IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of August 22nd

So-so earnings reports from two tech industry leaders, a Microsoft acquisition aimed at making meeting scheduling easier in Office 365, and a new strike force charged with terminating one of life’s great annoyances are all among the stories you may have missed this week. By Rich Freeman

“There is no substitute for hard work,” Thomas Edison once said. Bu what does he know? We’ve found twiddling our thumbs for five days and then dumping a week’s worth of stories into a single news roundup to be an excellent alternative to hard work. Which is why we’ve done it yet again.

Dion WeislerMoney never sleeps, pal. So we should discuss this week’s two big earnings updates first and let poor, sleepless money get back to coping with its insomnia. First up was HP Inc., whose latest numbers, reported Wednesday, look a lot better in context than in isolation. Normally, for example, flat PC revenues wouldn’t be cause for celebration. When you consider, though, that revenue in HP’s Personal Systems division was down 10 percent last quarter and that PC demand is weak across the industry right now, flat sounds kinda OK. And knowing that printer sales were down 16 percent last time out makes this quarter’s 14 percent drop almost sound like momentum. Also of note:

  • HP didn’t divulge much about how its important new production-ready 3D printer is doing sales-wise, but president and CEO Dion Weisler did say the company has “placed a number of demo units” during an earnings conference call.
  • We also didn’t get a bunch of detail about the initial market reception to HP’s device-as-a-service offering except that Weisler says it’s “gaining interest from companies around the world.”
  • Managed print services revenue was up on a year-over-year basis.

Bob Dutkowsky and Jim CramerWe’re almost done, money. But we have to review the earnings report from Tech Data before sending you on your bleary-eyed way. Alas, the distribution giant failed to meet analyst expectations with respect to both revenue and earnings per share due to sales that “came in below our expectations,” especially in the mobility and data center markets, according to CEO Bob Dutkowsky (pictured about five months ago gabbing with CNBC’s Jim Cramer) during the quarterly conference call.

Interestingly, Dutkowsky also highlighted a number of recent moves covered here at ChannelPro as reasons for optimism looking forward, beginning with the updated StreamOne cloud e-commerce platform Tech Data unveiled last month at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference:

“These enhancements provide our customers with greater flexibility, simplify the way they deliver cloud solutions and enable them to do what they do best, solve their client’s problems, while leaving the rest to Tech Data.

“Our ability to provide the right mix of cloud solutions coupled with our expertise in new and emerging data center technology and the strategic investments we’ve made in mobile, security, cloud and IoT markets uniquely position Tech Data to assist our resellers as they transition to an increasingly hybrid IT market.”

GeneeWheeling and dealing and Windows. Actually, Office rather than Windows was the featured product in two big announcements by Microsoft this week. First, the software maker disclosed its acquisition of Genee, which makes a cool-sounding natural language digital scheduling assistant that will soon become part of Office 365. Second, Microsoft completed a deal with Lenovo to include Office, OneDrive, and Skype on select but unspecified devices running Google’s Android operating system.

Word also came forth from Redmond this week that:

  • It added support for the new Nougat version of Android the same day Google shipped that OS.
  • Has placed Azure Import/Export Service, which lets public sector agencies migrate big volumes of data in or out of Azure Government by shipping hard drives directly to the data center, into general availability.
  • Will soon kick off a new series of free, one-day “US SMB Live” roadshow events for partners interested in selling Microsoft Azure and the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite in addition to Office 365.

IBM Storwize V7000And here’s a big ol’ list of new product announcements from other vendors. Because, let’s face it, you’re into that kind of thing.

  • Data Deposit Box revealed that its Smart Storage BDR solution can now perform bare metal recovery and backup Microsoft SQL Server databases.
  • GIGABYTE rolled out the new NVIDIA Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1060 XTREME GAMING graphics card, plus new motherboards and other goodies for Intel’s superfast Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connector technology.
  • Google, as noted above, released Nougat, the latest version of its Android operating system.
  • IBM shipped the Storwize V7000F (pictured) and IBM Storwize 5030F, affordable all-flash storage arrays priced at $19,000 and up.
  • IOGEAR introduced a new 10-port USB-C docking station that lets users connect a keyboard, mouse, multiple monitors, and more to their laptop via a single cable.
  • Jabra launched new wired and wireless headsets specifically designed for use with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant.
  • ManageEngine announced that the latest version of Analytics Plus, its self-service IT analytics solution, integrates with the company’s IT operations and customer support solutions.
  • Platform9 reported the addition of high availability functionality to its Managed OpenStack private cloud solution.
  • ZeroStack equipped its OpenStack private cloud offering with high availability capabilities too, along with new external storage and data protection features.
  • ZyXEL launched a free firmware upgrade for its ZyXEL USG and ZyWALL Security Appliances that includes a host of usability, security, and performance enhancements including PCI-DSS compliance support.

Bob TrvaAnd because your appetite for vendor news is simply insatiable…Here are some more, non-product headlines from the week that was:

  • Acronis kicked off a new promotion, good through September 30th, offering one year of free Acronis Cloud Storage to companies that buy a perpetual license to Acronis Backup versions 11.7 and 12 or up to three years of free Acronis Cloud Storage to organizations that buy or renew a subscription to those products.
  • Awingu’s workspace aggregation solution is now available on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.
  • Intermedia named former Dropbox corporate controller Bob Tirva (pictured) its new CFO.
  • RingCentral and identity and device management vendor Okta announced a new alliance agreement aimed at providing easier mobile access to the former company’s communication and collaboration solution.
  • Rackspace completed a $4.3 billion agreement with affiliates of Apollo Global Management to become a private company.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • Global public cloud computing revenues will more than double through 2020 to over $195 billion, according to IDC.
  • Worldwide software-defined storage sales will expand at a 36.7 CAGR from $4.72 billion this year to $22.56 billion in 2021, according to Research and Markets.
  • Only 14 percent of organizations regularly reset employee passwords, according to BeyondTrust.

Hasta la vista, robocallsAll is forgiven. That’s right, AT&T, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Comcast, and Verizon, among many others. We forgive you for everything you’ve ever done to frustrate, gouge, or disappoint us. And all because, at the behest of the Federal Communications Commission, you’ve agreed to form a “Robocall Strike Force” charged with “developing comprehensive solutions to prevent, detect, and filter unwanted robocalls” (as opposed, one presumes, to the exceedingly rare wanted kind).

Roll up your sleeves though, folks, because you’ve got a lot of work to do. There were an estimated 2.42 billion robocalls placed in the U.S. during July alone, according to YouMail, including more than 23 million by a single credit card debt collection agency. Here’s hoping the new strike force succeeds in getting all Arnold Schwarzenegger on those pesky robocallers soon.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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