Tag Archives: Marketplace

Intel partner marketplace to drive ecosystem collaboration

Intel has rolled out the Solutions Marketplace in a bid to facilitate collaboration among its global partner ecosystem.

The Intel Solutions Marketplace, launched Wednesday, provides a platform for Intel partners to create virtual storefronts where they can market their businesses and products. According to Intel, partners can use the Solutions Marketplace to browse other partners’ offerings and engage one another for collaborative purposes. The Solutions Marketplace is the latest move by the company in laying the groundwork for the Intel Partner Alliance program, a revamped partner program slated to launch in the second half of 2020.

“We have this ecosystem across our partner program that spans almost the entirety of our industry, and, oftentimes, the level of collaboration needed between two points in that ecosystem — or three points or even four points in that ecosystem — is growing as the complexity of end customer demands … grows, as well. The Intel Solutions Marketplace would be the way that that industry comes together to facilitate that,” said Eric Thompson, Intel general manager of global partner enablement.

Intel built the Solutions Marketplace on its Solutions Directory, a previously established feature of the company’s IoT Solutions Alliance program. The Solutions Directory lets partners post and promote their IoT-related products and solutions, Thompson said.

Given its origins, the Solutions Marketplace is heavily focused on IoT, but Thompson said offerings will expand into other technology areas. He noted that the marketplace also carries Intel Select Solutions — data center-oriented products for running enterprise software applications such as SAP HANA.

At launch, the Solutions Marketplace has approximately 4,600 unique offerings from about 1,000 Intel partners, Thompson said.

Making partner-to-partner collaborations easier

Other vendors, such as IBM, have recently made efforts to facilitate the partner matchmaking process within their complex channel ecosystems. There are a number of factors driving the need for partner-to-partner collaborations.

Thompson said the Intel partner ecosystem ranges from ODMs, OEMs and ISVs to systems and solutions integrators, services providers and cloud service providers. Customer demand for advanced IT solutions increasingly requires channel firms to combine their skill sets and expertise in joint engagements.

When Intel designed the Solutions Marketplace, the company sought partner feedback on the challenges typically involved in collaborations, Thompson said. Intel partners cited issues such as finding the right companies to connect with and identifying the right people in those companies to contact. “Our intent was to build features into the marketplace to help solve some of those challenges with collaboration,” he noted.

Each virtual storefront lets an Intel partner display a listing of its offerings as well as a detailed profile of its business and targeted industries, focus areas and geographic markets. Partners can be contacted by potential collaborators directly through the storefronts. Additionally, a dashboard gives partners insight into user visits to their storefronts, lead management functions and reporting on lead statistics, Thompson said.

With the Solutions Marketplace launched, Thompson noted that Intel will also continue to host face-to-face partner matchmaking events where partners can learn about one another’s companies and forge alliances.

Intel’s vision for the Solutions Marketplace is to also extend beyond partner-to-partner collaboration. The company aims to drive end customers to the Solutions Marketplace — for example, by shepherding customers to the platform from the Intel.com website, Thompson said. “We see this as a good opportunity for us to help connect end customers … to partners across that variety of solution spaces,” he said.

