Channel Happy Hour Episode 77 – Pardon the Interruption

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Channel Happy Hour Show Notes – Episode 77

Lexmark has hired Lenovo veteran Sammy Kinlaw as VP, worldwide channel and OEM sales, effective February 1, 2018, the printer giant confirmed today. Just two days ago Lenovo announced his resignation. Good pick up for Lexmark, and Lenovo has been having their own issues of late trying to stabilize its PC business while building a stronger data center business.

Joe Panettieri over at ChannelE2E writes that Kinlaw has a strong reputation as a channel advocate, and during much of his time at Lenovo the company enjoyed strong partner momentum. That partner commitment always surfaced at the annual Lenovo Accelerate conference, where Kinlaw’s blend of humor and strategy kept VARs and resellers engaged and focused.

And continuing with some executive changes: CRN notes that Synnex President And CEO Kevin Murai is Retiring and being replaced by COO Dennis Polk. Murai joined Synnex as president and CEO in 2008 after spending 20 years at Ingram Micro where he was President and COO.

In an statement Murai said: “My time at SYNNEX has been an incredible journey, working with remarkable people, and achieving great things together. I am excited to continue to serve SYNNEX as Chairman of the Board of Directors.”

Synnex was not available to provide further comment on the CEO transition.

And on Tuesday CNBC reported that VMware has confirmed that it has laid off a small percentage of employees. This comes two years two years after the Dell subsidiary cut around 800 employees.

A VMware spokesman told CNBC: “We can confirm that there has been a small reduction in force at VMware this week. Workforce rebalancing is a continual activity across VMware’s businesses and geographies to ensure that resources are aligned with business objectives and customer needs. We continue to recruit in areas of strategic importance for the company.”

It’s unclear exactly how many people were affected by the move; the spokesman wouldn’t specify, or identify the locations where there were cuts. At the beginning of 2016 VMware had nearly 20,000 employees.

And lastly over in the UK The Register is reporting they got their hands on an internal IBM document that was distributed among senior execs where IBM revealed how it would “transform our service delivery model” in the year ahead with “30 per cent of SD&T (service delivery and technology) to be productively redeployed in 2018”, suggesting the total global GTS workforce is 103,000.
And they have hired Bain and Company to cut cost and up productivity.

And a few interesting stories coming out of CES:

CES this week was dominated by digital assistants mainly in form developed by Google. The question solution providers will need to ask themselves is to what degree will digital labor become the face of IT services.

Also at CES this week LPWAN are about to become a major opportunity for the channel. Semtech showed off smaller processors that can employed to more efficiently deliver low-power wide area networking services that don’t depend on cellular networks to drive, for example, IoT applications.

Cisco this week extended the reach of its Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA) initiative, which makes use of machine learning algorithms to identify potential malware that might be lurking in encrypted traffic. This is a big deal cause it turns out the bad guys are making extensive use of encryption to hide malware from IT security software. But Cisco is not the only IT vendor applying advanced analytics to network traffic.

Elsewhere, PwC notes that the current state of cybersecurity is sorry indeed.

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