5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 7 April 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, April 7, 2016.

Actually, there are 20 hot entries for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on.

20. MSP Co-Branding: Anybody else notice that Datto is advertising on billboards in selected cities? Instead of selling direct, the billboard ads promote a local Datto partner for business continuity and data protection services. Datto wants to build brand awareness with SMB customers -- while driving all of its business leads to MSPs. The effort will include a massive file sync and sharing push (dubbed Datto Drive), while Chief Revenue Officer Brooks Borcherding manages four growth levers for the company and MSPs.

19. Encryption Policy Debate: The White House apparently is declining to offer public support for draft legislation involving encryption hacks, Reuters reports. Under terms of the potential legislation, judges could order technology companies to help law enforcement crack encrypted data. Apparently, the Obama administration doesn't like the potential legislation's direction.

18. PSA Software Market: The global market for professional services automation (PSA) software will reach $12.88 billion by 2022, up  from $6.26 billion in 2014, Grand View Research predicts. We'll share more thoughts on this soon.

17. Key Hire?: Has the ASCII Group made a key hire? Hmmm... I don't know for sure... Maybe we'll get some answers at an upcoming ASCII IT SMB Success Summit... or sooner...

16. Partner Program Updates:

  • Citrix Systems has launched new incentives to help partners push deeper into midmarket customer accounts...
  • Riverbed Technology has unveiled updates to its Riverbed Performance Partner Program. The updates include new subscription offerings for managed services providers. More details soon.
  • Sage has launched a Global Accountant Partner Program to help accountants grow their practices, learn from industry experts, and simplify their relationships with Sage.
  • Stratoscale has launched its PartnerFirst partner program, and is also working closely with Ingram Micro. Stratoscale is a software defined data center (SDDC) startup.
  • Tintri Inc., a producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, has expanded its Global Partner Program. Track down details here.

15. IoT Setback: Even as the Internet of Things catches on for industrial applications,  the IoT movement is showing signs of stress in the consumer market. A key example involves apparent setbacks within Google's NEST business -- where major questions seem to be emerging daily.

14. Mac Managed Services: LogicNow has delivered MAX Remote Management OS X Agent v1.5 -- an upgrade top the company's Apple Mac management software. The release includes integrations with Mac-MSP, a software platform that LogicNow acquired a few weeks months ago.

13. Video Surveillance as a Service: March Networks has launched new service and support capabilities for partners in the video surveillance market. And yes, there are options for managed video network services to check out.


12. Channel Influencer: Pensar, a London-based IT solutions provider, has standardized on Continuum's RMM (remote monitoring and management) and NOC (network operations center) platforms. The key connector? HTG Peer Groups, which essentially introduced Pensar to Continuum's solutions.

11. EMC Results: The storage giant is set to announce quarterly results on April 20. The financials are particularly timely, considering Dell's pending $67 billion buyout of EMC... as well as EMC's potential sale of Documentum, among other variables.

10. Sorry State of Technology: Attention all IT service providers in and around Rhode Island. The state's legacy IT systems need updating, according to an independent auditor. Here's the background. Happy hunting.

9. Cloud Security: Palo Alto Networks has extended its Next-Generation Security Platform to protect cloud-based environments and SaaS applications. The ultimate goal? Securing any cloud. Hmmm...

8. Printer Buyout: China's Apex Technology apparently is bidding to buy Lexmark -- which has a $2 billion  valuation. Despite managed print services hype, the printer market remains highly challenging. Xerox is breaking itself up, HP Inc. isn't exactly lighting the world on fire and Lexmark put itself up for sale in late 2015.

7. Intel Data Center Alternatives: Google is working closely with Rackspace and IBM on servers that leverage IBM's Power9 OpenPower chip. The search giant also is working with Qualcomm to evaluate ARM processors for its data centers. What's driving those moves? Intel's 99 percent market share for data center processors. Hmmm... Where the heck is AMD in this conversation?

6. AWS Reaches $10 Billion: Amazon Web Services will be a $10 billion business this year, according to CEO Jeff Bezos' letter to shareholders. The "overnight" cloud sensation has actually been around for a decade. AWS launched in 2006 and reached a tipping point around 2011, forcing enterprise giants like IBM to scramble in response (i.e., the 2013 SoftLayer buyout). More recently, a new generation of MSPs has plugged into AWS to offer a range of managed cloud services.

5. Cloud Management: Mitaka, the latest OpenStack Foundation release, focuses on manageability and user experience. The code update arrives the same week that Mirantis -- a pure-play OpenStack provider -- confirmed a major customer win with Volkswagen.

4. Succession Planning: How's this for ironic... Venture capital firms often force startups to develop executive succession plans. However, many venture capital firms lack their own succession plans, and some of them are now struggling to balance experience and the need for new blood, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ahem... Speaking of succession planning, Amy Katz has been working on some pretty spectacular research in that area... That's all I can say about that. Perhaps forever.

3. IT Spending Dips: Worldwide IT spending will fall about 0.5 percent in 2016 vs. 2015, according to a Gartner forecast. The weakness is largely due to currency fluctuations. Endpoint hardware sales (PCs, mobile phones, tablets, printers, etc.) will see a 3.7 spending decline. Enterprise software spending will rise 4.2 percent, though I don't know if that includes SaaS and cloud spending...

darla-morse Darla Morse

2. Data-Driven Hire: Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. has named Darla Morse as its chief information officer. She will handle point-of-sale systems, mobile payments and ordering, and other front- and back-office systems, the Wall Street Journal reported. Not exactly a channel announcement. But I've got roast beef on the mind...

1. Channel Partner Programs Database: Try to find a searchable list of channel partner programs? We've got it. Check the ChannelE2E Channel Partner Programs database to hunt down solutions in key IT segments -- security, storage, cloud, networking and so much more. Also, submit your company's partner program to be featured in the database. There's no charge.

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.