IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of April 20th

Relaxed revenue targets for HPE partners, subscription pricing for SolarWinds users, and two clear signs that all the quality time we’re spending indoors is making some of us a little crazy were among the many stories we’ve waited until now to bring your way. By James E. Gaskin

The weather wants to help you stay inside this weekend and next week. The Northeast will be wet and chilly providing a good reason to stay sheltered. Everywhere else will see higher than average temps. You don’t want to risk overheating until you’re used to warmer weather, so stay in and catch up on these missed newsbits.

Samsung XCover ProCOVID-19 news. In the wake of COVID-19 business disruption, the HPE Partner Ready program will suspend revenue targets required for partners to maintain their status in the HPE Hybrid IT Partner Ready program for 2021 eligibility. Aruba partners get the same accommodation. Early pay discount and factoring terms get stretched, and you can get free remote server management.

Parents forced into home schooling will appreciate the new HP Turn to Learn program that will curate material from leading scientific, publishing, and media companies. Examples: TIME for Kids, Britannica, and NASA. A batch of donations and programs for school districts are included as well.

Nutanix partners can take advantage of the Nutanix Special Financial Assistance Program. Get extended payment terms and enhanced financing options. Partners are expected to pass along the payment flexibility to their customers.

Serving on the front lines in a pandemic is tough, so Samsung released a tough smartphone: the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro (pictured). Includes push-to-talk, barcode scanning, and a long-lasting and replaceable battery.

These days when you need to see the doctor, you’re more scared of other patients than your own symptoms. Use the new Jamf Virtual Visits telehealth workflow to deploy third-party conferencing platforms like Cisco Webex, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams to an iPad or iPhone. Doctors can connect to patients, and family from outside can connect to those inside. Digitally wipe the device to prepare it for the next patient.

Remember those kids underfoot you’re supposed to be educating between your own work assignments? Perhaps the new Insight ADVANCE from Vonage and Insight will help. Helps teachers, coaches, and school leaders by providing free access to the ADVANCE feedback video coaching tool powered by the Vonage Video API. Guess that means the kids will be hogging your laptop, too.

Staying separate doesn’t mean you have to stay isolated says The Alliance of Channel Women (ACW). The new ACW Communities, supported by longtime sponsor 8x8, will host ACW Communities meetings using 8x8x Video Meetings.

Malwarebytes PrivacySecurity news. Collaborative tools are surging, which means they’ve become more attractive malware targets. The new McAfee MVISION Cloud now supports encryption enhancements in Microsoft Teams, including encrypted webhooks and payloads.

Just in time to keep stay-at-home workers secure: Malwarebytes now has a VPN solution, called Malwarebytes Privacy (pictured).

Now available, the Netskope Security Cloud adds security controls and protection for Microsoft Teams. An official Data Loss Prevention for Microsoft Teams certification and stronger security policies keep those embarrassing video meeting snafus safe.

Retail POS systems don’t have the best reputation for strong security, and clerks get little or no security training. So the new version of Kaspersky Embedded System Security can now remotely manage and update POS and ATM devices located in areas with 2G Internet connections. The new Network Threat Protection component guards against attacks on the network layer.

Enterprises can now get increased operational technology (OT) visibility into risk, threat detection, vulnerability management, triage, and mitigation from the newly strengthened Claroty Platform.

The Fortanix Self-Defending Data Management Service gets a new extension with the Fortanix HSM Gateway. Integrated cloud applications and databases and legacy on-premises Hardware Security Modules (hence HSM). Consolidate multiple legacy HSMs and key management tools into a single solution and reduce management costs.

AWS AppFlowOther product news. Business continuity and cloud migration player Axcient announced it’s accelerated the roadmap for its Anchor file synce and share system and CloudFinder BDR solution. Helps MSPs deploy protected sync and share without VPNs among other goodies like support for backing up Microsoft Teams conversations and G Suite Team Drive.

The IT management software folks at SolarWinds announced subscription-based pricing for the majority of their on-premises IT operations management products. With things so unsettled lately, predictable budgeting for critical services should help.

Clouds aren’t nearly as much a problem as is getting data between said clouds. Hello to the new Amazon AppFlow, an easy, secure ways to create and automate bidirectional data flows between AWS and SaaS applications without writing custom integration code.

Have condos, apartments, student housing, resorts, or other facilities that need wireless client support? The new EnGenius Technologies EnGenius Cloud wall-plate access point, ECW115, is ready to go. Powered by PoE+, the ECW115 extends Wi-Fi and includes two Ethernet ports.

Just launched, the Insight Connected Platform from Insight Enterprises provides a scalable Internet of Things foundation to help create smart spaces. Those include stores, restaurants, manufacturing plants, hospitals, and extend to entire cities. Reduce security risks and get faster deployments.

