IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of September 30th

Virtual desktops and real devices from Microsoft, security solutions from McAfee, and a perfect product for anyone who wants AirPods that aren’t actually AirPods and don’t actually work are just a few of the stories we’ve finally gotten around to reporting. By James E. Gaskin

Welcome to the second week of fall, with people asking the same question across the Midwest and East Coast: “Hot enough for ya?” Not the normal question in the fall, of course, but we left normal behind long ago. One good coincidence? Stores put all their summer clothes on sale to make room for winter clothes, so you can dress cool at a discount. Unless you’re in Montana, where four feet of snow appeared earlier this week. See, normal is passe.

Dual Screen Surfaces

News from Microsoft and its partners. Want that multi-session Windows 10 experience, with optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, anywhere and everywhere? You got it, now that Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is generally available worldwide.

Among the perks of using WVD are free extended support (i.e. security updates) for Windows 7 through January, 2023. Not planning to use WVD yet? Don’t fret. Microsoft just made paid updates available to everyone. Used to be you had to be running the Pro or Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and be on volume licensing.

ThinPrint was ready for the WVD launch, by the way. Its Azure-based cloud printing platform, ezeep, is ready for Windows Virtual Desktop and is in the Azure Marketplace. Works with locally connected printers as well.

Guess what, Surface fans? Microsoft just pulled the curtain on a new lineup, including dual-screen devices, for the holiday shopper. Five new products and two new dual-screen tablets/fablets/whatevers. Look for Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X and more, along with accessories.

MyAnalytics, offering personal productivity insights in Microsoft 365, just got refreshed. Includes easier updates thanks to AI-powered suggestions. Insights are now more outcome-oriented in four key areas: focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration.

But wait, there’s more! Microsoft 365 gets new inking capabilities, including inking in PowerPoint. Plus, there are multiple ways to use voice, digital pen, and touch across Office 365 and Surface devices. Let’s see what autocorrect does with lousy handwriting.

Hornetsecurity has added 365 Total Encryption to its 365 Total Protection suite. The newcomer will encrypt the content of all emails stored in the Microsoft Office 365 cloud.

Dell EMC ECS EX500News in batches from companies not named Microsoft. McAfee’s MVISION portfolio just got bigger and (according to McAfee, at least) better. Hello to McAfee MVISION Cloud, Endpoint, EDR, and ePO. And check out McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge that improves security by converging McAfee MVISION Cloud, Web Gateway, and Data Loss Prevention. Gives you a borderless IT environment.

Also at MPOWER 2019, McAfee announced McAfee MVISION Insights to respond quickly and accurately to threats that matter.

Zendesk unveiled Gather, a tool for supporting customers via online community forums and Sunshine Conversations, an API-based tool for integrating support functions with popular social channels.

Hello to the Dell EMC ECS EX500 Appliance, which can scale from 480TB to 4.6PB with front-accessible and hot-pluggable drives and dual, 10-core processors. Powered by v3.4 of the ECS software.

BlackBerry revamped its BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program (BEPP) to give channel partners more flexibility in securing the IoT. A new Silver tier enables partners to broaden their cloud offering and support new customers on the BlackBerry UEM Platform.

Yes, BlackBerry Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). It’s now available on AWS Marketplace along with other IoT tools like BlackBerry Cylance’s AI-driven endpoint protection system, CylancePROTECT.

Smartsheet announced a suite of new solutions for marketing and creative content activities. Check out the new content collaboration capabilities, three Accelerators for Marketing, and planned integration with Adobe Creative Cloud. If this sounds good, join Smartsheet Aligned, the just-launched community of partners and solutions providers.

HP Spectre x360

Other product news. Want to use Amazon Web Services but need help with a project? Do you offer help to others working on AWS? Either way, you’ll like the new AWS IQ, a service to find AWS-Certified third-party experts for on-demand project work.

LogRhythm announced its True Unlimited Data Plan for its NextGen SIEM. Security Incident and Event Management customers won’t have to worry about extra security issues eating extra holes in their budget.

Isn’t “have network, must test” written on the walls of the first DARPA network research area? Should be. Say hello to the NetAlly EtherScope nXG Portable Network Expert handheld tool. One interface to rule them all, or at least both wired and wireless network test data.

On the shelves this month, the HP Spectre x360 notebook offers a 13% reduction in size from last year’s model, 90% screen-to-body ratio, and up to 22 hours of battery life inside a high-precision aluminum CNC-crafted body. Hot new processors, Wi-Fi 6, and more goodies.

Acer’s new 27-inch ConceptD monitors are now available in the U.S. The ConceptD CP7271K P and ConceptD CP3271K P support creative professionals with outstanding color accuracy, resolution, and a high refresh rate.

Need a bigger screen? Try one of the three new Sharp Imaging AQUOS BOARD interactive displays. 4K Ultra HD whiteboards come in 70, 75, and 85-inch versions.

