5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 5 January 2017

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Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter, and plenty more to start your day for Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Actually, there are 19 timely entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs), telco master agents and telco agents to sip on. Take a look…

19. Russia Hacker Activity?: Top U.S. intelligence officials are set to appear before Congress Thursday morning in the first public hearing about Russian interference and alleged hacking activities leading up to the the 2016 U.S. presidential election, The Wall Street Journal reports.

18. Government Data Breach Disclosure Policies: The White House this week laid out updated parameters for federal agencies to follow when preparing for and responding to data breaches, according to Law360, and for complying with a federal statute that governs the disclosure of the personal information they hold.

17. VMware Government Contract: The U.S. Army has awarded Carahsoft Technology a two-year, $23.9 million contract to help obtain VMware product licenses to support a portion of the Army's server infrastructure, ExecutiveBiz reported.

16. IT Services Hiring: S4 Inc. plans to hire about 100 employees in Colorado Springs over the next two months to complete a five-year, $99 million information-technology service management contract for Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command awarded in November, Gazette reported.

15. Small ISPs & Regulatory Compliance: Four trade associations representing small cable, broadband and wireless groups asked lawmakers to push legislation that prevents heightened FCC transparency rules from impacting their businesses, Law360 reports. The associations include the Competitive Carriers Association, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association and the American Cable Association. We're checking to see if the transparency rules also apply to certain types of small MSPs.

14. SMBs and SD-WANs: SOVA, a Verizon Platinum Partner and Telecom Master Agent, has introduced a Verizon SD-WAN solution for SMB customers. The SD-WAN offering allows SMBs to "seamlessly allocate bandwidth as applications require it. This has a number of advantages including cost efficiencies, disaster recovery features and management analytics across networks," according to SOVA President and CEO Gene Esopi.

13. Partner Program Update, Part II: K2 Software has launched the K2 Ascend Partner Program. K2 Software specializes in low-code application development solutions. The company has more than 1,500 customers in over 84 countries, with 30 percent of customers being Fortune 100 companies. K2 recently received $150 million in funding from Francisco Partners.

12. Partner Program Update, Part I: Brocade Communications has named Sandra Glaser Cheek to succeed former Channel Chief Pete Peterson, who exited to join Tessco Technologies. Partners are closely tracking Brocade's pending sale to Broadcom, which plans to sell of Brocade's IP networking assets... including the Ruckus Wireless portfolio.

11. Midmarket Unified Communications: Edgewater Networks, which specializes in Network Edge Orchestration, and Yealink, a unified communications (UC) terminal solution provider, have expanded their partnership with a midmarket UC platform for customers.

But wait. There's more. Visit Page 2 for items 10 to 1 and the exciting conclusion to this blog.

Welcome to Page 2 and items 10 to 1. Here's the exciting conclusion you've been waiting for.

10. SolarWinds Alerting Partnership: SolarWinds has inked a strategic partnership with OpsGenie, which specializes in alerting and on-call management for DevOps teams. The partnership comes as SolarWinds discontinues its free alert aggregation tool, SolarWinds Alert Central. The deal is designed for SolarWinds' IT pro customers, but we're watching to see if any of these OpsGenie capabilities extend into the SolarWinds MSP business.

9. Freshdesk Acquires Pipemonk: Freshdesk has acquired Pipemonk for an undisclosed sum. Pipemonk helps companies move data between cloud applications such as CRM, eCommerce, marketing and help desk services, TechCrunch noted. The latter is particularly important to Freshdesk, whose primary products include customer service and help desk offerings, the media site added. Freshdesk has been catching on with some MSPs, and even raised money to help refine its platform for millennials. Gartner's GetApp subsidiary ranks Freshdesk among the top 25 service desk platforms.

8. Microsoft Azure and Compliance: Microsoft Azure is one of the first cloud platforms to be named a HITRUST-certified provider of cloud computing services for the health care industry, The Stack reports. Microsoft, Amazon, Google and IBM each have been pursuing various accreditations to earn more business in the health care, financial services, and government sectors, among other areas.

Mark Hurd Mark Hurd

7. Oracle Cloud Partner Moves: Oracle CEO Mark Hurd and President of Product Development Thomas Kurian are set to host Oracle CloudWorld New York on January 17. Early chatter suggests Oracle will announce cloud partner program enhancements or milestones at the gathering... ChannelE2E will be on hand for the updates.

6. Internet of Things Starter Kits: AT&T has launched Internet of Things starter kits for Amazon Web Services, Raspberry Pi and more. The move comes as major telecom and application development companies seek to ease IoT deployments for partners. A case in point: PTC claims its IoT offerings can help VARs and MSPs to quickly build intellectual property to boost their valuations.

5. Excel Meets Bitcoin: Microsoft will upgrade Excel later this year to support Bitcoin currency settings... Hmmm.... I still prefer cold, hard cash.

4. 12 KPIs for Startups: Are you pitching your company for potential funding? Keep these 12 key performance indicators in mind for your pitch process.

3. Private Equity Buyouts: It looks like 2016 was a record year for M&A deals involving private equity firms, according to Preqin. We've certainly seen lots of PE activity in and across the IT channel. And we've started to track all of that PE activity here.

2. Another MSP Acquisition: GCI, a UK-based MSP, has acquired Freedom Communications to deepen a push into Skype for Business and unified communications. Here are the deeper details.

1. Even More MSP Acquisitions: Look North of the U.S. border. Hmmm... Several MSPs are saying "let's make a deal." When the ink dries we'll let you know... In the meantime, you can track all VAR, MSP and CSP acquisition news right here.

More: Read all of our daily 5 Channel Partner UpdatesPlusSubscribe 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.