IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

What’s Up This Week: October 24th-October 28th

Tigerpaw’s annual partner conference, product news from Datto, Apple, and Microsoft, and a reason for the guy in this mug shot to blow out a bunch of candles are all up ahead this week for the SMB channel. By Rich Freeman

The SMB channel’s week ahead includes software and strategy updates from Tigerpaw, earnings news from Apple, Amazon, and Avnet, two SMB Nation Tour de Cloud events, and a certain birthday boy’s big day.

Simone BilesMonday, October 24th

Reader ROI: Today’s presentations are mostly geared toward accounting professionals, but there will be plenty of content tomorrow and Wednesday for small business owners, self-employed entrepreneurs, and developers who draw on or supplement QuickBooks functionality. The celebrity-packed speaker list includes Olympians Michael Phelps and Simone Biles (pictured), author Malcolm Gladwell, retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, and actress America Ferrera.

Tigerpaw ConferenceTuesday, October 25th

Reader ROI: While arch-rivals ConnectWise and Autotask studiously build out integrated suites of managed services software, Tigerpaw has remained laser focused on PSA software. If there are any changes in store for that strategy, the 500 people expected to attend this year’s Tigerpaw partner conference will probably hear about it during one of president and CEO James Foxall’s keynotes, which take place first thing Tuesday and Wednesday.

ChannelPro will be present for both presentations—which at a minimum will preview the version 16.1 release of Tigerpaw’s solution and other upcoming roadmap milestones—and has interviews booked with Foxall and other senior Tigerpaw executives. Come on back to our website later this week for the complete scoop on everything we learn.

Reader ROI: The one-day conference will dish up heaping servings of migration, implementation, and solution design insights for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Windows 10. AppRiver, SkyKick, and Trend Micro are among the sponsors that will be speaking and exhibiting throughout the day.

Reader ROI: All eyes will be on Apple, of course, which will probably report declining sales of multiple products, including the iPhone. A new version of the iconic smartphone reached market just two weeks before Apple’s fourth quarter closed, and while at least some evidence suggests the new device is selling well the financial data Apple shares today probably won’t reflect that much. Needless to say, CEO Tim Cook has access to more recent sales figures, so Apple watchers will be listening carefully to the forward guidance he and other speakers offer for the all-important holiday season quarter during the earnings conference call.

HTC’s call won’t get nearly as much attention, but could be interesting nonetheless if it includes clues about how manufacturing Google’s new Pixel phones is impacting the company’s balance sheet.

Windows 10 Launch EventWednesday, October 26th

Reader ROI: Calling this a “Windows 10 launch event” is a little misleading, actually, because Microsoft won’t be launching a new Windows release so much as providing an advance look at updates expected in 2017. It will, on the other hand, be introducing some new Surface devices and accessories, according to experts on this kind of thing anyway. Those could include a new Surface all-in-one PC and new keyboards, but probably won’t include a new laptop or the long-rumored Surface smartphone. If you can’t wait to find out exactly what Microsoft announces, you can watch the whole thing live right here.

Reader ROI: VMware is the one to watch here. The virtualization market leader has beaten analyst expectations six straight times, and since we never bet against a streak our guess is their numbers will look pretty strong again. There could be some interesting discussion of the company’s recent blockbuster alliance agreement with Amazon to deliver joint hybrid cloud solutions during today’s conference call.

Austin McChordThursday, October 27th

Reader ROI: Per the name, the one-day show targets partners based in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, but North American channel pros should keep an eye on the proceedings from afar as well, because we happen to know that CEO Austin McChord (pictured) will break some news during his keynote presentation just like he did at Datto’s June event in Nashville. We’ll have all the details about everything McChord announces right here for you on Thursday.

Reader ROI: That means channel pros in the New England region will have access to the same speakers and content that their tri-state peers enjoyed on Tuesday.

  • Apple Mac Launch EventOne day after Microsoft’s big launch event, Apple hosts one of its own at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Reader ROI: As usual, the secretive hardware maker has offered nary a word about what to expect and, also as usual, that hasn’t kept prognosticators from making predictions, which focus around the arrival of some new and improved MacBooks.

Reader ROI: The first two names on the list will be the ones you read about in the media, and please allow us to end the suspense for you: Alphabet’s top and bottom lines will both be up sharply, its “moonshot” project group will still be deep in the red, and Amazon’s cloud-related numbers will once again be spectacular. Less easy to handicap is how Avnet executives answer all the questions they’re sure to get during today’s conference call about the recently announced sale of its technology solutions group to Tech Data.

Bill GatesFriday, October 28th

  • It’s Bill Gates’s birthday!

Reader ROI: That’s right, the Microsoft co-founder and present-day technology advisor turns 61 years young today. And we’ve watched him grow up before our very eyes, haven’t we? Here he is in 1984 extolling the wonders of Apple’s brand new Macintosh computer and again a few years later introducing the world to Windows 3.1. Then there’s this 1998 video of a notably less cheerful Gates being deposed for federal antitrust violations and this 2007 recording of Gates and Steve Jobs reminiscing about the good old days. And finally, here he is earlier this year alongside his wife Melinda gabbing with Jimmy Fallon about the good work their non-profit foundation does:

Oh, and that mug shot? It dates back to a 1977 incident in which Gates allegedly got caught driving without a license after running a red light.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Senior News Editor