IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of January 25th

A collection of stories worth knowing about that you may have missed. By Rich Freeman

We get around here at ChannelPro, but even we have trouble keeping up with the SMB tech world’s many doings. Here’s this week’s summary of stories you need to know about that we didn’t write about.

Amazon GoodiesSome people are hard to please. Remember when we predicted a “blow-out quarter” for Amazon earlier this week? Forgive the self-congratulation, but we nailed it. Yesterday Amazon reported record sales of $35.7 billion for Q4 2015, a 22 percent increase over the previous year’s mark, plus a 69 percent year-over-year jump in revenue from its Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit.

The next day investors rewarded the company for that solid performance by dumping huge piles of its stock, driving Amazon’s share price down over seven percent as of post time for this story. It seems some finicky types—many of whom happen to be Wall Street analysts—were expecting even higher revenue, profits, and earnings per share. 

Satya NadellaSteve who? Speaking of strong quarters, less than two years into his tenure as CEO Satya Nadella closed out 2015 with impressive numbers for Microsoft's fiscal year Q2, which closed on December 31st. In results disclosed yesterday, Microsoft reported $25.7 billion in revenue and 78 cents of per-share earnings. Both figures are adjusted to defer some Windows 10 revenue, but were above pre-release market estimates. As expected, Microsoft’s cloud computing business deserves much of the credit for that accomplishment—Office 365 revenues rose 70 percent and Azure revenue was up 140 percent.

In more news out of Redmond this week:

  • Microsoft announced the first technical preview of the forthcoming Azure Stack solution, a complete, miniaturized version of its Azure public cloud service that businesses can host in their own private cloud. And yes, that includes small and midsize businesses. According to Microsoft, Azure Stack runs on as few as four servers.
  • A new edition of Microsoft’s Power BI data visualization tool is now available for Windows desktops, smartphones, and tablets. The new release is based on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform and utilizes the company’s Continuum technology, which automatically optimizes the solution’s user interface based on the type of device you’re using.
  • Microsoft Office Online users can now co-author documents stored in either Box or Dropbox file repositories, and attach them to Outlook.com messages as well.

And as long as we’re talking about products. Microsoft wasn’t the only company shipping them this week.

Lee SchorBut please don’t call them StorageWALL. For the second time in as many weeks, newly installed StorageCraft chairman/CEO and ex-Dell SonicWALL executive Matt Medeiros has added a fellow SonicWALL veteran to his leadership team. Last week it was Marvin Blough, who was named StorageCraft’s worldwide vice president of sales. This time it was Lee Schor, who has stepped in as the company’s new VP of sales for the Americas.

Pocket-sized payment option. Verizon Wireless has let SMBs in on the same interest-free, 24-month installment plan it previously offered to consumers only, enabling business owners to silence their employees’ endless pleading for new smartphones without making big upfront outlays.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • Worldwide sales of public cloud services will reach $204 billion in 2016, according to Gartner.
  • Consumer and enterprise spending on mobile hardware, software, and services will climb at a 2.7 percent CAGR from $1.66 trillion last year to $1.85 trillion in 2019, according to IDC, with one- to nine-employee businesses accounting for "the strongest share" of that purchasing.
  • Panda Security’s PandaLabs unit tracked 304 million malware varieties last year, meaning that 27 percent of all cyberattacks ever recorded surfaced in 2015.

DMC-12What’s next, a second life for the Commodore VIC-20? DeLorean Motor Company (and no, I wasn’t actually aware they’re still around either) announced this week that it will ship about 300 of its classic brushed steel DMC-12 sports cars by end of year. Production of the gull-winged vehicle, made famous by the equally venerable Back to the Future, ceased in 1983 amid the company’s financial collapse and the eventually overturned indictment of founder John DeLorean on cocaine trafficking charges.

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