Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Sep 16

American Tower Courts Agents, VARs to Sell Edge Data Center Colocation

By | Managed Services News

“[Partners] have struggled to find reputable data center space for their clients,” American Tower’s director of business development said.

American Tower launched a new channel program to help partners sell its edge data center services.

The real estate investment trust (REIT) on Thursday unveiled the Data Center Channel Partner program, which caters to both reseller and agent partners. The company is making the push into the channel as it tries to lure business customers.

Agents can earn evergreen commissions, and resellers can earn discounts depending on how many racks they take down. The program also includes market development fund opportunities. The barrier to entry is low, as American Tower is only asking for partners to hold a basic cloud certification from elsewhere in the industry. Fox said partners won’t face any competition from direct sales, although American Tower can provide sales engineers to help them with deals.

The company last year announced a new. American Tower in March announced its first service distributor partnership and a partner relationship manager tool. More recently American Tower has appointed Halle Shurland as channel sales manager. It has also tapped the JS Group to help it design its program.


American Tower boasts the large cell phone tower collection in the world. It owns the property and structure of approximately 42,000 sites in the U.S., and leases space to the largest wireless carriers and about 1,000 smaller carriers and government agencies. Historically the company has not invested much in sales, as the towers tend to “sell themselves,” according to David Fox, director of business development.

American Tower’s David Fox

“When the bulk of your revenue really only comes from 5-6 customers depending where you are, you really don’t need a huge sales force,” Fox said.

But as of 2019 American Tower has been offering data center services in an effort to build residual revenue. The company builds the “edge data centers” at the base of its towers.

However, these edge data centers cater to a different type customer than what American Tower traditionally serves. That is the enterprise, which Fox defines as any company that’s not a major cell phone carrier or data center provider. And because American Tower traditionally keeps its SGNA low, it will be banking on the channel to scale.

“We are not going to build a huge sales force to do that. We want to build all of that through the channel,” Fox said.

JS Group's Janet Schijns

JS Group’s Janet Schijns

JS Group CEO Janet Schijns called American Tower’s indirect sales efforts a “game-changer.”

“I truly think there’s a revolution coming in edge compute, and the channel is very central in that as they work with customers to get closer data and have lower latency, ” Schijns said. “This is fundamentally going to shift how partners have the services and solutions that they need available in their local market.”

The Offering

American Tower currently operates seven data centers: two in Atlanta, two in Colorado, one in Austin, Texas, one in Jacksonville, Florida, and one in Pittsburgh. Fox said the majority of the data centers reside in tier II and II cities. He said

“We know that those areas can be underserved at times, and we’re looking to provide compute, storage and things for those communities so they don’t have to put it all on some regional [data center] somewhere far away or have to get on a plane to see their equipment,” he said.

Similarly, channel partners have faced the same scarcity when it comes to colocation.

“They’ve struggled to find reputable data center space for their clients,” Fox said. “This is really transformational for the partners to be able to have inventory in their local market.”


Sep 15

Channel Futures Presents Top Minority-Owned MSPs

By | Managed Services News

This list features the minority-owned businesses from our MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists, as well as all 2021 applicants.

We are proud to present our minority-owned list, derived from the 2021 MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists, as well as the entire applicant pool. This series of lists represent our partners who are part of underrepresented groups in the channel, such as women, people of color and veterans.

We start with our slideshow above to view minority-owned shops. Our woman- and veteran-owned lists will follow.

Don’t forget to register for our DE&I Workshop: Step In & Step Up, coming up on Sept. 28th. Register now!

Sep 15

Zoomtopia Partner Connect: New Zoom Phone Reseller Program Unveiled

By | Managed Services News

Zoom will welcome a wider pool of resellers to the program by the end of the year.

At Tuesday’s Zoomtopia Partner Connect, Zoom unveiled a new reseller partner program for Zoom Phone Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC).

