IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of September 16th

Cloud news from Oracle, a skinny l’il laptop from HP, and potty humor involving airplanes and palaces were all among the stories we’ve just now roused ourselves to tell you about. By James E. Gaskin

Fall starts officially on Monday but those in the northeast may not believe it since temps will be in the high 80s and 90s (that’s Fahrenheit for our non-U.S. friends). Weather boffins predict above-average temps will hang on well into October for the South and East. Maybe the high-pressure system will help our friends in Houston dry out a little faster from the second 100-year flood in two years. Let’s catch up on the newsbits that got washed away.

Oracle OpenWorld 2019Oracle OpenWorld news. It was dry inside the Moscone Center in the City by the Bay for Oracle OpenWorld this week, so none of that news is soggy. First off, Oracle and Microsoft revved up their existing interoperability partnership by integrating Oracle Digital Assistant and Microsoft Teams. Access ODA through the Microsoft Teams interface just like any other coworker or productivity tool. But ODA will beat you at fantasy football.

Oracle and VMware expanded their partnership as well. Customers can now support VMware Cloud Foundation on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Migrate those VMware vSphere workloads to Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure and get Oracle technical support for Oracle software on VMware both on-prem and in approved cloud environments.

Updates to Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud add new digital assistants for sales, customer service, and marketing. B2B sales capabilities improved, and new industry solutions for telecom, media, financial services, and the public sector are available.

HR teams got some love, too, but not in that icky “you’re-on-report” way. The Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud has new features and machine learning capabilities to encourage cross-team collaboration and improve workflows.

ManageEngine’s Applications Manager now supports performance monitoring for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Proactive monitoring and app performance and user experience monitoring are all now a unified solution. Includes Oracle VM tools.

HP Elite DragonflyNews from other name brands. Down the road from SF in Palo Alto, HP made some news as well. Hello to HP Elite Dragonfly (pictured, plummeting to Earth). Nope, not a flying IoT device, but a 13-inch business convertible laptop with up to a 24.5-hour battery life and latest Wi-Fi 6 support. Under one kilogram (2.2 lbs), the Elite Dragonfly is built out of CNC-machined magnesium in iridescent Dragonfly blue.

When docked, hook up your Elite Dragonfly to the new HP S430c Curved Ultrawide Monitor. The display is 43.4 inches and the equivalent of dual 24-inch displays. HP Device Bridge lets you control two PCs and view, copy, cut, and paste between them with a single keyboard and mouse. Note: Christmas list updated.

Don’t need that much screen? Try the 34-inch HP E344c Curved Monitor with lots of ergonomic tilt and swivel and height adjustments.

Do you manufacturing folks get taunted by the salespeople because they have Salesforce and you don’t? Be taunted no longer: Salesforce just announced Manufacturing Cloud, a new industry-specific cloud application for manufacturers. Collaborate with sales with a unified view of market and customer demands.

Have some customers a little behind the Exchange Server 2010 migration you’ve been pushing? Microsoft once again rewards procrastination by continuing Extended Support for Exchange Server 2010 to October 13th, 2020. Another year to upgrade for the reluctant.

Maybe some new hardware will help. Dell EMC PowerEdge servers now have 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors. Designed for modern data center demands like traditional, emerging, and multi-cloud workloads. 280% greater single-socket virtualized database performance says the folks from Round Rock.

If you’ve got machine learning inference or graphics-intensive workloads, Amazon Web Services has the GPU-powered Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances you need, now that their new G4 instances are generally available.

FireMon AutomationYup, security news. Forescout Technologies and Microsoft shook hands to integrate the Forescout platform with Microsoft Intune, its unified endpoint management tool. Better device discovery and mobile device onboarding are just two of the promised features.

OneLogin added some smarts with its new Vigilance AI risk engine that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning. Also: SmartFactor Authentication. The two new tools will move beyond password-based authentication and improve cybersecurity protections.

FireMon heats up (sorry) security process automation for Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) tools. Keeps up with agile/DevOps customers, reduces errors, and makes the security change process more efficient.

Also from FireMon is FireMon Automation, a set of policy automation management solutions to help users control smart security process automation.

Users need protection at the endpoint all the way up to the cloud, right? Zscaler and CrowdStrike partnered to leverage CrowdStrike’s AI-powered Threat Graph with Zscaler’s cloud security platform.

