IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of February 27th

News from the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft’s sudden discovery of managed services, and a couple of hugely embarrassing, all-too-public gaffes are among the many stories we didn’t get around to this week.

By Rich Freeman

People are so hard to figure sometimes. I mean let’s face it, by any objective standard, ChannelPro’s first live event of 2017 was way more awesome than that pokey old Mobile World Congress thing in Barcelona last week. Yet for some reason or other it was the Mobile World Congress that got all of the media attention.

So does bitterness explain our near total absence of MWC coverage? Of course not! We were just too busy hosting a conference that was so much better than MWC that no one should mention them both in the same sentence. Bitterness had nothing to do with it. Or with that sour, metallic taste we intend to wash out of our mouths just as soon as we catch you up on everything we didn’t get around to covering last week about MWC and everything else in the IT world.

Lenovo Miix 320This could take a while too. Because there was a lot of news out of MWC, as usual. Some of the biggest stories—concerning Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S3 tablet, Galaxy Book 2-in-1, and updated Gear virtual reality headset, as well as LG’s new G6 and LG X power2 smartphones—broke early enough for us to sneak in a few words about them on Monday. But there was plenty more where that came from.

Lenovo, for instance, rolled out its new G5 and G5 Plus smartphones, which offer 8-core processors and all-metal cases at affordable prices; new Yoga convertibles in 13-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch models, including one that’s just 14.3 mm thick; the new Miix 320 (pictured), a 10.1-inch Windows 10 tablet with detachable keyboard; plus the new family-friendly Tab 4 tablet series with souped-up multimedia capabilities.

Oh, and Lenovo announced a new agreement to sell MobileIron’s security and management software with its entire portfolio of PCs, tablets, and smartphones as well.

Huawei P10Mo’ better mobile. At this rate, we’ll never get caught up on all the MWC stories. Let’s cut to the chase:

  • HP shipped a new commercial 2-in-1 and a series of attachments designed to streamline workflows for mobile professionals in the field services, healthcare, government, and retail verticals. 
  • HTC specified prices and shipping dates for its forthcoming Vive Tracker, which lets developers incorporate real-world objects in virtual reality environments, and Vive Audio Strap, which makes wearing Vive virtual reality goggles considerably more comfortable.
  • Huawei introduced two new smartphones (pictured) for shutterbugs with two rear Leica cameras and another in the front.
  • LG unveiled six new lightweight notebooks with Intel “Kaby Lake” processors and extended battery life.
  • Porsche Design showcased a slick looking premium detachable with a digital stylus optimized for Microsoft’s Windows Ink technology and a 5 MP camera just right for use with Microsoft’s Windows Hello facial recognition-based authentication technology.
  • Panasonic previewed a new addition to its Toughbook laptop line featuring the 3:2 aspect ratio preferred by police officers, field service pros, and others who like their notebooks narrow.
  • Ricoh announced a new camera capable of recording 24 hours of continuous 360-degree spherical video.
  • Western Digital added 256 GB models to its line of SanDisk iOS mobile flash drives.
  • Xiaomi launched the first smartphone powered by its custom-built SoCs.

Last but not least, and though it has nothing to do with MWC, Cortado launched a new multi-tenant version of its combo mobile device and application management solution that can help service providers administer all of those mobile gizmos.

Everything old is new again. Now that Nokia has revived its iconic 3310 feature phone and TCL has shipped an old-school BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard, would it be any surprise if Lenovo said it could resuscitate its long gone but also iconic Razr handset?

Nope, not really.

Office 365 Service Health DashboardAnd with mobile behind us, on to Microsoft. Their big news last week was that:

  • Office 365’s service health dashboard (pictured), which provides detailed status information about Office 365 applications, is now in general availability.
  • Yammer now integrates with the Office 365 Groups workgroup offering.
  • Azure AD has acquired the ability to monitor on-premises Active Directories and report on sync errors between on-premises and off-premises directories, along with simpler licensing.
  • New support offerings that give Windows Server and SQL Server users with deep pockets 6 extra years of security updates after the extended support expires are now available.

So useful, and only a decade late! One last story from Microsoft: They’ve created a new website full of information about this managed services thing people seem to be interested in.

Zoho ZiaBelieve it or not, there was noteworthy product news not about mobile hardware last week. No, really. For instance:

  • eSentire added support for Office 365, Dropbox, and other cloud solutions to its managed threat detection and response solution.
  • Google added support for Microsoft Exchange tasks to the Android version of its Gmail mobile app.
  • IGEL shipped a new cloud management gateway for its thin and zero clients.
  • Veeam announced direct snapshot support for Cisco’s HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure platform.
  • Zoho introduced Zia (pictured), a new artificial intelligence assistant for its CRM system that warns you about impending problems and offers up advice on the best time to contact sales prospects, among other good things.

John DonahueAnd what did vendors do in between shipping products? Stuff like this:

This week’s stats ticker:

  • 85 percent of businesses plan to implement Internet of Things technology by 2019 even though 84 percent of businesses using the IoT today have experienced a security breach, according to HPE’s Aruba division.
  • The global market for cloud security solutions will reach $13.93 billion by 2024, according to Grand View Research.
  • Worldwide virtual/augmented reality outlays will climb 130.5 percent this year to $13.9 billion, according to IDC.

AWS BeattyWe’ve all been there. OK, we’ve covered MWC, Microsoft, new products, vendor news. Did we forget anything significant?

Oh yeah, the giant collapse of Amazon Web Services’ S3 storage solution that tangibly impacted 54 of the top 100 e-commerce sites on the internet and made life miserable for hundreds of thousands of other site operators.

Now we could snicker here at the tech whose command line type-o apparently caused all those headaches. Or the poor sap from AWS who was on stage doing a demo at the company’s AWSome Day conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, when S3 went down. Or make some crack linking that guy to Warren Beatty, who was on a somewhat bigger stage last Sunday when he read the wrong best picture winner at the Academy Awards.

But we won’t, because a) karma is a you-know-what, and b) it could be our turn the next time something goes horribly, visibly wrong. We’ll just humbly thank our lucky stars we had nothing to do with these particular debacles.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Senior News Editor