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5 Channel Partner Updates: 9 Nov 2015

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news updates, insights, chatter and more to start your day for Monday, November 9, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 12 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs) to sip on.

12. Falling Unicorn Valuations: Square is seeking an IPO valuation of $3.9 billion, far lower than the company's $6 billion valuation from about a year ago, The Wall Street Journal notes. For those who are new to this discussion, unicorns are startups with valuations of $1 billion or more. But skeptics have warned of a unicorn bubble for at least a year. And the Unicorn corrections could even undermine fast-growth cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services, ChannelE2E believes.

11. Big Networking Deal: Cisco Systems and Ericsson are partnering on network, mobile and cloud solutions. The duo expects the relationship to generate $1 billion in incremental revenue by 2018. The takeaway: If you want to turn heads on Wall Street and in the media, always use that magic $1 billion (or more) figure.

10. AVG Small Business Reorg: As part of an SMB reorganization, AVG Technologies and Senior VP and GM Mike Foreman have parted ways, according to two external sources that know the company well. CEO Gary Kovacs disclosed the AVG SMB reorganization and 35 layoffs during an earnings call last week. But during that call, Kovacs didn't say who will now lead the SMB organization. ChannelE2E has reached out to AVG for comment.

9. Careful With That Hype: BetaBoston openly wonders if LogMeIn is the king of the Internet of Things. Sure, Xively -- the company's IoT platform -- looks promising. But it's really early in the IoT platform game. And thousands of companies in the IoT ecosystem -- device makers, sensor makers, big data companies, etc. -- have never heard of Xively. Even fewer can pronounce it.

8. Broken Telco Cloud Hubs?: Telco companies were supposed to be the next-generation cloud services providers. But now, Verizon Enterprise is looking to sell its cloud services business, and CenturyLink is looking to sell nearly 60 data centers worldwide (though the company plans to continue offering managed and cloud services). So, are telcos still serious cloud contenders? Yes and no. I'd look to Europe where companies like Orange have promising efforts underway. And to Australia, where Telstra offers a range of business-class cloud services. But overall, it's clear that Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and perhaps even IBM SoftLayer are pulling ahead of the public cloud pack -- forcing telcos to reconsider whether they want to double down on the cloud market... or fold now before the stakes get even higher.

7. Online Lending Under Scrutiny: So, you're seeking to get a loan through online lending. Can you trust emerging online lending services that now provide alternatives to your local bank? That's the question the Treasury Department seems to be asking. In fact, the department sent a request for information to online lenders earlier this year, and is now analyzing the responses. Does that mean new rules are coming? Stay tuned.

6. Managed Services Meets SEO: ITAcceleration (a managed services provider) has partnered with B-SeenOnTop (an SEO company) to promote managed WordPress hosting, search engine optimization and web development services. The relationship targets customers in Philadelphia. The relationship is a bit similar to a recent trend market trend, which involves traditional MSPs buying or partnering with digital marketing agencies.

5. Comcast Data Charges: The broadband provider is facing fresh controversy. This time, Comcast is trying to downplay a leaked memo that allegedly shows the company's 300GB monthly data cap has nothing to with improving network performance and everything to do with charging customers more money. It can't be fun trying to constantly spin negative customer support chatter into positive double-talk.

4. Pay Your Kids a Salary?: Poke around the IT service provider market and you'll notice family owned companies where parents work side by side with their kids. Examples include CCB Technology, Directive and TruMethods. But when is the right time to put your son or daughter on the company payroll? Here are some clues.

3. Managed DevOps Services: That will be a key theme at IT Nation 2015 sessions. And there are cloud platforms to help MSPs deliver such services. For instance, IBM's new Active Deploy allows you to deploy software updates to cloud-based apps with zero downtime and no service disruption. And IBM Event Hub brings together events generated by a variety of web services or on-premises systems into a centralized, cloud-based system.

2. Channel Partner Events Calendar: HTG Peer Groups, ConnectWise and LabTech Software have added their respective 2016 channel partner events and conferences to the ChannelE2E Events Calendar. Hundreds channel partner events and summits are listed. Is yours? Note: Sorry, but road shows, lunch and learns, webcasts and the like are not featured.

1. This Week: ChannelE2E is attending HTG Peer Groups' 2015 meeting, IT Nation 2015 and WestconGroup Connect. Be sure to check the site every few hours for ongoing updates. Track all of our events coverage simply by visiting www.ChannelE2E.com/category/events. Plenty of IT Nation 2015 chatter is already posted.

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.