IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of January 18th

School tech from Acer, retail tech from Google, and booze made with elephant poop (really) are three of this week’s many stories we’ve just now managed to bring your way. By James E. Gaskin

Tired of local TV anchors trying to sound techie with their CES stories? Ooh and ahh about 75-inch 8K TVs and $10,000 bathtubs? If you have gadget envy and want new toys ASAP, video enthusiasts can buy new versions of GoPro cameras, and Panasonic will sell you a modular high-end video camera system today. Make your first film of someone reading these fun newsbits we corralled for you.

Acer TravelMate Spin B3Acer news. School tech certainly accelerated over the last year. One new example, announced at this week’s BETTFest 2021 conference alongside new products from HP) is the just-announced Acer TravelMate Spin B3 convertible laptop (pictured) with military-grade durability. Built to be as kid-proof as possible with help from a moisture-resistant touchpad and internal drain system to survive moderate spills. Intel Pentium Silver processors, up to 12 hours on a charge, and Wi-Fi 6.

Acer also debuted two new convertible Chromebooks for the student and education market: the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 and Acer Chromebook Spin 511. Antimicrobial coating on the keyboard, touchpad, and palm area is spot-on 2020, right? Gorilla Glass display in either 11- or 12-inch versions.

But wait, there’s more! Acer also announced a pair of 11-inch Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook 511 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c innards with LTE support) and the Acer Chromebook 311 (MediaTek MT8183 processor) built to industrial durability and safety standards, including 20 hours of battery life and clever ways to anchor keys against prying youthful fingers.

Epson RR-600WOther product news. Hello to the Product Discovery Solutions for Retail from Google Cloud. Offers highly personalized consumer experiences, seamless search, and recommendation capabilities among other goodies. In private preview today.

If you’re tired of the traditional shoebox full of receipts to wrangle for expense reports, supplies, or Lotto tickets, Epson has good news. Three new RapidReceipt smart receipt and document scanners (including the RR-600W, pictured) are now available. All, including the mobile unit, include Epson SmartScan Accounting Edition software and can upload scans directly to multiple cloud services and applications.

TPx tells us it’s now integrated Microsoft Teams into its enterprise voice services using UCx unified communications as a service. Even if Teams has an outage, you can still call to ask why that one team member hasn’t answered your email.

Avnet Integrated, Schneider Electric, and Iceotope teamed with Lenovo to develop an HPC micro data center solution including liquid cooling and sealed at the chassis level. Lenovo ThinkSystem SR670 servers are converted to liquid cooling, out of band management included, and the GPU-rich systems are ready for AI and machine learning.

Need a turnkey multi-sensor solution for an IoT project? Check out the new Avnet HoriZone RA development kit powered by Renesas Advanced microcontrollers that connect to Avnet’s Microsoft Azure-based IoTConnect Platform. Great for proof-of-concepting.

Want to test Supermicro’s 2U HGX A100 4-GPU or 4U HGX A100 8-GPU system with NVIDIA 3rd Generation NVLink technology? Then the new Supermicro program STEP (Supermicro Test drive Engagement with Partners) is for you.

Agiloft’s contract and commerce lifecycle management (CCLM) software is now available on Salesforce AppExchange.

Jim LippieNon-product vendor news. SaaS Alerts welcomes Jim Lippie (pictured) as its CEO, where he reunites with co-founders Chip Buck and Seth Bostock from earlier companies.

HP adds headcount with the addition of Sarabjit Singh (Savi) Baveja as chief strategy and incubation officer and Tolga Kurtoglu as chief technology officer and global head of HP Labs. Harvey Anderson takes over as chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

SKOUT Cybersecurity adds a trio:

  • Uday Banerjee as vice president of service lifecycle
  • Peterson Gutierrez as vice president of information security
  • Greg Luebke as channel sales executive

The Alliance of Channel Women announced four new additions to its board of directors:

  • Brittany Caito, senior manager for field engagement at Comcast Business
  • Lauren Grenier, marketing director at Granite, and ACW Communications Committee Co-Chair
  • Bridget Kang, senior partner development manager at Telarus, and ACW Membership Chair
  • Mayka Rosales-Peterson, channel strategy manager at Telesystem, and ACW Communications Committee Co-chair

Microsoft and SAP announced plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with SAP’s solution suite and accelerate adoption of SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure.

