IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of February 28th

New mobile hardware from Lenovo and Samsung, new vPro chips from Intel, new security software from Microsoft, and a new tool for exacting revenge on noisy neighbors are among the many stories we’ve finally gotten around to sharing with you. By James E. Gaskin

Is there a more enduring conspiracy theory than that offered by the Flat Earth Society? With the rise of social media that pays per view, videos by believers and profit-motivated hucksters perform well and multiply. But the real proof against that conspiracy theory is here.

Lenovo ThinkPad X13sMWC News. Lenovo’s first ThinkPad with a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor running Microsoft Windows 11 Pro made its debut at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Get the ThinkPad X13s (pictured) starting in May and enjoy a battery that can last more than 24 hours, mmWave 5G option, and lots of recycled content, all in a 2.35 lbs. laptop.

Like options? Lenovo has a double handful of P and T series ThinkPads as well as a ThinkVision mobile monitor rolling out soon. Coming soon too for the power hungry: the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5, with multiple NVIDIA graphics options, latest 12th Gen Intel Core H-series processors (including i9), and SSDs holding up to 8 TBs of your hard work.

Prefer more flexible laptops? The new ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2 goes into tablet mode, or you can get the slimmest ThinkBook yet, the 13s Gen 4 i. Both with 12th Gen Intel Core processors, long-lasting batteries, and Intel Thunderbolt 4 parts with Wi-Fi 6 support.

Samsung announced the new Galaxy Book2 Pro series for work from anywhere with peace-of-mind security. How? It’s the first consumer PC family meeting Microsoft’s secured-core PC requirements with enhanced security woven through hardware, firmware, and software, including Microsoft Windows 11.

For a balance of more security with maximized productivity, look at the new Samsung Galaxy Book2 Business models available in April in select markets. The 14-inch unit includes all the Intel and optional NVIDIA graphics you expect, along with a hardware-based Root of Trust.

Samsung also announced that its new Galaxy S22 smartphones and Galaxy Tab S8 tablets are available worldwide, with record-breaking preorders already being filled.

Remember the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3-based Lenovo ThinkPad six paragraphs above? It’s the first ARM platform built on the Microsoft Pluton security architecture. This hides sensitive data, like encryption keys, securely within hardware integrated into the die of the CPU.

Microsoft Defender for BusinessMore news from big shots. Smaller businesses need security love, too. Check out Microsoft Defender for Business, now generally available in Microsoft 365 Business Premium. A standalone offering will be out later this year.

The Intel vPro platform supports 12th Gen Intel Core processors, as you would expect, but adds Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+), the Intel Connectivity Performance Suite, and Intel Threat Detection Technology (TDT), allegedly the only hardware-based ransomware detection tool in the biz.

Speaking of TDT, ConnectWise likes the looks of it enough to have integration with its ConnectWise RMM platform on the way.

ESET got in on the TDT act too via integration with its cybersecurity technology suite. Ransomware improvements include detecting derivative variants.

(More) security news. Untangle unveiled its Micro Edge 4.0 with Web Filter, powered by Webroot BrightCloud, to provide a real-time risk assessment of URLs and block access to high-risk sites.

Sophos rolled out new mailflow rules for Microsoft 365 designed to enable faster setup, more efficient management, and quicker processing.

Hello to the new Acronis SCS Cyber Protect Cloud, designed to help MSPs with U.S. public sector clients be more efficient while protecting networks. It’s cloud-based backup that integrates cybersecurity.

Attivo Networks revved up its Active Directory Protection portfolio by adding detection of identity-based attacks at the domain controller. Protects from attacks originating from Windows, Mac, Linux, IoT/OT devices, and unmanaged devices.

The new F5 VELOS chassis and F5 rSeries appliances come with BIG-IP Next software (early access) plus advanced security functions, rich protocol support, and iRules.

Domotz HaloPSAOther product news. Domotz and HaloPSA shook hands to integrate network inventory documentation and troubleshooting. Track and identify assets in HaloPSA, then let Domotz detect issues and send alerts back.

Elsewhere in managed services tools, Jamf has a new BYOD management solution for Apple hardware.

Don’t you hate having a plug but no outlet? That may not happen again with the new APC NetShelter Rack PDU, which includes up to 48 outlets in a single wide form factor.

GoTo (formerly LogMeIn) turbo-charged its Contact-Center-as-a-Service. Aimed at SMBs and built into GoTo Connect.

Ooma added expanded integration with Jazzware to better connect its Ooma Enterprise system to over 70 hotel property management systems, the software that tracks check in and out, cleaning, maintenance, and payments.

The parting curtain revealed the new PandaDoc Connector by QuickBooks app, which integrates document workflow automation with Intuit’s financial management platform.

