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Microsoft Azure partners get new tool, migration program

John Moore and Spencer Smith

Microsoft Azure partners are getting a new management tool and a migration program as part of channel investments Microsoft revealed in the run-up to the company’s annual partner conference.

Microsoft introduced Azure Lighthouse, which the company said gives partners “a single control plane” for viewing and managing Azure across customers. The new Azure Migration Program, or AMP, aims to help customers accelerate their cloud adoption.

The moves are part of a broader barrage of announcements ahead of Microsoft Inspire, which will run from July 14 to 18 in Las Vegas. In addition to the Azure initiatives, Microsoft expanded its Teams collaboration software, launched vertical market integrations for Dynamics 365 and took the wraps off a new Microsoft competency and several specializations.

Partners, meanwhile, saw potential in both Azure developments.

“We haven’t started working with it yet, but we are excited about what potential it can provide and some of the solutions to challenges we are hearing it is going to offer,” said Rory McCaw, president of enterprise advisory services at Green House Data, an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP) based in Cheyenne, Wyo.

He said Lighthouse offers a single platform that provides access into multiple tenants, simplifying cloud management. The management offering will be available to Microsoft Azure partners this month, according to Microsoft.

JD HelmsJD Helms

JD Helms, president of CloudJumper, a cloud workspace vendor and Gold-level Microsoft partner, called Azure Lighthouse an attempt to simplify what he termed the “powerful, yet extremely complex” Azure management portal. “While it’s a step in the right direction, it is still limited in scope and functionality.”

Helms said Lighthouse validates the market demand for a simplified Azure management console, as well as third-party Azure management consoles. CloudJumper offers Cloud Workspace Management Suite, which Helms said provides a single-pane-of-glass console for a range of Azure services.

AMP, meanwhile, provides resources and tools, such as Azure Migrate, which centrally plans and tracks an Azure migration. AMP provides guidance to customers through “Microsoft experts and specialized migration partners,” according to Microsoft.

AMP also provides offers to reduce the expense of migration. “Microsoft has always had funding programs and funding mechanisms, but it is clear that AMP is highlighting their interest in seeing a massive migration of workloads to Azure,” McCaw said.

He said the timing is appropriate, given the approaching end of life of Windows Server 2008 and this week’s end of support for SQL Server 2008. Microsoft is offering three years of automated Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008 customers that rehost their workloads to Azure.

AMP ties in to VMware on Azure, McCaw added. He said AMP aims to make it easier for enterprise customers using VMware as the hypervisor to move from an on-premises VMware implementation to an Azure-based one, especially for their older Windows Server and SQL Server instances.

Robin Brandl, vice president of strategic alliances at CloudJumper, said AMP “simplifies the migration process for specific workloads and provides an alternative to traditional lift-and-shift deployments.”

In addition to the tools and programs for Microsoft Azure partners, Microsoft rolled out extensions to Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365. New Teams features include partner integrations that support contact centers, compliance recording and cloud solutions providers, according to Microsoft. Dynamics 365 updates include integrations targeting the automotive and financial services industries. Microsoft also announced the latest version of its Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator.

Other developments include the availability of a Microsoft competency in security and five advanced specializations focusing on Microsoft Azure: Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure; Linux and Open Source Databases Migration to Microsoft Azure; Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure; Modernization of Web Applications in Microsoft Azure; and Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure.

2nd Watch launches AWS migration service

2nd Watch, a public cloud MSP based in Seattle, has rolled out a service that focuses on AWS Managed Services (AMS).

For us, we see [AMS] as a piece of the cloud journey that gets the customer to be successful.
Jeff AdenExecutive vice president of marketing and business development, 2nd Watch

The company’s AMS Onboarding Accelerator aims to help clients assess, migrate and operationalize applications from on-premises infrastructure to the AWS cloud, according to 2nd Watch. The service is delivered in two parts. Part one consists of a four-hour discovery and planning workshop that is free of charge. Part two provides onboarding acceleration, a phase that includes applications discovery, architecture and infrastructure design, and a migration strategy, among other components.

AWS’ entry into the managed services space in late 2016 raised eyebrows, but MSP executives report AMS hasn’t hurt their businesses.

Jeff AdenJeff Aden

Jeff Aden, executive vice president of marketing and business development at 2nd Watch, said not everything a customer wants to do in the Amazon cloud fits into AMS.

“For us, we see [AMS] as a piece of the cloud journey that gets the customer to be successful,” he said. “We are not shying away from it. We see it as an opportunity for a customer to continue to adopt and scale their cloud usage.”

He said some ISVs have used 2nd Watch’s Onboarding Accelerator to provide their on-premises offerings in a cloud-based solution. He said the ISV example is a good use case but noted the service isn’t exclusive to ISVs.

Other news

  • IBM on Tuesday finalized its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat. When news of the acquisition first broke in October, channel partners said the success of the merger would hinge on IBM preserving Red Hat’s open source portfolio and culture. IBM maintains that Red Hat will operate independently under its ownership and keep its commitment to open source software. In a blog post, Red Hat said there are no plans to change its existing partner programs.
  • Rackspace has entered a partnership with Tech Mahindra Ltd., which will let Rackspace cross-sell to Tech Mahindra customers and provide joint product and services offerings. The alliance will also improve Rackspace’s “internal business applications and processes,” the company said.
  • BitTitan, a managed services automation company, has enhanced its cloud migration product, MigrationWiz, to support the adoption of Microsoft Teams. The company also launched a Collaboration License to enable migrations of Microsoft Teams instances between Office 365 tenants. The Collaboration License costs $15 per user with a data allowance of 10 GB per license, according to BitTitan.
  • Logicalis Group, an IT solutions and managed services provider based in New York, expanded its operations in South Africa. The company purchased Mars Technologies, an IT services provider headquartered in Cape Town.
  • ThreatLocker has integrated its cybersecurity tools with Kaseya’s IT infrastructure management platform.
  • Montreal-based data center services provider eStruxture has unveiled a global channel partner program. EStruxture said the program provides support for referral and reseller partners.
  • M-Files Corp., an information management software vendor, said it has tripled membership of its Certified Application Partner program since its 2017 launch. The program offers technical and marketing support for partners, ISVs and resellers that develop applications on M-Files’ platform.
  • Distributor Ingram Micro inked a deal with CriticalStart to provide its managed detection and response services to U.S. partners.
  • In other distribution news, cloud distributor Zedsphere agreed to provide Axcient’s business availability products for MSPs in the EMEA market.
  • Anexinet Corp., a digital business transformation solutions provider based in Philadelphia, launched an Enterprise Architecture Modernization Kickstart. The company said the three-week program provides customers with a modern, event-driven architecture strategy.
  • ProcessUnity, which offers SaaS products for risk and compliance management, added U.K.-based MSP DVV Solutions to its partner program. DVV Solutions specializes in third-party risk management.
  • Threat detection and response vendor Lastline appointed Jarrett Miller as its vice president of global channel sales. Miller will oversee Lastline’s global channel program and build out partnerships with distributors, resellers, systems integrators and managed security service providers, the company said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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Zoomdata unveils data visualization and analytics channel program

Zoomdata, a data visualization and analytics vendor, has launched a global partner program as it looks to expand its roster of systems integrators.

