IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of December 4th

We've got news about Qualcomm-powered Windows laptops from ASUS and HP for you, plus a look at a new instance of crypto-currency craziness involving...kittens. By James E. Gaskin

Sorry we missed so much news, but we’re blaming the hangover from Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the desperate need for some good cheer this holiday season

So let’s catch up with new chips powering (but sipping battery from) new laptops and tablet-type units running Windows 10. The Qualcomm chips mean LTE rather than Wi-Fi networking (OK, both) with higher speed and wider coverage.

Then we’ll visit some crypto-crazies fixated on a new virtual object that’s hitting the Web’s sweet spot.

ASUS NovaGo TPO370QLQualcomm processors power LTE-connected laptops. Wi-Fi connections are available in many places today, but LTE coverage for smartphones is darn near everywhere. If you’ve ever bemoaned your computer’s lack of connectivity while out in the boonies, rejoice. Qualcomm’s new ARM-based processors now run Windows 10 inside the just announced ASUS NovaGo (TP370) Gigabit LTE laptop (pictured) Ultrathin and light and all but instant-on, it also maintains battery power up to 22 hours.

HP jumped on that same Qualcomm bandwagon by announcing the new HP ENVY x2 laptop slash Microsoft Surface clone. Thin, light, long on battery life, and equipped with a high-resolution touchscreen.

These units are examples of what Microsoft calls “Always Connected PCs.” Gigabit LTE networking speeds should get some attention, along with hours and hours of battery life. No prices yet, but early adopters should save their Christmas cash.

SnapdragonSome Q, more M. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip is the power behind those just- mentioned laptops, but its new Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform addresses consumer desires for immersive multimedia experiences like eXtended Reality (XR) and AI, not to mention better security.

Speaking of security, Microsoft announced the general availability of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams.

Internet of Things enthusiasts should cast an eye toward Microsoft’s now-available Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service. Your smart toaster is too shy to introduce itself to your smart electric razor, so Azure wants to help.

Developers, meanwhile, might care that the Redmond Rowdies say the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) is ready to rumble. The open source-modeled format fits into the AI ecosystem co-developed by Microsoft.

And from Microsoft partners:

  • Tap your VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop admin on the shoulder and whisper that the IGEL OS added support for Skype for Business.
  • Tier-1 Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Atmosera launched its Azure Migration Assessment Program.
  • Xero made nice with Microsoft-owned MileIQ, which now plugs directly into Xero +C for tracking mileage etc.

Toshiba 10TB HDDProduct notes not from Q or M. How about G instead? Gemalto’s SafeNet Data Encryption Solutions can help Google Cloud Platform customers.

Still glowing from its tighter embrace by SYNNEX, Aerohive celebrated its new Software-Defined WAN solution for highly distributed enterprises, retail chains, and healthcare providers with hundreds to thousands of remote locations.

If you dare, gaze into the 10TB abyss of the new Toshiba MN06ACA10T hard drive (pictured), the newest member of the MN family of 3.5 hard drives built for NAS systems. Too easy? Then try the 14TB MG07ACA, which Toshiba bills as “the world’s first enterprise 14TB Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) HDD.”

Red Hat developers awaiting frameworks and runtimes for microservices-based applications rejoice! Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes has hit the streets.

NVIDIA TITAN VAlso:

  • Dell Boomi has unleashed the Fall 2017 release of its cloud integration tools.
  • D-Link has enhanced its DGS-1210 Smart Managed Gigabit Switches, and added two PoE models to the line.
  • NVIDIA has shipped the TITAN V (pictured), a GPU for PCs offering 110 teraflops of processing horsepower for AI and more.
  • Belkin has released a batch of advanced screen protectors for curved-screen devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note8, plus a batch of iPhones and Apple Watches.
  • SwiftStack has included “Universal Access” functionality in its new SwiftStack 6 storage platform.
  • Acronym alert: Avnet has shipped a next generation Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Security Peripheral Module (Pmod) for advanced Industrial IoT (IIoT) security.
  • Virtual Instruments has upped the ante on infrastructure performance monitoring with the newest release of VirtualWisdom.
  • Cloudian HyperFile, a NAS controller that provides SMB/NFS file services from on-premises object storage systems, can now be had.
  • Mindtree has opened a network operations center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Demisto is now woven more tightly into RSA NetWitness and RSA Archer products to enhance security automation and orchestration.

Uri LevyPeople and deals. David Soares takes over as vice president of North American sales for Zyxel.

Longtime Skybox Security exec Uri Levy (pictured) moves up to vice president of worldwide channels.

Grant Bowman ambles over from NetFortris to TPx to become channel manager for California and the country’s West region.

SentryOne promoted Nick Harshbarger to senior vice president of business development and put him in charge of the new Global Partner Network.

Shefali Shah joins Avaya as senior vice president, chief administrative officer, and general counsel. She will also serve on the Executive Committee.

BlackBerry now offers a new reseller cert for handling unpleasantries. The new Crisis Communications Specialization for enterprise partners is built on the BlackBerry AdHoc crisis communications platform. Doubt this cert will get stale since we seem to have more crises than clean underwear.

Listen up: Sennheiser just launched a Not For Resale program to help stock your shop with audio goodies.

Intuit (QuickBooks, TurboTax, etc.) just gobbled up TSheets, the time tracking and scheduling software.

Smooth segue to Right Networks (cloud-based accounting), which got cozy with Bill.com (business payments), Expensify (expense management), and TSheets (time tracking, but we knew that).

This week’s stat ticker:

  • Malwarebytes released a report titled The New Mafia: Gangs and Vigilantes—A Guide to Cybercrime for CEOs. Turns out attacks are up, ransomware attacks are way up, and ransomware detections are way, way up, to 333,871 in October alone. Surprise! CEOs and other C-suite denizens still need education. Be careful out there.
  • MachNation dealt out its IoT Edge ScoreCard for 2018 rating 16 IoT edge platform providers on data processing capabilities, management tools, pre-configured integrations, and more. Although IoT tags “things,” 90 percent of edge complexity comes from software. Surprised?
  • Research group IDC estimates that worldwide “whole cloud” (as in public, private, and hybrid, plus services) revenue will hit $554 billion in 2021. That’s more than double the total of 2016. Check out the Worldwide Whole Cloud Forecast, 2017-2021 for more details and justification for a bigger budget.
  • CNN Money highlighted some research on women-owned small businesses done by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Kansas City. Seems there are just under a million small (less than 500 employee) majority female-run businesses compared to over three million majority male-run equivalents. Also, though women are starting new businesses at a faster rate than men, they’re also having more trouble raising money and breaking through the $1 million revenue ceiling. Nearly 16,000 firms were surveyed.

CryptoKittiesSay hello to the newest cryptocurrency craziness. What is it about blockchains that make people go bonkers? Latest evidence: Bitcoins have jumped to about a million per coin (OK, $16,000+ at the moment) and ethereum fans are now releasing their inner digital cuteness fantasies with CryptoKitties. People are spending $110,000 of real money, or at least the ethereum equivalent, on digital kittens.

Take note that bidding for CryptoKitties brought the blockchain transaction network to a grinding halt. Nothing inspires confidence in a business financial network like seeing it flounder because of adults going nuts for virtual kittens. Buy two and breed them, and maybe sell them to other suckers, er, fans.

Take a look—are these worth all this time and pseudo-money? No way. Unless breeding a green one with a white one with black spots results in kittens that look like chocolate chip mint ice cream, that is. Then you’d have something.

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