Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jan 19

5 Reasons Businesses Should Use RPA to Improve Their Processes

By | Managed Services News

Use virtual workforce to speed time-consuming, repetitive tasks.

PSTG's Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson

Every business knows there are some necessary tasks nobody enjoys doing. Perhaps they take too long, they’re a little boring and repetitive or can be challenging to complete. But they must be done.

What if businesses could automate these processes and know that they’ll be done quickly, efficiently and accurately? Robotic process automation (RPA) might just be the answer.

What Is RPA?

Robotic process automation is a technology used to automate the rules-based processes of the business. Its “digital workers” or “software bots” function as a virtual workforce supporting the front-, middle- and back-office staff in tasks that are repetitive, time consuming, rules based, involving digital data, are prone to error, time-critical and seasonal.

There’s no need for any code, integrations or changes in the underlying systems when using RPA. By creating automation workflows using drag-and-drop visual features, business managers can automate tasks and the digital workers can navigate the existing applications and processes to get the job done.

  • Get tasks done quicker. Avoid wasting resources and staffing costs by implementing RPA and getting admin tasks done faster and easier. It allows for streamlining tasks like data entry, email automation, outputting, formatting spreadsheets and more to free up time for more productive work.
  • Improve data security. RPA can provide businesses with enhanced data security by eliminating the risk of human error. With an automated workflow in a rules-based system, there’s very little chance of making a mistake.

It can also considerably reduce the time it takes to discover and respond to any security incidents or threats within a business, minimizing the impact of these breaches and improving the overall cybersecurity strategy.

  • Enhance financial processes. RPA can help improve financial processes with financial planning, reconciliations and payroll. It can also update inventory records and issue refunds without the need for human touchpoints.

For example, the UK retailer group Shop Direct used RPA to automatically remove late payment charges to customers who had been affected by floods.

For payroll, RPA can extract meaningful information from timesheets and automatically calculate an employee’s pay. It will also conduct the necessary bank transactions and generate payslips automatically. These can be easily factored into more complicated elements such as expenses, bonuses and holiday pay.

  • Streamline reporting. Creating reports is a consistently time-consuming task. RPA can help.

By determining parameters related to specific reports, the digital workers can gather the appropriate data and generate the report in less time. They can collect data from different business resources, generate and send reports based on that data and then update data in other systems, such as the business CRM, based on these reports.

Using this automation and these digital workers, an audit trail is also being created to ensure regulatory compliance.

  • Onboard with ease. Onboarding for both new employees and new customers has never been easier with RPA. The software bots can extract data from multiple formats, generate mass emails, fill out forms, set appointments or perform contact center functions.

RPA can also help nurture leads, improve sales processes with these features and improve current systems by opening internal tools, installing software or scheduling automated testing.

The Future of RPA

According to Gartner, RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global software market, growing 10x (10 times over) in the past 1.5 years.

Intelligent automation or cognitive RPA is the next step of this technology. With the implementation of AI, machine learning, speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP) to RPA, these robots can now do tasks that would have otherwise required human intuition, judgment, creativity and problem solving.

The UK train operator Virgin Trains uses this intelligent automation technology to streamline its refund process for late trains. The tool reads, understands and categorizes the critical information in the customer emails, validates the claims and issues a refund.

With technology ever growing in the business space, it’s essential to stay on top of these high-tech solutions. RPA can not only save time, money and reduce overall data security risks, it can also make financial and reporting tasks more efficient so businesses and their employees can focus on the bigger picture.

Hannah Wilson is a marketing executive at PSTG, an IT solutions integration company delivering IT and digital transformation solutions for organisations that want to drive growth, boost productivity and improve security. She has written on cyber security, RPA, virtual collaboration, digital workspaces and cloud transformation.

Jan 19

Dell Technologies Rolls Out New Apex Offerings with Multicloud in Mind

By | Managed Services News

Dell Technologies introduces multicloud capabilities across Apex storage and data protection.

Dell Technologies has unveiled several new solutions for the multicloud era based on its as-a-service offering, Apex.

The offerings aim to reduce complexity and provide customers with agility and control of their data, wherever it resides.