Unveiled this week, the Zoomdata Application Partner program offers access to support representatives and integrated support systems, training, and sales and marketing resources. Zoomdata’s SI partners can also tap deal registration and tracking through a partner portal, the vendor said.

Zoomdata said in the last year it experienced “3X growth” in channel sales of its data visualization and analytics technology. Much of those sales were derived from SI partners in European and Asia-Pacific markets. About 30% of Zoomdata’s business is international, said Russ Cosentino, co-founder and vice president of channel sales at Zoomdata, based in Reston, Va.

Cosentino said Zoomdata aims to have a global base of about 100 SI partners within the next year. About 30 partners, including global systems integrators Deloitte, Atos, Hitachi INS and Infosys, currently provide the vendor’s data visualization and analytics tools. Zoomdata also has alliances with regional SIs focused on specific geographic and vertical markets such as pharmaceuticals and life sciences, telecom, and financial services.

“For us, a good partner is a partner that brings to the table skilled resources [from] across the big data ecosystem,” Cosentino said.

Quisitive inks blockchain pact with SaaS provider

Quisitive Technology Solutions Inc., a Microsoft national solution provider, is under contract with Jumptuit, a SaaS company, to build a blockchain solution that tracks subscriptions and entitlements.

Jumptuit, based in New York, offers a search assistant service that uses AI to find users’ documents, photos, audio and video files. The SaaS offering supports Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft OneDrive and other cloud services.

Scotty Perkins, senior vice president of product innovation at Quisitive, said Microsoft referred Jumptuit to Quisitive after the SaaS provider approached Microsoft about a blockchain solution. Quisitive met with Jumptuit, held a requirements workshop and is now in the process of completing a proof of concept, he said. 

Quisitive’s propriety blockchain solution, which uses Microsoft Azure, will let Jumptuit track active subscriptions, who they belong to and when they are up for renewal. On the entitlement side, the blockchain offering will determine the level of information access users have based on the terms of their subscriptions.

Quisitive, a portfolio company of Fusion Agiletech Partners Inc., focuses on Microsoft technology and has made private blockchain deployment one of its areas of emphasis. Quisitive has offices in Dallas, Denver and Toronto.

Zebra Technologies targets healthcare partners

Zebra Technologies Corp. is offering preferred product pricing to participants in its recently launched healthcare specialization program.

The Lincolnshire, Ill., company targets a number of verticals, but has created a series of purpose-built products for the healthcare industry. Those include mobile computers, barcode scanners, printers, patient wristbands and barcode label supplies.

Bill Cate, vice president of global channel strategy, programs and operations at Zebra Technologies, said healthcare has emerged as the company’s strongest growth opportunity, with the North American market experiencing particularly rapid expansion.

Zebra Technologies’ healthcare specialization, part of the company’s PartnerConnect Partner Program, has four segments:

  • Healthcare solutions specialists — Companies in this category dedicate their entire business model to healthcare. Cate pointed to Cerner and McKesson as examples.
  • Group purchasing organization (GPO) provider specialists — GPOs aggregate purchasing to negotiate vendor discounts for healthcare organizations. This specialization segment is designed for partners that have built healthcare sales groups. Cate cited CDW and Insight Enterprises as examples.
  • Advanced specialists — This segment is for hardware and services integrators that have devoted a large percentage of their businesses to healthcare.
  • Specialists — Partners in this segment include systems integrators that maintain a focus on healthcare, but dedicate a smaller percentage of their business to that vertical compared with advanced specialists.

Benefits for partners obtaining Zebra Technologies’ healthcare specialization include preferred pricing on the company’s purpose-built healthcare products. Other features include performance rebates, deal registration and specialized channel account managers.

Battery tech promises longer flights for drone service providers

Impossible Aerospace has unveiled a drone capable of flying two hours on a single charge, a development the company said dramatically increases the battery-powered flight time available to drone services providers.

The company manufactures the quad-rotor US-1 drones in Sunnyvale, Calif., and plans to begin deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2018. Impossible Aerospace also announced a $9.4 million round of funding, in which Bessemer Venture Partners is taking the lead. The company has raised more than $11 million in funding overall.

Spencer Gore, founder and CEO at Impossible Aerospace, said the two-hour unladen flight time can make an important difference for drone service providers accustomed to fight times in the 20-minute range — or less. Drone missions may be worth hundreds of dollars per hour for drone service providers, but the amount of time such companies spend changing or charging batteries proves an economic drain.

The US-1 drone’s flight time can “help drone service providers counting on more endurance in order to do their work,” Gore said.

Impossible Aerospace is positioning its initial drone as a surveillance product, geared toward law enforcement, public safety and private security organizations. Gore said the longer flight time stems from the company’s engineering approach, which starts with the battery as opposed to the airframe. The company’s design principle is to make sure “everything in the aircraft serves at least two roles,” one of which should be storing, using or transporting electricity, Gore said.

Other news

  • Bomgar’s pending acquisition of BeyondTrust in the privileged access management space could expand sales opportunities for channel partners working with those companies. The combined company will create an integrated channel program. “Based on the sizable scale and mass of BeyondTrust’s channel presence, we will continue to build upon what has already been successful,” said Matt Dircks, CEO at Bomgar. “We expect that the integration process will enable legacy partners to cross-sell both BeyondTrust and Bomgar products by 2019.” The deal is expected to close in October 2018.
  • Adtran, a networking solutions provider, unveiled an enterprise Wi-Fi solution for service providers. The company said the offering features machine learning technology and a cloud-managed IT model.
  • Identity and access management vendor OneLogin has bolstered its partner program. The OneLogin Accelerate program will now feature expanded training programs, new sales tools and incentives, and a partner portal featuring deal management and marketing campaigns, the company said. OneLogin noted that for a limited time it will offer extra margins for enterprise deals.
  • InterVision, a solution provider headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and St. Louis, expanded its cloud services capabilities with the acquisition of Infiniti Consulting Group. Infiniti, based in Folsom, Calif., will provide InterVision with expertise in AWS and Azure, hybrid cloud, on-premises cloud services, and software design and development, according to InterVision.
  • Green House Data, a company that provides managed services, cloud hosting and Microsoft advisory services, announced an international expansion. The company said it has open positions in Costa Rica and Sri Lanka, noting that it now provides IT services and consulting from six countries.
  • Kofax has entered an alliance with PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide intelligent automation solutions. Kofax offers robotic process automation and digital transformation products.
  • HyperGrid, a hybrid cloud management vendor, announced the closing of a $25 million Series C funding round. The move follows a year of 300% revenue growth across the company’s enterprise and MSP customer base.
  • Software analytics company New Relic revealed a developer program. The program helps customers and partners take advantage of application and infrastructure data, enhance their New Relic data capabilities, and automate New Relic into their workflows, New Relic said.
  • Nonprofit IT trade association CompTIA introduced a member community focused on emerging technologies. The CompTIA Emerging Technology Community will explore opportunities involving a number of developing technologies, such as IoT, 5G wireless, 3D printing and quantum computing, CompTIA said.
  • NetEnrich, a managed cloud services provider, appointed David Dragonetti to vice president of global sales.
  • Convey Services said it added Mango Voice and ComTec Cloud to its roster of vertical market solutions available through its Channel Accelerator program. Mango Voice, a hosted voice provider, specializes in the hospitality and dental industries. ComTec, meanwhile, provides a unified communications voice platform in the healthcare and education markets.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Meraki Go offers channel new small-business Wi-Fi market