If you’re stuck at home, make that home smarter. Try the new ADTRAN and Plume integration of OpenSync for better management of Wi-Fi, better scale, and more network insights and bandwidth to power smart devices.

No matter how much storage you have, you need more. The new Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Vantara introduced the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) E990 for midsize customers.

Lou BlattNon-product vendor news. The OpenText folks just welcomed Lou Blatt (pictured) as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and promoted Prentiss Donohue to senior vice president, partners & alliances.

Cloud communications folks CoreDial rolled out the welcome wagon for John Carr, vice president of cloud services.

Exclusive Networks rolled out the welcome wagon for Nigel Gilhespy, joining as global head of professional services & consulting.

BeyondTrust (privileged access management) appointed Dee Dee Acquista as senior vice president of global channels and alliances.

Rick Ribas joins LogMeIn as vice president of global channels, a new position.

Evolve IP and Pax8 shook hands to provide Evolve Teams with Enterprise Voice to their network of more than 10,000 MSPs in North America. It leverages Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and platform-level integration of Cisco communications to provide advanced voice services.

Atera is adding Acronis backup and cyber protection to its RMM, PSA, and remote access product line. Offered through MSPs and IT professionals.

The 8x8 Referral Program gets revved up to make referring its cloud communication and contact center product easier and faster for individuals, IT consultants, and tech advisors.

NEC and Intermedia signed the paper to launch NEC UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT, a born-in-the-cloud unified-communications-as-a-service product for businesses of all sizes. And, oh yes, NEC UNIVERGE BLUE ENGAGE, a contact-center-as-a-service offering.

Jenne’s training division, Jenne University, now offers 100% virtual training for all Avaya, Extreme Networks, and Mitel certification courses currently offered. Avaya proctored tests can be taken at home with OnVUE online testing. And Jenne University’s football team looks strong this year.

This week’s stats ticker:

There’s never enough tech workers, but the new Cyberstates 2020 research study by CompTIA found there were an estimated 12.1 million in 2019 in the U.S. That’s about 10% of the nation’s economy, about 7.7% of the total workforce, and an increase of 2.6% over 2018. 45 states and the District of Columbia saw increased tech employment. The Top 5 states in tech employment gain were California, Texas, Florida, New York, and North Carolina. N.C. also had one of the highest percentage increases along with Nevada, Idaho, Maine, and Utah. Cities with the highest net gain in workers include San Francisco, San Jose (no surprises there), New York City, Seattle, and Boston. Six states added more than 100,000 tech jobs during the last decade.

Blancco studied corporate sustainability practices. News is not great. Only a quarter (24%) of end-of-life equipment is being sanitized and reused. This despite 83% of organizations having a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy in place. Over a third, or 39%, of groups physically destroy EOL IT equipment because they believe it to be better for the environment. But improperly disposed of materials can release mercury, lead, and other contaminants. It might help if the 22 states with no statewide e-waste laws got with the program. But this isn’t solely a domestic problem. Europe has e-waste regulations, but the U.K. missed its target in 2018 and is one of the worst offenders for exporting waste to developing countries.

Surprisingly, in January this year there were already 1,200 phishing, malicious websites, and malware attacks related to COVID-19, said the Zscaler ThreatLabZ Insights webinar. In March? 380,000. That’s a 30,000 percent increase. The threat spans every area exploited by miscreants, such as more than 130,000 suspicious newly registered domains related to the current coronavirus pandemic. Phishing attacks targeted consumers and corporations. Some mimicked IT department VPN to home office configuration emails. Weaponized PowerPoint documents targeted thousands of users in Brazil to place a multistage remote access trojan (RAT). Even mobile devices are targeted. An oldie but goodie made a return when a Nigerian 419-type scam email asked users to enable “an American doctor” helping a wealthy Chinese businessman get his money out of China before he dies. Yes, lowlifes abound.

Stir CrazyOfficial notice: some have gone more stir crazy than a Will it Blend? Commercial. First crazy? A Russian runner had been training over nine months for a 155-mile race through the desert in Morocco. The race, of course, has been postponed. So, what did Dmitry Yakukhny do? Strapped on his fitness bracelet and jogged around his bed for 10 hours and 19 minutes. Added up to 62 miles. Let’s have a moment of silent respect for his downstairs neighbor.

Crazy #2 lives in Idaho. David Rush has broken more than 100 Guinness records for an admirable reason: promoting STEM education. Good for David. But he and buddy Jonathan Hannon, obviously gone stir crazy, decided to strap a basket to Rush’s head. No, that’s not the crazy part. Then Hannon raced the clock to see how many tennis balls he could throw into the basket in one minute. He threw 123 tennis balls, just over two a second, and Rush caught 98 of them in his head-basket. In case you’re wondering, this beats the previous record of 79 catches. You mean some other guys (you know it had to be guys, right?) did this before being quarantined for weeks?

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

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

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