The program offers a new revenue opportunity for resellers and more flexibility to customers. Resellers can sell Zoom Phone BYOC licenses.

They will also be able to connect customers who use cloud peering to access PSTN to Zoom Phone Provider Exchange. That’s a new way to find providers and follow a self-service journey to provision phone numbers securely.

Zoom is running a pilot program for select resellers that meet the requirements to sell Zoom Phone BYOC. It expects to welcome a wider pool of resellers by the end of the year.

Zoom Phone BYOC Offers Choice

Built on Zoom’s platform, Zoom Phone is a cloud phone system for businesses of all sizes. With Zoom Phone BYOC, customers can keep their current PSTN service providers by redirecting existing voice circuits to the Zoom Phone cloud, or implement a hybrid solution with Zoom Calling Plans.

Previously, only Zoom master agents could refer deals for Zoom Phone and Zoom Phone BYOC. Now Zoom’s reseller partners globally who meet the requirements and qualify will be authorized to resell Zoom Phone BYOC.

Zoom Phone BYOC customers who use cloud peering to connect to PSTN will also soon be able to access Zoom Phone Provider Exchange. It offers a streamlined experience for Zoom Phone BYOC customers to select the provider of their choice, download their app, and provision phone numbers directly in the Zoom portal. As a result, Zoom Phone BYOC customers will have more choice and flexibility in terms of providers and their geographic reach, the company said.

To learn more, we spoke with Laura Padilla, Zoom’s head of global business development and channel.

Channel Futures: What prompted the need for and the timing of the reseller program expansion? Can you give some examples of how the expansion will benefit Zoom’s reseller partners?

Zoom's Laura Padilla

Zoom’s Laura Padilla

Laura Padilla: Our partner program continues to grow and evolve, and we have very strong interest in Zoom Phone. In fact, we achieved 2 million Zoom Phone seats in just 10 quarters. And in our last quarter, Q2 FY22, our partners drove more than one-fourth of Zoom Phone sales globally. We believe our reseller partners can further the adoption of Zoom Phone as they act as a trusted adviser to businesses making UCaaS decisions across the globe. This is one of the many reasons we created this route to market for them.

Scroll through our slideshow above for more about the new reseller program and more from Zoomtopia Partner Exchange.

Sep 15

Broadvoice, RingCentral Clean Up at Sandler Partners Awards

By | Managed Services News

And an executive at a big carrier took home top channel chief honors.

Broadvoice and RingCentral won big in Sandler Partners‘ latest partner awards.

Broadvoice claimed the service distributor’s MVP award at Sandler’s recent National Summit. In addition, Broadvoice took home an award for operational excellence.

RingCentral also doubled up on awards, earning the largest revenue growth with Sandler and winning best unified communications supplier. They joined 8×8, Zoom, Comcast, Spectrum, Broadvoice and Dyopath in the list of vendors winning awards.

Be sure to read our recent compilation of “Top Partners: Best of the Best,” featuring channel partners and suppliers recognized for their achievements with numerous companies in the industry.
AT&T's Chris Jones

AT&T’s Chris Jones

Furthermore, Chris Jones of AT&T won Most Influential Channel Leader.

Supplier Awards

  • Operational Excellence – Broadvoice
  • Top New Providers – 8×8 and Zoom
  • Largest Revenue Growth – RingCentral
  • Best of Cloud – Dyopath
  • Best of Cable – Comcast
  • Best of Fiber – Spectrum
  • Best of Unified Communications – RingCentral
  • Provider MVP – Broadvoice

Personnel Awards

  • Midwest Channel Manager of the Year – Jonathan Protass
  • New England Channel Manager of the Year – Scott Dragonetti
  • Metro New York Channel Manager of the Year – George Sountas
  • Mid-Atlantic Channel Manager of the Year – Bill Alessi
  • Great Lakes Channel Manager of the Year – Kirk Whitney
  • Southwest Channel Manager of the Year – Joyce Sherlock
  • West Coast Channel Manager of the Year – Hillary Corno
  • Southwest Channel Manager of the Year – Chris Simmons
  • National Channel Manager of the Year – Preston Carpenter
  • Most Influential Channel Leader – Chris Jones

The Event

Sandler hosted the event in Huntington Beach, California, and virtually, on Sept. 13. More than 800 people attended, including the remote attendees. Sandler executives said the activities largely took place outside for meals and networking. We wrote last week about the status of fall channel events.

