Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jan 18

Big Channel M&A Update: 8×8, CDW, ConnectWise, Ingram Micro, More

By | Managed Services News

A global cloud service provider and a boutique IT services and support firm were among those acquired.

M&A news continues to dominate the channel in recent months, and December was no exception. There were some enormous deals, including the much talked about 8×8 acquisition of competitor Fuze. Although that deal was among Channel Futures’ most-read stories, the transaction didn’t have the biggest price tag. At least five of the companies we feature in the slideshow above are deals worth more than $1 billion dollars. And one is valued at close to $30 billion.

However, some channel companies were less about acquisition and more about shedding assets. Ingram Micro sold a division of its company to one of France’s largest companies. The sale is worth billions as well.

Speaking of bllions, CDW closed on its purchase of Sirius, a deal with huge MSP ramifications.

Scroll through the images above to see the latest deals in the channel. Then check out what we thought were the biggest mergers and acquisitions of 2021!

Jan 18

10 Channel People Making Waves This Week at Intel, Verizon, More

By | Managed Services News

One of our most-read stories involved criminal behavior.

Sometimes what makes a top story for the Channel Futures’ audience is obvious. A highly anticipated merger or acquisition can get the most reads. Often a channel promotion captures readers’ attention. This week, neither topics did. One of our most read and talked about stories was an editorial discussing sexual harassment in the channel. That’s why we’ve featured Dany Bouchedid, who authored the piece, in this week’s Channel People Making Waves.

Of course, our analytics showed foundational stories making an impact, too. The founders of Bridgepointe Technologies are showcased because the company has received a sizeable investment. It’s part of the trend — private equity is becoming a key player in the channel.

When it comes to cybersecurity, it seems as if each week we publish a story of note. For this week, CF talked to two experts who can keep us on track regarding the log4j attacks. Their expertise provides a sigh of relief for companies trying to get ahead of the attacks.

Whether it’s a discussion with Verizon’s new channel chief or a retirement at a major technology firm, we have it here, the individuals making waves this week in the channel community.

Click on the slideshow above to discover who they are and to see which stories you read the most the week of Jan. 10-14. We count them down from seven to one.

Miss last week’s Channel People Making Waves? Here it is.

Jan 18

Pick and Choose Your Way to CX Profitability

By | Managed Services News

Cisco CX capabilities help customers differentiate their business for faster growth and more profitability.

At Cisco Partner Summit late last year, we announced a new suite of CX offers and capabilities: Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services (PLS). Cisco partners can now sign up for PLS, which will help them differentiate their business for faster growth and more profitability. Additionally, enhancements to our Partner Experience Cloud (PX Cloud) can simplify access to data and predictive analytics, while digital Customer Success and Renewals engagements can accelerate customers’ time to value.

Cisco’s New Partner Lifecycle Services (PLS) Opens for Registration

This new services suite offers partners an opportunity to gain full access to the entire Cisco Success Portfolio. For the first time, Cisco partners can select the Cisco services they want to resell, combine them with other services and market them under their own brands. This modular approach gives partners the flexibility to differentiate their business and enhance their CX practice.

 “Our customers are always looking for different options and ways to do business, so this gives us the ability to customize things the way they need it.” – Allen Lee, Director of Support Services for Red River

Once partners achieve PLS eligibility, they can establish expertise in any particular niche–whether it’s business-critical advisory services, ensuring high system reliability through 24/7 solution support, or project-by-project guidance–focusing on the opportunities that provide them with the greatest potential for growth.

“Cisco’s new Partner Lifecycle Services will enable partners’ ability to deliver higher-value services to their customers,” said Leslie Rosenberg, VP, Network Life Cycle and Infrastructure Services, IDC. “Flexible access to the entire Cisco Success Portfolio, including new analytics and insights capabilities, will provide partners with the ability to differentiate and enhance the breadth of how they meet their customers’ needs.”

PX Cloud: Simple, Unified Intelligence for Partners

The other key component of our new offerings is the Partner Experience (PX) Cloud. Using custom APIs, partners can merge their own data and permissioned data from their customers and Cisco into a single dashboard. This allows unparalleled insights into the customer experience.

With PX Cloud, PLS partners will gain instant visibility into the use cases each customer has implemented, and which customers are at risk of not renewing their subscriptions on time, allowing partners to take remedial action.

“It really comes down to how we consume data and use it to effectively run our business, which is one of our biggest challenges today.”

