Tag Archives: Partners

Revenue ops main theme at Ramp by InsightSquared conference

Customers, potential customers and partners of InsightSquared Inc. gathered in Boston for two days for Ramp 2018, the dashboard and reporting software vendor’s second annual conference. The Pipeline podcast was there to take in the conference festivities.

Revenue ops was among the main topics discussed at Ramp, with keynotes and conversations dedicated to the idea of bringing together marketing, sales and service departments to improve ROI and revenue.

To help companies with that objective, InsightSquared also unveiled a new set of marketing analytics tools that may help companies uncover insights within the marketing process, including marketing attribution, demand management, and planning and analysis.

“There’s a natural tension between sales and marketing,” said Matisha Ladiwala, GM of marketing analytics for InsightSquared, on the conference stage. Ladiwala ran through a demo of some of the tools’ capabilities before two InsightSquared customers spoke about using the marketing analytics tools.

One of Ladiwala’s demos showed a dashboard that united data from the sales and marketing departments and determined how quickly sales followed up on leads and how many leads were making it into the funnel. This revenue ops approach is beneficial to companies that have traditionally used a more manual, time-intensive approach to reporting, according to InsightSquared.

Aggregating information from areas was very manual and time-consuming.
Guido BartolacciNew Breed

One InsightSquared user, Guido Bartolacci, manager of acquisition and strategy at New Breed, an inbound marketing and sales agency, told conference attendees: “Aggregating information from areas was very manual and time-consuming.”

By using InsightSquared’s new marketing analytics tools while in beta, the marketing and sales agency was able to pull together data from multiple sources quickly and with more insight, Bartolacci said.

Beyond discussing the revenue ops-focused conference, this Pipeline podcast also touches on some of the other speakers at Ramp, including Nate Silver, data scientist and founder of the FiveThirtyEight blog, and TrackMaven CEO Allen Gannett, who gave a lively, entertaining keynote on creativity.

M12 announces $4 million global competition for women entrepreneurs – Stories

Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, partners with EQT Ventures and SVB Financial Group to accelerate funding for women leaders

REDMOND, Wash. — July 26, 2018 M12, Microsoft Corp.’s venture fund, in collaboration with the EQT Ventures fund and SVB Financial Group, on Thursday announced the Female Founders Competition, seeking to accelerate funding for top women-led startups focused on enterprise technology solutions. Two winners will share $4 million in venture funding, as well as access to technology resources, mentoring and more.

Women entrepreneurs receive a disproportionately small amount of venture funding, with only 2.2 percent of the total invested in 2017 going to women-founded startups. Studies have shown that investing in companies founded by women delivers significantly higher returns than the market average. By shining a light on this highly talented, but underfunded group of entrepreneurs, M12 and its partners seek to not only fund innovative female entrepreneurs, but to spotlight the funding gap that exists and the benefits of more equitable distribution of capital.

“We formed M12 to make smart bets on innovative people and their ideas, and the Female Founders Competition is an extension of that mandate,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development at Microsoft. “This isn’t about checking a box; it’s an opportunity to remind the VC community that investing in women is more than just good values, it’s good business.”

“The EQT Ventures team is all about backing founders with the ambition, drive and vision to build a global success story,” said Alastair Mitchell, partner and investment advisor at EQT Ventures. “This competition reflects this and offers women entrepreneurs a great platform from which to launch their business, providing them with access to capital and mentorship. It also raises awareness of the funding gap between male and female founders, and the EQT Ventures team wants to play an active role in bridging that gap.”

Submissions will be accepted from July 26, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2018, and open across three regions: Europe, Israel, and North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico). Companies will be eligible to apply if they have at least one woman founder, have raised less than $4 million in combined equity funding and/or loans at day of application, and offer or intend to release a product, service or platform that addresses a critical business problem.

“At SVB, we strive to help innovative companies succeed,” said Tracy Isacke, head of Corporate Venture at Silicon Valley Bank. “Research tells us diverse teams are more successful. We believe this is true for our business, our clients’ businesses and the innovation economy at large. Our partnership with Microsoft has created a great opportunity for SVB to engage in this competition and is one of the many ways we are supporting diverse representation in the global innovation ecosystem.”

Up to 10 finalists will pitch in person for the chance to be one of the two startups that earn a $2 million investment as well as access to technology resources, mentoring and additional support. The competition also seeks to drive greater awareness for both finalists and winners, with the potential for future funding from the broader VC community. Full guidelines and contest information can be found on M12’s application page.

About EQT Ventures

EQT Ventures is a European VC fund with commitments of just over €566 million. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco and Berlin. Fueled by some of Europe’s most experienced company builders, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with capital and hands on support. EQT Ventures is part of EQT, a leading investment firm with approximately EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 27 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees.

About SVB Financial Group

For 35 years, SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB) and its subsidiaries have helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB Financial Group’s businesses, including Silicon Valley Bank, offer commercial and private banking, asset management, private wealth management, brokerage and investment services and funds management services to companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity and venture capital, and premium wine industries. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, SVB Financial Group operates in centers of innovation around the world. Learn more at svb.com.

About M12

As the corporate venture arm for Microsoft, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage. As part of its value-add to portfolio companies, M12 offers unique access to strategic go-to-market resources and relationships globally. Visit https://m12.vc/ to learn more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Lucy Wimmer, PR for EQT Ventures, +44(0) (755) 128-9177, lucy@eqtventures.com

Julia Thompson, PR for Silicon Valley Bank, (415) 764-4707, jthompson3@svb.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft Azure platform sparks partner offerings

With Microsoft Azure platform revenue doubling, channel partners are rolling out services and products to spark further adoption and consumption of the public cloud environment.

A number of Azure-oriented partner offerings were unveiled at Microsoft Inspire 2018, the company’s annual partner conference, which concludes today, July 19, in Las Vegas. The launches run the gamut from hybrid cloud bundles to workspace products, but all aim to take advantage of Azure’s market momentum and its status as a pivotal Microsoft platform.

Jason Zander, executive vice president of the Microsoft Azure team in the company’s cloud and AI group, said Azure experienced 100% year-over-year consumed revenue growth. That growth, he said, translates into partner momentum, noting that every dollar of Azure cloud consumption drives $5 of partner services business.

In addition, the Microsoft Azure platform lies at the heart of the company’s vision of a ubiquitous computing fabric that extends from the edge to the cloud.

