5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 4 March 2016

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

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

13. Rotten To The...: Yahoo says it's exploring the sale of $1 billion to $3 billion in 'non-core' assets. That begs the question: If it's not CORE to the business then why are you in that business at all? Hmmm...

12. Limiting Non-Competes: Massachusetts is exploring legislation that would limit noncompete agreements to one year, and require businesses to give prospective employees notice of a noncompete before they are hired. Hmmm...

11. Managed Services R&D: CenturyLink, Inc. has opened a managed services development center in St. Louis. It's designed to help business customers seeking flexible, managed environments for important applications. The move comes as CenturyLink continues to explore the potential sale of its physical data centers.

10. Midmarket Unified Communications: UC adoption continues to accelerate within midmarket companies, but problems persist, according to NetEnrich survey results. Read between the lines and NetEnrich is promoting NOC (network operations center) services to help midmarket customers with proactive UC optimization, monitoring and management.

9. State of VMware: During the RSA Conference this week, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger explained the company's security focus while also touching on recent executive departures and Dell's pending buyout of VMware parent EMC. Next up, VMware channel leaders will gather with partners for VMware Partner Leadership Summit 2016 in Arizona. We expect to cull some key themes for the conference very, very soon...

8. Equinix Expansion: Equinix plans to open four data centers in Tokyo, Dallas, Sao Paulo and Sydney — bringing the total to 150 — this year. The company has emerged as a network onramp to a cloud of clouds -- linking customers to Equinix's own cloud services as well as third-party clouds.

7. Cloud ERP Challenges: NetSuite's stock is down more than 27 percent since the start of 2016, but the pessimism about the stock is overblown, argues RBC Capital Markets, according to Barron's. NetSuite is still in a good position to sustain some 30% growth, while also delivering incremental leverage, RBC asserts.

6. Docker Container Management: Docker has acquired Conductant, a stealth startup that will help customers and service providers to build and operate "large-scale, mission critical systems," Docker said.

5. Attention Emerging and Top MSPs: Celebrate your success and earn some free publicity. Participate in ChannelE2E's Top Vertical Market MSPs survey. We'll announce results and honorees in June.

4. Healthy Apple Watch Discounts: Employees at some companies will soon get an Apple Watch for just $25. But there is a catch—they must meet monthly fitness goals over two years or pay the full price, according to a deal offered by Vitality Group -- a health-services firm, the Wall Street Journal reports. Participating companies include Amgen, DaVita Healthcare Partners and Lockton, the paper says.

3. (Former) Hacker for Hire: Convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick is confirmed to keynote Automation Nation, the annual conference for ConnectWise's LabTech partners. To prep for the keynote, did you ever hear the story about the FBI allegedly hiring a hacker named Justin Tanner Petersen to hunt down Mitnick? Actually, I wrote about that for InformationWeek back around 1995.

2. Small Business App Slowdown: No doubt, the small business app market remains strong. But the number of apps custom-written for small businesses appears to be falling. The reason? Software development kits (SDKs) increasingly allow small businesses to write apps on their own, and the overall app marketplace has become commoditized. Still, there's an opportunity for app developers to act as "app management consulting firms" that provide ongoing maintenance and integration services, TechCrunch suggests.

1. Weekend: Have a great one. I certainly intend to. But be sure to check ChannelE2E frequently between now and your return to business on Monday. We'll have plenty of content updates for you.

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.