Tag Archives: Services

PPP loan recipients include 15,000-plus service providers

More than 15,000 companies in the IT services sector received loans under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Act.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) this week released data on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipients at the $150,000 level and above. The data covers about 75% of the $521 billion in loans approved for businesses and nonprofits, according to the SBA.

The 15,000-plus IT service providers were identified through North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes corresponding to computer services and hosting services, categories managed service providers (MSPs) often use to classify themselves. Service providers amounted to about 2.3% of the 660,000-plus organizations receiving PPP loans of $150,000 or more. That 2.3% slice means companies in the NAICS codes studied have received around $7.8 billion in loans, or more than $500,000 each on average.

SBA’s PPP initiative was established under the $2 trillion CARES Act economic stimulus package. The program aims to help businesses such as MSPs meet their payroll costs and retain employees. Recipients that meet certain criteria may qualify for partial or total loan forgiveness. Organizations began applying for loans in April. The program got off to a rocky start, with problems including robotic processing automation bots that clogged the SBA’s loan filing system.

An SBA spreadsheet containing data on the PPP loan recipients is available here.

An additional data point regarding service providers’ use of PPP comes from industry association CompTIA. CompTIA’s June COVID-19 survey found 44% of respondents had either received a PPP loan or were awaiting payments. The industry organization polled 231 CompTIA community and council members, including managed services members as well as emerging technology and IT security members. CompTIA said service providers and MSPs were significantly more likely to have applied for PPP loans compared with other CompTIA communities — 65% of service providers and MSPs reported applying for loans. Overall, about 40% of CompTIA’s U.S. members, which include IT vendors as well as service providers, have applied for a PPP loan.

CompTIA members commenting on the PPP loans cited the ability to handle short-term cash flow issues, provide full employment and create a safety net should conditions deteriorate, according to the organization.

Cloudera to tap channel for private cloud

Cloudera’s private cloud offering is slated for generally availability this summer and channel partners are expected to play a key role its launch.

Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Private Cloud is currently available as a tech preview. The San Jose, Calif., company selected Red Hat OpenShift earlier this year as the analytics platform’s preferred container technology. Gary Green, Cloudera’s vice president of strategic partnerships, said systems integrators and outsourcing firms are expected to be “instrumental in migrating workloads” to CDP Private Cloud.

In one example, Cloudera plans to work with Accenture and Red Hat to transition joint customers, and their legacy workloads, to a private cloud infrastructure based on CDP Private Cloud and OpenShift, Green noted.

He also cited partnerships with Deloitte and India-based integrators and outsourcers. Overall, Cloudera partners with value-added resellers and distributors, ISVs, hardware vendors and cloud partners in addition to integrators and outsourcing vendors. Cloudera in November 2019 revamped its Connect partner program.

Zadara seeks MSP partners

Managed storage as a service vendor Zadara plans to expand its roster of MSP partners.

Zadara, based in Irvine, Calif., works with MSPs that focus on enterprise customers, according to Zadara CEO Nelson Nahum. The company has about 200 active MSP partner locations globally today, and by the end of 2021, aims to have to 1,000 MSP partner locations.

“Our goal is to continue to grow this [MSP] footprint,” Nahum said.

Nahum noted that Zadara also works with value-added resellers to offer the company’s storage products.

Zadara’s chief marketing officer, Tim DaRosa, said the company is currently redeveloping its approach to partner activation, which involves rethinking its activation methodology and how Zadara goes to market with partners. To that end, he said the vendor is redesigning its partner portal, launching a video tutorial series and creating a technical certification program. DaRosa added that Zadara is also working with consultancy BlitzMasters to provide MSPs with sales and marketing training.