“The core of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge is Microsoft Azure,” Zander said.

Partners build on the Microsoft Azure platform

Partners showcasing offerings for the Microsoft Azure platform at Inspire included Dell EMC, which expanded its Azure Stack hardware bundle debuted in 2017. Azure Stack extends the Azure public cloud to private settings, such as service provider or end customer data centers.

Dell EMC’s new Azure Stack additions include an all-flash VxRack Azure Stack configuration option, an automated hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) patch and updated orchestration tool, and SecureVM integration available via Azure Marketplace. In addition, Dell EMC now lets customers and partners acquire Azure Stack through its Cloud Flex pay-as-you-go consumption model, which the company offers to encourage adoption of its HCI product line. Dell EMC treats its Azure Stack hardware bundles as an HCI offering.

The upshot for Dell EMC’s channel partners is the ability to rapidly roll out Azure Stack to customers, said Paul Galjan, senior director of product management and engineering for Azure Stack at Dell EMC.

Chart showing top IaaS providers worldwide
Microsoft Azure has solidified its position among the top IaaS options.

“From a channel partner perspective this is something their customers are interested in,” Galjan said. “Any customer that has a Microsoft cloud strategy will be talking to them about Azure Stack.”

Azure-based offerings on the rise

One of the clear takeaways from Inspire is the rise in Azure-based solutions.
Max PrugerChief revenue officer, CloudJumper

Meanwhile, CloudJumper, a workspace-as-a-service platform provider, launched Cloud Workspace for Azure at Microsoft Inspire 2018. The platform links together CloudJumper’s Cloud Workspace Management Suite with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop modern infrastructure (RDmi). The integration provides increased visibility into users’ Azure, Office 365 and Cloud Workspace experiences, according to the company.

Max Pruger, chief revenue officer at CloudJumper, cited the uptick in offerings around the Microsoft Azure platform as a key development at the partner conference.

“One of the clear takeaways from Inspire is the rise in Azure-based solutions, as organizations further integrate their cloud-forward IT initiatives,” he said. “Microsoft is capitalizing on this, and the conference is relaying their vision to build out the modern workspace with the integration of [Office] 365, Azure Active Directory Sync and RDmi — all built on top of the Azure stack.”

Other partners showcasing Microsoft Azure platform offerings include Atmosera, a managed Azure solutions provider based in Beaverton, Ore. The company featured its Three-Tier Azure Management Suite at Microsoft Inspire 2018. The suite delivers managed, comanaged and self-managed Azure solutions.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity — and an equal amount of pressure to do so — for Microsoft partners to innovate, embrace new capabilities and leverage Azure for business outcomes,” said Jon Thomsen, CEO at Atmosera.

The case for cloud storage as a service at Partners

Partners HealthCare relies on its enterprise research infrastructure and services group, or ERIS, to provide an essential service: storing, securing and enabling access to the data files that researchers need to do their work.

To do that, ERIS stood up a large network providing up to 50 TB of storage, so the research departments could consolidate their network drives, while also managing access to those files based on a permission system.

But researchers were contending with growing demands to better secure data and track access, said Brent Richter, director of ERIS at the nonprofit Boston-based healthcare system. Federal regulations and state laws, as well as standards and requirements imposed by the companies and institutions working with Partners, required increasing amounts of access controls, auditing capabilities and security layers.

That put pressure on ERIS to devise a system that could better meet those heightened healthcare privacy and security requirements.

“We were thinking about how do we get audit controls, full backup and high availability built into a file storage system that can be used at the endpoint and that still carries the nested permissions that can be shared across the workgroups within our firewall,” he explained.

Hybrid cloud storage as a service

At the time, ERIS was devising security plans based on the various requirements established by the different contracts and research projects, filling out paperwork to document those plans and performing time-intensive audits.

It was then that ERIS explored ClearSky Data. The cloud-storage-as-a-service provider was already being used by another IT unit within Partners for block storage; ERIS decided six months ago to pilot the ClearSky Data platform.

“They’re delivering a network service in our data center that’s relatively small; it has very fast storage inside of it that provides that cache, or staging area, for files that our users are mapping to their endpoints,” Richter explained.

From there, automation and software systems from ClearSky Data take those files and move them to its local data center, which is in Boston. “It replicates the data there, and it also keeps the server in our data center light. [ClearSky Data] has all the files on it, but not all the data in the files on it; it keeps what our users need when they’re using it.”

Essentially, ClearSky Data delivers on-demand primary storage, off-site backup and disaster recovery as a single service, he said.

All this, however, is invisible to the end users, he added. The researchers accessing data stored on the ClearSky Data platform, as well as the one built by ERIS, do not notice the differences in the technologies as they go about their usual work.

ClearSky benefits for Partners

ERIS’ decision to move to ClearSky Data’s fully managed service delivered several specific benefits, Richter said.

He said the new approach reduced the system’s on-premises storage footprint, while accelerating a hybrid cloud strategy. It delivered high performance, as well as more automated security and privacy controls. And it offered more data protection and disaster recovery capabilities, as well as more agility and elasticity.

Richter said buying the capabilities also helped ERIS to stay focused on its mission of delivering the technologies that enable the researchers.

“We could design and engineer something ourselves, but at the end of the day, we’re service providers. We want to provide our service with all the needed security so our users would just be able to leverage it, so they wouldn’t have to figure out whether it met the requirements on this contract or another,” Richter said.

He noted, too, that the decision to go with a hybrid cloud storage-as-a-service approach allowed ERIS to focus on activities that differentiate the Partners research community, such as supporting its data science efforts.

“It allows us to focus on our mission, which is providing IT products and services that enable discovery and research,” he added.

Pros and cons of IaaS platform

Partners’ storage-as-a-service strategy fits into the broader IaaS market, which has traditionally been broken into two parts: compute and storage, said Naveen Chhabra, a senior analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals at Forrester Research Inc.

[Cloud storage as a service] allows us to focus on our mission, which is providing IT products and services that enable discovery and research.
Brent Richterdirector of ERIS at Partners HealthCare

In that light, ClearSky Data is one of many providers offering not just cloud storage, but the other infrastructure layers — and, indeed, the whole ecosystem — needed by enterprise IT departments, with AWS, IBM and Google being among the biggest vendors in the space, Chhabra said.

As for the cloud-storage-as-a-service approach adopted by Partners, Chhabra said it can offer enterprise IT departments flexibility, scalability and faster time to market — the benefits that traditionally come with cloud. Additionally, it can help enterprise IT move more of their workloads to the cloud.

