IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of September 25th

So much news flew at our heads we missed much of it, so here’s a few chewy morsels. By James E. Gaskin

All eyes, or most eyes at least, were on Orlando this week for the big Microsoft Ignite show (and did anyone tell Xerox that MS stole their show name?). You can watch some Ignite videos on Bill’s dime here. And speaking of what’s in Bill’s pocket, it’s a new Android phone, at least according to Fox News. Guess even Bill can’t afford a new iPhone X.

Other companies made news this week as well, including that up-and-coming chip company Intel and its recent i9 chip. (Will Intel go to i11 next? Looks kind of ill.) Not forgetting the earlier versions, Intel revved the Core i3, i5, and i7 up to the 8th generation. And, as always, our news basket overfloweth with cloud, security, more cloud, and other product news.

Microsoft Ignite(s) the press release rocket. Say hello to Office 2019, with a name-to-release-year-mismatch just like new car models. Expect it to roll out in mid-2018 along with the 2019 cars. Features include “a new vision of intelligent communications,” although we hope they exempt PowerPoint presentations from the “intelligent” label. Do look for a new Skype build to better support enterprise-grade voice and video.

Microsoft 365 F1, a new edition of the Office 365/Windows 10/Enterprise Mobility + Security bundle Microsoft unveiled in July, has arrived “to empower all workers.” If your employees don’t want to be so empowered, they can use the Office Profile Card for LinkedIn to find a new job, or at least daydream. Just hope they don’t take their Windows 10 S devices for Firstline Workers with them. These include hosted VM-configured laptops from HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Fujitsu today and likely more when the program gets rolling.

Seek and ye shall find, we hope, with Microsoft Graph and personalized search inside the SharePoint home in Office 365. Tell your co-workers what you find with Yammer, now sharing an “emboldened vision” as a core part of O365.

Azure sports new features to improve “intelligent solutions” and more security, privacy, and cost controls. Add in “intelligent security” with Azure Active Directory and Cloud App Security enhancements. If that’s not intelligent enough, try out the Azure Machine Learning power-up.

Microsoft Ignite(s) partner products, too.

  • ManageEngine announced its Applications Manager now supports performance monitoring for Office 365.
  • Cloudian, the enterprise object storage system maker, says its Cloudian HyperCloud for Microsoft Azure is ready to go.
  • Cohesity says its hyperconverged secondary storage products now protect data directly to Azure.
  • Scality formally released Scality Connect for Microsoft Azure Blob Storage. Shout-out to Steve McQueen.
  • Trend Micro SaaS email security solutions, Cloud App Security, and Hosted Email Security have been updated with its XGen cross-generational threat defense technology.
  • Adaptiva Windows 10 Accelerator Program launched to help companies wrangle Windows 10.
  • Polycom reassured us all that its popular voice and video hardware will continue to work well with Skype, Office 365, and anything else Microsoft comes up with.
  • Ipswitch fans (we wave our early FTP software discs high) will not be surprised to learn that MOVEit Managed File Transfer can now be acquired through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
    Pexip and its Infinity Fusion gateway for Skype for Business developers are huddling with Microsofties to deliver standards-based video teleconferencing interoperability with Microsoft Teams.
  • Duo Security announced integration of its two-factor authentication with Microsoft Azure Active Directory.
  • Dell Boomi launched the Integration Accelerator for Workday and Microsoft Active Directory. Connecting Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) with Microsoft AD streamlines onboarding, provisioning, and employee management.

Oh, yeah, Intel. And Apple. Start yelling at Intel to “take my money” on October 5 for the 8th generation Core i3, i5, and i7 processors and supporting chips. A six-core i5 desktop might just trigger a new customer refresh, unless the four-core i3 could solve a problem more cost effectively. Gamers await the Intel Core i7-8700K that revs up to 4.7 GHz.

Investors are apparently excited too. CNBC reported that AMD and NVIDIA share prices dropped after Intel bragged about 25 percent better frame rates with the 8th gen chips.

As for Apple, it rolled out the latest release of macOS, tagged High Sierra. It’s got better video, an advanced version of the Apple File System that boosts capacity and speed, and a graphics API called Metal 2 that takes graphics to eye-popping levels.

More and more product news (including cloud stuff). Epson America passed out cigars for the newest additions to its Supertank and EcoTank printer lines, now expanding into the SMB market. Working with SMART Technologies, Epson also released the PowerLite 685W Ultra Short-Throw Presentation Display for SMART.

Microsemi Corp. introduced a BlueSky GPS Firewall that can be deployed between any standard GPS antenna and stationary GPS receiver to protect against GPS signal incidents, accidental or intentional.

Comodo wants to show you a new PKI platform for IoT devices and networks it named (touch your nose) the Comodo IoT Security Platform.

