Tag Archives: provider

New performance monitoring tool alerts developers in real time

Application monitoring tools provider Sentry has introduced a new performance monitoring product to help developers find and fix performance issues by adding just five lines of additional code to their application.

San Francisco-based Sentry provides tools that development teams use to identify performance issues by tracing them to poor performing API calls along with related errors.

The tool allows developers to understand how their code is doing in either production, preproduction or in staging, said Milin Desai, CEO of the company. “Essentially, we help developers find errors in their software in real time,” he said.

Performance bottlenecks and code errors can mean lost business for organizations when customers can’t access services. Indeed, a recent study published by researchers at Digital Enterprise Journal shows that 91% of organizations have reported missed revenue due to performance and availability issues and the average monthly loss is an estimated $634,000.

With the Sentry technology, when an error occurs the system will notify the development team using Slack, PagerDuty, email or whatever the notification system of choice is. The notification includes how many users are affected, what devices and browsers are affected and all the metadata about the issue. In addition, the notification is broken down to the point of identifying the exact line of code and the potential code comment where that issue could have come from.

This enables developers to quickly fix the code and roll it back out. Sentry is available as a SaaS service. There are more than 60,000 development teams using it, Desai said.

The new Performance Monitoring feature builds onto Sentry’s error tracking and release integration platform to help developers resolve performance bottlenecks quickly. The performance monitoring feature is included in the Team, Business and Enterprise versions of Sentry.

“Automated code performance monitoring is critical in today’s agile world,” said Krishnan Subramanian, an analyst at Rishidot Research in Redmond, Wash. “If the goal of Agile development and DevOps is to take the applications faster to market, automated error detection and performance of the code are important.”

There are alternatives to Sentry with varying capabilities, such as OverOps, Honeybadger and Rollbar.

Charlotte Dunlap, analyst, GlobalDataCharlotte Dunlap

These application performance monitoring (APM) capabilities could show up in more app management tools as enterprises seek tools to support DevOps, said Charlotte Dunlap, a GlobalData analyst based in Santa Cruz, Calif.

“IT operations teams are increasingly seeking APM tools as part of their app modernization efforts, looking to improve app performance through monitoring tools aimed at a broader audience, which includes developers,” she said. “As such, we’ll begin to see more consolidation of this type of APM technology with larger application management solutions as enterprises seek tools that support more of a DevOps model.”

The new offering provides Application Health Insights that show users how their app measures up with live updating latency and throughput data, such as increases in transactions and error rates. It also offers a transaction summary that details transactions sorted by factors such as slowest duration time and the number of users having a slow experience.

“I wouldn’t say this is groundbreaking, but it boosts productivity significantly and helps developers detect errors before an app even gets into production,” Subramanian said. “Most people think of Agile as taking the code faster to production, but, for me, Agile is about taking good code faster to market. From this point of view, tools like Sentry add significant value to any organization.”

Moreover, Sentry’s latest improvements are more focused on app performance and user experience, but there are security implications a platform like Sentry can deliver as well.

The top 10 web app security risks are largely the same today as they were during the second Bush administration — injection flaws, busted authentication and access controls, and cross-site scripting, said Chris Gonsalves, senior vice president of research at The 2112 Group in Port Washington, N.Y.

Organizations don’t necessarily need super-fancy AI-driven ‘wonder tools’ to unearth this stuff. They need basic blocking and tackling, which Sentry handles very well.
Chris GonsalvesAnalyst, The 2112 Group

“It’s the same old stuff,” Gonsalves said. “Organizations don’t necessarily need super-fancy AI-driven ‘wonder tools’ to unearth this stuff. They need basic blocking and tackling, which Sentry handles very well.

“Add to this Sentry’s ability to ingest, aggregate and report Content-Security-Policy violations, Expect-CT and HTTP Public Key Pinning failures, and what you have is a valuable set of capabilities to improve basic app hygiene, something most development organizations could definitely use.”

The product’s Root Cause Analysis feature helps users to see the differences between outliers and normal performing transactions. It also provides Tracing and Performance Alerts that check for performance metrics that fall below certain predefined thresholds.

Sentry’s core error monitoring product covers all popular programming languages. The new performance monitoring tool supports just JavaScript and Python, and Sentry will be adding additional languages every quarter, Desai said.

The base plan for Sentry’s software starts at $26 per month and includes 50K errors, 100K transactions, 1 GB attachments for a team, then works its way up depending on if it’s for a team or business, number of errors and other factors.

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SUSE buys Rancher Labs for Kubernetes expertise

Enterprise Linux provider SUSE plans to acquire Rancher Labs in a bid to gain credibility within the Kubernetes container management market.

Rancher Labs, based in Cupertino, Calif., helps enterprise customers manage their Kubernetes environments at scale. Terms of the pending deal were not disclosed.