There are potential drawbacks in a hybrid cloud storage-as-a-service setup, however, Chhabra said. Applying and enforcing access management policies in an environment where there are both on-premises and IaaS platforms can be challenging for IT, especially as deployment size grows. And while implementation of cloud-storage-as-a-service platforms, as well as IaaS in general, isn’t particularly challenging from a technology standpoint, the movement of applications on the new platform may not be as seamless or frictionless as promoted.

“The storage may not be as easily consumable by on-prem applications. [For example,] if you have an application running on-prem and it tries to consume the storage, there could be an integration challenge because of different standards,” he said.

IaaS may also be more expensive than keeping everything on premises, he said, adding that the higher costs aren’t usually significant enough to outweigh the benefits. “It may be fractionally costlier, and the customer may care about it, but not that much,” he said.

Competitive advantage

ERIS’ pilot phase with ClearSky Data involves standing up a Linux-based file service, as well as a Windows-based file service.

Because ERIS uses a chargeback system, Richter said the research groups his team serves can opt to use the older internal system — slightly less expensive — or they can opt to use ClearSky Data’s infrastructure.

“For those groups that have these contracts with much higher data and security controls than our system can provide, they now have an option that fulfills that need,” Richter said.

That itself provides Partners a boost in the competitive research market, he added.

“For our internal customers who have these contracts, they then won’t have to spend a month auditing their own systems to comply with an external auditor that these companies bring as part of the sponsored research before you even get the contract,” Richter said. “A lot of these departments are audited to make sure they have a base level [of security and compliance], which is quite high. So, if you have that in place already, that gives you a competitive advantage.”

Microsoft announces 2018 Partner of the Year winners and finalists | Stories

Partners recognized for outstanding solutions built on Microsoft technology

REDMOND, Wash. — June 7, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the winners and finalists of the Microsoft 2018 Partner of the Year Awards. The annual awards recognize top Microsoft partners demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology. Award winners and finalists from around the world will be recognized at Microsoft Inspire taking place July 15–19, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year, Microsoft acknowledged partners in 39 categories celebrating each of the solution areas, industries and many more. The award finalists and winners were selected from more than 2,600 nominations collected from 115 different countries worldwide based on their commitment to customers, their solution’s impact on the market and exemplary use of Microsoft technologies.

“It’s an honor to recognize the 2018 Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists, which represent the best and most forward-thinking innovators coming out of our partner community,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft. “These companies are bringing cutting-edge solutions to complex business challenges and providing digital transformation opportunities for their customers. Congratulations to each winner and finalist.” Schuster has also congratulated the winners and finalists in a blog post on the Microsoft Partner Network website.

Categories, winners and finalists appear below. A complete list, including the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award winners for 2018, is available at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire/awards. See the highlights video.

Alliance Global Commercial ISV Partner of the Year

  • Winner: AT&T

Alliance SI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade

Application Innovation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Larsen & Toubro Infotech
  • Finalist: Datacom
  • Finalist: Neal Analytics

Artificial Intelligence Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Insight
  • Finalist: KPMG Consulting Co. Ltd.
  • Finalist: eSmart Systems
  • Finalist: RedPoint Global Inc.

 Azure Compete Partner of the Year

  • Winner: GTPLUS
  • Finalist: Wragby Business Solutions and Technologies Ltd.
  • Finalist: Convergent Computing (CCO)
  • Finalist: Infront Consulting Group

 Big Data Analytics Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: WIPRO
  • Finalist: BlueGranite Inc.
  • Finalist: Neudesic

Customer Experience Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Content and Code
  • Finalist: Quadrasystems.net India Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: Insight
  • Finalist: Qorus Software

Data Estate Modernization Partner of the Year

  • Winner: pmOne AG
  • Finalist: Northdoor plc
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: Datometry

Datacenter Transformation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Ensono
  • Finalist: 10th Magnitude
  • Finalist: Hanu Software Inc.
  • Finalist: Rackspace 

DevOps Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Xpirit Netherlands
  • Finalist: Canarys Automations Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: InCycle Software
  • Finalist: Nebbia Technology

Dynamics 365 for Field Service Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Velrada
  • Finalist: eCraft Oy Ab
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions Ltd.
  • Finalist: DXC Eclipse

Dynamics 365 for Talent Partner of the Year

  • Winner: SAGlobal
  • Finalist: eBECS

Dynamics Customer Service Partner of the Year

  • Winner: eBECS
  • Finalist: Fusion5
  • Finalist: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies company

Dynamics for Finance and Operations Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: Infosys Ltd.
  • Finalist: AKA Enterprise Solutions (Formerly InterDyn AKA)
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions

Dynamics Sales Partner of the Year

  • Winner: NuSoft
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technologies
  • Finalist: KORUS Consulting
  • Finalist: Ecuity Edge

Education Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Campus Management
  • Finalist: ITWORX Education
  • Finalist: BrightBytes

Financial Services Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Vector Risk
  • Finalist: V.R.P. Veri Raporlama Programlama Bilisim Yazilim ve Danismanlik Hizmetleri Ticaret A.S.
  • Finalist: Finastra
  • Finalist: Insight

Government Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Axon Enterprises Inc.
  • Finalist: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Pythagoras Communications Ltd.
  • Finalist: EY

 Health Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Solidsoft Reply
  • Finalist: KPMG LLP
  • Finalist: DXC Eclipse
  • Finalist: KenSci

Indirect Provider Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Tech Data
  • Finalist: Westcoast Ltd.
  • Finalist: Ingram Micro

Intelligent Communications Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Sada Systems
  • Finalist: Communicativ
  • Finalist: bluesource
  • Finalist: Modality Systems Ltd.

Internet of Things Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Crestron Electronics
  • Finalist: Energisme
  • Finalist: Fathym Inc.
  • Finalist: Marquam

Learning Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Digicomp Academy AG
  • Finalist: Institute for Information Industry

Manufacturing Partner of the Year

  • Winner: ICONICS
  • Finalist: ABB Group
  • Finalist: Icertis Inc.
  • Finalist: PROS Inc.