Meraki Go, a newly launched small-businesses Wi-Fi offering, will give channel partners an edge with customers who were previously out of reach.

That’s the expectation of Cisco Meraki, Cisco’s division that focuses on wireless LAN, cloud-managed switches and other products. Meraki Go offers indoor and outdoor wireless access points, a Meraki Go app for managing the wireless network, and a subscription for support and security updates.

Kevin Rezai, Meraki Go global sales lead at Cisco Meraki, said the Wi-Fi product is built for small-business organizations with fewer than 50 employees. He also noted a possible “sub-niche” of organizations with fewer than 20 employees.

Small-business owners are in a bit of bind when it comes to Wi-Fi, according to Cisco Meraki research. On the one hand, many small businesses tend to get by with consumer-grade Wi-Fi products. A Cisco Meraki survey of 1,000 small-business owners found 43% use the same Wi-Fi offering in their offices that they use in their homes.

But on the other hand, an enterprise-class Wi-Fi product may not prove viable because of the required IT support. More than 80% of the respondents said they lack a full-time IT resource.

The crux is a lot of the Wi-Fi solutions today don’t meet the needs of small businesses.
Kevin RezaiMeraki Go global sales lead at Cisco Meraki

“The crux is a lot of the Wi-Fi solutions today don’t meet the needs of small businesses,” Rezai said.

Pricing is another consideration in the small-businesses Wi-Fi space. Meraki Go aims to lower the price point to make the technology more accessible. An indoor access point is priced at $129, compared with around $600 for the low end of Meraki’s enterprise Wi-Fi access point.

The more affordable price point enables partners to “address their customers in a way they haven’t been able to before,” Rezai said.

Kaseya committed to ‘one-stop-shop’ strategy

IT management vendor Kaseya shared plans to further expand its software platform for managed services providers (MSPs) through yet-to-be-announced acquisitions.

Kaseya’s platform, IT Complete, currently offers a broad suite of integrated MSP products, including remote monitoring and management, professional services automation, and security software.

This past year, Kaseya added backup and disaster recovery software to its portfolio through a buyout of Unitrends. And this week, the vendor purchased RapidFire Tools, a managed services software provider that will operate as independent business under Kaseya. The company provides assessment, internal threat detection and compliance products.

In a recent podcast by market research firm The 2112 Group, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola revealed more acquisitions to augment the IT Complete platform are on the way.

“I think two of the three announcements that we are going to make are really going to send positive shock waves through the MSP community,” Voccola said in The 2112 Group’s podcast about the upcoming acquisitions.

Voccola said Kaseya is committed to its strategy of becoming a one-stop shop for MSPs — versus a provider of a point product that MSPs can stitch together with other vendors’ products — because the approach meets the needs of how MSPs operates today.

In MSP organizations, a technician typically has multiple functions, which may range from configuration and network management to backup and even service desk work, he said. As result, technicians want a comprehensible “product, one that is deep enough to do what they need to do in the time they need to do it.”

Point products, meanwhile, are more suitable for enterprise IT departments, which usually dedicate entire teams to single functions, Voccola noted. For example, an enterprise IT department might have 500 people focused only on network management, while another 200 do only backup and disaster recovery, he said.

“So much of the tooling and the infrastructure management products [enterprise IT departments] use are frameworks that they have customized substantially with their own internal development teams to augment [and] add company-specific functionality,” he said.

“What is more important [for MSPs] is they accomplish their objective and their task in the quickest, most efficient way possible, and they can move in and out of five or six different functional groups at a fraction of the cost, because that’s what their customers are demanding from them,” Voccola said.

SUSE schools SAP Business One resellers in Linux

SUSE, an open source software provider based in Nuremberg, Germany, has trained 500 SAP partners in an effort to push SAP HANA to more midmarket customers.

The joint SAP-SUSE program focuses on SAP Business One resellers. Business One is an ERP system for small and midsize businesses that grew up in the Windows environment, but now it also runs on SAP HANA and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Dirk Oppenkowski, global alliance director for SAP at SUSE, said SAP aims to gradually move its customer base to Linux and HANA.

As part of the SAP-SUSE program, about 2,500 individuals from the 500 partners went through SUSE’s training academy to become familiar with Linux, Oppenkowski said.

In addition to training, the program also provides profit sharing via deal registration rebates and access to the SUSE Installation Wizard. That tool lets partners deploy SAP Business One running on SAP HANA with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, according to SUSE.

The vast majority of the 500 Business One resellers participating in the program are net-new partners for SUSE. Oppenkowski said, in the past, Business One resellers have been mainly Windows and SQL Server partners. The result is little overlap with SUSE’s reseller channel, he added.

The midmarket program is an offshoot of an ongoing relationship between SUSE and SAP that goes back about seven years.

