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Buying Exablox, StorageCraft Gets into 'Intelligent Business Continuity'

With an eye on the innovation that's happening among the HPE, Nutanix and Dell-EMCs of the world in converged storage, StorageCraft Technology Corp. on Thursday announced the acquisition of Exablox Corp.

"There's a lot of innovation happening in storage. What we think is there has to be a lot of innovation in the business continuity and backup and recovery side of that. What we're getting into is intelligent business continuity," said Marvin Blough, vice president of worldwide sales at StorageCraft, in a telephone interview. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 19, 2017 at 12:29 PM0 comments

More Evidence that Users Pick Terrible Passwords

Looking at two recent security studies together, one thing stands out. End users expect Web sites to keep their accounts secure, but they are overwhelmingly unwilling to help defend themselves by logging in with decent passwords.

The new data comes from an analysis by Keeper Security of 10 million passwords that were newly exposed through data breaches in 2016 and from a large-scale international survey conducted by Gemalto. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 18, 2017 at 1:32 PM0 comments

Microsoft Rolls Out More Azure MOOCs

Microsoft this week padded its selection of massively open online courses (MOOCs) focusing on the Azure public cloud technology stack.

The free Azure courses, which are supposed to take from four to 18 hours to complete, were first unveiled in early December by Gavriella Schuster, the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group. While not aimed exclusively at partners, the courses on OpenEdx, which itself runs on Azure, give partners an inexpensive way to skill up on a technology area that Microsoft is pushing hard and hoping to grow fast. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 12, 2017 at 12:02 PM0 comments

Kaseya: MSPs Up Their Rates

It's the start of a new year; it must be time for MSP resource reports. This week, two MSP tools vendors released reports designed to help MSPs, both their current partners and, of course, other MSPs that they hope to attract to their platforms.

Kaseya issued its sixth annual MSP pricing survey, a data-rich, 21-page resource for any MSP wrestling with finding the right way to price their services. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 11, 2017 at 11:58 AM0 comments

Gallery: Windows PCs from CES

While Internet of Things integrations and putting personal assistant technologies into cars or desktop robots dominated the CES headlines out of Las Vegas this week, there were plenty of interesting new systems and gadgets for businesses running Windows 10.

The category of two-in-one detachables that start as a PC, where the screen can be taken off to make a tablet, saw a few more entries this week. The most interesting is the Dell Latitude 7285, which is moving the ball forward with a wireless charging capability. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 06, 2017 at 8:28 AM0 comments

MSPs Kite Technology and AIS Merge for Focus and Scale

One of the first MSP mergers of the year involves two trends that are expected to be big in M&A in 2017 -- vertically oriented intellectual property (IP) and using the cloud to scale.

Kite Technology Group, based in Owings Mill, Md., closed a deal effective this week to acquire AIS Technology LLC, based in Germantown, Wis. Terms of the merger weren't disclosed, but the MSP operations will continue as Kite Technology Group. AIS Owner and President Nick Oliver joins Kite as executive vice president and will be a part owner of the 26-employee combined company, along with current Kite CEO Greg DiDio and Kite Technology Founder Jeff Kite. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 04, 2017 at 2:03 PM0 comments

Koenigsbauer: E3 Is the 'Hero SKU' but E5 Is the Future of Office 365

E3 is the "hero SKU" for Office 365, Microsoft's top Office marketing executive told financial analysts this month, but the company's long-term vision focuses on the newer and more comprehensive E5 SKU.

In a Barclays Global Technology Conference call, Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Office Marketing, described Microsoft's Office 365 business strategy as being about two things -- expanding "sockets," Microsoft parlance for seats of Office 365 that give the company a beachhead at a customer site, and increasing "ARPU," the abbreviation for average revenue per user that company executives regularly use as shorthand for upselling Office 365 seats with higher-end cloud services. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 14, 2016 at 10:41 AM0 comments

Nadella, Other Major Tech Execs, Meeting with Trump

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella numbered among the tech titans trooping to Trump Tower on Wednesday for a roundtable meeting with the president-elect.

The attendee list, reported by The New York Times on Tuesday, included Elon Musk, Tesla; Larry Page and Eric E. Schmidt, Alphabet; Tim Cook, Apple; Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook; Safra Catz, Oracle; Brian Krzanich, Intel; Chuck Robbins, Cisco; Ginni Rometty, IBM; and Nadella. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 14, 2016 at 10:31 AM0 comments

Microsoft: 20,000 Partners Transacting in CSP

The relatively new Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program has officially become the primary way that partners sell Microsoft cloud products, a Microsoft executive said.

"Today we have more than 20,000 partners transacting through CSP," said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, on Tuesday in a year-end update for media and analysts. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 07, 2016 at 9:57 AM0 comments

Microsoft Expands Azure Training with Free Courses, Testing Discounts

Hoping to help narrow a skills gap around its public cloud services for partners and customers, Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out six new and free massively open online courses (MOOCs) for Azure, along with discounts for related certification testing.

"These courses are designed to help partners respond to the surging demand, realize positive returns and grow their market opportunity. Partners can also take this training to their customers, which helps them grow the technical literacy in their customer environment as well," said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, in a conference call with media and analysts. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 06, 2016 at 2:50 PM0 comments

Top 10 Most Important Products for Microsoft Partners

Windows is still a common denominator in most partners' practices, even in this cloud-first, mobile-first era, a recent RCP reader survey shows.

In a survey this fall, RCP asked readers, "What Microsoft products do you commonly include in customer solutions?" Readers were asked to choose from a list of 17 core business products and they could select as many products as they used. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 01, 2016 at 11:34 AM0 comments

Windows 10, PCaaS Offer Faint Hope for Stability in PC Market

International Data Corp. updated its worldwide PC shipment forecast for 2016 on Wednesday with a projection that's slightly less red than it was in August.

With most of the sales booked for the year, the headline number is a projected decline of 6.4 percent to about 258.2 million units shipped. That's better than the 7.2 percent decline that IDC projected when it last ran the numbers three months ago. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 30, 2016 at 8:19 AM0 comments