Media & Communications Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Advvy
  • Finalist: NV Interactive
  • Finalist: Avid
  • Finalist: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise LLC

Microsoft CityNext Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Bentley Systems
  • Finalist: Meemim Inc.
  • Finalist: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Cubic Transportation Systems

Modern Desktop (formerly Powered Device) of the Year

  • Winner: Insight
  • Finalist: AMTRA Solutions
  • Finalist: Dell
  • Finalist: DXC

Modern Workplace Transformation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Dimension Data
  • Finalist: Logicalis
  • Finalist: Sulava Oy
  • Finalist: Otsuka Corp.

Open Source Applications & Infrastructure on Azure Partner of the Year

  • Winner: 10th Magnitude
  • Finalist: Nordcloud
  • Finalist: 4ward
  • Finalist: SNP Technologies Inc.

Open Source Data & AI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Cloudera
  • Finalist: PT Mitra Integrasi Informatika
  • Finalist: KORUS Consulting
  • Finalist: Application Consulting Training Solutions

Partner for Social Impact Partner of the Year

  • Winner: ProServeIT Corp.
  • Finalist: Alianza Corp.
  • Finalist: New Signature

Partner Seller Excellence in Technology, Sales and/or Licensing Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Erik Moll, COMPAREX Canada
  • Finalist: Michael Jonsson, Avanade
  • Finalist: Andrew Mackay, Teambase
  • Finalist: Mark Pierce, New Signature

Platform Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Provance
  • Finalist: Anywhere.24 GmbH
  • Finalist: Joint Submission: PROS Inc., Icertis and VeriPark
  • Finalist: SAGlobal

Power BI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Slalom
  • Finalist: Truenorth Corp.
  • Finalist: IT-Logix AG
  • Finalist: Teambase

Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year

  • Winner: CPS
  • Finalist: Prosperi
  • Finalist: Projectum
  • Finalist: Sensei Project Solutions

Retail Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Teambase
  • Finalist: Blue Yonder GmbH
  • Finalist: Synerise S.A.
  • Finalist: Tallan Inc.

SAP on Azure Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: Infosys Ltd.
  • Finalist: CoreToEdge
  • Finalist: Brillio

Security and Compliance Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Oxford Computer Group – UK
  • Finalist: NELITE
  • Finalist: Joint Submission: Mavim B.V. & Motion10
  • Finalist: Planet Technologies 

Teamwork Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Adopt & Embrace
  • Finalist: Quadrasystems.net India Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: Rapid Circle
  • Finalist: Content and Code

About Microsoft Inspire

Microsoft Inspire provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, Microsoft Inspire is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft announces 2018 Partner of the Year winners and finalists | Stories

Partners recognized for outstanding solutions built on Microsoft technology

REDMOND, Wash. — June 7, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the winners and finalists of the Microsoft 2018 Partner of the Year Awards. The annual awards recognize top Microsoft partners demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology. Award winners and finalists from around the world will be recognized at Microsoft Inspire taking place July 15–19, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year, Microsoft acknowledged partners in 39 categories celebrating each of the solution areas, industries and many more. The award finalists and winners were selected from more than 2,600 nominations collected from 115 different countries worldwide based on their commitment to customers, their solution’s impact on the market and exemplary use of Microsoft technologies.

“It’s an honor to recognize the 2018 Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists, which represent the best and most forward-thinking innovators coming out of our partner community,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft. “These companies are bringing cutting-edge solutions to complex business challenges and providing digital transformation opportunities for their customers. Congratulations to each winner and finalist.” Schuster has also congratulated the winners and finalists in a blog post on the Microsoft Partner Network website.

Categories, winners and finalists appear below. A complete list, including the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award winners for 2018, is available at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire/awards. See the highlights video.

Alliance Global Commercial ISV Partner of the Year

  • Winner: AT&T

Alliance SI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade

Application Innovation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Larsen & Toubro Infotech
  • Finalist: Datacom
  • Finalist: Neal Analytics

Artificial Intelligence Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Insight
  • Finalist: KPMG Consulting Co. Ltd.
  • Finalist: eSmart Systems
  • Finalist: RedPoint Global Inc.

 Azure Compete Partner of the Year

  • Winner: GTPLUS
  • Finalist: Wragby Business Solutions and Technologies Ltd.
  • Finalist: Convergent Computing (CCO)
  • Finalist: Infront Consulting Group

 Big Data Analytics Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: WIPRO
  • Finalist: BlueGranite Inc.
  • Finalist: Neudesic

Customer Experience Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Content and Code
  • Finalist: Quadrasystems.net India Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: Insight
  • Finalist: Qorus Software

Data Estate Modernization Partner of the Year

  • Winner: pmOne AG
  • Finalist: Northdoor plc
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: Datometry

Datacenter Transformation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Ensono
  • Finalist: 10th Magnitude
  • Finalist: Hanu Software Inc.
  • Finalist: Rackspace 

DevOps Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Xpirit Netherlands
  • Finalist: Canarys Automations Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: InCycle Software
  • Finalist: Nebbia Technology

Dynamics 365 for Field Service Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Velrada
  • Finalist: eCraft Oy Ab
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions Ltd.
  • Finalist: DXC Eclipse

Dynamics 365 for Talent Partner of the Year

  • Winner: SAGlobal
  • Finalist: eBECS

Dynamics Customer Service Partner of the Year

  • Winner: eBECS
  • Finalist: Fusion5
  • Finalist: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies company

Dynamics for Finance and Operations Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: Infosys Ltd.
  • Finalist: AKA Enterprise Solutions (Formerly InterDyn AKA)
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions

Dynamics Sales Partner of the Year

  • Winner: NuSoft
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technologies
  • Finalist: KORUS Consulting
  • Finalist: Ecuity Edge

Education Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Campus Management
  • Finalist: ITWORX Education
  • Finalist: BrightBytes

Financial Services Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Vector Risk
  • Finalist: V.R.P. Veri Raporlama Programlama Bilisim Yazilim ve Danismanlik Hizmetleri Ticaret A.S.
  • Finalist: Finastra
  • Finalist: Insight

Government Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Axon Enterprises Inc.
  • Finalist: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Pythagoras Communications Ltd.
  • Finalist: EY

 Health Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Solidsoft Reply
  • Finalist: KPMG LLP
  • Finalist: DXC Eclipse
  • Finalist: KenSci

Indirect Provider Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Tech Data
  • Finalist: Westcoast Ltd.
  • Finalist: Ingram Micro

Intelligent Communications Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Sada Systems
  • Finalist: Communicativ
  • Finalist: bluesource
  • Finalist: Modality Systems Ltd.