Epson’s Supertank printers just gained two new models. Hello to the WorkForce ST-M3000 multifunction and ST-M1000 single function Wireless Monochrome Supertank models.

Qlik Sense Business is a new version of Qlik’s analytics solution designed to help users get up and running fast. Direct connectivity to 40+ data sources and shared and personal spaces.

Unified Office provides cloud-based business communications services, IoT services, and data analytics. New this week: Food Safety First for Restaurants. Uses the UO Total Connect Now Operations Performance Suite IoT services to monitor food temperatures and more.

Next time you strap on your virtual helmet to play eSports, arm yourself with the new Logitech G PRO X Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Ultimate weapon personalization with multiple switch types including Clicky, Linear, and Tactile.

The Exabeam Security Management Platform now includes MITR ATT&CK Framework labels and customized incidents. Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, & Common Knowledge is a globally accessible knowledge base of real-world cyberattack details.

Consider the curtain pulled on Cohesity SmartFiles, a software-defined solution for files and objects that goes beyond standard NAS capabilities. Can integrate antivirus, file audit, and content search on a single infrastructure.

LogMeIn leveled up its GoToMeeting experience. Easier user interface, while IT has more control over deployment, management, and security. Now if they could only level up the meeting itself……

Paul Finn

Non-product vendor news. Current Riverbed Chairman of the Board David Murphy has been appointed interim CEO.

Karen Walker joins Intel as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Walker moves over from Cisco where she was CMO since 2015.

CloudJumper added Paul Finn (pictured) to its management team to lead enterprise and solution integrator sales globally.

Avaya and RingCentral tied the knot to  to deliver joint unified communications-as-a-service solutions.

Security awareness training folks KnowBe4 acquired the Twist and Shout Group, a U.K. and U.S.-based company big in employee security training and live action security videos.

Pax8 now offers the Nuvolex ManageX platform to support MSPs as they streamline, automate, and manage their cloud services business.

Acronis anted up $10 million for its service provider incentive program. Goal is to fast-track new products like the Acronis Cyber Platform to help third parties customize, extend, and integrate with the platform.

Exclusive Networks now partners with Bitglass to offer its Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to Exclusive Networks customers. And DLP and more, of course.

OPAQ (cloud security) and CNA (huge commercial property and casualty insurance company) did a deal to offer OPAQ security tools to CNA’s cyber insurance policyholders.

Jenne will now distribute Aerohive Networks products.

FrontdeskAI launched a partner program for users of artificial intelligence assistants for location-based businesses.

This week’s stats ticker:

Bitdefender’s global Hacked Off! Study reports that six of ten businesses have suffered a breach at some time in the last three years. A quarter report a breach already this year. Almost half (49%) of responding infosec pros report losing sleep over this, and not just because they’re on call. The 6,000 respondents come from businesses small and large in the U.K., U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Over half (53%) have considered leaving their jobs because their current company is so under-resourced. Common issues? Lack of budget and lack of skilled personnel. Despite that, 57% report their organizations cybersecurity efforts are very good or excellent.

(ISC)2, the nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professions, released findings from its Cybersecurity Assessments in Mergers and Acquisitions report. This surveyed 250 U.S.-based professionals with M&A experience. Down low? Better cybersecurity makes your company a more attractive buy. 77% say they’ve recommended one company over another based on cybersecurity prowess. 57% said they’ve found an unreported data breach during the audit process. 52% say publicly traded clients have been hurt as a result of a data breach in an acquired company. 96% say that cybersecurity readiness is a factor in the valuation assessment of a company.

The 2019 Network Vendor Diversity report from Auvik Networks found that the network hardware market is becoming increasingly fragmented. More and more vendors are fighting for market share, such as the 124 companies offering switches. However, the top nine vendors sell 93.6% of the switches. Across all networks, around 80% of all devices are sold by either Cisco, HP, Meraki, Ubiquiti, Ruckus, Aruba, SonicWall, Dell, NETGEAR, or Fortinet. Sometimes, the competition comes from unexpected places, like the fact that SD-WAN technology is making traditional branch routers obsolete. MSPs are managing more wireless technology. Over 2,000 IT MSPs responded to the survey.

AirFraudsAirFrauds. Crave being a cool kid with some of those fancy wireless AirPods? Short of cash, but feel the need for coolness anyway?

ASOS has your back, or at least your ears. The online marketer sells faux wireless AirPod look-a-likes as a “fashion accessory.” Instead of 159 pounds (this comes from the Mirror in the UK), the ASOS AirFrauds are only 6.

Sadly, they don’t look much like AirPods, which are white, because the AirFrauds are silver. What?

And as many point out, you can buy cheap AirPod knockoffs for around 6 pounds already.

Unless, of course, you just want to make people think you’re listening to music, so they won’t bother you. But people will bother you anyway and you won’t get to hear any music.

Save the 6 pounds and stuff tissues in your ear. That will definitely tell people you want to be alone. And they’ll leave you alone, because you’ll look really weird. Your choice.

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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