Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jun 08

DE&I Awareness to Action: 10 Keys to that First Step

By | Managed Services News

An all-star panel of thought leaders offer expert insights and advice on putting a DEI program into action.

What’s so hard about moving from DE&I awareness to action? After all, it’s only one step. Why are so many companies hesitant to take it?

During the Channel Futures workshop, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Business Success,” a powerhouse panel of DE&I experts leaders considered the issue.

JS Group's Michelle McBain

JS Group’s Michelle McBain

AWS' Modupé Congleton

AWS’ Modupé Congleton

Union College's Christa Grant

Union College’s Christa Grant

The all-star panel was moderated by Michelle McBain, vice president of global channel and digital strategy for JS Group. She is also a member of the Alliance of Channel Women (ACW) and the Allies of the Channel Council, which collaborated with Channel Futures on the session.

Cisco's Michelle Witherspoon

Cisco’s Michelle Witherspoon

CompTIA's Yvette Steele

CompTIA’s Yvette Steele

Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster

Joining McBain were five industry and DE&I thought leaders. Modupé Congleton is head of inclusion, diversity and equity sales and marketing at AWS. Dr. Christa Grant is assistant dean for intercultural affairs and chief diversity officer for student affairs at Union College. Gavriella Schuster is corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft. In November 2020, she presented the TEDx talk, “BeCOME an Ally: How to Achieve Gender Equality.” Yvette Steele is director of member communities and the diversity, equity and inclusion strategist at CompTIA. And Michelle Witherspoon is chief of culture, people, diversity and operations at Cisco.

During the 45-minute session, the panel discussed topics that included inspiring leaders to promote DE&I, common misconceptions about DE&I programs, the role of employee resource groups (ERGs) and women’s continuing struggle with gender inequity in the tech industry.

Our slideshow above offers the top 10 takeaways on the panel’s discussion of moving from DE&I awareness to action.

 

Jun 08

N-able Empower Day 1: How to Grow Your Business

By | Managed Services News

Nuggets included how to add constant value to your customers, and spending your dollars on protection at the endpoint.

N-ABLE EMPOWER — N-able kicked off its virtual Empower event kicked off Tuesday, with sessions that highlighted the need for endpoint security, underpinning the underlying success of your customers, and building a solid game plan. Speakers touched on actionable insights on how to grow your business in today’s weird, shifting landscape.

SolarWinds MSP rebranded as N-able back in January as part of a spin-out from parent company SolarWinds. The company’s decision to rebrand as N-able extends the roots of what SolarWinds is as a company.

Dave Weeks, senior director, partner experience, N-able, started the conference. He talked about some partner program updates the company designed to benefit partners in the coming year. These include technologies that assist in things like license procurement and management, managing sales and marketing leads, and more. John Pagliuca, president of N-able, emphasized the importance of making sure you have an offering and a platform that can scale with you.

Robert Herjavec, founder of the Herjavec Group (and a “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank), touched on success as an MSP through the entrepreneurship lens. N-able’s new CTO, Mike Adler, shared what he is considering for 2021. He also shared some new technology areas the company is taking on and how it will benefit partners. 

Our slideshow above features some of the most interesting things said on the virtual stage at N-able Empower day one. 

Jun 08

Proofpoint Protect: Rising Vendor, Partner Revenues Amid COVID-19

By | Managed Services News

Proofpoint announced several people-centric innovations across its three flagship platforms.

PROOFPOINT PROTECT — The kickoff of this week’s Proofpoint Protect 2021 highlighted the cybersecurity vendor’s continued growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thoma Bravo is acquiring Proofpoint for a whopping $12.3 billion. The companies anticipate the acquisition will close in the third quarter of 2021.

Also during Proofpoint Protect, the vendor announced several people-centric innovations across its three flagship platforms. Those are threat protection, compliance, and the new information protection and cloud security.

Vendor Milestones

Gary Steele is Proofpoint‘s CEO.

Proofpoint's Gary Steele

Proofpoint’s Gary Steele

“[Last] October, we were the first cybersecurity SaaS company to surpass $1 billion in trailing, 12-month revenue,” he said. “Fast-forwarding to February, we acquired a really interesting company, and something that we’re excited to be talking about, InteliSecure. It has traditionally offered managed services for enterprise data loss prevention (DLP) customers. We were excited about this simply because we could bring this tremendous talent into Proofpoint to help our customers transition from those legacy environments to this people-centric enterprise DLP solution.”

