IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

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

Education software from Lenovo, security software from Trend Micro, Sophos, and Duo, and proof that mom was right when she said playing computer games all day is bad for you are among the stories we’re finally telling you about. By James E. Gaskin

Welcome to summer (we officially passed the summer solstice on Thursday at 4:07 AM ET). Along with the heat, Summer 2018 brought rain, rain, and way too much rain. Hard to be thrilled about summer when you’re knee deep in water in your living room, like too many on the Gulf Coast of Texas who were hit by Hurricane Harvey last year. But summer rains fall everywhere, including South Dakota and Chicago. While taking a canoe from the kitchen to the dining room, we missed a few news stories. Here you go.

LanSchool AirBig companies with big stories. Amazon is one of the biggest companies, and they teamed up with a small one to provide a nice boost for their Amazon WorkDocs (file collaboration and management running on AWS) users. Thanks to a team-up with Hancom Thinkfree Office Online, an Office 365 competitor, users can now team-edit Microsoft Office documents in a browser.

Speaking of Microsoft, they want to make their smart AI even smarter, so they acquired Bonsai of Berkeley, Calif. Look for Microsoft’s autonomous systems to gain a few IQ points soon.

Speaking of getting smartrer, Lenovo wants to better connect classrooms, so its educational group just launched LanSchool Air (pictured), a cloud-based classroom orchestration platform. Google Classroom account holders get a 30-day free trial of LanSchool Air (call your friendly neighborhood Lenovo reseller).

Rackspace (San Antonio, Texas, and not near the floods) expanded its private cloud-as-a-service offerings by launching Rackspace Kubernetes-as-a-Service in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The on-demand model lets companies pay as they go and scale when they need to go more. (Hyphen supply officially low now).

Equus Compute Solutions unveiled its WHITEBOX OPEN family of “custom, cost-optimized open-hardware” servers and storage solutions. Nine platforms to start, from 1U 4-bay servers to 2U 24-bay models, all with dual Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. (Hyphen supply getting critical).

Aruba SD-BranchFirst security news of the summer. Trend Micro just launched its Trend Micro Managed Detection and Response service. Multiple AI-powered tools are embedded to help find and flatten security threats.

Duo Security teamed up with Sophos Mobile to help businesses manage the BYOD flood. Let Sophos Mobile enabled with Duo Beyond’s Trusted Endpoints feature keep those mobile malware magnets safer.

F-Secure Corp. signed on the dotted line to acquire MWR InfoSecurity, a global security company with 400 employees. Ink will be dry in July.

Aruba (HPE subsidiary) helps power and secure remote offices with its new Software-Defined Branch solution (pictured). Cloud-managed SD-WAN integration covers wired and wireless networking for easier management and tighter security.

Pulse Secure (secure access solutions) announced that its virtual and cloud-based Pulse Secure Appliances are now certified for Microsoft Azure. Find them in the Azure marketplace (check Aisle 7).

LG 77-inch TVSummer product news. Nimble (social CRM) launched customer the Today Page, a data visualization tool. Let your customizable dashboard better clue you in to better customer interaction.

Voice fans should enjoy the new softphone for the Intermedia Unite App. More flexibility for your cloud-based unified communications and collaboration platform.

  • LG used the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) to display (sorry) a new lineup of 4K Ultra HD Hotel TVs in six screen sizes, including the new 77-inch LG OLED TV (pictured).
  • Lexmark (printers and more) rolled out a new generation of A4 color and large workgroup monochrome printers and MFPs. Models span small to huge enterprise workgroups.
  • Brother (also printers and more) just loaded the shelf with a new batch of color inkjet all-in-one printers for home and home office users.
  • SwiftStack (multi-cloud data management) added new goodies, including simplified workflows across both private data centers and public clouds.
  • Quest Software (systems management) added more security and control, among other good stuff, to its KACE product line. Updates include better ways to manage and secure Android and iOS devices.
  • Axis Communications (cameras and network video) launched AXIS Guardian centralized device management. Better manage clients’ systems and deliver reliable monitoring to their end customers.
  • Axis Communications (see above) also introduced the AXIS Audio Manager C7050 Server for single point management of audio in security and public address systems. Pick decent background music, please.
  • TP-Link (networking products) now offers its Deco M9 Plus Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 2-Pack System for a mesh of more than 100 devices through homes.
  • IOGEAR (tech for consumers and businesses) rolled out an extended family of AV products. Included are 4K video extender kits (some with pass-through), 2x2 4K HDMI switches, splitters, and more. Also rolled out? A variety of USB-C Docking Stations with various goodies.
  • NETGEAR intros the Nighthawk X6 Tri-band WiFi Mesh Extender (EX7700), the newest member of the Nighthawk family. No, not this Nighthawk family.
  • Extreme Networks unleashed Smart OmniEdge, an AI-enabled network edge solution of secure wired/wireless infrastructure and management.
  • BOXX Technologies (high performance workstations etc.) speedily shipped its new APEXX Special Edition (SE) workstation. The Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition processor it contains has been professionally overclocked to 5.0GHz across all six cores.
  • Vonage Business Cloud customers may be happy to hear about the Vonage CX Cloud, an advanced omnichannel contact center product suite.
  • Archive360 added a new series of modules to its Archive2Azure intelligent information management solution. Better discovery, budget control, and regulation compliance are just a few of the new features.
  • Cylance (endpoint security) wants to tell you about CylanceHYBRID and CylanceOn-PREM, two new deployment and management options for CylancePROTECT.