Rancher’s open source products include Kubernetes distributions, multi-cloud management software and operating systems and storage for containerized workloads.

Arun ChandrasekaranArun Chandrasekaran

“The Rancher acquisition allows SUSE to support containerized workloads more effectively across on-premises, public cloud and edge environments based on OSS,” said Arun Chandrasekaran, a Gartner analyst. “It also provides SUSE a pathway to better engage with platform engineering teams, who are often at the forefront of DevOps efforts.”

Sheng LiangSheng Liang

Rancher CEO Sheng Liang will assume the role of president of engineering innovation at SUSE. “I’m going to take over all of those engineers and just manage them all as one big team,” Liang said in an interview. As the deal has not closed, Rancher hasn’t had a chance to plan how to deal with product engineering, but the company’s sales and marketing team will join SUSE’s, he added.

With more enterprises moving more workloads to the cloud via containers, the importance of Kubernetes continues to grow. Indeed, adoption of cloud-native applications and infrastructure will increase use of container management to more than 75% of large enterprises in mature economies by 2024 — up from less than 35% in 2020, according to Gartner.

The container management software market is very competitive, particularly given the recent hybrid and multi-cloud efforts of hyperscale providers — such as Google’s Anthos platform — as well as the broader consolidation among software vendors.

“Being part of a larger OSS entity can hopefully provide Rancher better go-to-market capabilities and field presence to compete with these larger providers, Chandrasekaran said.

Rancher has always had a grassroots approach to gaining customers, according to Liang.

“SUSE is at a whole different level,” he said. “They’re a completely proven brand with a loyal and growing customer base. … We’re also very interested in their partner ecosystem.”

SUSE hones its Kubernetes chops with Rancher

For SUSE, buying Rancher gives the company stronger footing in the Kubernetes market.

“Of all the major Linux vendors who moved to the cloud, SUSE didn’t have a proper Kubernetes strategy,” said Krishnan Subramanian, an analyst at Rishidot Research in Redmond, Wash. “This fills that gap and gives them legitimacy.”

Of all the major Linux vendors who moved to the cloud, SUSE didn’t have a proper Kubernetes strategy.
Krishnan SubramanianAnalyst, Rishidot Research

SUSE is following the proven success path of Red Hat, a fellow Linux vendor and competitor, some observers said. It is nearly a must for Linux vendors to have a Kubernetes platform, and SUSE gets that from Rancher.

“SUSE now has a shot at managing hybrid enterprise workloads with Rancher across on-premises SUSE environments, as well as across the leading cloud vendor platforms,” said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research. “That is what CXOs [chief experience officers] want for their next-generation applications, the workload portability across deployment platforms.”

Although, Linux and Kubernetes have become an expected pair, the SUSE move caught some observers by surprise.

“As the Kubernetes market consolidated, there was some pressure on Rancher to find some exit, but I thought the recent funding round gave them enough time to go big,” Subramanian said. In March, Rancher Labs raised $40 million in a series D round of funding led by Telstra Ventures. That brought the company’s funding total to $95 million.

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Moogsoft AIOps platform taps WWT in partner initiative

Moogsoft Inc., an AIOps platform provider, is partnering with World Wide Technology Inc. as part of its plan to work with channel partners that can help transform customers’ network operations centers.

World Wide Technology (WWT), a technology solution provider based in St. Louis, will use Moogsoft’s technology within its AIOps practice. WWT joins other Moogsoft partners such as Windward Consulting Group, a Herndon, Va., company that recently rolled out managed services around the Moogsoft platform.

Terry Ramos, Moogsoft’s senior vice president of alliances and channel, joined the company in February 2020. Since then, the company’s channel program has aimed to recruit partners able to help customers through an AIOps transformation.

“We’re focusing on a small number of partners who understand the transformation of taking hundreds of thousands of events and narrowing that down to a set number of situations that a customer really needs to focus on and get resolved,” Ramos said.

IT service providers have recently become more active in AIOps and intelligent operations. Companies building practices in those areas assess customers’ environments, suggest strategies for building on what they have already and help them integrate new tools.

AIOps use cases chart

The Moogsoft AIOps platform integrates with monitoring tools to ingest event data, provides noise reduction and ties together similar alerts into what the company terms “situations.” Moogsoft’s machine learning technology identifies the probable root cause of a situation, which network operations center (NOC) or security operations center personnel can then resolve.

Regarding integrations, Moogsoft will operate alongside Cisco’s AppDynamics in WWT’s AIOps practice. “We have a partnership with AppDynamics, as well,” Ramos noted. Moogsoft ingests monitoring and observability data from AppDynamics, according to Moogsoft.

Moogsoft, meanwhile, is promoting the concept of the virtual NOC, which lets ITOps and DevOps groups collaborate outside of a physical facility. Moogsoft Enterprise 8.0, based on the Moogsoft AIOps Platform, includes a Situation Room that lets personnel collaborate remotely.