Proofpoint “powered through” the pandemic “quite nicely,” Steele said.

“We continued to drive this long track record of growth,” he said. “We crested over 3,700 employees and we continued to hire through the pandemic. And one of the things I did early on when the pandemic broke is we made a commitment to our employees that we wouldn’t be laying anyone off, and we didn’t. Not only did we not lay people off, but we continued to add to all those critical functions that touch customers.”

High Renewal, Adoption Rates

Proofpoint added to R&D, customer service and customer support, Steele said.

“We continued to drive a very high renewal rate, greater than 90%, and we see broader adoption of our product line by our customers, with today over 70% of our customers having three of our products,” he said. “I feel very good about the position we’re in today as we can can start to feel like we’re emerging from this pandemic.”

Proofpoint's Joe Sykora

Proofpoint’s Joe Sykora

Joe Sykora is Proofpoint’s senior vice president of worldwide channel and partner sales.

“Now is an excellent time to partner with Proofpoint,” he said. “We have an award-winning partner program and industry leading cybersecurity and compliance solutions taking a people-centric approach. We continue to innovate and redefine the industry with our three flagship platforms. Proofpoint’s partners play a critical strategic role in our growth strategy as we continue to expand into new markets and offer new solutions. Our partner revenue and contribution is increasing.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for highlights from Proofpoint Protect. 

Jun 08

DE&I Awareness to Action: 10 Keys to that First Step

By | Managed Services News

An all-star panel of thought leaders offer expert insights and advice on putting a DEI program into action.

What’s so hard about moving from DE&I awareness to action? After all, it’s only one step. Why are so many companies hesitant to take it?

During the Channel Futures workshop, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Business Success,” a powerhouse panel of DE&I experts leaders considered the issue.

JS Group's Michelle McBain

JS Group’s Michelle McBain

AWS' Modupé Congleton

AWS’ Modupé Congleton

Union College's Christa Grant

Union College’s Christa Grant

The all-star panel was moderated by Michelle McBain, vice president of global channel and digital strategy for JS Group. She is also a member of the Alliance of Channel Women (ACW) and the Allies of the Channel Council, which collaborated with Channel Futures on the session.

Cisco's Michelle Witherspoon

Cisco’s Michelle Witherspoon

CompTIA's Yvette Steele

CompTIA’s Yvette Steele

Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster

Joining McBain were five industry and DE&I thought leaders. Modupé Congleton is head of inclusion, diversity and equity sales and marketing at AWS. Dr. Christa Grant is assistant dean for intercultural affairs and chief diversity officer for student affairs at Union College. Gavriella Schuster is corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft. In November 2020, she presented the TEDx talk, “BeCOME an Ally: How to Achieve Gender Equality.” Yvette Steele is director of member communities and the diversity, equity and inclusion strategist at CompTIA. And Michelle Witherspoon is chief of culture, people, diversity and operations at Cisco.

During the 45-minute session, the panel discussed topics that included inspiring leaders to promote DE&I, common misconceptions about DE&I programs, the role of employee resource groups (ERGs) and women’s continuing struggle with gender inequity in the tech industry.

Our slideshow above offers the top 10 takeaways on the panel’s discussion of moving from DE&I awareness to action.

 

Jun 08

Cisco Targets Hybrid Work with Revamped, Newly Branded Webex Suite

By | Managed Services News

Partners will receive new incentives when their customers increase Webex usage.

Cisco just took the wraps off its revamped calling, messaging and virtual meeting solution with its new Webex Suite. Now integrated into a common platform, Cisco launched Webex Suite Tuesday with polling and a new live event hosting platform.

Webex Suite is Cisco’s effort to tap customers who flocked to Zoom and Microsoft Teams, among others, during the pandemic. Cisco, which also launched a new Webex brand and logo, said it has added 800 usability and management enhancements. Also, Cisco said the entire Webex Suite, available immediately, is priced 40% less than the piecemeal components.

Included in the suite but set for rollout this summer is a new platform to host events. In December, the Webex suite will include polling capabilities. Furthermore, in August, look for improved audio that can filter out unwanted sounds, among numerous other features.

Jeetu Patel, general manager of Cisco’s collaboration and security business, led Tuesday’s virtual Webex Suite launch. Citing various studies, Patel anticipates that entire workforces working at home will shift to more hybrid work environments.  For example, before COVID-19, he said only 8% of meetings had at least one participant fail to show up. Looking forward, that will be the case for 98% of meetings.