Other news

  • SADA, a Los Angeles business and technology consulting firm, expanded its relationships with MadHive, unveiling a 5-year, $50 million deal. In 2017, SADA helped MadHive deploy its advertising platform on Google Cloud. MadHive’s deployment is built on container technology such as Google Kubernetes Engine as well as other Google Cloud services.
  • In transactions this week, Accenture took a minority stake in Synadia Communications, a secure communications technology company. Computer Design & Integration (CDI), meanwhile, acquired Plan B Technologies Inc. CDI, based in New York, provides hardware and software, consulting and managed services. Plan B Technologies, with headquarters in Annapolis, Md., offers storage-area networking, backup, security and virtualization, among other services.
  • A report commissioned by the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), an industry organization based in Tampa, Fla., pointed to growth in distributors’ cloud business. GTDC’s report, “Thriving in the New Normal,” noted rapid cloud expansion for distributors and their partners at the beginning of the year, with subsequent surges stemming from COVID-19-related work-from-home initiatives. Citing data from The NPD Group, the report states that U.S. distributor cloud business grew 47% year-over-year in April. Channel partners, in general, have seen cloud services demand accelerate due to the pandemic.
  • Trustwave, a managed security services provider based in Chicago, rolled out a partner program. Trustwave PartnerOne is built around a two-tier distribution and referral model that the company said will drive the expansion of the company’s products and services, which include managed threat detection and response.
  • ESET, a cybersecurity vendor based in Bratislava, Slovakia, expanded its MSP partner program, adding a security checkup service, a new licensing portal, a marketing center and cybersecurity awareness training.
  • Channel partners are taking advantage of a test drive site that lets customers try out Nutanix Mine with HYCU, a backup-as-a-service offering. A spokesperson for HYCU said channel partners such as distributors are using the test drive feature to promote Nutanix Mine with HYCU campaigns. Subbiah Sundaram, vice president of products at HYCU, said test drive’s target user is someone who doesn’t have HYCU or Nutanix Mine.
  • Pro-Vigil, a provider of remote video monitoring and crime deterrence technology, launched a partner program. The program has three volume-based membership tiers — Associate, Preferred and Premium — and offers referral and reseller options.
  • US Signal, a data center services provider based in Grand Rapids, Mich., obtained the VMware Cloud Verified designation.
  • Solution provider Speridian Technologies said it has expanded coverage of its Speridian Advantage for SAP SuccessFactors managed services to all of North America.
  • IT services firm High Wire Networks named Ryan Harrison as its senior manager of cybersecurity for Overwatch, the company’s managed security platform-as-a-service offering.

Additional reporting by Paul Crocetti and Spencer Smith. Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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IFDS goes hands-on with Zerto’s Kubernetes backup

As International Financial Data Services (IFDS) started containerizing more and more environments, it needed better Kubernetes backup.

IFDS first dipped its toes into containers in 2017. The company writes its own software for the financial industry, and the first container deployment was for its application development environment. With the success of the large containerized quality assurance testing environment, the company started using containers in production as well.

Headquartered in Toronto, IFDS provides outsourcing and technology for financial companies, such as investment funds’ record keeping and back-office support. It has around 2,400 employees, a clientele of about 240 financial organizations and $3.6 trillion CAD ($2.65 trillion US) in assets under administration.

Kent Pollard, senior infrastructure architect at IFDS, has been with the company for 25 of its 33-year history and said containerizing production opened up a need for backup. One of the use cases of containers is to quickly bring up applications or services with little resource overhead and without the need to store anything. However, Pollard said IFDS’ container environment was no longer about simply spinning up and spinning down.

“We’re not a typical container deployment. We have a lot of persistent storage,” Pollard said.

Zerto recently unveiled its Zerto for Kubernetes backup product at ZertoCon 2020, but Pollard has been working with an alpha build of it for the past month. He said it is still in early stages, and he’s been giving feedback to Zerto, but he has a positive impression so far. Pollard said not having to turn to another vendor such as IBM, Asigra or Trilio for Kubernetes backup will be a huge benefit.

Kent PollardKent Pollard

Pollard’s current container backup method uses Zerto to restore containers in a roundabout way. His container environment is built in Red Hat OpenShift and running in a virtualized environment. Zerto is built for replicating VMs, so Pollard can use it to restore the entire VM housing OpenShift. The drawback is this reverts the entire VM to an earlier state, when all he wanted was to restore a single container.

Pollard said, at the least, Zerto for Kubernetes instead allows him to restore at the container level. He understood the early nature of what he’s been testing and said he is looking forward to when other Zerto capabilities get added, such as ordered recovery and automated workflows for failover and testing. From his limited experience, Pollard said he believes Zerto for Kubernetes has the potential to fill his container backup needs.

