IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of April 8th

Piles of cloud news from Google, loads of devices from Acer, and a prowler with a genuinely spotless record are all among the stories we’ve just now gotten around to telling you about. By James E. Gaskin

We all know Hollywood is big on sequels, but now weather’s hitting the repeat button too? After the Bomb Cyclone we get the Spring Snow Smackdown? Is this the last bit from WrestleMania 2019? Seven plus hours wasn’t long enough, so the show goes on across the entire Midwest? Someone tell the weather algorithm that “Winter is Coming” is about Game of Thrones, not the real weather. All this snow caused us to miss some interesting news, so put down that snow shovel and let’s catch up.

Google Cloud Next 19The “next” from Google Cloud Next. San Francisco hosted Google Cloud Next ‘19 this week. As usual, big news rained down, some of which you read about right here on ChannelPro. But not the launch of BeyondCorp Alliance, one of five ways for companies invested in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to improve identity and access management. General availability of an identity platform that you can use for your own apps and services was announced, as were Managed Services for Microsoft Active Directory for select customers.

Android 7.0+ phones can now add Advanced Protection to their personal Google Account. Start it up with Google Chrome on a Windows 10 PC with Bluetooth and two-step verification (2SV) on your phone.

Data folks were well served with three new database announcements. Cloud SQL for Microsoft SQL Server is now in sneak preview, Cloud SQL for PostgresSQL now has version 11 support, and you can now get Cloud Bigtable multi-region replication.

How do you access clouds? Networking! (That was an easy one, right?). Google Cloud Networking has some new additions, like Traffic Director for open service mesh (beta) and High Availability VPN and 100 Gbps Interconnect (beta). Oh, and Private Google Access from on-premises to the cloud is now generally available.

Inspired by “Winter is Coming?” Then check out “ice cold” storage, Google’s new archive class of Cloud Storage for long-term data retention. $1.23 per TB per month.

G Suite got plenty of love as well from the new product boffins. Betas abound, but we all know beta from Google means a soft-launch of the product, not a testing phase. Check out goodies like G-Suite Integration with Google Assistant, Hangout Chats in Gmail, and the other dozen announcements.

Google Cloud smart analytics smartened up even more, with betas like Cloud Data Fusion, BigQuery DTS SaaS application connectors, data warehouse migration services, and another eight goodies.

Google Cloud for Retail is the umbrella for a new set of retail solutions from eCommerce Hosting to Real Time Inventory Management and Analytics and more. Nearly a dozen third parties big in retail (Accenture, Salesforce, SAP, etc.) are already on the shelf (so to speak).

Intel came to the show and announced a partnership with The Goog for Anthos, a new reference design based on the 2nd-Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor and an optimized Kubernetes software stack that will deliver increased workload portability to customers who want to take advantage of hybrid cloud environments.

Where clouds are found so too usually is Citrix, and the company announced that Citrix SD-WAN and Citrix ADC will be available on GCP.

Talking to other people can be useful, so Avaya is integrating with Google Cloud more closely, by weaving Google’s machine learning technology into its contact center conversation services, for example. And adopting Kubernetes support. And offering Google Cloud Platform as a deployment option for its communication and collaboration offerings. You get the idea.

McAfee MVISION Cloud now works with Google Cloud Platform Cloud Security Command Center.

Data without backup, even in the cloud, leads to sadness eventually. Say hello to Cohesity Backup Service for Google Cloud.

Acer TravelMate P6Acer waves a handful of new products. Make that two handfuls. Let’s start with the “Ultra-Thin-and-Light” Acer TravelMate P6 Notebook. 2.4 pounds with up to 20 hours of battery, along with the latest and hottest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors, and up to 24GB of DDR4 RAM. Serious road warriors take note.

For (slightly) less demanding consumers, the curtain drew back on the Acer Aspire 7. 8th Gen Intel Core i7 or 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor, up to 16GB DDR4 RAM, hot graphics, and more.