Other news

  • Security vendor Netwrix Corp. unveiled a technical certification program for its Netwrix Auditor software platform. The Partner Technical Certification Program is designed for technical teams at MSPs, value-added resellers and distributor partners, Netwrix said. By completing online training, partner engineers can achieve two levels of Netwrix Engineer certification: Certified and Pro.
  • ConnectWise is taking applications for a business-expansion idea contest and a merger-and-acquisition matchmaking event. The business-expansion contest, dubbed Pitch IT, offers the first-place winner up to $100,000 to execute its business plan. Runners-up will receive $50,000 and $25,000. ConnectWise’s M&A Deal Crawl event, meanwhile, will bring a number of qualified buyers and sellers together for an in-person meeting Nov. 8 at the IT Nation Connect conference in Orlando, Fla.
  • Broadvoice, a provider of hosted voice, unified communications and SIP trunking services, introduced its Public Sector Program. Through the program, partners can receive help for targeting government, education and nonprofit markets. Partner resources include training, marketing collateral, lead sharing, request-for-proposal tools and technical response assistance, Broadvoice said.
  • Unified Office Inc., an MSP focusing on communications services and business analytics, has launched an offering for the dental industry. The company’s Total Connect Now Dental Management Suite is a voice communications system that integrates with dental practice management software platforms, such as Dentrix, Open Dental and Eaglesoft.
  • Cloud distributor Pax8 has named Ken Patterson as its director of community. Patterson joins Pax8 from Techevolution, a Boston-based MSP, where he served as executive vice president. In his new role, Patterson will oversee Pax8’s community outreach program, partner relationships, and MSPs’ access to education, tools and support, the distributor said.
  • Commvault, a backup and recovery vendor based in Tinton Falls, N.J., has appointed Wenceslao Lada as vice president of worldwide alliances.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

OVHcloud expands US footprint with channel partner program

Europe’s largest cloud provider has stepped up its channel presence in the U.S. with a new partner program.

OVHcloud, which has its global headquarters in Roubaix, France, broke into the U.S. market only recently, following its acquisition of VMware’s vCloud Air business. With its U.S.-based partner program, launched this week, OVHcloud hopes to expand the reach of its IaaS portfolio, spanning VMware-based hosted private cloud, bare-metal server and public cloud options.

David WigglesworthDavid Wigglesworth

“I think we are the best-kept technical secret nobody has heard of,” said David Wigglesworth, chief revenue officer at OVHcloud, which has its U.S. corporate headquarters in Reston, Va.

The OVHcloud channel program features four partner tiers with incremental benefits and requirements. Partners will have access to training; marketing support, such as market development funds; and sales activity planning, the company said.

OVHcloud has already signed a handful of U.S.-based partners, including solution provider FusionStorm. Wigglesworth noted that OVHcloud’s offerings will also be sold by VMware sales reps.

HPE updates Partner Ready program

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) this week unveiled enhancements to the Partner Ready program, which now features increased rewards for resellers.

According to HPE, resellers can now earn increased rebates and other incentives for selling products in “high-growth markets,” specifically storage, composable infrastructure, hyper-converged technology, software and consumption services. The Partner Ready program enhancements will take effect on Nov. 1, HPE said.

“Because of the changes that we have made, resellers and other partner business types ought to look at this as an opportunity to redouble their focus and efforts around HPE because it will prove to be very rewarding,” said Terry Richardson, vice president of North American channels and alliances at HPE.

HPE’s products that align with the market opportunities it is targeting include HPE Nimble Storage and 3PAR for storage, SimpliVity and Synergy for composable and hyper-converged technology, and GreenLake and Datacenter Care for service-led offerings.

HPE said it will also enhance the Partner Ready program with the following features:

  • Further simplifications. For example, partners will now receive rewards from the first sale without gates, caps or targets, HPE said.
  • A push to increase HPE’s consumption-based offerings. HPE said it will roll out a new competency for the HPE GreenLake suite of pay-per-use on-premises offerings, in addition to a rebate for partners enabled in consumption-based models.
  • Expanded technical enablement, especially around HPE’s high-growth market opportunities.

RapidFire Tools expands MSP offerings

RapidFire Tools Inc., based in Atlanta, is expanding its managed services provider (MSP) offerings with InDoc, a tool that provides web-based access to clients’ network data.

InDoc, an Amazon cloud-based portal, is built into RapidFire Tools’ Network Detective Reporter product for scheduling automated network scans and reports. MSP technicians can use InDoc to obtain network data via desktop or mobile devices and can also store information on the portal, such as client-specific notes, remediation procedures, checklists and passwords. Information is stored in an encrypted data store. InDoc employs additional layers of encryption for confidential data and passwords. The tool includes a usage log that provides an audit trail of technicians who have accessed data and when they did so, according to RapidFire Tools.

Michael Mittel, CEO at RapidFire Tools, said more than 95% of the company’s business is to MSPs, noting service providers “are still a growing part of our business.”

He said RapidFire Tools now has more than 6,000 MSPs using its tools worldwide. He added the company is expanding its offerings to include products that MSPs can resell to their customers.

InDoc will be offered to existing Network Detective Reporter customers as a free upgrade. New subscribers to Network Detective Reporter will receive InDoc as a value-added feature at no extra charge. An unlimited amount of data can be stored via InDoc for each MSP location subscribing to Network Detective Reporter. The company said MSPs with multiple locations should purchase separate Network Detective Reporter subscriptions for each office.

Kaseya reports 30% growth, MSP signings

Kaseya cited MSP growth as it reported year-over-year growth in excess of 30% and projected annual bookings of more than $250 million.

The IT infrastructure management solutions provider said uptake of the latest version of its remote monitoring and management product, VSA, has exceeded the company’s expectations. In the first several months since its release, more than 300 organizations have adopted the technology, according to Kaseya. In addition, the company said about 400 MSPs have signed up for Unitrends MSP thus far in 2018. Kaseya acquired Unitrends, a business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) technology vendor, in May.

Other news

  • Sungard Availability Services, a DR and cloud service provider in Wayne, Pa., has expanded its Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification, offering compliant production and DR services on AWS and its managed private cloud.
  • AWS introduced a new program for channel partners in the public sector to grow their cloud businesses within a 110-day time frame. The AWS Public Sector Partner Transformation Program offers a cloud-readiness assessment, training and enablement resources.
  • HCL Technologies, a global technology company that provides infrastructure services, is partnering with ScienceLogic’s IT operations management technology. The partnership addresses the need for automated IT operations among HCL’s enterprise clients embarking on digital transformation projects, according to ScienceLogic. The arrangement also lets HCL’s DRYiCE division use ScienceLogic’s SL1 Automation Engine.
  • Cloud communications provider Avoxi unwrapped a global partner program. Through the program, partners can provide Avoxi’s virtual numbers in more than 120 countries for packaged minutes. Avoxi said it will soon roll out a new partner portal featuring partner sales and management tools and materials.
  • Calligo, a cloud infrastructure services provider based in St. Helier, Jersey, is offering Microsoft Azure Stack services from its Toronto branch. The company said the Toronto installation is its fifth Azure Stack deployment.
  • PSIGEN Software Inc., a document capture, business process automation and document management solutions developer, has inked a distribution pact with Access Control Devices Inc. (ACDI). PSIGEN Software, based in Madison, Ala., said ACDI will serve as its exclusive distributor in North America and Latin America. ACDI, a PaperCut Authorized Solution Center, targets the office equipment reseller channel.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Lucidworks Fusion platform to scale via channel partnerships

Lucidworks, a vendor of search and discovery applications, has revealed a channel program designed to make partners central to its business growth.

