5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 28 Jan 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, January 28, 2016.

Actually, here are 18 (yowzers) items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on...

18. Top MSP Survey: If you run an MSP be sure to complete our Top Vertical Market MSPs survey. We'll potentially honor your work and momentum in a particular vertical market -- healthcare, financial services, retail, government, and the list goes on. But we can't potentially honor your business unless you complete our Top Vertical Market MSPs survey.

17. Avnet Financials: The distributor released Q2 2016 results today. Revenue arrived at the low-end of expectations amid weaker demand in the Americas region. Still, there was a major bright spot: Avnet Technology Solutions -- which drives Avnet's cloud business and relationships with major IT companies -- helped to drive gross margins in a positive direction.

16. 2016 IT Industry Outlook: What are the big IT industry trends for channel partners in 2016? Instead of taking some random guesses, CompTIA shows you the data in its 2016 IT Industry Outlook report, which surveyed 673 IT industry companies in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada.

15. Microsoft Quarterly Earnings: They'll Surface -- er, surface -- today. We're curious to hear how Surface book and other hardware devices are performing. And while there will be plenty of Office 365 chatter, we prefer to focus on Azure -- where the really, really big opportunities await channel partners. We'll explain why once the earnings report surfaces later today.

14. End User Experience: Keep an eye on SOASTA, which develops the Digital Performance Management (DPM) platform. DPM, the company claims, pushes beyond traditional application performance management by offering: User monitoring, continuous web and mobile testing, performance metric correlation across back-en d and front-end performance data; and real-time analytics.

13. ConnectBooster Updates: ConnectBooster, which develops a payment processing system for MSPs and IT service providers, is preparing some surprises. And you don't have to go to Fargo, N.D., to get them. (Actually, at least one key executive is making the trip for you. More details soon...)

12. Eating Crow: When Facebook went public in May 2012, I predicted the social network's stock would tank amid aging demographics and the shift to mobile. I was right... for about a year. But fast forward to the present and Facebook now is a Wall Street darling. The company just announced $1 billion in profits for its latest quarter and mobile ads generated 80 percent of the company's revenue for the period. Plus... did you notice how Facebook may reshape how big service providers build data centers?

11. Channel Partner Programs: In addition to the major channel milestones at StorageCraft, we've been tracking partner program updates at Five9, ForeScout, SimpliVity, ThinPrint, Nectar Services and Procera Networks.

10. Getting Started with Blockchain: You've probably heard the buzz about Blockchain -- an ongoing ledger of transactions. But what are the potential partner opportunities? Check out this CIO tip sheet for Blockchain -- which could reveal what your customers eventually want from the technology.

9. Rising Malware: PandaLabs, the R&D laboratory of Panda Security, detected and neutralized more than 84 million new malware samples in 2015, up from about 75 million in 2014. That's 230,000 new malware samples produced each day in 2015. Ouch...

8. Midmarket MSP Cloud: HEAT Software has launched HEAT MSP Cloud, a service management solution for MSPs serving the midmarket. We'll be back with more details soon...

7. Data Center Good News, Bad News: The market for data center colocation services will grow to $54.13 billion by 2020, up from $25.70 billion in 2015, a 16.1 percent compound annual growth rate, predicts Research and Markets. That sounds like a fantastic market... until you realize that Amazon is getting into the dedicated server business, and numerous data center providers (example: CenturyLink) are looking to sell their way out of the market...

6. Careful With HIPAA Claims: Jumpstart, a new tool from Compliance Helper, claims it can make organizations HIPAA compliant in 72 hours. Hmmm...  The 72-hour process includes an initial HIPAA risk assessment, editing of policies, scheduling staff for security awareness training and an updated risk assessment. At that point the organization has achieved HIPAA compliance. My reaction? Careful with the lofty claims. Can a dysfunction doctor's office -- built on 30 years of bad practices -- suddenly address its HIPAA compliance mandates in three days? Doubtful. Very doubtful.

5. Chief Data Office Myth: I keep hearing the same prediction from Gartner over and over again. The company says 90 percent of large businesses will have a chief data officer (CDO) by 2019. Sorry, but I completely disagree. CDOs will remain a niche title. Instead, CIOs, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Revenue Officers will align their goals to monetize data...

4. U.S. Startups Slowing Down?: ChannelE2E is a startup. Many of our readers run startups. But the number of new jobs associated with startups in the U.S. has fallen dramatically since about 2005, according to the Labor Department. A decline in high-growth young firms in the tech sector could a big problem, The Wall Street Journal adds. Is the glass half empty? Or is it half full -- with plenty of IT service providers, MSP software companies and cloud businesses in hiring mode? I prefer to focus on the half-full scenario.

3. Juniper Good News, Bad News: Juniper Networks' Q4 2015 quarterly results beat Wall Street's expectations but the networking and security company cut its Q1 2016 forecast -- which sent shares down about 10 percent in after-hours trading last night. Also, CFO Robyn Denholm is leaving the company; Ken Miller is set to succeed her. Still, Juniper is striving to keep channel partners focused on the prize -- new partner program enhancements  for data center specialists.

2. Fresh Funding: NewVoiceMedia, which has a platform that allows companies to run their customer contact centers and sales services in the cloud, just raised $30 million in funding...

1. A Party?: Rumor has it Datto plans to have a grand opening party for a new office sometime today. Hmmm... If I only had the street address and an invite... then perhaps I'd take a road trip...

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.