IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of June 22nd

New products from HPE, Apple, and Acer, return-to-work solutions from Salesforce and Citrix, and a guy who reached where we wouldn’t dare to retrieve a fishing hook are all among the many stories we’re just now bringing your way. By James E. Gaskin

Need another reason to wear a mask? How about this: the “Saharan Air Layer” arrived in the U.S., bringing tons of dust from the Sahara Desert. It hit the Gulf states today, after blanketing some Caribbean islands. Look out for dust-filled air as far north as Chicago this weekend. Just another item in a long list of reasons making 2020 the Worst Year of the Century.

HPE GreenLakeHewlett Packard Enterprise news. HPE’s GreenLake cloud service may sound like an Intel code name, but it’s a major cloud everywhere player with a long list of new advancements. HPE now offers GreenLake Cloud Services for (deep breath) containers, machine learning, virtual machines, storage, compute, data protection, networking, and the intelligent edge.

Expanded services need expanded go-to-market avenues. Channel partners selling HPE GreenLake can offer customers cloud services though a catalog on HPE GreenLake Central. The new-gen HPE GreenLake services now have an accelerated delivery experience. Boosts to the three HPE Pro Series programs offer innovative learning opportunities.

Check out the new HPE Ezmeral software portfolio built to help businesses accelerate digital transformation from edge to cloud(s). Modernize and automate applications and more using HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and HPE Ezmeral ML Ops, all available as cloud services through HPE GreenLake.

As employees begin their return-to-work trek through Saharan dust clouds, HPE has five new solutions to accelerate recovery. Goodies like social distance tracing and tracking, touchless entry, fever detection, AR and visual remote guidance, and workplace alerts and info sharing make the return as efficient as possible.

iOS 14Apple news. Welcome to Apple iOS 14. Some of the updates include huge ones to the home screen, redesigned widgets, and the App Library. A compact design for incoming FaceTime calls seem pretty timely too. And bunches more, of course, like updates to conversations in Messages.

It’s a family, remember, so also welcome iPadOS 14. Previews included that FaceTime update, better Siri interactions, and Search to help users stay focused. New sidebars and toolbars in apps consolidate controls. Like Apple Pencil? Updated with new ways to work with written notes.

And hello to macOS Big Sur with a new design, the biggest Safari update ever, and juiced up Messages and Maps. All while enhancing privacy by adding more transparency about what your apps are doing with your data.

Acer Swift 5Acer-ama. Get ready for Acer’s new Swift 5 ultrathin-and-light notebook (pictured) with more power and performance updates squeezed into an ultraportable chassis. The touchscreen is covered with Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass so you can touch safely all day long with the extended battery life. Hot new Intel processors and graphics, of course. Ships in October.

Since remote work is reality from now on, Acer also launched the Enduro line of rugged notebooks and tablets. MIL-810G and P65 certification means first responders, field workers, and maintenance staff can pick one up, filled with the newest Intel processors, with confidence. Enduro N3 and N7 Rugged Notebook and Eduro T1 and T5 Rugged Tablets will ship in August in North America.

Developed as part of Intel’s Project Athena mobile innovation program, the new Acer Chromebooks Spin 713 and Spin 311 give students the platform they need for the increasingly digital school experience. 10th Gen Intel Core processors come packed inside the 13.5-inch touch display for the 713 and the 11.6-inch convertible model 311. They’ll be out in time for school in the fall.

All work and no play, remember? Acer does, which is why the company refreshed its Predator Helios, Predator Triton, and Nitro gaming notebooks. Hot new Intel chips and NVIDIA graphics. 144 Hz or 240 Hz displays for fast game action. PowerGem thermal technology keeps the heat in the game, not the notebook. All will be out in July or September.

Stationary, bigger screens mean higher scores. Hence the new Predator X25 Monitor running at 360 Hz. Hence also four new models in the Predator XB3 series from 24.5 to 31.5 inches and 240 Hz refresh rate. Or hook that fast monitor to the fast Predator Orion 3000 in a mid-sized tower case. Or a Nitro 50 in a full-size case in black with red accents. And sit in the new Predator Gaming Chair x OSIM.

Acer also expanded its ConceptD Series for Creators with new notebooks, desktops, and monitors. Premium power, elegant design, PANTONE-validated monitors, and professional-grade graphics in a chic, small form factor box. Availability varies depending on region, but all in the summer.

Xerox Team AvailabilityCOVID-era product news. Flexibility in work situations during the lockdown will be impossible to reverse because too many people (70%) believe work will permanently change. Say howdy to Salesforce Anywhere which lets users sell, service, and market from anywhere powered by Salesforce Customer 360. Beta in July.

For returning employees, make the transition easier with a new back-to-office solution built on Citrix Workspace. Includes tools like employee readiness surveys, safety protocols, health screenings, social distancing aids, location and contact tracing, and new communications strategies.

Also here to help is the new Xerox Team Availability App (pictured). The real-time solution helps companies understand employee availability and location. This will be useful as more employees split time between office and home.

“Crisis” wins as the best word to describe 2020 so far. To help, the new BlackBerry AtHoc Managed Service delivers the full BlackBerry AtHoc system as a managed service direct from BlackBerry.

Partner relationship management player Impartner’s Channel Ignite PRM package is built to help companies simulate channel performance during this challenging business environment. Aims to get companies up and running with a PRM in record time.

VisiCalcOther product news. According to the StorageCraft folks, the new ShadowXafe 4.0 unifies data protection across all use cases, so users can mix and match software and hardware environments in one platform.

Since VisiCalc hit in 1979, spreadsheets have been the tool of choice for many, even when it doesn’t really fit. Why? No coding, templates, and familiarity. The new Amazon Honeycode, now in beta, lets you build web and mobile apps without coding. Fully managed AWS service that you can build like a spreadsheet transformed by the Honeycode App Builder.