The program, launched this week, offers channel staples such as deal registration, a partner portal, and training and certification. The program also features engagement models to support various channel partner types, including technology vendors, systems integrators, value-added resellers, managed services providers (MSPs) and SaaS providers, Lucidworks said.

“The design philosophy around this was to formalize the way that partners engage with us,” said Simon Taylor, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances at Lucidworks, based in San Francisco. The vendor, which developed the Lucidworks Fusion platform, currently has about 60 to 80 core partners, he noted.

The company launched the program on the heels of a $50 million funding round and an alliance struck with storage vendor Commvault in June. Looking to expand, Lucidworks identified the channel as the means for transforming “our scale and growth as a company,” Taylor said.

“What we decided to do … is to really change the way the organization operates and make it as much as possible 100% channel-centric,” he added.

The tracks for different channel partner types within the Lucidworks program are intended to develop the vendor’s relationships “so that we could focus on partners that were meaningful to our business,” he said.

What we decided to do … is to really change the way the organization operates and make it as much as possible 100% channel-centric.
Simon Taylorvice president of worldwide channels and alliances, Lucidworks

The reseller program is structured with three partner tiers — Authorized, Gold and Platinum — with incremental requirements and benefits. Benefits include market development funds, qualified sales leads and technical assistance.

Other partner tracks within the program include the following:

  • an OEM and SaaS partner program, providing tools for embedding Lucidworks Fusion technology into solutions or using the Fusion software development kit and App Studio platforms to build apps and connectors.
  • a Certified Partner Consultant program for partners qualified to design and deploy offerings using the Lucidworks Fusion platform and applications, according to the vendor.

Taylor noted the company has invested significantly — and will continue to invest — in hiring channel management staff.

“It is a core part of our overall business plan: to embrace partners and grow this way,” he said.

Informatica ramps up partner training

Informatica, an enterprise cloud data management vendor, plans to train thousands of partner employees over the next year, as it seeks digital transformation resources.

Richard Ganley, senior vice president of digital transformation solutions and global partners at Informatica, based in Redwood City, Calif., said the company aims to cultivate partners that can help its customers navigate digital transformation projects.

“As good as we think our technology is … we really need partners to help us,” he added, noting the complexity of transformative IT initiatives.

Informatica’s training push includes a series of Elevate enablement events, which will conclude next week in Denver. The Denver event, scheduled for Aug. 20 to 23, follows training events held earlier this year in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Bangkok. The events include presales, sales and implementation tracks.

Over the course of the three events, Informatica will have trained some 750 people, Ganley estimated.

In another training effort, Informatica plans to send a training team to visit the campuses of eight of the largest systems integrators in India. Ganley said the company aims to train several thousand people over the course of the next year. Not all of the integrator personnel will be trained to the deepest level, but some will, he added.

Informatica’s goal is to provide a “much bigger pool of trained resources in the market,” he said.

“We are trying to train our partners on our technology on an industrial scale,” Ganley said.

Accenture focuses on digital twin tech

Accenture’s Industry X.0 practice, which focuses on the smart connected products market, is concentrating on digital twin technology.

Craig McNeil, managing director at Accenture and North American lead for Industry X.0, said digital twin is “one of the bigger areas of focus in our current fiscal year and definitely will be in the next fiscal year.” Accenture’s fiscal year begins Sept. 1.

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a product that can be used in design and simulation.

In other news, Accenture has entered an alliance with Malong Technologies, an AI startup based in Shenzhen, China. Accenture also made a minority investment in the company. Malong and Accenture’s Applied Intelligence practice will provide “computer vision and product recognition capabilities” to customers.

Other news

  • Cloudreach, a cloud services provider based in London, has inked a letter of intent to purchase Relus Cloud, an Amazon Web Services partner in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Relus Cloud, founded in 2013, is a Premier Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network, focusing on the North American market.
  • Qualys, a cloud-based security and compliance vendor, revealed it will release a version of its cloud platform for consultants, consulting firms and MSPs. Qualys Consulting Edition provides vulnerability assessments capabilities, as well as features such as customizable reporting and trending reports and dashboards, Qualys said. The vendor said Qualys Consulting Edition will be available by the end of this month.
  • Beachhead Solutions reported 72% year-over-year revenue growth for the first half of 2018 on the strength of managed service provider partnerships. The company said about 250 MSPs now work with the company, which provides cloud-managed PC and mobile device encryption, security and data access control offerings.
  • OPAQ, a network security cloud vendor, is teaming with Palo Alto Networks’ MSSP Partner Program in an alliance that lets MSPs and managed security services providers deliver Palo Alto’s security-as-a-service offering to midsize companies.
  • Cask LLC has joined Unified Compliance’s partner network as a value-added reseller.
  • ERGOS, an MSP based in Houston, has tapped Liongard’s Roar platform, which automates system discovery and documentation.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

VR in real estate has mainstream potential for IT resellers

Channel firms targeting the real estate market are likely to encounter growing customer interest in emerging VR and AR technology.

That’s according to a recent podcast by distributor Ingram Micro, which explored benefits of AR and VR in real estate.  Up to now, the technology has been mostly experimented within high-end real estate situations — conducting virtual walkthroughs of New York luxury lofts or West Coast mansions, for example. But as the cost of the hardware decreases, channel partners can expect to see VR and AR technology move downstream.

“I would say that [VR in real estate] hasn’t trickled all the way down yet, and that’s mainly because of the cost of the hardware associated” with it, said Sam Alt, technical support specialist at Ingram Micro, in the podcast. Hardware would include VR headsets and 3D camera equipment.

The benefits of VR in real estate are clear, Alt said. Agents could use VR to perform numerous house tours from one location rather than have to drive with their clients to physically tour the locations. “You could go to one location and you could view multiple houses in an afternoon versus only a few,” he said. While house buyers would eventually want to visit a prospective real estate purchase in person, VR could help them weed through the options.

Alt also pointed to a role for augmented reality. Architectural firms could use AR to walk clients through model homes and, using an AR helmet, “swipe through what types of kitchens they could provide,” he said. “I think that’s a really easy way to … get a person who’s looking to … build a brand-new home really, really excited and be able to showcase that the end result is going to look exactly like … [what you can see] in this AR helmet, versus what it would look like on a piece of paper.”

“I think that VR and AR really do this market justice because it just brings in an entire new level of detail to what [firms] previously could provide,” he added.

CompTIA seeks tech stories

In an effort to encourage young people to enter the IT industry, CompTIA has launched a #MyTechStory initiative, in which current industry personnel tell the story of how they got started in technology.

