IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of October 16th

This week, McAfee and Google talk security, Docker proves that pigs DO fly, and Microsoft delivers (unleashes? foists?) Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to the world. Because nothing inspires unbridled creativity like a corporate OS update. By James E. Gaskin

It’s getting to be that time of year: the bag of Halloween candy you bought early is half gone already, and the leaves are a half foot deep. Just as the movies get more serious in the fall, the tech news this week is full of security, updates, hardware, security, collaboration, and containers (maybe full of security).

Time to list off some of the news we missed while hiding that early bag of candy (partly to keep it away from others and partly to conceal how much we ate already). Consider yourself updated!

Surface Book 2The “Win” part of Wintel. Microsoft says “3D will offer the next major boost to human productivity,” and promises to rescue us all from Flatland with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The best way to see that now is to strap on blinders, er, headsets, like the Windows Mixed Reality headsets or the Samsung HMD Odyssey.

Those inclined can connect those headsets to a Surface Book 2 (pictured). Packed with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors and NVIDIA graphics, they are easy to carry on your “Journey of Creativity.”

At its Government Cloud Forum in Washington D.C. (aka The Swamp), meanwhile, Microsoft announced new Azure Government features, including Azure Government Secret, Blockchain for Azure Government, new VDI options, and more.

Visio Online, now in general availability, “further unlocks employee creativity in the modern workplace,” Microsoft told us. Diagrams are easier to create and share, so unleash your inner Picasso during the next re-org, in the cloud this time.

Intel NervanaThe “Tel” part of Wintel. Inside Surface Books and clouds are chips, lots and lots of chips. Soon some of those chips may be Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processor. Intel expects it to help the company meet the goal it set last year of providing 100 times greater AI performance by 2020.

Calling Dr. Intel: the new Intel Health Application Platform is a software set used to help monitor and control various health IoT devices. Reducing admissions by 40 percent and readmission rates by 75 percent through better remote care options, Intel says, could lower health care costs by as much as $6 billion per year. Maybe that will drop the charge for holding your own newborn baby down from $39.

Google SecurityBetter security from McAfee, Google, and more. McAfee has put advanced analytics to work in its new McAfee Investigator, which features AI-enhanced accuracy. That launch and boasts about widescale adoption of McAfee’s Data Exchange Layer, including new links with Cisco, were highlights of the vendor’s MPOWER conference in Las Vegas this week. Infoblox, the makers of Actionable Network Intelligence, also used that venue to announce that it’s holding hands with McAfee to help secure DNS and more.

Did you remember that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month? Google did (they have a calendar you know) and introduced the Advanced Protection Program providing the company’s strongest security against phishing, accidental sharing, and fraudulent account access.

ESET, a major global cybersecurity player, launched Chrome Cleanup, which is designed to help you browse the web with Google Chrome safely, at least when it’s running on Windows.

More security tidbits:

  • Barracuda has added distributed denial of service protection to its repertoire. The company’s new cloud-based Active DDoS Prevention service integrates with its Web Application Firewall to block DDoS strikes before they reach the network.
  • Arbor Networking, part of NETSCOUT, announced advanced DDoS protection of its own.
  • Dataguise, data-centric audit and protection software maker, announced support for GDPR Article 17 and Article 15.

Is that a flying pig I see? Docker, container kingpin, announced that it’s “seamlessly integrating” Google’s rival Kubernetes technology into the Docker platform. Users can now employ Kubernetes or Docker Swarm for orchestration.

And as long as we’re talking containers, Datadog has launched a live container monitoring service that integrates with Docker, Kubernetes, and other platforms.

Razer devicesBack on the ground. Say hello to IBM Blockchain, which together with Stellar.org and KlickEx Group helps clients settle payments on a single network in near real time. Guess this means the end of playing the float and generating huge profits from the 1 percent interest rate available today.

Cisco announced Business Critical Services and High-value Services. They call it the “industry’s first predictive services powered by AI.” (We knew this would happen).

Lenovo introduced support for ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack on Intel Xeon Scalable processors. ThinkAgile Advantage support is also involved in a good way.

Samsung announced that its new ARTIK secure “s” systems-on-modules for the ARTIK IoT platform help strengthen edge security. Addressing IoT data security at the chip level, Samsung also rolled out its integrated Security Element solution for IoT applications.

Dropbox launched Dropbox Professional, offering business-grade tools to help individuals store, share, and track work from a single secure place. There goes that “can’t work at home because I don’t have the right file” excuse.

