IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of February 5th

HP revving up its 3D print portfolio, Intel pulling up its SoCs, and the possibility of financial assistance towards the purchase of an iPhone X from a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” are among the stories we’re belatedly catching up to. By James E. Gaskin

What a fun week for roller coaster fans! On the up side, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket successfully. Unfortunately, Elon parked his Tesla Roadster in the rocket storage module rather than a garage, meaning it will take a really, really long time for the valet to run out and get it.

On the down side, the stock market finally succumbed to gravity and made a “correction,” meaning it dropped 10 percent from the most recent high. Just remember the most recent high is much higher than ever before, after years of trending up.

Know what else is still trending up? News that zoomed past us like a Tesla on the way to Mars. Here’s some we grabbed as it went by.

HP Jet Fusion 300/500 SeriesHP products rev up. 3D printing has become so common it hardly makes the news anymore. Leave it to HP to rev up the printer product line with the new HP Jet Fusion 300 and 500 series (pictured). Not just a new nameplate, these printers (which list at prices “starting in the $50,000s”) produce functional parts in black, white, and (way cool) full color. Can we place an order now for our Star Trek replicator?

Look up for the new version of the HP Z4 high-performance workstation. Now you can choose between Intel’s Xeon or Core X processors and dual extreme graphics.

HP also amped up products like its HP EliteBook 800 series and HP ZBook 14u/15u mobile workstations. Hook them up through the new HP Thunderbolt Dock G2 to one of HP’s four new 4K displays.

Dell EMC Data Domain DD3300Other big-time vendors need some love, too. Intel’s new Xeon D-2100 system-on-chip aims to power new functions for edge computing, networking, and data center solutions. And Johnny-on-the-spot Supermicro was right there with a product line based on the new SoC. Say howdy to the X11SDV series motherboard.

Dell EMC rolled out a new platform to help small and midsize companies get enterprise-level data protection. Say hello to the Dell EMC Data Domain DD3300 (pictured).

Teamwork is on display, at least according to Cisco, Apple, Aon, and Allianz. Get cyber resilience evaluation services from Aon and enhanced cyber insurance from Allianz. Cisco and Apple provide the power.

NETGEAR plans to spin off its Arlo products unit, which makes digital cameras (mobile, wireless, and even a baby monitor). The IPO will leave NETGEAR with the majority of shares and didn’t stop the company from introducing its new M4300-96X Stackable 10G and 40G Modular Managed Switch to daylight at the Integrated Systems Europe show in Amsterdam.

Web conferencing and events company LogMeIn will pony up $325 million in cash for Jive Communications. Goal? Accelerate LogMeIn’s push into unified communications and collaboration (UCC).

Speaking of Jive, it’s named Jenne Inc. its newest distribution partner.

Meanwhile, cybersecurity firm Proofpoint put $225 million cash on the table to acquire Wombat Security, makers of anti-phishing security awareness solutions.

And last but not least on the M&A front. Workflow automation kingpin Nintex has a new lead investor: Thoma Bravo, recent acquirers of Continuum and Barracuda.

Microsoft Cloud App Threat ProtectionWe always need more security. Microsoft touts improvements in its Cloud App Security and Office 365 Cloud App Security (pictured). As in moving to a user-case driven approach, based on increased visibility into a user’s typical activities.

Kaspersky Lab announced its Kaspersky Threat Management and Defense solution, rolling up multiple security modules and capabilities under one umbrella.

Endpoint protection company SentinelOne teamed up with Phantom and its Security Operations Platform.

Security vendor Fortinet made its FortiGate Virtual Machine available on the Google Cloud Platform.

Cylance announced new releases of CylancePROTECT and CylanceOPTICS.

Check Point pulled the curtain back on the CloudGuard product family, including the CloudGuard SaaS. All part of the Check Point Infinity architecture. What will they call the next update, infinity plus 1?

Comodo Security Solutions teamed up with Optimus to offer Thunder DNS. No, not a new wrestling takedown, a next-generation domain name system software solution for better cybersecurity.

Cloudian’s S3-compatible HyperStore platform now plugs in to NVIDIA’s Deep Learning GPU Training System (DIGITS) version 6.1.