Apex Multi-Cloud Data Services is a managed solution that makes data accessible to public cloud compute and analytics services. This, says Dell technologies, helps organizations avoid public cloud vendor lock-in, excessive egress fees and migration risk. The solution is planned for deployment in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia later this quarter.

Apex Backup Services provide “simple and secure protection” of data in SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads in the public cloud. This is designed to reduce bandwidth and storage costs. These are now globally available.

Meanwhile, Project Alpine expands Dell Technology’s block and file storage software to public clouds. This helps to deliver operational consistency in managing data between on-premises environments and public clouds.

The vendor has also announced DevOps-ready platforms and a developer portal designed with increased support for Kubernetes. This, it says, can accelerate modern application initiatives and offer support for developer communities. The new resources will “empower developers to build on public clouds with Dell’s global support and predictable costs.”

Complexity of Multicloud Environment

Jeff Boudreau, president, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell Technologies, highlighted the complexity of the multicloud environment.

Dell's Jeff Boudreau

Dell’s Jeff Boudreau

“Today’s multicloud reality is complex as data becomes more distributed across on-premises and colocation data centers, multiple public clouds and edge environments,” he said. “We have the industry’s broadest technology portfolio, consistent tools, experience building open ecosystems and leading data storage capabilities, services and supply chain. All this uniquely positions Dell to help customers take control of their multicloud strategy,” he said.

A new Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Dell Technologies reveals that 83% of organizations have adopted a multicloud approach or plan to within the next 12 months.

Dell Expands Availability of Storage, Cloud Services

Dell Technologies has also announced the availability of previously announced Apex services.

Unveiled at Dell Technologies World 2021, Apex Data Storage Services is expanding to 13 countries across Europe and Asia Pacific. This will enable more organizations to deploy Dell-managed enterprise storage as a service. It is also now available with colocation services via Equinix International Business Exchange datacenters in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia. This will eliminate data center management, delivering cloud connectivity and providing simplified, consolidated billing from Dell.

Also, introduced at VMworld, Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud is also now available in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. The offering provides a Dell-managed platform to move workloads across multiple cloud and edge environments.


Jan 18

New HP Fortis PC Laptops and Chromebooks Support ‘Blended Learning’

By | Managed Services News

HP designed the new Fortis brand for students who use PCs both at home and in the classroom.

HP is addressing the expanded role of computing in education, accelerated by the pandemic, with its new HP Fortis laptops. HP designed Fortis, a new brand of Windows PCs and Chromebooks it launched Tuesday, for what the company calls “blended learning” environments.

Blended learning differs from hybrid in that students increasingly use computers both in the classroom and home, HP said. Because that means carrying their laptops to and from school, HP designed the Fortis with more durable and lightweight plastics.

Bill Avey, HP’s global head of education, discussed the current shifts in usage.

HP's Bill Avey

HP’s Bill Avey

“As we think about this blended learning world and the idea that we’re moving from analog to digital, physical printed content, especially textbooks in a student’s backpack are being replaced by a ubiquitous device, which becomes their content portal to all the knowledge of the universe,” Avey said.

To effectively replace textbooks and other analog media, laptops must be reliable and able to withstand students dropping them, added Gretchen Irion, director of education and commercial desktop product management. Irion said HP Fortis has new metals designed to protect the device and battery when dropped. HP also designed the keyboards to withstand shocks and spills of up to 11.8 ounces.

Noting that 2.2 billion school age children don’t have internet access, the HP Fortis systems will include 4G wireless options.

HP's Gretchen Irion

HP’s Gretchen Irion

“This untethered broadband and connectivity is really essential to creating equitable access to the learning content, creativity and collaboration outside the classroom,” Irion said.

First HP Fortis Models

The new portfolio consists of the HP Fortis 14-inch G10 Chromebook, available now at a starting price of $349. It is available with Google’s Chrome Education Upgrade for managed environments. A similar version, the HP ProBook Fortis 14-inch G9 PC, will be available in April for $369. HP is equipping it with Windows 11 Pro Education or the cloud-only version Windows 11 SE. Users can choose models with Intel Pentium or Celeron processors.

For students requiring more power, the HP ProBook Fortis 14-inch G10 PC will come with Intel 12th Gen i3 or i5 processors and Windows 11. The tech giant hasn’t disclosed pricing.


