IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of February 3rd

New tools from Avaya, new services for SMBs from Xerox, and the personalized, pestilent Valentine’s Day gift of choice for that not-so-special someone in your life are all among the many stories we really meant to send your way sooner. By James E. Gaskin

Welcome to February, especially for those in the Ohio Valley, the Southeast, and Northeast. Winter mess including floods, tornadoes, ice, and snow are making travel miserable for millions. Anyone know why telecommuting isn’t more popular? At least if you’re stuck in traffic you can peruse some of these fun newsbits we missed.

Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentralNews from Avaya. Avaya ENGAGE 2020 landed in Phoenix this week, powered by news. First of all, Avaya addresses the “multi-experience economy“ with new customer and employee experience solutions along with the shift to cloud, the growth of video and mobile across the enterprise, and harnessing the power of AI and machine learning. New or improved at the show included Avaya IX Contact Center enhancements and Avaya IX subscription.

Avaya Spaces, a cloud-based team collaboration tool, includes new capabilities by centralizing voice, video, messaging, chat, and task management in one place. Just about any endpoint can play.

Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral debuted at the snow. The strategic partnership with RingCentral was announced in October 2019, combining that company’s UCaaS with Avaya phones, services, and migration capabilities.

VOSS extended its management of Avaya systems to add integrated management of Microsoft Teams, all from a single point of control. Look for VOSS-4-UC with management solutions for Avaya UC products through an intuitive web portal.

NETSCOUT PFS 7000 SeriesSecurity news. Fortinet expands its family of SoC4 SD-WAN ASIC-powered FortiGate appliances to address the unique SD-WAN needs of SMBs. Check out the FortiGate 40F for open box to deployment in minutes, the FortiGate 40F with LTE for connectivity anywhere, and FortiGate 40F with Wi-Fi for Secure SD-Branch from a single appliance.

Can the cloud save you time? Yes, with Check Point’s extended Fast Track Network Security suite of products with the new R80 Security Management-as-a-Service (MaaS) tools. Includes five new Quantum Security Gateways. Save up to 60% of management time.

Industrial Internet of Things security has a long way to go, but it’s getting better. One example? Trend Micro and Baker Hughes have teamed up. Trend Micro products are bundled as part of Nexus Controls, best practices and resources will be developed jointly, and expertise in identifying and risk and threat vectors in specific OT environments is available.

NETSCOUT Systems rolled out a range of goodies, including its 7000 series nGenius Packet Flow Switches (PFS 7000 Series, pictured), nGenius Decryption Appliance (nDA), NETSCOUT External PowerSafe Tap (EPT) and PFS Monitor. PFS extends the Open Compute Platform-based packet brokers first introduced with the PFS 5000.

Mimecast Case Review sports an updated, intuitive user interface to help lawyers handle e-discovery. Built on and leveraging the Mimecast Cloud Archive, new features include more granular search, scalability, and rich dashboards.

Awake says it now has the industry’s first Managed Network Detection and Response solution, which aims to help organizations improve the maturity and effectiveness of their security programs. Seamlessly integrates into Awake’s service provider and channel partner offerings.

LogicHub unveiled MDR+, its automation-driven product. Goes beyond traditional MDR solutions by monitoring your environment 24x7 and integrating with every tool throughout the security stack to automatically triage alerts.

BlackBerry Digital WorkplaceOther product news. Xerox expanded its IT services specifically for small to medium-sized businesses. Personalized options include technology procurements and implementation processes and a “vCIO” (Virtual CIO) to address specific business demands.

VPNs can be complicated, but the new Zyxel ZyWALL VPN1000 VPN Firewall is an all-in-one security solution for SMBs. High performance VPN, cloud management, protection against external threats, and powerful access point controller wrapped with high availability.

SAP customers get a commitment for the long haul as SAP announced maintenance for SAP S/4HANA until the end of 2040. SAP Business Suite 7 software maintenance extends through the end of 2027.

SolarWinds customers get a new goodie with the addition of Database Performance Monitor (DPM) to its IT operations management (ITOM) portfolio. This was helped by the acquisition of VividCortex in December 2019.

Hello to BlackBerry Digital Workplace (pictured),  a workspace providing users secure online and offline access to corporate on-premises or cloud content including Microsoft Office 365 resources. Based on BlackBerry’s Zero Trust Architecture, cutting the need for a VPN or VDI solution while providing continuous threat protection.

Nectar Services has integrated its Customer Experience (CX) Assurance and Nectar Diagnostics offerings. One platform for automated testing and troubleshooting, reducing discovery and resolution time.

Like the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1505G system-on-a-chip? Then you might like the newly updated IGEL UD3 (Universal Desktop model 3) powered by that chipset. Radeon Vega 3 Graphics come as part of the deal, along with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

File sharing and syncing helps everyone, including individuals and small teams. The new FileCloud Community Edition gives small groups and individuals the same powerful tools used by some huge companies and government agencies. Runs on Windows Server and is available today for $10 per year (going to charity).