Students will find it harder to sleep in class when one of the new Epson PowerLite long-throw projectors is in the room. Nine different models blast out up to 4,000 lumens with lamps that last up to 12,000 hours.

Put your hands on the new Razer Blade Stealth quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U powered laptop (pictured) with a 3200x1800 touch display. Perhaps you can hook up a new Razer Electra V2 or Razer Electra V2 USB headset as well.

  • Data Deposit Box has begun rolling out hybrid solutions combining NAS products from vendors like Synology and QNAP and cloud-based backup.
  • AppDynamics (now part of Cisco) told us how the next generation of its Business IQ offering will pave the way for new digital business on the platform.
  • Huawei opened the box on the new HUAWEI Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro smartphone with an integrated AI chipset.
  • Zoho now includes SAML-based single sign-on support in its Zoho Vault password management product.
  • MapR Technologies, pioneering data people, pulled the curtain on new managed services for the MapR Converged Data Platform.
  • mLogic says its mTape and mRack can now be had with LTO-8 drives leveraging the speed of Thunderbolt connectivity.
  • Quantum Corp., keeping up the LTO race, announced its Scalar tape libraries and StorNext AEL archive systems will support LTO Ultrium format generation 8 technology in December.

Kristen GillNews about things with no (obvious) price tag. Qualcomm added Penny Baldwin as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. The company also introduced the new Quantum NOW program to empower IT data center channel partners in the storage market with new offerings.

Security vendor Proofpoint announced Kristen Gil (pictured) as a new member of the board of directors.

ABBYY, maker of document capture solutions, says Anthony Macciola is the new chief innovation officer. Can’t wait to see that business card.

8x8 announced appointments of multiple senior execs to the global sales org and realigned the Small Business & eCommerce and Midmarket & Enterprise business units. Congrats to:

  • Scott Sampson, senior vice president of Midmarket & Enterprise
  • Samuel Wilson, senior vice president of Small Business & eCommerce
  • Rick Boyd, vice president of North America Midmarket Sales
  • Brendan Maree, vice president of Asia Pacific Sales
  • Kyle diPentima now promoted to vice president of North America enterprise sales
  • Sharon Maslyn now promoted to vice president of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa sales

MobileIron shuffles the chairs in the boardroom as CFO Simon Biddiscombe becomes president, CEO, and member of the board. Former CEO Barry Mainz left. Shawn Ayers, vice president of finance, will serve as interim CFO.

Tech Data shook hands with iDevices and will now distribute its line of Smart Home Technology products.

2018 will see updates in the Juniper Partner Advantage Program. Look for cloud goodies and more.

Unify revved up its partner program to help members optimize digital marketing results.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • A refresh of the Worldwide Semiannual Security Spending Guide from IDC forecasts that security-related hardware, software, and services spending will reach darn close to $120 billion in 2021 ($119.9 B to be as exact as you can be in forecasts). Those in software and services will see more than 80 percent of those bucks.
  • Bluewolf surveyed over 1,800 customers using Salesforce and found that 77 percent of them that use AI will reinvest within the next 12 months, suggesting that early adopters have been rewarded for their efforts. The Salesforce Einstein AI platform, furthermore, will get a try by 38 percent of Salesforce customers. It appears now is the time to get more intelligent.
  • Right Networks’ SMB Cloud Impact survey polled 364 SMBs and accounting professionals and found over half (51 percent) feel “cautiously optimistic.” 59 percent expected to hire new employees in the next six months, and over 61 percent are “moderately confident” or “very confident” in the prospects for the national economy.

Dinnertime with DevicesDissing devices at the dinner table. A Comcast survey of over 1,000 U. S. parents performed by Wakefield Research (to promote Comcast’s new Xfinity xFI home Wi-Fi control tools) found that devices at the table cause a little, um, discord. About 42 percent of parents can’t remember the last device-free meal, and 14 percent disable Wi-Fi (the sales hook for xFi) during meals.

But distraction is not a one-way street: more than half of parents have been told to DROP THAT DEVICE by their children. More than half! (52 percent). This just proves kids don’t understand that keeping up with who said what at school via SnapChat isn’t nearly as important as tracking who skipped the staff meeting at work via Slack. Really, it’s entirely different. Did you smart-aleck kids say something? I wasn’t listening. No dessert for you!

About the Author

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

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