 – Sandra Lundin, Director of Customer Success for CDW

PX Cloud’s predictive intelligence and customer insights help to identify opportunities for growth. Along with these new initiatives, Cisco is offering new training and certification programs that will empower partners to take advantage of all that PLS and PX Cloud have to offer.

Accelerating Customer Success for Our Partners

Cisco partners can enable their customers to progress through the CX Lifecycle journey with one seamless experience. By ensuring that our customers adopt the products they purchase, we can accelerate our customers’ time to value. With Customer Success data and recommended actions now available in PX Cloud through Success Program Insights, Cisco partners get visibility into where customers are in the lifecycle, can engage these customers, and receive the right playbook for that engagement.

Cisco CX + Partners, One Team, One Family

When our partners succeed, Cisco succeeds. We rely on our partners to scale. Our customers truly value the one-on-one connection they have with trusted partners, engaging more deeply and frequently with those partners than with Cisco itself. It’s a relationship that we are committed to nurturing and growing. And, with our new suite of services, we are providing our partners with the essential tools to enhance their capabilities, improve their profitability and drive success for their customers.

Together, we can drive better business outcomes. Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services, PX Cloud and the Success Program Insights will help us make 2022 the best year yet.

Learn more about all the resources and tools we have available to help you grow your CX Partner Practice. Missed the Business Impact Session at Partner Summit? Check it out here.

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jan 18

New Hiring Best Practices for the Channel

By | Managed Services News

Implementing new strategies and hiring best practices will help ensure the success of your business.

Here’s a potentially controversial idea: The success of your company isn’t up to you.

Not an easy thing to hear, right? Whether you’re a one-man shop or a multi-million-dollar MSP, you probably think where you are today is because of your grit, your determination or your passion. And you think it’s those very same things that will help you grow.

In reality, however, it’s up to your team. Whether you have one or 1,000 employees, your success will be directly linked to the team you pick. It can be a scary thought. Acquiring talent is a challenge, and the competition is mounting.

Hiring has always been a perennial challenge for the channel, and then the pandemic hit. Now, the state of the workplace is at a breaking point. Economists are calling this time The Great Resignation. Add to that labor shortages and accelerated digital transformation with your customers, and you need to rethink your ability to scale your teams’ technical capacity and capabilities and implement hiring best practices.

The Competition for Tech Talent Is Cutthroat

Solution architects, system administrators and security specialists are no longer just nice-to-haves for managed service providers (MSPs). Demand for these workers comes from a greater emphasis on cloud technology, data storage and information security—none of which is particularly cost-friendly.

However, to support your customers through their digital transformation, these roles have become business-critical. You need these people on your team for your business to grow.

The recruitment process can sometimes feel like you’re rolling the dice. While there’s an element of luck to it, I prefer to think of it like a game of poker. You need to have a strategy; you can’t just be at the mercy of the hand that you have been dealt.

Not many MSPs specialize in hiring; indeed, MSPS have been learning and making mistakes as they go along. Previous hiring practices can no longer be relied upon. Bringing in a friend’s nephew to work L1 support while he studies and subsequently having him stay with your business for 15 years is no longer a reality. One reason for that is that you’re not just competing with other MSPs, or even local companies with internal IT teams anymore. Research shows 67% of organizations across the United States adding new roles and functions due to greater cloud investment.

New Hiring Best Practices for Sourcing Channel Talent

In today’s competitive labor market, MSPs will have to adopt new strategies to attract the best talent. Start by looking within. Focusing on your own internal culture, networks and company policies will build your desirability for job prospects, and even help bring them to you.

Culture

Be the company that great talent wants to work for. Identify your company culture and be sure you communicate with potential hires an authentic representation of your organization’s lived experience. Current employees need to live and breathe your company brand because they are the ones who work with your customers and relate your culture to prospects. Company culture growth opportunities, benefits and flexibility are all important factors you can appeal to if you don’t think you can compete on salary.

Be honest and open about your culture throughout the interview process. Ask questions about how prospects like to be managed, their ideal work environment and how would they tackle particular problems. Involve other team members to show your team’s culture in action.