Other news

  • Rackspace, a cloud and managed service provider, augmented its Service Blocks portfolio of packaged services for cloud environments. The portfolio now includes Container Services Journey, a Service Block to help customers develop container strategies and containerized apps; Hybrid Transformation with VMware Cloud on AWS, which offers tools and expertise for transitioning to hybrid cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS; and Data Modernization, aimed at strengthening customers’ analytics processes, Rackspace said. Rackspace this week also closed its acquisition of Onica, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Service Provider.
  • IT management software vendor SolarWinds released the latest version of its N-central remote management and monitoring tool. N-central 12.2 adds network topology mapping capabilities, as well as features for disk encryption, automation and patching, SolarWinds said.
  • NTT Data, an IT services provider based in Tokyo, will resell GoodData’s analytics platform under a new agreement between the companies. NTT Data will also use GoodData’s technology in its iQuattro industrial IoT platform.
  • NTT Data Services, a Plano, Texas, division of NTT Data Corp., signed a definitive agreement to acquire Flux7, an IT services provider and AWS Premier Consulting Partner. Flux7’s expertise includes cloud implementation and migration, automation, and DevOps consulting services, according to NTT Data.
  • Cost and security are key barriers impeding SMBs’ cloud migration, an Insight Enterprises survey found. Fifty-six of the 408 SMB IT decision-maker respondents cited cloud costs as an obstacle, while 50% of those polled identified security requirements. In other findings, the Insight report said 95% of respondents have either implemented or plan to implement within the next year digital transformation initiatives, but 49% rate integrating new technology with legacy systems as very or extremely challenging.
  • Cloud managed service provider Faction introduced a free educational series for companies adopting VMware Cloud on AWS. Dubbed “6-Step Blueprint for the Success,” the program offers business and technical best practices.
  • MSP360, formerly CloudBerry Lab, rolled out macOS and iOS releases of MSP360 Remote Assistant, a freeware remote access and control offering. The Lewes, Del., company said the Apple-oriented releases will make it easier for MSPs to support customers from MacOS computers as well as iOS and iPadOS devices.
  • InterVision, an IT services provider with headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., and St. Louis, said it has obtained Premier Consulting Partner status within the AWS Partner Network.
  • Wipro, an IT consulting and business process services company, has unveiled cloud Security Operations Center (SOC) services using Microsoft Azure Sentinel. Azure Sentinel is a security information event management offering. Wipro will provide managed cloud SOC services with integrated AI and orchestration capabilities in light of the Microsoft relationship. Wipro will also use its HOLMES AI platform to measure risk factors against compliance standards, according to the company.
  • CloudCheckr, a cloud management platform provider, rolled out a global partner enablement program. The Business Partner Program offers business expertise, sales enablement tools and cloud technology to support MSPs and resellers building cloud service practices, CloudCheckr said.
  • Coronet, a small business data breach platform provider, is partnering with Coalition, a cyber insurance provider for SMBs. The arrangement lets Coronet’s customers obtain Coalition’s cyber insurance products.
  • Identity services provider GlobalSign has signed up Impression, a Johannesburg, South Africa-based solutions provider, to its Certified Regional Partner program.
  • The Internet of Things Security Services Association (IoTSSA) named Robin Miller as its director of channel. Miller will oversee IoTSSA’s industry engagement as the organization develops cybersecurity education resources for MSPs and managed security service providers, IoTSS said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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Parabole search analytics product moves to Azure Marketplace

Parabole.ai has moved its Cognitive Analytics Platform onto Microsoft Azure Marketplace in an effort to provide clients with improved knowledge mining capabilities.

The Cognitive Analytics Platform enables users to build knowledge mining and search platforms for their customers and employees. According to Parabole, the move to Microsoft Azure gives users more scalability and features, including security, built-in indexing and storage capabilities.

The intention of the move is to enhance Parabole’s training and classification models to train algorithms and tag documents based on custom categories defined by the user.

According to Darin Stewart, research vice president at Gartner, the move to a cloud service like Azure is a trend across tool and platform vendors. However, he added that the extent to which Parabole will use the capabilities of Azure Cognitive Skills is unique.

“They are basically combining generally available capability with their own proprietary capabilities to provide an aggregate service that would otherwise be challenging for an end-user organization to develop and deploy on their own,” he said. “The emphasis on unsupervised learning in training custom models is atypical, especially in the context of classification.”

Stewart also added that organizations already using Azure Search will have a smooth adoption process when it comes to adding a new capability. However, those that have only used on-premises search products will have a “significant learning curve and deployment effort.”

Overall, he said this move lowers the threshold for organizations to use cognitive search and search-based analytics.

