IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of April 2nd

A fast chip from Intel, a big bet from Microsoft on the Internet of Things, a fresh batch of PCs from Dell, and Happy Streaming Socks from Roku are just a few of the stories we’ve finally gotten around to this week. By James E. Gaskin

Mother Nature appears to have the same restraint with snow this year that an eighth-grade boy does with a whoopee cushion. Frankly, Spanish teachers and snow-blanketed homeowners are fed up and politely request an end to the madness. Enough is enough.

But enough news is never enough, which is why we’re going back to fish out some pearls from the flood that appeared this week. Peruse away.

Intel Core i9Intel ups the “i” count. Tuesday April 3rd was the date and Beijing was the place for the Intel Core i9 processor’s coming out party. The newest addition to the 8th Gen Intel Core (aka Coffee Lake) family of processors for laptops, which includes the i5 and i7, the Core i9-8950HK uses new Thermal Velocity Boost technology to accelerate clock speeds as much as 200 MHz to 4.8 GHz when temperatures allow. See the full event video for the dog and pony show, and to practice your Mandarin.

Microsoft bets on IoT with a tall stack of chips. No, Microsoft isn’t starting to make a wide range of IoT devices, at least not yet. What the Redmond Rowdies are doing is betting big to win the back-end IoT game. How big? They pledge to spend $5 billion on IoT over the next four years across all platforms and around the world.

One such platform is the Azure IoT Hub for linking devices to the cloud, which is now available in both a low-cost basic tier for IoT beginners and a standard tier that now costs 50 percent less than before and remains free for low volume message loads. Remember, the first hit is always free.

Office 365 Ransomware DetectionElsewhere in news from huge cloud vendors…Microsoft Office 365 Home and Personal offer some new ways to defend yourself from cybercrimes. Ransomware detection and recovery (pictured), access to the File Restore feature previously available only in OneDrive for Business, and improvements to password protections are just some of the new security tools.

Amazon Web Services admins should check out the new AWS Firewall Manager to centralize some of those AWS accounts spread way too far and wide for easy control. And handle credentials for all those accounts across regions with the new AWS Secrets Manager, which lets you store, distribute, and rotate credentials securely.

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1Get your new spring PC. Flowers are blooming, so why not PCs? Dell’s Alienware unit gathered up a bouquet of fresh laptops: Six new Windows 10 gaming models based on 8th Gen Intel Core processors. Yes, some i9 models are included, with up to six processor cores. Under the Dell label, check out the Dell G3, G5, and G7 for more power in a thinner package.

Other blossoming Dells include an updated XPS 15 laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics, the new XPS 15 2-in-1 (pictured), which includes an optional 4K display, and six new monitors.

HP, for its part, would rather that you not call its latest laptops laptops. They’re mobile workstations, thank you. Welcome the fifth generation, otherwise known as the HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 (convertible) and HP ZBook 17 G5. When in the office, dock up to the new HP DreamColor Z27x G2 Studio Display.

KnowBe4 MSAHere comes the first wave of the RSA Conference security news tsunami. The bigsplash happens week after next, but the leading edge is upon us and begins with RSA itself. The company plans to consume Fortscale, and roll the tools into the RSA NetWitness Platform to boost its user and entity behavioral analytics capabilities.

Juniper Networks enhanced its unified cybersecurity platform. Fresh goodies include a consolidated timeline view of threat behavior and adaptive detection and automated enforcement against advanced threats.

Bitdefender made its Security for Virtualized Environments (SVE) available for MSPs.

KnowBe4 (security awareness training, aka catfishing the idiot VP) released its new and complementary Mailserver Security Assessment (MSA) tool (pictured).

Attivo Networks (deception solutions for cybersecurity defense) enhanced its ThreatDefend deception and response platform. New DecoyDocs help conduct data loss tracking by embedding a call-back function in documents.

StorMagic (edge computing virtual SANs) revealed StorMagic SvSAN with Data Encryption. The software uses military-grade encryption algorithms.

Digital Defense (security technology and services) announced that its Frontline.Cloud platform (including the Vulnerability Manager, Penetration Testing, and Web Application Scanning solutions) is now deployed on AWS.

Device Authority (IAM for IoT) revealed an integration partnership with Gemalto (digital security). They will team up to simplify “security by design” implementations for a trusted IoT ecosystem.

Tufin (network security policy orchestration) launched the Tufin Technology Alliance Partner program. Addressed: security incident enrichment, security incident response, compliance, and risk assessment.

Aerohive Atom AP30And the product news just keeps on coming. Aerohive Networks (Wi-Fi and more) pulled the curtain on its new Aerohive Atom AP30 (pictured), a pluggable, enterprise-class Wi-Fi access point.