Citrix acquired Wrike, a leader in the SaaS collaborative work management space, for $2.25 billion in cash. Expected to close in the first half of 2021.

Remote connection folks TeamViewer grabbed up Xaleon of Austria, a startup provider of secure digital end-to-end customer engagement. Terms were not released.

D&H shook virtual hands with Acronis to add the latter’s cyber protection products to the D&H Cloud Marketplace.

The AI-powered B2B customer intelligence platform Enlyft and Pax8 signed a partnership deal for North America.

ECS became the first North American partner for McAfee MVISION EDR to add their managed threat detection and response capabilities.

Check out the new Sectigo Secure Partner Program, a tiered offering based on engagement for its 1,200 partners worldwide. Includes a partner portal and more MDF and training support.

IGEL and NComputing formed a strategic alliance to make the IGEL OS available on NComputing’s Arm-based RX420(IGEL) endpoints as IGEL OS for Arm architecture, built on the Raspberry Pi 4 platform. Also announced? The new IGEL Velocity, its redesigned global partner program.

The new global Versa Networks ACE Partner Program, the company’s first global channel partner program, puts ACE (Accelerate, Captivate, Engage) front and center.

Stratus Technologies launched a new VAR program to help OEMs, machine builders, and solution providers offer edge computing-based systems, especially for industrial Internet of Things projects.

Fortinet tagged Granite as a Fortinet Expert solution provider able to handle more complex customer deployments.

This week’s stats ticker:

The fifth annual IT survey from Cato Networks, The Future of Enterprise Networking and Security: Are You Ready for the Next Leap? queried 2,376 IT leaders about their 2021 plans. Turns out only 7% of those say they’re moving everyone back to the office with no more remote workforce options. On the other hand, 80% will continue with a remote workforce to some extent. Challenges? Security, of course. Enforcing corporate security policies on remote users was the second most common security challenge (58%) and 57% said they lacked the time and resources to implement security best practices. Improving remote access performance is the most popular goal for 47% of respondents. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) should simplify management in 2021 according to 91%, and half (52%) said it would be very or extremely important post COVID-19. In other words, securing a larger remote workforce will continue to be a priority through 2021.

Data protection company Infrascale surveyed more than 1,200 business leaders about security and 2021. Surprise! We need more! 74% of respondents have added new infosec technology and 65% have seen an increase in infosec breaches since the pandemic started. The need for more security was the top attribute for 53% of manufacturing companies, 51% of healthcare, and 44% of education when choosing an MSP. Financial services respondents (57%) said reduced costs were their prime motivator, while ecommerce said it was a tie (46% for more security and 46% for less expensive security). What do they want from their MSP? Data protection is the number one driver for finance (53%), healthcare (53%), and education (51%). Other key MSP services? Backup and recover (43%), cloud services (45%), and data analytics (48%).

Elephant GinBottoms up. Who knew South Africa kicked off a gin renaissance and boom in 2013? Not us, and now there’s at least 280 gin brands in Cape Town alone.

How does a company make a dent in such a busy market? One way is flavors, such as classic gin additions like juniper and coriander. But any of the other companies can add the same flavor with little trouble.

Need a special flavoring no one else uses? How about elephant dung? That was the decision made by Indlovu Gin. Let the elephants gather unusual plant flavorings and, uh, leave half of what they eat behind (sorry) in their dung.

The “raw material” is dried, gathered, sanitized, rinsed, and dried again before being infused into the gin. Each bottle comes with GPS coordinates of where the dung was found and the date of collection. Sounds like a poop news scoop.

At about $34 per bottle retail, some here asked management for money to buy a bottle or three. Nope. Turns out the entire liquor budget for the next 10 years was spent during 2020. Well, that stinks.

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.