5 things, Channel partner programs, CSPs, MSP, VAR

5 Channel Observations: 18 Sept.

Credit: Getty Images

Good morning, channel partners. Here are five technology news observations, insights, chatter, rumors and gossip to start your day for Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 15 items for VARs, managed services providers (MSPs), cloud services providers (CSPs) and total service providers (TSPs) to sip on.

15. CompTIA Research: Although IT professionals face new challenges as organizations become more digital, those challenges open up new opportunities for channel partners. Specifically, "It’s time for channel partners to double-down and expand their skills in security and data," according to Seth Robinson, senior director of technology analysis at CompTIA (pictured).

14. Beyond RMM & PSA: Before exiting the channel media market and MSPmentor in 2014 (and taking a 15-month hiatus), I pointed out that basic PSA and RMM tools were no more. Instead, MSPs and VARs were craving total business management (TBM) platforms. Okay, I was trying to coin the phrase TBM. It has yet to catch on... but the "trend" of integrated, multi-function automation systems certainly has become universal. The latest example: AVG's Managed Workplace 9.2 release includes a range of integrated features -- such as remote control, backup and more. The company wants to be known as the "secure RMM platform provider," notes Marco La Vecchia, VP of Americas at AVG. That makes sense considering AVG's strong security heritage. Scan the MSP software landscape and the lines between PSA, RMM, backup, security, remote control and more have faded away. Like I said: Welcome to the age of Total Business Management. (Sorry but I'm not willing to give up on the term.)

Facebook for Work

13. The Enterprise Social Network: Facebook at Work, the social media giant's business-focused platform, is expected to launch at the end of the year. Although "social" has been one of the big four IT waves in recent years (like mobile, cloud and big data), that social wave hasn't exactly revolutionized internal corporate communications. IDC recently cut its enterprise social market growth forecast, the Wall Street Journal notes. Facebook hopes that its familiar "look and feel" will ignite Facebook at Work adoption...

12. Time to Rethink Your KPIs?: Not sure if you're leveraging the right Key Performance Indicators? This high-level article on KPI considerations may help you to reframe your strategy.


11. OpenStack IT Services & NFV: Demand for OpenStack-related consulting, integration and deployment services will grow 33 percent annually from 2015 to 2019, according to Technavio. Among the key areas to watch: Network Functions Virtualization -- which virtualizes network functions such as firewalls, load balancers, intrusion detection devices and more. In theory, NFV will eliminate the need for dedicated network hardware. True believers include Mirantis, which recently announced OpenStack and partnerships that target the telco market.

10. Cloud SDN Partnerships and More: NTT America says its Global Solutions Channel Partner Program has surpassed initial expectations by achieving 60 percent of the company’s total goal for secured channel partnerships ahead of schedule. So far, the company has signed nine master agents -- with the goal of signing up six more still to be met. Once all 15 are on board, NTT says it will focus all of its energy on existing partners. True believers include Presidio, Sandler Partners and TBI.

LogicMonitor Logo

9. Monitoring Amazon's Cloud: LogicMonitor, which offers infrastructure performance monitoring, has launched free Amazon Web Services monitoring as part of its LogicMonitor Pro platform. LogicMonitor says the AWS capabilities include:

  • Historical data / AWS metrics stored for a year
  • Automatic discovery and deletion of resources based on location or tags
  • Centralized dashboards, reporting, and powerful alerting engine
  • Dynamic grouping based on tags or custom properties
  • Unlimited users and mobile access
  • Executive Dashboards aggregate key infrastructure performance views

8. Great Compliance, M&A Tool?: Diligent is a cloud-based collaboration tool that allows corporate boards and executive leaders to manage confidential material (compensation discussions, governance discussions, etc.) in a more effective manner. I wonder if it can emerge as a safe room-type of tool for M&A and IPO documents...

7. NOC Services Meet Unified Communications: It's not a new trend. But NetEnrich is reinforcing its "Start Easy" network operation center (NOC) services for unified communications. In theory, the NOC platform allows MSPs to scale and manage call centers much more effectively... especially as multichannel communications (telephony, live chat, video conference) becomes universal.

Robert De Niro

6. "You Talkin' to Me?": Robert De Niro plays an intern who fixes an Internet startup in "The Intern." I've got my eyes on you, De Niro.

5. Cloud Channel Deal: Computer Sciences Corp., partnering with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, has won a cloud contract with the FAA. The deal could be worth $1 billion over 10 years, according to Federal Times. It's the latest sign of the government's "cloud first" mandate taking hold. Apparently, CSC Agility Platform -- a cloud management tool -- played a key role in the contract win.

4. Offering Managed Services... to MSPs: The old master MSP model -- where one MSP offers services to peer MSPs -- has plenty of momentum thanks to cloud computing. An example: Transbeam Inc., an MSP that offers data, voice, cloud and professional services, now offers an Intelligent Network Monitoring service to channel partners and peer MSPs.

3. Countering Cisco, HP-Aruba Networks: Aerohive Networks and Juniper Networks are partnering to promote cloud-managed wired and wireless solutions for customers. I haven't had time to see if Aerohive and Juniper are cross-training partners on the solutions...

Beth Simonetti

2. Talent Grab: Tech Data named Beth E. Simonetti senior VP and chief human resources officer. Previously, she oversaw HR for a book distributor. Simonetti also has extensive experience HR executive experience in the healthcare market. Hmmm... sounds like a natural opportunity for Tech Data to keep building out its health technology talent base... And plenty more, of course.

1. Fresh Funding: ChannelE2E spotted seven tech startups that just raised venture capital. From the looks of it, most of those seven tech startups are building channel partner programs...

Read Them All: ChannelE2E publishes its 5 Channel Partner Observations blog daily. Find all of the archived entries here.

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Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.