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Microsoft Azure Survey: Architects Are the Most Expensive Cloud Employees

Architects are the most expensive employee type for Microsoft Azure partners in most regions of the world, according to new Microsoft partner research.

Microsoft this month released details of a survey conducted in November of more than 1,100 Azure partners with active cloud practices worldwide. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 13, 2017 at 12:20 PM0 comments

Acronis Bundles Office 365 Backup into Acronis 12

Acronis is refreshing its comprehensive backup suite, Acronis Backup 12, with support for Microsoft Office 365 backups and some new VMware-related functionality.

The Office 365 backup is the main element of the new release and addresses a market opening that backup and recovery vendors have been scrambling over one another to fill. In fact, Acronis itself released a point solution addressing Office 365 backups in its Acronis Backup Cloud product in July as part of a cloud-first approach to product releases. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 08, 2017 at 9:57 AM0 comments

ThreatTrack Breaks Out Partner Program for VIPRE Endpoint Security

ThreatTrack Security Inc. on Wednesday unveiled a new partner program specifically for those SMB partners representing its VIPRE endpoint security product. The VIPRE Partner Program has more aggressive margins, three partner tiers and new dedicated channel employees.

The VIPRE program represents a new channel program for Clearwater, Fla.-based ThreatTrack, which previously lumped its VIPRE-selling partners within an umbrella partner program that also covers higher-end advanced threat solutions for enterprise and federal government customers, according to the company. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 08, 2017 at 12:21 PM0 comments

Google Setback Shows the Microsoft Ireland Datacenter Case May Not Be Over

Google's recent legal setback requiring the cloud giant to hand over customer e-mails stored on servers outside the United States suggests that the U.S. Department of Justice will fight a recent decision by a higher federal court in a similar case involving Microsoft and its datacenter in Ireland.

In the Microsoft case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, in New York City, in late January declined to re-hear a case in which the Appeals Court previously ruled that Microsoft did not have to turn over e-mails that the government demanded that were stored in Microsoft's datacenter facilities in Ireland. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 06, 2017 at 12:11 PM0 comments

Kaseya Partner: New RMM Release Shows Company 'Mojo'

A lengthy and well-run beta testing program that culminated this week in the latest release of Kaseya's remote monitoring and management (RMM) product, VSA 9.4, is evidence of the company's newfound focus, says one longtime partner.

"The mojo has completely changed with different management and a renewed focus on customer feedback, and on the whole feedback loop of 'We have this issue,' and they're truly putting their money where their mouth is," said Chris Banta, director of security and automation for Alpharetta, Ga.-based Safe Systems Inc., which provides IT services for community banks. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 26, 2017 at 2:58 PM0 comments

Microsoft Quietly Shifts Partner Focus to ISVs

As the new year begins, Microsoft is quietly increasing its focus within the partner channel on its ISV community.

Gavriella Schuster, the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group (WPG), telegraphed the shift in a December "State of the Channel" briefing with channel media. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 23, 2017 at 9:22 AM0 comments

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