NETGEAR pumped up its IP surveillance products to run Milestone Arcus on NETGEAR ReadyNAS.

See, cloud stuff, just like we promised. AppDirect integrated new products and functionality with its Cloud Commerce Platform. Also:

  • Scale Computing teamed up with Google for a hybrid cloud solution tagged HC3 Cloud Unity.
  • Skybox expanded its cloud security management solutions, Skybox for the Cloud and Skybox Security Suite.
  • Reinvent Telecom announced six significant new features in its Cloud Contact Center powered by Telax. The company also expanded options for its private-label cloud collaboration tools to a broader range of customers. Accession Meeting, for example, now serves up to 50 users.
  • SAP SE released the SAP Data Hub solution during the SAP Big Data Event in New York.
  • Nintex Hawkeye sports new capabilities to let customers move from process automation to process optimization.
  • Ipswitch snuggled up to the Signiant Manager+Agents file transfer product with its MOVEit Managed File Transfer tools to help customers move bunches o’data in a bigger hurry.
  • Tech Data added FlexPod SF, featuring NetApp SolidFire all-flash storage array technology, to its FlexPod Modular Integration program.
  • IndependenceIT hoisted the flag for its AppServices for Google Cloud Platform, “the first and only” Windows App Service for GCP.
  • Velocity Micro saluted its new RS line of AMD-powered workstations optimized for film, studio, media, and VR content production.
  • ViewSonic introduced the PS750HD ultra-short throw interactive 1080p projector.
  • Plantronics welcomed ISVs with the release of Plantronics Manager Pro v3.10.
  • Dataguise, a leading Data-centric Audit and Protection (DCAP) vendor, introduced DgSecure 6.2.
  • RingByName hooked up with the Zapier Web app automation service to embed RingByName in more than 750 workplace SaaS applications.
  • Nimble, pioneer of the social sales and marketing CRM app, introduced Nimble Prospector to the world.
  • Tintri materialized solutions suited to remote and branch office and smaller VDI implementations bundled under the T1000 name (no, not this one, a less lethal model).
  • Westcon-Comstor (recently of SYNNEX fame) and Swoop Datacom just launched ForgeStore, a device provisioning and lifecycle management tool.

Not all news comes with a data sheet. Women in the Channel launched its first-ever Advisory Council to help provide a roadmap for growth and strategic direction.

Forcepoint welcomes Tom Flink as vice president of global channel sales, tasked with delivering human-centric security to customers worldwide.

Cyxtera Technologies launched its Partner Network with Avant, Westven, and SageNet. Software-defined networking group PacketFabric matched that ante with its own channel partners program. Flashpoint, the Business Risk Intelligence folks, also trotted out a Global Channel Program and updated its API to v4. These new partnerships make us feel that love is in the air.

See? Even Rackspace is making nice with SAP to provide a partner-managed cloud for SAP software solutions. Togetherness made SAP so happy it gobbled Gigya, the customer and identity and access management firm.

Nectar Services Corp. made a deal with Plantronics to build the industry’s first ear-to-ear solution. Demisto partnered with CrowdStrike on threat investigation and response. Lastline linked arms with empow to do some investigation and response of its own.

Let’s hope all this togetherness holds like Krazy Glue.

This week’s stats ticker:

Kaseya released some info from its annual IT operations benchmark survey. More than 900 respondents around the world revealed that 46 percent of “highly mature” companies have formal SLAs, versus just 21 percent of all organizations. Maybe the wisdom maturity brings is “get SLAs” to protect yourself and your customers.

WatchGuard reported in its quarterly Internet Security Report that 47 percent of all malware is zero-day and largely impervious to signature-based protections. And, no surprise, “threat actors are more focused on credential theft than ever before.” New focus: older Linux system passwords in Europe.

IDC took a look (ha ha) at VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) headset sales and found VR headsets ahead, making up 90 percent of the market. AR will supposedly roar back in the 2020-2021 time frame, though, when IDC expects total sales of 81.2 million units in 2021.

Are you brave enough to get your donuts delivered? Think before you answer—this this isn’t some new Uber gimmick. If you order from Hurts Donut in Frisco, Texas, they might be delivered by the owner wearing a Stephen King-like It scary clown costume. Sure, the delivery charge is only an extra $5, but think of the cost to dry clean your pants. On the other hand, if you’re desperate enough to demand your donuts be delivered, you might not notice the costume.

This delivery special was limited to Frisco, a suburb north of Dallas crammed with recent arrivals there to fill jobs at places like Toyota, which has relocated 4,000+ positions from California. We’re from the area ourselves, so we can guarantee that in some more traditional Texas neighborhoods, the natives might overreact to a demonic delivery person—in the wrong place at the wrong time, the donuts might not be the only things with holes. On the other hand, this sure would brighten up that boring morning staff meeting.

About the Author

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