“This will enable Parabole to potentially compete with more established players in this space, such as Coveo and Attivio,” Stewart said. “It also expands the potential market for Azure Search, which to this point has been focused on application development and website development. It should give them a foothold in the search-driven data science market, which is exploding at the moment.”

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Cohesity CyberScan scans backup copies for security risks

The latest application added to Cohesity Marketplace is designed to trawl through backups to look for security vulnerabilities.

Cohesity CyberScan is a free application available on the Cohesity Marketplace. Using Tenable.io, it compares applications in a backup environment against the public Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database to detect possible security flaws. The admin can then address these flaws, whether it’s an out-of-date patch, software bugs or vulnerabilities around open ports.

Cohesity CyberScan doesn’t affect the production environment when it performs its scan. The application boots up a backup snapshot and performs an API call to Tenable.io in order to find vulnerabilities. This process has the added benefit of confirming whether a particular snapshot is recoverable in the first place.

Raj Dutt, director of product marketing at Cohesity, said because the vulnerability scan happens in Cohesity’s runtime environment and not the live environment, many customers may be prompted to perform these scans. Citing a recent study performed by independent IT research firm Ponemon Institute, Dutt said 37% of respondents who suffered a security breach did not scan their environments for vulnerabilities.

“They work in an environment where the organization is expected to run 24/7/365, so essentially, there is no downtime to run these scans or make the patches,” Dutt said.

Dutt said even organizations that do perform vulnerability scans don’t do them often enough. Vulnerabilities and exposures published on the CVE database are known to bad actors, so weekly or monthly scans still leave organizations with a wide window in which they can be attacked. Dutt said since Cohesity CyberScan doesn’t interfere with the production environment, customers are free to run scans more frequently.

screenshot of Cohesity CyberScan dashboard
The Security Dashboard houses the vulnerability scan and anti-ransomware capabilities.

Phil Goodwin, a research director at IT analyst firm IDC, said there are applications that scan backup copies or secondary data but scan mostly to detect out-of-date drivers or other roadblocks to a successful restore or failover. Running it against a CVE database to look for potential security problems is unique.

End users are talking about data protection and security in the same sentence. It really is two sides of the same coin.
Phil GoodwinResearch director, IDC

Goodwin said Cohesity CyberScan is the latest example of backup vendors adding security capabilities. Security and data protection are different IT disciplines that call for different technology, but Goodwin said he has encountered customers conflating the two.

“End users are talking about data protection and security in the same sentence,” Goodwin said. “It really is two sides of the same coin.”

Security is the proactive approach of preventing data loss, while data protection and backup are reactive. Goodwin said organizations should ideally have both, and backup vendors are starting to provide proactive features such as data masking, air gapping and immutability. But Goodwin said he has noticed many vendors stop shy of malware detection.

Indeed, Cohesity CyberScan does not have malware detection. Dutt stressed that the application’s use cases are focused on detecting cyberattack exposures and ensuring recoverability of snapshots. He pointed out that Cohesity DataPlatform does have anti-ransomware capabilities, and they can be accessed from the same dashboard as CyberScan’s vulnerability scan.

Cohesity CyberScan is generally available now to customers who have upgraded to the latest Cohesity Pegasus 6.4 software. The application itself is free, but customers are required to have their own Tenable license.

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Managed Applications are now Generally Available in the Azure Marketplace

I am excited to announce the general availability of Managed Applications in the Azure Marketplace. Managed Applications, an Azure unique offering, enables you to deploy entire applications and empower your partner to fully manage and maintain the application in your environment. This means, a partner like Xcalar, can deliver more than just deployment on a set of VMs. Xcalar can now deliver both the application and a fully operated solution, offering “Ap/Ops.” Partners like Xcalar will also maintain and service the application solution directly in your Azure environment.

This new distribution channel for our partners will change customer expectations in the public cloud. Unlike our competitors, in Azure, a marketplace application can now be much more than just deployment and set-up. Now it can be a fully supported and managed solution. This is a first in the public cloud!

