CDN Morning Briefing, September 3, 2020 – Lenovo DCG product launches, plus an intro to Cisco Webex Classrooms

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 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

It’s what you need to know right now in the world of IT and tech – ’nuff said. (Often taken with a side of Hashtag Trending)


The Audet that owns Cogeco has opposed Altice’s $10.3 billion offer to buy Cogeco and sell Canadian assets to Rogers, Microsoft tackles deep fakes, and India bans more Chinese apps.


Not so fast …

The Audet family that controls Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications won’t support a bid from U.S firm Altice that offered $10.3 billion for the company.  Altice’s offer would mean Rogers Communications would buy Cogeco’s Canadian assets for $4.9 billion. If the deal were to happen, Altice would own Cogeco’s U.S. assets, including Atlantic Broadband. Analysts are also saying it would greatly benefit Rogers if it scooped up Ontario cable assets. 


RSA says goodbye to Dell

Led by a consortium comprised of Symphony Technology Group, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, and AlpInvest Partners, combined with its separation from Dell Technologies, RSA officially became an independent company Sept. 1. RSA says it’s pursuing growth in three key business segments through its solutions (on-prem or SaaS):

  • Integrated Risk Management through RSA Archer Suite
  • Security through its RSA SecurID Suite, RSA NetWitness Platform and RSA Conference
  • Omnichannel Fraud Prevention through RSA Fraud and Risk Intelligence Suite

RSA says Rohit Ghai will continue to lead the independent security firm as its CEO and serve as group CEO across all three businesses. William Chisholm, STG’s managing partner and chief investment officer, will serve as the Chairman of the board. Bill Diaz will join RSA as CEO, RSA Archer to lead the integrated risk management business.


Lenovo announces new and updated hyperconverged infrastructure solutions and cloud services

Lenovo this morning announced a series of new and updated solutions for customers and channel partners to chew on.

ThinkAgile HX powered by AMD EPYC processors and Nutanix

Allows customers to run their virtual desktop workloads and maintain consistent performance (in the same 1U form factor), with up to 50 per cent fewer servers. Availability is planned in late November as an appliance or a certified node. 

Lenovo ThinkAgile MX and Microsoft Azure Stack

Lenovo is calling it a one-stop-shop for Azure Stack HCI with the new ThinkAgile MX appliances. The company also says it plans to offer consumption-based (pay-as-you-go) pricing of Azure Stack HCI and Azure Stack Hub.

Lenovo ThinkAgile VX and VMware

Lenovo ThinkAgile VX HCI Solutions are 4S certified nodes that let customers modernize their infrastructure for high-end database solutions, such as SAP HANA. It will be available later this month, and offers double the SAP HANA database memory and direct connect NVMe.

In a press briefing Sept. 2, Kamran Amini, vice-president and general manager of server, storage and software-defined infrastructure, Lenovo Data Center Group, said the product announcement is good news for channel partners. They can get really creative with the updated hyperconverged solutions and easily layer on their own services. Independent software developers, he adds, are desperately looking for ways to get their own product into customers’ hands.

“ISVs want to go to market but they don’t have a hardware carrier. They want to deliver it with their own branding and accelerate their business,” he said, adding Lenovo today is working in tandem with software vendor Diamanti on a “multi-million-dollar opportunity.”

Shekar Mishra, director of software-defined infrastructure for Lenovo DCG explained the added benefits of today’s announcements. “What we’re doing is taking out the risks around integration and validation for our channel partners. Our strategy has always been channel-first.”


In case you missed it

The recent channel 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.


Back to school with Cisco

In-person classes are starting across Canada, but many students are choosing to work from home. Let’s also face it, do we really expect cases to remain low as students cram themselves into school buses, classrooms and playgrounds?

Cisco this week debuted Cisco Webex Classrooms, a version of its collaboration software tailored for teachers, students, and parents. The new solution lets teachers schedule virtual office hours or parent-teacher conferences, automate note taking and attendance, and set up online classes. It also supports pre-defined education templates and security settings. On the flip side, students can use Webex Classrooms to view schedules, class recordings, notes and assignments. It’s another option for channel partners to pursue within Cisco’s collaboration portfolio. [Full news release]


A new player enters …

A Silicon Valley firm specializing in enterprise backup and recovery – and a deep admiration for the channel – is announcing its push into the Canadian market. The firm says the expansion is led by a sales team comprising of Chris Gowans and Wayne Silberman, and while this move is still in its early stages, the company is already touting some customer case studies.

“We are proud to recognize Robert Murdoch, Head of Information Technology for Maple Lodge Farms, the largest chicken processor in Canada as our first customer in the region. Robert said it best, “Clumio liberated our organization from the constant burden of managing backup across environments. The ability to have a single set of policies that I can easily assign to different data sources like VMware and Microsoft365 completely changed the backup experience. To do it with SaaS and without hardware or software to install and manage was like voodoo magic.” [Aug. 25 press release]


Headset shipments soar

Professional headset shipments will reach 65.7 million units by 2026, according to projections by Says Frost and Sullivan. The global professional headset market is expected to reach $2.94 billion by 2026 from $1.41 billion in 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1 per cent. The impact of social distancing efforts and work from home policies is significant.


Connected2Fiber says first Canadian provider of its networking solutions is TeraGo [Channel Daily News]

TeraGo says its partners and clients will be able to access fixed wireless and networking solutions much more efficiently across Canada after joining Connected2Fiber’s Serviceability portal.


Rogers launches 5G service in 18 new Ontario locations [Channel Daily News]

The new service provides 5G signals to areas outside Canada’s large urban centres. Residents in Barrie, Cambridge, Oshawa, Caledon and others now have access to Rogers’ 5G services.

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.


25 years of experience and I just spent 30 minutes trying to diagnose why I couldn’t connect to a NAS device I hadn’t turned on. from msp


Selling a one man MSP from msp


MSP Return to "normal" poll from msp

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

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