IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of June 20th

New goodies for government and education specialists, new solutions from leading container and hyperconverged infrastructure vendors, and new ways to turn your social media compulsion into a safety hazard are all among the stories we didn’t tell you about this week. By Rich Freeman

Seems like just a week ago we were humbly begging forgiveness for neglecting to write much—or, um, anything—about some unusually big stories. Call it penance, if you like, but we’ve been crushing it here at ChannelPro this week, with loads of content from the big ConnectWise and Datto events, reports on hot new products, and more. And yet somehow we still managed to miss the news we’re now about to dump on you all at once.

AWS GovCloudWhat’s a global megacorp gotta do to get some attention around here? Sure, ConnectWise and Datto are big shots in our corner of the industry, but it’s rare that they crowd household names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung out of the headlines.

Yet that’s exactly what they did this week, because we’re only now getting around to telling you about Amazon’s new AWS Government Competency, for partners with deep public sector expertise, and AWS GovCloud (US) Skill Program, for tech firms that know their way around the AWS GovCloud (US) region. Adobe and Trend Micro were among the familiar names earning the former status right out of the gate, while Appian, Barracuda Networks, and SAP all qualified for the latter.

Microsoft, meanwhile, announced a bunch of updates to Office 365 Education, the free (for teachers and students) version of its communication and collaboration suite, including a preview edition of new professional learning community functionality, improved content sharing within, the addition of auto-grading and real-time feedback functionality to the Microsoft Forms quiz tool, and integration with a bunch of learning management systems and student information systems.

And last but not least expensively, Samsung showed the world just how much potential it sees in the much-hyped Internet of Things by promising to invest $1.2 billion in R&D efforts right here in the U.S. of A. over the next four years.

DockerLess big, but big just the same. That would be Docker and Nutanix, much smaller companies than the trio of giants referenced above but oft-discussed just the same for their leadership positions in containerization and hyperconverged infrastructure respectively.

They too had product news this week that we’re only just now getting around to telling you about. Docker expanded the beta release of its new Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows products and released editions of its software for AWS and Azure. Nutanix rolled out container software of its own, along with new block storage services, all-flash storage nodes, and enhanced support for the OpenStack and Microsoft cloud platforms.

Training DayBut wait! There’s more neglected product news from vendors that really deserve better. For example:

Frank Johnson-SugliaBut enough about products. Let’s talk about product makers, like:

  • BitTitan, which has named veteran cloud service provider Frank Johnson-Suglia (pictured) its “MSP-in-Residence,” responsible for mentoring BitTitan partners on growing cloud-related recurring revenue streams.
  • Juniper Networks, which expanded its OpenLab education and testing program for software-defined networking and network function virtualization worldwide.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • 42 percent of people with online access firmly agree that “it is important to always be reachable wherever I am,” according to GfK.
  • 22 percent of Americans would happily open up their HIPAA-protected health records in exchange for automated help with household chores, according to and Wakefield Research.
  • 718,536 users were struck by ransomware between April 2015 and March 2016, up 5.5x over the same period a year earlier, according to Kaspersky Lab.
  • Speaking of ransomware, 38 percent of companies experienced it in 2015, versus 20 percent in 2014, according to KnowBe4.

Overworked or undersexed? Here’s another, more eyebrow-raising, figure from that study: 37 percent of employed Americans would rather automate routine work tasks than achieve a better sex life. Which suggests there are a lot of people out there who either badly need better workplace technology or have un-improvable sex lives.

EPGL ContactsAnd just in case you’re not spending enough time on social media already…Why not project it onto your contacts lenses? That’s the, er, vision of EP Global Communications, which is developing augmented reality technology that will fill your field of vision with whatever’s on your smartphone. “Imagine rock-climbing, running or cycling and a message comes in from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram,” says a company press release issued this week. Yes, and imagine the emergency room visits likely to follow when your contact lenses blind you with that message, we retort. Thigh-poundingly hilarious as it is, that grumpy cat meme probably isn’t worth a compound fracture.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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