Prefer a convertible? Many of the same Aspire 7 details apply to the updated Acer Spin 3 Convertible Notebook.

Chromebook fans in the enterprise will find lots to love in the new Acer Chromebook 715 and 714. Hot processors and long batteries along with durable chassis and even integrated fingerprint readers make looking at the 15.6-inch (715) or 14-inch (714) screens even more fun.

Acer’s ConceptD is a full product line of high-end desktops, notebooks, and monitors built to support professional and amateur creators. Want a dazzling desktop? Try filling it with dual Intel Xeon Gold 6158 processors with 40 cores and 80 threads and light the display with an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000[1] graphics board.

Enjoy the rewards of all your hard creator work with the Acer Predator Helios 700 gaming notebook, which has a HyperDrift keyboard for increased thermal performance. Oh, yeah, Intel i9 processor and up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM. Multiple NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU options too. Other options? The new Acer Nitro 7 and updated Nitro 5 Series of gaming portables with Intel, NVIDIA, metal chassis, and so on.

Gamers who stay home will appreciate the updated Orion 5000 desktop with top-line processors (i9 etc.), graphics (NVIDIA), and a liquid cooler option. View it all on the new Predator 43-inch 4K monitor at 144 Hz. Improved Cestus 300 mouse and Galea 311 headset beside the Aethon 300 keyboard finishes the ensemble.

WatchGuard Cloud platformOther products got in on the news act this week too. Built new from the ground up, the WatchGuard Cloud platform centralizes security management and reporting from a single cloud-based interface. Multi-tenants mean unlimited accounts, scalable performance, zero infrastructure requirements, and much more.

Slack users have even less reason to leave the scrolling notes: Office 365 apps for Slack. Respond to calendar invites, join calls, hang out the Do Not Disturb sign, send emails, preview Office files, and more.

Nerdio for Microsoft Azure Core just launched for MSPs in search of an easy first step on the road from on-premises servers to complete cloud-based IT environments.

Check out MobileIron’s new treats, including AppStation (mobile access management for unmanaged devices), updated Frontline, FilePass secure file sharing, enhanced OS support (macOS and Win10) and phishing detection.

Schneider Electric (energy automation) powered up EcoStruxure IT Advisor to make data center management and operations more efficient.

Netwrix has done the integration dance with ConnectWise.

TeamViewer (remote connectivity) has likewise done the integration dance with Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk.

Meanwhile, Zoho’s ManageEngine division announced that Service Desk Plus now has custom visual request lifecycle management to simplify request handling.

More Zoho: At its Zoholics event in Austin, Texas, Zoho announced Zoho MarketingHub. Marketing coordination across multiple Zoho apps and more.

  • Fortinet developed the first SD-WAN ASIC to improve security-driven networking.
  • FortiOS 6.2 from the above-mentioned Fortinet includes over 300 new innovations.
  • Qualcomm continues to pack more power in small packages. Say howdy to the Snapdragon 730, 730G, and 665 mobile platforms. More smarts, better camera support, faster connections, and on and on and on.
  • Logitech Zone Wireless and Zone Wireless Plus headsets were developed from the ground up to deal with the scourge, er, success of the open office plan by improving music quality and blocking distractions with active noise cancellation.
  • NETGEAR debuted four new Wi-Fi 6 routers: Nighthawk AX4 AX3000, AX8 AC6000, AX12 AX6000, and Triband AX12 RAX200.
  • D-Link’s new DGS-1100-26MPP and DGX-1100-10MPP high-power PoE switches pump up to 90 watts of power to end devices.
  • TRENDnet powered up new 90-watt gigabit 4PPoE switches and a 4PPoE injector.
  • TRENDnet also unveiled a line of Gigabit PoE+ Smart Surveillance Switches that can control camera movements from within the switch’s interface.
  • Toshiba made its RM5 Series of SAS SSDs available on Hewlett Packard Enterprise ProLiant servers.
  • Axis Communications launched ARTPEC 7, its 7th generation chipset. Better imaging, more powerful compression, and the ability to run analytics on the edge are on the feature list.
  • Sennheiser tacked Bluetooth onto its line of portable, plug-and-play audioconferencing solutions, and shipped a new premium wired USB headset with Active Noise Cancellation.
  • Illusive Networks (security) added Attack Surface Manager Spotlight Edition to help security teams deal with cached credential attacks.

