IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of July 30th

Bug hunting bounties from HP, tablets from Samsung and Panasonic, and evidence that $135,000 just doesn’t go as far as it used to (if you’re a tech worker, anyway) are all among the stories we’re finally getting around to reporting. By James E. Gaskin

What a typical week this has been, with fires on one coast balanced against floods on the other. The only hope for many is the start of the pro football season, and now that’s making news for all the wrong reasons. Maybe college football will get some new fans, and there’s always the race in the NBA to see who will come in second to the Golden State Warriors. And you can get your tickets now for the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Open, the fourth Grand Slam tennis tournament.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4News from the realm of hardware. HP Inc. announced a first-ever program: a crowdsourced print security bug bounty program. No, wonky font reports will not pay off, but unknown security gaps could net you $10,000.

Need a new tablet to tote? The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 2-in-1 Android unit (pictured) just joined the conversation. Samsung DeX offers a choice between the Android or desktop interface, especially useful when connected to the optional book cover keyboard. Tactile tablet fans will also enjoy the upgraded S Pen.

Prefer a Chromebook? Talk to Acer America about its new Acer Chromebook Spin 13 and Acer Chromebook 13. Both premium Chromebooks feature a durable all-aluminum design and 13.5-inch screens with full HD+ screens with 2256x1504 resolution.

Back to tablets with the enhanced Panasonic FZ-G1 and GZ-M1 models ruggedized for extreme work environments or the chronically clumsy. Both run Windows 10 and are powered by Intel Core i5 processors.

Zebra Technologies (barcode printers and readers) announced two new healthcare barcode printing units. Tell your doctor about the new ZQ600-Healthcare series label printer and the ZD510-HC direct thermal wristband printer.

What gets printed often needs to later get scanned. Try the new Epson WorkForce ES-300WR and WorkForce ES-500WR scanners bundled with new Epson ScanSmart Accounting Edition Software along with their other software utilities.

BenQ shines a light on, and from, its new BenQ M5 series projectors (MS535A, MW535A, and MH535A). Shine your light up to 10 feet with 3,600 lumens and high contrast for readability.

Nerdio for AzureNot all products are hardware. Nerdio (cloud IT automation) introduced load-based autoscaling for RDS in its Nerdio for Azure product.

TPx Communications (managed services) updated some services including Managed Firewalls, Managed Endpoints, and Managed Backups.

NETGEAR (networking) now offers a new service: NETGEAR Armor powered by Bitdefender on its Nighthawk AC2300 and AC1900 WiFi routers.

NetApp welcomes NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture, powered by NVIDIA DGX supercomputers, and NetAppo AFF A800 all-flash cloud-connected storage. AI and machine learning fans can now deploy easier and scale further.

LogMeIn’s LastPass now integrates with Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) so users can access LastPass using their AD credentials.

SentinelOne (endpoint protection) did the deal with Lookout (mobility security) to embed the SentinelOne console with Lookout’s mobile threat data.

Who wants smarter security? Everybody except the hackers. So cast an eye toward the new FireEye Endpoint Security solution, now with MalwareGuard. Machine learning tightens security by making intelligent malware classifications without human involvement.

The security-minded always want Multi-Factor Authentication (this MFA, not this MFA).So MFA enhancements to the OneLogin Protect 4.0 product will make one of those MFA groups happy with the addition of the security MFA.

NAKIVO (cloud backup) pulled the curtain on NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5. Now supporting vSphere 6.7 and plays nicely with DELL EMC Data Domain and NETGEAR ReadyNas.

Schneider Electric (energy management and lots more) revved up its EcoStruxure Building, the open IP architecture for IoT devices in new and upgraded buildings. No surprise, Schneider’s SmartX IP Controllers and SmartX Living Space Sensors fit right in.

DFLabs (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) ran its IncMan SOAR platform up the flagpole. Includes a new capability tagged START (Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment) to better warn on suspected fraudulent online transactions.

Pierre-Paul AllardNot hardware, not products. WhiteHat Security opens the door for former Gartner research VP Joseph Feiman as chief strategy officer.

Juniper Networks (networking, d’oh) welcomes Pierre-Paul Allard (pictured) as executive vice president and chief customer officer. Wouldn’t the office be more fun if companies had a chief costumer officer?

Mimecast (security) secured the deal (sorry) to acquire security software developer Solebit.

Nintex (intelligent process automation) enveloped Promapp, a business process management software company.

Broadvoice (hosted voice) made the call about acquiring YipTel, a provider of cloud communication services.

Want to find potential customers? Who doesn’t. Spiceworks developed some new intent-based targeting capabilities for the B2B crowd.

Xerox wants to help as well, with new customers touch points, social media syndication, revamped partner badges and more.

SafeBreach (attack simulation) had a record 2017 business year and wants to continue the uptrend with its newly announced Global Channel Partner Program. John Bolger just jumped on board as head of channel sales.

Have customers with potential security issues? Of course you do. Check out the new CompTIA PenTest+ for a vendor-neutral credential to grease the skids to get some more business.

Avnet (IoT distribution and more) inked the papers to become a global disti for Microsemi.

SwiftPage (Act! CRM software) is now accepting applications for its Small Business Idea and Invention Scholarship. Deadline for the video submission of less than two minutes is December 7, 2018. Winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship in January 2019.

This week’s stats ticker:

Everyone who’s ever supported customers knows this, but now there’s a survey to put a number to it: Small businesses struggle with the complications of IT. The Kaspersky Lab 2018 B2B Survey nails it down: 66 percent of “very small businesses” (companies with fewer than 50 employees, which is by far the most common type) and SMBs of 50-249 employees face challenges managing a heterogenous IT infrastructure. Cloud options don’t always help, as many small businesses lack the IT staff to manage the new infrastructure. Controlling data on mobile devices is tough for nearly half of all VSBs and 64 percent of SMBs. Doesn’t help that half of all very small businesses and 40 percent of SMBs have employees who regularly work outside the office.

Poor, poor, tech workersStruggling to survive on $135K a year. Surprise! Tech workers feel they’re underpaid, even though Entrepreneur magazine found the average tech salary in major cities makes $135,000 per year. Workplace app Blind and Quartz surveyed 6,000 tech workers and found 60 percent of them feel that’s not enough.

Techies wearing name badges from Cisco, Intel, Expedia, VMware, and Microsoft were most likely to grumble (led by 80 percent of Cisco employees). Interestingly, nearly 14 percent of Facebook employees claimed The Zuck overpays them. What’s in those free snacks? Honestly, who claims to be overpaid? “Hey, boss, I don’t work nearly hard enough to make this much money. Can you cut my paycheck?” has never been heard in a modern company except as satire in the Sales Retreat Skit.

The trick could be the “major cities” detail. Average rent in San Francisco for a two-bedroom apartment is $4,500 per month. Seattle is a cheaper but still high at $2,830 for a similar apartment. Those with families will agree job satisfaction drops fast when crammed into a bad apartment in a bad neighborhood. Sticker shock is particularly tough for home buyers in Sillycon Valley, where a Sunnyvale home with 848 square feet with two bedrooms, two baths, and a one car garage just sold for $2 million dollars. That’s $2,358 per square foot, a record for the Multiple Listing Service.

No wonder so many people are moving to Texas. This is what you get for around $2 mil in Dallas. You get even larger houses in the suburbs. Pick up your “Welcome to Texas“ guidebooks at the airport.

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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