Sandler earlier this year landed in the Inc. 5000 for the 12th consecutive time. The company reported a 40% three-year growth.

Sep 15

Ooma Adds Aircall, Avaya Vet as Channel Sales Manager

By | Managed Services News

The new channel manager helped establish Aircall’s first channel program in North America.

Ooma has hired Cary Bush, previously with Aircall and Avaya, as a channel sales manager covering the central United States.

Bush is an experienced channel sales professional with a history of supporting channel partners and their customer relationships.

Ooma's Cary Bush

Ooma’s Cary Bush

Bush joins Ooma from Aircall, a cloud-based call center and phone system. There, he successfully led efforts to establish the company’s first channel program in North America. He accomplished this by recruiting several national master agent partners and establishing programs with reseller partners.

Prior to Aircall, Bush worked at several technology companies, including CafeX Communications, Genband, ThinkingPhones and Avaya. A 20-plus-year channel tech veteran, Bush’s experience crosses all sectors of the channel from VARs and MSPs, to SIs and ISVs.

Bush said taking this role with Ooma was a “simple choice after having met many of the industry veterans on the Ooma team.”

“I’m very excited to contribute and help Ooma grow our reach in the channel,” he said.

Pursuing New Partnerships

As an Ooma channel sales manager, Bush will increase channel sales. He’ll also pursue new and productive partnerships from Tennessee up through the Great Lakes region.

“Having been at a point position of recruiting new channel relationships in the past, I’m happy to leverage those professional relationships and friendships to build on the already successful channel program at Ooma,” he said.

At the top of Bush’s to-do list is letting the channel community know how Ooma is “one of the best kept secrets” in cloud communications.

“Ooma has a full menu of cloud-based communications and connectivity solutions,” he said. “But I’m probably most excited to educate our partners on our specific strength in solution engineering. Because of our collective experience and living/working through so many technology changes in the last couple of decades, we are uniquely positioned to offer a best-in-class service delivery to our customers, which is truly one of the most compelling reasons that channel partners choose Ooma to introduce to their clients.”

Dave Beagle is Ooma‘s head of channel program.

“At Ooma, we continue to grow our channel sales team,” he said. “And we’re excited that an industry veteran like Cary has joined us. Cary is a proven channel advocate that will provide our partners with the exceptional support they have come to expect from us.”

Sep 15

Dell Focused On Flexibility with Latest PowerScale Updates

By | Managed Services News

Dell addresses the challenges of managing unstructured data with additions to its NAS solution.

Dell Technologies is tackling the management of unstructured data with several updates to its Dell EMC PowerScale NAS solution.

Dell says the enhancements provide more flexible consumption, management, protection and security capabilities to eliminate data silos.

New PowerScale hybrid (H700, H7000) and archive nodes (A300 and A3000) deliver up to 75% more performance than comparable hybrid nodes. They also deliver up to twice the performance of comparable archive nodes, the company said. This completes the refresh of the Isilon product line that started last year. This began with the release of the PowerScale all-flash F200 and F600 nodes and continued with the announcement of the PowerScale F900 all-flash nodes.

New PowerScale OneFS and DataIQ software enhancements expand storage management, performance monitoring, auditing and compliance capabilities to simplify file storage at scale. This delivers an improved user experience for large scale clusters and UI enhancements for ease of navigation, says Dell. It also has​ the ability to run reports to analyze volumes by time stamps.