HP also launched two 11-inch laptops that students can switch from clamshell to tent and tablet modes. The HP pro x360 Fortis G9 is available now at a starting price of $399, with Intel Pentium or Celeron processors and Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Pro Education or Windows SE. The HP Pro x360 G10 will be equipped with Intel 12th Gen i3 or i5 processors, also with a choice of Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Pro Education.

In June, HP plans to ship the HP Fortis 11-inch G9 Q Chromebook, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c processor. Wireless 4G LTE will come standard. HP designed the device to boot in several seconds.

“This is really optimized for cloud-native learning from anywhere,” Irion said.

HP also introduced a new portable webcam, the HP 325 FHD, which it plans to ship in March.  The HD 1080p, 30 fps webcam supports 66-degree viewing angles, that have removable lens covers. It is Chromebook-certified and will be available in March for $40.


Jan 18

8×8 Completes $250 Million Fuze Acquisition, Increasing Global Reach

By | Managed Services News

The acquisition is a key milestone for 8×8 CEO David Sipes.

8×8 has completed its acquisition of rival Fuze for approximately $250 million in stock and cash.

8×8 said the deal will accelerate its XCaaS (eXperience Communications as a Service) innovation, and expand its enterprise customer base and global presence.

Raul Castanon is senior research analyst with 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. He said increasing its global market footprint is likely the key driver for 8X8 acquiring Fuze.

Cloud communications has become intensely competitive, he said. Vendors such as Cisco, Dialpad and RingCentral are maintaining a “relentless pace” when it comes to product innovation.

451 Research's Raul Castanon

451 Research’s Raul Castanon

“8×8 holds its own when it comes to technology and innovation,” Castanon said. “And even though it has reported double-digit growth in the past five years, it was facing mounting pressure from competitors such as RingCentral that are aggressively expanding their global presence.”

New Opportunity For Fuze Partners

Meghan Keough is 8×8’s senior vice president of product and marketing. She said Fuze partners will have an opportunity to sell a broader portfolio. That includes 8×8’s XCaaS integrated cloud communications and contact center solution.

8x8's Meghan Keough

8×8’s Meghan Keough

“In addition, as we continue to support the Fuze platform, Fuze partners will also have significant cross-sell opportunities with 8×8’s omnichannel contact center to enhance employee and customer experiences, allowing channel partners to compete more effectively in today’s market,” she said.

8×8 will offer customer choice, protecting customer investments in the Fuze platform with continued support, Keough said. It will also provide a no-cost upgrade path to 8×8’s XCaaS platform.

“We are engaging with all Fuze partners to support their existing sales, as well as provide the opportunity for them to expand their offerings with the addition of the 8×8 portfolio, including an integrated 8×8 contact center solution,” she said. “8×8 looks forward to bringing more value to Fuze partners and customers.”

8×8 Acquiring Fuze Key Milestone for 8×8 CEO

The acquisition is a key milestone for 8×8 CEO David Sipes, who took the helm a year ago, Castanon said. Buying Fuze is a “signal that 8×8 plans to remain a key UCaaS/CaaS/CPaaS global player.”

“We are excited to welcome Fuze employees, customers and partners to 8×8,” Sipes said. “We are committed to supporting the Fuze platform, while offering the best of both platforms to all of our customers. With this acquisition, we can further extend our XCaaS offering to deliver a differentiated experience for enterprise organizations, which is instrumental as we drive to become a $1 billion revenue SaaS business.”

Jan 18

AWS Eyes More Cloud Adoption Through TD Synnex, Expands Verizon Partnership

By | Managed Services News

The provider also has expanded its mobile edge computing services with Verizon Wireless.

Amazon Web Services is making big investments in two key partners: mega-distributor TD Synnex and service provider Verizon Wireless.

First up, TD Synnex said on Tuesday it has signed a new “strategic collaboration agreement” with cloud computing giant AWS. AWS frequently funnels money, tools and support experts into partners’ operations through these arrangements. In fact, expect to see at least one more such deal announced on Wednesday from a cloud software provider in Europe.

