Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Apr 05

Dumped Facebook Users’ Personal Information Ripe for Cyberattacks

By | Managed Services News

The Facebook user data was released this weekend for practically free.

The cellphone numbers and other personal information of 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries has been posted online. Cybercriminals can use the information to launch attacks.

Alon Gal, CTO of cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, tweeted about the data dump this weekend. The United States had 32.3 million affected users and United Kingdom had 11.5 million.

The released data includes Facebook users’ mobile numbers, name, gender, location, relationship status, occupation, date of birth and email addresses.

According to Bleeping Computer, the data was originally sold in private sales after being collected in 2019 using a bug in the “Add Friend” feature on Facebook. Facebook closed this vulnerability soon after discovering it. But threat actors continued to circulate the data until it was practically free over the weekend, it said.

Unscrupulous Scammers Will Use All the Information They Can Get

Purandar Das is CEO and co-founder at Sotero.

Sotero Software's Purandar Das

Sotero’s Purandar Das

“This makes you wonder as to how much of that information ends up in the legitimate marketing industry,” he said. “It only takes a few vendors to integrate this data into the broader data set the marketing industry uses. Mobile numbers and Facebook handles are typically in pretty high demand. Of course, the unscrupulous scammers will use every bit of information they can get in their scams.”

Setu Kulkarni is is vice president of strategy at WhiteHat Security. He calls the data dump “the tsunami of the past.”

WhiteHat Security's Setu Kulkami

WhiteHat Security’s Setu Kulkami

“While Facebook has fixed the issue, the damage of exfiltration of sensitive data occurred before the vulnerability was fixed,” he said. “Considering that millions of phone numbers are out in the open, along with enough personal data about the phone number owners, it is likely that there will be a spike in smishing. Now more than ever, it is important to seriously reconsider using phone numbers as logins or sharing phone numbers with apps. Switching phone numbers is inordinately more taxing than switching email IDs.”

Common Attack Pattern

Michael Isbitski is technical evangelist at Salt Security. He said content scraping is a common attack pattern. At the very least, the data is useful to attackers for phishing campaigns and social engineering, he said.

Salt Security's Michael Isbitski

Salt Security’s Michael Isbitski

“Organizations must protect the APIs monitoring consumption continuously in order to take such malicious activity as content scraping or authorization bypasses,” Isbitski said. “API security issues can also expose organizations to regulatory penalties, since many standards and legislation … explicitly define types of personal identifiable information (PII) that must be protected. This includes phone numbers and account identifiers as seen in the leaked Facebook data sets.”

Cybercriminals can combine even seemingly innocuous types of data to uniquely identify individuals and impact privacy, he said.

No Surprise

Digital Shadows' Ivan Righi

Digital Shadows’ Ivan Righi

Ivan Righi is a cyber threat intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows. He said it’s not a surprise that this data leak has resurfaced. Few threat actors could buy the data when it it initially carried a relatively steep price.

“The breach was probably resold multiple times since then until the price lowered enough that a user decided to publicly expose it to generate a small profit and increase reputation,” he said. “This activity frequently happens in criminal forums. While the data may be old, it still holds a lot of value to cybercriminals.”

It is likely most phone numbers are still active and remain linked to legitimate Facebook users, Righi said. Cybercriminals can use information such as phone numbers, emails and full names to launch targeted social engineering attacks. Those include phishing, vishing or spam.

Cybercriminals may find success with most people working from home, he said.

“For example, cybercriminals could send text messages impersonating companies or banks to users,” Righi said. “These messages could name the individual within the text to add credibility and include malicious links.”

Apr 05

Splunk Appoints AWS, Microsoft Vet to President, Chief Growth Officer

By | Managed Services News

Splunk has hired Teresa Carlson, an AWS and Microsoft vet, for the newly created role of president and chief growth officer.

Carlson has 25 years of industry experience and expertise in leading business transformations for SaaS, data management and cloud businesses. She starts her new role on April 19.

Splunk's Teresa Carlson

Splunk’s Teresa Carlson

Carlson was with AWS for more than 10 years. She most recently was its vice president of worldwide public sector and industries. Before that, she was with Microsoft for more than nine years.