Pollard said Zerto for Kubernetes will give him incentive to containerize more of IFDS’ environment. The number of containers IFDS currently has in production is still relatively small, and part of the reason Pollard won’t put more critical workloads in containers is because he can’t protect them yet.

He said there were many reasons IFDS moved to containers three years ago. With containers, IFDS is able to more efficiently use its underlying hardware resources, enabling faster responses to application load changes. Pollard also said it improved IFDS’ security and supports the company’s future move to the cloud and built out a hybrid infrastructure. Zerto provided Pollard with an AWS environment to test Zerto for Kubernetes, but IFDS currently has no cloud footprint whatsoever.

IFDS first deployed Zerto in late 2014. It started as a small production environment deployment on a couple of VMs but became the company’s standard tool for disaster recovery. IFDS now uses Zerto to protect 190 VMs and 200 TB of storage. Pollard said he was sold after the first annual DR test when Zerto completed in 30 minutes.

“We never had anything that fast. It was always hours and hours for a DR test,” he said.

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Pandemic could accelerate convergence of audio, video calling

The coronavirus pandemic may decrease demand for traditional business phone services in favor of video conferencing. The crisis could also lead more companies to buy audio and video calling products from the same vendor. 

The pandemic has forced millions of workers to begin using video conferencing apps. People are now more comfortable with those platforms and are using them in place of the telephone in some cases.

Joshua Tretakoff used to participate in six or seven regularly scheduled phone calls a week as head of development for JustAnswer, a San Francisco-based online help service.

Those conversations are now taking place on video platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Tretakoff spends nearly double the amount of time on video calls that he did before the pandemic. “I’m not making phone calls at all,” he said.

Tretakoff also plans to tell his employees to cancel their subscriptions to a service that provides them each a virtual phone number through a mobile app. They should start calling each other in Microsoft Teams instead, he said.

Tretakoff’s experience highlights how the adoption of video platforms can reduce the need for traditional phone calls.

The pandemic will likely increase the adoption of video products permanently. In a recent Wainhouse Research survey, 76% of IT buyers said they expected the use of video conferencing to remain above pre-pandemic levels at least through the end of 2020.

Companies tend to pay for fewer connections to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) when they use video conferencing. Microsoft partners have reported reducing PSTN lines by 20% when installing Microsoft Teams, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research.

Enterprises that had previously expected to buy a cloud calling license for every knowledge worker will likely reevaluate those plans, said Marc Beattie, managing partner of Wainhouse Research. “I think that you’ll see the impact of that probably in early or mid-2021.”

In the future, companies may be more likely to buy audio and video calling services from the same provider.

In the Wainhouse study, a significant number of the 222 businesses surveyed said they were already using calling services connected to Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Zoom.

The research found that 69% were using or considering Microsoft Office 365 for calling, 65% were using or considering Webex and 48% were using or considering Zoom Phone.

Business communications vendors have already begun responding to those shifting buying preferences.

Cloud telephony providers like RingCentral and 8×8 recently added video conferencing apps to their telecommunications suites. On the flip side, vendors like Zoom and LogMeIn have launched telephony services to complement their video offerings. 

As a result, the lines between the audio and video calling markets are blurring. Some communications apps now let users quickly shift between a phone call and a video call. The current pandemic should hasten that trend.

“With respect to video adoption, it’s been coming any day now for a long time,” said Brian Doherty, an analyst at Gartner. “PSTN calling has been kind of on the wane for a while.”

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Microsoft acquisition of Metaswitch aimed at carrier UCaaS

Microsoft plans to acquire Metaswitch Networks and offer its business communication services to carriers through Microsoft Azure. The announcement came less than a month after Microsoft completed the purchase of Affirmed Networks, which developed virtualized network software that Microsoft will use as the infrastructure for Metaswitch products.

Microsoft announced the Metaswitch deal this week. The company did not provide financial details or disclose when it expected to complete the transaction.