Todd Thibodeaux, CEO at CompTIA, invited attendees at ChannelCon 2018 to participate, but the program is open to tech workers worldwide. Three- to five-minute videos may be tweeted to @CompTIA using #MyTechStory. Videos may also be emailed to [email protected]. Thibodeaux said his road to IT started with Lincoln Logs and Legos.

Other news

  • AppDynamics, a Cisco business unit specializing in app performance monitoring software, expanded its partner program with a new Pioneer partner tier. Dedicated to regional partners with domain expertise in applications, the Pioneer tier adds to the AppDynamics program’s existing Alliance and invitation-only Titan tiers, acting essentially as a promotion path to Titan status. Pioneer partners can access support from channel account managers and channel sales engineers, training and enablement programs, and semiannual business planning sessions, AppDynamics said.
  • Cloud distributor Pax8 will offer Anchor and Cloudfinder to MSPs under a new agreement with Axcient/eFolder, which provides data protection and business continuity offerings.
  • Xerox introduced a marketing toolkit to help partners promote the vendor’s managed print services and ConnectKey portfolio. New resources include social media syndication, redesigned partner badges and tools for hosting on-site customer events.
  • Collabrance, a provider of products and services for managed service providers (MSPs), said it expanded its Master Managed Security Services Provider portfolio. The portfolio now features security information event management and vulnerability and penetration testing, Collabrance said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Data integration tools: SnapLogic update rewards solution selling

SnapLogic, a provider of application and data integration tools, has revamped its channel partner program, with an emphasis on solution selling.

The Partner Connect Program now features free sales and technical training, new deal referrals and reseller discounts, and a partner portal. SnapLogic said it will also offer incentives for creating and delivering offerings that combine SnapLogic with its technology partners. SnapLogic technology partners include Workday, Snowflake, Salesforce and Reltio.

“One of the big, overarching goals of [the SnapLogic partner program] refresh is … to focus much more on a solutions approach where we have our go-to-market partners building repeatable solutions based on SnapLogic and our technology partners,” said Rich Link, vice president of global channel sales and strategic alliances at SnapLogic, based in San Mateo, Calif.

SnapLogic described the application and data integration market as a $12 billion opportunity. Link added it is “a much different market than it has ever been before.”

“The interesting thing about our space is that, inherently, we are involved in multivendor projects,” Link said.

He also noted that integration, because of its role in digital transformation, is now receiving more attention. Partners can tap SnapLogic’s app and data integration tools to target customer projects involving data warehousing, data lakes, master data management, human capital management and customer relationship management.

SnapLogic currently works with about 40 channel partners, with about 10 to 15 that are “very active,” Link said. The company has been expanding the Partner Connect Program across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it recently added about 11 partners in that market.

SnapLogic partners can expect to see a more formalized market development funds (MDF) program this year. “Today, we are doing [MDF] a little more ad hoc, and we want to formalize that by the end of the year,” Link said.

AllCloud enters North American market

AllCloud, a cloud solutions provider that launched in Israel in 2014, has entered the North American market with the acquisition of Figur8 Cloud Solutions.

Figur8 is a Salesforce partner, with operations in San Francisco, Toronto, New York City and Vancouver, B.C. AllCloud delivers its cloud solutions in the Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and NetSuite environments.

Eran Gil, CEO at AllCloud, said consolidation has “created a big void in the market for global boutique cloud solutions providers.”

Gil has firsthand consolidation experience. He co-founded Cloud Sherpas, a cloud consulting services provider that was acquired by Accenture in 2015. Gil pointed to IBM’s purchase of Bluewolf and Wipro’s acquisition of Appirio as other examples of cloud solutions and SaaS consulting shakeout.

“Having seen that [consolidation] and also having seen the significant growth rate coming from the public cloud space, from the vendors we are very close to, we believe there is an even bigger opportunity than in the past,” Gil said.

Gil’s latest cloud consulting venture differs in some ways from the Cloud Sherpas experience. While that company focused on the SaaS layer, AllCloud focuses on IaaS and PaaS, in addition to SaaS, he noted.

“The big opportunity … is providing clients a more holistic solutions approach,” Gil said.

Other news

  • HYCU bolstered its partner program for selling its Data Protection for Nutanix The program now features a simplified deal registration program, co-branded marketing tools and campaign support, and a new partner portal, the vendor said.
  • FileCloud, an enterprise file sync-and-share (EFSS) vendor, unveiled a channel program for managed services providers and resellers. The program provides support, such as special partner pricing, for offering the vendor’s EFSS product, FileCloud Online.
  • Oblong Industries, a collaboration technology vendor, inked a distribution deal with ScanSource. Under the agreement, ScanSource will distribute Oblong’s immersive collaboration platform, Mezzanine, bundled with LG Electronics’ commercial displays and Cisco Webex Room Kit Series.
  • JetStream Software said its cloud migration tool, JetStream Migrate, is now generally available. Jetstream Migrate is designed for cloud and managed services providers that target large enterprises, the company said.
  • OneLogin, an identity and access management vendor, named Matt Hurley as its vice president of global channels, strategic alliances and professional services. Hurley joins OneLogin from Juniper Networks, where he held numerous channel-related roles.

Microsoft fiscal year 2019: Priorities revealed at Inspire conference

Microsoft fiscal year 2019 priorities suggest a few areas in which partners can expect to work with the company.

At last year’s Microsoft partner conference, the company talked about reorganizing its sales force along industry lines and discussed a commercial model designed to win digital transformation projects. In this fiscal year, which began July 1, Microsoft will fine-tune that model but make no major changes, noted Judson Althoff, executive vice president of worldwide commercial business at Microsoft.

Althoff, speaking at Inspire, the annual Microsoft partner conference, did however outline top Microsoft fiscal year 2019 agenda items. Among those priorities: digging deeper into what Althoff called strategic enterprise accounts. With that direction in mind, Microsoft plans to invest more in its industry focus and strategy. Partners, for their part, will be called on to invest in industry-specific solutions and services.

In addition, Althoff said Microsoft will emphasize customer acquisition and aims to bring more customers to the Microsoft cloud, while it pursues account-based marketing. And once customers are acquired, the focus will shift to customer retention and growth, he noted. For partners, this could mean developing customer success practices, which follow upon the initial sale.

Microsoft, meanwhile, will also make learning and readiness a fiscal year 2019 priority. Althoff pointed to a new learning platform that will roll out this year, as well as new cloud certifications.

At the Microsoft partner conference, the company also stated plans to invest in its in-house cultural transformation. Althoff cited diversity, inclusion and a growth mindset as the key themes in that priority area.

In addition to those stated Microsoft fiscal year 2019 priorities, partners can also expect to see the company elaborate on its intelligent cloud, intelligent edge approach, which company executives describe as a ubiquitous distributed computing fabric with embedded artificial intelligence.