Internet of Things Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Crestron Electronics
  • Finalist: Energisme
  • Finalist: Fathym Inc.
  • Finalist: Marquam

Learning Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Digicomp Academy AG
  • Finalist: Institute for Information Industry

Manufacturing Partner of the Year

  • Winner: ICONICS
  • Finalist: ABB Group
  • Finalist: Icertis Inc.
  • Finalist: PROS Inc.

Media & Communications Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Advvy
  • Finalist: NV Interactive
  • Finalist: Avid
  • Finalist: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise LLC

Microsoft CityNext Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Bentley Systems
  • Finalist: Meemim Inc.
  • Finalist: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Cubic Transportation Systems

Modern Desktop (formerly Powered Device) of the Year

  • Winner: Insight
  • Finalist: AMTRA Solutions
  • Finalist: Dell
  • Finalist: DXC

Modern Workplace Transformation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Dimension Data
  • Finalist: Logicalis
  • Finalist: Sulava Oy
  • Finalist: Otsuka Corp.

Open Source Applications & Infrastructure on Azure Partner of the Year

  • Winner: 10th Magnitude
  • Finalist: Nordcloud
  • Finalist: 4ward
  • Finalist: SNP Technologies Inc.

Open Source Data & AI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Cloudera
  • Finalist: PT Mitra Integrasi Informatika
  • Finalist: KORUS Consulting
  • Finalist: Application Consulting Training Solutions

Partner for Social Impact Partner of the Year

  • Winner: ProServeIT Corp.
  • Finalist: Alianza Corp.
  • Finalist: New Signature

Partner Seller Excellence in Technology, Sales and/or Licensing Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Erik Moll, COMPAREX Canada
  • Finalist: Michael Jonsson, Avanade
  • Finalist: Andrew Mackay, Teambase
  • Finalist: Mark Pierce, New Signature

Platform Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Provance
  • Finalist: Anywhere.24 GmbH
  • Finalist: Joint Submission: PROS Inc., Icertis and VeriPark
  • Finalist: SAGlobal

Power BI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Slalom
  • Finalist: Truenorth Corp.
  • Finalist: IT-Logix AG
  • Finalist: Teambase

Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year

  • Winner: CPS
  • Finalist: Prosperi
  • Finalist: Projectum
  • Finalist: Sensei Project Solutions

Retail Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Teambase
  • Finalist: Blue Yonder GmbH
  • Finalist: Synerise S.A.
  • Finalist: Tallan Inc.

SAP on Azure Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: Infosys Ltd.
  • Finalist: CoreToEdge
  • Finalist: Brillio

Security and Compliance Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Oxford Computer Group – UK
  • Finalist: NELITE
  • Finalist: Joint Submission: Mavim B.V. & Motion10
  • Finalist: Planet Technologies 

Teamwork Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Adopt & Embrace
  • Finalist: Quadrasystems.net India Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: Rapid Circle
  • Finalist: Content and Code

About Microsoft Inspire

Microsoft Inspire provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, Microsoft Inspire is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Disaster avoidance requirements ensure business continuity

We’ve seen the early predictions about the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Global Weather Oscillations, citing the “strongest cycle in 70 years,” is projecting 18 storms with six making landfall in the United States and three or four classified as major storms rated Category 3.5 or higher. Scientists and climatologists blame hotter ocean temperatures for the increasing number and severity of these weather events, and this year’s Atlantic currents are running hot.

These storms are a big concern for businesses and homeowners living along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. But that’s only a fraction of the land mass and the population of this country. The Midwest may face a much lower hurricane threat, for example, but it isn’t in the clear when it comes to weather-related catastrophes, such as tornados. Whatever the location and threat, disaster avoidance has become top of mind for everyone.

Chris Hood, IT director at First Enterprise Bank, a four-branch community bank in Oklahoma City, Okla., recalls how he took his position as “the one-man IT department” for the bank only a short time after the infamous tornado outbreak of February 2009. In that historical event, six of 15 tornadoes across seven states touched down in Oklahoma on Feb. 10, including the most powerful tornado on record, an EF4. Since then, Hood noted, disaster preparedness has been front-of-mind.

Tape backup was the backbone of the bank’s primary disaster recovery plan in 2009. The plan was to recover to one of the larger branch offices if a storm or other disaster hit the bank’s headquarters. But the bank had migrated its workloads to virtual machines, and Hood wanted to take advantage of that to implement a more proactive approach that would elevate disaster avoidance to the forefront of its continuity plan.

Time to modernize

The bank was already virtualizing its servers using VMware hypervisor technology and making some forays into software-defined storage and with StarWind Software hyper-converged infrastructure storage with iSCSI connections to virtual workloads. But Hood wanted to update the infrastructure to capitalize on the latest technology advancements.

One goal was to support WAN-based cluster failover among the bank’s four locations. “We liked the idea of replicating data among offices across a 300 Mbps link,” Hood said. “That would enable us to fail over workloads should one of the offices become compromised.”

Disaster preparedness can best be implemented as a build-in rather than a bolt-on.

Hood looked at replacing StarWind with VMware vSAN, “but it was simply too expensive from the standpoint of licensing and hardware cost,” he said. His research uncovered StorMagic’s SvSAN with dual-way stretch clustering. Implementation went smoothly, and the cost was 87% less than the VMware product, which also required more link bandwidth and more equipment. The steps involved in recovering from an outage went from “five pages of small print … to one page and a couple of steps for failing over,” Hood said. Better yet, it put the bank into full compliance with federal regulations.

Synchronous mirroring in a server failover cluster is an increasingly popular high-availability model for customers, said Bruce Kornfeld, chief marketing officer at StorMagic.

“Smaller shops may have smaller equipment stacks and less demanding workloads,” Kornfeld said, “but their data is just as mission-critical as larger firms. We provide high-availability solutions to the folks whose entire storage infrastructure totals between 2 TB to 20 TB of capacity.”

That same strategy and StorMagic’s technology are also finding play at the edge of larger shops, where they’re used to support stretch clustering of selected applications to provide service continuity, Kornfeld said. StorMagic’s magic is linked to its significantly lower cost compared with competitors, he added.

To sweeten the deal, StorMagic recently announced Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2-compliant encryption of data at rest in its storage pool “without the need for self-encrypting media,” Kornfeld said. This feature also encrypts data in flight between clustered nodes running StorMagic, and it fully supports the Key Management Interoperability Protocol standard so any KMIP-compliant encryption key manager can be used with the setup.