Wipro launches channel partner program

Wipro Ltd. will collaborate with channel partners as it looks to accelerate the adoption of its products and platforms, which span areas from AI to virtual desktops.

The company’s newly launched Global Channel Partner Program aims to facilitate relationships with IT services providers, products companies, consulting firms and resellers. Mandar Vanarse, general manager of the intellectual property unit at Wipro, said the company offers 60 industry-specific platforms and products as well as “industry-agnostic” technology offerings.

The company’s portfolio also includes the Wipro Holmes AI and automation platform, Wipro’s VirtuaDesk desktop-as-a-service offering and the Open Banking API platform.

“We are open to our partners selling … one or several of the products from our portfolio,” Vanarse said. He added channel partners can sell Wipro’s products “as is” or as a joint offering with their own products.

Wipro channel partner firms will target the enterprise market segment, which is also Wipro’s primary segment. Vanarse said Wipro will avoid channel conflict with a “well-defined approach, which will be based on market, segment and accounts, which will help align our efforts to expand coverage and deployment.”

Wipro will also offer deal registration through the program. “Channel partners will register their leads with Wipro,” Vanarse said. “Wipro, in turn, will validate the leads and qualify the partner to pursue the lead.”

According to Wipro, the company’s channel partner staff will receive training at the Wipro Product Academy and have access to “special pricing models, sales enablement support, benefit calculators, and other sales and marketing material.”

Other news

  • ServiceNow updated its partner initiative with a partner marketplace and an app monetization program. The company unveiled the ServiceNow Partner Industry Solutions marketplace, which features partner offerings that address joint customers’ industry-specific workflow and digital transformation needs. The initial group of partners offering the industry solutions includes Accenture, Atos, Deloitte, DXC Technology, Ernst & Young and KPMG. ServiceNow also launched the Built on Now program, which provides a framework for app monetization. The company said the framework lets partners build, test, certify, distribute and sell digital workflows on the Now Platform. A year ago, ServiceNow said it would heavily invest in its partners as it pursues its goal of becoming a $10 billion company.
  • UiPath, a robotic process automation software company, said it is offering new partner training, certification and marketing programs through its UiPath Services Network. The additions include an expanded set of materials such as product training and solution guides; new turnkey digital marketing programs; and new technology integrations with vendors such as Oracle, Salesforce, ServiceNow and Workday. The company earlier this year launched UiPath Academy for Partners, a partner-specific training portal.
  • Omdia, a market research firm based in London, said the COVID-19 pandemic will boost SaaS market revenue in 2020 by 4 to 5 percentage points compared with earlier estimates. However, IT infrastructure service revenue will fall by 2 to 3 percentage points this year compared with previous forecasts. The company said the rise in remote working and e-learning is bolstering demand for SaaS, while business closures have reduced demand for IaaS and other infrastructure services.
  • MarketsandMarkets, a market researcher based in Pune, India, forecasted the global managed network services market size to grow from $52.7 billion in 2020 to $71.6 billion by 2025. The research firm said the main drivers behind the market expansion include organizations needing to lower capital and operating expenditures, growing interest in digital transformation and new demands for connectivity. MarketsandMarkets predicted that managed WAN will be the largest managed network service segment during the forecast period.
  • Mitel, a business communications firm based in Dallas, said its MiCloud Flex private cloud is now available on Google Cloud as a wholesale offering. Availability is in the U.S., United Kingdom and France. Mitel said MiCloud Flex on Google Cloud offers its channel partners the potential to create new recurring revenue streams.
  • Agosto, a Pythian company and cloud services and development firm, rolled out a Managed G Suite Administration Services practice. The practice offers administrative and engineering support around G Suite onboarding and off boarding processes; user moves/changes/adds/deletes; ticket escalation and incident management; license management; change management; continuous training; and an annual G Suite review with a remediation plan.
  • Peak-Ryzex, a digital supply chain and mobile workforce solutions provider based in Columbia, Md., has entered a partnership with ShipTrack, a cloud-based logistics management platform.
  • Niagara Networks, based in San Jose, Calif., has expanded its channel program in the Americas, having previously established its Niagara Networks Majestics Partner Program in other regions. The company said that program is now fully operational in North America, noting several dozen channel companies joined the program prior to its formal introduction.
  • Exabeam, a SIEM vendor in Foster City, Calif., launched a formal practice for managed security service providers (MSSPs) and managed detection and response (MDR) providers within its partner program. The addition will provide structure and support for MSSP and MDR provider business models, the company said. Separately, Exabeam disclosed a “significant investment” in its Asia-Pacific and Japan region to accommodate increasing demand for its cybersecurity offerings.
  • SADA, a business and technology consultancy based in Los Angeles, officially launched the National Response Portal, which provides data and analytics in support of COVID-19 recovery. SADA built the portal, collaborating with HCA Healthcare, which originated the idea, and Google Cloud.
  • Infoblox, a company that offers cloud-managed network services based in Santa Clara, Calif., said it now provides a dedicated team of business development specialists for channel partners. Other channel partner program investments include new sales incentives and the expansion of its Professional Services Program to EMEA and Asia-Pacific.
  • Pulseway, a remote monitoring and management vendor, rolled out a new software package for MSPs. The package is tailored for MSPs supporting remote working environments, the vendor said. The package includes its IT management platform, as well as several built-in features, including unlimited remote control concurrent sessions, remote user chat and file transfer, and automation workflows. The pricing starts from $1.04 per license, a Pulseway spokesperson said.
  • Veristor Systems, a business technology solutions provider based in Atlanta, has been named a strategic member of Respond Software’s partner program. Veristor will offer its customers Respond Analyst, a software automation offering for security operations.
  • High Wire Networks, a cybersecurity service firm that sells to MSPs, added cloud detection and response (CDR) capabilities to its Overwatch Managed Security Platform as a Service offering. The company said the CDR technology aims to safeguard SaaS apps and public cloud infrastructure with automated attack detection, manual and automated threat hunting, prebuilt compliance reports, and manual and automated response.
  • Cloud distributor Pax8 is hosting a webinar series in place of its Wingman2020 event, originally planned as an in-person event in Denver next month. The Wingman Webinar Series will cover a range of partner-related topics, Pax8 said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Additional reporting by Spencer Smith.