Metaswitch provides what the industry calls unified communications as a service. In general, UCaaS providers will run their software in their data centers or third parties’, including cloud providers AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Metaswitch provides telephony and team collaboration, and audio, video and web conferencing used by enterprises and contact centers. Its competitors include Netrio, Cisco and FreeSwitch.

The Microsoft acquisition of Affirmed Networks — completed on April 23 — gave the cloud provider an Evolved Packet Core. An EPC is a critical technology for cloud providers that want to offer their data centers as a platform for carriers’ services, such as UCaaS.

An EPC is essential because it’s a framework for providing converged voice and data on carriers’ 4G Long-Term Evolution networks. In the future, EPC will become the underpinning for 5G networks.

Microsoft is not the only cloud provider expanding its platform’s capabilities for carriers. AWS and Google are also on the same path.

Microsoft and the other cloud providers need to work with carriers because the latter is the primary channel for enterprise communication buyers. “MetaSwitch has hundreds of carrier partners that are now potential channels for Microsoft,” said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research.

Metaswitch has hundreds of carrier partners that are now potential channels for Microsoft.
Irwin LazarAnalyst, Nemertes Research

Microsoft could get its Teams collaboration software into that channel by melding it with Metaswitch, Lazar said. Cisco is executing a similar strategy by rolling its Teams competitor, Webex, into the Broadsoft UCaaS product. Cisco acquired Broadsoft in 2018.

Metaswitch would also plug a hole in Microsoft’s business communications portfolio. Once the Microsoft acquisition is complete, it will have Metaswitch’s communication platform for contact centers.

However, Metaswitch’s session border controller portfolio could place Microsoft in competition with partners AudioCodes, Oracle and Ribbon Communications. An SBC is a necessary hardware for VoIP calling in offices and contact centers.

“I assume Microsoft will not do anything to jeopardize partner relationships,” Lazar said. “But it will have to spend some time ensuring that it doesn’t seek to take business away from its partners.”

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Canon breach exposes General Electric employee data

Canon Business Process Services suffered a security incident, according to a data breach disclosure by General Electric, for which Canon processes current and former employees’ documents and beneficiary-related documents.

GE systems were not impacted by the cyberattack, according to the company’s disclosure, but personally identifiable information for current and former employees as well as their beneficiaries was exposed in the Canon breach. The breach, which was first reported by BleepingComputer, took place between Feb. 3 and Feb. 14 of this year, and GE was notified of the breach on the 28th. According to the disclosure, “an unauthorized party gained access to an email account that contained documents of certain GE employees, former employees and beneficiaries entitled to benefits that were maintained on Canon’s systems.”

Said documents included “direct deposit forms, driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, medical child support orders, tax withholding forms, beneficiary designation forms and applications for benefits such as retirement, severance and death benefits with related forms and documents.” Personal information stolen “may have included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, passport numbers, dates of birth, and other information contained in the relevant forms.”

GE’s disclosure also said Canon retained “a data security expert” to conduct a forensic investigation. At GE’s request, Canon is offering two years of free identity protection and credit monitoring services.

GE shared the following statement with SearchSecurity regarding the Canon breach.

“We are aware of a data security incident experienced by one of GE’s suppliers, Canon Business Process Services, Inc. We understand certain personal information on Canon’s systems may have been accessed by an unauthorized individual. Protection of personal information is a top priority for GE, and we are taking steps to notify the affected employees and former employees,” the statement read.

Canon did not return SearchSecurity’s request for comment. At press time, Canon has not released a public statement.

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Coronavirus: Surge in remote work strains Zoom services

Zoom has struggled to keep some of its services online this week amid a spike in remote work because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Users have had to wait significantly longer than usual to access recordings of Zoom meetings in the cloud. The company said its engineering team was working to resolve the issue, attributing the backlog to “excessive demand.”

Zoom’s dial-in numbers have also faltered several times this month. Elevated traffic has so far clogged audio lines in Japan, New York and Hong Kong, forcing users to connect to a meeting’s audio using the internet. A dial-in number in Australia was also inaccessible at times this week. 

Meanwhile, some users were intermittently unable to make and receive calls through Zoom Phone, the vendor’s cloud telephony service, for extended periods of time this week.  