“We are going to infuse everything with AI,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, during his keynote address at Inspire.

Xerox remains bullish on SMB ambitions

Xerox said recent shakeups at the company haven’t affected its goal of capturing the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market through partners.

While the fallout of a proposed merger with Fujifilm has sparked questions about Xerox’s future, company executives remain optimistic, especially as it relates to expanding Xerox’s footprint in SMBs. Xerox has long identified its channel partners as a primary means for capturing SMB deals.

“SMB is a major strategic focus for Xerox, and the way we get there will be through our channel ecosystem,” said Pete Peterson, president of channels at Xerox.

Peterson, who joined Xerox about 15 months ago, said the changes at Xerox during his tenure haven’t disrupted the vendor’s commitment to partners. He noted that Xerox’s new CEO, John Visentin, views channel partners as a key engine for growth. Xerox named Visentin its CEO after former CEO Jeff Jacobson stepped down in May.

Peterson cited managed print services (MPS) among the SMB market opportunities that Xerox wants to enable partners to pursue. Xerox in February launched its MPS Essentials Suite, a bundle of MPS software offerings for partners. “Our MPS business and channels are growing significantly compared to the overall market,” Peterson said.

The vendor is also looking to help partners to develop applications around its ConnectKey devices, he said. He noted that Xerox has either developed or enabled about 75 ConnectKey apps, which include apps for document management, archiving and translation capabilities. In the last 12 to 18 months, Xerox has hosted several training and enablement sessions for partners to learn how to monetize and build their own ConnectKey apps, Peterson added.

Other news

  • Data management vendor Commvault has bolstered its channel resources as part of a long-term partner program redesign. New partner program features include an on-demand services center dedicated to supporting partners, marketing support and an enhanced quoting system. Commvault also revamped its partner portal, adding new tools and content. In addition, the vendor consolidated its product portfolio of 20 offerings down to four products.
  • Carahsoft Technology Corp., a government IT solutions provider, is distributing Feature Labs offerings to public sector organizations through Carahsoft’s NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract. Feature Labs offers software that automates feature engineering for machine learning and AI applications.
  • E8 Storagehas expanded into the Canadian market with the addition of CognoSystems, based in Toronto, to its roster of solutions partners. CognoSystems, a disaster-recovery-as-a-service provider, is collaborating with E8 Storage to incorporate the latter company’s NVMe architecture into environments such as supercomputing clusters.
  • In other Microsoft Inspire announcements, Pax8, a cloud distribution firm, launched its Wingman Professional Services Program. Through the program, managed services providers (MSPs) can access customized IaaS solutions built by Pax8’s cloud architects and engineers, according to the company. In addition, BitTitan, a managed services automation company, unveiled a new set of automation capabilities for its MSPComplete offering. The capabilities let service providers offer professional, managed and help desk services around Microsoft Azure, the company said.
  • IT services management vendor SolarWinds MSP updated its N-central remote monitoring and management platform. N-central 12.0 introduces deeper integration with professional services automation software, improved patch management and access to NetPath, a network performance tool.
  • IT Glue, which offers a documentation platform for MSPs, introduced a new checklist feature to its software. The Checklists tool lets MSPs create checklists to organize and track routine tasks within the IT Glue platform, the vendor said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Evergreen Services Group: New deal to up MSP revenue to $40M

Evergreen Services Group, a holding company focused on purchasing managed service providers, is on the cusp of its fifth acquisition, a move that will bring the investor’s MSP revenue to more than $40 million.

The company, based in San Francisco, launched in 2017 as a spinoff of Alpine Investors, a private equity firm. Evergreen has received a $100 million equity commitment from Alpine to launch its acquisition campaign, which got underway seven months ago, according to Ramsey Sahyoun, head of M&A at Evergreen.

Evergreen’s investments include Executech, an MSP in the Salt Lake City area; Wolf Consulting and Jenlor, MSPs in greater Pittsburgh; and Interlaced LLC, an MSP in San Diego specializing in Apple environments.

Next up is an acquisition of an Austin, Texas, MSP that Evergreen Services Group expects to announce next week.

M&A in the MSP market

Evergreen’s acquisitions are in line with the general consolidation trend ongoing in the MSP market. A number of investment groups, including Fusion Agiletech, Converge Technology Partners and Great Hill Partners in conjunction with Reliam Inc., for example, are in the process of building IT services company platforms.

Sahyoun said Evergreen offers a different opportunity for MSPs in the M&A landscape. He said Evergreen purchases 100% of a company and generally pays in cash upfront, noting that other investors strike deals based on earn-outs or seller notes.

In addition, Evergreen takes a long-term view as it acquires companies, Sahyoun said.

“We are not going to smash a few MSPs together and sell in three or four years,” he said. “We are fortunate … to have a long-term financial backer behind this vision of ‘Let’s do this over many years and not just try to make a quick buck.'”

The long-range view enables Evergreen to invest in its acquired companies. Sahyoun said investments in sales and marketing, as well as in service delivery, sets up the acquired companies to have sustainable growth.

The companies Evergreen has acquired thus far will operate as stand-alone, independent platforms, he explained. Evergreen’s approach is to treat companies above the $1 million EBITDA threshold as platforms and those below that mark as add-on acquisitions that would be tucked into one of Evergreen’s platforms.

While Evergreen Services Group doesn’t plan to integrate the platform companies, there will be coordination among its holdings. Sahyoun said Evergreen recently started to bring executives from the companies together in a peer-group format in which they can share best practices and discuss business challenges. In addition, Evergreen provides a subject-matter expert directory and playbook on its website to help companies through such tasks as selecting an IaaS provider or collecting accounts receivable.

Chart showing recent transactions in the IT services industry
Evergreen Services Group is among the investment organizations looking to do deals in the MSP market.

Looking for SMB focus, MRR

Evergreen’s acquisition approach is to look for MSPs serving the small and medium-sized business market that have more than half of their business coming from monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

We look for companies that have a good, predictable stream of revenue.
Ramsey Sahyounhead of M&A, Evergreen Services Group

“That is what we value and what gets us excited about this industry,” Sahyoun said of MRR. “We look for companies that have a good, predictable stream of revenue.”

Customer satisfaction and high retention rates are also important factors in assessing acquisition candidates. To determine customer satisfaction, Evergreen Services Group goes through a process of talking to a subset of an acquisition candidate’s customers as part of its post-letter-of-intent due diligence.

Sahyoun said the company uses a third-party vendor to conduct the customer surveys, which yield such information as net promoter scores.

In general, Sahyoun suggested the recent uptick in acquisition activity in the MSP market signals a greater confidence in the companies following the MSP business model.