Cisco's Jeetu Patel

Cisco’s Jeetu Patel

“I believe Cisco is in the best position and has the most comprehensive solution for a hybrid pattern of work,” Patel said. “It starts with a strategy with Webex that’s around an application suite that’s comprehensive, has capabilities around calling messaging, meetings and much, much more. And all of this rich functionality that we have, and that we continue to keep adding to, should also be made available through APIs and SDKs so that platform can interoperate with other applications.”

TECHnalysis Research chief analyst Bob O’Donnell believes the enhancements will make Webex Suite stand out.

Techanalysis's Bob O'Donnell

Techanalysis’s Bob O’Donnell

“Cisco is taking a big step forward along the path of enabling a complete platform and new environment for future methods of collaborative work,” in a post by O’Donnell first published by Seeking Alpha. “Recognizing that merely adding lots of relatively modest enhancements is a challenging strategy for the long term, the company instead is now tying together several larger assets (including those acquired from Slido and Socio) into a more comprehensive offering.”

Partners Incentivized for More Usage

As part of the launch, Cisco is stepping up its efforts to encourage greater usage of Webex Suite. Cisco is launching new incentives for partners when customers increase their usage of Webex. As a customer uses Webex more, Cisco will give partners free Webex services and equipment for their internal use.

Cisco's Kristyn Hogan

Cisco’s Kristyn Hogan

“We want to get this in the hands of all of our partners, but we’ve tiered it in a way that if you’re a really big partner, selling a ton of collab, we’re going to give you a really large amount of Cisco collaboration software to realize the value and sell that value to your customers,” said Krystin Hogan, Cisco’s head of global collaboration partner sales.

“All of this innovation we’re announcing does not matter at all if our customers aren’t turning it on and using it after they’ve purchased it,” she told Channel Futures. “We’ve put a huge focus as it relates to collab on really incenting and making that life cycle motion profitable for our partners.”

Cisco will also pay partners when customers increase their active use of Webex by 20% or more per month.

“If you achieve that threshold, you get paid,” Hogan said. “We strongly believe that that’s a partner-led motion versus Cisco.”

That incentive program is in pilot with 10 customers, she said.

Increasing usage is critical, she added. That’s because customers who activate Webex, but don’t use all of its features, will be less likely to renew. Hogan said now is the time partners should persuade customers to use Webex rather than Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

“We’re really seeing a lot of these customers who maybe made a very quick decision to standardize on Zoom or Microsoft take a step back with a long-range strategic view,” Hogan said.

New Webex Brand Emphasizing Inclusion

Webex logoThe new Webex brand seeks to underscore a significance of the new suite and the transition in how people work. Moreover, tt was inspired by a theme of inclusion, according to a post by Cisco Webex CMO Aruna Ravuchandran.

Ravuchandran noted that the “W” in the new Webex logo is a rotating double helix. She described it as “the perfect metaphor for teams in flow, each member participating and contributing equally to create something wonderful.”

 

Jun 08

DE&I Awareness to Action: 10 Keys to that First Step

By | Managed Services News

An all-star panel of thought leaders offer expert insights and advice on putting a DEI program into action.

What’s so hard about moving from DE&I awareness to action? After all, it’s only one step. Why are so many companies hesitant to take it?

During the Channel Futures workshop, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Business Success,” a powerhouse panel of DE&I experts leaders considered the issue.

JS Group's Michelle McBain

JS Group’s Michelle McBain

AWS' Modupé Congleton

AWS’ Modupé Congleton

Union College's Christa Grant

Union College’s Christa Grant

The all-star panel was moderated by Michelle McBain, vice president of global channel and digital strategy for JS Group. She is also a member of the Alliance of Channel Women (ACW) and the Allies of the Channel Council, which collaborated with Channel Futures on the session.

Cisco's Michelle Witherspoon

Cisco’s Michelle Witherspoon

CompTIA's Yvette Steele

CompTIA’s Yvette Steele

Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster

Joining McBain were five industry and DE&I thought leaders. Modupé Congleton is head of inclusion, diversity and equity sales and marketing at AWS. Dr. Christa Grant is assistant dean for intercultural affairs and chief diversity officer for student affairs at Union College. Gavriella Schuster is corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft. In November 2020, she presented the TEDx talk, “BeCOME an Ally: How to Achieve Gender Equality.” Yvette Steele is director of member communities and the diversity, equity and inclusion strategist at CompTIA. And Michelle Witherspoon is chief of culture, people, diversity and operations at Cisco.