Logitech’s new Zone Wired headset will be available this spring and is certified for Microsoft Teams. Fills out the Logitech headset line with wired and wireless options.

What do techs always want? Lots of things, but bandwidth and memory are always near the top of the list. So, the new Samsung Electronics “Flashbolt,” its third-generation High Bandwidth Memory 2E (HBM2E), should make some techs happy. The 16GB HBM2E is aimed to maximize high performance computing and help build more supercomputers.

TPx rolled out its MSx Networks, a managed service offering to create and maintain networks, including Wi-Fi, Security, SD-WAN, and Switching. Combines human expertise with powerful Cisco Meraki technology to help networks thrive.

Jed AyresNon-product vendor news. Steve Biondi has replaced Stefan Bockhop as North American channel chief for Lenovo’s Data Center Group.

IGEL announced the promotion of Jed Ayres from co-CEO to global CEO. Founder and CEO Heiko Gloge will remain a member of the Board of Directors.

New business cards at Zerto: Sofia Kaufman joins as its first chief people officer. Chief Marketing Officer Gil Levonal adds senior vice president of product to his duties.

Cynet announced a new Global MSSP Partner Program. Aimed at helping solution/service providers focus on the cybersecurity breach protection market.

Trustifi and Ingram Micro inked a deal for distribution of Trustifi’s email security products. The email security tools will fold into Ingram’s comprehensive cybersecurity offerings.

SYNNEX Canada partners can now join the SYNNEX Stellr Connect partner community. Includes workshops and training, bundled product offerings, a partner directory, and more.

This week’s stats ticker:

Netwrix conducted an online survey of its MSP partners in North America in December 2019 and found three areas crucial to increasing customer loyalty in 2020. First, capitalize on changing market trends with security and compliance offerings to improve customer satisfaction (say 51% of respondents). Get back to vertical, with vertical-specific solutions. Popular MSP targets are professional services like legal or real estate (66%), financial companies (63%) and healthcare (63%). MSPs that have bundled industry-specific services with auditing report continuous compliance (87%) and improved security (55%). Finally, partner more with vendors, to better understand customer’s needs, accelerate the sales process, and provide more value.

The IT Downtime Detection and Mitigation Report, from LogicMonitor, found that global IT decision makers blamed transformation initiatives like cloud and artificial intelligence for outages and brownouts. 300 decision makers responded, and 96% say they have experienced at least one outage in the past three years. 59% blame mobile computing for the outages and brownouts, while 57% point to cloud, AI, and edge computing. Yet 15% also say AI is contributing to a positive reduction in outages. Preventative maintenance was the suggestion of 75% of respondents to keep systems computing, with 71% focused on reviewing system logs.

As you can probably guess, the 2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report found that the bad guys are using more evasive tactics and better targeting businesses and consumers. Bottom line: respond quickly and kill threats or start gathering Bitcoins for your ransom. SonicWall identified move than 153,000 never-before-seen malware variants, a 145% year-over-year increase. There were 9.9 billion malware attacks tracked by SonicWall, leaving many state and local governments paralyzed. 34.3 million attacks were directed at IoT devices. Cryptojacking was down, but fileless malware attacks against Microsoft Office/Office 365 and PDF documents were up 20.3% and 17.4% respectively. And non-standard ports are now being used by more than 19% of malware attacks.

Proofpoint’s Cost of Insider Threats 2020 Global Report, tracking costs and trends with negligent, compromised, and malicious insiders, discovered impacted organizations spent $11.45 million annually on insider threat mediation and took 77 days to contain each incident. That’s up 31% from 2018. More than 60% attacks were the result of a careless employee or contractor. The larger the organization, the more insider incidents. Leading the spending to contain insider threats is the financial services industry where the average spend per incident was $14.3 million, above the $11.54 million for energy and utilities companies and $10.4 million for the retail sector.

Valentine RatFor that not-so-special someone and/or your $*%&$%-ing ex. Next week is Valentine’s Day, where thoughts turn to love, or at least the hope of a romantic connection. Alas, not all connections take, and the San Antonio Zoo wants you to exorcise those demons by donating to the zoo.

The “Cry Me a Cockroach“ event allows visitors to the zoo’s website to name a cockroach after their ex, knowing it will be fed to a zoo animal. That costs $5. For $25, you can name a rat after that $%*&$*%&-ing ex, and have the pleasure of knowing it will be fed to a snake.

Yes, the feeding will be live streamed. Pay your $25 and watch the rat avatar of that scoundrel ex disappear down the gullet of a snake. Seems like $25 is a small price to pay for that much satisfaction.

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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