Elsewhere, there are enhancements to Dell’s API-integrated ransomware protection capabilities, with cloud deployment options in addition to on-premises.

There is now also Dynamic NAS Protection available with PowerProtect Data Manager. This delivers enhanced backup for file data enabling up to three-times faster backups and up to two-times faster restores.

Flexibility to Manage Unstructured Data

David Noy, VP of product management, unstructured data solutions, Dell Technologies, announced the updates in a blog Wednesday.

Dell's David Noy

Dell’s David Noy

He said an “uber” trend in file-based storage is the need for flexibility. It must support a mix of enterprise file-based workloads, demanding workloads such as AI/ML/DL or traditional uses like file consolidation and archives.

“Whether it’s managing demanding GPU or public cloud workloads, retaining critical data at the lowest cost, or protecting data from cyberattacks, enterprises need a storage infrastructure that provides a supporting management and protection strategy that can handle the most demanding and critical data-rich file workloads, without creating storage silos. Your scale-out file storage solution needs to consolidate your unstructured data into a single data lake where it is easy to keep the data connected, managed, protected and secure, ready for the most demanding enterprise workloads,” wrote Noy.

He said organizations need “a supporting management and protection strategy that can handle the most demanding and critical data-rich file workloads, without creating storage silos.”

Scale-out file storage needs to consolidate unstructured data into a single data lake, he said. This is “where it is easy to keep the data connected, managed, protected and secure, ready for the most demanding enterprise workloads.”


Sep 15

Dialpad Beefs Up Contact Center with Kare Knowledgeware Acquisition

By | Managed Services News

Kare Knowledgeware improves contact center self-service functionality.

Dialpad has acquired Kare Knowledgeware to enable new self-service, automated engagement and augmented agents in Dialpad Contact Center.

Kare Knowledgeware is a customer experience (CX) platform that optimizes workflow orchestration, knowledge management, analytics and business intelligence.

The acquisition and integration of Kare Knowledgeware into Dialpad Contact Center broadens the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) throughout the Dialpad platform. It will enable conversational AI, and elevate both the customer and agent experience, the company said.

Kare Knowledgeware aims to improve self-service functionality. It does so by organizing unstructured data and automating responses to common customer inquiries. The application of Kare Knowledgeware technology can resolve inbound support traffic handled by Kare by up to 95%. In addition, it can increase online revenue by as much as 10% through self-service.

Dialpad didn’t disclose financial details of the acquisition.

Improved Self-Service Functionality

Mike Kane is Dialpad‘s senior vice president of global channel sales.

Dialpad's Mike Kane

Dialpad’s Mike Kane

“The addition of Kare to the Dialpad platform will enable us to deliver more intelligent, conversational experiences for customer self-service, and for augmented agent success, helping them both find better answers, faster,” he said. “Consequently, channel partners now have new opportunities with an even stronger contact center offering from Dialpad, the one place for a truly unified communications as a service (TruCaaS) experience — one app to tap. Dialpad helps companies simplify business communications and collaboration.”

Dialpad is investing in self-service functionality and conversational AI to address customer questions before they escalate to the support-call level with a live agent.

The Dialpad-Kare self-service solution will usee AI and robotic process automation (RPA) to bring websites and knowledge bases to life through AI-powered customer and agent real-time assistance. It will address common customer inquiries with readily-available resources.

The Dialpad-Kare solution will provide partners with a compelling competitive advantage tool for their customers, Kane said. This, in turn, equates to a formidable advantage for partners.

Kare Knowledgeware a ‘Perfect Fit’

Dialpad is always looking for innovative technology to enhance its stack, Kane said. One area of interest in the CCaaS market is digital deflection, or the ability to respond to digital requests using digital channels.

Kare Knowledgeware turned out to be a “perfect fit,” he said.

With this acquisition, Dialpad takes a considerable step forward in adding this self-service capability, Kane noted.