During the 45-minute session, the panel discussed topics that included inspiring leaders to promote DE&I, common misconceptions about DE&I programs, the role of employee resource groups (ERGs) and women’s continuing struggle with gender inequity in the tech industry.

Our slideshow above offers the top 10 takeaways on the panel’s discussion of moving from DE&I awareness to action.

 

Jun 08

Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral Adds Capabilities for Global Businesses

By | Managed Services News

Avaya Cloud Office is now available in 13 countries.

Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral now includes a new range of capabilities to support companies’ expanding cloud communications needs.

Now available in 13 countries, Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral is a UCaaS solution. It allows workforces to call and connect across any device and work environment.

The updates focus on three key customer benefit areas:

  • Easy migration to cloud communications. New features include bridged call appearance, group call pickup and more.
  • New ways to connect over video. Avaya Cloud Office Rooms turns any workspace into a conference and transforms the traditional video call.
  • Global expansion capabilities. The solution now offers a European Union (EU) Essentials package, new default data residency and more global office markets.

Dennis Kozak is Avaya’s senior vice president of global channel sales.

Avaya's Dennis Kozak

Avaya’s Dennis Kozak

“Virtually all customers transitioning to UCaaS solutions want to carry forward the high-use features supported on their existing platforms,” he said. “Avaya Cloud Office continues to add more of these features with each update. Customers can benefit from new capabilities like integrated meetings and messaging without having to give up the voice features they use every day.”

Post-Pandemic Needs

Customers are moving “forward to work” post-pandemic to traditional or hybrid environments, Kozak said. With this in mind, Avaya anticipates greater need for features that support group or huddle teaming.

“Features like group call pickup, the Avaya Cloud Office Rooms feature with Avaya’s CU360 collaboration unit, and plug-and-play audio and video devices all support this transition,” he said. “Avaya also continues to deliver migration-friendly features since the first release of Avaya Cloud Office, and continues to add more with each quarterly release.”

Cloud Office offers a technology bridge for premises-based customers, Kozak said. Moreover, the new capabilities help customers adopt high-definition conference room video.

Patrick Howard is Jenne‘s vice president of vendor management and marketing.

“As both a master agent and value-added distributor for Avaya, we are excited about the new features,” he said. “By incorporating these Avaya-specific features on Avaya devices exclusively with the Avaya Cloud Office UCaaS offering, Avaya and RingCentral are delivering a best-in-class solution that allows enterprises of all sizes to migrate to the cloud while still communicating efficiently and in the manner in which they are accustomed – all accomplished with world class collaboration tools for our agents and resellers.”

Jun 08

Private Equity Firms Snapping Up ExtraHop in $900 Million Acquisition

By | Managed Services News

ExtraHop expects to add more channel sales managers and channel sales engineers internationally.

Two private equity firms are shelling out $900 million in their acquisition of ExtraHop, the network detection and response (NDR) startup.

The buyers are Bain Capital Private Equity and Crosspoint Capital Partners. Bain Capital invests in technology companies and is one of the world’s top multi-asset alternative investment firms. Crosspoint Capital focuses on cybersecurity, privacy and infrastructure software sectors.

The ExtraHop acquisition should close this summer subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

ExtraHop Acquisition to Benefit Partners

Chris Lehman is ExtraHop’s chief revenue officer.

ExtraHop's Chris Lehman

ExtraHop’s Chris Lehman

“ExtraHop has distinguished itself as the NDR choice for the channel,” he said. “And our partners are critical for achieving our mission. We remain committed to the channel and serving the needs of our global partners.”

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

ExtraHop expects to add more channel sales managers and channel sales engineers internationally, Lehman said. It also will hire additional national and regional sales managers.

ExtraHop plans to expand its awareness efforts and provide more education around the benefits of NDR, he said. It also will expand its technical differentiators to accelerate the sales cycle and time to close.

“Finally, ExtraHop plans to use the proceeds to build out its MSP program to expand both its traditional enterprise strength and into the midmarket,” Lehman said.

