5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 28 April 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, April 28, 2016.

Actually, there are 12 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

Bill Fathers

12. VMware Executive Exit: Bill Fathers, executive VP and GM of VMware's cloud services business unit, is leaving the company on May 3. While multiple executives have left the virtualization company in recent months, VMware's most recent quarterly results were stronger than Wall Street's expectations. Customers are making the shift to VMware's NSX and VSAN technologies, even before partner program enhancements arrive later this year.

11. Avnet Earnings: The distributor announced Q3 fiscal results this morning. Earnings were in-line with Wall Street's expectations. Networking and services revenues grew. Hot technology segments included Flash Array storage (up 40 percent year over year) and converged data center infrastructure (up nearly 20 percent). An earnings call is set for 2:00 p.m. ET.

10. Distribution Deal: Arrow Electronics has agreed to distribute Guidance Software’s security products, which are designed for e-discovery and endpoint security.

9. Skype for Business Mac: At last, Microsoft has introduced a Skype for Business Mac Preview. The app "brings our Mac customers into the modern era of Skype for Business," according to Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP for Microsoft Office team. Hmmm... Sounds promising. But why wasn't this released when Skype for Business debuted?

8. Healthcare Apps: Apple, as expected, wants to help software partners push deeper into the healthcare market. The company has released Carekit, a mobile software framework for healthcare apps. The move comes amid shrinking smartphone sales, which fell  for the first time in Q1 2016, according to Strategy Analytics.

7. Punch a Higher Floor: AT&T will connect data from Otis elevators to Microsoft's Azure cloud, enabling Otis to access and track real-time equipment data. It's yet another example of the IoT wave potentially boosting mission-critical machine performance.

6. Samsung IoT Cloud: Samsung has launched ARTIK Cloud, an "open data exchange platform designed to connect devices and applications." Translation: Samsung is the latest company building a cloud platform to help channel partners, ISVs and customers navigate the IoT world. ARTIK "provides easy-to-use, open APIs and tools to securely collect, store, and act on any data from any connected device or cloud service,"  the company claims. Hmmm... more soon.

5. F-Bombs And Your Brand: How f***ing difficult is it to police your online brand, and protect it from George Carlin's seven dirty words? Hmmm... Even Oracle apparently faces that f'ing challenge in a big way -- as this Oracle headline hit millions of Google Alert inboxes yesterday...

4. Partner Programs: Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., which develops investor communications and technology solutions, has launched a Solutions Partner Program.

3. Got A Warrant?: A heads up for service providers that manage or store customer email: The House of Representatives has unanimously approved the Email Privacy Act, which requires law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before accessing stored electronic communications, such as emails. However, the government doesn't need to notify the person whose information is being searched, The Verge noted.

2. Health Scare: The strike between Verizon and 40,000 employees is about to reach a serious milestone. Healthcare benefits for the striking employees are set to expire on Saturday, April 30.

Alex Thurber

1. BlackBerry Hires Channel Veteran: BlackBerry has hired Alex Thurber as senior VP, global decide sales. Thurber previously held key channel and sales positions at WatchGuard, Tripwire, McAfee and Cisco Systems. Thurber's career move is a gutsy one. Some Wall Street pundits have been calling on BlackBerry to kill hits hardware business and double down on software and services. To me, that suggests Thurber is going to make some dramatic moves as he attempts to turn around the hardware business. Stay tuned for more details...

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.