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JetStream DR on Cloudian offers MSPs lower-cost DRaaS

A California-based managed service provider has deployed a new disaster-recovery-as-a-service offering that integrates JetStream Software’s DR product with Cloudian’s object storage technology.

Enterprise Networking Solutions Inc. (ENS-Inc), an MSP based in Rancho Cordova, Calif., said it is the first service provider to use the DRaaS product JetStream DR on Cloudian. The DRaaS offering, which targets customers using VMware vSphere, continuously replicates data from customers’ VMs to Cloudian’s object store, housed in an off-site recovery environment.

ENS-Inc has used JetStream DR as an MSP partner for about two years, having beta-tested the product in 2018. The MSP has also used Cloudian’s HyperStore platform as an archival storage tier for three years.

Paul Smitham, president at ENS-Inc, said combining the technologies for DRaaS can reduce costs by 60%. MSPs can pass the cost savings along to customers. 

“DR sometimes is very expensive and, a lot of times, people don’t think they need it because it is so expensive,” Smitham said.

ENS-Inc has provided JetStream DR on Cloudian for about six months, originally on a beta basis. The offering is now in general use. “We have customers on it, and we are starting to get more and more,” Smitham said.

DR sometimes is very expensive and, a lot of times, people don’t think they need it because it is so expensive.
Paul SmithamPresident, ENS-Inc

Additional cost savings stem from the use of JetStream DR, which Smitham said costs much less than competitive products from vendors such as Veeam and Zerto. He noted those products don’t extend to object storage yet.

At the moment, ENS-Inc uses JetStream DR on Cloudian to replicate customers’ data to DR sites in Rancho Cordova and Las Vegas.

Rich Petersen, president and co-founder at JetStream, said feedback from partners such as ENS-Inc has helped prioritize the development of new features. “We have been getting a lot of great guidance,” he said.

Jon Toor, CMO at Cloudian, added that service providers have represented a major slice of the Cloudian’s target market since the company’s launch in 2011. He suggested object storage has found a home in the data protection world.

“Object storage has really emerged as the de facto target for backup software and continuous replication software,” he said. “[DRaaS] is the kind of use case Cloudian was designed for.”

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Telia Carrier looks to expand U.S. channel partner roster

Telia Carrier, a network services provider based in Stockholm, is looking to work with large master agents and regional partners in the U.S., targeting enterprise opportunities such as SD-WAN.

The company this week launched a partner program with the goal of raising its profile in the U.S. The channel initiative aims to help partners cross-sell a range of offerings that include internet services, Ethernet, MPLS, a public cloud gateway and SD-WAN services. Telia Carrier earlier this month released a new SD-WAN offering  based on Cisco’s Viptela technology.

Rob Pulkownik, head of channel sales at Telia Carrier, said the company recently built out its internal infrastructure to work with partners, creating mechanisms to track orders, pay commissions and avoid channel conflict.

“Now that we have that in place, my plan for this year is to scale up with … two more of the large masters and then regional [agents], on a more ad hoc basis,” he said.

Telia Carrier has master agent agreements in place with AppSmart (formerly WTG), Telarus and other companies.