“The business has gotten fundamentally better over time,” he said, noting the shift from break-fix to MMR revenue. “That is a big part of what is driving investor interest.”

Other news

  • Microsoft made several announcements ahead of its annual partner conference, Microsoft Inspire. Among the disclosures is a free version of Microsoft Teams; a Whiteboard app for Windows 10 that is also slated for iOS; an expanded Azure Data Box offering; and new programs and resources that aim to help partners take advantage of Microsoft’s global customer and partner ecosystems. Microsoft also unveiled an Azure Expert MSP program, two Cloud Practice Playbooks and four Digital Transformation eBooks. Microsoft Inspire will run July 15 to 19 in Las Vegas.
  • Accenture has acquired Kogentix, a Schaumburg, Ill., company that focuses on big data and AI services. Kogentix employs about 220 big data engineers, data scientists, machine learning engineers and software developers, according to Accenture.
  • IT management software company SolarWinds has acquired Trusted Metrics, a threat monitoring and management vendor. SolarWinds said it will launch SolarWinds Threat Monitor, a tool for MSPs and managed security services providers, as a result of the buyout. In related news, private equity investment firm and SolarWinds backer Thoma Bravo revealed plans to purchase a majority interest in identity and access management player Centrify.
  • More than half of North American channel partners expect to see an increase in IT spending in 2018 compared with last year, according to a mid-year survey of 363 partner companies undertaken by OneAffiniti, a channel marketing solutions provider.
  • Dataguise, a data privacy protection and compliance vendor, unwrapped the DgSecure Partner Program for selling the company’s data governance enablement software. The program provides training and certification; incentives; demo software; sales leads and sales enablement tools; and market development funds (MDF). Partners can also access deal registration and marketing materials through the Dataguise partner portal, the vendor said.
  • Networking vendor Ruckus Networks unveiled a program for enabling partners to sell Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi. The Cloud-Ready Specialization Program offers tools, training, technical support and incentives and is open to Select- and Elite-level Ruckus Ready partners, the vendor said. Ruckus also provides Smart Cities, Large Public Venue and Education specializations.
  • Yamaha Unified Communications, an audio and video conferencing vendor, introduced a global partner program. The program features three tiers — Basic, Emerging and Prime — with incremental benefits and incentives. At the Basic level, partners can access deal registration, a demo program, special discounts, product training and post-sales technical support. Emerging and Prime partners can tap volume incentive rebates and marketing support such as MDF, according to Yamaha UC.
  • WhiteHat Security, an application security provider, and RiskIQ, a digital threat management firm, are integrating their platforms. The integration gives joint customers “a detailed inventory of web-facing properties, which we can onboard into WhiteHat Sentinel for continuous scanning,” according to John Atkinson, vice president of strategic alliances at WhiteHat Security. As a result, channel partners can provide a “comprehensive solution for dynamic application security testing.”
  • Cybersecurity vendor Bitdefender expanded its security offerings for MSPs. New products include Patch Management, Advanced Threat Security, and Endpoint Detection and Response, available within the Bitdefender Cloud Security for MSP endpoint security suite. The three new offerings can be purchased via monthly usage-based licensing, Bitdefender said.
  • LogiGear, a software-testing vendor, said Royal Cyber, a solution provider based in Naperville, Ill., has joined its roster of value-added resellers. Royal Cyber will provide automation testing using LogiGear’s TestArchitect technology, LogiGear said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Unitrends revamps enterprise backup solutions program in wake of merger

Enterprise backup solutions company Unitrends has revamped its partner program following its merger with Kaseya, a provider of management software for managed service providers.

The Kaseya-Unitrends merger, revealed in May, yielded a portfolio spanning remote monitoring and management, endpoint management, network monitoring and management, professional services automation, security, and enterprise backup solutions. According to Unitrends, which runs as an independent company inside Kaseya, the redesigned channel program aims to enhance partner benefits and support for legacy Unitrends partners, while tapping into the Kaseya MSP community.

The redesigned program also reflects the shift away from Unitrends’ previous volume-based channel strategy in which the vendor sought to “recruit a large number of partners, large and small, across various geographies,” said Dante Gordon, senior director of channel marketing at Unitrends, based in Burlington, Mass.

“It is not a volume play anymore. We are not looking at adding partners for the sake of adding numbers,” he added. “A key tenet of the program is ensuring that we are delivering one of the most profitable programs in our industry for partners, and one of the ways we do that is ensuring we are not saturating the market … and eroding margins.”

The Unitrends channel program now features a four-tiered membership structure of Authorized, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels, offering incremental discounts and incentives, among other benefits.

“What we have done with the new program is we have established partner segmentation and … tiers based on partners’ investment and commitment to building a practice around Unitrends,” Gordon said.

Program benefits include a proposal-based market development funds (MDF) program.

“Unlike a lot of vendors, we don’t allocate MDF based on a percent of bookings or revenue. … Any partner in our Gold and Platinum tiers has the ability to submit a proposal for MDF dollars that they want to apply to a particular marketing campaign.”

Unitrends’ partners can also tap a new cloud-based partner portal containing a library of marketing materials, such as packaged campaigns that partners can white label. Additionally, Unitrends said it will soon roll out a marketing automation service for email campaigns.

As for Kaseya MSP partners, Unitrends said it will extend Gold-level program benefits to Kaseya MSP partners for a limited time. Those benefits include access to MDF, dedicated channel managers and lead referrals.

Gordon said Kaseya MSP partners, which tend to target the small and medium-sized business space, are complementary to Unitrends’ midmarket focus. He noted that he also sees the merger as an opportunity for Unitrends’ traditional resellers to use Kaseya’s offerings to incorporate managed services into their businesses.

Other news

  • Winxnet Inc., an IT consulting and outsourcing firm based in Portland, Maine, has merged with K&R Network Solutions, a San Diego-based managed IT services provider. The companies said the combination will create a coast-to-coast MSP company. The deal follows a strategic alliance between the companies that was announced in January 2018. The Winxnet-K&R merger continues a trend of mergers and acquisitions in the IT services industry. Other recent transactions, such as the Green House Data merger with Infront Consulting Group Ltd., were also motivated by geographic reach.
  • In other financial news, Primepulse SE, an investment holding group based in Munich, has invested in Unify Square, a cloud managed services provider for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. The funding round is roughly $10 million, according to Unify Square, which is based in Bellevue, Wash.
  • Tech Mahindra, a consulting and digital transformation services provider, is partnering with LIFARS LLC, a cybersecurity digital forensics and incident response The companies plan to combine Tech Mahindra’s security operations center offering with LIFARS incident response service for their customers.
  • SolarWinds MSP, an IT service management solution provider targeting service providers, unveiled MSP Institute, a training and tips playbook for MSPs. The playbook will include business, sales, marketing and technical tracks.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.