Not for everyone

Is this disaster avoidance technology sufficient for the likes of Citibank? Probably not. But with failover clustering and Veeam Software backup and replication software and tape, which First Enterprise continues to use, Hood is confident he has taken every reasonable disaster avoidance and DR measure to avoid preventable disasters and facilitate the bank’s recovery from one.

This month’s column isn’t an endorsement of any particular strategy or product. Rather, it’s testimony to the idea that disaster preparedness can best be implemented as a built-in rather than a bolt-on. As you begin planning your next storage refresh, consider adding requirements for availability and continuity so that the infrastructure’s resiliency is built-in, instead of needing to be added in after the fact.

Thanks to Hood, First Enterprise has an above average chance of surviving an EF4 tornado. He accomplished that by considering disaster avoidance requirements as design goals when creating storage infrastructure for his production environment. That’s the way it should be done.

Why you should bet on Azure for your infrastructure needs, today and in the future

I love all the amazing things our partners and customers are doing on Azure! Adobe, for example, is using a combination of infrastructure and platform services to deliver the Adobe Experience Manager globally. HP is using AI to help improve their customer experiences. Jet is using microservices and containers on IaaS VMs to deliver a unique ecommerce experience. These three customers are just a few examples where major businesses have bet on Azure, the most productive, hybrid, trusted and intelligent cloud.

For the last few years, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) has been the primary service hosting customer applications. Azure VMs are the easiest to migrate from on-premises while still enabling you to modernize your IT infrastructure, improve efficiency, enhance security, manage apps better and reduce costs. And I am proud that Azure continues to be recognized as a leader in this key area.

As you are considering your movement and deployment in the cloud, I want to share a few key reasons you should bet on Azure for your infrastructure needs.

Infrastructure for every workload

We are committed to providing the right infrastructure for every workload. Across our 50 Azure regions, you can pick from a broad array of virtual machines with varying CPU, GPU, Memory and disk configurations for your application needs. For HPC workloads that need extremely fast interconnect, we have InfiniBand and for supercomputing workloads, we offer Cray hardware in Azure. For SAP HANA, we provide virtual machines up to 4 TB of RAM and provide purpose-built bare metal infrastructure up to 20 TB of RAM. Not only do we have some of the most high-powered infrastructure out there, but we also provide confidential computing capabilities for securing your data while in use. These latest computing capabilities even include quantum computing. Whether it’s Windows Server, Red Hat, Ubuntu, CoreOS, SQL, Postgres or Oracle, we support over 4,000 pre-built applications to run on this broad set of hardware. With the broad set of infrastructure we provide, enterprises such as Coats are moving their entire datacenter footprint to Azure.

Today, I am announcing some exciting new capabilities:

  • Industry leading M-series VM sizes offering memory up to 12 TB on a single VM, the largest memory for a single VM in the public cloud for in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA. With these larger VM configurations, we are not only advancing the limits of virtualization in the cloud but also the performance of SAP HANA on VMs. These new sizes will be based on Intel Xeon Scalable (Skylake) processors, with more details available in the coming months.
  • Newer M-series VM sizes with memory as low as 192 GB, extending M-series VM range from 192 GB to 4 TB in RAM, available now, enabling fast scale-up and scale-down with 10 different size choices. M-series VMs are certified for SAP HANA and available worldwide in 12 regions. Using Azure ARM template automation scripts for SAP HANA, you can deploy entire SAP HANA environments in just minutes compared to weeks on-premises.
  • New SAP HANA TDIv5 optimized configurations for SAP HANA availability on Azure Large Instances with memory sizes of 6 TB, 12 TB, 18 TB. In addition to this, we now offer the industry-leading public cloud instance scale for SAP HANA with our new 24TB TDIv5 configuration. This extends our purpose-built SAP HANA offering to 15 different instance choices. With these new configurations, you can benefit from a lower price for TDIv5 configuration with an unparalleled 99.99% SLA for SAP HANA infrastructure and the ability to step up to larger configurations.
  • New Standard SSDs provide a low-cost SSD-based Azure Disk solution, optimized for test and entry-level production workloads requiring consistent performance and high throughput. You will experience improved latency, reliability and scalability as compared to Standard HDDs. Standard SSDs can be easily upgraded to Premium SSDs for more demanding and latency-sensitive enterprise workloads. Standard SSDs come with the same industry leading durability and availability that our clients expect from Azure Disks. Learn more about Standard SSDs.

Truly consistent hybrid capabilities

When I talk with many of our customers about their cloud strategy, there is a clear need for choice and flexibility on where to run workloads and applications. Like most customers, you want to be able to bridge your on-premises and cloud investments. From VPN and ExpressRoute to File Sync and Azure Security Center, Azure offers a variety of services that help you enable, connect and manage your on-premises and cloud environments creating a truly hybrid infrastructure. In addition, with Azure Stack, you can extend Azure services and capabilities to on-premises and the edge, allowing you to build, deploy and operate hybrid cloud applications seamlessly.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we are expanding the geographical coverage of Azure Stack to meet the growing demand of the customers globally. Azure Stack will now be available in 92 countries throughout the world. Given your excitement over Azure Stack, we continue to expand opportunities for you to deploy this unique service. For a full list of the supported countries, please visit the Azure Stack overview page.

Liquid Telecom, a leading data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa, plans to use Azure Stack to deliver value to its customers and partners in some of the most remote parts of the world.

“We have a long history of delivering future-focused and innovative services to our customers. Microsoft Azure Stack strengthens this mission while also enabling us to deliver value to a new set of customers and partners in some of the most remote parts of Africa. By using Azure Stack, alongside Azure and ExpressRoute over our award-winning pan-African fiber network, we can now guide our customers through increasingly complex business challenges, such as data privacy, compliance and overall governance in the cloud. This helps not only us, but our entire channel of distribution and value-added partners in enhancing the customer experience on their digital journey.” David Behr, Chief Product Officer, Liquid Telecom

Built-in security and management

I frequently get asked about best practices for security and management in Azure. We have a unique set of services that make it incredibly easy for you to follow best practices whether running a single VM or 1,000s of VMs, including built-in backup, policy, advisor, security detection, monitoring, log analytics and patching. This will help you proactively protect your VMs and detect potential threats to your environment. These services are built upon decades of experience at Microsoft in delivering services across Xbox, Office, Windows and Azure with thousands of security professionals and more than 70 compliance certifications. We have also taken a leadership position on topics such as privacy and compliance to standards such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ISO 27001, HIPAA and more. Last week we announced the general availability of Azure Policy which is a free service to help you control and govern your Azure resources at scale.