The channel sales effort represents a shift for Telia Carrier, which has operated primarily a wholesale player, with customers including content providers, carriers, multisystem operators and ISPs. The enterprise sector was much less of a focus. Telia Carrier has staffed eight to 10 salespeople in the U.S. market, while competitors have more than 1,000 salespeople, Pulkownik noted.

We are going to rely on doing a lot of this through the channel.
Rob Pulkownik Head of channel sales, Telia Carrier

“We are not going to ramp up a sales team like that,” he said. “We are going to rely on doing a lot of this through the channel.”

Features of Telia Carrier’s partner program include a self-service portal, which lets agents keep tabs on inventory, usage, trouble tickets, invoices, customer payments and commissions, according to the company.

Telia Carrier aims to roll out an automated deal registration system in the second quarter of this year. At the moment, deal registration is a manual process.

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Mendix expands support with private, dedicated cloud options

Low-code platform provider Mendix has its cloud bases covered after introducing new private and dedicated cloud offerings this week.

Mendix for Private Cloud and Mendix Dedicated Cloud join the Mendix Public Cloud service and expand the company’s offerings across public, private and hybrid cloud deployment options.

These tools will help enterprises use low-code development in any cloud environment of their choice, as well as on premises, said Jon Scolamiero, manager of architecture and governance at Mendix.

Mendix is bucking the trend where low-code pure-plays offer their solutions as PaaS deployments, responding to enterprises’ adoption of Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud strategies.

Charlotte DunlapCharlotte Dunlap

“Increasingly, leading public cloud providers are offering their own versions of low-code and automation technologies to complement their Kubernetes offerings — for instance, Microsoft with Power Automate and Google’s acquisition of AppSheet in January, which poses a competitive threat to Mendix,” said Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst at GlobalData in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Mendix for Private Cloud runs on Kubernetes in any privately configured location or data center. Its target is any enterprise with specialized security, compliance or data integration needs.

Meanwhile, the company said the Mendix Dedicated Cloud is aimed at enterprises that have more than 100 Mendix applications as well as customers operating in highly regulated environments. This cloud is built, managed and configured by Mendix exclusively for the customer. Mendix Public Cloud runs managed and hosted by Mendix or hosted on AWS, SAP or IBM public clouds.

Multi-cloud in demand

Some 86% of respondents to a recent Forrester Research survey said they may deploy workloads on hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments. One-third of that group said they will use private cloud as part of their development strategy. In addition, 23% of respondents planned to deploy on-premises workloads together with public cloud deployment.

Increasingly, leading public cloud providers are offering their own versions of low-code and automation technologies to complement their Kubernetes offerings.
Charlotte DunlapAnalyst, GlobalData

Forrester’s survey focused on the general IT landscape and not specifically low-code vendors such as Mendix. But Mendix’s cloud options could appeal to existing customers such as Kermit, a firm based in Hunt Valley, Md., that offers a spend management platform for hospitals to track the amount spent on implantable medical devices. The analytics-based platform helps medical institutions track physician preference items, which account for about 60% of a hospital’s spending for supplies.

Kermit developed its cloud-based platform with Mendix. In fact, the CEO and two of his co-founders found Mendix so approachable that they downloaded a Mendix modeler and were able to construct a running application, said Richard Palarea, CEO and co-founder of Kermit.

“I am very comfortable with the paradigm of having control over the code and wanting to actually hard-code everything, versus having an environment where you can stitch together a business process and go into the app store and grab widgets that you need to bring your idea about,” he said. “That, to me, just has always seemed like a better way of doing things.”

The Kermit analytics platform, which was built by one core developer in nine months, enables hospitals to track and manage contracts, billings, and vendor compliance.

The company has primarily offered its platform to hospitals in Maryland, where Kermit manages 40% of the total spending on medical implants, Palarea said. Kermit began taking its platform nationwide at the end of last year.

“Healthcare analytics are a huge game right now,” Palarea said. “Every CIO in hospitals these days is looking at these kinds of tools to manage the business better because lower reimbursements from both Medicare primarily and also third-party insurers mean the payment that they get for their surgeries are going down.”

While it is too early for Kermit to consider using these new editions of the Mendix platform, company officials said that once use of the Kermit offering goes nationwide, they might take another look.

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Developers could ease DevOps deployment with CircleCI Orbs

CI/CD platform provider CircleCI has introduced a suite of 20 integrations that automate deployment and were developed with prominent partners including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, VMware and Salesforce.

These integrations, known as CircleCI Orbs, enable developers to quickly automate deployments directly from their CI/CD pipelines. CircleCI launched Orbs in November 2018, and today there are more than 1,200 listed in its registry. But users created the vast majority of them; the difference with CircleCI’s internally created orbs is that they’re backed by vendor support.

CircleCI Orbs are shareable configuration packages for development builds, said Tom Trahan, CircleCI’s vice president of business development. The orbs define reusable commands, executors and jobs so that commonly used pieces of configuration can be condensed into a single line of code, he said.