Users have now dealt with 18 non-scheduled Zoom service disruptions in March. There were no such incidents in January and just one in February (an issue that affected only subscribers in Brazil).

In a statement, Zoom said it was working to find a “long-term, sustainable solution” to the issues affecting Zoom Phone. The company thanked customers for their “patience and understanding” during an “unprecedented and challenging time for everyone.”

Zoom is not the only collaboration vendor struggling to cope with a sudden surge in usage. Many users of Microsoft Teams were unable to send messages and perform other tasks on Monday. Some Teams users in Europe were affected by another chat outage on Tuesday.

Last week, experts said they didn’t expect any of the major collaboration vendors to suffer outages that forced their services completely offline for multiple days. So far, that prediction has held. Nevertheless, the influx of remote workers is having some impact.

Zoom has not said how many new users it has gained in recent weeks, but its mobile client is now the most popular free download on Apple’s App Store. Notably, countless schools and universities worldwide have begun to hold virtual classes on Zoom.

Statistics shared by other vendors provide clues to the surge in traffic Zoom is likely dealing with. Microsoft Teams gained 12 million daily active users between March 11 and March 18, a 37% increase. Slack added paid customers at nearly three times its typical rate between Feb. 1 and March 18.

Zoom’s support team is also likely fielding complaints related to factors outside of the vendor’s control, such as the quality of a user’s home Wi-Fi. Residential connections are often less reliable than corporate networks.

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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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AWS leak exposes passwords, private keys on GitHub

An Amazon Web Services engineer uploaded sensitive data to a public GitHub repository that included customer credentials and private encryption keys.

Cybersecurity vendor UpGuard earlier this month found the exposed GitHub repository within 30 minutes of its creation. UpGuard analysts discovered the AWS leak, which was slightly less than 1 GB and contained log files and resource templates that included hostnames for “likely” AWS customers.

“Of greater concern, however, were the many credentials found in the repository,” UpGuard said in its report Thursday. “Several documents contained access keys for various cloud services. There were multiple AWS key pairs, including one named ‘rootkey.csv,’ suggesting it provided root access to the user’s AWS account.”

The AWS leak also contained a file for an unnamed insurance company that included keys for email and messaging providers, as well as other files containing authentication tokens and API keys for third-party providers. UpGuard’s report did not specify how many AWS customers were affected by the leak.

UpGuard said GitHub’s token scanning feature, which is opt-in, could have detected and automatically revoked some of the exposed credentials in the repository, but it’s unclear how quickly detection would have occurred. The vendor also said the token scanning tool would not have been able to revoke exposed passwords or private keys.

The documents in the AWS leak also bore the hallmarks of an AWS engineer, and some of the documents included the owner’s name. UpGuard said it found a LinkedIn profile for an AWS engineer that matched the owner’s exact full name, and the role matched the types of data found in the repository; as a result, the vendor said it was confident the owner was an AWS engineer.

While it’s unclear why the engineer uploaded such sensitive material to a public GitHub repository, UpGuard said there was “no evidence that the user acted maliciously or that any personal data for end users was affected, in part because it was detected by UpGuard and remediated by AWS so quickly.”

UpGuard said at approximately 11 a.m. on Jan. 13, its data leaks detection engine identified potentially sensitive information had been uploaded to the GitHub repository half an hour earlier. UpGuard analysts reviewed the documents and determined the sensitive nature of the data as well as the identity of the likely owner. An analyst contacted AWS’ security team at 1:18 p.m. about the leak, and by 4 p.m. public access to the repository had been removed. SearchSecurity contacted AWS for comment, but at press time the company had not responded.

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Cisco Webex Edge for Devices links on-prem endpoints to cloud

Businesses using on-premises video gear from Cisco can now get access to cloud services, while keeping their video infrastructure in place.

A new service, called Cisco Webex Edge for Devices, lets businesses connect on-premises video devices to cloud services like Webex Control Hub and the Webex Assistant. Customers get access to some cloud features but continue to host video traffic on their networks.

Many businesses aren’t ready to move their communications to the cloud. Vendors have responded by developing ways to mix on-premises and cloud technologies. Cisco Webex Edge for Devices is the latest offering of that kind.

