IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of January 8th

CES goodies from Dell, HP, Acer, ASUS, and more, a new CEO for SYNNEX, and radiation protection for your…um, never mind were among the stories we neglected to cover for you this week. By James E. Gaskin

Ah, the frustrating joy of CES in Las Vegas. Can anyone fight through 200,000 other attendees and see every booth and every real or potential new product or upgrade in one week? Not until The Flash steps from comics to convention floor or screen to seafood buffet.

Single most valued tchotchke from CES this year? Mini flashlights for when the power goes out while juicing the biggest pile of electronic products in one place at one time in every year. Let’s dive into that pile now.

Dell XPS 13Computers, monitors, phones, tablets, etc. Dell starts us off with a “suite of elegant new products and software,” although the term “elegant” in Las Vegas can have interesting definitions. In this case, however, we’re talking about the latest XPS 13 (pictured), a CES 2018 Innovation Award nominee. There were also new 4K HD displays, a new XPS 15 2-in-1, VR goodies, and news from Alienware.

HP added its newest Always-Connected PC, the ENVY x2, with a 12.3-inch display and up to 17 hours of battery life. Say hello as well to the HP Spectre x360 15, a machined aluminum 12.3-in diagonal tablet, the Pavilion Wave, which features integrated support for Amazon Alexa, and the OMEN X 65 Big Format Gaming Display. And more more more goodies.

Acer, pointing out that it comes first (at least in the alphabet), announced its new Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop, with 15 diagonal inches of hot graphics and Dolby audio. And the new Swift 7 laptop, they claim, is the world’s thinnest at 8.98 mm thin. And look, a new Chromebook 11 line. Be careful you don’t lose it behind the new 65-inch Predator Big Format Gaming Display with NVIDIA G-SYNC.

ASUS announced the ZenBook 13 ultralight laptop (2.17 lbs), ZenBook Flip 14, X507, Vivo All-in-One V222, and more. Like the new PB40 and PN40 Mini PCs, and the Chromebox 3. And the ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition laptop, some ROG desktop and accessories bits, and the new Strix GL12 gaming desktops. Connect all the above with Lyra Voice and Lyra Trio Wi-Fi goodies including Amazon Alexa.

Gamer-focused Razer revealed “Project Linda,” a 13.3-inch laptop powered by the Android-based Razer phone. The smartphone docks where the touchpad usually lives.

ViewSonic rolled out new professional-grade monitors, including the 32-inch 8K Ultra HD (7680x4320) box of light. Save your pennies for the Q4 2018 release. Or spend them on some of the new gaming and entertainment monitors from the XG and VX monitor lines with up to 240Hz refresh rates.

Samsung claims the first Thunderbolt 3 QLED curved monitor. Look up the CJ791 for 34 inches of 21:9 3440x1440 ultrawide eye candy.

NETGEAR InsightIs that all from CES? Oh no no no. NETGEAR, for one, shipped:

Seagate teamed up with LaCie on the DJI Copilot and Rugged Secure storage systems. And take a gander at the Seagate 5U84 high-density enclosure as well.

IOGEAR grabbed two CES 2018 Innovations Awards with the GW4KHDKIT60 Wireless Long-Range HDMI 4K @ 60Hz Kit and the GWMHDKIT22 Expandable Wireless HDTV Connection Kit.

Intel NUCIntel stuck in the Upside Down? On the Upside side, Intel launched the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics. Perhaps the normally shy gamer community will have an opinion. The newest pint-sized Intel NUC (pictured), complete with a blue and red skull and an 8th Gen Intel i7 processor with aforementioned Radeon RX Vega M graphics, says a small hello too.

Flip over to Down side, and Intel’s week consisted of CEO Brian Krzanich releasing a Security-First Pledge while his employees provided endless updates about the last thing any of them wanted to be talking about: those Google Project Zero exploits from last week.

HP ElitePOSOther products news keeps rollin’ on.

  • HP revealed that its ElitePOS all-in-one Point of Sale system (pictured) now comes in white.
  • Avnet upgraded the IoT Starter Kit to the second generation.
  • Cisco extended its Encrypted Traffic Analytics technology (which identifies malware in encrypted traffic) to nearly 50,000 customers by expanding support beyond campus switching to the majority of its enterprise routing platforms.
  • Velocity Micro announced its new chassis, the GX5, optimized for airflow and thermal handling (cool, man, cool).
  • LogRhythm released its GDPR Compliance Module.
  • TRENDnet added two new 4K UHD PoE surveillance cameras.
  • Reinvent Telecom added SMS texting to its private-label UCaaS products.
  • Comcast Business launched Connection Pro, an automatic 4G wireless backup internet connection.
  • Calyptix announced what it called the biggest update to its AccessEnforcer UTM Firewall’s firmware in nearly a decade.
  • Cymulate announced a new version of its breach and attack simulation platform especially for MSSPs.

