IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of September 2nd

The hardware haul from IFA 2019, Microsoft’s move into cloud migration, and a case of someone taking the latest fast food craze a little too seriously are among the stories we really should have told you about earlier this week. By James E. Gaskin

The NFL season started last night as two long-time rivals, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, squared off (Packers 10, Bears 3). All 30 other NFL teams start their march to the Super Bowl on Sunday, each one convinced they just need a little luck to hoist that trophy. And we just need a little bit of catch-up for all the newsbits that ran by this week.

ThinkBookIFA 2019 news. Lenovo revved up its line of ThinkBook laptops for SMB users who want everything for not much money. Thinner and lighter yes, along with faster thanks to 10th Gen Intel Core processors and SSDs and DDR4 memory etc. Cool bit? The Smart Power Button includes a fingerprint reader so your customers can power on and authenticate quickly and easily.

ASUS rolled out new members of its ProArt product line aimed at creators. The ProArt StudioBook One includes NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics (may be the first on the market) and includes 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processors. The 4K UHD Pantone Validated display boasts a 120 Hz refresh rate. There’s also the ProArt StudioBook Pro X, and ProArt Station D940MX, and ProArt Display PA32UCG, and you get the idea.

Calling itself the world’s first gaming Ultrabook, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 includes an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics processor somehow packed inside the ultra-portable design.

Hello to Acer’s new ConceptD Pro Family of notebooks featuring NVIDIA Quadro GPUs. Top end ConceptD 9 Pro is an RTX Studio 17.3-inch model with Acer’s way-cool easel hinged display powered by NVIDIA Quadro TRX 5000 GPUs giving it a Pantone-Validated display with 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut. Line also includes a desktop monitor. For more mobile users, the Acer Swift 5, a very thin and very light 14-inch notebook, includes discrete graphics and the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors. Acer Swift 3 also available.

Mobile gamers may be more excited by the Acer Predator Triton 300 gaming notebook, including a 300 Hz display option. If you prefer to sit and game, Acer’s new Predator Thronos Air Gaming Chair will be shipping in America in time for Christmas. Maybe load up three of Acer’s new Nitro XV3 series monitors with NVIDIA G-SYNC and up to 240 Hz frame rates.

Also in the Acer booth? Four new Chromebooks. Choose from 11.6-, 14-, and 15.6-inch models.

Need a bigger screen image? Try Acer’s C250i Portable LED Projector with multi-angle projection and batteries that last up to five hours.

Last but not least, NETGEAR introduced what it calls the first cloud-configurable commercial-grade mesh network, complete with a 4-port integrated gigabit Ethernet switch/mesh access point, a 10-port gigabit switch with extra PoE capacity, and more. Also from NETGEAR: A new consumer mesh network for “multi-gigabit homes” and an accompanying consumer Wi-Fi extender.

Proofpoint TAP DashboardSecurity—let’s be safe out there. Proofpoint jazzed up all product lines with people-centric security and compliance innovations such as Profpoint Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) Dashboard (pictured) for reports on which people and departments gets targeted most, and TAP threat intelligence. Add in Proofpoint Email Data Loss Prevention (DLP) that can expand to Cloud DLP. Can it stop “reply all” mistakes? If so, we’re in.

Proofpoint and CrowdStrike also teamed up to offer advanced threat protection across email and endpoints. Then Proofpoint shook hands with Okta to help organizations apply stronger access controls through Okta Identity Cloud to their “very attacked people” (VAPs).

Developing blockchain applications lately? The new Kaspersky Enterprise Blockchain Security can protect them.

Users of the Cynet 360 platform for MSPs can add CyOps, the company’s outsourced incident response team, for free.

Serving as the foundation for all the company’s managed security services, the Trustwave Fusion platform will help businesses as they embrace digital transformation.

Nozomi Networks and Fortinet integrated OT network visibility into Fortinet’s Network Access Control and Security Information and Event Management tools (FortiNAC and FortiSIEM).

Sharp AQUOS BOARDNon-security product news. Hate to pay full price to store files you rarely touch? AWS dropped a bunch of prices, including up to a 92 percent reduction for EFS Infrequent Access with lifecycle management.

Speaking of the cloud, Microsoft bought Movere, a maker of technology for migrating applications and infrastructure to Microsoft Azure.

iDrive’s iris is an AI-based video telematics fleet manager platform. Manage your fleet entirely from a secure hosted AI platform. Dash camera video is automatically uploaded to the cloud, saving hours and hours.

