VARs, in turn, differentiate from one another? Hmmm...

14. Another HIPAA Fine: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has fined Complete P.T., Pool & Land Physical Therapy Inc. $25,000 for an alleged HIPAA violation. The physical therapy company also has to adopt and implement a corrective action plan that more effectively protects patient data. OCR is stepping up HIPAA investigations this year, and more fines are expected to emerge across the U.S.

13. Facebook Disrupts Telecom: The social network has open sourced a range of hardware and software to help build telecom networks far more rapidly. Nokia, Intel and several telcos are involved. The Facebook effort is called Telco Infra Project (TIP). It sounds similar to Facebook's Open Compute Project -- which leverages open source to disrupt the traditional data center hardware and software markets.

12. Top KPIs for Sales Teams: Which key performance indicators (KPIs) do businesses most frequently leverage to track salesperson performance? The answers are calls (26%), wins (23%), and opportunities created (19%). Other KPIs, like meetings (8%), demo completed (6%) and conversations (2%), while clearly important to the sales process, registered in much lower than expected, according to a LevelEleven study.

11. EHR on Microsoft Azure: So, you're an IT service provider looking at the healthcare market -- particularly electronic health records (EHR) technologies. One potential solution to check out: MCIS, which has deployed an analytics-driven EHR platform on Microsoft Azure. I haven't seen partner program information... yet.

10. More Network, Less Cloud: As Verizon shuts down some public cloud services and attempts to sell some data centers, the telecom giant is doubling down on network infrastructure. The latest move involves Verizon buying XO Communications' fiber optic network business for roughly $1.8 billion. Sounds like Verizon wants to be the network that leads you to third-party clouds...

9. Data Center Buyer?: Rumor has it Equinix may buy data centers from CenturyLink and Verizon. Equinix essentially provides a cloud of clouds and a network of networks -- giving customers a high speed, secure onramp to multiple clouds and networks. CenturyLink and Verizon, meanwhile, both have been mulling data center sales because telcos have been struggling to compete against Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the public cloud market.

8. Oracle Cloud Acquisition: Oracle has acquired Ravello, a 60-person company that helps customers move applications to Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform. Will that third-party cloud support continue? Or will Ravello focus exclusively on customer migrations to Oracle Cloud? Hmmm...

7. Out of Style: Toshiba has killed its Wearvue TG-01 wearable computer only six weeks after announcing it. Resembling Google Glass, the Wearvue was announced January 13 and set to ship on February 29. Only now... it won't.

6. Fast Times at Zenefits High: Under attack for 'relaxed' compliance and HR rules, Zenefits has banned alcohol in its offices while also warning employees not to have sex in the stairwells. I can't wait to read the revised HR manual...

5. Buyout Veto: Alken Asset Management, a major investor in Western Digital Corp., is trying to block the company's pending buyout of SanDisk -- claiming the $19 billion price tag is too high. SanDisk's business has weakened as the storage chip market softened... And Western Digital shares have plummeted about 40 percent since the deal was announced, Reuters estimated.

4. Lexmark Layoffs: The printer maker is cutting 550 jobs and continues to explore the company's potential sale. Goldman Sachs has been shopping Lexmark to potential suitors since October 2015. At the same time, Xerox is moving ahead with a company break-up. And Hewlett-Packard Co. last year completed a break-up that lumped PCs and printers into HP Inc. Anybody else see the writing on the wall for traditional printer companies?

3. Zenith Infotech Reunion: Several former Zenith Infotech executives have reunited at Nuvolat, which offers data center services and other solutions to channel partners at extremely low prices. But a heads up: If you're waiting on COOP payments make sure you're filing invoices to Nuvolat at regular intervals to get paid in a timely manner. Zenith Infotech was an early leader in the BDR channel market, but the company imploded in 2014 after a debt default in 2011.

Paul Dippell Paul Dippell

2. MSP Profit Margins: What type of profit margins do best-in-class MSPs and IT service providers generate? Service Leadership CEO Paul Dippell shares the answer in our next ChannelE2E Podcast  (Episode 063). Tune in to the conversation or listen to the recording, which will be available at 9:01 p.m. ET tonight (Tuesday, February 23, 2016).

1. Celebrate Your MSP Success: If you've built a successful MSP business, then it's time to celebrate that success and earn some free recognition. Participate in ChannelE2E's Top Vertical Market MSPs survey. Your contact information and financials will remain confidential. And we'll share results -- and honorees -- 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.