“It gives users that cloudlike experience without the businesses having to fully migrate everything to the cloud,” said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research.

Cisco wants to get as many businesses as possible to go all-in on the cloud. Webex Edge for Devices, introduced this month, tees up customers to make that switch. Companies will have the option of migrating their media services to the cloud after connecting devices to the service.

Webex Edge for Devices is available for no additional charge to businesses with an enterprise-wide Collaboration Flex Plan, a monthly per-user subscription. Alternatively, companies can purchase cloud licenses for the devices they want to register with the service for roughly $30 per device, per month. The service won’t work with gear that’s so old Cisco no longer supports it.

Video hardware linked to the cloud through the service will show up in the Webex Control Hub, a console for managing cloud devices. For on-premises devices, the control hub will provide diagnostic reports, usage data, and insight into whether the systems are online or offline.

Many businesses are already using a mix of on-premises and cloud video endpoints. Webex Edge for Devices will let those customers manage those devices from a single console. In the future, Cisco plans to add support for on-premises phones.

Businesses will also be able to sync on-premises video devices with cloud-based calendars from Microsoft and Google. That configuration will let the devices display a one-click join button for meetings scheduled on those calendars.

Another cloud feature unlocked by Webex Edge for Devices is the Webex Assistant. The service is an AI voice system that lets users join meetings, place calls and query devices with their voice.

In the future, Cisco plans to bring more cloud features to on-premises devices. Future services include People Insights, a tool that provides background information on meeting participants with information gleaned from the public internet.

Cisco first released a suite of services branded as Webex Edge in September 2018. The suite included Webex Edge Audio, Webex Edge Connect and Webex Video Mesh. The applications provide ways to use on-premises and cloud technologies in combination to improve the quality of audio and video calls.

Cisco’s release of Webex Edge for Devices underscores its strategy of supporting on-premises customers without forcing them to the cloud, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research.

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Public cloud vendors launch faulty services as race heats up

The public cloud services arena has turned a corner, introducing new challenges for customers, according to the latest edition of “Technology Radar,” a biannual report by global software consultancy ThoughtWorks. Competition has heated up, so top public cloud vendors are creating new cloud services at a fast clip. But in their rush to market, those vendors can roll out flawed services, which opens the door for resellers to help clients evaluate cloud options.

Public cloud has become a widely deployed technology, overcoming much of the resistance it had seen in the past. “Fears about items like security and sovereignty have been calmed,” noted Scott Shaw, director of technology for Asia Pacific region at ThoughtWorks. “Regulators have become more comfortable with the technology, so cloud interest has been turning into adoption.”

The cloud market shifts

With the sales of public cloud services rising, competition has intensified. Initially, Amazon Web Services dominated the market, but recently Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform have been gaining traction among enterprise customers.

Corporations adopting public cloud have not had as much success as they had hoped for.
Scott ShawDirector of technology for Asia Pacific region, ThoughtWorks

One ripple effect is that the major public cloud providers have been trying to rapidly roll out differentiating new services. However, in their haste to keep pace, they can deliver services with rough edges and incomplete feature sets, according to ThoughtWorks.

Customers can get caught in this quicksand. “Corporations adopting public cloud have not had as much success as they had hoped for,” Shaw said.

Businesses try to deploy public cloud services based on the promised functionality but frequently hit roadblocks during implementations. “The emphasis on speed and product proliferation, through either acquisition or hastily created services, often results not merely in bugs but also in poor documentation, difficult automation and incomplete integration with vendors’ own parts,” the report noted.

Top public cloud vendors chart
The global public cloud market share in 2019.

Testing is required

ThoughtWorks recommended that organizations not assume all public cloud vendors’ services are of equal quality. They need to test out key capabilities and be open to alternatives, such as open source options and multi-cloud strategies.

Resellers can act as advisors to help customers make the right decisions as they consider new public cloud services, pointing out the strengths and flaws in individual cloud options, Shaw said.

To serve as advisors, however, resellers need in-depth, hands-on experience with the cloud services. “Channel partners cannot simply rely on a feature checklist,” Shaw explained. “To be successful, they need to have worked with the service and understand how it operates in practice and not just in theory.”

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