It’s also helpful to structure interviews into a conversation. You may feel comfortable going with the flow for each candidate. However, if at the end of the process you can only rely on the fact that you liked someone, you might be misled. Interpreting through the lens of personal experience is not the way to predict someone’s ability to do a job. Using various tools such as culture indices and recognized personality tests can help you determine if a candidate is actually a good fit and to ensure that you build diverse teams.  Click on Page 2 to continue reading…

Jan 18

The Dream Lives On: The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By | Managed Services News

His powerful words continue to inspire civil rights activists worldwide more than 50 years after his death.

On Monday, Jan. 17, the nation will observe Martin Luther King Jr. day. He was actually born Jan. 15, the grandson and son of Baptist ministers. His grandfather and father each in turn served as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

King followed them into the ministry, eventually becoming co-pastor with his father. But first, he graduated from his grandfather’s and father’s alma mater, Morehouse College, then received his bachelor of divinity degree from Crozier Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania. Finally, he earned his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College.

By the time he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, King was already active in the struggle for civil rights. A member of the NAACP’s executive committee, he readily took on the task of leading the Montgomery bus boycott against segregated seating. The boycott began four days after the arrest of Rosa Parks and lasted more than a year. During that time, King was arrested and his home was firebombed. In the end, the Supreme Court declared segregated seating unlawful and King had become a recognized force in the civil rights movement.

The following year, King and other activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to coordinate and support organizations working for the civil rights of Black Americans. Over the next 11 years, he traveled more than 6 million miles, made more than 2,500 speeches and wrote five books and myriad articles. He led numerous marches and protests, conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was physically assaulted on numerous occasions and arrested more than 20 times. He was also awarded five honorary degrees, named Time magazine’s Man of the Year and became the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nonviolent Warrior

While King modeled his approach to civil rights activism on the nonviolent techniques of Ghandi, he was unmistakably a warrior. His strong and unwavering dedication to civil rights served as an example to other activists. His incredible talent for both writing and speaking spread his influence even further. And his words continue to inspire, nearly 54 years after his death. Many of his most famous quotes are inscribed on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C.

Scroll through the gallery above to learn more about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and some of his most memorable observations.

 

Jan 18

Don’t Settle for Growth — Scale Your Success

By | Managed Services News

Build business while making strategic investments over time, not overnight.

N-able's David Weeks

David Weeks

Growth alone isn’t cutting it. The modern managed service provider wants success at scale. Here’s why: growth is an increase in measure — revenue, clients, team members — in the confines of the literal. Land a new client, hire another employee, bill them, pay them, repeat. Good, but not game changing.

Scale is about rapidly building your business — defining processes, onboarding new customers and bolstering revenue — all while making strategic investments over time, not overnight. From this standpoint, growth is a margin multiplier, and the opportunity for MSPs to attract new clients, and up-sell and cross-sell to existing customers prevails.

Today, lots of MSPs can, are, and will experience growth. Success at scale, on the other hand, will be reserved for those who have a defined model, a disciplined mindset and the right talent and tech to bring it all together.

5 Steps to Scale Your Success

1. The first action any business must take when building to scale is my favorite f-word: focus.

Focus is the foundation. Without it, you’ve got speed without direction and you’ll go in circles and end up nowhere fast. Outlining the strategy, tactics, and talent that will get you where you want to go is nonnegotiable. Define who you are and why they should care, and run with it. Your team and your customers must know the goals, share a vision, and want to grow together.

2. Your second move is all about process.

Setting the stage for how your company works will give your people and your customers greater confidence and create an environment where expectations are set, with experience that is easily replicated and managed. This one is weighty but the workout is worth the reward. By introducing processes and policies, as well as standardizing products, solutions, and services — especially security — you will remove the guesswork, close the gaps and stay focused. No one wants cookie-cutter service. Don’t shy away from customization entirely, but start with standardized value-based services where you know the juice is worth the squeeze.

3. Third is visibility. You know the phrase: You can’t fix what you can’t measure. Said differently: You can’t scale what you can’t see.

This step falls in line with the second. Having a single-screen view of your business and your customers’ environments is a necessity. Without it, you’re driving blind, without the data to be proactive and learn how else you and your team can enhance the experience for your employees as well as your customers. Obviously, a good remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) solution will help, but you also want and need a curious and customer-minded team to make it actionable.

4 & 5. Steps four and five work together: Invest in your people and your partnerships.

Technology alone isn’t enough. Your people are the heart of the organization. Treat them well and they will treat your customers and partners even better.

