5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 24 March 2016

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Thursday, March 24, 2016.

Actually, there are 19 (yowzers) entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

19. Legal Guidance for MSPs, VARs: Channel partners that need legal advice can now plug into ITLA (Infotech Law Advocates). For more info, check out the ITLA-CompTIA relationship.

18. CompTIA Annual Member Meeting 2016: That's a wrap. Thanks to the CompTIA team for the great gathering -- which also generated plenty of news. And thanks to cloud panel participants Jason Bystrak (Ingram Micro), Stephanie Martin (Exigo Group) and Kenneth May (Swift Chip). For those who aren't familiar with CompTIA, it's the largest association serving the tech market -- with a strong emphasis on channel partners. Next up from the association is CompTIA ChannelCon 2016 in August.

17. Password Management & RMM: Passportal, a password management service that MSPs can monetize, now integrates with ConnectWise's LabTech -- the RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform. Passportal now supports more than 1,000 MSPs and claims its business has reached a tipping point.

16. Cloud Dollars: Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and several other players have pumped $73.5 million into Mesosphere, a cloud startup. The money was part of a $126 million Series A round.

15. Managed Big Data Services: Galactic Exchange, a startup, has launched a managed service that can spin up Hadoop and Spark clusters in five minutes, the company claims. From there, the company provides ongoing monitoring services to keep the cluster humming along...

14. Running Out of Time?: Pebble, the smartwatch pioneer, has slashed 25 percent of its workforce. The move comes only a few days after Apple slashed Apple Watch prices by $50 -- suggesting that the smartwatch market isn't quite meeting growth expectations.

13. More Than A Sister Act: Check in with Managed Sales Pros, and you'll discover a fast-growth company led by Founder Carrie Simpson and President Tracie Orisko. Take a closer look and you'll learn they're sisters who have found their calling in business. We'll share more details, soon.

12. Stay Tuned: Big things happening at Datto. Major partner-friendly developments on the way. Mum for now...

11. Cloud Consulting Momentum: Accenture, which has been acquiring IT consulting firms and marching down into the SMB market, says revenues are growing faster than previously expected. The lesson for smaller IT consulting firms: Customer demand for Google Apps for Work, Salesforce.com and ServiceNow appears strong.

10. Same Pitch, Different Cloud: Google is pitching machine learning to attract ISVs and startups to Google Cloud Platform. Lots of folks think that's news. But, take a walk down the street and you'll see rivals making the same pitch: Amazon Machine Learning, IBM Machine LearningMicrosoft Azure Machine Learning, Salesforce Machine Learning. Hmmm... it doesn't take a big data expert of an artificial intelligence guru to see the pattern.

9. Container Monitoring Challenges: As container technology like Docker continues to proliferate, some MSPs are exploring container monitoring services. But managing container technology at scale -- on premises and across multiple clouds -- can be a daunting task. Here's some container monitoring background from InfoQ.

8. Data Center Options: The shortlist of top co-location data center providers apparently includes CenturyLink, Digital Realty, Equinix, Global Switch, Level 3 Communications and NTT Communications, according to Research and Markets. More on this soon.

7. Data Center Math: The U.S. government's "cloud first" mandate has triggered massive data center consolidation and $2.8 billion in savings -- with more on the way. The big question: While the government is saving money on data center CapEx spending, is it really pocketing all those savings or simply re-routing the budget to OpEx cloud spending? As we've stated before... At some point there will be an OpEx cloud spending backlash, ChannelE2E believes.

6. U.S. Still Dominant In Data Centers: There certainly is a lot of data center chatter this morning. Including these stats: 46 percent of the major cloud and Internet data center sites are in the U.S., followed by China and Japan (7 percent and 6 percent). Also, the 17 largest data center providers operate more than 230 major data center sites, according to Synergy Research Group.

5. Google and Amazon Cloud Management: Google is testing a cross-platform cloud management tool called Stackdriver. We'll share more details soon.

4. Hybrid Storage: Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec platforms can now connect to Google Cloud Platform, allowing on-premises customers to restore data in the search giant's cloud.

3. Dedicated AWS, Azure Cloud Connections: Big broadband, telco and cable companies are introducing dedicated, secure connections to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Comcast Business recently announced their AWS connection. Next up: Comcast will offer a dedicated connection to Azure, according to a well-placed source tapped into the network. Promotional materials are already  on Comcast's Website...

2. Channel Partner Conferences: Lenovo Accelerate Partner Conference 2016 (aka Lenovo North America Channel Partner Forum) is now listed on the ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar. Is your company's partner summit or conference listed for 2016, 2017 and beyond?

1. MSP and VAR Valuations: How much is your company worth and how can you improve that valuation? Join our March 31 Webcast to find out.

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.