Steve BandrowczakSummer news about more than products. New guy alert! Steve Bandrowczak (pictured) joins Xerox as president and COO on June 25, 2018.

CloudJumper (workspace as a service) promoted Drew Walz to CTO. New hire Michael Walsh joins as COO.

Mindshare (global media agency network) says hello again to Danielle Koffer, who returns as chief client officer. Joe Maceda steps into a new position as “chief instigation officer,” responsible for “developing and cultivating innovative thought leadership and programs and analyzing trends and market disruption.”

Broadvoice (hosted voice etc.) added Jenine Whitter to the newly created role of people operations & talent acquisition expert.

Tech Data (you know) launched shop.techdata.ca, a custom-built ecommerce website for those who overdose on hockey, er, Canadians. The U.S. website update (shop.techdata.com) rolled out in 2017 and won some awards.

EventTracker (SIEM) shook hands with Continuum, fresh off its acquisition of EventTracker partner CARVIR, to provide MSPs a more complete set of managed security services to protect their SMB clients.

Avaya now offers its Avaya Cloud UCC and Contact Center solutions through distributor Telarus, which has become an Avaya Master Agent.

ADTRAN (open networking solutions) accepted an invitation from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to become a new supply chain partner. The Huntsville, Ala.-based company will also join the ONF’s strategic advisory board.

This week’s stats ticker:

IDC’s latest Worldwide Black Book Standard Edition says the hardware spending rebound of 2017 pushed growth up 4.2 percent, but we’ll backslide slightly this year. The market in 2018 continues to grow, but only at 3.7 percent. Slowing growth in China and tariff talks get most of the blame, but total telecom spending will reach $4 trillion this year. Domestic demand will remain stable.

Ever busy, IDC also released the Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker. About 1.2 million VR and AR headsets were sold in the first quarter, down 30.5 percent year over year. Why? Free headset bundles are harder to find with new smartphones and other goodies. Fear not, headset fans, because IDC says the growing demand means 8.9 million units will be sold this year, up 6 percent from 2017. In 2022, 65.9 million new units will be clamped to foreheads.

Analyzing data from over 10 million URLs, the SiteLock Website Insider Q1 2018 report says the average website was attacked a shocking 50 times per day during the first quarter. Preparation counts, so be sure you have identified a point of contact to speak after a breach or other incident. Being small doesn’t mean you aren’t attacked constantly, so get ready.

Gaming disorderSpeaking of headsets and gaming . . . The World Health Organization (WHO) now recognizes “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable condition. This is exactly what your mother warned you about just before you said “leave me alone, Mom, I’m fine. Jeez.” Good news from the American Psychological Association, though, which estimates that while 160 million American adults play video games, only an “extremely small” percentage could qualify for the disorder. Challenge accepted, say Frontline and World of Warcraft fans from couches all over the country.

Details? The behavior must continue out of control for at least 12 months and games must take precedence over other interests and continue “despite negative consequences,” like flunking test because you were playing games rather than doing homework. Yes, that’s an actual example provided by WHO’s official definition of gaming disorder.

What’s next? Burger and fries disorder? Netflix binge-itis (without the chill part)? Cat video watching syndrome?

The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, a division of the American Psychological Association, claims WHO’s research base isn’t big enough to such broad conclusions (but they have media and technology in the name, so…). The European Games Developer Federation also criticized the designation, but they could have a bit of bias. Really, the game developers object? Who saw that coming?

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

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

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