5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 4 April 2016

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to sip on for Monday, April 4, 2016.

Actually, there are 16 entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

16. Thinnest Laptop Ever: Something new from Apple or Lenovo? Nope. Try HP Inc., which is expected to unveil the world's thinnest laptop on Thursday (April 7), The Wall Street Journal speculates. That sounds promising, but HP Inc. needs to push beyond hardware to remain relevant, ChannelE2E believes. Separately, sister company HP Enterprise has introduced new servers with Persistent Memory capabilities.

15. IT Outsourcing M&A: Blackstone Group, a private equity and asset management firm, is buying the majority of Mphasis Ltd. from Hewlett Packard Co. for $825 million to $1.1 billion, depending  on a range of variables. HPE is selling Mphasis -- an India-based IT outsourcing firm -- to bolster its balance sheet.

Aicha Evans
Aicha Evans

14. Intel Mobile's Executive Exit: Aicha Evans is leaving Intel Corp. less than a year into her tenure as head of the semiconductor maker’s struggling mobile phone division, Bloomberg reports. Intel declined to comment on the chatter. Although Intel's chips only have about 1 percent of the smartphone market, there are signs that Apple will shift some of its chip orders from Qualcomm to Intel...

 13. Stating the Obvious: U.S. hospitals should brace for a surge in "ransomeware" attacks that encrypt data then demand payment for unlocking the information, according to the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST). Um, just about everyone is now aware of the ransomware threat. How about some solutions?

12. Questionable Testimony: Amazon won't make a big dent in the market for corporate office supplies that a combined Staples and Office Depot hope to serve, according to an economist from UC Berkeley. Um... what tea leaves is that guy reading?

11. Telecom Deal Collapses: Orange and Bouygues have ended M&A discissions to create a unified French telecom giant. Orange, which offers a range of cloud and telecom services, had been discussing an $11.4 billion buyout of Boutgues, but the two sides couldn't agree on potential terms.

10. Defense Department Data Centers: The U.S. Department of Defense is falling behind on cost-saving efforts to consolidate thousands of data centers, according to a watchdog report and The Wall Street Journal. The department's CIO is seeking to accelerate the effort through a standardized "compute and storage strategy." Hmmm... sounds like a healthy dose of cloud computing coupled with hyperconverged data centers.

9. Dell Revenues, SecureWorks IPO: Dell's annual revenues fell to $54.8 billion in 2016, down from $58.1 billion in 2015. The company also had a $1.1 billion net loss in 2016, though that was a bit better than a $1.2 billion net loss in 2015, according to an SEC filing. In a related move, it sounds like Dell will IPO its managed security service business, SecureWorks, sometime this month. That move could help Dell to bolster its balance sheet ahead of its $67 billion buyout of EMC Corp., which is expected to close between May and October 2016.

8. Office 365 Management: Zendesk has launched a customer support solution designed for Microsoft Office 365 Groups. The integration allows customer service reps, sales teams, product, finance and engineering departments to collaborate around customer inquiries with a new streamlined workflow, and without ever leaving Office 365, Zendesk claims.

7. Data Center M&A: Zayo Group Holdings, which specializes in communications infrastructure, has completed the $18.9 million acquisition of Clearview International LLC, a Texas colocation and cloud infrastructure services company. Clearview operates two data centers totaling approximately 30,000 square feet of colocation space. Zayo now owns seven data centers in Texas, and 57 facilities across North America and Europe.

Josh Goldstein

6. Flash Storage Sales: EMC, IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Pure Storage are "leading the pack" in the flash storage market, according to a Gartner report. The overall market grew 91 percent in Q4 2016 vs Q4 2015, Gartner found. Josh Goldstein, VP of marketing and product management at XtremIO, a business unit of EMC, explained the market's growth and partner opportunities in ChannelE2E Podcast 062.

5. BlackBerry's Weak Hand, Strong Code: The mobile security and smartphone maker delivered weaker-than-expected hardware revenues in its latest quarter, sparking new speculation that BlackBerry will need to shed its smartphone device business this year. CEO John Chen insists the business will recover. On a brighter note, BlackBerry's software and licensing revenues were $527 million for the quarter, a healthy $27 million above the company's target. BlackBerry's software business landed on the ChannelE2E 100 list, tracking the world's most innovative entrepreneurs, startups and exits, for 2016.

4. Example IoT Applications: Rogers Communications, the Canadian broadband giant, has introduced Internet of Things services for two specialized applications: Farm and food monitoring, and level monitoring for fuel tanks. Partner blueRover is involved in the applications...

3. What's Next for ERwin?: CA Technologies divested ERwin, a data modeling company, in March 2016. A teaser announcement suggests the ERwin team plans to focus more closely on channel partners. I wonder who could possibly lead those channel and business efforts? Hmmm...

2. Partner Summits: Unify kicked off its annual global partner conference today in Barcelona, Spain. Roughly 250 partners focused on communications and collaboration services are attending. Heads up: If your company hosts a partner conference or summit make sure it's listed on the ChannelE2E Technology Event Calendar.

1. Top Vertical Market MSPs: Registration for our next webcast, the World's Top Vertical Market MSPs, is now open. We'll share research findings and a list of top MSPs in healthcare, financial services, retail and other vertical markets. The data is based on our recent readership survey.

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.