You and your partners have been the inspiration for Azure Managed Applications. We hear from many of our customers looking to transform IT operations, that they need the simplicity of fully managed applications without all the infrastructure hubbub. Furthermore, our partners are seeking opportunities to offer their customers more value by adding service operations to their portfolio. With Managed Applications, you and your partners can achieve these goals. Here are a few of the details of the offering:

  • Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and System Integrators (SIs) can build turnkey cloud solutions using Azure Resource Manager templates. Both the application IP and the underlying pre-configured Azure infrastructure can easily be packaged into a sealed and serviceable solution. This enables “Ap/Ops,” offering both the application and operations together in one package.
  • Customers can deploy these turnkey solutions in their own Azure subscription as a sealed service, which is fully operated and maintained by the partner across the solution lifecycle. In addition, only the minimal level of access is granted, specifically for the sealed solution and its lifecycle operations.
  • The result is a higher quality of service for our customers, fully managed by our partners. Thanks to the sealed and immutable nature of Managed Applications, nothing changes in the application or the infrastructure configuration, unless it is an explicit lifecycle operation by the trusted partner.

Whether these solutions are complex applications that are custom-built and maintained by MSPs or packaged applications delivered and serviced by ISVs, you can focus on what you need to do to accelerate your business transformation without having to worry so much about running someone else’s software. Managed Applications accelerate innovation, even in the most advanced application scenarios, bringing the best of software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service together.

At Ignite we enabled our partners to deploy and service Managed Applications inside customer owned enterprise service catalogs. With today’s addition of Azure Marketplace as a distribution channel, partners can add value to their marketplace offering by adding lifecycle and support services with an incremental flat monthly fee. Our launch partners are excited and ready to go…

“Azure Managed Applications enables OpsLogix customers to easily deploy and use our solutions without having to undertake on-going maintenance and servicing complexities.”
Vincent de Vries, CEO, OpsLogix

“Azure Managed Applications allows Xcalar Data Platform to provide a higher quality of service and help forge stronger partnerships with our customers. Enterprise applications, Azure cloud infrastructure, and production operations can now be packaged into a single solution.”
Vikram Joshi Co-founder and CEO, Xcalar

“We’re delighted to be bringing the power and simplicity of Cisco Meraki cloud networking to customers using Microsoft Azure. Our two companies both share a passion for better IT, and by leveraging our powerful Auto VPN and SD-WAN features we can seamlessly connect users to the resources they depend on every day.”
Raviv Levi, Senior Product Line Manager, Cisco Meraki

Go ahead, give it a try. We would love to hear from you about your experience with Azure Managed Applications and our partner solutions. Leave us feedback at the user voice channel or the comments section below.

More innovation for our partners is on the horizon, so stay tuned! And, do not forget to check Gaurav’s blog for a closer look under the hood on how this works.

See ya around,

Corey Sanders

Marketplace gets Infinity Dungeon, skins and steampunk!

A healthy slew of new skins is arriving on Marketplace today. Four packs of them, in fact! It’s really quite a range, from post-apocalyptic survival experts, medieval peasantfolk to beach bums and athletes of every kind. You can find them all by going directly to Marketplace through this very link on your Minecraftin’ mobile device or Windows 10 machine.

But even if you’re already comfortable in your own skin, there’s something else that might perk your interest: the ever-changing, reconfiguring, randomised deathtrap that is INFINITY DUNGEON EX! It’s a new version of a legendary map by the equally legendary Jigarbov, and it generates a new dungeon every time it’s played from a dizzying array of modules, each containing a different challenge. Parkour, combat, logic puzzles await within, as you hunt the items within its labyrinth, feed them to the Infinity Core and, hopefully, escape!

It’s been a much loved map on Java Edition, but it’s been updated for its Marketplace debut with new room designs, new puzzles, tools and mobs, and a brand new procedurally generated underground section with additional challenges and traps. Plus, you can play it on your phone! Convenient.

Have a looksie yourself!

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