You always need more power, sometimes in difficult places. The new Dell EMC VxRail systems and software, an HCI system jointly engineered by Dell EMC and VMware, delivers a hybrid cloud approach no matter where the data and applications reside. Extreme power in extreme conditions.

New Dell breakthroughs in high-performance computing, developed with Intel and the University of Cambridge, include the new Open Exascale Lab and HPC storage Data Accelerator. Now one of the world’s fastest open source HPC storage solutions, say the Round Rockians.

Buffalo Americas, makers of the first terabyte desktop NAS we ever tested, is transitioning the 2-bay TeraStation 5210DN to the 4-bay desktop TeraStation 5410DN NAS models. The partially populated 4-bay systems make it easier to add storage when you realize that, once again, the customer didn’t tell you all their storage needs.

All-in-ones get a major boost with the new LG Business Solutions Thin Client 27-inch (model 27CN650N-6A) and 34-inch (model 34CN650N-6A) units. Pop-up webcams, Full HD screens, and compatible with all major VDI systems.

Mobile needs make you consider all sorts of new things. Fill one gap with the Brother line of RuggedJet Go mobile receipt printers. Pocket-sized.

NVMe-enabled storage servers get a new option with the Chenbro RB133G13-U10. A 1U dual Intel Xeon Scalable NVMe SSD barebone server system.

Bitdefender knows endpoint security. Now its Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection defends the real endpoint, the user. And that person’s reputation.

The new generation of Kaspersky Hybrid Cloud Security now safeguards DevOps environments. That includes a wide range of public cloud platforms including new integration with Google Cloud.

Speaking of Google integration, the augmented reality app TeamViewer Pilot integrates with Google’s ARCore Depth API. Delivers a more realistic AR experience.

Early UC player Wildix released WMS5, a major rev to its management system to turn web visitors into customers.

Illumio Edge introduces a Zero Trust tool for endpoints to reduce the risk of ransomware and malware attacks. Also available through the CrowdStrike Store.

Need end-to-end visibility from the network to the cloud? Of course. Good that LiveAction extends visibility into AWS and Microsoft Azure public clouds.

Radhesh MenonNon-product vendor news. Datto welcomes its new chief product officer, Radhesh Menon (pictured).

Speaking of adding new people, Nutanix named Christian Goffi as its new vice president of channel sales for the Americas.

And Extreme Networks welcomes new Chief Revenue Officer Joe Vitalone.

Microsoft acquired CyberX to add its IoT/OT security tools into Azure IoT Stack, Azure Security, and Azure Sentinel.

CompTIA and Learn on Demand Systems earlier announced six months of access to eLearning Labs for CompTIA educational partners. Access has been extended to a full year for techs to earn technical certifications.

Always nice to see a new global partner program like the new one from Clear Skye, an identity governance vendor.

And like the new global reseller channel program from Armis, an enterprise IoT security player.

Hands were safely shaken as Pax8 and NewCloud Networks forged a partnership to provide backup and recovery for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware environments.

The next time you check out the Ingram Micro’s North American Cloud Marketplace, you’ll see FreshBooks listed.

K2 Cyber Security signed a distribution agreement with SYNNEX.

Pulse Secure and Gigamon teamed up to ensure that customers with Pulse Secure’s Network Access Control tools can fully leverage endpoint info from Gigamon as remote workers return to the office.

IT consultancy Entisys360 joined the 5% club of Cisco partners with Cisco Gold Certification.

This week’s stats tickers:

Fully 87% of the 500 global IT decision makers who responded to LogicMonitor’s Cloud 2025 Study this past May and June expected the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate their cloud migration. Three quarters expect 95% of all workloads will be in the cloud within the next five years. In 2017, 13% of respondents didn’t think this shift would ever happen. Remote workers, not surprisingly, keep pushing the cloud timetable sooner and sooner. Before COVID-19, 35% of workloads were expected to stay on-premises. That number has dropped to 22% now. Respondents expect 28% of work will be in public clouds compared to 30% in private clouds. 37% expect to reach the 95% cloud workload level by 2022.

Virtana’s survey report, “The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT,” found that those companies that stopped their cloud migration journey suffered 2.5 times more IT outages. Those who halted their cloud moves were twice as likely to over-provision to ensure performance. Two-thirds of respondents also cite a lack of visibility, while 79% complained about the lack of sufficient access to tools. More than 30% of those surveyed stopped their cloud migration process. The new economic climate exposed a lack of access to correct IT tools to run efficiently in 52%.

WatchGuard Technologies’ Internet Security Report for Q1 2020 found that two-thirds of malware is encrypted. That means it’s invisible without HTTPS inspection capabilities. 72% of encrypted malware were zero-day exploits. Monero cryptominers jumped in popularity as criminals looked to generate passive income. A three-year-old Adobe vulnerability appeared as one of the top network attacks. Should have been patched in August 2017. Mapp Engage, online betting platform Bet365, and the AT&T login page were targeted with spear phishing attacks. However, there were 6.9% fewer malware hits and 11.6% fewer network attacks in Q1.

Shark WhispererCall me Lefty. We’re used to seeing some pretty stupid selfies. The push for Instagram “glory” demands ever-increasing stupidity to be captured in photos or videos.

How do we know? In the waters off Cape Henlopen State Park Beach in Delaware a man was filmed prying open the jaws of a shark on camera.

It turns out that catching and releasing a shark is legal in Delaware. Our “hero” wasn’t breaking and state laws. Common sense laws were broken in every direction.

We predict our video “star” will soon have a new nickname: Lefty.

If you and Lefty want to keep treating sharks like petting zoo goats, feel free. We’ll be watching from onshore. Way onshore.

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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