Channel Bytes January 12, 2024 – Nominations open for Channel Innovation Awards; Wi-Fi Alliance certifying Wi-Fi 7 devices; Incase picks up discontinued Microsoft accessories; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Nomination deadline extended for CDN Channel Innovation Awards

Each year, Channel Daily News celebrates the best in innovation from Canada’s IT channel.  Do you know – or are you – a solution provider who pushed the envelope last year? We want to know what you/they did – and how it helped the client. Winning solutions will be celebrated at the Channel Innovation Awards on Thursday, April 18. Deadline for nominations has been extended until March 8.

You can submit nominations in any of the following categories – and yes, you can nominate yourself:

Data Analytics Master: Recognizing innovation in data or analytics offerings that solves a business problem/challenge or creates additional value for clients

Innovator(s) of the Year: Recognizing any initiative or a solution that has helped a partner or client succeed in an extraordinary fashion

Remote Work and Collaborative Workspaces Wunderkind: Recognizing innovative initiatives that increased collaboration, communication, and productivity in the workplace

Cybersecurity Ninja: Recognizing an innovation in the form of a new or enhanced security offering that results in increased cybersecurity protection for new and existing clients

AI Trailblazer: Recognizing innovation in employing artificial intelligence technologies to create or transform solutions to deliver significant business impact

C4 Award for Diversity and Inclusion: Recognizing an organization that has been working hard to meet challenges around diversity and inclusion

Wi-Fi Alliance begins certifying Wi-Fi 7 devices

Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that it has launched Wi-Fi Certified 7, a certification program that will guarantee interoperability between vendors’ Wi-Fi 7 products.

“Wi-Fi 7 will see rapid adoption across a broad ecosystem with more than 233 million devices expected to enter the market in 2024, growing to 2.1 billion devices by 2028,” the organization said in a release. “Smartphones, PCs, tablets, and access points (APs) will be the earliest adopters of Wi-Fi 7, and customer premises equipment (CPE) and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) equipment will continue to gain early market traction.

“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 pushes the boundaries of today’s wireless connectivity, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED helps ensure advanced features are deployed in a consistent way to deliver high-quality user experiences.”

Incase to build, sell Microsoft's discontinued accessories

Just months after Microsoft’s announcement last year that it would discontinue its Microsoft-branded PC accessories to focus on its Surface brand, the company has licensed many of the abandoned products to Incase, which will market them as Incase Designed by Microsoft.

Upwards of 23 products to launch later this year will include keyboards, including the ergonomic line, mice, headsets, and other items, and will be built using the same supply chain and manufacturing previously used by Microsoft.

The Verge reported that Incase hopes to have the accessories on the shelves in Q2.

IBM, SAP partner on AI offerings for consumer packaged goods, retail

IBM this week announced that it is working with SAP to create new generative and traditional AI offerings, which, it said, will be focused on addressing the complexities of the direct store delivery business process and product portfolio management, following its completed embedding of watsonx into SAP offerings.

The goal, the release noted, is to develop offerings that will help consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, wholesale distributors, and retailers more efficiently manage store-level assortments, improve product distribution and drive incremental revenue.

“IBM Consulting plans to build these solutions on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and will integrate watsonx through APIs,” the announcement stated. “Warehouse planners, frontline delivery associates and client representatives can have an enriched user experience by using watsonx Assistant to create chatbots using IBM’s conversational search capabilities.”

AMD launches Ryzen 8000G series desktop processors

AMD has unveiled the AMD Ryzen 8000G Series desktop processors for the AM5 platform, including the Ryzen 7 8700G, with what is says is the world’s most powerful built-in graphics. It is also bringing a dedicated AI neural processing unit (NPU) to desktop PC processors with the introduction of Ryzen AI to, it said, “unlock more AI capabilities for consumers and improve productivity, efficiency, and advanced collaboration.”

The company said that the processors are expected to be available to DIY customers and system integrator (SI) partners starting Jan. 31. OEM systems are expected to arrive in Q2 2024.

Micron launches new type of RAM at CES

At CES this week, Micron announced that it is marketing a new memory technology that promises higher performance, better power consumption, and a smaller form factor: LPCAMM2 RAM modules using LPDDR5X. This follows the publication in December of the CAMM2 memory module standard, and Samsung’s announcement in September of its upcoming LPCAMM module.

DDR5 and LPDDR5/5X CAMM2s cater to distinct use cases, standards body JEDEC noted in a release.  DDR5 CAMM2s are intended for performance notebooks and mainstream desktops, while LPDDR5/5X CAMM2s target a broader range of notebooks and certain server market segments.

The Compression Attached Memory Module (CAMM2) Common Standard defines the electrical and mechanical requirements for both Double Data Rate, Synchronous DRAM Compression-Attached Memory Modules (DDR5 SDRAM CAMM2s) and Low Power Double Data Rate, Synchronous DRAM Compression-Attached Memory Modules (LPDDR5/5X SDRAM CAMM2s) in a single, comprehensive document.

JESD318 CAMM2 is available for download from the JEDEC website.

IBM adds Service track to its Partner Plus initiative

IBM this week announced a new Service track in its Partner Plus program that it said will create more opportunities for IBM partners to earn and grow their businesses by supporting consultancies, advisory firms, systems integrators (SIs), and managed service providers (MSPs).

According to a statement, this is the latest advancement in IBM’s Partner Plus Program, which launched in January of 2023 to redefine the relationship between IBM and its partners by delivering greater collaboration, innovation, and business opportunities around artificial intelligence (AI) and hybrid cloud.

In a blog posted on Tuesday, Kate Wooley, general manager of IBM Ecosystem, said the new track was launched because “consultancies, advisory firms, systems integrators and managed service providers are a vital part of the IBM Ecosystem that helps clients achieve their business goals with our technology. This enhancement to Partner Plus is designed to recognize the influence these partners have in driving adoption of IBM’s portfolio in the market and to help accelerate their success.

“I cannot recall another time in technology when partnership was more crucial than it is today. The increasing demand from clients to modernize and automate their business has reached staggering heights, and partners have become the tip of the spear in fulfilling this client need to accelerate AI and cloud adoption.”

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree

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