Interested in Lenovo’s new converged/hyperconverged infrastructure product line? We got you covered here at ChannelPro. Want the inside scoop from Tech Data or all the details about Trend Micro’s latest product launch. Check and check. Looking for everything you need to know about the news from Dell EMC World this week? Hey look, puppies! And then, as your heart swells with puppy love, forgive us for failing to write about the following this week.
Let the inundation begin. The aforementioned Dell EMC World event was a coming out party of sorts for newly-named Dell Technologies unit, and Dell EMC turns out to be the kind of party host that figures the best way to please a crowd is to throw an endless stream of hors d’oeuvres at it. Only with Dell EMC it was product and partner program news rather than deviled eggs.
About that partner program. It was the first topic Dell EMC broached this week, and to be honest what we got turned out to be more of a tease than the “preview” we were promised. All we learned, when you boil it down, is that the program debuts in February and will include lots of tiers, including not just Gold and Platinum levels but Titanium and super ultra-premium elite Titanium Black tiers too. Except we won’t get a look at the real and final set of tiers until December, apparently.
No problem, though, because there’s all of this to chew on in the meantime:
- A cloud-enabled virtual backup appliance that runs on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers
- A new portfolio of endpoint security products containing systems from Dell, Mozy by Dell, RSA, and VMware AirWatch
- Enhancements to the company’s Elastic Cloud Storage offering, including dedicated instances, support for Windows applications, and a companion storage device with up to 6.2 PB of capacity
- Updated editions of VMware’s VxRail and VxRack converged and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions equipped with PowerEdge servers
- A new scale-out NAS device
- A new analytics solution
- Integration between Dell EMC’s SC Series storage arrays and storage management, mobility, and data protection software
- A slew of new financing options
That’s what you might call the shotgun approach to news-making. VMware, for its part, chose the sniper approach this week, making three targeted announcements at its VMworld Europe event in Barcelona, Spain:
- New editions of VMware’s vSphere, Virtual SAN, and vRealize solutions are all due out before the end of the year.
- The Workspace ONE solution set will gain an Essentials edition for unmanaged, bring-your-own devices as well as data loss prevention capabilities for Office 365 and expanded single sign-on for mobile devices, also by the end of the year.
- The Photon Platform container management environment will offer on-demand Kubernetes-based orchestration (wait for it…) by the end of the year.
Chinese invasion. But of the good variety, at least for fans of new mobile hardware. LeEco, the Chinese consumer electronics brand formerly known as Letv, has finally announced its long-awaited entry into the U.S. market. And unlike those wishy-washy, some-time-in-Q4 VMware folks, LeEco was pretty specific about when its smartphones, virtual reality headset, and other goodies will go on sale: A little under 2 weeks from today, on November 2nd.
Poor, poor Microsoft. With so much product news gushing forth from other big vendors, few people even noticed that:
- A new service called Microsoft Bookings, which lets you offer your customers self-serve appointment setting, is now available to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers.
- Some new and updated Internet of Things development kits are now shipping.
- You can now buy and consume SAP’s HR solution, SuccessFactors HCM Suite, via Microsoft Azure.
Not that you should care as much as we do. But if this Microsoft transcription technology works as well as they say, happy days are coming soon for reporters like us who record interviews all day long.
Wait, did we call Microsoft “poor” a moment ago? Because, uh, not so much. The company collected $5.2 billion of operating income on revenues of $20.5 billion in the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year. Fueled by 51 percent growth in Office 365 commercial revenue and a sizzling 116 percent jump in Azure revenue, those results drove Microsoft shares to an all-time high in after-hours trading and to fully double where they stood in August 2013, about six months before CEO Satya Nadella took over from predecessor Steve Ballmer.
In other earnings news this week:
- AMD grew revenue 23 percent in its third fiscal quarter and (assuming you’re not a stickler about generally accepted accounting practices) actually generated a 3 cent-per-share profit.
- Citrix saw revenue climb a mere 3 percent in its third quarter, but saw net income spike from $56 million in 2015 to $132 million this year.
