True story: Some of us at ChannelPro (OK, one of us) were in the Bay Area last weekend for a wedding—an outdoor wedding—and for reasons not worth going into didn’t have access to our laptop on the flight home. So we tapped out an entire column for you, one painstaking character at a time, on our smartphone using nothing but our left pointer finger.
No thanks are necessary, but we would appreciate it if you went easy on us a little for subsequently failing to report all of the news we’re about to take you through.
Full of surprises, those Lenovites! You’ve gotta admire Lenovo’s unpredictability. Two months ago, at its Accelerate partner conference, the hardware maker told ChannelPro it plans to shift some of the attention it’s been dedicating to data center products back to the desktop. And how did it follow up this week at its Transform conference in New York City? By launching “the largest data center portfolio in its history,” of course. The expansive new set of ThinkSystem server and ThinkAgile converged/hyperconverged infrastructure offerings, which emphasize scalability, adaptability, and compatibility with legacy infrastructure, will reach market this summer.
Fear not, though, PC fans. Lenovo broke interesting news for you too at Transform, including the forthcoming release of the ThinkStation P320 Tiny (pictured), a roughly 7-inch tall mighty-mite capable of powering six displays at once, and a subscription-based PC purchasing option that sounds pretty similar to what Microsoft and Ingram Micro, among others, have on offer these days too.
Betcha no one else has this on offer yet, though. We refer to Cisco’s new “intent-based networking” solutions. Despite expensive recent bets on everything from application performance monitoring to SD-WAN to artificial intelligence, CEO Chuck Robbins (pictured) has no intention of surrendering Cisco’s king-of-the-hill status in the networking market. The latest proof is that just days before its Cisco Live! Event opens in Las Vegas, the company unveiled a new generation of machine learning-based solutions that continually and automatically optimize themselves to satisfy policy-based objectives you define upfront.
It’s not just whiteboard material, either. 75 organizations are field testing the stuff already. They look to be big organizations for the most part, though, so I guess we’ll have to see when/if this intriguing new initiative makes its way into the SMB segment.
Two can play that game. Cisco isn’t the only tech world bigwig making announcements ahead of a big conference. Just a few short weeks before Inspire, the annual event formerly known as the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft rolled out a new partner portal this week. And while they were at it, the company also:
- Put Stream (pictured), the video management and sharing service first announced close to a year ago, into general availability.
- Introduced a new (and free) voice recognition tool for Office.
- Added support for managed disks to Azure Site Recovery.
Brace yourself. No, really, brace yourself. This week’s product launch roundup is a monster:
- Acronis released a new edition of its file sync and share solution that helps Mac users locate information on Windows-based networks
- SYNNEX partner Aerohive introduced a new virtual network management appliance that supports up to 2,000 access points and switches yet costs just $1,799 when deployed on existing infrastructure.
- Amazon Web Services rolled out a new accelerator for its DynamoDB offering that reduces response times from milliseconds to microseconds yet requires no re-coding to use.
- AMD, just one day after Intel stopped shipping several IoT processors, started shipping a bunch of SoCs packing up to 32 Ryzen cores.
- Box unveiled a new integration with the Microsoft Teams collaboration solution.
- Dell Boomi shipped an updated release of its cloud integration platform with new no-code application integration accelerators and workflow automation functionality.
- Eaton (which, by the way, joined the Open Compute Project Foundation this week) rolled out a new version of its circuit breaker authentication tool with UPC scanning functionality, among other enhancements.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced a new family of servers for HPC and artificial intelligence workloads.
- IBM introduced a new microservices development platform. Free tip, IBM: Give ConnectWise a call.
- Kensington shipped a new docking station for Macs with high-speed Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
- Optiv introduced a new identity and access management planning workshop and a new IAM solution that integrates with software from Netskope and Ping.
- Palo Alto launched a new cloud-based version of its security platform for use by remote offices and mobile workers.
- Quest added support for Microsoft SQL Server to its integration solution for multi-database environments.
- Red Hat announced what it calls the world’s first open source hyperconverged infrastructure solution.
- Riverbed shipped a new edition of its SteelCentral network performance management tool with more expansive users experience measurement tools and new application migration planning and prediction functionality.
- SolarWinds unveiled not one but two new network administration solutions, one for operations management and another for management automation.
- Supermicro, like HPE, unveiled a new set of HPC and AI servers.
- Velocity Micro shipped a series of new gaming/enthusiast and workstation PCs featuring shiny new Intel Core X-series processors, including the Raptor Signature Edition (pictured).
We’ve got an extra-big load of non-product news for you too this week! And here it is:
- Comodo made Damon Kachur its new head of Internet of Things solutions.
- Demisto introduced a new partner program for resellers of its security automation and orchestration platform.
- Dropbox announced plans to open regional acceleration sites in Sydney, Miami, Paris, Madrid, and Milan during the second half of the year. (And by the way, Dropbox, ChannelPro would be only too delighted to field test those facilities for you if you cover our travel expenses).
- Egenera inked a deal with Acronis to bundle the latter’s Backup Cloud product with its Xterity wholesale managed cloud offering.
- HPE made former head enterprise group honcho Antonio Neri its new president.
- Monnit unveiled a new distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics and a new Internet of Things partner program.
- Proofpoint started down the road toward earning FedRAMP security certification for its email and information protection solutions.
- Network performance management vendor Savvius launched a new partner program.
- Sennheiser completed an agreement to integrate its headsets and speakerphones with unified communications solutions from 3CX.
- ShoreTel, which as far as we know is still considering a range of strategic options for the future that includes selling the company, named Shane Robison (pictured) its new board chair.
- TPx appointed Kim Cummings channel manager for the northwest region.
This week’s stats ticker:
- The number of businesses worldwide making use of artificial intelligence technology will climb at a 162 percent CAGR through 2022 from 7,000 today to nearly 900,000, according to ABI.
- The percentage of channel pros who say they’re experiencing competition from distributors has risen 55 percent in the last four years, according to Techaisle.
- There are now 5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, according to the GSMA.
- 3D printer shipments grew 29 percent last year, according to IDC.
Think of it as Uber for people who need to poop. Hey, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go, and if you can’t get yourself to a toilet why not bring the toilet to you? Well, if you were in Manhattan this week, you could bring the toilet to you, and on demand no less, thanks to an innovative new service from the thoughtful people at Charmin. Just a few quick taps on your smartphone was all it took to summon the Charmin Van-GO, a “totally private and super clean” toilet on wheels endorsed somewhat randomly by black-ish star Anthony Anderson.
“When I learned about Charmin Van-GO, my first thought was, ‘Wow. New York City needs this!’” said Anderson in a press release. “Now, people can avoid those random (and frantic!) coffee shop stops with Charmin Van-GO.”
Usually, anyway. Turns out the Van-GO is one of those cases where reading the fine print can be the difference between sweet relief and utter disaster. That press release notes that the mobile toilet you so desperately need will answer your call “pending availability.”
Two words for you, Charmin: surge pricing. In at least some circumstances, people who wouldn’t dream of paying extra for a lift to the airport will shell out whatever is necessary for priority access to a toilet van.