“Dialpad and Kare Knowledgeware are working quickly to integrate with a rapid go-to-market strategy and execution plan already in place,” he said. “Stay tuned for more exciting announcements from Dialpad, putting more tools into our channel partners’ sales toolboxes.”

Tim Porter is founder and CEO of Kare Knowledgeware. He said Dialpad is a “fast-rising organization dedicated to radically transforming digital customer experiences.”

“The unified communication and CX markets are ripe environments for innovation, and we look forward to driving both of these industries forward as a key part of Dialpad,” he said.

Sep 15

3 Ways Tech Alliance Programs Accelerate MSP Success

By | Managed Services News

Tech alliance programs should matter more today to MSPs. Here’s why.

N-able's Tyler McDonald

Tyler McDonald

Many would agree the right partnerships are powerful and can help you operate more efficiently to scale your success. Yet the heavy lifting it takes to establish such relationships and build out a highly engaged ecosystem is often undervalued and deserving of more attention.

Today’s customers – and more broadly the global economy – bank on an unwritten promise that the varied technology we use daily will effectively work in tandem and maintain security. Wrong. These two simple but complex expectations can prove difficult to establish, especially when you consider the cybersecurity battlefield and staying power of remote working.

MSPs and the platform providers they rely on are under enormous pressure to make IT work seamless and secure, regardless of device or location. As the hub within an MSP’s managed services practice, the remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform is pivotal to enabling their success and keeping the network controlled and secure. But what lies quietly beneath, and sometimes also across the top of a successful RMM platform, is a carefully planned ecosystem of technology and marketing alliances that many don’t take advantage of and others simply don’t realize is there for the taking.

Here are three reasons why technology alliance programs should matter more today to MSPs:

  1. Smarter spending. Outside of a general good vibe on the providers playing well together, a good alliance program helps the MSP save time and money vetting complementary brands and aggregating information they need to incorporate into their business story. This is no easy undertaking. A good ecosystem of alliance partners is expensive to maintain, but it helps MSPs show up stronger and more secure. It also helps partners be better prepared for road map enhancements, including the introduction of new products or innovation cycles — again, saving time, money, and sometimes the tech’s sanity.
  2. Standardizing on success. Managing more of the same is a recipe for success many MSPs take for granted. Going deep into one type of customer breeds efficiency and scale. Standardizing on a proven provider ecosystem does too — saving an MSP time on selecting the right technology while strengthening security measures and streamlining workflows. Imagine the efficiency if you managed the same or similar software, hardware and solutions across your client base. The ability to scale your services becomes natural, and the experience improves for your team and your customers.
  3. Maximizing security and building more value. Developed integrations and formal go-to-market alliances help MSPs extend the life cycle and functionality of the solutions they market, sell and manage. These integrations help ensure each system’s security is better aligned for synchronization versus disrupting capabilities and exposing the customer to a vulnerability — or causing one service to fail.

With so much riding on deployed technology, tapping into a proven ecosystem of tech alliances is an accelerant to success MSPs can’t afford to ignore.

Tyler McDonald is director of business development, N-able. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Sep 14

HPE Hires VMware Vet as CTO to Manage GreenLake Platform

By | Managed Services News

The new CTO will lead HPE’s innovation agenda and technology road map.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) has hired VMware vet Fidelma Russo as chief technology officer (CTO) for the company.

As CTO, Russo will lead HPE’s innovation agenda and technology roadmap. She’ll also manage the design and development of the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform.

HPE's Fidelma Russo

HPE’s Fidelma Russo

Russo’s track record in the technology sector includes 30 years of experience and leadership in cloud services, IT business operations, software and infrastructure.

Russo previously was senior vice president and general manager of VMware‘s cloud services business unit. Before that, she was CTO and executive vice president of global technology and operations at Iron Mountain.

In addition, she held senior leadership positions at Dell EMC, HP and Sun Microsystems.