Today, I’m excited to announce a few additional built-in security and management capabilities:

  • Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines general availability: You likely need disaster recovery capabilities to ensure your applications are compliant with regulations that require a business continuity plan (such as ISO27001). You also may need your application to run continuously in the unlikely event of a natural disaster that could impact an entire region. With the general availability of this new service, you can configure disaster recovery within minutes, not days or weeks, with a built-in disaster recovery as a service that is unique to Azure. Learn more about how to get started by visiting our documentation.

“ASR has helped Finastra refine our DR posture through intuitive configuration of replication between Azure regions. It’s currently our standard platform for disaster recovery and handling thousands of systems with no issues regarding scale or adherence to our tight RPO/RTO requirements.” Bryan Heymann, Director of Systems & Architecture, D+H

  • Azure Backup for SQL in Azure Virtual Machines preview: Today we are extending the Azure backup capability beyond virtual machines and files to also include backup of a SQL instance running on a VM. This is a zero-infrastructure backup service that provides freedom from managing backups scripts, agents, backup servers or even backup storage. Moreover, customers can perform SQL log backups with 15-minute intervals on SQL Servers and SQL Always On Availability groups. Learn more on the key benefits of this capability and how to get started.
  • VM Run command: Customers can easily run scripts on an Azure VM directly from the Azure portal without having to connect to the machine. You can run either PowerShell scripts or Bash scripts and you can even troubleshoot a machine that has lost connection to the network. Learn more about Run Command for Windows and Linux.

More ways to save money, manage costs and optimize infrastructure

Given the agility offered by cloud infrastructure, I know you not only want freedom to deploy but also want tight control on your costs. You want to optimize your spending as you transition to the cloud. We can help drive higher ROI by reducing and optimizing infrastructure costs.

Azure offers innovative products and services to help reduce costs, like low priority VMs, burstable VMs, vCPU-constrained VMs for Oracle and SQL databases, and archive storage so customers can choose the right cost optimized infrastructure option for their app. Azure also uniquely offers free Cost Management so customers can manage and optimize their overall budget better.

With Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs), you can save up to 72 percent. By combining RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can save up to 80 percent on Windows Server virtual machines, and up to 73* percent compared to AWS RIs for Windows VMs – making Azure the most cost-effective cloud to run Windows Server workloads. Customers like Smithfield Foods have been able to slash datacenter costs significantly, reduce new-application delivery time and optimize their infrastructure spend.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of some of the coolest new capabilities and services in Azure. We are constantly working to improve the platform and make a simpler and easier infrastructure service for you! Please let us know how we can make it even better.

Get started today with Azure IaaS. You can also register now to the Azure IaaS webcast I am hosting on June 18, 2018 on many of these topics.

Thanks,

Corey

*Disclaimer:

  1. Sample annual cost comparison of two D2V3 Windows Server VMs. Savings based two D2V3 VMs in US West 2 Region running 744 hours/month for 12 months; Base compute rate at SUSE Linux Enterprise rate for US West 2. Azure pricing as of April 24, 2018. AWS pricing updated as of April, 24, 2018. Price subject to change.
  2. The 80 percent of saving is based on the combined cost of Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and 3-year Azure Reserved Instance. It does not include Software Assurance cost.
  3. Actual savings may vary based on location, instance type, or usage.

Sophos partners adopt MSP model as clients outsource security

The roster of Sophos partners grew 30% year over year as the company cites the increasing importance of the managed service provider business model.

Sophos Ltd., based in the United Kingdom with its primary U.S. offices in Boston and Santa Clara, Calif., said its partner base expanded to 39,000 partners by the end of its March-ended 2018 fiscal year, compared with 30,000 partners in the previous fiscal year. Active partners, which the company defines as those conducting five or more transactions over a trailing six-month period, increased to 7,000 in fiscal 2018, up from 6,100 for the previous year — about a 15% lift.

Amid the channel growth, MSPs are standing out as a partner category. Kendra Krause, vice president of global channels at Sophos, said Sophos executives attending the company’s recent partner conference in Las Vegas reported numerous conversations around the MSP model.

Sophos partners adopt the MSP model

“We actually compared notes: The executive staff all said in almost every conversation they had with a partner, that partner is either an MSP today or is building out a practice to be an MSP,” Krause said. “It’s absolutely an area where we are going to double down on and continue to invest in.”

Sophos has previously taken steps to engage with MSPs. In 2016, the company unveiled an MSP addition to its partner program. And in 2017, Sophos launched a program for cloud security providers, offering back-end financial incentives to partners driving customers to purchase Sophos products via the Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services cloud marketplaces. Krause said MSPs are getting involved in the cloud security program.

“Our MSPs are now reaching out into the public cloud,” she noted.

Krause said the MSP model has become more important as more small and midmarket companies outsource security to external providers.

Our MSPs are now reaching out into the public cloud.
Kendra Krausevice president of global channels, Sophos

“Security is getting very complicated … and most customers would much rather find an expert in that industry,” Krause said. “If you look at the small and medium-sized businesses out there … they are looking for that outsourced capability.”

As a result, more channel partners are becoming MSPs, Krause explained. MSPs, she added, can manage multiple customers from one customer dashboard, the Sophos Central management console.

What’s next for Sophos partners?

This year, Sophos partners can expect to see the vendor add more features to its Synchronized Security approach, in which security components such as endpoint products and firewalls communicate with each other to block threats. Krause said Sophos aims to turn Synchronized Security into a “very adaptive security approach by tying in machine learning.”

The security vendor also plans to provide Sophos partners with greater access to its in-house experts. In one example, the Sophos Channel Service Center provides marketing support for partners looking to create customized content or host events. In addition, a Sophos intelligence team, which has been made available to Sophos’ Platinum and national partners, assists partners in competitive situations, providing information on products or specific product features so partners can be more knowledgeable on sales calls, Krause noted.

Sophos partners can also expect to see more content syndication.

“One of the things we are doing is trying to give partners more access to the SophosLabs team and the first way is to syndicate content,” Krause said. Partners can drop a line of code into their websites to add content from SophosLabs’ Naked Security blog, she said.

Use of managed services among SMBs.
Most small and midmarket companies use or have considered using managed services, a pattern that Sophos suggests holds true in the security space.

