Channel Beat: Microsoft Inspires, Verizon Data Left Exposed, And Citrix Shakes Up Management


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Microsoft executives shared product news and details of a new sales reorganization with partners at the Inspire conference this week in Washington. Partners cheered the moves by Microsoft to get its sales force more focused on working with the channel.

The changes will include different ways of compensating salespeople to give incentives for working with partners. Microsoft also announced a new product bundle called Microsoft 365. The offering brings together Office 365 with Windows 10 and security, as a way to make deployment easier for partners and customers.

Personal data on as many as 14 million Verizon customers had been reportedly exposed in an incident that highlights the importance of moving data protection practices to the cloud. The security incident, first reported on ZDNet and discovered by research firm UpGuard, involved technology supplier Nice Systems, which left Verizon customer data unprotected on an Amazon Web Services S3 storage instance. The data contained names, phone numbers, and PINs that could be used to access their Verizon accounts.

The report did not say if hackers had accessed the data, only that it was left exposed and easily accessible by guessing a simple URL that directed to the improperly configured cloud drive. Verizon downplayed news of the breach on Thursday afternoon, calling the incident "overstated."

Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, said the incident is the latest example of companies needing to step up their game when it comes to cloud security. 

Partners were caught off-guard with this week's leadership shakeup at Citrix Systems, but several told CRN any concerns of disruption were eased by the selection of David Henshall as the new CEO.

In elevating Henshall, the board of directors gave a ringing endorsement of maintaining Citrix' unique corporate culture at a time of tremendous product and channel transformation for the cloud era, partners told CRN. Henshall will replace Kirill Tatarinov at the helm of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based virtualization vendor, and partners say they view him as a “trusted old-guard executive with close ties to the company's channel.” 

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