  • ManageEngine added Windows Server backup and restoration to RecoveryManager Plus.
  • LogicMonitor integrated its SaaS-based performance monitoring system with Atlassian’s Stride communication tool.
  • Ivanti (management and security) announced Ivanti Environment Manager Policy, powered by AppSense, and the Ivanti Microsoft Accelerator for Windows 10, for smoother Windows 10 migrations and faster Windows 10 logons.
  • Meta Networks (secure cloud-native networking) unveiled its flagship network and security platform, Meta NaaS (Network-as-a-Service).
  • Wasabi (“hot” cloud storage) offered up a beta of Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage Client for Mac and Windows. The drag-and-drop files application is free.
  • Nexenta (open source-driven software-defined storage) offered up NextentaCloud, a product family of cloud-native storage solutions. Now available in AWS Marketplace.
  • Kingston Digital (flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company) offered up its first entry-level consumer-grade PCIe SSD. The A1000 PCI NVMe SSD utilizes 3D NAND and comes in 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB capacities.
  • Western Digital answered with the new high-performance Black 3D NVMe SSD featuring the company’s own SSD architecture and controller. Yes, a gaming SSD.
  • Plantronics (audio headsets and more) extended its cloud-based Manager Pro v3.11 to support mobile devices running on iOS and Android.
  • VTech Communications (desk phones and more) expanded its Eris Terminal business phone line with new SIP products, the VSP800 series of four desktop phones and one expansion module.
  • MapR Technologies (big data wrangling) revved up MapR Converged Data Platform to release 6.0.1 and added streaming pipelines to millions of endpoints to MapR Expansion Pack 5.0. IoT device support box checked.
  • Nuance Communications (document management) announced OmniPage Server 2. Upgrades include cloud deployment options through AWS and Microsoft Azure.
  • Razer (games and gamer life) unlocked the doors to the Razer Game Store. Now live in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France.

Todd BilliarNews about more than products. Ricoh moved Joji Tokunaga up to president and chief executive officer of Ricoh in the Americas.

Riverbed introduced Paul Mountford as the new CEO. Retiring CEO and co-founder Jerry M. Kennelly will serve in an advisory role during the transition.

SonicWall (network security) ordered a big batch of new business cards for:

  • Lawrence Pingree, vice president of product management
  • HoJin Kim, vice president of North America channel sales
  • Chris Auger, vice president of Dell and worldwide strategic sales
  • John Mullen, general manager of state, local and education (SLED), business development

TPx (national managed services provider) expanded its team of national channel managers. Sean Aversano will support partners in the Carolinas, while Tammy Delduca will handle Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Broadvoice (UC and SIP trunking) brought in Eric Booker as director of channel.

IT By Design announced Todd Billiar (pictured) as its new director of channel sales.

Avaya proved you can go (corporate) home again with the return of Ed Nalbandian as president of Avaya Services.

Shonodeep Modak takes over as CMO for North America at Schneider Electric.

Flashpoint (business risk assessment) named former IBM channel exec Jeff Seifert as executive director of global channels and partnerships.

Gigamon (security operations) welcomed Michelle Hodges as vice president of worldwide partner sales.

Cohesity (hyperconverged secondary storage) brought in Matt McSweeney to lead go-to-market strategy and execution in the Americas.

Addigy (cloud-based Mac management software) rolled out the welcome mat for Mark Petrie as head of products.

And roll out another welcome mat for Matt Jones, the new CEO at Blancco Technology Group (data erasure and mobile device diagnostics).

Arlin Sorensen, vice president of HTG Peer Groups at ConnectWise, joined the Channel Advisory Board over at CompTIA.

Speaking of CompTIA, check out its Advanced Security Practitioner credential.

Interested in “Certified Pre-owned” Juniper Networks hardware? Including Juniper’s EX and SRX series? Securematics and PureWRX have partnered to offer immediate product access for qualified channel partners in the U.S.

This week’s stats ticker:

Ready for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) start date of May 25, 2018? According to a recent IDC survey of GDPR Awareness and Preparation Among Global Small and Midsize Businesses, the answer is “not really.” Less than half of European SMBs have taken steps to prepare for the May deadline. Over 20 percent of SMBs in the U.K. and Germany aren’t even aware of GDPR (really?). Non-European SMBs are even more lax, with only nine percent of small businesses and 20 percent of midsize businesses saying they’re prepared.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global UCC Industry Outlook, 2018, found a sweeping shift to cloud-based solutions within the unified communication and collaboration market has up-ended traditional sales, purchase, implementation, and support models. Because of this, services are expected to grab up to 66 percent of the $39 billion global UCC market in 2019. That’s worth communicating and collaborating over with some prospects.

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 9.1 percent year over year to $3.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017. The full year total came to $12.5 billion plus, up over 9.4 percent from 2016. IDC looks at three segments: certified reference systems & integrated infrastructure, integrated platforms, and hyperconverged systems. Hyper growth (sorry) was seen in the hyperconverged systems category, as sales grew almost 70 percent year over year to $1.25 billion during 4Q17.

Good news, mostly, in the Gartner report Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2016-2022, 1Q18 Update. Worldwide device sales return to growth (+1.3 percent) in 2018, after a three percent decline in 2017. Traditional PCs (desktops and laptops) will keep sliding, but Ultramobiles (premium devices) will keep going up the sales chart. With that, the total PC market should increase again in 2019, but not up to 2016 sales levels. Mobile phone unit sales will go up again in 2018 and 2019.

Happy Streaming SocksShut up and take my money. April Fools’ Day brings out the, ah, best (?) in companies, and the tech industry is right there at the top (or bottom, depending). The list of great pranks on April 1, 2018, includes Snapchat poking at Facebook’s Russian bot issues and Instragram’s Down Under rainbow.

Winner? And prank most often demanded to become a real product? Roku Happy Streaming Socks.

They’re smart socks that control your Roku device so you don’t have to put down your snacks while you veg and binge. Swipe your foot to browse and tap to select.

But how long will you have them? Remotes tend to get lost, especially the small Roku remote, and everyone’s lost half of a pair of socks somewhere between the dirty clothes hamper and the clean sock drawer (we’re looking at you, dryers of America).

Someone call Roku support and see if the socks are at least RAID 1.

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.

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