The AWS and Microsoft vet will help guide Splunk’s channel sales and channel strategy. She’ll work alongside chief revenue officer Christian Smith and vice president of global go-to-market partners Bill Hustad.

“I am thrilled to join the passionate and talented team at Splunk, and motivated by this opportunity to bring exciting cloud and data solutions to global customers across all industries,” Carlson said. “Together, we will build on Splunk’s legacy of innovation as one of the fastest-growing companies in the history of enterprise software.”

Driving Ongoing Business Transformations

Carlson will lead and work closely with Splunk’s sales, customer success and marketing leaders. They’ll align and drive the company’s ongoing business transformations across its go-to-market business segments. She’ll focus on advancing the company’s cloud-first initiatives, identifying and pursuing new market opportunities and accelerating growth.

Splunk is in the midst of capturing an incredible market opportunity,” a Splunk spokesperson said. “And our rapid transformation to the cloud has enabled us to reach key milestones ahead of schedule. We will continue to focus on driving meaningful insights with a prioritization on customer success.”

Doug Merritt is Splunk‘s president and CEO,

“Beyond bringing deep industry, software and cloud knowledge, which will be invaluable to Splunk as we continue to build on our strong foundation and rapid expansion, it is clear that Teresa embodies the values that define our strong Splunk culture,” he said.

Apr 05

The CF List: 20 Top UCaaS Providers You Should Know

By | Managed Services News

Zoom’s meteoric rise prompted other venders to improve their offerings.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerating work-from-anywhere model have dramatically impacted UCaaS providers during the past year.

UCaaS providers raced to keep up with skyrocketing demand for remote work solutions. And major market shake-ups included M&A and strategic partnerships to expand into new territories.

This is our first annual “CF List,” and the fourth if you count our previous CP lists focused on UCaaS providers. Analysts and other experts share their views on what it takes to succeed with the technology. It includes an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

According to Grand View Research, the global UCaaS market should exceed $210 billion by 2028. It should sustain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 24% from 2021-2028. Moreover, the growing preference for combining UC and IoT should open new growth opportunities for the market.

Forrester's Jay McBain

Forrester’s Jay McBain

“From the stratospheric rise of Zoom, to the shift to marketplaces and product-led growth models, 2020 will have left a significant and lasting impact on the UCaaS and CCaaS markets,” said Jay McBain, principal analyst of channel partnerships and alliances at Forrester.

Raul Castanon is senior research analyst with 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

451 Research’s Raul Castanon

“Organizations are looking to maintain travel restrictions, extend work-from-home (WFH) policies and reduce their office environment footprint even as they begin their transition back to the office,” he said. “These factors are influencing market requirements for UCaaS, leading vendors to adapt their product and go-to-market strategies to address the requirements of the post COVID-19 workplace. The need to support a distributed workforce is raising the bar, redefining who the successful, cutting-edge providers are, with those that differentiate based on addressing the requirements of a hybrid/remote workforce, including security and privacy capabilities such as end-to-end encrypted communications, emerging as key players.”

All UCaaS Providers Have Good Stories

Jon Arnold is principal of J Arnold & Associates. He said it’s a good time to be a UCaaS provider. That’s because “every company I brief with has a good story to tell.”

Arnold, Jon_J Arnold and Associates

J Arnold & Associates’ Jon Arnold

“No one is saying, ‘Oh the market stinks; we’re losing money and we don’t know if we’re going to make it,” he said. “And we talk to a lot of companies.”

To be successful, a provider has to have solid video and voice capabilities, Arnold said.

“Zoom had such a huge impact that all of the other collaboration vendors, particularly Microsoft and Cisco, and even Avaya and Mitel. really upped their video game because now they found themselves chasing Zoom rather than them being chased,” he said. “So this idea of what’s going to be cutting-edge is you’ve got to keep adding more and more features to the video experience. And clearly you saw that from all the big vendors as 2020 went on. So all of their announcements and certainly a lot of their acquisitions were built around making the video experience better. And normally. innovations take a long time. But in the course of a year, they’ve probably gone through two or three iterations of new rounds of features.”

