CDN Morning Briefing, July 9 – The channel’s guideposts to the ‘new normal’

To keep up with the firehose of news and press releases, we’ve decided to deliver some extra 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. Today’s inaugural CDN Morning Briefing is delivered by ITWC editorial director Alex Coop. 


What you need to know, right now

Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government’s deficit is expected to hit $343 billion this year. The deficit is significant and can largely attributed to the relief programs that have pushed federal spending to a level not seen since the Second World War. Source: CBC News


Microsoft Teams just came out with some updates:

  • Together Mode – A new video calling concept in Microsoft Teams that uses AI to remove the borders around our separate video feeds and makes everyone on the call feel like they are in the same room.
  • Dynamic Stage – Provides more flexibility to change your view in Teams meetings. For example, you can minimize the presentation you’re screensharing so you can see more of the reactions of your audience.
  • Expressive Emojis – Emojis – ‘nuff said.
  • Reflect – A new feature in Teams that allows a manager to check in on the well-being of their team with anonymous or public check-in questions.
  • Cortana – The voice assistant is coming to the platform.
  • Video Filters – New video filters touch up your appearance and make turning on the camera more comfortable.
  • Click here for a video showing off the updates in action.
Together Mode in Teams. Source: Microsoft
Dynamic Stage in Teams. Source: Microsoft


B2B Tech Channel Sales: Guideposts to the New Normal

The main course for this morning’s briefing


Yesterday Channel Daily News hosted the second webinar of its new series called B2B Tech Channel Sales: Guideposts to the New Normal. It focused on how 2020 IT trends compare to previous years, specifically during the months of March, April, and May. Together with channel expert Michael O’Neil, Alex Coop followed up those trends with a deep dive on the Canadian channel by technology segment, followed by a discussion about the business implications of the “new normal” based on what the channel has told us in recent weeks.


Tough times ahead, but the technology channel is resilient, according to market research

Some of the data’s main takeaways include:

  • Cloud has had a big impact on the market for storage devices. Revenues in this segment have been declining steadily in each time period since then. So far in 2020, revenue in this category is down more than 9 per cent, and down almost 14 per cent in the first five months of 2020 versus the same period in 2019.
  • Sales of hard disk drives are declining very rapidly – more than a 20 per cent contraction in the first five months of 2020 vs. 2019. 
  • Software is and has been a good news segment for channel sales in Canada. The category has trended up steadily, from upper-teens in 2017 to more than 20 per cent of total two-tier sales today. 
  • Networking is a mid-sized category, but it’s been sloping downward, with a pretty remarkable slip in the second half of last year. The slide has continued into this year, with revenue down more than 5 per cent from the same period in 2019

It’s worth noting that the data presented in this webinar comes from NPD’s Distributor Track service, which aggregates sales out data from all of Canada’s leading distributors; it covers 95 per cent of the two-tier channel market. You can view the entire webinar on-demand by filling out this quick form:

In case you missed it

The recent news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve already reported on and feel is worth resurfacing


Cybersecurity firm Trustwave launched a new partner program this week. More details can be found here, but the new Trustwave PartnerOne program features some of the usual goodies you’d expect from a channel program: Customerized marketing campaigns, new revenue streams, and a new user interface for the partner portal.


Kaspersky has extended its Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business solution with a new bundled offering called Kaspersky Integrated Endpoint Security. Announced this week, the product integrates Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business with Cloud Management Console, Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum (EDR Optimum) and Kaspersky Sandbox. The solution, according to the cybersecurity firm, is tailored for organizations with limited security expertise and resources.


Dell Technologies recently announced the launch of two new VxRail systems, including what it says is the first ruggedized model and introduction of AMD EPYC processors. Dell says the VxRail D Series is the new compact member of the VxRail family. It’s 20 inches deep and can withstand extreme temperatures (although Dell didn’t specify what those temperatures are in its press release), sustain 40G of operational shock and operate at up to 15,000 feet. Also, VxRail now supports Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, allowing customers to expand in-memory intensive workloads and use cases, such as SAP HANA, as well as NVIDIA Quadro RTX GPUs – good news for designers and artists.


  • VxRail D Series and E Series with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors are available now
  • VxRail HCI System Software’s latest update is now globally available. 
  • NVIDIA Quadro RTX GPUs and Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory options are now globally available.


Data protection firm Zerto this morning announced it was selected by Ritchie Bros. to beef up the global asset management company’s data recovery needs. Zerto, which has an office in Canada, says it has more than 1,500 partners and supplies resliency solutions for 450 managed services providers. Ritchie Bros. is a global asset management and disposition company, offering customers end-to-end solutions for buying and selling used heavy equipment, such as trucks and other devices.


Global software firm Nitorom this week launched NiTO, a SaaS-based integrated infrastructure monitoring solution. After speaking to a company spokesperson this week, it was interesting to learn how NiTO was created in response to internal frustrations as the company’s MSP business managed many disparate environments for clients. NiTO features include:

  • Real-time, monitoring for Windows and Linux
  • Ping, and TCP uptime
  • SNMP network monitoring
  • VMware and Hyper-V host and guest monitoring
  • AWS and Azure cloud monitoring
  • Website monitoring and SSL certificate checks
  • Logfile monitoring
  • Parenting and flapping detection
  • Event escalation
  • Custom metrics
  • Historical data
  • Performance reports


From Channel Daily NewsZoom launches Hardware-as-a-Service, but only in the U.S.

Zoom HaaS will make Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone more accessible to enterprises by “minimizing friction around hardware procurement,” according to a July 7 press release. Hardware manufacturers involved in the HaaS program include DTEN, Neat, Poly and Yealink. Zoom HaaS doesn’t include software license costs.


Bookmarks of the week

A few bookmarked Tweets that we think are worth sharing with you

Cloud economist Corey Quinn walks us through a surprise Amazon Web Services bill of $2,700 belonging to Red Hat’s Chris Short. It’s a good thread that highlights the inheritance weaknesses with the AWS platform when it comes to moving your data around.


Microsoft says Project Freta was incubated at Microsoft Research. It’s a roadmap toward trusted sensing for the cloud that can allow enterprises to engage in regular, complete discovery sweeps for undetected malware. It sounds a little complicated, but cloud-based VM forensics at a massive scale does sound like a good idea. Microsoft says if commercial cloud could guarantee the capture of malware, no matter how expensive or exotic, in volatile memory, producers of stealthy malware would then be “locked into an expensive cycle of complete re-invention, rendering such a cloud an unsuitable place for cyberattacks.”

Some examples of devices helping businesses reintegrate themselves into the office environment.


We’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment if you like what you saw above (or didn’t like, we love feedback). And if you have any news tips or pitches, send them to [email protected]

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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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