Strong Track Record

The private equity firms have a “strong track record” of working with later-stage growth companies, Lehman said. They capitalize on “compelling opportunities” like NDR.

“The emergence of advanced threats like software supply chain attacks and sophisticated ransomware has catalyzed a fundamental shift in cybersecurity from a prevention and protection model to active and artificial intelligence (AI)-based detection and response approach,” Lehman said. “The ExtraHop platform’s unique capabilities around detecting and remediating advanced threats, like the Sunburst software supply chain attack and sophisticated double extortion ransomware attacks like DarkSide, are exactly what attracted the attention of Bain Capital and Crosspoint.”

Doubling Down with Partners

“I want to affirm that the channel has always been foundational to ExtraHop’s go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and will remain so going forward,” Lehman said. “They are critical for achieving our mission to protect organizations against advanced threats.”

Moving forward, ExtraHop will work with partners to double down on its capabilities, he said. It will also capitalize on the wave of zero trust adoption, and invest in expanding its GTM efforts.

David Humphrey is a managing director at Bain Capital.

“As the events of the last few weeks make crystal clear, cybersecurity is now a mission-critical requirement in the strategy and operations of every organization on the planet, with enormous implications for financial and reputational well-being,” he said. “We believe that NDR is the next major cybersecurity segment and that ExtraHop has the best enterprise technology in the space.”

Jun 08

DE&I Awareness to Action: 10 Keys to that First Step

By | Managed Services News

An all-star panel of thought leaders offer expert insights and advice on putting a DEI program into action.

What’s so hard about moving from DE&I awareness to action? After all, it’s only one step. Why are so many companies hesitant to take it?

During the Channel Futures workshop, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Business Success,” a powerhouse panel of DE&I experts leaders considered the issue.

JS Group's Michelle McBain

JS Group’s Michelle McBain

AWS' Modupé Congleton

AWS’ Modupé Congleton

Union College's Christa Grant

Union College’s Christa Grant

The all-star panel was moderated by Michelle McBain, vice president of global channel and digital strategy for JS Group. She is also a member of the Alliance of Channel Women (ACW) and the Allies of the Channel Council, which collaborated with Channel Futures on the session.

Cisco's Michelle Witherspoon

Cisco’s Michelle Witherspoon

CompTIA's Yvette Steele

CompTIA’s Yvette Steele

Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster

Joining McBain were five industry and DE&I thought leaders. Modupé Congleton is head of inclusion, diversity and equity sales and marketing at AWS. Dr. Christa Grant is assistant dean for intercultural affairs and chief diversity officer for student affairs at Union College. Gavriella Schuster is corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft. In November 2020, she presented the TEDx talk, “BeCOME an Ally: How to Achieve Gender Equality.” Yvette Steele is director of member communities and the diversity, equity and inclusion strategist at CompTIA. And Michelle Witherspoon is chief of culture, people, diversity and operations at Cisco.

During the 45-minute session, the panel discussed topics that included inspiring leaders to promote DE&I, common misconceptions about DE&I programs, the role of employee resource groups (ERGs) and women’s continuing struggle with gender inequity in the tech industry.

Our slideshow above offers the top 10 takeaways on the panel’s discussion of moving from DE&I awareness to action.

 

Jun 08

Top 20 Stories in May: AWS Leader, Bullies, Michael Dell, SD-WAN Rankings

By | Managed Services News

The big cloud providers. SD-WAN and CPaaS lists. Tech racism and bullying. But what was No. 1 in May?

Is the eighth day of the month too late to publish a list of top 20 stories from the previous month? We hope not.

Our monthly countdown is once again packed with channel goodness, this time from May. As usual, this is your list, as we select the news and articles that get the most traffic. We also weigh the success of these top 20 stories in our weekly newsletter. (Sign up for that here.)

This edition features a couple of posts that continue to be “hot reads.” One is a racist tweet that led to a CRO jumping ship after six weeks on the job. Another is “outrage” over Apple’s latest iPads failing to feature 5G connectivity. There’s also Frontier’s emergence from bankruptcy, which remains a big topic of discussion.

But most are brand-new to the countdown and are very channel-centric. For instance, take AWS’ new marketplace leader, and our one-on-one with Google Cloud’s channel chief.

Then there’s a breakdown of top CPaaS companies and our list of 20 top SD-WAN providers.

Which story was No. 1? Check out our slideshow above to find out. Then, if you missed last month’s top 20 stories, go here.

 

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