Acquia boosts focus on joint partner solutions

Acquia, a Drupal-based digital experience platform provider, is amid a new evolutionary stage of its channel strategy.

Acquia is trying to increase the momentum it experienced last year when it added more than 430 new customers spanning a variety of geographical markets and industries. New customer acquisitions included Wendy’s fast food restaurant chain, German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer AG, fantasy sports contest provider DraftKings, and the University of Denver, said Joe Wykes, senior vice president of channels and commerce at Acquia, based in Boston.

“There are probably very few industries today where I would say we aren’t active, although some, of course, are faster in terms of their growth and development than others,” Wykes said.

He approximated that about 60% of those new customers originated from Acquia’s partners, a percentage the vendor wants to enlarge. Acquia’s channel ecosystem consists of about 350 partners — primarily digital marketing agencies but also a growing number of systems integrators and consultancies. Acquia also maintains a legacy partner community of web development companies that Wykes said continues to play an important role.

One of the areas Acquia is focusing on is developing joint solutions with partners, “where we have technology that … can run as a service inside of an integrator or an agency,” Wykes said. He noted, for example, a New York-based digital agency that has begun offering Acquia’s customer journey orchestration as a service to a client.

In terms of recruitment, Acquia is “paying close attention to our competitive landscape” and snapping up competitors’ partners. He cited recent moves from Sitecore, which has “been off pursuing only the very large global integrators.”

“That leaves a lot of their traditional partners in the dust, which has been just fine for us,” he said.

2nd Watch rolls out DevOps toolkit

2nd Watch, an MSP in Seattle, has launched two cloud automation services to automate core DevOps and cloud infrastructure management functions.

Jeff Aden, founder and executive vice president of marketing and business development at 2nd WatchJeff Aden

The offerings, 2nd Watch Modern CI/CD Pipeline and the 2nd Watch Machine Image Factory, were developed over the course of multiple customer engagements, said Jeff Aden, founder and executive vice president of marketing and business development at 2nd Watch. The services may be deployed on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or multi-cloud infrastructure, according to the company.

Aden said a company survey revealed that only about a quarter of companies that believe they are practicing DevOps actually are using the software development approach. The new services, he added, are “a way to help companies have a common tool set to be able to really accelerate their transformation toward a more DevOps practice.”

The new services take advantage of such technologies as Packer, Ansible and Terraform.

Other news

  • Cybersecurity vendor Fortinet bolstered its resources for managed security service provider (MSSP) partners. Fortinet’s MSSP program introduced a Silver Level tier, which the vendor said offers an entry path for value-added resellers and MSSPs transitioning to services-based businesses. Additional resources included service enablement starter kits for multi-cloud, SD-WAN, automation and secure access for IoT and operational technology; a new consumption-based licensing model for customers; and U.K. expansion of the Fortinet Veterans program for helping military veterans enter the cybersecurity industry.
  • Reliam LLC, a consulting and managed service provider based in Los Angeles, has appointed Ted Stuart as chief revenue officer as part of a broader effort to build out the company’s sales and marketing teams. Stuart joins Reliam from Daz Systems, where he was senior vice president of sales. The sales and marketing effort follows Reliam’s recent acquisitions of Stratalux and G2 Tech Group. The merged companies provide managed services around the Amazon Web Services cloud platform.
  • UK Backup Ltd., a cloud backup services provider based in the United Kingdom, is using Asigra software to deliver what Asigra said is the first managed backup offering to protect data in Office 365 Groups. The arrangement focuses on Asigra Cloud Backup v14. The service will be offered in the U.K. and other countries.
  • Ubersmith, a subscription business management software company based in New York, is partnering with Affirma Consulting. Affirma Consulting, based in Bellevue, Wash., will provide customization services such as integrations and software development. With the addition of Affirma Consulting, Ubersmith now has 30 participants in its partner program, which launched six months ago.


Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Partnership with Microsoft will bring computer science to four El Paso schools

Microsoft TEALS partners with teachers to provide students with skills required for today and tomorrow’s careers

EL PASO, Texas — April 30, 2018 — El Paso students at four area schools will have the opportunity to learn to code this fall, thanks to a new partnership announced Monday with Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program, which helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between classroom teachers and technology industry volunteers, will launch this fall at Clint ISD Early College Academy, Eastlake High School, Eastwood High School and Loretto Academy.

“Our region is fortunate to have terrific schools, which will be even stronger with the addition of a program that teaches one of the key skills young people will need to be successful in our increasingly technology driven world,” said JJ Childress, El Paso manager of Microsoft’s TechSpark program to foster greater economic opportunity and job creation in six communities in the United States. “We know teachers want to teach computer science, but it can be challenging to find the time and resources to learn the subject. TEALS addresses this by putting trained technology volunteers into classrooms to teach students, while helping teachers prepare to teach the subject on their own.”

Since its formation in 2009, TEALS has paired volunteer computer science experts from over 500 companies with high school teachers in nearly 350 schools, in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Volunteers join classes in person, or through the internet when enough volunteers aren’t available locally.

John Mack, Prudential’s head of Technology in El Paso, is among those who signed up to volunteer through TEALS. “Technology is driving the world economy, and there are so many rewarding careers available to those who have learned to code,” Mack said. “I jumped at the opportunity to work with young people in our community this fall, and I hope that many others join me.”

Other El Paso-based businesses helping promote TEALS among their employees, and supporting their employees in their volunteer work, include El Paso Electric and Steele Consulting. The University of Texas at El Paso is also helping to promote TEALS among students interested in volunteering through the program. As a result of this support from the community, employees from these companies, and university students, have applied to volunteer.

Edmond Martinez, principal of Clint ISD Early College Academy, a school that has long embraced the need for strong science, technology, engineering and math programs, sees the teaching of computer science as a duty to the next generation, and encourages local technology experts to step up to volunteer.

“We have a responsibility to create pathways for our students from high school, through college, and to professional positions,” Martinez said. “Technical knowledge and skills prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow, to solve serious problems, and create new opportunities for humanity. It’s my hope that many of those in our community who have technology training will sign up to volunteer with TEALS this fall. What could be more rewarding than passing on your skills to the next generation of innovators?”

Anyone with a computer science degree or equivalent industry experience, who wants to give back to the community by teaching high school computer science, can apply. Volunteers receive training over the summer, and other support throughout the process. Applications are open now, through the end of May, and can be found at https://www.tealsk12.org/volunteers/.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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