AT&T LTE network users can now get the compact, fast, and highly secure 4G LTE (Cat18) USB800 Modem from Inseego.

Connect to your customers in new and better ways with the B2B Search & Merchandising Connector for Salesforce Commerce Cloud from Bloomreach. Now on the Salesforce AppExchange.

ServiceNow announced general availability for its Now Platform New York release that makes almost any everyday work task easier to do. Any hope for stopping long-winded managers from boring us in meetings?

Speaking of managers in meetings, the new Sharp 4K Ultra HD interactive AQUOS BOARD whiteboard (pictured) has three new models. Now your exec’s genius will be clearly visible on screens up to 86 inches, then digitized.

Got a fast network but slow laptop connection? Try the new ATTO ThunderLink 3252 Thunderbolt 3 to 25 GbE adapter.

Get in better touch with your computer using the new Logitech MX Master 3 and MX Keys, a precision mouse with an all-new MagSpeed Scroll Wheel and a new tactile but low-profile keyboard.

Tal DaganNews sans products. Atera welcomes Tal Dagan (pictured) as vice president of products.

CloudJumper rolled out the red carpet for Richard Helms, who takes over as director of the managed services division.

RDX spread three red carpets for a new executive leadership team. Hello to:

  • Mark Clayman, CEO
  • Gina Murphy, president and COO
  • Art Green, CFO

DivvyCloud (security and compliance) added Pete Jones as director of strategic partnerships. Already busy, Jones helped launch DivvyCloud’s new channel partner program.

Arrow Electronics expanded its deal with Red Hat to include distribution across the North American market, rather than just the public sector space there.

OPAQ signed to distribute its network security cloud products through Ingram Micro worldwide.

SYNNEX will bring Clevertouch’s interactive displays to the U.S. IT channel for customers in the K-12 and higher education markets.

This week’s stats ticker:

Kaseya’s “2019 State of IT Operations for Small and Midsize Businesses” survey got input from over 400 global respondents. Not surprisingly, security remains the top priority for SMBs for the third year in a row. Pain point: patch management, even though only 42% automate patch management or plan to. That’s why only 42% apply critical patches within 30 days. Almost a third admitted to a security breach in the last five years. Coincidence? Cloud-based systems continue to make headway among backup and disaster recovery solutions, although only 29% of SMBs backup their SaaS data. Sadly, IT maturity in SMBs has not improved over the past three years, leaving many in constant fire-fighting mode.

Tired of dealing with millennials? Good news! Your new workers are Gen Z kids. Nintex released a new study about them called “The Gen Z Effect on the U.S. Workplace”. First, they face record levels of student loan debt. Unlike Millennials, Gen Z employees plan to stick around, with 71% percent planning to stay in their first jobs for two years or more. Company leaders believe them, or at least 59% do. The young’uns also want in-person check-ins with their managers, and they like that weekly. And their tech expertise is rubbing off, at least in the 80% of companies that have adopted a new technology or tool suggested by a Gen Zer. Top priorities when they look for an employer? Company culture, values, and potential for career growth.

From smart kids to smarter systems: IDC updated its Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide. AI spending will reach $97.9 billion in 2023, more than two and a half times the $37.5 billion to be spent in 2019. One calculator session later, that translates into a CAGR of 28.4%. Retail and banking will lead the spending. Retail will roll out more automated customer service agents and banks will automate intelligence and prevention systems for fraud analysis and detection. The U.S. will lead with more than 50% of all AI spending, followed by Western Europe and then China.

Gun WorthyHands up, after you make my sandwich. Anyone miss the craziness over Popeye’s hot new chicken sandwich? It’s weird out there. In Houston, three men and two women didn’t take it well when told the sandwiches were sold out by the drive-thru attendant. One of the men pulled out a gun, sending all the employees scrambling to the back of the restaurant. The workers were able to lock the doors so the angry, gun-toting, chicken-starved gang couldn’t get inside.

Of course, employees cowering in the back behind shelves of bread can’t make a sandwich. The chicken-crazed folks, estimated ages from 17 to 20, drove off in an SUV with a woman in the driver’s seat. One report says there was a baby in the SUV.

No injuries were reported. No intelligence was reported, either.

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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