Brian FreehJust because it doesn’t involve products…doesn’t mean it’s not news. For example, say hello to Director of Partner Success Brian Freeh (pictured) at bvoip (MSP communications).

SolarWinds (IT management) signed the papers to acquire Samanage, an IT service desk company in North Carolina. Goal? Roll out SolarWinds Service Desk Product in Q2.

GPS Insight (fleet management) launched its new Partner Ecosystem. Flexible partnering opportunities include reselling, referring, white labeling, and software integrations.

DataBank (data center) invested in AVANT Communications (cloud, communications) to increase awareness via a new AVANT BattleLab. No, not another WrestleMania reference. It’s a training center, sales enablement, and executive briefing center.

AVANT added Versa Networks Secure Cloud IP Platform to its sub-agent offerings as well.

AT&T Business announced product and program enhancements for its AT&T Alliance Channel, ACC Business, and AT&T Partner Exchange. Improvements include streamlining the ordering process and accelerating installation for select services.

Ooma (communications) expanded its Channel Partner Program with a new white label offering. Partners can add their own branding, set pricing, and fully own the customer relationship while leveraging back-end services like billing.

Vertiv and D&H put pen to paper to distribute Vertiv hardware, software, analytics, and ongoing services.

Granite Telecommunications started up “Drive Faster,” a new program to help sales partners get up to speed quickly. Hopefully without speeding tickets. To help, Granite added seven new regional channel managers, and will add 10 more over the next six months.

Are you a software developer or original equipment manufacturer? If so, the new Avnet Direct Connect financial service can help you deploy your offerings faster, easier, and more profitably.

Reinvent Telecom launched a Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) program to allow partners to use third-party origination and termination carriers with Reinvent’s UCaaS and CCaaS platforms.

This week’s stats ticker:

Some interesting news from Spiceworks in its 2019 State of Hardware-as-a Service (HaaS) report, like the fact that 48 percent of businesses currently lease at least one type of hardware. This is a move from the earlier model where companies managed their own equipment leases to the model were a hardware manufacturer or MSP manages the equipment. Of that 48 percent leasing already, half manage it themselves and half use the HaaS model. Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of HaaS customers report reduced time and resources required by their IT team. Nearly half report improved troubleshooting and support. And 40 percent said HaaS led to a lower cost of ownership for devices and overall reduced expenses.

It makes sense that spending on email security has jumped as cyber-attackers increasingly try to sneak in through the inbox. Thanks to Frost & Sullivan for its Global Email Security Market, Forecast to 2022, for the details. And those details can be considered exciting for email security firms. Growth of the market year over year was 11.4 percent in 2017. 2018 saw an increased 15.9 percent YoY growth to $2.59 billion. Looking toward 2022, a CAGR of 9.9 percent means $3.58 billion worth of email security tools. Vendors need to augment Office 365 and Google G Suite services and build out global data centers to meet privacy regulations.

Roomba 911Roomba 911. A woman in Washington County, Ore., called 911 this week to report a “burglary in progress” at her home. The caller said a stranger was in her bathroom, the door was locked, and she could see shadows moving under the door.

Several brave deputies quickly arrived, surrounded the home, and approached the bathroom. The deputies reported hearing rustling inside. A K9 unit was in place as backup. After all, the old Cops TV show loved seeing perps running from K9 officers.

Guns drawn, deputies broke into the bathroom, ready for a dirty confrontation. What they found, however, was the cleanest possible resolution.

The “burglar” was the woman’s Roomba autonomous vacuum. Apparently, it closed the door during its cleaning duties and couldn’t escape.

No arrests were made. The suspect’s record was, and still is, clean.

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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