IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of August 24th

A new storage option from AWS, new 5G phones from ASUS, and new beers that taste like doughnuts (really!) are all among the better-late-than-never stories we’re finally bringing your way. By James E. Gaskin

Despite all that’s happened so far in 2020, we’ve just reached the worst season of all: Election Season. So far, it’s all been pre-game warmups. Today is the start of 67 days of bizarro world, which means we also face 67 nights of what Bette Davis warned us about in All About Eve. So escape now into the joy of these newsbits that slipped by this week.

Security news. SaaS Alerts is offering its new MSP Resilient Response (MRR) program with free unlimited use through October 1. Your customers have embraced SaaS tools like Microsoft Office 365, G Suite, and Salesforce, and SaaS Alerts helps keep their data, and more, safe and secure.

McAfee’s MVISION Unified Cloud Edge (UCE) received enhancements to its Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) tools. Also working with major SD-WAN providers like Atos and BT and vendors including Cisco, VMware, and Citrix. In related news, McAfee MVISION Endpoint received Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) designation at the moderate security impact level.

Trend Micro and Snyk put their developers together to help security teams manage the risk of any open source vulnerabilities from first code introduction through delivery. Turn known vulnerabilities into checked-off items fast.

Cloud security player Menlo Security partnered with ReSec and Sasa Software to give its Cloud Secure Gateway powerful new content disarm and reconstruction products to make native file format downloads safe. Can it disarm political ads, please?

The new Airwall 110-Series hardware gateway from Tempered includes improved onboarding, Alibaba Cloud support, and more.

Other product news. All this cloud talk made us wonder what Amazon has done for us lately. How about general availability of io2, Provisioned IOPS SSD volumes for Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). Promises 100x higher volume durability and 10x higher input/output operations per second (IOPS).

Ever seem like you have more and more networks to wrangle? Check out the enhanced Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform). Ties together IoT, IT, and Operational Technology (OT) and is fully programmable to generate info about identity, location, security posture, and applications in use.

Small businesses have little patience or expertise to deal with complicated networks. Hello to the new EnGenius Cloud-To-Go solution. Register devices with your smartphone using QR codes, use the SSID Wizard, and put your management console back in your pocket when you’re done.

Hot new 5G phones are hitting the streets. Check out the ASUS ZenFone 7 series (pictured), the flagship of the line. HDR tone mapping, high efficiency color calibration, and DC dimming make your screened content pop. 1080 x 2400 pixels and triple front and rear cameras.

Now on the shelf, BackupAssist ER offers fully automated disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup for Windows servers. The ER is for Express Recovery to make sure your backups are actually usable when needed.

Speaking of backups, Comet Backup has added full Windows disk image protection to its Comet Enterprise and CometGo! products.

Cyber insurance provider Cowbell Cyber revved up its platform to make larger risk underwriting easier, more accurate, and faster. Policyholders get benefits from Cowbell Insights, the company’s continuously updated cyber risk tool to help them assess risk exposure in real time.

New software goodies help Cohesity DataPlatform bring modern data management tools to all-flash solutions from key alliance partners Cisco and HPE. New I/O Boot technology for greater data consolidation, lower TCO, and zippier backups and accesses.

Non-product vendor news. Cloud and network services provider NetFortris announced the promotion of Shawn Berry (pictured) to vice president of channel sales, U.S.

High Wire Networks welcomes Anthony Sparber as its new director of front line maintenance.

SYNNEX is now a North American master agent for Five9, the cloud-based contact center services player.

Druva announced that Druva Compass is now available through Tech Data. Plan is to bring in more preferred partners and offer more options to customers.

Kudelski Security announced a new channel program for security services to expand its footprint in the U.S. Tech Data signed on as the first global member.

The new PerimeterX Partner Program aims to extend the reach of the vendor’s application security services. Founding members include Adobe, AWS, Google, and Microsoft.

Channel management provider Impartner completed the acquisition of the through channel marketing automation business from TIE Kinetix.

This week’s stats ticker:

COVID-19 and the lockdown affected everyone, including the tech channel, according to The NDP Group’s B2B Distributor and Reseller Tracking Service. The first half of 2020 saw a 5% revenue decline compared to 2019. Gradual reopenings are helping as monthly year-over-year sales declines are improving. Areas like work-from-home and distance learning saw some big increases. Notebook (+22%) and tablet (+24%) sales jumped. Chromebook sales alone were up nearly 50% year-over-year during the first half of this year. Docking stations were up 10% as well. Security software popped up 10%, led by identity and access management tools (31%). Gateways and firewalls were up 17%.

Another COVID-19 curse? Security threats. COVID-19-related threats were the single largest threat category in the first half of the year. This from the Trend Micro 2020 Midyear Cybersecurity Report: Securing the Pandemic-Disrupted Workplace. Trend Micro blocked 8.8 million COVID-19 related threats in the first six months of this year, 92% of which were email-based. In total, Trend Micro blocked 27.8 billion cyber threats of one kind or another. 93% of those were email-borne. Hackers rushed to exploit the gaps left by many companies in the hurried rush to implement work-from-home. Ransomware remains a constant threat, with a 45% increase in new ransomware families compared to the same time last year.

It seems the smart money is betting on smarter software. Global spend on AI will double over the next four years, says the IDC Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide. The total will jump from $50.1 billion in 2020 to over $110 billion in 2024. CAGR for the 2019-2024 timeframe is 20.1%. Leading drivers are better customer experiences and helping employees get better at their jobs. IT automation, including sales process recommendations and automation are the two leading areas. The retail and banking industries will spend the most, as many retail groups are moving to integrate better chatbots for customer support and sales recommendations. COVID-19 caused the transportation industry to slow down its AI investment, as did the personal and consumer services industries. The United States will spend more than half of the AI forecast, followed by Western Europe.

I’d prefer beer-infused doughnuts. 2020 has driven many to seek comfort foods, and others to seek numbness. How about combining the two? That was the brilliant (?) idea hatched by Harpoon Brewery and Dunkin’ Donuts, both of Boston. Yes, doughnuts in beer. Alas, to get beer-flavored doughnuts, you’ll have to keep dipping.

Coming to you in September: Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale, Coffee Porter, Boston Kreme Stout, and Jelly Donut IPA will be available up and down the East Coast. Harpoon drops a few doughnuts into the beer mash as if they were a specialty grain or malt.

How is Homer Simpson not the spokesperson for this? He loves doughnuts AND beer. Why not together?

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

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

ChannelPro SMB Magazine
SUBSCRIBE FREE!

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.