IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of May 23rd

News from Citrix and its partners, a new way for Office 365 partners to get credit for their work, and the scariest intersection of outdated technology and potential nuclear Armageddon since WarGames are all among the stories you may have missed this week. By Rich Freeman

Hey, we thought on Monday. This week’s gonna be a breeze! I mean, there’s a holiday weekend coming up so surely the tech industry will ease up a little and stop bombarding us with news, right?

Wrong. And before we bring you the proof, we should mention that the ICYMI action news team (that would be me) is taking next week off. But fear not: We’ll be right back here two weeks from today with another batch of noteworthy stories we lacked time to write about, like these.

Citrix SynergyI guess it’s official. Workspace-as-a-service is the next new, big, hip, with-it, where-it’s-at thing in cloud computing. And how do we know? At its Citrix Synergy customer and partner event in Las Vegas this week, Citrix tried to make a bunch of largely unrelated product updates look like a coordinated extension of its workspace-as-a-space strategy—mostly, we assume, so they could say “workspace-as-a-service” a few times.

Not that those updates weren’t interesting in many cases. For example, Citrix ShareFile, the company’s file sync and share solution, now provides “follow the file” rights management functionality that protects documents even after they’ve been downloaded onto users’ devices, while Citrix XenMobile now offers a Secure Forms feature that lets companies digitize paper-based workflows with the help of mobile “mini-apps” that require no coding. It’s just not immediately apparent what those or the other enhancements Citrix showcased have to do with WaaS exactly.

Dell Wyse Thin ClientCitrix partners had news to share at Synergy too. And they, by contrast, kept things simple:

  • AppSense launched a new Endpoint Security Suite with built-in anti-ransomware capabilities.
  • Bitdefender rolled out a new virtualization security solution called Hypervisor Introspection (and if it’s half as good as that name it will be very good indeed).
  • Dell introduced two new Wyse thin clients, two updated thin client operating systems, and a new edition of its Wyse Device Manager solution.
  • ThinPrint revealed that its Personal Printing app, which helps users keep printed documents containing confidential (or embarrassing) information away from their officemates, is now officially certified for use in Citrix environments.

And finally, in what’s starting to look like a pattern…Microsoft grabbed a share of the spotlight at Synergy much as it did at SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW event last week by jointly announcing an expanded alliance relationship with Citrix. The new agreement has Citrix helping companies deploy Windows 10 images hosted on Microsoft Azure via its XenDesktop VDI solution, adding enhanced support for Office 365 to both XenDesktop and XenApp, and integrating XenMobile and Citrix NetScaler more closely with Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite, among other things.

Outlook for iOSYou didn’t really think that was all the Microsoft news we’d hit you with this week, did you? Because you should know better by now. Aside from Microsoft’s much heralded decision to “streamline” its smartphone hardware business (which is PR speak for “lay off up to 1,850 people and take a roughly $950 million charge against earnings”), the folks in Redmond also announced:

  • A new way for Office 365 resellers to earn credit towards Microsoft Partner Network competencies. In the past you had to be an end user’s Digital Partner of Record to do that, an arrangement that left any other partner supporting that customer out in the cold. Now all you have to do is get Delegated Admin Privileges or show up in Microsoft’s internal sales systems for your efforts to be recognized.
  • The general availability of the new Spring 2016 edition of Dynamics CRM and the forthcoming preview release of a new Connected Field Service solution that monitors Internet of Things-enabled devices and automatically dispatches field technicians to repair them when something goes wrong.
  • A passel of Office 365 updates, including new real-time chat capabilities in the web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote; the addition of Skype for Business chat to the Web edition of Outlook; and new integrations between the iOS and Android versions of Outlook (pictured) on the one hand and OneDrive and Skype for Business on the other.

Epson WF-2760And now for a word from all of the other vendors out there. Because they had news too:

Ezra HookanoVeepstakes. Barracuda has named Ezra Hookano (pictured) its new vice president of channels, with global responsibility for partner strategy, and Hatem Naguib senior vice president and general manager of its security business.

This week’s stats ticker:

Floppy DiskRest easy, world! Because, per the BBC, the Department of Defense wants you to know that it’s only using a 1970s-era system and eight-inch floppy disks to coordinate ICBMs and nuclear bombers for now. The floppies will be phased out next year and the rest of the system will go in 2020. Which means those of you who understand just how hard it is to keep a system only a fraction as antiquated running properly have only four more years of sleepless nights ahead of you.

By the way, our favorite part of that BBC story? The sidebar entitled “The floppy disk—what is it?” Thanks for making us feel even more ancient than the Pentagon’s nuclear defense infrastructure, BBC.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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