Remember, your team and the partnerships you create are differentiators and core to your customer success. The best vision and technology matched with unhappy employees and unengaged partnerships will suck the success out of any strategy. Hire smart, and nurture and enable everyone in the org with the tools, training and tech to be their best. When it comes to your partnerships, aim for individuals and organizations packed with people who give a damn about you and your customers, are transparent and do what they say they’re going to.

Demand for IT and trusted advisers is at an all-time high. The MSP has quickly become the MVP for businesses and organizations everywhere. Don’t settle for growth. It’s time to go forward together and scale your success.

David Weeks is senior director, partner experience at N-able. N-able empowers managed service providers to help small and medium enterprises navigate the digital evolution. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @Nable on Twitter.

Jan 18

Big Channel M&A Update: 8×8, CDW, ConnectWise, Ingram Micro, More

By | Managed Services News

A global cloud service provider and a boutique IT services and support firm were among those acquired.

M&A news continues to dominate the channel in recent months, and December was no exception. There were some enormous deals, including the much talked about 8×8 acquisition of competitor Fuze. Although that deal was among Channel Futures’ most-read stories, the transaction didn’t have the biggest price tag. At least five of the companies we feature in the slideshow above are deals worth more than $1 billion dollars. And one is valued at close to $30 billion.

However, some channel companies were less about acquisition and more about shedding assets. Ingram Micro sold a division of its company to one of France’s largest companies. The sale is worth billions as well.

Speaking of bllions, CDW closed on its purchase of Sirius, a deal with huge MSP ramifications.

Scroll through the images above to see the latest deals in the channel. Then check out what we thought were the biggest mergers and acquisitions of 2021!

Jan 18

Big Channel M&A Update: 8×8, CDW, ConnectWise, Ingram Micro, More

By | Managed Services News

A global cloud service provider and a boutique IT services and support firm were among those acquired.

M&A news continues to dominate the channel in recent months, and December was no exception. There were some enormous deals, including the much talked about 8×8 acquisition of competitor Fuze. Although that deal was among Channel Futures’ most-read stories, the transaction didn’t have the biggest price tag. At least five of the companies we feature in the slideshow above are deals worth more than $1 billion dollars. And one is valued at close to $30 billion.

However, some channel companies were less about acquisition and more about shedding assets. Ingram Micro sold a division of its company to one of France’s largest companies. The sale is worth billions as well.

Speaking of bllions, CDW closed on its purchase of Sirius, a deal with huge MSP ramifications.

Scroll through the images above to see the latest deals in the channel. Then check out what we thought were the biggest mergers and acquisitions of 2021!

Jan 18

Big Channel M&A Update: 8×8, CDW, ConnectWise, Ingram Micro, More

By | Managed Services News

A global cloud service provider and a boutique IT services and support firm were among those acquired.

M&A news continues to dominate the channel in recent months, and December was no exception. There were some enormous deals, including the much talked about 8×8 acquisition of competitor Fuze. Although that deal was among Channel Futures’ most-read stories, the transaction didn’t have the biggest price tag. At least five of the companies we feature in the slideshow above are deals worth more than $1 billion dollars. And one is valued at close to $30 billion.

However, some channel companies were less about acquisition and more about shedding assets. Ingram Micro sold a division of its company to one of France’s largest companies. The sale is worth billions as well.

Speaking of bllions, CDW closed on its purchase of Sirius, a deal with huge MSP ramifications.

Scroll through the images above to see the latest deals in the channel. Then check out what we thought were the biggest mergers and acquisitions of 2021!

Jan 18

Big Channel M&A Update: 8×8, CDW, ConnectWise, Ingram Micro, More

By | Managed Services News

A global cloud service provider and a boutique IT services and support firm were among those acquired.

M&A news continues to dominate the channel in recent months, and December was no exception. There were some enormous deals, including the much talked about 8×8 acquisition of competitor Fuze. Although that deal was among Channel Futures’ most-read stories, the transaction didn’t have the biggest price tag. At least five of the companies we feature in the slideshow above are deals worth more than $1 billion dollars. And one is valued at close to $30 billion.

However, some channel companies were less about acquisition and more about shedding assets. Ingram Micro sold a division of its company to one of France’s largest companies. The sale is worth billions as well.

Speaking of bllions, CDW closed on its purchase of Sirius, a deal with huge MSP ramifications.

Scroll through the images above to see the latest deals in the channel. Then check out what we thought were the biggest mergers and acquisitions of 2021!

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