IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of April 22nd

Software from Microsoft, hardware from NVIDIA, and a beatdown from the Easter Bunny are three of many stories we’re only now telling you about. By James E. Gaskin

Spring keeps sprunging, or springing, or whatever the most fun term is for this season  in which thunderstorms drop tornadoes full of hail (at least they’re not full of sharks). The storms march across the middle of the country then eastward and northward on their never-ending quest for trailer parks. And since it’s spring, how did the NFL manage to create a huge event out of draft day to interrupt the NBA playoffs? Our indignation caused us to miss some news, so let’s catch up.

Microsoft Security Policy AdvisorMicrosoft makes news all year. Microsoft Office 365 supports every employee in most companies. How to keep them all secure? Try the new Security Policy Advisor (pictured), an app in Office 365 ProPlus. Handle policies across devices, manage security configs, and get the policy feedback you need.

Office 365 users in Microsoft 365 Business now have a better way to managed licenses on shared computers: Shared Computer Activation for Office in Microsoft 365 Business. That computer in a nurse’s station or warehouse kiosk won’t count against the limited devices per O365 license.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse reserved capacity and software plans for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE will let you save up to 65 percent on your workloads.

Analytics users should enjoy the collaboration between Databricks and Microsoft on MLflow Open Source Project. MLflow gets downloaded more than 500K times per month, so jump in.

NVIDIA GeForce GTXIt’s raining hardware. Mobile horsepower fans rejoice and put your order in now for a new laptop powered by one of the new 9th Gen Intel Core mobile H-series processors. The unlocked Intel Core i9-99809 HK chip should make gamers and content developers deadlier and faster. New models started shipping this week.

Performance on a budget seems like an oxymoron, but now that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 board is only $149, we need to rethink.

Laptop makers got the message, and more than 80 models, starting at $799, include the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or 1650. Fortnite at 100 frames a second should boost your rating.

8x8 announced the new 8x8 Flex Hardware Program to eliminate the upfront capital costs of buying desktop and conference phones when moving to cloud communications. Choose from 15 models of Poly IP phone models.

Dynabook Americas (formerly Toshiba America Client Solutions), announced a new application, the Ubimax Frontline app suite for the dynaEdge AR Smart Glasses. Two configs of the developers kit are also available.

Need more server oomph (and don’t we all?). Try the new Supermicro SuperServer 2049U-TR4 4-socket servers supporting 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Optane DC persistent memory, and now shipping in volume.

Can you get that in writing? Sure, and print it on one of the four new High-Volume A3 color MFPs from Sharp. New models in its color Advance and Essentials Series (now 11 units strong) print from 26 to 60 pages per minute.

IoT too. IoT devices need lifecycle management as well. Say hello to VMware Pulse IoT Center 2.0 SaaS for fine-grained management of the full lifecycle of IoT/edge devices. Helps both IT and OT groups getting into IoT.

Protecting IoT firmware is important as well. ReFirm Labs Centrifuge Platform does exactly that. Includes UEFI Firmware Analysis. ReFirm Labs also launched Binwalk Pro firmware extraction solution.

Cradlepoint achieved FCC certification and Initial Commercial Deployment status for its Gigabit-class Private LTE edge router solution. Supports Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared spectrum at 3.5 GHz.

More IoT security: Say howdy to Great Bay Network Intelligence Platform from Great Bay Software. Version 6.2 includes transparent scouring and custom configuration to provide actionable assessments in real-time.

AlienVault for BoxAnd speaking of security news . . . File sharing and sync sites need security, because users. Hence the new AlienApp for Box (pictured), from AT&T Cybersecurity (formerly AlienVault) and the Box cloud content management folks. All the result of AT&T joining the Box Technology Partner Program.

OPAQ (cloud security) announced the eponymous OPAQ Cloud, a set of tools that provide up to 15 Gbps of hyperscale security-as-a-service. Helpful for orgs needing carrier-grade network performance and security.

New enhancements in the Flashpoint Intelligence Platform boost business risk intelligence with improved cybersecurity, fraud detection, insider threat notification, and more.

ThreatConnect App Builder and Dark Mode are just two of the upgraded tools in the latest version of ThreatConnect. Also includes security playbook version control.