Based on feedback from analysts and experts, and recent news reports, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 UCaaS providers that are making the most of the competitive landscape and charting success. The list offers a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known companies that are making big strides in UCaaS. There also are some shake-ups on the list due to M&A and strategic partnerships since our last list.

Scroll through our slideshow above to see who made the cut this year.

Apr 05

SMBs Weigh 5G Impact as Verizon, AWS Launch New Use Cases

By | Managed Services News

An analyst said 5G business opportunities will start with the enterprise and trickle down to smaller companies.

Verizon expanded its relationship with AWS to provide more enterprise use cases for 5G.

Verizon announced the availability of private multi-access edge compute (MEC) for U.S. enterprise customers. The managed service brings together private Verizon 5G networks, Verizon’s private edge platform and a service called AWS Outposts. AWS Outposts gives customers local access to their AWS-managed infrastructure, thus allowing them to enjoy AWS compute and storage features at their own site. As a result, enterprises can use dedicated, on-premises edge compute infrastructure that works with “ultra-low latency.”

Erwin, Tami_Verizon

Verizon’s Tami Erwin

“Verizon’s 5G is the platform for 21st century innovation and customers are looking to rapidly innovate, improve performance and create new revenue streams,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Developers are already creating new latency-dependent solutions that run on the Verizon/AWS public MEC service launched last year. Our private MEC offering will unlock that same potential for enterprise customers who need to maintain a secure, closed environment in factories, warehouses and other facilities.”

The companies expanded an existing relationship. Verizon announced in December that it had brought together Verizon’s 5G network with the AWS Wavelength service. As a result, select customers could deploy low-latency applications on 5G-enabled devices. AWS and Verizon had brought the service to 10 cities as of December.

“Now, Private 5G MEC from AWS and Verizon brings ultra-low latency to dedicated, closed, on-premises environments for use cases such as autonomous mobile robots, quality assurance and hazard alerting,” said Dave Brown, AWS’ vice president of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Use Cases

Corning Inc. will use the private MEC first. The New York-based manufacturing giant will harness the service to process information from autonomous mobile robots.

Srinivasa Kalapala, Verizon’s vice president of technology and supplier strategy, said multi-access edge computing allows businesses to process data in real-time. High speeds matter very much when we consider the proliferation of connected devices that is creating ever more complex data.

Kalapala, Srinivasa_Verizon

Verizon’s Srinivasa Kalapala

“It’s the idea of bringing the cloud closer to the edge of the network to deliver new experiences for both businesses and consumers,” Kalapala said. “It’s based on the premise that as the tech evolves, we expect more devices to connect to the network.”

Public MEC and private MEC differ significantly, according to Kalapala. While public MEC allows mobile customers to access cloud computing at the edge of the cellular network, private MEC deploys the cloud at the customer location. Thus, private MEC customers don’t need to move their data off premises.

Kalapala pointed out two main use cases for private MEC.

In one case, a customer wants improved latency that will help them process video in real-time. For example, doctors don’t want to just record video from a colonoscopy. They want to examine the colon as they film it, using machine-learning inference.

In other cases, private MEC helps customers be more efficient with their data. Consider a security camera, which records around the clock. Kalapala said private MEC allows customers to bring the video into the AWS cloud to sort out the 99% of the data that is useless to them.

However, Kalapala said many more use cases will result from these services. He said Verizon is working to establish the “basic ingredients” for a low-latency network.

“Our belief is that these are the fundamental building blocks. It’s the broader customers base out there – the cloud developers – they are ones that are going to innovate,” he said.

State of 5G

Darryl Schoolar leads Omdia‘s fixed and mobile infrastructure practice. We asked him to weigh in on the state of the 5G market.

Omdia’s Darryl Schoolar

Schoolar noted that the three big wireless carriers differ significantly in their …

Apr 05

6 Ways to Ready Your Customers for 5G Security Challenges

By | Managed Services News

5G will transform the way we communicate, but 5G transformation brings with it 5G security challenges.

