IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of July 18th

A wave of mostly upbeat earnings reports, another flurry of new products, and a high-tech distraction from the Greatest Show on Earth are all among the stories you may not have heard about this week. By Rich Freeman

Mmm, lemonade. Nothing says cool summertime refreshment quite like a glass of America’s favorite citrusy thirst-quencher. Why not pour yourself a tall tumbler full right now? Find yourself a hammock too, and put your feet up. Before long, if things go the way we’re hoping, you’ll be so relaxed you simply won’t have the energy to chew us out about not reporting yet another giant pile of tech industry news.

Not into lemonade, you say? Fine, I guess we’ll just have to belatedly run you through everything we should have told you about days ago.

Michael DellEasy come, easy go, but mostly easy come. Earnings season is back, which means we received a steady stream of financial reports from techdom’s biggest names this week. And what did they tell us about the state of play in the IT industry? Mostly that spending is pretty strong and flowing briskly toward exactly the trendy markets you’d expect. For example:

  • IBM reported 12 percent year-over-year growth in its “strategic imperative” businesses, which include cloud computing, mobility, and analytics.
  • EMC saw demand grow 100 percent versus the prior-year quarter for all-flash storage arrays, 40 percent for converged infrastructure products, and “triple digits” for Virtustream cloud services. All of which probably made Michael Dell (pictured) smile almost as much as hearing that EMC shareholders have now officially approved the long gestating Dell-EMC merger.
  • Microsoft racked up 54 percent revenue growth for Office 365 and 102 percent growth for Azure versus the same quarter of 2015. On the other hand, it also saw phone revenue plunge 71 percent.
  • SAP’s cloud revenue rose 30 percent versus last year.
  • VMware recorded more than 100 percent growth in license bookings for its NSX network virtualization solution and over 200 percent growth in hyperconverged infrastructure license bookings.

SkylakeAnd then there was Intel. Alas, someone had to publish disappointing numbers and it turned out to be Intel. In a quarter that saw Qualcomm experience nine percent revenue growth and 24 percent net income growth and AMD post its first revenue gains since 2014, Intel on Wednesday reported a mere five percent uptick in data center chip revenues. Which as disappointments go isn’t exactly hefty, but is also nowhere close to the 15 percent sales gains the company is promising for the current year. Investors somewhat predictably drove Intel’s share price down 3.98 percent the next day.

More tasty treats from Mr. Softee. No, not that Mr. Softee. We’re talking about the folks at Microsoft, who seem to be churning out non-trivial new offerings at an accelerated rate lately. This week they introduced a new video management and sharing service called Stream that will ultimately replace Office 365 Video, a new appointment schedule tool called Microsoft Bookings, a big ol’ batch of new security capabilities for Azure, and a new cloud-based tool for monitoring the health and performance of on-prem Windows Server domain controllers.

More? You want more new product announcements? Well, how about these news items:

  • NVIDIA TITAN XBiostar released the GeForce GTX 1080, a new graphics card based on NVIDIA’s supercharged Pascal architecture that’s designed for use with virtual reality and ultra high-def games.
  • Canon added a new model to its roster of 4K digital imaging projectors with dual HDMI 2.0 inputs and HDCP 2.2 support.
  • Carbonite launched a new website full of educational materials and best practice tips for combatting ransomware.
  • D-Link rolled out two new IP cameras with advanced security features and an associated surveillance software package.
  • GIGABYTE shipped a Pascal-based graphics card of its own and G1 Gaming cards based on the new AMD Radeon 480 GPU. And since enough is apparently never enough with GIGABYTE, they also brought out 14 new 64-bit servers based on Cavium’s ARM-based ThunderX SoC.
  • Linksys unveiled its first MU-MIMO wireless access point designed specifically for small businesses. According to Linksys, in fact, the new LAPAC2600 is anyone’s first small business MU-MIMO access point.
  • Nfina equipped its 800 Series NAS family with a new model that boasts twenty-four 2.5” drive bays and dual sockets for Intel’s latest Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 processors.
  • NVIDIA, not to be left out of the Pascal news flood, showed off its forthcoming TITAN X GPU (pictured), with 3,584 cores, 11 teraflops of performance capacity, and a $1,200 price tag. 
  • Samsung shipped the Notebook 7 spin, a new 2-in-1 available in 13.3” and 15.6” form factors that both feature a 360 degree rotating touchscreen display.
  • Seagate rolled out speedy and affordable new 10 TB drives for use in desktops, NAS devices, and surveillance solutions.
  • Symantec announced a new edition of Control Compliance Suite, its governance and security assessment solution.
  • ThinPrint launched a new tool for configuring and managing Windows print environments containing dozens, hundreds, or thousands of devices.
  • Upland issued a new version of its Tenrox PSA solution, which made ChannelPro’s 2016 Vendors on the Vanguard list.
  • Zebra Technologies introduced two new wireless access points equipped with Internet of Things-style sensors that report security and performance data.

Paul ChisholmAnd when you’re done digesting all of that…Here’s some more vendor news for you to chew on:

  • Arcserve appointed a new CFO as well as new VPs of products, product management, and global channel and alliances.
  • BitTitan donated $15,000 ($10 each for every badge its employees scanned at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference last week) to Doctors Without Borders.
  • Continuum made ex-mindSHIFT CEO and all-around industry luminary Paul Chisholm (pictured) the newest member of its board of directors.
  • Tech Data named Bob Kruger the new vice president in charge of its StreamOne cloud marketplace platform.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • The volume of registered domain names on the internet rose by 12 million in the first quarter of 2016 to 326.4 million, according to VeriSign.
  • IT executive business confidence has slipped for the second quarter in a row, dropping 1.4 points on a 100-point scale to 61.7, according to CompTIA.
  • Business-grade wireless LAN revenues will expand over 60 percent by 2020, according to Dell’Oro Group
  • 49 percent of small business owners are unhappy with their current political choices, according to Sage.

GOPunkedGOPunked. Speaking of politics, recent AVG purchaser Avast revealed on Tuesday that over 1,200 attendees of this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland logged onto phony Wi-Fi networks set up by its researchers with names like “I vote Trump! free Internet” and “I vote Hillary! free Internet”. Worse yet, 68.3 percent of those users exposed their identities in the process—a potentially even greater concern for the 0.24 percent who accessed pornography while connected to one of the bogus networks. But please, Democrats, no gloating.

Greatest App on EarthBecause why should anyplace be free of apps these days? Hey, kids! If you’re planning a visit to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus this year get ready for acrobats, clowns, and selfies, selfies, selfies. That’s right, in connection with an effort to reinvent itself for the era of ubiquitous smartphones and bottomless social media, the world’s most famous circus has created a new mobile app that lets you take and share photos of yourself wearing a virtual clown nose or ringmaster outfit. Better yet, the system can notify parents in real time when something really amazing is about to occur on stage, so they can have a camera pointed at their child’s astonished face at the big moment.

Not that everything about the Greatest Show on Earth has been techified, though. Visitors can still look forward to seeing lions, tigers, horses, goats, pigs, lamas, donkeys, kangaroos, and loads and loads of poop.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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