The process of automating deployment can be challenging, which is why CircleCI added this suite of out-of-the-box integrations.

Orbs have two primary benefits for developers, said Chris Condo, an analyst at Forrester Research. “They can be certified by the third parties that create them, and they are maintainable pieces of code that contain logic, actions and connections to CD [continuous delivery] capabilities,” he said.

The orbs help CircleCI operate in an increasingly competitive market that includes open-source Jenkins as well as the commercial CloudBees Jenkins Platform, GitLab and GitHub, as well as cloud platform providers such as AWS and Microsoft.

Orbs are very similar in design to the best package managers that you see — like npm for Node.js, or like the Java library or Ruby Gems.
Tom TrahanVice president of business development, CircleCI

“When we launched Orbs, it was because our customers were asking us for a way to operate the same way that they operate within the broader open source world, particularly when you think about open source frameworks for various languages,” Trahan said. “Orbs are very similar in design to the best package managers that you see — like npm for Node.js, or like the Java library or Ruby Gems.”

These are all frameworks created so that bundles of code could be packaged up and made available to developers, which is what the CircleCI Orbs do, Trahan added.

Developers don’t want to have to “reinvent the wheel,” when they can simply access bundles of code and best practices that others have already developed, he said.

Multi-cloud trend drives need for easier deployment

Anything that removes boring configuration work from a developer’s plate is likely to be welcome, said James Governor, an analyst at RedMonk, based in Portland, Maine.

“CircleCI building out a catalog of deployment orbs makes a lot of sense, particularly as the market becomes increasingly multi-cloud oriented,” Governor said. “Enterprises want to see their vendors offer a wide range of supported platforms. The Orb approach allows for standardized, repeatable deployments and rollbacks.”

However, the process of automating deployments can be problematic for some teams because of the time it takes to write integrations with services such as AWS ECS or Google Cloud Run, Trahan said. The CircleCI deployment orbs are designed to limit the complexity and time spent creating integrations.

“Customers are asking for simpler ways to connect their dev and CD processes; Orbs helps them do that,” Forrester’s Condo said. “So I see Orbs as a very nice evolutionary step that allows teams to build maintainable abstractions between their development and deployment processes.”

How commercially successful the new suite of Orbs will be remains to be seen, but conceptually, the approach has been embraced by CircleCI users. Since their launch in November 2018, CircleCI orbs are now used by 13,000 user organizations, with around 40,000 repositories and nine million CI/CD pipelines, Trahan said.

Pricing for CircleCI’s CI/CD pipeline services is free for small teams and starts at $30 a month for teams with four or more developers. Pricing for enterprise customers starts at $3,000 a month. The orbs are free for all CircleCI users.

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How Genesys is personalizing the customer experience with Engage, Azure and AI | Transform

Microsoft and Genesys, a global provider of contact center software, recently announced a partnership to enable enterprises to run Genesys’ omnichannel customer experience solution, Genesys Engage, on Microsoft Azure. According to the two companies, this combination will provide a secure cloud environment to help companies more easily leverage AI to address customer needs on any channel.

Headquartered in Daly City, California, Genesys has more than 5,000 employees in nearly 60 offices worldwide. Every year, the company supports more than 70 billion customer experiences for organizations like Coca-Cola Business Services North America, eBay, Heineken, Lenovo, PayPal, BOSCH, Quicken and more.

Transform spoke with Barry O’Sullivan, executive vice president and general manager of Multicloud Solutions for Genesys, to explore how technology is reinventing the customer service experience.

TRANSFORM: How are technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cloud transforming the customer service sector?

O’SULLIVAN: It’s broader than customer service. It’s the entire customer experience, which encompasses any point at which businesses engage with consumers, whether it’s in a marketing, sales or service context. What cloud, AI and machine learning enable is the ability to make every experience unique to each individual. Every consumer wants to feel like they’re the only customer that matters during each interaction with a brand. These technologies allow organizations to understand what customers are doing, predict what they will need next and then deliver it in real time.

Traditionally, companies haven’t been able to do that well, because it’s hard to get a fix on a consumer as they move between channels. Maybe they come to a physical store one day, then call the next day or engage via web chat. These technologies allow brands to stitch together every customer interaction, and then use the resulting data to personalize the experience.

TRANSFORM: Can you talk a little bit more about that customer journey and what customers will experience going forward?

O’SULLIVAN: Let’s use contacting the cable company to get internet service as an example. You check out their website, but maybe you get stuck and use web chat to interact with a customer service representative. Today’s technologies allow businesses to connect the dots to better understand the customer.

Before these technologies were available, interactions were disconnected, and important customer details and context didn’t move from one department or agent to the next. We all know what that’s like – just think about a customer service experience when you had to repeat your name and birthdate every time you were passed to a new agent.