Wireless networks have come a long way, from first generation (1G) networks that spawned the first cell phones (think early 80s “bricks”) to 4G/4G LTE networks with faster speeds that keep pace with mobile data demand. Now, the fifth generation (5G) is set to upend today’s wireless communications. 5G will connect tens of billions of new devices and sensors and, with future communications technologies, introduce new connections, capabilities, and services to transform the way we communicate.

5G Security Challenges

But with great transformation comes great risk. “Many are warning that 5G also holds the power to enrich and empower high-speed malicious hackers, supercharging their ability to wreak untold havoc in the global cybercrime epidemic,” said Tripwire last year.

In fact, an AT&T survey indicated that 73% of security practitioners rated their level of concern as high or medium-high when it comes to the potential impact of 5G on security. And their biggest concerns around 5G are the larger attack surface and larger number of devices, followed by the need to authenticate and extend security policies out to those devices.

In addition, 76% expect wholly new 5G security challenges to emerge out of a 5G world. Yet, just 16% have started preparing before 5G deployments hit the mainstream.

The CISA goes on to say that 5G will introduce vulnerabilities in:

  • Supply chain: The 5G supply chain is susceptible to the malicious or unintentional introduction of risks like malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components, and poor designs, manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures.
  • Deployment: Because 5G will use more information and communication technology (ICT) components than previous generations, improperly deployed, configured or managed equipment and networks may be vulnerable to disruption and manipulation.
  • Network Security: Also, 5G builds upon previous generations, dragging legacy vulnerabilities, such as DDoS attacks, along with it. Even with additional security enhancements, 5G equipment and networks may still be affected.

How can you help translate potential 5G network security issues and vulnerabilities into solutions that keep your customers safe?

6 Ways You Can Help Customers Prepare for 5G Security Challenges

Make sure customers are prepared by helping them:

  1. Build a security-first mindset. Organizations with a mature, security-first mindset are most ready to adopt emerging technologies like 5G. If your customers do not have a security-first culture, help them build one with solutions and services that cover all the bases, including incident response experiences that test their ability to respond to a threat.
  2. Deploy standards-based devices. Help customers choose IoT devices with embedded security features that meet established standards, such as NIST, and offer protection, detection, and mitigation.
  3. Adopt virtualization and An expanded surface area combined with 5G speeds can quickly compound security issues. Introducing virtualized security controls can help customers more quickly apply security policies across their environment, while automated remediation helps mitigate threats.
  4. Infuse threat intelligence with artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML).5G will introduce new types of vulnerabilities in and attacks on the network. Help your customers combine threat intelligence with AI/ML to immediately identify, detect and respond at the point of attack.
  5. Implement zero-trust. Firewalls alone are no longer enough. Help customers adopt a zero-trust approach to security. Trust nothing, verify everything—especially devices.
  6. Become their trusted MSSP. With 5G, comes rapid innovation, change and complexity that, in turn, drives rapid innovation, change and complexity in security threats—which is where MSSPs shine brightest with innovative solutions and expert advice.

Companies like Tech Data are at the forefront of cybersecurity with strategic technology partnerships, experienced security experts and best-in-class resources, such as the Tech Data ISAO Threat Feed and the Tech Data Cyber Range. They can help recommend the right security solutions for your customers and provide guidance on how best to keep their networks healthy and protected.

5G promises breathtaking business benefits for your customers—with the right cybersecurity approach. To get up to speed on 5G and better advise your customers, visit www.techdata.com/security or email us at [email protected].

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Apr 05

Datto Rebrands, Upgrades Commerce Sales Platform

By | Managed Services News

This platform for MSPs aims to boost profitability and client engagement with quoting and procurement tools.

Datto on Monday said Datto Commerce is now commercially available in North America. Formerly known as Gluh, Datto Commerce is a real-time sales platform that aims to simplify day-to-day product procurement. Its goal is to help MSPs turn more profit by simplifying how they quote, sell and procure. Hello, improved operational efficiency and productivity.

