5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 26 Feb 2016

Credit: Getty Images

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Friday, February 26, 2016.

Actually, there are 13 timely items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on…

13. Microsoft Security Strategy: Watch for Microsoft Cloud App Security -- based on the Adallom buyout -- to arrive in April. Here are the details.

12. The Enemy of my Enemy Is...: What's the one thing that unites Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft? Apparently the answer is privacy -- and fighting the U.S. government's effort to make Apple write a back door for iOS. Microsoft is set to file a motion supporting Apple; Google says the Government's efforts could set a troubling precedent; and Facebook says the Government's strategy won't likely be effective. Hmmm... And former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina once suggested that the U.S. government simply needed to ask Silicon Valley for help to get iPhones unlocked...

11. Managed Security Services:  CenturyLink Inc. has bolstered its Managed Security Services Suite with the addition of five integrated security monitoring and analysis services. The suite is available immediately in the U.S., either as a stand-alone service or as an add-on for customers buying hosting, networking and colocation services, the company says.

10. And By the Way: Rumor has it CenturyLink's attempt to sell its data center locations has stalled. The challenges apparently include valuation, along with the capital improvements each location requires.

Continuum CEO Michael George
Michael George

9. New Continuum Headquarters: We visited Continuum's new Boston-based headquarters yesterday, got a momentum update from CEO Michael George, met a next-generation MSP, and took a tour of the offices. For a look at the layout and facilities, check out the Bizjournals slide show.

8. Tom Siebel Bets on IoT: Tom Siebel, the enterprise CRM pioneer who ultimately sold his business to Oracle, is back in a big way. Well, sort of. He's repositioning a clean tech business -- originally called C3 Energy. Now, the company has been rebranded as C3 IoT -- a sign that Siebel is looking beyond the electric grid for data opportunities.

7. Google Cloud ROI: When migrating from alternative clouds, Google Apps for Work provides a 213 percent return on investment and payback within 1.9 months, according to a Forrester sampling of seven companies. (Google commissioned the research, BTW.) We'll share more thoughts on this soon.

Geneva Lake

6. MapR Executive Changes, Part II: Earlier this week we mentioned that MapR has made two key hires for its executive suite. The moves, we pointed out, should help the big data software provider to build its channel while branding beyond the Hadoop market. Oracle veteran Geneva Lake, for instance, will drive the company's channel alliances and business development. More color commentary about the moves just surfaced on CMSwire.

5. Microsoft Partner Acquired: SHI International Corp. has acquired Microsoft services provider Eastridge in a deal that complements SHI’s extensive Microsoft volume licensing practice and bolsters its professional services offerings for technologies such as SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure. Eighteen employees of Eastridge’s professional services arm will continue to operate out of Winston-Salem, N.C., the companies said.

4. Cisco Partner Summit: We look forward to meeting key sources like CWPS -- a top MSP serving the midmarket -- at Cisco Partner Summit (Feb 29-March 3). Also, we'll be sitting down with Channel Chief Wendy Bahr to discuss the company's software, cloud and partner strategy. Stay tuned for updates.

3. IBM Cloud and Analytics Revenues: IBM will finally pull back the curtain on specific revenues for cloud, analytics and other strategic imperatives. The company had been sharing financial data in those areas but the information was fuzzy at best. Going forward, IBM "will disclose revenue data for its strategic imperatives -- the newer operations it has been investing in -- and its cloud service within the new segments," Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter said at an investor meeting Thursday. My conclusion? IBM is finally proud enough of the numbers to truly share them.

Eugene Kaspersky

2. U.S. Power Grid vs. Hackers: Major U.S. power producers are in discussions with regulators and stakeholders on a detailed plan for preventing and responding to cyberattacks designed to disrupt the country’s electric system, Exelon officials said yesterday at a conference. Hmmm... Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky has been speaking about that need since at least 2011, and Kaspersky had been developing a "secure operating system" to protect mission critical infrastructure (utilities, communication systems, transportation networks) from hackers. Perhaps it's time for a progress report.

1. Top Vertical Market MSPs: See how you rank among them -- and potentially earn some publicity when we announce Top Vertical Market MSPs. Participate in the survey to learn your ranking.

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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.