Today’s technology can tie together a customer’s details, like their favored communication channel, past purchases, prior service requests and more, so the business really knows them. Then, using AI, it can match that customer with the contact center agent who has the best chance of successfully resolving the issue and achieving a specific business outcome, such as making a related sale.

TRANSFORM: All of those kinds of experiences seem to be present in some form today. Is there a change coming that’s going to take the consumer experience to the next level?

O’SULLIVAN: Personalized service is not a new concept, but very few businesses get it right. Today, it’s about so much more than targeting personas or market segments.

It’s really about enabling organizations to link together their customers’ and employees’ experiences to deliver truly memorable, one-of-a-kind interactions. When it’s done right, organizations already know who the customer is, what he or she wants and the best way to deliver it.

That means understanding customers so well that businesses know the best times to contact them, on which channel and even the best days for an appointment. It’s no longer one-size-fits-all service – it’s tailor-made customer care for each consumer.

TRANSFORM: Are your own customers ready to adopt the technologies to enable this kind of new experience?

O’SULLIVAN: When it comes to cloud, it’s not a question of if, but when and how. And that’s one of the reasons the announcement between Genesys and Microsoft is so exciting. We have a lot of customers, especially large enterprises, who love Genesys and love Azure and really want to see that combination come together. So, giving them that option and that choice is really going to accelerate the migration to cloud.

In terms of adopting AI and machine learning, many companies are in the early phases, but recognize the enormous potential of the technology. What makes AI truly compelling in the customer experience market is its ability to unlock data. Increasingly, businesses use digital channels, like web chat and text, to communicate with consumers, which combined with traditional voice interactions has resulted in copious amounts of data being produced daily. The key for organizations is figuring out how to harness and leverage it to more fully understand customers, their experiences and behaviors, as well as the needs of human agents. That’s where Genesys comes in.

TRANSFORM: How would you describe your experience working with Microsoft?

O’SULLIVAN: It’s a great partnership because we’ve got a common view of the customer and a very aligned vision on cloud. It’s all about delivering agility and innovation quickly and reliably to our joint customers. So, it really helps when we’re both all in on the cloud, all in on customer experience.

Our customers are really excited about this combination of Genesys and Azure. They can simplify their maintenance, reduce costs and streamline the buying process. We believe in the advantages of moving to cloud, and obviously Azure is a leader there.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Impinj partners get new program to drive IoT business

Impinj Inc., a RAIN RFID solution provider based in Seattle, has unveiled a global program for its partner ecosystem, replacing an earlier channel partner program.

The Impinj Partner Network aims to ensure the partner community “contains the depth and breadth” of the vendor’s RAIN RFID capabilities to meet the needs of a global market, said Sandy Murti, vice president of global partner development at Impinj. Impinj partners covered under the new program include IoT resellers, ISVs, distributors, service providers and OEMs.

RAIN RFID is an industry alliance that promotes the adoption of ultrahigh frequency RFID technology.

Murti said the expansion of Impinj’s partner program recognizes the diverse set of partner types that play a role in designing, deploying and servicing offerings that incorporate the company’s products. The varied partner ecosystem shares a common “desire to build transformative IoT solutions,” he added.

Impinj partners include industry-specific systems integrators, such as Lowry Solutions and Smart Label Solutions, which specialize in supply chain and logistics. Another partner, Idox Health, focuses on the healthcare industry in the United Kingdom.

Sandy MurtiSandy Murti

Some Impinj partners are also active in development. Converging Data, for example, has built an Impinj IoT Connector for Splunk. The connector “enables RAIN RFID data gathered by the Impinj platform to be visualized and analyzed within the Splunk interface,” Murti said.

Webroot aims to boost MSPs’ cyberskills

George Anderson, product marketing director at Webroot, said the cybersecuritty vendor is looking at advancing from “v1” of its products to “v2” in 2020.

We are trying to make inroads in [the cybersecurity skills gap] and finding ways of helping MSPs … and skilling them up.
George AndersonProduct marketing director, Webroot

Anderson noted that the security environment has become increasingly more complex for managed service providers (MSPs) and software vendors alike. He said he sees MSPs realizing they are under pressure to step up their security capabilities and do more to protect themselves. Many MSPs view two paths forward: either outsource cybersecurity services from other providers or skill up their in-house staffs.

“We are trying to make inroads in [the cybersecurity skills gap] and finding ways of helping MSPs … and skilling them up,” Anderson said.

Anderson added that some of Webroot’s MSP users suffered security breaches in 2019.”We have seen some of our MSPs this year compromised. We have tried to help them. We have even seen our own console used against us this year,” he said.

Webroot was acquired by Carbonite in March. Carbonite announced in November it signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by OpenText, a content management vendor.