For TD Synnex, this particular investment means more resources for getting SMB and public sector organizations to adopt more of AWS’ various platforms. The SCA covers North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. AWS and TD Synnex (pre-merger, when it was just Tech Data) executed a similar deal in 2020 that targeted Europe. Ruba Borno, newly appointed global channel chief, said the latest agreement comes amid “a significant rise in demand and adoption of cloud solutions” over the last 18 months.

To be sure, thousands of organizations worldwide have ramped up their reliance on cloud computing because of COVID-19. The push accelerated hardest in 2020 as companies scrambled to support remote workers. But the momentum shows no signs of slowing thanks to ongoing digital transformation initiatives to bring more end users out of the legacy technology era.

Partner Benefits

The benefits of the new AWS SCA will trickle down to TD Synnex’s ISVs and other channel partners, TD Synnex said.

“The SCA demonstrates a committed investment in cloud technology that will enable partners to expand their offerings to reach larger markets,” the company said.

The specific resources AWS is contributing to TD Synnex through the SCA include people who will help with marketing, sales, technical issues, project management and implementation, as well as tools and materials to help partners ramp up their AWS practices.

TD Synnex's Mike Ward

TD Synnex’s Mike Ward

“TD Synnex is excited to expand our portfolio of offerings to partners that deliver business outcomes today and further unlock the future,” said Mike Ward, vice president of cloud solutions, North America. “With additional AWS solutions added to our vast portfolio, we’re able to enrich the breadth and depth of our offerings so partners can continue to receive the best support we have to offer.”

AWS, Verizon Expand Mobile Edge Computing Availability

Next, AWS continues to expand its mobile edge computing capabilities through partner Verizon Wireless. The companies said on Tuesday they have added Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit, Los Angeles and Minneapolis to their Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength network.

AWS’ Wavelength Zones act as infrastructure that embeds the public cloud provider’s compute and storage with Verizon’s data centers at the edge of the 5G network. That way, application traffic from 5G devices reaches servers in the Wavelength Zones without leaving the telecom network. So together, the companies’ technologies reduce latency and network hops on application traffic tied to machine learning, IoT, video and gaming.

The three additional cities represent 30% more locations in which the AWS-Verizon services now are available. Last August, the mobile edge computing went online in Chicago, Houston and Phoenix. The number of locations where customers can take advantage of Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength now totals 17, all in the United States.

As far as a partner play, AWS mobile edge computing via Verizon Wireless targets ISVs and developers – for now – more so than managed service providers, resellers, consultants and the like.


Jan 18

IBM, Microsoft, Oracle Among Major Players in Exploding Call Center AI Market

By | Managed Services News

The use of AI and AI-based software at call centers provides a financial advantage.

Call center artificial intelligence (AI) presents an increasingly lucrative opportunity for the channel as the global market should reach nearly $10 billion by 2030.

That’s according to a new report by Valuates, which expects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 26% The call center AI market was roughly $960 million in 2020.

Major players include Artificial Solutions International (AB), IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon Web Services (AWS), SAP, Google, Avaya, Nice inContact and Nuance Communications.

For companies that primarily provide call center services, the use of AI and AI-based software at call centers provides a financial advantage. There’s no need for an office, office equipment, a network, system installations or staffing. This should drive growth of the call center AI market.

In addition, one of the benefits of using AI in call centers is the ability to solve customer problems. By scanning customer complaints from databases faster than traditional systems, predictive and analytical AI software can deliver faster solutions and results. This feature should drive the market even further.

Furthermore, the ongoing trend of work from home (WFH) during the pandemic has fueled the adoption to ensure business continuity.

Customers’ Call Center Expectations

Customers expect interactions to be simpler and faster, Valuates notes. As a result, businesses must ensure high availability in order to provide support. Call center AI can be of great assistance. It offers intelligent conversations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Organizations can save operating costs while monitoring revenue growth by adopting enterprise cloud solutions for call centers. Cloud-based call centers improve performance, channel support and engagement. As a result, reporting and analytics in call center AI assist in supporting a changing customer base. Call center AI solutions are being deployed in the cloud. Among the advantages are lower cost of setup and support, greater adaptability, ongoing data availability, and improved business effectiveness over on-premises arrangements.

North America dominates the call center AI industry. However, Asia-Pacific should grow at the fastest rate through 2030.