“I am thrilled to be joining HPE, a company with a deep heritage of innovation that is now at another transformational moment in the industry,” Russo said. “I look forward to working with our leadership, engineers, developers, customers and partners as we focus on delivering solutions that provide a unified as-a-service experience, from edge to cloud.”

Russo will join HPE as CTO on Sept. 20.

Antonio Neri is HPE‘s president and CEO.

“We are excited for Fidelma to join the HPE team in this important role,” he said. “Her diverse experience makes her distinctively suited to drive innovation as we accelerate our transformation and bring differentiated solutions to the market.”

In July, HPE announced it’s buying Zerto for $374 million, citing data as the organization’s “most critical asset.”

Sep 14

Okta Vet to Lead LogMeIn Partners, Channel Sales Growth Strategy

By | Managed Services News

The new channel chief has big plans for enhancing LogMeIn’s global partner program.

LogMeIn partners have a new global channel chief with the appointment of Okta vet Patrick McCue as global vice president of channel sales.

McCue will lead LogMeIn’s high-growth strategy for channel sales and foster relationships with key partners.

LogMeIn's Patrick McCue

LogMeIn’s Patrick McCue

McCue has more than 15 years of channel leadership experience across the software industry. He joins LogMeIn from Okta, where he spent five years as senior vice president of worldwide partnerships.

Before Okta, he was senior vice president of global channels and alliances at Gigya, which was acquired by SAP. In addition, he had channel leadership roles with ExactTarget, which was acquired by Salesforce, and QlikTech.

Elevating the Partner Experience

Bill Wagner is LogMeIn‘s president and CEO.

“Our partners are incredibly valuable stakeholders within our organization,” he said. “And we are dedicated to enhancing their experience at every touch point and continuing to expand our partner channel. With Patrick’s knowledge and passion for building and developing partner relationships, we have the potential to reach more customers than ever before and further elevate our partner experience.”

In a Q&A with Channel Futures, McCue talks about what LogMeIn partners can expect from him in the months ahead.

Channel Futures: Why did you want to take this role with LogMeIn?

Patrick McCue: I joined LogMeIn because the company has amazing products, a strong global team and the right strategy to continue to scale. With the renewed focus on partners, and the team’s dedication to creating new value and growth opportunities for success, I saw this as a great opportunity.

CF: How will your experience with Okta come into play in this new role?

PM: When I joined Okta, the partners were not a big part of the company’s business or strategy. In fact, I was brought on to launch their first partner program and build a successful channel business. Growing and further enhancing the partner program is also a huge opportunity here at LogMeIn, and one I’m excited to take on.

CF: What’s your take on LogMeIn’s channel strategy and partner program? Can LogMeIn partners expect changes, a new partner program, etc.?

PM: LogMeIn’s partner program has traditionally focused on a small subset of our products. My team and I have big plans to further enhance the global program to support additional LogMeIn products and go-to-market motions. So stay tuned for some exciting updates.

CF: What’s at the top of your to-do list?

PM: Right now, it is all about meeting, listening and understanding. I plan on doing this around the five Ps – people (both internal to the partner team as well as other teams), partners, processes, programs and products.

CF: What’s your take on the current communications and collaboration market? Is there room for LogMeIn to take more market share?

PM: While there is certainly market share for the unified communication and collaboration (UCC) space, what differentiates LogMeIn is that we don’t just play in that space. LogMeIn offers great UCC products, like GoToConnect and GoToMeeting. But we can also support remote workers’ IT needs with LogMeIn Rescue and secure their online identities with LastPass. It’s really the combination of all our products that makes us unique.

CF: Who are LogMeIn’s biggest competitors, and how will you give LogMeIn partners a competitive advantage?

PM: We have competitors in all three markets: UCC, engagement and support, and identity and access. However, as I said, what makes LogMeIn unique is that we offer all these flexible work and security tools from a single provider. There’s really no one else with a mix that helps support workers this way.