Wasabi’s cloud storage solution is now certified for use with Veritas NetBackup.

Cloudian’s new HyperCare service offers complete “lights out” management of Cloudian object storage in a customer’s own data center.

Verizon Business now offers VMware to customers as part of the global managed SD-WAN service portfolio within its Managed WAN Service.

Ashan WillyNon-product vendor news. Ashan Willy (pictured) moves up to become interim CEO of Proofpoint.

Illumio opened the doors for new Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Johnson.

Over at Cynet, the red carpet is for Bruno Darmon, now sitting in the chief strategy officer chair.

The Welcome Wagon dropped Kurt Walk off at UPSTACK to serve as vice president of delivery, customer experience.

Three red carpets stopped at the door of InteractiveTel. Billy Reynolds joined as chief sales officer, followed by new regional sales executives in the southeast U.S., Rick Wood and Jeff Humphries.

Check Point pulled the curtain on a new go-to-market organization headed by Rupal Hollenbeck.

Zebra Technologies added a component to its PartnerConnect Program called the SMB Specialization Program for North America.

Zerto (an HPE company) now offers a two-day technical training course for resellers and end users called “Managing Zerto: Setup, Protection, and Recovery.”

HBR Consulting (legal vertical) will now offer Agiloft’s contract lifecycle management products.

This week’s stats ticker:

The 2022 MSP Benchmark Survey from Kaseya includes input from more than 1,200 global MSPs. No surprise that 76% said the pandemic affected their ability to expand services within their customer base. 74% of MSPs admit their customers struggle to meet regulatory compliance requirements, and 75% of respondents either offer or are exploring compliance services. HIPAA guidelines hit 59% of clients, followed by PCI DSS at 41% and GDPR at 27%. While compliance needs hurt, cybersecurity remains top of mind, with 50% saying their business is more at risk to cybercrime than it was a year ago, an 11% increase from 2021. Almost half report a significant percentage of their clients fell victim to a cyberattack within the last 12 months. About the same number report adding new cybersecurity offerings to clients on a quarterly basis. Remote work still provides plenty of opportunities, with remote workforce setup the top request for 22%, followed by cloud migration at 21% and business continuity at 13%. Looking ahead, 36% say they plan to sell or acquire within the next two or three years.

Ingram Micro Cloud released its Cloud Technology: The State of MSPs Report after polling over 600 managed service providers. 90% have seen client demand for managed services grow in the past two months, and nearly two-thirds say a lot of improvements are needed to be able to adapt to future opportunities. Many MSPs report knowing where they should go but not knowing how to get there or even how to start. The top three revenue generating services were cloud services (22%), managed security (19%), and internal IT department (17%).

The inaugural Avnet Insights survey on trends and market forces in the electronics industry reports that more than three-fourths of respondents call shortages and access to electronic components a significant challenge. 93% of those say longer lead times had a major impact. 64% admit they now design based on availability rather than preference, often because sourcing from additional resources leads to worries about counterfeit control. 75% say production delays have been less than six months. The telecom area got hit particularly hard, with 83% reporting significant challenges. 96% worry about lead times getting longer and prices going even higher in the next year and a half.

The Phishers’ Favorites for 2021 from Vade rated the top 20 most impersonated brands by phishers. Facebook took the top spot, moving up from #2 with 14% of phishing pages, followed closely by Microsoft at 13%. Other widely copied cloud brands include Netflix (#12) and Adobe (#15). Financial services had six brands in the top 20, making it once again the most impersonated industry with 35% of all phishing pages. Mondays and Tuesdays are the top days for phishing, and 78% of phishing attacks occur on weekdays. For some reason, Monday and Thursday are tops for Facebook phishing, but Thursday and Friday are the top days use Microsoft phishing lures.

Noisy NeighborsNoise pollution. New York City is a noisy place, with eight million people using cars, trains, and roadblocked taxis that honk constantly. There are up to 75,000 noise complaints per month now, which seems crazy.

However, a new complaint type is springing up, with 277 complaints in the past year. The problem? Noisy sex. Queens had the loudest lovers, generating 103 complaints. Manhattan had 66, while Brooklyn produced 55, and the Bronx 48. Staten Island, that oft-maligned borough, generated a total of four, yes, four, complaints. Either there’s not much happening on the island, or neighbors are more tolerant than in the other areas.

If you’re in an apartment and really sick and tired of the mattress dancing next door, look to our friends in South Korea. Online vendors offer “revenge sound speakers,” a speaker in a special housing that aims sound at the surface it’s attached to, letting you fight back with noises of your own choosing. The various systems work on walls or ceilings and are guaranteed to become a real issue at the next tenant’s meeting.

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