Historically, helping clients procure IT equipment can be an exhaustive, manual process for MSPs. It is typically low margin and keeps them from moving forward with other activities. Datto Commerce streamlines and automates IT product and service procurement for MSPs. It also bolsters engagement with clients. 

The Painful Procurement Process

Radhesh Menon is chief product officer with Datto.

Datto's Radhesh Menon

Datto’s Radhesh Menon

“MSPs historically have stayed away from and even disliked the process of helping their clients procure IT equipment; it is a time-consuming manual process,” Menon told Channel Futures. “When MSPs do procure for their clients, they often work off of spreadsheets or documents. Datto Commerce delivers a real-time platform that makes day-to-day product procurement of MSPs simple; it blends work management (quoting and sales processes of IT products) with procurement automation, making MSPs even more productive.”

Menon added that Datto Commerce is a revolutionary way for MSPs to sell more products in less time with less effort while making more profit.

“Datto is known for the support experience and commitment we have to MSPs,” Menon continued. “We all roll out of bed every day thinking about the pain points we can reduce or simplify for MSPs, and it was no different when developing Datto Commerce.”

Here are a few things the platform provides:

  • Simplified quoting. MSPs have the ability to produce professional-looking quotes in as little as 30 seconds that can be viewed and approved on any device.
  • Automated procurement. The intelligent platform procures products based on availability, price, and supplier preferences at the time of quote approval, while increasing transactional reliability to reduce rework.
  • Built-in e-commerce architecture. Datto Commerce enables clients to find and buy approved solutions directly from the MSP’s branded online storefront at their convenience. This eliminates the quote production and approval process.
  • Vendor data feeds. Integrated vendor data feeds save time and maximize margins by procuring based on availability and cost.
  • Easy onboarding and Datto support. MSPs can get up and running in as little as one hour with unlimited Datto support via phone, chat, and email.
ITECH Solutions' Brian Weiss

ITECH Solutions’ Brian Weiss

Partner Reaction

Brian Weiss, CEO of ITECH, a Datto partner, weighed in on the new platform.

“After adopting Datto Commerce, we were able to triple our sales pipeline, and double our product sales in less than six months,” said Weiss. “Before Datto Commerce, I handled most of the sales responsibilities myself, which required a large portion of my time. This technology has given me time back in my day to focus on the big-picture strategy for my company.”

Datto Commerce integrates with MSP-business management tools including Autotask PSA, ConnectWise Manage, Xero, Quickbooks, and Stripe. The sales platform also supports local tax management requirements and regional distributors in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The goal is to expand this availability to other global regions.

Apr 05

Fortinet FortiOS VPN Likely Exploited by Hackers, Feds Say

By | Managed Services News

Threat actors have been targeting VPNs even more this last year.

Two federal agencies say advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are likely exploiting vulnerabilities in the Fortinet FortiOS VPN.

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued the advisory. They said APT actors have historically exploited critical vulnerabilities to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware attacks, structured query language (SQL) injection attacks, spear phishing campaigns, website defacements and disinformation campaigns.

The ATP actors are using multiple common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) to exploit Fortinet FortiOS vulnerabilities. They’re doing this to to gain access to multiple government, commercial and technology services networks.

These malicious hackers may use other CVEs to gain access to critical infrastructure networks to prepare for follow-on attacks.

Customers Urged to Upgrade

Fortinet sent us the following statement:

“The security of our customers is our first priority. CVE-2018-13379 is an old vulnerability resolved in May 2019. Fortinet immediately issued a product security incident response team (PSIRT) advisory and communicated directly with customers and via corporate blog posts on multiple occasions in August 2019 and July 2020 strongly recommending an upgrade. Upon resolution we have consistently communicated with customers, as recently as late as 2020. CVE-2019-5591 was resolved in July 2019 and CVE-2020-12812 was resolved in July 2020. If customers have not done so, we urge them to immediately implement the upgrade and mitigations.”

Zach Hanley is senior red team engineer at Horizon3.AI.

