IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of February 11th

IoT tech from Microsoft, healthcare tech from the HIMSS conference, and a Tinder for cows are among the many stories we’ve finally gotten around to telling you about. By James E. Gaskin

What an interesting week we’re slogging through. Extreme weather on both coasts, Valentine’s Day (give your bae a frozen rose?) and the NBA All Star festivities starting tonight. Sure hate to act all this out in a game of Charades. We also hate to miss out on IT industry news, but some got past us, so let’s catch up.

Azure IoT EdgeNews from the Microsoft and Amazon clouds. Microsoft may have been slow to the Internet (check your technology history books) but Redmondians are at the front of the Internet of Things, especially the cloud edition. Now, the popular open-source Azure IoT Edge runtime can be had on Ubuntu virtual machines. First OS is Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS, but others will be added based on user feedback.

Azure IoT SDKs appeared over three years ago. Now, Azure IoT Hub Java SDK supports the Android Things platform.

Amazon’s Elastic File System (EFS) can really hot rod in a massively parallel way. Now it can also save you money on cold data not accessed in the past 30 days. Use storage that’s 85 percent less expensive in the Amazon EFS Infrequent Access storage class.

If you love the cloud but also love getting your (virtual) hands on bare metal, Intel and Amazon have some news for you. Running on AWS-custom Intel Xeon Scalable Processors with sustained all-core Turbo performance are five new Amazon EC2 Bare Metal Instances. Pick your favorite of five models (m5.metal, m5d.metal, r5.metal, r5dmetal, and z1d.metal) with varying speeds, memory, and local storage. Supports low-level processor features and licenses limited to bare metal execution, so you can move non-virtualized apps to the cloud and much more.

Salesforce Health CloudHIMSS News. HIMSS, in case you’re curious, stands for “Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society,” a medical industry membership group. This year’s HIMSS conference in Orlando drew 45,000 healthcare technology attendees looking for what’s new. One of those new things is an upgrade to the Salesforce Health Cloud. Connections to Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Field Service Lightning provide connected, intelligent patient engagement.

Avaya rolled out the Avaya IX Attendant Solution for Healthcare at HIMSS too. Part of the Avaya Intelligent Experiences (IX) platform, the system lets healthcare folks better track doctor and nurse availability, manage on-call schedules, allocate beds, and more.

A survey of Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Technology (AEHIT) members, performed by analytics vendor Nyasa in conjunction with HIMSS, dove into the challenges for healthcare IT staff. Monitoring and managing wireless biomedical devices (think security) and a goal of zero downtime for wireless networks are top of mind. Security and patching are the two biggest pain points for 80 percent of those surveyed. No surprise, healthcare IT pros lack adequate performance and monitoring tools.

Non-medical product news. Zoho unveiled the newest version of Zoho Office Suite, which includes Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show, and Zoho Notebook, plus l'il Zia, Zoho's AI-powered assistant.

Palo Alto Networks put PN-OS version 9.0 in the catalog. Over 60 new features save time and improve security and performance. Machine learning powers the new integrated DNS Security service.

Symantec shipped Email Fraud Protection, which automatically blocks business email compromise and other nefarious messages.

Tenable (security) pulled the curtain on Predictive Prioritization. (formerly SecurityCenter) reduces business risk by focusing on the three percent of vulnerabilities with the greatest likelihood of being exploited in the next 28 days.

Attivo Networks (security) added “The Informer” to its ThreatDefend Platform. The new tool provides a chronological view of attacks, captures forensic information, tracks attacker lateral movement, and triggers responses.

Jumio (identity verification) launched Jumio Authentication. A video-selfie authentication solution, it leverages both biometrics and ongoing user authentication.

Mavenlink (project management) spotlighted its new Personal Utilization Manager. Team members can now gauge their performance against billable utilization targets with individual performance toward goals highlighted.

It appears IBM Watson is ready to get its virtual hands dirty. The goal? Monitor worker safety in hazardous environments, including construction, mining, and factories. IBM’s Maximo Worker Insights monitors biometric and environmental data with help from Garmin Health, Guardhat, Mitsufuji, and SmartCone and their IoT wearables.

