5 things

5 Channel Partner Updates: 9 Dec 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and so much more to start your day for Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 17 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to sip on...

17. Cloud Backup Channel Chief: Stay tuned for some news today...

16. New Partner Programs:

  • Bit Stew Systems, which focuses on Software Defined Operations for the Industrial Internet, has launched a global partner program for the Internet of Things ecosystem. Keep a particularly close eye on Bit Stew's Mix Developer Network... If I told you why, then I'd be telling you too much...
  • Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., which develops cloud services for customer engagement, unified communications and collaboration, has launched an enhanced Global Partner Program for systems integrators, telcos/carriers and more traditional channel partners.
  • PlanetOne Communications, focused on cloud and connectivity opportunities, grew 30 percent in  2015 thanks to a new partner program.
  • Zilliant, focused on data science solutions, has hired Steve Hale as vice president of its newly launched worldwide channel sales.

15. Google Fiber Spreads Out: The high-speed Internet service hopes to extend into Chicago and Los Angeles -- though Google will go through a checklist process to see if serving those metro areas is possible. Google Fiber typically delivers a higher-speed alternative to entrenched telcos and cable companies. But even parent Alphabet has struggled here and there with install issues in some cities.

Google Fiber location status. Source: Alphabet
Google Fiber location status. Source: Alphabet

14. Can Big MSP Deal Get Bigger: Konica Minolta has been deploying LogicNow’s MAXfocus Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) platform across more than 20 European countries to underpin its Managed Print Services (MPS) operations. The big question: Is Konica making similar moves in the US, and where does the company's All Covered MSP business fit into the conversation?

13. Cisco and IBM Seek Voice, Video ISVs: Over at Cisco, the growing Cisco Spark platform is designed to compete with Microsoft Office 365's Cloud PBX, RingCentral and other cloud-based communication platforms. Meanwhile, IBM has acquired Clearleap, a cloud-based video content management platform. More thoughts soon.

12. WiFi Performance Monitoring: Spirent Communications has acquired Epitiro, a WiFi experience monitoring specialist. Greenway Scott advised Epitiro on the deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sean Valcamp

11. CISOs Rise Again: Avnet, the massive distributor, named Sean Valcamp to the company’s newly created role of chief information security officer (CISO). Valcamp is responsible for Avnet’s global IT security in addition to enterprise architecture and strategic planning for IT. He reports to CIO Steve Phillips.

10. Interworks US Seeks MSPs, ISVs, CSPs: Interworks has launched a new hosted Cloud Business Management Platform. It's designed for MSPs, ISVs and CSPs. The company recommends the platform as a "CSP-enabling solution for Microsoft 1- and 2-Tier CSPs who need to automate the provisioning of Office 365, Azure and more." Hmmm... I'd like to their website if I could find the URL...

9. Continuum And Cloud Data Centers: Continuum, which made its mark developing management platforms for MSPs, continues to push deeper into the hosting and cloud services provider markets. The latest example: PhoenixNAP, mainly an IaaS provider, increasingly leverages Continuum's R1Soft platform for backup and business continuity services...

8. Artisan Bolsters Business Continuity: Artisan Infrastructure has expanded its IT Continuity Engine (ITCE) to support VMware vCenter Server -- essentially protecting virtual machine-based applications from downtime. Artisan is a channel-only cloud provider that pushed beyond IaaS to offer business protection services and more. The company recently hired Chris Wiser as its MSP Channel Chief.

7. Did We Mention?: Dimension Data has helped Lawter to overhaul and modernize its IT platforms. Among the key moves: Deploying Zadara Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA) architecture to support Lawter's SAP applications worldwide. Zadara, which specializes in enterprise storage as a service, confirmed the project earlier this month.

6. Small Business Optimism Slips: Small business owners "turned less confident about their economic prospects last month, pointing to slower sales and growing inventories as consumers spend more cautiously. The National Federation of Independent Business's small-business optimism index, based on a survey of about 600 owners, slipped to 94.8 in November from 96.1 in October. The decline came after the gauge held steady to modestly higher in recent months, though it has remained below the long-term average reading of 98 since May." Source: Dow Jones Business News.

5. Not Quite As Hot: The number of fast-growth startups has been declining since 2000, which puts U.S. economic expansion at risk, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. On the one hand, research like the annual Inc. 5000 show healthy growth for small business startups. But on the other hand, the NBER seems to be asking: Where is the next Facebook, Google, Uber and AirBnB? (Alas, not in my garage...)

4. Signing Off -- and On: Tech News Today Anchor Mike Elgan is moving on, and turning the daily netcast over to well-known podcasters Megan Morrone and Jason Howell. I co-anchored TNT with Elgan each Tuesday from mid-2014 through November 2015. And I remain a raving fan of the show. Watch for Elgan to surface with some interesting media plans of his own...

3. That's Nearly 1 MillionAppSense, which promotes secure endpoint technology through the channel, has seen its Application Manager platform extend across 900,000 new endpoints so far in 2015.

2. Fresh Funding: Among the tech companies raising money in recent days...

  • Platfora, a big data discovery company, raised $30 million led by HSBC and Harmony Partners. The platform is built natively on Apache Hadoop and Spark, two fast-growth big data platforms.
  • Sigstr, focused on email signature marketing, raised $1.5 million in seed money.

1. MSP Pricing Models: Still not sure how to price your managed services offerings? Check out the ChannelE2E FAQ for pricing and business guidance designed for MSPs, VARs and CSPs.

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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.