Cloud Segment to Hold Largest Market Share

Based on deployment, the cloud segment should hold the largest market share during the forecast period. This is due to the growing popularity of interactive voice response (IVR) solutions for quick resolution of queries over phone calls. Customers can use software to resolve product-related issues without relying on customer service representatives. Furthermore, the increased integration of new systems with existing ones at the workplace, as well as the rapid increase in demand for the implementation of new contact center software, are expected to fuel the growth of this segment.

Based on components, the solution segment should hold the largest market share through 2030. This is due to the widespread use of chatbots/IVAs in various operations. In vertical markets, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) has the highest adoption of call center platforms and solutions. These solutions assist financial institutions in connecting with customers, improving customer experience and lowering response time.

Jan 18

Rackspace’s Michael Stephens Resigns: ‘I Have Eclipsed All the Goals’

By | Managed Services News

Stephens signs off as the managed cloud computing vendor’s global partner channel chief.

Michael Stephens has resigned as global partner channel chief of managed cloud computing vendor Rackspace Technology.

Stephens shared the news with Channel Futures on Tuesday.

Rackspace's Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens

“I came to Rackspace five-and-a-half years ago to build a world-class channel program for an industry leader in multicloud,” he told Channel Futures. “I have eclipsed all the goals I set for myself, my team and the program, and now is a great time to step away and go find the next big challenge.”

At this point, we don’t know who Rackspace intends to appoint as Stephens’ successor. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Lisa McLin remains chief of Rackspace’s global channel and alliances program.

Stephens’ History

Stephens joined Rackspace in 2016 after a 20-year stint at CenturyLink. During his tenure at the San Antonio-based managed cloud computing provider, Stephens continued to build his reputation as an advocate for the indirect channel.

“Team is everything,” Stephens told Channel Futures in 2020 when he was named a Top Gun 51 award recipient. At the time, he served as agent channel chief at Rackspace, working with technology services distributors including Avant Communications and Intelisys.

“Take responsibility and do what you say you are going to do. Lead with empathy and the more you serve others, the more likely success will follow, in my experience. Lastly, I try to focus on recognition. Every opportunity taken to recognize a job well done is so important. Positivity is infectious and people like to know their contributions are appreciated and contribute to the team or company goals,” Stephens said.

Stephens intends to enjoy a short sabbatical before announcing his next career move.

“In the short run I am going to make up for some lost time with the family and then start a deliberate search for that next great thing,” he told Channel Futures. “I have been blessed to work with the best partners on the globe and the best channel team members in our community. The future continues to be bright for our channel partners and I look forward to continuing the amazing relationships that I have formed over the last 27-plus years of my career.”

The Backdrop Against Which Michael Stephens Departs

Stephens leaves as Rackspace recently reported another quarter of solid earnings. The company has had an up-and-down relationship with Wall Street. It first went public in 2008, then turned private when Apollo Global Management bought it in late 2016. Then Rackspace again returned to the stock exchange in 2020, amid soaring cloud computing demand, to disappointing first-day results. By early afternoon on Jan. 18, its stock hovered around $13, a far cry from its $21 IPO share price.

Rackspace’s lower stock prices and higher earnings come about six months after the company shed 10% of its workforce, or about 700 people. There appears to be no connection between any new personnel shifts and Stephens’ departure. Rackspace made the aforementioned cuts to “take full advantage of current market trends, drive significant earnings leverage as revenue continues to grow, and compete even more effectively with other cloud service providers,” CEO Kevin Jones said at the time. “In addition, we are more closely aligning our ‘Rackers’ with next-generation service offerings that offer more compelling growth potential both for them and the company.”

Stephens also departs not long after another high-profile, now-former colleague of his did, as well. Duan Van Der Westhuizen led the Azure practice at Rackspace. In September, he moved to cloud managed services provider Ensono as senior vice president of public cloud.


Jan 18

CEO Pamela Diaz Takes Chicago-Based MSP Entara to Next Level

By | Managed Services News

Entara’s unique XSP business model offers clients a hybrid MSP-MSSP experience.

