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.
I 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.
Citrix 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.
You 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.
And now for a word from all of the other vendors out there. Because they had news too:
- Auvik added a feature to its network management solution called AuvikFlow. Based on technology from Kentik, it provides real-time network traffic analytics.
- Epson rolled out its new WorkForce 2700 line of home office all-in-one printers, which includes the WF-2760 (pictured).
- Google announced a free version of Data Studio, the data visualization solution it first unveiled in March.
- Juniper Networks launched its new EX2300 and EX3400 access switches, both of which are targeted at SMBs and optimized for manageability.
- RingCentral added new integrations between its RingCentral Office cloud phone system and both Microsoft Outlook and Skype for Business.
- Salesforce introduced Service Cloud Lightning Snap-ins, which enable developers to embed Salesforce functionality in mobile apps.
- Samsung shipped its new school and home office-oriented 750 EVO solid-state drives in 120 GB, 250 GB, and 500 GB sizes.
- Toshiba announced the IPedge Server Refresh Program, which lets users of Toshiba-branded IPedge business telephone systems and app servers upgrade to newer, similarly sized models with no license transfer fees.
- Tripp Lite added new 16- and 32-device models to its family of tablet and laptop charging stations, sized right for K-12 campuses, healthcare facilities, retail outlets, and other settings.
- WatchGuard released a new edition of its Dimension data visualization and reporting suite.
- Zebra Technologies debuted a new cloud-based WLAN cloud management solution named Azara.
Veepstakes. 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:
- 43 percent of U.S. and Canadian consumers (i.e. your customers) don’t know what ransomware is, according to Kaspersky Lab.
- Americans consumed 9.6 trillion megabytes of mobile data in 2015, according to U.S. wireless industry organization CTIA.
- Global CRM spending rose 12.3 percent last year to $26.3 billion, according to Gartner.
Rest 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.