Coffee Briefing, November 27, 2020 – Leadership changes, Dell’s Q3, and MSPs ask for help managing bad clients

Coffee Briefings deliver our entire audience –  the IT administrators and channel partners as well as the C-Suite – a complete news package with the latest headlines, interviews, and social media chatter. These briefings drop on Tuesday mornings. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal with files from editorial director Alex Coop.

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)

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

An Amazon outage knocks out connected vacuum cleaners and other “smart” objects, Shopify gets a shoutout in the New York Times as its compared to Amazon, and a Tesla gets hacked with a Raspberry Pi. [Full episode transcript]


Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Ransomware hits fertility clinics, a news agency and a school board. [Full episode transcript]

Psst … do you live in Quebec, or speak French, and want to read tech coverage in the French language? Our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered.

In case you missed it

The recent tech 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. We also show love for the IT channel, so expect news that MSPs and resellers care about to pop up, too.

Leadership changes

This has been a week of leadership change for many tech organizations, one of them being Montreal-based tech company GSoft that announced the appointment of Martin Gourdeau to the role of chief operating officer and general manager. 

A strategy and technology veteran, Gourdeau comes with over 18 years of experience building high-performance teams within a wide range of industries. He has worked with GSoft in the past as an external consultant. Before officially joining GSoft, he co-founded PNR, a boutique management consulting firm specialized in corporate strategy and mergers & acquisitions. Prior to that, he worked in executive roles at Global Eagle Entertainment, nventive and Electronic Arts, where he oversaw the companies’ growth. 

Schneider Electric appoints new Canadian president

Digital transformation, energy management and automation company Schneider Electric has appointed Adrian Thomas as its new Canadian president. 

Effective January 1, 2021, Thomas will take over as country president, succeeding Susan Uthayakumar, who previously held the role for three years. Uthayakumar has been appointed to lead the company’s new sustainability business division and will be reporting to chief strategy and sustainability officer, Olivier Blum.

Thomas has been with Schneider Electric since 2016, most recently serving as vice president, home & distribution, and power products, and will report to North American chief executive officer and president, Annette Clayton.

Schneider Electric says it has been working with its customers and partners to drive digital energy efficiency and automation solutions across industries as the company continues its journey toward a sustainable future. This includes building solutions to manage energy better, automate how it’s used, and analyze data for smarter decision-making to drive a more productive, profitable and sustainable economy. 


Client devices give Dell a boost in Q3, storage does not

Dell Technologies generated experienced strong total sales growth during its fiscal 2021 third quarter thanks to client device sales hitting an all-time high of $12.3 billion. On the other hand, Dell’s storage business limped through the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, dropped 7 per cent.

But Dell vice-chairman and chief operating officer Jeff Clarke remains optimistic about the company’s storage revenue moving forward.

Dell generated $3.86 billion in storage revenue during the fiscal Q3, which ended Oct. 30. Dell’s storage business hasn’t experienced year-over-year sales growth in more than a year.

“So this year, we are weathering through a server marketplace that’s down 6 per cent storage marketplace that’s down somewhere in the same ballpark, 7 per cent, if I remember correctly. And we are looking into a calendar year 2021, our fiscal 2022 with servers being up nearly 4 per cent and storage being up nearly 5 per cent. We think if the market responds, companies can no longer defer their investments in infrastructure and that’s the rebound.”


Lightspeed plans to acquire Shopkeep

Hey look at that – a Canadian company scooping up an American one for a change. Lightspeed, a cloud-based provider of omnichannel commerce platforms, recently announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ShopKeep, a cloud commerce platform provider based in New York City. [Full company blog post]

ICYMI – IT World Canada

AppDynamics the ‘centre’ of Cisco’s push into cloud and SaaS, says its new country manager 

Thanks to a front-row seat within Cisco, AppDynamics’ new country manager for Canada Rebecca Leach has witnessed the tech giant go from hardware giant to a hardware giant with a growing software portfolio and an ecosystem of developers. [Full story]


Thousands of Fortinet VPN users may be at risk after leak of credentials 

Over a year ago, Fortinet warned customers of its FortiOS SSL VPN devices to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system, reset passwords and make two-factor authentication mandatory for users to snuff out attacks that could lead to a network intrusion.

Any IT administrator that hasn’t followed that advice is in big trouble now that news has emerged that a hacker has leaked the credentials for almost 50,000 vulnerable Fortinet VPNs and has dumped a file with “sslvpn_websession” files for every IP that had been on the list. [Full story]

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

Breaking records and exceeding expectations: Global adoption of 5G 

Speaking recently at Strategic Marketing USA, a Reuters Event that assembled more than 5,000 virtual attendees to hear some of the world’s most influential CMOs, Penny Baldwin, chief marketing officer for cellular technology leader Qualcomm encouraged marketers to rethink the brand experience. “Connectivity is essential to our lives and the global economy,” she said. “It has enabled us to remain in touch with our family and friends, work remotely from home, and ensure that our children continue to be educated.” [Full story]


Telesat to be listed on Nasdaq, still considered Canadian

Telesat, a Canadian satellite service company, will be publicly listed on Nasdaq by combining with Loral Space and Communications. [Full story]


ICYMI – Channel Daily News

New channel partnership will help partners build a ‘million-dollar experience’ without spending a million

Software solutions provider Benchmark Corp. and systems integrator Metsi Technologies are partnering up to help enterprise clients “take cloud more seriously.” [Full story]


Pure Storage expands Pure as-a-Service offerings, unveils new service catalogue 

Pure Storage dropped a major expansion of its Pure as-a-Service consumption-based offerings this week, including a new service catalogue providing public cloud levels of price transparency for partners. [Full story]

Bookmarks of the week

A few bookmarked tweets that we think are worth sharing with you.






The r/MSP recap

The MSP subreddit community is growing rapidly. It’s also a chatty bunch. With more than 85,000 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.

2nd client in 2 months trying to weasel out of contract by saying "support these users but not others." Need advice! from msp


What to bill client for holding some laptops for up to 1 year? from msp


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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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