IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

What’s Up This Week: July 25-July 29

Business tips from movie stars, earnings reports from industry bellwethers, and digital celebrations of Don McLean’s favorite painter all lie ahead for the SMB channel this week. By Rich Freeman

Financial updates from the IT industry’s A-team—Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet—one last chance to get Windows 10 for free, and high-tech tributes to the world’s best-known clinically insane artistic genius are all on the SMB channel’s agenda this week.

DattoMonday, July 25th

  • Datto announces an integration pact with a major management software vendor.

Reader ROI: You undoubtedly want to know which major management software vendor, and we’ll have that and all of the other details you need right here on our website in a few short hours.

  • The Sage Summit conference kicks off in Chicago. It ends on Thursday.

Reader ROI: Strictly speaking, today is actually Sage’s one-day Partner Summit, featuring presentations by senior company executives and others on forthcoming partner program changes, future product releases, and more. The next three days of content, aimed squarely at the SMBs who use Sage products, will pair a fairly typical lineup of hands-on-training sessions, keynote speeches, and networking opportunities with appearances by well-known celebrepreneurs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Zooey Deschanel, and Ashton Kutcher. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson is scheduled to speak as well about “architecting a brand that’s built to last.”

  • TubesThe HostingCon conference for cloud service providers, hosters, and the channel pros who partner with them gets going in New Orleans. It closes on Wednesday.

Reader ROI: Registration and workshops actually began at noon yesterday, but today is the first full day of educational content, expo hall access, and meet-and-greet time. Sessions cover a wide range of topics related to managed services, cloud computing, BDR, security, and more. Andrew Blum, author of Tubes, an enlightening look at the hidden world of cables and connections that make the internet work, delivers a keynote speech today at 4:00 pm.

Tuesday, July 26th

  • Managed services software maker Atera adds functionality to its combo RMM/PSA solution that both streamlines and sheds analytical light on a major operational process.

Reader ROI: Intrigued? We’ll spell out all the specifics for you tomorrow.

  • Apple WatchApple and Citrix both publish quarterly earnings statements.

Reader ROI: Last time out, Apple’s numbers came in short of already weak analyst expectations, sending its stock price down nearly 5.5 percent in the three months since. Today isn’t likely to be the start of a turnaround, either, as the company notified investors back in April that revenue will be substantially lower on a year-over-year basis the following quarter. That warning syncs with the declining iPhone shipment totals many Apple-watchers have been forecasting and the sharply lower Apple Watch sales that IDC has already reported.

Citrix seems headed in the opposite direction. Fueled by revenue and per-share earnings in its last quarterly update that comfortably exceeded analyst expectations, the company’s shares are up north of eight percent since April. Today’s conference call should provide some useful clues about whether Citrix thinks the Microsoft alliance agreement and workspace-as-a-service offerings it showcased at its Synergy partner event back in May are really as strategic as it suggested at the time.

NETGEAR GearWednesday, July 27th

  • NETGEAR posts financial results for the second quarter of its 2016 fiscal year.

Reader ROI: The networking leader’s revenue rose just 0.4 percent year-over-year in Q1, but net income more than doubled. Since then, NETGEAR has shipped new 10GbE switches and, more recently, a high-speed VDSL modem. Today we learn if those and other recent products are driving faster top-line growth to match that strong recent bottom-line performance.

Thursday, July 28th 

  • IT provider consulting firm Bering McKinley opens its latest service fundamentals workshop in Chicago.

Reader ROI: Attendees will get two days of in-depth presentations and rigorous coursework on financial KPIs, hiring, and service team management from CEO Josh Peterson and the rest of the Bering McKinley team.

  • Google CarAmazon and Google-parent Alphabet both report their most recent quarterly numbers.

Reader ROI: If Amazon somehow tops the numbers it issued last time around it will be an extremely impressive accomplishment. Net sales were up 28 percent year-over-year in April for the company as a whole and a staggering 64 percent for the Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit.

Alphabet, on the other hand, came in short of analyst expectations on both earnings and revenue in its last quarterly report, partly because it’s making more of its money on less lucrative mobile advertising these days and partly because it’s spending money hand over fist on “moonshot” projects like self-driving cars and solar-powered, web-enabled contact lenses. We’ll learn this week if shareholders have begun losing patience with those trends, as well as whether CEO Larry Page cares one way or the other.

Windows 10Friday, July 29th

Reader ROI: The software maker gave users of Windows 7 and 8.1 a solid year to get Windows 10 at no cost when it released its latest client operating system last summer. It would appear only 38 percent of you, in the IT community at least, have taken them up on the offer. You’ll never get a better price on a new piece of software, so get in on the action while you—and your customers—still can.

  • Distributor D&H shuts down its Evolve program for resellers of Cisco networking, security, and mobility solutions.

Reader ROI: Introduced in April, Evolve offers D&H partners discounted prices—and therefore higher margins—when migrating customers to Cisco SMB solutions. Dawdlers, however, are just about out of time to cash in on that deal.

  • Van Gogh-ified Eiffel TowerVincent Van Gogh is still dead!

Reader ROI: It’s a streak he’s kept intact since committing suicide this day in 1890 at age 37. Now we understand what he tried to say to us a little better, however, thanks to two recent applications of newfangled computer technology to his art. The first, announced by researchers in Germany last year, converts random images into surprisingly convincing Van Goghs with the help of a sophisticated algorithm and “convolutional neural network.” The second, also from 2015, lets you step into your favorite Van Gogh canvases and wander about inside using virtual reality glasses. Fascinating stuff, and far more appealing than the prospect of taking a 3D stroll through this.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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