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  • Mergers and acquisitions in the tech sector mirror the transitions companies undergo as they address industry advances. A new report from Ernst & Young illustrates the frenzied pace M&As in the IT space grew in the second quarter—and reflects the industry's increasing focus on the cloud, mobility and big data. "Cloud/SaaS [software-as-a-service] technology was a key enabler for a broad spectrum of deals, and many had security or big data analytics aspects or both," the report said. "The volume of deals targeting those three technologies all increased" rapidly as companies added to their arsenals of new technologies. Yet, even in the enterprise IT arena, the acquisitions of Micros Systems by Oracle and Fusion-io by Sandisk show continued M&A moves by traditional IT vendors. Although the valuation of tech deals in the second quarter dropped 21 percent from the prior quarter, Ernst & Young noted that, overall, for the first half of 2014, the valuations of M&As was still 70 percent higher than a year ago. Year-over-year valuations of IT M&As rose 57 percent for the quarter. Only a dozen deals were valued at $1 billion or more for the quarter. Channel Insider examines key trends and examples of deals outlined in the report.

  • Both line-of-business and IT professionals see benefits in bring-your-own-identity (BYOID) initiatives, in which social networking or digital IDs are used for application log in, according to a joint study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and CA Technologies. The 3,115 IT and business professionals surveyed for the report also agreed that more security is needed to increase BYOID adoption. Although the report, "The Identity Imperative for the Open Enterprise 2014," finds that BYOID deployment using social IDs is still in the early stages, interest is high. Both IT and business users agreed that an important reason for BYOID adoption was to achieve stronger identity credentials. However, business users cited capturing attributes about users as the biggest benefit. This indicates that identity is now considered a value asset that can provide data, drive incremental revenue and help maintain customers, according to the report. Here is a look at the survey's top findings that indicate the benefits that BYOID can offer to both line-of-business and IT teams.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: Many IT organizations are desperate to leverage identity access management services in the cloud to help regain control of their environments.

  • This week's briefs include a partnership between Arrow and Information Builders, Bromium's new channel partnerships, and more news.

  • This week's briefs include a number of partnership announcements and more channel news.

  • When it comes to IT security, there is much to be learned simply by observing. The Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report drives that point home—not only by noting that there has been a significant drop in the number of exploit kits available to hackers, but also by identifying patterns that hackers appear to be exploiting routinely. Based on research conducted across 16 multinational organizations with more than $4 trillion in assets, the Cisco study found that while some issues such as the security of Java remain paramount concerns, the avenues of attack are starting to shift. In particular, WordPress sites and point-of-sale (POS) systems appear to be highly vulnerable. For solution providers in the channel that spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning up after these attacks, that information can be critical. The more attacks solution providers can thwart, the more profitable they stand to be. After all, the labor and other costs associated with cleaning up after a successful IT attack can exceed the actual revenue associated with delivering the security service in the first place. Of course, to be forewarned should be enough for solution providers with security expertise to be forearmed.

  • Though "paradigm shift" is uttered too often in technology, the IoT offers the channel real opportunities and challenges, ChannelCon panelists said.

  • Today, more IT infrastructure than ever is deployed in the cloud. Customer appreciation of the attributes of IT infrastructure is increasing largely because many organizations are building their own private clouds. An Oxford Economics survey, conducted on behalf of IBM, of 750 IT executives from 18 countries finds that 71 percent reported that IT infrastructure plays a key role in giving their organizations a competitive advantage and the ability to optimize revenue streams. But when it comes to next-generation application workloads such as cloud and mobile computing, big data and social media, less than 40 percent, on average, said their IT infrastructure is ready to meet the demands of those workloads. While many of the those workloads will run on public clouds, a significant percentage will be private clouds because of security and privacy concerns. Either way, the channel stands to benefit, especially as companies look to deploy modern IT systems to support a new generation of application workloads. Most of the IT executives polled are unsure where these workloads will run. While 80 percent run on-premise today, more than half the IT executives were unsure where these workloads would run in the next three to five years.

  • Arrow Electronics entered the cloud race a few years ago with the launch of its cloud services platform—ArrowSphere—by testing the waters with European channel partners first before expanding the program into North America. Although the industry has spawned new types of providers to support cloud computing, IT distributors have a big role to play. Arrow pointed out at one time that traditional channel partners are poised to deliver cloud services because of their alignment to IT and their skills and capabilities around services such as the integration and assessment of applications and security. A recent CompTIA survey found that channel partners plan to use distribution for an array of services, including technical support, aggregation of cloud services, data center accessibility and hosting services, as well as vetting cloud service providers and offerings. Over the past year, Arrow's Enterprise Computing Solutions segment has focused on bolstering its cloud offerings through new or expanded partnerships. Many of these offerings are tied into other key tech markets, including converged infrastructure, virtualization and big data.  Here is a quick look at Arrow's latest offerings.

  • While there's a lot of hype surrounding the bring-your-own-device phenomenon, the rise of BYOD as an officially sanctioned policy is more of a process than an event. A new study found that more than one-fourth of IT professionals said there is limited use of privately owned devices on their networks, but almost a third said their organizations are actively evaluating their BYOD policies. More significantly from the perspective of solution providers in the channel, 25 percent of respondents said their organizations will be increasing their BYOD budgets in the next 12 months, according to the study, which is based on a survey of 1,122 IT pros conducted by the LinkedIn Information Security Community on behalf of Vectra Networks, a malware-detection software provider. The report made it clear that mobile computing is a major IT management challenge that only gets more complex with the introduction of BYOD. That should create a significant amount of demand for outside help from IT service providers. However, that problem doesn't officially exist until the organization admits there's a problem worth allocating IT budget dollars to solve. Take a look at how far BYOD has come and what challenges need addressing.

  • This week's briefs include the addition of McAfee SaaS offerings to Tech Data's Solutions Store and Trend Micro's new capabilities for Microsoft 365 customers.

  • This week's briefs cover Parallels' support of the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program and more channel news.

  • Avnet Technology Solutions launches a security and networking solutions division in the EMEA to help partners increase opportunities in those markets.

  • This week's briefs cover CommVault's enhanced channel partner program, Tech Data's agreement to offer Cisco Meraki cloud and managed services, and more news