There we were, feeling pretty good about how well the ChannelPro team filled you in on the latest from Kaseya, Lenovo, Sophos, Spiceworks, and others this week. And all the while the rest of the IT industry was churning out a gazillion other stories that we didn’t write about. Here’s a recap of the biggest ones we couldn’t get to.
First, let’s fess up. Strictly speaking, we didn’t actually cover all of the news out of Lenovo this week. Yes, we told you about their Accelerate 2016 partner conference and a couple of new laptops, but said nothing about the new Lenovo Smart Meeting Room Solution that also debuted this week. Co-developed with Intel, it combines a Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny desktop with Intel’s Unite videoconferencing technology, giving Lenovo partners a new way to sell solutions rather than boxes to their clients.
Lenovo Accelerate wasn’t the only big conference this week, by the way. There was also Internet of Things World, which had some of the largest vendors in techdom vying to make the splashiest IoT-related announcement. For example:
- Avnet introduced the new LSR Wireless Shield (pictured), which pairs LS Research wireless modules with Microsemi field programmable gate arrays, offering developers an affordable option for quickly building IoT prototypes.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise rolled out the HPE Universal IoT Platform, a collection of standards-based tools for weaving random sensors and other devices together into solutions, and then processing and analyzing the data those solutions produce.
- Hitachi unveiled an open, adaptable IoT platform of its own, named Lumada.
- SAP added new components to its SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things, and announced new IoT ventures with Dell, the aforementioned Hitachi, and OSIsoft.
And then there was Microsoft. Which may not have launched anything new at Internet of Things World, but sure did participate actively. And besides, they shared plenty of non-IoT news this week, including:
- The general availability of Project Server 2016
- The publication of an Office 365 Education Roadmap, which schools, colleges, and universities can use to plan for future O365 updates
- The release of the new Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365, which helps administrators diagnose and resolve Office 365-related technical glitches
- The forthcoming release of a new Outlook 2016 for Mac email editor with enhanced formatting capabilities
- Wider access to the GigJam collaboration tool that’s been in “Private Preview” mode since last fall.
There are some more bullet lists coming soon. So let’s take a quick break from them to reflect on yesterday’s word from Gartner that while x86 server virtualization revenue will be up 5.7 percent this year, license shipments will actually decline for the first time since the whole server virtualization phenomenon took off over a decade ago. In other words, we’re nearing (if not past) peak virtualization. The main reason why, contends analyst Michael Warrilow (pictured), is a shift from virtualization to its opposite, “physicalization,” especially in the SMB space.
Interesting stuff, but take note of a few caveats. First, Warrilow partially credits the rise of software-defined and hyperconverged infrastructure for the big server virtualization sea change, yet both of those technologies actually utilize virtualized servers. Plus, there’s no mention in Gartner’s press release of the role that cloud computing services and their heavily virtualized data centers are undoubtedly playing in decreased SMB server virtualization. So what Warrilow is actually talking about here isn’t really declining use of server virtualization so much as declining use of dedicated server virtualization software, i.e. hypervisors like VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. That’s not quite the same thing as physicalization, methinks, but a significant trend nonetheless.
We now return you to our regularly-scheduled ginormous bullet list. It’s packed with product news that involved neither the Internet of Things nor Microsoft:
- CA released an updated version of its CA Identity Suite security solution.
- Cisco belatedly called the world’s attention to PresenterTrack, a solution it quietly rolled out last month that automatically finds and follows videoconference participants as they stand and present from the head of the room.
- D-Link shipped a new 10-port addition to its family of 10GbE Smart Managed switches.
- itopia announced a new (and free) cloud readiness assessment tool that channel pros can use to help current and prospective customers build a plan for embracing the cloud.
- NVIDIA introduced the GeForce GTX 1080, the first gaming GPU based on its speedy and power efficient new Pascal architecture.
- Planar and Leyard pulled the covers off an updated edition of their Clarity Visual Control Station, which helps digital signage solution providers create and manage video wall installations with multiple content sources.
- Polycom launched RealPresence Clariti, a new enterprise-grade video, voice, and content collaboration system with SMB-grade pricing.
- Salesforce released Marketing Cloud Lightning, which helps businesses create personalized marketing processes and deliver them to any device.
- Samsung announced the EVO Plus 256GB, a high-capacity microSD card capable of storing up to 12 hours of 4K video.
- Toshiba unveiled its Percept line of surveillance-oriented network video recorders (pictured) and the associated Surveillix Web Services management platform.
- Verizon and Actifio introduced a new cloud backup service.
- XO Communications launched a new contact center service that integrates with leading CRM systems and supports multiple customer engagement channels, including phone calls, text messages, and social media.
- Zebra Technologies gave users of its OneCare managed services portfolio a new way to locate and monitor mobile devices with the release of its Asset Visibility Service.
- Zendesk added support for SMS messaging to its eponymous customer service solution.
Hard to believe after all that, I know…But vendors did more than launch new products this week.
- Barracuda and CallidusCloud inked a deal to embed the former’s CudaSign e-signature solution within the latter’s incentive compensation software.
- Impartner published a new e-book (pictured) full of insights from top channel experts on the biggest challenges partner program leaders face today.
- RingCentral entered into a new master agent partnership with Telarus.
- Western Digital completed its acquisition of SanDisk.
This week’s stats ticker:
- PC shipments dropped 13 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of the year to their lowest level since 2011, according to Canalys.
- Mobile app downloads will climb from 156 billion globally last year to 210 billion in 2016, according to IDC.
- The worldwide Internet of Things chip market will grow from $4.71 billion in 2015 to an estimated $9.32 billion by 2022, according to Research and Markets.
And finally, here’s great news, smartphone addicts! The tool you need to text and tweet everywhere, all the time, no matter how stupid it makes you look, is finally on its way. Called Tap, it’s a Bluetooth-enabled gizmo that lets you use pretty much any surface—including, based on the promotional video below, your skull apparently—to type one-handed messages. Are you the kind of person hungry for a way to text while bicycling, or who can’t bear to go the length of an entire 30-minute meeting without surreptitiously exchanging missives with pals under the table? We suggest you get yourself on the waitlist for the forthcoming product immediately. And then seek professional help. Because, really, if you recognize yourself in Tap’s hypothetical use cases you may be badly overdue for a digital detox.