We try—we really try—to keep you abreast of everything happening in the world of SMB technology. And we fall woefully short every week. Here’s some of the good stuff we didn’t tell you about this week.
The secret to happiness. That would be low expectations according to psychologist Barry Schwartz, and maybe Hewlett Packard Enterprise president and CEO Meg Whitman too after yesterday. Though the earnings per share her company reported Thursday were down on a year-over-year basis, they exceeded analyst estimates, inspiring investors to push the company’s stock price up a fiery 14+ percent as of press time for this post.
Perhaps of greater interest to channel pros was word from Whitman during yesterday’s analyst conference call that the company plans to introduce “a new market-changing hyper-converged offering based on our industry-leading ProLiant virtualization server” at a price 20 percent below what hyper-converged infrastructure leader Nutanix charges. Call that the clue to HPE’s growth strategy that we said we’d be listening for earlier this week.
Tech Data defied the experts in its latest earnings report yesterday as well, reporting adjusted EPS some 20 cents higher than consensus estimates in a quarter that saw net income rise 8 percent. The news had fueled an over 3 percent share price boost as of press time.
And as long as we’re talking about HPE and Tech Data. This is a good time to note that the former introduced a new information security framework named the HPE Cyber Reference Architecture and a new mobile app encryption solution dubbed SecureData Mobile at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, while the latter is now another distribution option for buyers of StorageCraft BDR solutions.
Safety Dance. HPE wasn’t the only vendor to use the RSA Conference as a launching pad for new security products and initiatives. Others included:
- Dell, whose SecureWorks unit released Advanced Endpoint Threat Detection Red Cloak (not to be confused with Dell SonicWALL Capture Advanced Threat Protection Service, which also debuted at RSA).
- eSentire launched a cloud-based DNS firewall solution and an open source threat intelligence repository that aggregates information on malware, phishing attacks, botnets, and other threats from over 180 sources.
- Kaspersky Lab unveiled its new Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform, which safeguards businesses from cyber-weapons and espionage attempts directed specifically at their infrastructure, as well as new assessment, training, and threat intelligence services.
- Conference host RSA (a division of EMC, which is itself soon to be a division of Dell) announced new capabilities for its RSA Security Analytics and RSA Via identity and access management offerings.
- ChannelPro All-Star Skyhigh Networks released a new Cloud Security Reference Architecture designed to help businesses and solution providers deploy better security solutions more quickly.
- Trend Micro announced that its Cloud App Security solution now protects files stored in Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive in addition to Microsoft Office 365.
Fitbit fools. Also at RSA this week, identity and access management vendor Centrify randomly surveyed more than 100 attendees with wearable devices about their security habits, and discovered that 69 percent use no PIN, password, or other access control and that 56 percent run business apps such as Microsoft Office, Slack, and Salesforce.com on their device. Remember, these are people interested enough in security to attend a conference on the topic. Your customers are probably authorizing no-limit transfers from the corporate checking account via their unprotected wearables as you read this.
Doc tech. Dell used this week’s appearance by chairman and CEO Michael Dell at the 2016 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas to trumpet three new healthcare IT offerings:
- The Dell Medical Review 22 Monitor MR2217, a purpose-built healthcare monitor tailored for use with medical imaging solutions
- An enhanced edition of its Cloud Clinical Archive solution providing automated patient screening and diagnostic support
- Forthcoming support for genomics data in its Cloud Clinical Archive Services solution
And from our Sure It’s Weird but I’m Just Germophobic Enough to Want One Anyway department. Also at HIMSS, Seal Shield launched its new ElectroClave UV-C Sanitizer and Mobile Device Management System, which sterilizes mobile devices while simultaneously charging and syncing them. They’re designed for hospitals and list at $6,999, but in light of findings from the Journal of Applied Microbiology that 20 to 30 percent of viruses (the real-life sneeze, cough, and fever-inducing kind) can be readily transferred from a fingertip to a tablet or smartphone touchscreen, I’m saving up for one of my own just the same.
Take that, losers. Announcements from HIMSS and RCA made big media waves this week, but the only place where a vendor made news involving both security and healthcare was our ChannelPro SMB Forum conference in Dallas.
Hey, don’t forget about us! Not to be outdone by the likes of RSA, HIMSS, and ChannelPro, Cisco got in on the big-announcements-at-conference act too this week during its annual Partner Summit in San Diego. Of particular relevance to channel pros were:
- The launch of Cisco’s new HyperFlex Systems product line, the latest addition to the increasingly crowded hyper-converged infrastructure market. The entry-level model could make an appealing choice for remote offices, branch sites, and other SMB environments.
- The introduction of Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture, an ambitious new platform designed to help organizations turn software-defined networking, network function virtualization, and other new-fangled technologies into an integrated foundation for next-generation digital solutions.
And all but drowned out by that runaway torrent of conference-related product news. This happened too:
- The Raspberry Pi 3, a new version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s stripped-down, pint-sized $35 computer equipped with support for 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 4.1, reached market.
- Microsoft shipped a new Insider Preview of Windows 10 IoT Core that supports the Raspberry Pi 3.
- Also from Microsoft: A public preview of Azure Active Directory Identity Protection.
- Western Digital added new 8 TB capacity models nicely sized for video surveillance systems and other content-heavy solutions to several of its internal and external storage product families.
This week’s stats ticker:
- Weakened by slowing demand in China, global smartphone shipments will grow at a tepid 5.7 percent pace in 2016, according to IDC.
- 29 percent of organizations worldwide are using the Internet of Things today and another 14 percent will be using it by the end of this year, according to Gartner.
- The technology industry was responsible for approximately 7.1 percent of U.S. GDP and 11.6 percent of total private sector wages last year, according to CompTIA.
What part of “killer robot apocalypse” don’t you people understand? Makers and hobbyists too blinded by greed and the pursuit of glory to recognize the doom to which they’re condemning us all have until 8:59 pm Pacific time tonight to submit their entry in Imagination Technologies’ contest to design “the best looking Hunter-Killer drone, T-1 tank, T-800 clone, or Terminator™ style robot” based on its new Creator Ci20 microcomputer.
That’s right: Just one week after we reported that Alphabet division Boston Dynamics made escaping soulless two-legged death machines just a little more difficult, the good folks at Imagination are handing out prizes to inventors of homicidal automatons. Here’s hoping the first-place finisher is clutching some of the ill-gotten trinkets they won in their trembling hands when the relentless mechanical predator they brought into existence finally and mercilessly exterminates them.