Once again, the fiendish, shadowy cabal secretly running the IT industry patiently waited for the week in which ChannelPro’s entire editorial team was running around at our latest SMB Forum event to uncork a gusher of news. Here’s a rundown of some of the stories we wound up missing as a result.
Keeping busy. Anyone thinking the folks at EMC are sitting around counting their money these days now that the company’s been acquired by Dell—which we now know will rebrand as Dell Technologies when that acquisition closes—learned just how wrong they were this week, when the storage vendor launched a pile of new solutions at its EMC World customer and partner conference. We wrote earlier in the week about one of those products, but there were plenty more what that came from, including:
- EMC Unity, a new family of all-flash, SMB-targeted storage systems available in both physical and software-defined formats.
- EMC LEAP, a set of cloud-based content management systems designed to make finding, exchanging, viewing, and signing documents, among other functions, simpler. The new systems are free to existing, maintenance-paying EMC customers and backed by a new SaaS Solution Provider Track within EMC’s ECD Business Partner Program.
- EMC MyService360, an online monitoring dashboard that displays real-time status and health information about hundreds of EMC solutions. It’s free to customers with an EMC warranty or maintenance contract.
- Enterprise Copy Data Management, a sort of file-level deduplication system that helps businesses get more mileage from their storage capacity by reducing unnecessary copies of the same data.
- EMC Native Hybrid Cloud, an end-to-end combination of software and hyperconverged infrastructure for developing and hosting cloud-native applications.
Two can play at that game. Never to be outdone when it comes to flooding the market with product news, Microsoft came right back with a bunch of updates about its SharePoint collaboration and intranet solution at a Wednesday event in San Francisco. Among the changes coming to that system by the end of 2016 are:
- A new SharePoint home page in Office 365 that provides easy access to the sites and portals you use most often.
- New SharePoint mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows handhelds.
- Access to SharePoint files via Microsoft OneDrive, plus the ability to copy or move OneDrive files into SharePoint document libraries.
- Updated functionality for SharePoint team sites, lists, and document libraries.
- A new tool for developing client-side SharePoint applications called the SharePoint Framework.
- A collection of security enhancements, including granular access controls and bring-your-own encryption keys.
And fear not, on-prem SharePoint fans. You’ve not been forgotten. While most of the changes above apply to SharePoint Online, Microsoft also announced the general availability of SharePoint Server 2016 on Wednesday.
Nope, not done with Microsoft just yet. Because they also, somewhat more quietly, announced that SQL Server 2016, a major release of the company’s flagship database platform equipped with new hybrid cloud, mobile BI, data warehousing, and encryption functionality, reaches general availability on June 1st.
And as we transition from Microsoft product news to everyone else’s…We note that Metalogix has created a potentially disruptive freemium edition of its Essentials for Drives cloud migration solution that lets users transfer up to 500 drives, 500 users, or 1 TB of files, folders, and more into Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business at no charge. The idea, it goes without saying, is to generate demand for the paid version of Essentials for Drives, which includes a variety of post-migration capabilities. The effect on the cloud migration market could be widespread, however, given that it’s tough to compete with free.
- Apple, which announced a new partnership with SAP to create joint iPhone and iPad apps.
- ConnectWise, which added new capabilities to its CloudConsole cloud management solution, including expanded purchasing options for Office 365 licenses and more flexible billing functionality.
- Extreme Networks, which released ExtremeCloud, a cloud-based, software-defined networking solution complete with its own switches, wireless access points, and Web-based management interface.
- Huawei, which introduced a hosted solution that MSPs can use to provide managed network services to SMBs and branch offices. The solution includes both cloud-based management software and Huawei access points, firewalls, switches, and routers.
- Intel, which announced that the retail debut of Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset (pictured) will take place tomorrow at 48 Best Buy locations in the U.S.
- Jenne, which pulled the wraps off a new hosted unified communications-as-a-service offering called OnAvaya that lets SMBs pay for Avaya’s IP Office and IP Office Contact Center solutions via recurring monthly fees instead of upfront lump sums.
- ManageEngine, which launched a self-serve analytics solution for midsize to large organizations call Analytics Plus.
- Viptela, which is now shipping the vEdge-100, a compact SD-WAN appliance designed for SMBs and home/remote offices.
- Webroot, which announced that its BrightCloud IP Reputation Service will integrate with the Citrix NetScaler ADP platform to help technicians more easily spot malicious IP addresses among their IT resources.
- Arrow became the most recent distributor to join the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program, giving channel pros an additional option for procuring Office 365, Dynamics CRM, and other Microsoft online solutions.
- BlackStratus announced an alliance agreement with Autotask giving the latter’s customer’s integrated access to the former’s CYBERShark security-as-a-service solution.
- Google acquired Synergyse, a provider of training services for Google Apps, which is great news for Google Apps resellers but worrying news for Google Apps training specialists.
- Skyhigh Networks became the first cloud access security broker to be named a “FedRAMP Compliant System” by the U.S. government. The new designation means that using Skyhigh’s cloud access security brokerage service enables federal agencies to adopt hosted solutions without worrying about falling out of compliance with security and governance regulations.
This week’s stats ticker:
- Global sales of video surveillance and video surveillance-as-a-service offerings will rise at a 17 percent CAGR from $21.19 billion in 2015 to $88.25 billion in 2024, according to Transparency Market Research.
- Nearly three out of four organizations worldwide experienced a security breach in the past year and 60 percent of those incidents were serious, according to CompTIA.
- Customer satisfaction is 11 points higher in the U.S. among buyers of 2-in-1 devices with combined laptop and tablet functionality than among plain old tablet buyers, according to J.D. Power.
Take two sensors and call me in the morning. Step aside, wearables. “Ingestibles” are where it’s at now, per a CNBC report this week concerning a new device from Proteus Digital Health. The minute sensor-equipped pill tracks health metrics from inside your body and feeds the data via Bluetooth to a patch on your skin, which in turn delivers it to a mobile app and your doctor.
Let’s set aside the slightly creepy and quite literally intrusive aspects of the technology for a moment, not to mention the security implications of broadcasting medical data to the world everywhere you go (though Proteus says the data is encrypted). Think about what the rise of ingestibles like this could mean for MSPs. Having trouble managing all the smartphones, tablets, and slowly accumulating Internet of Things gizmos your clients are using? Try monitoring their colons.