Kevin MuraiEven this week, not all the news is about products. SYNNEX announced some board of directors and exec office suite changes. Kevin Murai (pictured) will move from president and CEO to chairman of the board. Dennis Polk moves from COO to president and CEO, and stays on the board. Dwight Steffensen will become lead independent director. Congrats to all (or if you’re feeling dance-y, conga rats to all).

  • Vincent Mussumeci joins Broadvoice as senior channel manager.
  • Stu Solomon moves up to become CTSO (Chief Technology and Strategy Officer) at Optiv Security.
  • Mercer Rowe moves from IBM to Avaya to become senior vice president and general manager of newly-formed Avaya Cloud.
  • Stacy Conrad, longtime board member at Women in the Channel, moves up to become WiC’s new president. Shaquille Fontenot and Michelle Kadlacek joined the board.
  • Barracuda Networks reeled in social engineering simulation and training vendor PhishLine.
  • Arrow Electronics gobbled up eInfochips, a design and managed service company.
  • Datto announced that its DattoCon and Autotask Community Live events will mash together in June (in Austin, Texas) into one big MSP super event.
  • Panasonic said it will establish the Panasonic Solutions North America Company on April 1 (no foolin’).
  • Egenera (providers of wholesale cloud services to the channel) launched the Xterity Partner Program.
  • Citrix introduced its Citrix Ultimate Rewards partner incentive plan at the Citrix Summit 2018.
  • Swiftpage (maker of Act! CRM software) launched a completely free resource center labeled Act!Now for SMBs looking to grow.
  • The Bitdefender cybersecurity folks licensed some IoT security goodness to NETGEAR.
  • HPE, PTC, and Wind River (Intel) signed up for the IoT M2M Council to improve IoT software purchasing and more.
  • FHOOSH (high-speed cybersecurity) allied itself with Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

This week’s stats ticker:

Brand Loyalty 101: Winning Over IT Buyers, a study from Spiceworks, reports that 85 percent of IT buyers feel less inclined to buy from companies that visit and pitch them too much. Aggravations include irrelevant product info and being hit up by phone (only 8 percent prefer that contact method) rather than email (57 percent prefer “You’ve Got Mail!”). Justification for the marketing department? Only 12 percent of IT buyers will bite on a pitch from a brand they’ve never heard of before.

IDC updated the Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide and believes that 2018 revenue will be nearly $12 billion. Worldwide spending by 2021 should be about $20 billion. Nice growth rate of 20.5 percent. The US leads, with Europe close behind, in 3D printing spending.

CompTIA surveyed teens for its Youth Opinions of Careers in Information Technology report, and 7 out of 10 of them are open to the idea of IT as a career. In 2015, that number was only 62 percent. Why the increase? One reason is that 62 percent of girls between 13 and 17 say they’re interested. That’s up 11 points from 2015. Now if somebody would make a movie starring Wonder IT Woman, recruitment might really fly upwards.

GTDC (Global Technology Distribution Council, but you knew that) posted the 2018 Outlook report. Members drive more than $150 billion in annual product and services sales worldwide. More than 70 percent of vendors expect double-digit revenue growth in 2018. Cloud, security, IoT, and data center goodies get the most attention.

Spartan Radiation-Blocking BoxersAnd the winner of the Stupidest CES Product of 2018 is (drumroll, please)…Spartan’s Radiation-Blocking Boxers, which promise to “protect your nuts from cellphone radiation!” Thanks to Slate for the research and this mental image: “a Faraday Cage for Men’s Crotches.”

Yes, gentlemen, you now have a way to protect yourself if you read the 2014 report from the Central European Journal of Urology claiming that exposure to cellphone radiation can significantly “reduce the mobility of semen.” Another wonderful mental image—slacker semen.

One might claim you should start protecting your brain if you’re sufficiently convinced that silver threads woven into your boxers will protect your little swimmers to plop $45 for a pair of super-boxers on the counter. The company claims that 99 percent of radiation is blocked. Only $45. A pair.

Notice what these men are worried about first? This reminds us of the history of hockey protective gear. 1874: Cup. 1974: Helmet. 2018: magic technology underwear.

About the Author

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

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