In some respects, Pamela Diaz may seem an unlikely person to be the CEO of a highly regarded MSP. Diaz spent more than two decades working in finance, and not technology. She climbed her way up the chain of command at UBS, responsible for working directly with financial traders. By the time Diaz left the company, she was an executive director and global business manager for all of operations. Then she took on positions of head of global operations and interim CIO at a boutique equity investment firm. She said her leadership skills landed her both roles from the start.

And that’s when the unlikely became a reality.

As CIO, Diaz outsourced the firm’s IT work to YJT (You Just Trade), now known as Entara, a Chicago-based MSP that worked solely with traders. When she decided to leave her role at the investment firm, Diaz didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do next in her career. She had spent 26 years in the financial world and thought maybe it was time for a change. Entara’s then-CEO Linda Maclachlan got wind that Diaz was looking for something new. She immediately approached Diaz about her taking over as president of Entara.

“She just reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in running her firm. At first, I honestly thought she was kidding,” Diaz said.

Maclachlan was inspired by Diaz’s operational acumen. However, Diaz said she was nervous about the proposition.

“Over time I realized it was something that was scaring me because it was such a big change from what I was doing,” Diaz said. “What I know best is that if it scares you that’s the thing you should do.”

It’s been five years since Diaz took a leadership role at Entara, considered one of Chicago’s best places to work. This month she became the firm’s CEO.

In this Q&A with Channel Futures, Diaz discusses Entara’s unique hybrid MSP-MSSP business model, XSP, how the company addresses cybersecurity and accountability, and the role the channel will play for the future of her organization.

Channel Futures: Considering you didn’t have experience working within an MSP, what was the learning curve like going into this IT space at Entara?

Pamela Diaz: It was quite a learning curve. I spent a lot of time after hours digesting information. And I talked to my husband who works in IT about the inner workings of this technology space. It meant trying to understand the engineering side of it as well as the business side of it.

Knowing how to be an effective leader in IT doesn’t mean you need to know, for example, how to spin up a server, but you need to know what a server is. You must know the components and how it impacts the business.

CF: What has been the evolution of the company?

PD: Entara is in its 20th year. It was founded by Linda Maclachlan, who is still the majority owner of Entara. She was CEO but now is the board chair. Low-latency trading firms were our real focus at first. When you have a trader who can’t trade, or an analyst that is trying to configure the next trade, and they don’t have their internet or can’t get something done … the immediacy to support those types of people helps you really step up your game. We knew from that aspect that if you can support the financial world as an MSP, you can support anybody.

As we evolved as a company, we became known across the spectrum in Chicago, not just in the financial industry. And that’s how we’ve continued to grow. When I came in, we really started to …

Jan 18

New CATO SASE Study: Channel Partners Care More About Scalability Than Margins

By | Managed Services News

Partners ranked scalability and ease of management as their biggest criteria for picking a security vendor.

Most secure access service edge (SASE) providers aren’t actually providing SASE, according to Cato Networks.

The vendor on Tuesday released a new study that contends that many of its rivals are not truly converging advanced security and networking features into a single platform, but rather offering a variety of point solutions. Cato queried more than 2,000 IT leaders and channel partners, the majority of which do not transact with Cato. The study, “Security or Performance: How Do You Prioritize,” concluded that the respondents that utilize “SASE” solutions still face very similar problems compared to those who have not deployed them.

Webber-Zvik, Eyal_Cato

Cato’s Eyal Webber-Zvik

“SASE’s benefits come from a rethinking of security and networking architectures by converging them into the cloud,” said Eyal Webber-Zvik, vice president of product marketing at Cato Networks. “If you continue using SASE portfolios made up from legacy point-solutions and appliance architectures, you can’t expect to realize SASE’s benefits.”

For example, SASE users and non-SASE users scored nearly identical results when it came to remote worker experiences. SASE users scored slightly fewer incidents of poor voice and video quality, but one-half of both SASE and non-SASE users reported slow application responses.

Cato Networks

Source: Cato Networks


In addition, SASE users only scored one point better than non-SASE users in their preparedness for cybersecurity attacks. When asked how they respond to performance issues, two in three (67%) SASE users said they added more bandwidth. Sixty-one percent of non-SASE users said the same.

Source: Cato Networks

The overall study found that only 29% of businesses do not want to plan to deploy SASE.