Horizon3 AI's Zach Hanley

Horizon3 AI’s Zach Hanley

“Attackers are increasingly targeting critical external applications,” he said. “VPNs have been targeted even more this last year. These three vulnerabilities targeting the Fortinet VPN allow an attacker to obtain valid credentials, bypass multifactor authentication (MFA), and man-in-the-middle (MITM) authentication traffic to intercept credentials. The common theme here is once they are successful, they will look just like your normal users.”

Taking Advantage of Sensitive Vulnerabilities

Yaniv Bar-Dayan is Vulcan Cyber‘s CEO and co-founder.

Vulcan Cyber's Yaniv Bar-Dayan

Vulcan Cyber’s Yaniv Bar-Dayan

“Last year saw a multitude of damaging consequences from ransomware, breaches and targeted attacks against sensitive data,” he said. “From breaches of COVID-19 research data, to attacks on critical infrastructure and government agencies, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the most sensitive vulnerabilities at the expense of the organizations that have the most to lose.”

The past year should have been a wake-up call to security teams that have been resistant to change, Bar-Dayan said.

“As remote working continues to be the norm, even after this pandemic subsides, an agile security team and agile infrastructure will be critical,” he said.

Security teams must carefully orchestrate and manage remediation activities, Bar-Dayan said.

NNT's Dick Schrader

NNT’s Dick Schrader

Furthermore, organizations must continue looking for new ways to be ready for the ever evolving threat landscape.

Dirk Schrader is global vice president of security research at New Net Technologies (NNT).

“Exploiting vulnerabilities in key infrastructure devices like firewalls is a critical path for attackers as it allows [them] to establish [a] foothold behind them,” he said. “For any organization, monitoring these devices, patching them [and] controlling any configuration changes on them is a priority job for the security teams.”

Apr 05

AT&T Partner Solutions Taps New Partner Exchange, Wholesale VPs

By | Managed Services News

Their predecessor recently moved to EarthLink.

AT&T Partner Solutions has appointed two leaders that bring strong IoT and 5G credentials to the table.

The carrier named Shiraz Hasan vice president of AT&T Partner Exchange and ecosystem innovation, and Jerry Gerami vice president of AT&T Wholesale Solutions.

Both appointees have served AT&T for more than a decade.

AT&T's Jerry Gerami

AT&T’s Jerry Gerami

AT&T's Shiraz Hasan

AT&T’s Shiraz Hasan

Hasan most recently worked as vice president of global and industry solutions channel marketing and operations. He also brings experience in industrial IoT. He managed AT&T’s IoT business ecosystem, which included more than 200 partners. Hasan worked at computer hardware company Gateway before coming to AT&T in 2003.

Gerami most recently worked as the AT&T vice president of mobility, IoT and 5G. He also worked at MCI Communications as regional vice president from 1993-2002.

Christopher Roy previously was vice president for both Partner Exchange and Wholesale Solutions, but he departed the company a few months ago. He now works at EarthLink as executive vice president of business services.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences and relationships, and look forward to expanding both in my new role,” he said in a LinkedIn post earlier this year.

Sarita Rao, AT&T’s president of integrated and partner solutions, praised the new hires.

“Jerry and Shiraz bring a wealth of leadership and experience, and we are excited about what the future holds for the channel,” Rao said.

Sarita rao AT&T hires

Source: LinkedIn

Rao took the helm of AT&T Partner Solutions last fall.

AT&T Partner Acquisition

TeleComp, a platinum elite partner in the Partner Exchange program, announced its purchase of Co-nexus Communications Systems. Co-nexus provides PCI and HIPAA-compliant call recording and monitoring services, utilizing its own proprietary software.

It’s TeleComp’s third acquisition in as many years. The first two purchases gave the Arkansas-based SIP and internet service provider a presence in Oklahoma, while the latest gives it a presence in Houston.

“It will allow us to better serve our existing Texas customer base as well as bring our cutting-edge enterprise technology solutions to Co-nexus’ existing customers,” said Gino Capito, TeleComp’s chief technology officer.

Co-nexus President Debra Irvin will remain with the company.