LG gramBut wait, there’s more:

  • LG unboxed its latest LG gram notebooks (sample pictured), designed to mix power and portability.
  • Epson put the sunglasses on to announce the world’s first 12,000 lumen native 4K 3LCD laser projector. The Pro L20000U, for large venues, glows with 20,000 lumens. Not done yet, Epson also introduced its new PowerLite L-Series projectors.
  • ManageEngine boosted its endpoint management flexibility by making Patch Manager Plus a cloud application.
  • Cloud networking player Aerohive pulled the covers off Aerohive A3, which will offer hybrid cloud-access management when it rolls out in Q2 2018, not to mention what it calls “the industry’s first pluggable, enterprise-class Wi-Fi access point.”

Tina GravelNow for some people and deal news:

Mark Briggs moves to the head of the table as CEO of dinCloud, following that company’s acquisition by Premier BPO.

Tina Gravel (pictured), senior vice president of global channels for Cyxtera, has been named to the inaugural Women in the Channel Advisory Council.

Andrew “Drew” Del Matto takes over as executive vice president and CFO at Citrix.

Greg Silberman changed his business cards to read chief privacy officer over at Cylance.

NetFortris, of secure cloud solutions, adds master agent Telarus to its Strategic Partner Program.

TPx, managed services carrier, signed Converged Network Services Group (CNSG) as a national master agent.

IGEL, endpoint management software, expanded its North American IT channel into Canada with a sales office in Toronto. Citrix alum Michael Berman is its first sales engineer the Great White North, and Ken Shipman will be country manager.

Egenera, provider of wholesale, channel-only cloud services to the global IT market, announced that its Xterity Cloud Services is fully compliant with the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers Europe (CISPE) Code of Conduct for Data Protection.

CompTIA intro’d a new version of its CompTIA Cloud+ certification. More cloud smarts can only help.

This week’s stats ticker:

Speaking of clouds, the seventh Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021) just came out. Guess what? Clouds keep growing, thanks to both biz and consumer apps. ERP, collaboration, and analytics keep the enterprise’s nose in the clouds. To handle all this, Citrix expects 628 global hyperscale data centers, up from 338 in 2016. By 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers.

PagerDuty (a digital operations management vendor) released its inaugural research on the State of IT Work-Life Balance. There’s a balance? Not for a quarter of IT folks who hope to jump from one employer to another to improve their work-life balance. Nearly half (49 percent) of IT folks in the U.S. say that personal life (or sleep) is interrupted between 11 and 30 times—a week. Not a month, a week. Three surveys of over 800 IT pros in the US, Australia, and the UK provided the deets.

ABI Research’s Thing Identity and Management Services report pegs IoT platform services as a $21.5 billion market opportunity by 2022. Hot growth in the next five years should come from industrial, manufacturing, and automotive market verticals. Keep an eye on expanding security, cryptography, digital certificated management, and data exchange services.

Grand View Research tags the managed print services market as reaching $49.7 billion by 2025. That’s up from $26.72 billion in 2016, with large enterprises expected to generate over $34.43 billion in revenue by 2025.

Stats for the romantically clueless. Houston Asset Management provides an annual “Cost of Loving Index” based on nine popular Valentine gifts. They’ve been at this since 1990, so pay attention. Good news: prices are about the same as last year. Bad news: while a romantic four-course candlelight dinner for two costs about six percent less this year, you’re almost too late to make a reservation by now. Movie prices are up nine percent, and mushy cards are up 19 percent. Over half of U.S. adults (55 percent) will spend an average of $143.56 on V-Day gifts for loved ones, family, friends, and pets this year. So reclaim some of that work-life balance and stay out of the doghouse.

Vampire Squid iPhoneWhen you need a loan shark to float your Apple iPhone X, call Goldman Sachs. How did we get here? Apple priced the iPhone X at a grand and up, and credit cards charge amazingly high interest rates based on the fact the Fed gives them money for a pittance. So CNBC, quoting the Wall Street Journal, says Goldman Sachs is offering to step in and provide “easy financing” at Apple Stores.

You know Goldman Sachs, right, the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity? Sure you do. If you’re confused, just look at the current list of Trump administration cabinet secretaries. Six, at last count, are from Goldman Sachs, a trend that some folks worried. Is this draining the swamp or filling it with sharks?

Let’s just hope Goldman charges Apple customers less interest than they charged the government of Puerto Rico: 746 percent ($2.5 million in bonds tagged with $18.8 billion in interest).

Maybe Tim Cook and other Apple executives have the sense to say no to Goldman. Or maybe Tim will use some of the $261 billion in cash ($200+ billion overseas) to offer decent loan rates to customers dying to pocket the iPhone X.

Nobody asked for a better work-life-squid balance, did they?

About the Author

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

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