Nintex (workflow management) rolled out two new automation apps: Nintex Drawloop DocGen and Drawloop DocAutomation. Objective? Make sales professionals worldwide more productive. Short straw has to train the salespeople on the new document management and workflow tools.

Broadvoice regional channel managersVendor news sans products. Avaya promoted Kieran McGrath to senior vice president and CFO. McGrath replaces Pat O’Malley, who moves to senior vice president, growth initiatives.

Broadvoice (hosted voice) hired two new regional channel managers (pictured). Wave hello to Cathy Banks (Midwest) and Eral Lika (Northeast).

Symantec (you know) acquired privately held Luminate Security. Secure Access Cloud technology from Luminate is now available through Symantec.

Say goodbye to Shield Watch and hello to Concertium. The rebranding came just as Concertium launched Captain’s Chair IT, a SaaS “single pane of glass” dashboard to help mid-market clients with data-driven insights.

Carbonite and Veritas (both data protection) shook hands on a deal to make Carbonite’s enhanced endpoint device protection available to Veritas’ enterprise customers.

Cato Networks shook hands with RingCentral and became certified as an official RingCentral partner. Cato Networks SD-WAN will improve call quality and resiliency for RingCentral systems.

Kenna Security (yep, security) updated its partner program. New tools for marketing, deal registration, technical support, and training are now available.

Intermedia (cloud solutions) has a new certificate on the wall. For the third year in a row it’s won J.D. Power Certificated Assisted Technical Support Program recognition.

This week’s stats ticker:

It’s enough to break your chocolate-filled heart. Kaspersky Lab reported a sharp spike in phishing attempts in the weeks before Valentine’s Day. Emotional hooks are commonly used tricks of phishers to snare victims. This year, detected attempts jumped by about two million to 4.3 million. Most targeted countries? Brazil, Portugal, Venezuela, Greece, and Spain. Most common lures were pre-order gift items and performance enhancing drugs. Yep, sounds like VDay.

Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, Trend Micro’s Cyber Risk Index surveyed more than 1,000 IT security professionals in the U.S. About 80 percent of respondents anticipate a critical breach or successful cyberattack over the coming year. Companies ranked research and development information, trade secrets, customer accounts, and other confidential information as the highest risk of loss when a breach occurs. Seems to indicate a gap between what’s important and what’s being adequately protected. Common theme? Too few qualified people to manage security systems.

CompTIA’s “2019 Trends in Internet of Things” report hit the virtual streets, full of information about IoT use from more than 500 U.S. companies. Good news: everyone sees IoT as a means to cut costs and generate revenue. 35 percent lean toward cost savings, while 31 percent lean toward revenue. The rest say flip a coin, because they expect both. Over 60 percent of organizations are using or experimenting with IoT right now. Some critical factors include the complexity of an IoT ecosystem, new skills needed, and security.

The inaugural Global StorageSphere forecast from IDC predicts storage capacity will more than double over the 2018-2023 timeframe. Just double? Of course, that subtracts the storage systems and devices that fail or are retired during that window. Ouch: only 1-2 percent of the data created or replicated each year is saved or stored for any period of time. The rest is immediately used or analyzed and is never accessed again. Not surprisingly, storage capacity is expanding faster in regions where cloud data centers already exist or are expanding. By 2023, nearly 40 of global storage will be in the Asia/Pacific region.

TudderAre you in the moo’d for love? If you use Tinder, and raise cattle, you should check out Tudder. Yep, the mashup of Tinder and udder (that stuff under a cow), Tudder is an app for the SellMyLivestock website. Hectare Agritech CEO Doug Bairner claims it’s the first matchmaking app for livestock.

Pull up the app and swipe right for yes and left for no as you peruse the most bae-licious bovines in England. Hot topics include milk yield and calving potential. Apparently, there’s far more information available about cows than people. Wouldn’t dating apps be better if profiles included details like “high maintenance” or “runs away at every opportunity” right upfront?

Be warned: every female profile says “large brown eyes” and every male profile says “I like to roam the field.” At least with cows you know what you’re getting.

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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