Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and so much more to start your Friday, December 4, 2015.
Yowzers. Today's update actually involves 20 items for VARs, MSPs (managed services providers) and CSP (cloud services providers) to sip on.
20. Cloud Leader's New Gig: Jonathan King, CenturyLink's former cloud czar, is now leading Ericsson's cloud product strategy and acquisitions team.
19. Apple Watch 2 Rumors: When the Apple Watch 2 arrives, the display may be built right into the wrist strap. Or maybe that's just part of a longer plan, based on a new Apple "Woven Display" patent...
18. What Is Channel Data Management (CDM)?: Perhaps channel leaders will get the answer to that question during the Channel Data Management Summit on Dec. 8. It sounds like event host Zyme is helping channel leaders to unlock more value from their data... I don't know if or how that relates to some of the big data work underway at ChannelEyes.
17. Steve Ballmer Criticizes Microsoft: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants to hear actual Microsoft cloud revenue information for each quarter, rather than "revenue run rate" information that offer soft information about potential long-term revenue trends. Frankly, ChannelE2E agrees: It's time to talk less about revenue run rates, and far more about current cloud and SaaS revenues.
16. Azure Container Service Preview: Microsoft has released an Azure Container Service Preview. Memo to channel partners: If you're not kicking the tires on software containers and Docker by now, you're late to the game...
15. Fickle Media: Earlier this week, media reports suggested Yahoo's board remains loyal to CEO Marissa Mayer. Now, pressure for change is testing the board's loyalty to Mayer, The Wall Street Journal reports. I tend to agree.
14. Server Shipments: Maybe it's time for me to eat some crow (and breakfast, for that matter). Worldwide server shipments grew 9.2 percent in Q3 according to Gartner -- which may prove that the cloud hasn't completely destroyed on-premises deployments. Then again, I'd like to know how many of those server sales involved off-premises clouds.
13. VP of Managed Services: ConvergeOne, which develops and manages data center solutions, has hired David McDougall as VP of managed services. He previously worked for CSS Corp. and Capgemini.
12. Toshiba PC Business for Sale: The classic Toshiba Satellite notebook business could be heading into somebody else's orbit (pretty good pun for 6:45 a.m. ET). Toshiba apparently is hoping to sell its PC business -- perhaps to Fujitsu or the investment fund that owns Vaio Corp. (Sony's former PC unit), according to multiple reports.
11. Zenefits Stumbles on HR?: How ironic. Zenefits is a SaaS company that manages benefits for small businesses. But now, Zenefits apparently is battling former employees over unpaid vacation time and more. Not exactly the type of issue Zenefits wants to be known for...
10. Europe and Silicon Valley vs. Terrorism: Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Google are meeting with EU leaders today to discuss how tech firms can help to police social media sites and digital communications for propaganda and recruitment messages, The Wall Street Journal reported. The big wildcard: EU and US leaders want back doors that allow them to access encrypted systems. Tech industry leaders generally balk at such requests, suggesting terrorists would ultimately leverage the back doors as well.
9. Watch This: Fitbit, Apple and Xiomi are the world's top wearable vendors, according to IDC. Fitbit shipped 4.7 million wearable units in Q3 (22.2 percent market share), followed by Apple (3.9 million, 18.6 percent); and Xiaomi (3.7 million units, 17.4 percent), IDC reported. The takeaway: Some media pundits think Apple Watch is a failure. if true, what does that say about the overall wearable market to date?
8. FinTech: FIS, a provider of banking and payments technology, has acquired SunGard, the financial software and technology services company. That's not to be confused with SunGard Availability Services.
7. Hot Flash: Pure Storage, the flash storage company that went public in October, says revenues tripled in the company's latest quarter. Impressive. The company's stock rose 10 percent yesterday but remains about $1.50 below the IPO price because of net quarterly losses.
6. (Failed) Innovation Hurts: Innovators and entrepreneurs take risks. Failure is the best teacher. Despite those cliches, GE says its work with Quirky -- a smart home innovator that went bankrupt -- hurt the company's reputations. Hmmm... ChannelE2E suspects GE's leading edge approach to IoT and big data will heal those wounds very rapidly.
5. Chromebooks in Classrooms: Google Chromebooks now comprise half of all devices in U.S. classrooms, according to Futuresource Consulting. Among the potential winners: Samsung, which has an extensive vertical market software focus on the education market...
4. Biggest M&A Year Ever: You already knew that a lot of VARs and MSPs have been acquired this year. But the M&A wave isn't unique to the IT channel. This was the biggest year ever for corporate mergers, according to Dealogic.
2. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Revisited: ChannelE2E continues to believe the next RMM (remote monitoring and management) wave is actually APM. The latest example: OpsClarity, an APM startup, just raised $11 million. We'll share more details soon...
1. Top 100 Entrepreneurs: Complete the ChannelE2E 100 survey, and your company or leadership could be recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs, startups or exits for 2015.