IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of March 28th

HP buying Poly, Intel shipping GPUs, record low tech unemployment numbers courtesy of CompTIA, and proof that NOTHING gets between some people and their morning coffee are among the stories we waited until just before the weekend to bring you. By James E. Gaskin

This is THE WEEKEND for fans of college basketball. Final Four games for the women tonight are followed by the finals on Sunday. The men’s Final Four tips off on Saturday so the championship can boost Monday primetime TV ratings. No matter what happens, Coach K retires on top.

Poly hardwareBig moves from big names. HP put $3.3 billion cash on the table to acquire Poly and better position itself for the constant push for collaboration across home and office. Poly’s cameras, headsets, and videoconferencing tools (samples pictured) will fold into HP’s peripherals. The deal should close by the end of 2022.

The world’s fastest desktop processor, according to its manufacturer, the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900KS will hit general availability on April 5th. The unlocked i9-12900KS includes 16 cores and 24 threads, with up to 5.5 GHz max turbo frequency.

Intel also officially launched its Intel Arc A-Series Discrete Graphics family for mobile devices, its first discrete GPU from the Arc A-Series graphics group for laptops. Chips for desktops and workstations will be out later this year.

To help data center and cloud customers, Intel will acquire Granulate, an Israel-based provider of real-time continuous optimization software. Granulate was part of the first graduating class of the startup accelerator program, Intel Ignite.

The Microsoft Office 365 Government Secret version is currently in review for government accreditation with availability expected by mid-2022. If your clients need this level of security, Microsoft has onboarding teams ready. You can finally ditch that decoder ring.

Samsung and Western Digital teamed up to standardize next-generation data placement, processing, and fabrics (D2PF) storage technologies. Call it a starting point to expand zone-based device interfaces.

Aruba CentralOther product news. Check out the newly revved Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) with an enhanced Aruba Central management console. The new Aruba Central netConductor (pictured) centralizes management of distributed networks and translates business intent to network configuration.

The refreshed ESET PROTECT helps IT admins manage security risks. The ESET Inspect EDR tool now becomes “ESET Inspect Cloud.” Yes, it’s available from the cloud.

The new Palo Alto Networks Cloud NGFW for AWS is designed to simplify AWS security. Threat prevention, advanced URL filtering, and more.

MDR player CRITICALSTART added some new goodies to its Microsoft 365 Defender security suite. More safeguards against phishing, brute force, and cloud application attacks.

More servers mean more cooling and backup power. Vertiv has new options for both, including the Vertiv Liebert GXT5 Lithium-Ion online UPS. Hot? Try the new Vertiv Liebert XDU 450 and 1350, new Cooling Distribution Units (CDUs) with 450 kW and 1.3 MW of cool.

Welcome to FlexIP’s new Flex Contact Center Pro Plus, a revved up CCaaS offering that includes services to make enterprise-class customer experience attainable for businesses of all sizes. Built on the FlexIP Perfect Fit Promise.

Midsize businesses tend to be a little too complex to find a perfect fit from a SaaS vendor, but Impartner’s Partner Relationship Management application can now interact with custom data without recoding. Plus, the new MDF Complete handles marketing dev  

Samantha UngerNon-product vendor news. The red carpet in front of Comodo was for new Vice President of Customer Success Samantha Unger (pictured).

Unstructured data management player Aparavi teamed with Wasabi Technologies to link the Aparavi Platform with the Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage tools.

This week’s stats ticker:

You’re not imagining things. Good help really is hard to find in IT these days. In fact, the unemployment rate for technology occupations is now 1.3%, a near-record low, according to CompTIA. That’s one-third of the national unemployment rate overall.

OpenText announced the 2022 BrightCloud Threat Report outlining trends affecting small and large organizations worldwide. May 2021 saw a phishing spike of (gulp) 770%. Top brands targeted are Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft, and Google, and the manufacturing segment saw the highest rise over 2021. Tl;dr phishing keeps getting worse.

N-able surveyed IT service providers ahead of World Backup Day and found some interesting changes afoot. Almost 75% of MSPs said backup services were profitable, but there was more work to do. Local storage capacity hampered 57% of respondents, while nearly half agreed that backup appliances are an expensive approach to data protection. Local physical storage media creates a heavy burden for managing and maintaining capacity compared to a cloud-first option, which eliminates the need for storage management, upgrades, patching, and other infrastructure tasks. IT shops are moving toward a cloud-first approach to data protection, according to those in the survey.

The Cyber Protection Week Global Report 2022 from Acronis surveyed over 6,200 IT users and managers from 22 countries and businesses of all sizes. The bad news: While 78% used as many as 10 solutions for data protection and cybersecurity, 76% of organizations suffered downtime due to data loss, which is a 25% increase over 2021. 61% now prefer an integrated solution that combines cybersecurity and data protection in a single pane of glass. Maybe that will help stop the causes of downtime, including system crashes (52%), human error (42%), cyberattacks (36%), and insider attacks (20%). Yet respondents oversold their readiness to biz execs, with 70% claiming to have automated patch management, even though research shows only a handful follow the 72-hour “golden time” for patch management. 82% claim ransomware protection and remediation, yet successful attacks occur weekly and ransom demands grow each year. IT managers appear better prepared than they are, misleading business management. It doesn’t help that only 23% of organizations globally are investing over 15% of their overall IT budget in security.

McFireMcBlivious. Just before 5 a.m. in Fort Myers, Fla., a car smashed into a tree just a few yards from the drive-through window at a McDonald’s. So, of course, the McDonald’s closed to keep customers out of harm’s way, right?

No, this was Florida. Desperate for a McCoffee or Sausage McMuffin, drivers ignored the blazing car yards away that severely scorched a tree and kept ordering and driving up to the window.

A cause for the fire remains under investigation. Locals, however, joke that someone spilled their McDonald’s coffee and it set fire to the carpet in the car. Luckily, no one was injured.

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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