Two new programs from Varonis should help customers tighten their security nets. Thy are Varonis Certified Administrator Training (online) and a new Elite invitation-only level in the Varonis Customer Community.

GotoMeetingOther products made some news, too. CloudJumper souped up its Cloud Workspace for Azure with the addition of a Windows 10 VDI option that allows customers to deploy Windows 10 OS VDI instances in Azure using the Cloud Workspace Management Suite.

Amazon Web Services teased us about AMD EPYC-power EC2 T3a instances last year, and now they’re real. Built on the AWS Nitro System they’re designed to help you balance cost and performance.

ManageEngine announced that the cloud version of ServiceDesk Plus now includes Zia, Zoho’s conversational AI assistant and IT virtual support agent. Another way to avoid repetitive user questions via automation.

Welcome to the EnGenius Cloud from EnGenius Technologies, a cloud-based wireless network management option for small and medium businesses.

VOSS Solutions pulled the curtain on VOSS-4-UC v19.1.1, the UC management tool for automation extension and dynamic communications workflow automation. Make your Business Admin Portal interface smarter and more automated than ever.

The joys of getting out of meetings by leaving town were long ago crushed by LogMeIn’s GoToMeeting (pictrured). At least the company now makes it easier to join meetings with Siri mobile commands, enhanced calendar plugins, and Mobile Commuter Mode.

We demand our kitten videos unbuffered, meaning faster networks. SmartNA PortPlus packet broker appliances from Network Critical make it easier to monitor and secure dynamic and ever-expanding networks. Play that keyboard, kittens!

Ivanti Velocity 2.1 from Ivanti Supply Chain simplifies migration of applications across devices and operating systems. Included: deploy and configure existing telnet apps on the latest Windows 10 mobile devices.

SugarCRM revved up to the new faster Sugar 9 platform. Get up to 70 percent more transactions without investing in new hardware. Easier collaboration and more than 110 new reports make sales a breeze (OK, at least easier).

Kevin JonesNews about new positions. Don’t know if he has a corner office, but Kevin M. Jones just became chief executive officer at Rackspace, taking over for Joe Eazor.

Cyren (security) just approved Brett Jackson as its new CEO. He takes over in May.

Imperva (also security) brought in new CFO Jim Dildine.

SentinelOne (security yet again) promoted Eran Ashkenazi to SVP of global support and services.

This week’s stats ticker:

Think “digital transformation” is just another bastardized buzzword? If so, it looks to be a money magnet as well, according to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide. Forecast for global DX spending is $1.18 trillion in 2019, up 17.9 percent over 2018. Two manufacturing areas lead the charge: discrete ($226.1 billion) and process ($124.5 billion) Smart manufacturing powered by autonomic operations get the most attention. The next largest industry is retail trying omni-channel commerce, supplied by digital supply chain optimization in transportation and facility management. Our future robot overlords in manufacturing will see $45 billion spent. Hardware and service investments will account for more than 75 percent of all DX spending this year.

We rarely hear the terms “security” and “getting better” in the same sentence, so let’s enjoy this. According to the 2019 SANS State of Cloud Security survey to be released on May 1, 2019, cloud security is improving. Slowly, perhaps, but improving. More and more important data moving to the cloud makes security crucial, and companies are taking this seriously. 56 percent of respondents admit unauthorized cloud access by outsiders is a concern, but 72 percent say they aren’t aware of any actual breaches. This is good news, compared to only 69 percent who could say that last year. Trust in providers seems to be behind the drop in concern about data breaches from 53 percent in 2017 to 44 percent in 2019.

Easter Bunny Beat DownEaster Bunny beat down. Where else but Florida? Two gentlemen engaged in fisticuffs…well, this was on a street in Orlando, so let’s say two dudes started whaling on each other. Cellphone video showed a giant white bunny hopping into the frame and started separating the two combatants.

Ah, Easter, the holiday of peace and rebirth and spring, right? Wrong. Said bunny pulled one man off the other, threw him down, and started delivering an Easter Bunny Beat Down. That will really crack your eggs, won’t it?

Police arrived and broke up the brawl while Easter Bunny danced around the scene, shadow boxing like a pro. No doubt he was threatening to get Bunny Busy yet again with more big paw haymakers if necessary.

Every kid has the same question: will Beat Down Bunny deliver needed justice when a sibling steals their candy?

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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