IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of February 6th

Dell EMC’s new partner program, more security news in advance of next week’s RSA conference, and a swarm of Intel Super Bowl drones that was less trail blazing than you may think were all among the stories we missed this week.

By Rich Freeman

What kind of people would bet big money against Giselle Bundchen, the supermodel wife of NFL quarterback Tom Brady, appearing 2 or more times during last Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast? I mean big money. Could it be the same kind of people who figured a 28-3 Atlanta Falcons lead was so safe that they could start buying fancy cars and jewelry with all the winnings they were about to collect from betting equally large sums against Brady’s New England Patriots?

Maybe. And if there are such people in the world, here’s all the IT industry news they didn’t write about this week while they were hiding out from debt collectors.

John Byrne“Time to go big and win big.” So said John Byrne (pictured), president of Dell EMC global channels, in a blog post Wednesday celebrating the launch of the new Dell EMC partner program. Not all that surprising a call to action either given that, as we know, Dell EMC parent company Dell Technologies is all about bigness.

In any event, though we learned a few things about Dell EMC’s list of go-to distis, most of what the company announced this week had been disclosed way back in October in a detailed, thunder-stealing preview of the new channel offering. In fact, the only thing that earlier overview appears to have gotten wrong was the program’s launch date, which was originally scheduled for February 1st. Given the complexities involved in constructing and rolling out something this large, though, missing by a mere week is actually pretty impressive.

And with that, channel pros, it’s time to buckle down and start working your way toward a place in the Dell EMC’s program’s invitation-only super double ultra premium Titanium Black tier.

RSA ConferenceHey, remember all those pre-RSA conference security stories we shared last week in this space? There were even more of them this week:

Casio Ultra Short Throw projectorRSA wasn’t the only show generating headlines this week. There was also the Integrated Systems Europe conference in Amsterdam, at which:

  • Casio presented two new and brighter additions to its Ultra Short Throw projector series.
  • Epson shipped five new Pro L-Series large venue projectors with brightness ratings ranging from 12,000 to 15,000 lumens.
  • Microsoft introduced a subscription pricing option for its Surface Hub conferencing and whiteboard solution.
  • Userful announced a new version of its digital signage display controller with a REST API and the ability to interact with mobile devices, among other things.
  • ViewSonic introduced new 75-inch and 86-inch digital whiteboards that accept input from web feeds, video streams, collaboration systems like Slack, and other sources, and also unveiled a new agreement to pre-install EnPlug digital signage software on its displays.

Azure IP AdvantageMore goodies from Satyaville. That new Surface Hub-as-a-service plan (which works a lot like the similar plan for Surface tablets that Microsoft introduced in July, by the way) wasn’t all the news from Redmond this week. We also learned that:

Lenovo A12Hard to believe, but there was still more product news this week. For example:

  • Arrow Electronics rolled out the first of a promised series of Microsoft hybrid cloud bundles, all three of which in this case involve backing up data either from or to Office 365 and Azure.
  • In addition to all those workstations we told you about, Lenovo shipped an affordable new Android tablet (pictured) that weighs less than a kilogram and comes with a touchscreen keyboard.
  • Salesforce integrated its CRM platform and Quip productivity solution, enabling users to import CRM data into Quip documents and access Quip documents from within the CRM interface.
  • SAP discussed the latest additions to its SAP S/4HANA Cloud ERP solution.
  • Shift4 shipped an e-commerce payments solution for users of Microsoft Dynamics for Operations in the retail industry.
  • Toshiba shipped a new edition of its IPedge VoIP software with added security safeguards including encrypted storage of voice and fax messages, plus a new series of 3.5-inch hard drives with a 7,200 rpm rotational speed and 1,000,000 hour MTTF rating.
  • Unified Office shipped a new Internet of Things-based operational performance suite for SMBs with particular applicability to restaurants that need to track stuff like refrigerator temperatures and exhaust fan emissions.
  • Western Digital began producing its new 512 GB/three-bits-per-cell/64-layer 3D NAND memory chips.
  • ZeroStack unveiled new artificial intelligence technology designed to turn its OpenStack-based private cloud offering into a self-managing system.

Vanessa ByrdAnd there was other vendor news too! For further example:

Which terminator will we encounter in a dark alley someday? The heartless assassin in the original movie or the friendly good guy in Terminator 2? Google wants to know.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • Global IT products and services revenue will climb 3.5 percent this year to $2.4 trillion, according to IDC.
  • There will be 8.4 billion web-connected “things” in use by the end of this year, a 31 percent increase over 2016, according to Gartner.
  • Mobile data traffic grew 63 percent last year and has increased 18-fold in the last five years, according to Cisco.
  • In a rare departure from gloomier recent security statistics, total attack attempts monitored by SonicWall dropped to 7.87 billion in 2016 from 8.19 billion the year before.

Intel drone flagBonus stat! Manufacturers will ship nearly 3 million personal and commercial drones in 2017, according to Gartner. And judging by the Super Bowl LI halftime show, most of them will hover around Lady Gaga.

Actually, it turns out that Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta’s big show last weekend was neither the first nor, at 300 drones, largest appearance of a synchronized Intel drone swarm. The first, involving a mere 100 drones, took place in Australia over Sydney Harbour last June. The largest, which occurred in Germany last November, involved a Guinness Book of World Record-setting 500 coordinated UAVs. This year’s Super Bowl wasn’t even the first place a cloud of Intel drones performed in the U.S. That honor belongs to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where 300 drones “paint[ed] the sky with colorful images choreographed to traditional holiday music” late last year.

But then again, you’ve never seen anyone at Disney World wear a meat dress, have you? Yeah, that’s right. We thought not.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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