Grandstream GRP2615More product-y news. The latest edition of CloudJumper’s Cloud Workspace Management Suite (CWMS 5.3) can be used to manage Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) environments for no charge during the Microsoft public preview period, which is expected to last a couple of months or so. Why care about WVD? Rapid deployment, Windows 10 multi-session desktop, support for Windows 7 through August 2023, and Office 365 support head the goodies list.

HarmonyPSA and Expensify tied the former’s cloud-based PSA platform to the latter’s expense management system.

The folks behind Nintex Workflow Generator claim to be the first to let business users instantly create sophisticated workflows using cloud-based visual process mapping. Tag for that tool is Nintex Promapp.

Time for a desktop phone upgrade? Ahoy, Ahoy to the new Grandstream GRP2615 High-end Carrier-Grade IP Phone (pictured). Up to 10 lines/16 SIP accounts, a 4.3-inch color LCD display screen, built-in Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and more.

Jamf does Apple management, and they are ready with day-zero support for iOS 13 across their entire product portfolio. Some new features include support for Apple’s new User Enrollment framework, enrollment customization, and single sign-on.

Visionary techies may look at them with disdain, but stores filled with products remain the norm for the vast majority of us. Helping inventory management is the focus for Zebra and its new SmartCount turnkey software and scanner. Two new form factors are now available and include the EC30 Enterprise Companion mobile computer and the ET51/ET56 rugged tablets.

Comcast Business wove Alexa Voice Assistant Integration into its Business ActiveCore software defined networking platform. “Alexa, ask ActiveCore, how my network is doing.” Let’s hope the answer isn’t, “Apple corer ordered.”

Gregory BryantVendor news without all the product stuff. CloudJumper rolled out the red carpet for incoming CEO Frank Picarello.

Liongard named ConnectWise vet Casey Higgins its director of worldwide channel and alliances.

Intel doubled up with two executive promotions. Gregory Bryant (pictured) and Michelle Johnston Holthaus moved up to executive vice president in the Client Computing Group and Sales, Marketing, and Communications Groups respectively.

CompTIA and Google will now offer a co-skilled badge of completion to those who finish the Google IT Support Professional Certificate Program and earn their CompTIA A+ certification.

Nerdio’s MSP for Azure platform can now be ordered through the Ingram Micro marketplace.

Jenne now distributes Intermedia’s Unite unified communications as a service solution and business cloud email products.

Avnet will acquire Witekio, a private company big into software and embedded systems for developing IoT solutions. Terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition should get regulatory approval before the end of 2019.

Long a channel-first company, F5 just launched Unity+, a new channel program with better partner opportunities and incentives and tighter collaboration to help partners capture new revenue streams.

The channel program at SecureAuth just got some upgrades as the company continues down the road to becoming a 100% “channel-involved” business. New Senior Vice President of Sales and Channel Worldwide David Woodward comes on board to help.

This week’s stats ticker:

Remember when you were little and convinced that if you didn’t look under your bed the monsters wouldn’t get you? Good for kids, bad for small and midsize businesses that close their eyes to the damage done by cyberattacks. AppRiver announced its Q3 Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey, which polled 1,083 cybersecurity decision-makers at U.S. SMBs (<250 employees) in a range of industry sectors. 67% of SMBs with 1-49 employees believe total damages from a cyberattack will be less than $25,000. Over half set that damage total at less than $10,000. Oops, the monster just crawled out from under the bed: average cost of data breaches for SMBs in North America is estimated to be $149,000. Doesn’t help that the majority of SMBs are slow to address known vulnerabilities, with only 38% claiming to apply patches immediately. This while 72% report phishing attempts in the last three months.

Lavatory IoTInternet of potty jokes. The news lately is more full of potty jokes than a 7th grade boy’s birthday party. First, the new Airbus A350-900 aircraft adds bunches of new sensors, including in the lavatories. Excuse us, but what do you need besides a smoke detector? They claim things like monitoring the soap and toilet paper levels will make you a happier air traveler.

The other toilet news is sparkly and we don’t just mean clean: an 18-carat-gold toilet and art installation was stolen from its current home in Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It was on loan from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC, where the art piece named America was used by over 100,000 people. The 2016 piece’s 227 pounds of gold is worth at least $4 million if melted and sold. Art collector price could be $6 million.

At the Guggenheim, the toilet was well guarded. At Blenheim Palace, Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill seemed overly complacent. “Firstly, it’s plumbed in, and secondly a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don’t plan on guarding it.” Oops.

Dear Lord Spencer-Churchill, please contact Airbus. They seem to be overly interested in what happens in bathrooms. This could come in handy if you recover your golden throne.

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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