IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

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

A cloud-related acquisition by Ingram Micro, a blingy new product from HP, and what probably qualifies as the world’s least fun virtual reality experience are among the stories worth knowing about that you may have missed this week. By Rich Freeman

Sure, we could offer up excuses to explain why ChannelPro failed to cover so many interesting stories this week. I mean, we’re busy over here, our typing fingers are continually exhausted, the coffee machine is busted. Probably better though just to ‘fess up and post our latest roundup of unreported stories you’ll probably want to know about.

Ensim Cloud MarketplaceOne shoe down. Another poised to drop? Easily the biggest story we’re only finally discussing now was Monday’s late word that disti kingpin Ingram Micro has purchased Ensim, a San Jose, Calif.-based operator of a cloud computing marketplace that “has over 5,000,000 seats deployed worldwide and is used by over 20,000 small, medium, and large sized organizations and government agencies through service providers, system integrators, msp's [sic], and resellers,” according to the Ensim website. When the still officially pending deal closes, Ensim will supplement Ingram Micro’s already vast existing cloud marketplace.

“Ensim is an exciting addition to the Ingram Micro Ecosystem of Cloud and will expand our ability to help channel partners bring cloud services to businesses of all sizes,” said Jason Bystrak, executive director of Ingram Micro’s cloud computing unit for the Americas in a statement provided to ChannelPro via email. “Ingram Micro continues to make investments that accelerate the sales cycle for our channel partners from the core to the cloud.”

That, however, is about all Ingram Micro has had to say about the acquisition so far, which can’t help but leave one with a lot of unanswered questions about…

Hey, wait a minute. Ingram Micro. Cloud. That rings a bell. Oh yeah, Ingram Micro’s 2016 Cloud Summit takes place next week in Phoenix. Could company executives have more details in store for us about Ensim’s place in the distributor’s big cloud picture? Stay tuned. ChannelPro will be onsite at the conference and reporting everything you need to know about it.

AXIS CompanionSo what’s the deal, vendors? I mean you usually have a few noteworthy new products for us to discuss in this piece, but this week it was more like a flood. Here are a few you might want to check out besides the Dell, LOGICnow, RapidFire Tools, and Veeam launches we did manage to get around to:

  • Axis Communications released the AXIS Companion Line (pictured), which includes cameras, storage, software, and other video surveillance components priced to fit small business budgets.
  • Canon added 11 (count ‘em) new printers and copiers to its imageCLASS product line, including models targeted at the small/home office market and midsize businesses.
  • D-Link, not to be outdone by Axis in the surveillance arena, announced that its DGS-1100 series gigabit Ethernet switch product family now contains two new devices specifically designed for IP surveillance applications.
  • Epson shipped the Expression Home XP-430 Small-in-One, a compact wireless printer intended for consumers that could also be a fit for cramped home and branch offices with modest printing requirements.
  • Fujitsu introduced new PRIMERGY dual-socket servers powered by the Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors Intel shipped last week.
  • InfoArmor unveiled VigilanteATI Accomplice, a new SMB-focused and somewhat unfortunately named (“vigilante” and “accomplice” aren’t things one typically aspires to be) edition of VigilanteATI, the company’s advanced threat intelligence solution.
  • Lexmark released new versions of its Kofax TotalAgility customer business process automation tool and Customer Communications Manager solution.
  • Schneider Electric launched AccessXpert, a cloud-based solution that gives building owners, managers, and security teams mobile access to video surveillance, intrusion detection, access control, alarm management, and other systems.

HP SpectreAnd one last new product, for anyone looking to out-premium their premium laptop-toting friends. HP unveiled the eye-catching HP Spectre, which at 10.4 mm thick (about the same as a AAA battery), is now the world’s thinnest notebook, according to HP itself. That HP chose to pull the wraps off the sleek black-and-gold device at the New York Times International Luxury Conference (held, so very appropriately, in Versailles, France) makes clear the company has bling-hungry hardware buyers squarely in its sights.

Oh, and those vertical bars on the lid? That’s HP’s new logo.

Avnet Tech GamesBut enough about products. Let’s talk about vendors instead:

Business PlanTell the truth: Do you have a business plan? No? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone. According to 2015 research from Wells Fargo, two-thirds of small businesses are plan-less, a finding that inspired the bank to create the Business Plan Center, a free online business plan writing tool that 10,000 small businesses have utilized so far, according to a press release published Tuesday. Might be a good time for you join them too. You’ll have a hard time reaching your full potential without a business plan, and you can’t beat the price.

And from the Your Tax Dollars at Work department. At the other end of the price-to-value spectrum comes this story about the app that TSA agents use to select travelers enrolled in the TSA Pre-Check program for random airport searches. The system, which basically just generates random numbers, is scarcely more sophisticated than the random number generator yours truly coded 30+ years ago on his very first computer (a Commodore VIC-20, and if you’re familiar with that name you’re old too). The price tag? $336,413.59, according to the results of a Freedom of Information Act request. Not bad for a day’s—make that hour’s—work.

This week’s stats ticker:

The Migraine ExperienceImmersive misery. With the help of virtual reality goggles you can visit far-off lands and have thrilling adventures without ever leaving your home. Or you can immerse yourself in the debilitating pain, nausea, and extreme light sensitivity associated with migraine headaches, thanks to the folks at Excedrin, who this week rolled out The Migraine Experience, “the world's first augmented reality migraine simulator.” In all seriousness, we applaud the pain relief brand for seeking to raise awareness of the truly severe tribulations endured by 36 million migraine sufferers in the U.S. alone. We’re guessing, however, that this isn’t exactly the kind of marketing hook hardware makers will use to entice consumers into buying recently-released VR products like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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