Apr 05

Converge Technology Solutions Snaps Up Dasher Technologies, with More M&A to Come

By | Managed Services News

Dasher’s impressive resume and robust legacy will bolster Converge’s existing business and partnerships.

Converge Technology Solutions Corp. is buying Dasher Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based IT solutions provider. Converge has been M&A hungry; Dasher is its 19th acquisition.

Dasher brings with it a pretty impressive resume across a broad scope of industries. Perhaps the biggest feather in the deal’s cap is that Dasher is the fifth largest HPE partner in North America. Converge’s expanding cloud and managed service offerings – combined with Dasher’s robust roster of clients – is advantageous. This will allow Dasher’s new and existing clients to take advantage of cloud computing and remote working environments. The combined force of both Converge and Dasher’s teams of experts and industry partnerships will further support all clients.

Converge Technology Solutions' Greg Berard

Converge Technology Solutions’ Greg Berard

“Dasher is a key addition to the Converge team and gives us an increased presence on the West Coast to bolster our existing business and partnerships. The Dasher team brings the technical expertise, thought leadership, strong vendor partnerships and client relationships that we look for in our growing family of companies,” said Greg Berard, president of Converge Technology Solutions. “The incorporation of Dasher into the Converge organization advances the company’s 2021 focus on completing further strategic acquisitions and broadening resource development. This continued growth allows us to constantly offer our clients the best and most innovative solutions and technologies to meet their ever-changing business needs.”

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

Dasher has been a unique force in the industry since its inception. Founder and pioneer Laurie Dasher died last fall. She left behind a powerful legacy in terms of women-founded and led businesses. Considering the hurdles that women in technology face, Dasher was a remarkable business leader and advocate for channel women.

The acquisition will strengthen Converge’s managed service offerings and presence in key markets.

Apr 05

AT&T Partner Solutions Taps New Partner Exchange, Wholesale VPs

By | Managed Services News

Their predecessor recently moved to EarthLink.

AT&T Partner Solutions has appointed two leaders that bring strong IoT and 5G credentials to the table.

The carrier named Shiraz Hasan vice president of AT&T Partner Exchange and ecosystem innovation, and Jerry Gerami vice president of AT&T Wholesale Solutions.

Both appointees have served AT&T for more than a decade.

AT&T's Jerry Gerami

AT&T’s Jerry Gerami

AT&T's Shiraz Hasan

AT&T’s Shiraz Hasan

Hasan most recently worked as vice president of global and industry solutions channel marketing and operations. He also brings experience in industrial IoT. He managed AT&T’s IoT business ecosystem, which included more than 200 partners. Hasan worked at computer hardware company Gateway before coming to AT&T in 2003.

Gerami most recently worked as the AT&T vice president of mobility, IoT and 5G. He also worked at MCI Communications as regional vice president from 1993-2002.

Christopher Roy previously was vice president for both Partner Exchange and Wholesale Solutions, but he departed the company a few months ago. He now works at EarthLink as executive vice president of business services.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences and relationships, and look forward to expanding both in my new role,” he said in a LinkedIn post earlier this year.

Sarita Rao, AT&T’s president of integrated and partner solutions, praised the new hires.

“Jerry and Shiraz bring a wealth of leadership and experience, and we are excited about what the future holds for the channel,” Rao said.

Sarita rao AT&T hires

Source: LinkedIn

Rao took the helm of AT&T Partner Solutions last fall.

AT&T Partner Acquisition

TeleComp, a platinum elite partner in the Partner Exchange program, announced its purchase of Co-nexus Communications Systems. Co-nexus provides PCI and HIPAA-compliant call recording and monitoring services, utilizing its own proprietary software.

It’s TeleComp’s third acquisition in as many years. The first two purchases gave the Arkansas-based SIP and internet service provider a presence in Oklahoma, while the latest gives it a presence in Houston.

“It will allow us to better serve our existing Texas customer base as well as bring our cutting-edge enterprise technology solutions to Co-nexus’ existing customers,” said Gino Capito, TeleComp’s chief technology officer.

Co-nexus President Debra Irvin will remain with the company.

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