Other news

  • Security vendor Armor, so far this year, has identified 269 publicly disclosed cases of ransomware infections, 18 of which involve service providers. The service provider cases include MSPs, hosting companies, cloud software companies and a real estate listing service. Municipalities are the most frequently targeted group, followed by school districts and educational institutions, healthcare organizations and service providers, according to Armor, which has U.S. headquarters in Richardson, Texas.
  • Logically, an MSP based in Portland, Maine, has acquired IQ Technology Solutions, an outsourced IT services provider in Reno, Nev. The transaction closely follows Logically’s acquisition of Carolinas IT, announced Dec. 4. The MSP’s Nevada presence adds to other local service delivery teams in San Diego; Portland; Boston; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; and Raleigh, N.C.
  • Microsoft and Oracle have made their cloud interoperability alliance available in Canada. The partnership, which was announced in June, enables enterprise organizations to migrate and run workloads across the Oracle and Azure cloud platforms.
  • Agosto, a cloud services and development company based in Minneapolis, has achieved a Google Cloud Partner Program specialization in Work Transformation — Enterprise. The specialization recognizes a Google partner’s ability to deploy G Suite in enterprise organizations.
  • SolarWinds, an IT management software provider that sells to MSPs, has launched SolarWinds Backup for Office 365.
  • In the managed detection and response market, Arctic Wolf Networks, a security operations center-as-a-service company, has added Managed Containment to its MDR service. Meanwhile, eSentire Inc., which provides cloud-based MDR, said it is partnering with endpoint protection vendor CrowdStrike. MDR services have emerged as an adjunct to traditional managed security services.
  • Avaya signed an agreement with distributor Synnex Corp. to provide Avaya Cloud Office, a unified communications-as-a-service offering, to its channel partners. Synnex will distribute Avaya Cloud Office as part of its Avaya Master Agent program, according to Avaya.
  • 8×8, a cloud-based provider of contact center technology, opened its Elev8 Partner Program to VARs. The company said it made its platform available to global VARs after growing its referral partner program to more than 1,000 active agent partners.
  • Otava, a cloud services company based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has become a Premier Cloud Provider in the VMware Partner Network. The company, which provides cloud backup and disaster recovery as a service, among other offerings, sells to enterprises and channel partners.
  • InterVision, an IT service provider based in Santa Clara, Calif., and St. Louis, has appointed Mike Shea as associate vice president of cloud services. Shea, who will oversee the company’s cloud services and public sector delivery teams, was previously managing director and CTO for Accenture Products and Platforms’ Health and Human Services business unit.
  • ConnectWise has updated its executive management roster. Geoffrey Willison has been appointed COO. He was formerly CFO at Continuum, which ConnectWise purchased in October 2019. Brad Surminsky has been named CFO. He previously was CFO at D+H, ADP, ACNielsen Canada and CentralSquare Technologies. Clint Maddox, a strategic advisor to ConnectWise since July 2019, has been appointed chief revenue officer. And Steve Cochran has been appointed CTO. He was most recently CTO at GHX, a former Thoma Bravo portfolio company. The four executives report to ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee.
  • CenturyLink has expanded its channel management team with five new appointments. New appointments include Matt Thompson as CenturyLink’s sales director.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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Logically acquires Carolinas IT in geographic expansion

Logically Inc., a managed service provider based in Portland, Maine, has acquired Carolinas IT, a North Carolina MSP with cloud, security and core IT infrastructure skills.

The deal continues Logically’s geographic expansion. The company launched in April, building upon the 2018 merger of Portland-based Winxnet Inc. and K&R Network Solutions of San Diego. Logically in August added a New York metro area company through its purchase of Sullivan Data Management, an outsourced IT services firm.

Carolinas IT, based in Raleigh, provides a base from which Logically can expand in the region, Logically CEO Christopher Claudio said. “They are a good launching pad,” he said.

Carolinas IT’s security and compliance practice also attracted Logically’s interest. Claudio called security and compliance a growing market and one that will continue to expand, given the challenges organizations face with regulatory obligations and the risk of data breaches.

“You can’t be an MSP without a security and compliance group,” he said.

Carolinas IT’s security services include risk assessment, HIPAA consulting and auditing, security training and penetration testing. The company’s cloud offerings include Office 365 and private hosted cloud services. And its professional services personnel possess certifications from vendors such as Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, Symantec and VMware.

Christopher ClaudioChristopher Claudio

Claudio cited Carolinas IT’s “depth of talent,” recurring revenue and high client retention rate as some of the business’s favorable attributes.

Mark Cavaliero, Carolinas IT’s president and CEO, will remain at the company for the near term but plans to move on and will not have a long-term leadership role, Claudio said. But Cavaliero will have an advisory role, Claudio added, noting “he has built a great business.”

Logically’s Carolinas IT purchase continues a pattern of companies pulling regional MSPs together to create national service providers. Other examples include Converge Technology Solutions Corp. and Mission.

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