CDN Morning Briefing, August 20, 2020 – Leadership shuffle at HPE, Twitter reacts to Rola Dagher returning to Dell

To keep up with the firehose of news and press releases, we’ve decided to deliver some extra channel news to you on the side. Some of it is an extension of our own reporting on the channel that didn’t make its way into a story, while others might be content we’ve bookmarked for later reading and thought of sharing with you. We’re doing a similar thing at IT World Canada – check it out here. Missed last week’s CDN Morning Briefing? Read it here. 

What you need to know, right now

The news that channel partners need to know about right now – ’nuff said. (Best taken with a side of Hashtag Trending)



Today’s the day! The Women in the IT Channel Virtual Recognition Luncheon begins at 11 am EST today. Haven’t registered? You can do that right now by clicking here. 







For more details about today’s virtual event, click here!

You can read about our three Hall of Fame inductees below. These women are long-time members of the Canadian IT channel, and are carving a path for the next generation of leaders. You’ll learn more about them later today, too.

There’s no remote workforce without change management, says WIIT honouree&nbsp [FULL STORY]

CommScope’s Canadian country leader’s leadership advice: Don’t create ‘a bunch of clones’ [FULL STORY] 

Women in IT Channel honouree worries about channel’s lack of visibility [FULL STORY]

In case you missed it

The recent news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing. Sometimes we’ll also feature awesome stories from other publications.


HPE’s North American leader Dan Belanger has unexpectedly stepped down. HPE quietly dropped the news in this Aug. 19 blog post from Heiki Meyer, HPE’s chief sales officer, who announced the appointment of Paul Hunter as the new managing director for HPE North America:

“Paul’s appointment follows Dan Belanger’s decision to leave HPE after over 30 years at the company. Dan has been instrumental in accelerating our mission as a company, and his leadership, dedication to customers, and passion for winning will be missed.”



A Phoenix rises from the ashes. Or in this case, a BlackBerry phone. BlackBerry this week announced that we can expect a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a physical keyboard, in the first half of 2021 in North America and Europe. Not much more can be said about the announcement, but here’s what we know so far:

  • OnwardMobility entered into an agreement with BlackBerry and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, to engineer and ultimately rollout a new 5G smartphone.
  • OnwardMobility CEO Peter Franklin had this to say in an email when asked about IP and software:

“Any hardware innovations will be owned by OnwardMobility as the OEM. As for software, users should experience all the same features they have come to love in a BlackBerry, but updated with innovations around experience and security that users would expect in a 2021 smartphone.”

  • We also spoke to BlackBerry about the announcement, but details were scarce. All they could confirm was that the phone will have a keyboard, and that OnwardMobility will be the one steering the ship when it comes to the new phone’s development and marketing.
  • OnwardMobility is a startup, and there’s no word yet on investments or investors.
  • It’s worth noting that OnwardMobility’s executive security advisor worked at BlackBerry for 11 years.
  • The announcement got the thumbs up from BlackBerry CEO John Chen:

“BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with physical keyboard leveraging our high standards of trust and security synonymous with our brand. We are excited that customers will experience the enterprise and government level security and mobile productivity the new BlackBerry 5G smartphone will offer.” (Source: Aug. 19 press release)

*With files from Lynn Greiner


From Channel Daily News – Zoom Phone now available in 25 more countries and territories [FULL STORY]

Zoom Video Communications is expanding the availability of Zoom Phone.


From Channel Daily News – Asigra makes Asigra Cloud Backup with Deep MFA generally available [FULL STORY]

Asigra is making its treasured Asigra Cloud Backup with Deep MFA platform generally available, giving the market a formidable tool, it says, to combat the rise of ransomware campaigns and other large-scale cyber attacks.


From Channel Daily News – Dell hires Cisco Canada president Rola Dagher as new channel chief [FULL STORY] 

Dell Technologies says it’s hiring Rola Dagher as its new global channel chief, replacing Joyce Mullen who announced her departure in July.

We’ll be speaking with Dagher in the coming weeks as she settles into her new role, but here’s some early reaction from the rest of the tech community on Twitter:


She was also recently interviewed by CBC about her efforts to mobilize support for Lebanon, and the chaotirc life that she grew up in before getting an opportunity to steer a corporate ship in Canada:


From Channel Daily News – Dell announces Payment Flexibility Program extension, with payment deferrals until 2021 [FULL STORY]

Dell Technologies is extending its Payment Flexibility Program to Oct. 30 this year, with payment deferrals until 2021.


Reddit recap

The MSP subreddit community is growing rapidly. It’s also a chatty bunch. With more than 80,000 members as of today, it’s worth taking a look at what they have to say every once in a while. Here are the recent top posts. Click on the posts to view additional responses.


Why do so many people think IT services will be $20/hour? from msp


‘Urgent’ after-hours ticket came in last night "I worked on an Excel sheet last Friday and I can’t find it, I need it urgently" (Rant) from msp


What are some good tools/ISO images you use every day? from msp


Any good IT podcasts out there? from msp

(You might also want to check out Cyber Security Today)

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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