March Madness has started, and the first round upset of Kentucky by Saint Peter’s ruined every single betting pool in the country. The Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA men’s basketball royalty and eight-time winner of the NCAA Championships, lost in overtime to a tiny Jesuit college in New Jersey and member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Experts call it the biggest upset in the history of the tournament. Ready for some historic newsbits?
News from the name brands. Hello to the newly-branded Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, formerly known as the Microsoft Partner Network. coming in October, it will focus on six solution areas (Data & AI, Infrastructure, Digital & App Innovation, Business Applications, Modern Work, and Security) and offer solutions partner and specialist/expert designations instead of Silver and Gold.
While the negotiation between office and remote workers continue, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 offer three new ways to bridge the gap: A reimagined office experience including enhanced Teams Rooms devices, smarter meetings with the cameo PowerPoint tool (pictured) and Microsoft Whiteboard, and an enhanced mobile-first experience with Operator Connect Mobile.
Dell Technologies, NVIDIA, and Intel teamed up to speed workflows for data scientists, AI designers, and machine learning operations. NVIDIA Omniverse offers virtual 3D design collaboration and real-time physically accurate simulation.
Need a Salesforce app? The new Salesforce Intelligent AppExchange Homepage offers easy app discovery.
Other product news. More devices mean more Wi-Fi and that means more access points. Perhaps the new Zyxel Networks WAX63OS 802.11ax Dual-Radio Unified Pro Access Point (pictured) could help, with its 2.5 GbE uplink port, Wi-Fi 6 support, and 4G/5G network support.
Probably time for another switch somewhere, and the new EnGenius ECS2528FP and ECS2552FP cloud-managed multi-gigabit switches are ready to go.
The zero-trust boffins at Illumio and Cylera’s Internet of Medical Things boffins have a new integrated option to reduce cyber risk for healthcare providers.
Spring brings many things, including Apple OS updates. Jamf is ready with same-day support for those yearly changes.
Partnership news. Google Cloud and VMware flipped the switches and plugged the cables, and now you can use the VMware Cloud Universal program with the Google Cloud VMware Engine. No changes to applications, tools, or processes needed, just cost savings and reduced labor.
FlexPod, pre-validated storage from Cisco and NetApp, just upgraded to the new FlexPod XCS platform to accelerate performance in a hybrid cloud environment.
Two players in the virtual desktop world partnered to help deploy and manage Azure Virtual Desktops and Windows 365 Cloud PCs. In other words, Nerdio joined the IGEL Ready technology partner program.
Cradlepoint and Extreme Networks connected to extend Extreme’s fabric networking across 5G/LTE routers and adapters from Cradlepoint.
NTT and Schneider Electric collaborated on Private 5G (P5G), an on-premise private network solution, building on previous joint programs.
Non-product vendor news. Kaseya revved up its Powered Services Pro program with product sales certificates, the Power Services Supercharge Forum, Done-4-U social media services, and more.
Welcome to the new Netskope Evolve Partner Program for global participants, with three program levels (Authorized, Gold, and Platinum), increased discounts, and other goodies.
UPSTACK acquired United Technology LLC, a consulting firm big in real-time applications.
D&H Distributing opened a new 745,000 square-foot distribution center in central Pennsylvania that’s more than three times larger than the previous location.
This week’s stats ticker:
CompTIA surveyed 400 U.S. MSPs in January for its “Trends in Managed Services“ Report, and found the majority (53%) are optimistic or very optimistic about business prospects. 80% credited changes they made in the past two years that had positive results. Balance that with the 11% and 14% of those who were pessimistic or very pessimistic about the market and/or their own business for the next year. Nearly half (46%) reported shifts in customer buying forced changes in their own business, while 44% said the demand for business consulting also pushed them in new directions. This led to 43% saying they added premium services to their catalog at a significant level. Not surprisingly, 37% report difficulty in hiring people with the necessary skill sets, while 44% said they need technical training for current staff.
“Wingman Marketing,” from the Wingman’s 2022 MSP Growth Survey sponsored by Zomentum found 62% of MSPs expect 2022 revenue to come primarily from net-new business. This is up from 49% in 2021. Despite the issues of the pandemic, 95% report their revenue remained stable or grew in 2021, half attributing that to net-new business. 77% report their current workload is at or over capacity, and 45% says their sales pipelines would support them for less than six months. The lack of time and resources slow 40% of respondents when looking for new business.
Barracuda’s Spear Phishing: Top Threats and Trends Vol. 7 reveals new insights into cybercriminal behavior. First, the old, “I’m too small to be attacked” excuse should finally be dead and buried with the finding that an average employee of a small business will be hit with 350% more social engineering attacks than an employee at a larger enterprise. Also up 270% in 2021? Conversation hijacking. Over half (51%) of social engineering attacks are phishing, with Microsoft the most impersonated brand (57% of phishing attacks). Cybercriminals compromised 500,000 Microsoft 365 accounts in 2021, sending out three million messages from 12,000 accounts.
“Pushing the limits: How to address specific cybersecurity demands and protect IoT,” from Kaspersky, says 43% of businesses do not have cyber threat protection for some part of their IoT infrastructure. Only 43%? Riiiight. Almost half worry about security affecting IoT performance or that it’s just too hard to find a suitable solution (40%). Over half claim cybersecurity risks are the main barrier to implementing IoT. 35% lack the staff or IoT security expertise to do the job properly.
When Florida Man breaks bad. A man in Spring Hill, Fla. (where else?) called 9-1-1 to complain that the methamphetamine he bought from a guy at a bar was really only bath salts. But wait, there’s more! He said he’s an experienced meth-head and knew he got cheated, so he wanted the police to find the dealer of the bad meth and “put the person in trouble.” No, he didn’t know the dealer’s name or contact info.
But wait, there’s still more! When Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, our civic-minded hero handed over two bags of a white, crystal-like substance and demanded the deputies test the drugs to prove he was cheated. When tests showed both baggies held real meth, the deputies arrested Thomas Colucci
Meth has many effects on the brain, but increasing intelligence is obviously not included.