Partner Perspective

Cato surveyed just under 1,000 channel partners in addition to prospective customers. Those partners fall into the VAR, agent, MSP and TSB models. They spread out fairly evenly between the Americas (33%), EMEA (26%) and APAC (41%).

The responses show an interesting trend: Partners are caring less and less about margins when considering the products they sell. Cato asked partners to list their top three priorities for picking a security vendor. Scalability, ease of management and ease of integration landed in the top three. Product margins, on the other hand, landed eighth. One cause, the authors surmised is that, “the overhead of delivering appliances often outweigh the margins in selling them.”

That data fit well with what we’ve seen market research firms say about the future of network hardware. Dell’Oro Group concluded that hardware-based access routers declined in the first six months of 2021. More than 60% of partners Cato interviewed said they consider reselling security appliances a “risky business.”

It’s worth noting, however, that 38% of partners picked competitive pricing as a key priority.

Matthew Toth, president of the Cato partner C3 Technology Advisors, touched on the importance of vendor support in a recent article about the habits of successful channel managers. For Toth and many other partners, a vendor’s ability to successfully help the customer through the entire sales lifecycle can trump product and pricing.

C3's Matthew Toth

C3’s Matthew Toth

“I don’t care how good your product is. If you don’t have a [channel manager] that can put one foot in front of the next, we’re never bringing this guy in. I don’t care if you’re selling the most amazing UCaaS product that costs 50 cents a month,” Toth said.

Partners also expressed the expectation that customers will turn to SASE en masse. Eighty-five percent said SASE will become customers’ preferred choice.

Hall, Kyle_Resourcive

Resourcive’s Kyle Hall

“From my perspective, I’m seeing a lot fewer clients choose to buy and deploy a box,” Kyle Hall, president of Resourcive told Channel Futures last year. “They seem really interested in procuring it as a service.”


Jan 18

Cybereason Rolls Out Pay As You Grow Program for MSSP Partners

By | Managed Services News

The program offers an alternative to billing models based on annual subscriptions.

Cybereason has launched its new Pay As You Grow (PAYG) program for MSSP partners, providing financial flexibility to increase margins and profitability.

PAYG is available for elite and premier Cybereason MSSP partners. It offers several tiers designed to help them grow their business depending on their business goals for today and tomorrow.

The program offers a monthly billing model based on the number of endpoint sensors in use. It offers an alternative to billing models based on annual subscriptions.

Stephan Tallent is Cybereason‘s vice president of MSSP for North America.

Cybereason's Stephan Tallent

Cybereason’s Stephan Tallent

“The MSSP partner feedback Cybereason received and requests from new partners who want to move their business to our endpoint detection and response/extended detection and response (EDR/XDR) platform led to the launch of PAYG,” he said.

Cybereason asked partners what they do and don’t like about competitive programs, Tallent said.

“This feedback drove the nature of what we put together,” he said.

The no-commit PAYG model provides a low-risk path for partners to move their business to Cybereason, Tallent said. They can migrate to the PAYG model to evolve into greater profits as they grow a stable install base.

Program Features

PAYG offers:

  • Reduced barriers to entry for MSSPs looking to sell Cybereason solutions.
  • A viable migration option for partners using competitor PAYG programs.
  • A simplified licensing model and incentives for partners to accelerate the growth of their Cybereason business.
  • Access to dedicated support resources.

“The new program gives MSSPs a competitive edge in the space,” Tallent said. “Making available the highest efficacy, most efficient technology available in a consumption model helps partners keep their customers safe, while keeping their service cost effective, yet profitable. The Cybereason platform offers a smooth conversion path for partners from incident response to recurring revenue in detection and response services. So the same tools they would use to discover the root cause and extent of an incident, they can use for ongoing mitigation, and detection and response services.”

The launch of PAYG will attract more partners, he said. That’s because they’ll be able to buy Cybereason like they sell it, at a monthly fee.

Heather Lantz is senior vice president of cybersecurity services at Ascend Technologies.

“Ascend Technologies is always looking for partners that are dedicated to innovation and continued growth,” she said. “From their cutting-edge technology to the operational process improvements over the last few years, Cybereason has shown their commitment to their partner program. As a longstanding Cybereason partner, we are excited about the future roadmap, these alignments and the opportunities they will bring for both companies.”