- Intel’s looking-backwards Client Computing Group produced a perfectly acceptable 5 percent year-over-year revenue increase last quarter, but its looking-forwards data center and Internet of Things units reported much better than acceptable 10 percent and 19 percent gains respectively.
- Amazon Web Services’ Aurora database now loads records from S3 storage repositories and interoperates automatically with other AWS services.
- APC by Schneider Electric has introduced a new line of six-outlet battery backups that are 22 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than the company's earlier four-outlet models.
- Avaya has shipped a brand new unified communications platform that runs on PCs, smartphones, and tablets, and can be embedded in other applications via its very own SDK.
- BIOSTAR has unveiled a new line of affordably priced SSDs for home and office use.
- Brother has added two new models to its INKvestment line of color inkjet printers for SMBs with integrated cloud and mobile productivity functionality, plus a 2-inch mobile label and receipt printer (pictured).
- FalconStor has turned its on-premises FreeStor storage solution into a hybrid cloud offering by adding scalable, on-demand public cloud storage.
- GIGABYTE has issued new NVIDIA Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 graphics cards.
- GoDaddy has launched new email encryption and archiving services for Office 365.
- Google has added new AI-informed, productivity-boosting features to its G Suite and G Suite for Education offerings.
- LANDESK has introduced an updated edition of its flagship management platform with new device and application discovery tools, and added anti-ransomware functionality to its LANDESK Security Suite product.
- Looker has shipped a new data analytics platform.
- ManageEngine has released a new edition of its ServiceDesk Plus MSP help desk solution with codeless customization functionality and a new patch management system based on Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. Additionally, its Mobile Device Manager Plus offering now supports Android for Work.
- Netskope has added ransomware detection and recovery capabilities to its Netskope Threat Protection product.
- Riverbed has equipped its SteelCentral performance management solution with new infrastructure discovery, network forensics, application analytics, end-user experience monitoring, and unified communications monitoring capabilities.
- Samsung has introduced an 8 GB LPDDR4 (low power, double data rate 4) mobile DRAM chip, reportedly the industry's first.
- Swiftpage, which makes the popular small business CRM system ACT!, has introduced SMS4Act!, a new app that lets Act! Premium subscribers communicate with customers and prospects via text messages directly from within the ACT! interface.
- ZeroStack has added utility billing and container support to its SaaS-managed Private Cloud Platform.
- Avnet has completed its acquisition of Premier Farnell plc.
- Cisco has acquired Heroik Labs, whose Worklife meeting optimization software (pictured) will be the latest addition to a growing line of communication and collaboration tools founded on the Cisco Spark platform.
- Malwarebytes has purchased anti-adware security vendor AdwCleaner.
This week’s stats ticker:
- IT spending will rise 2.9 percent globally next year, according to Gartner, and 5.1 percent in the U.S., according to Forrester.
- Also from Gartner: 100 million consumers globally will do at least some of their shopping via augmented reality by 2020.
- YouTube, Netflix, and Office 365 are the fastest software-as-a-service products used on corporate networks, according to Nyansa.
- The number of small business in the U.S. will grow from 30 million this year to 42 million a decade from now, according to Intuit.
Surface spat. Turns out New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll disagree about more than just Malcolm Butler. As you’re probably aware by now, Belichick is, shall we say, less than enamored with the Microsoft Surface tablets that are standard equipment on most NFL sidelines. Less widely reported was Carroll’s unprompted, good-natured retort the next day during his weekly Wednesday press conference: “I don’t know if it’s because we are so close to home base but, shoot, I think the quality of our stuff has been great,” he said.
And now, before you reach any conclusions about this difference of opinion, please allow us to make several shamefully cynical observations:
- The Seattle Seahawks are owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
- This isn’t the first time the Seahawks have made their love for the Surface public.
- Carroll doesn’t actually use Surface tablets on the sideline. “But the fellas that do love them,” he says.
And last but far from least as far as Microsoft investors are concerned, there’s this: Surface revenues rose 38 percent in the most recent quarter, suggesting that for the moment at least there are more Carolls than Belichicks in the world.