Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 22

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 21

More Partner M&A: Bluewave Buys Advisory Firm iSymplify

By | Managed Services News

iSymplify’s owners will stick around at the combined company.

Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Group is expanding with the acquisition of iSymplify, the technology advisory firm and contact center expert

St. Louis-based iSymplify has agreed to terms with New Jersey-based Bluewave, marking Bluewave’s sixth acquisition in a year. The agency’s owners, Lorie and Brad Burkemper, have accepted roles as Bluewave managing partners. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The deal brings in an established agency that has helped deploy more than 50,000 cloud seats, according to Bluewave. It also cements a foothold in the greater St. Louis area. Bluewave will retain iSymplify’s office, bring its total number of cities with an office up to five. Moreover, it now employs close to 100 people.

For iSymplify, joining forces with Bluewave helps it grow and do more for its customers.

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

Bluewave’s Lorie Burkemper

“After almost 15 years of growth, we considered many options to expand our capabilities and better support our clients’ evolving technology needs,” iSymplify founder and president Lorie Burkemper said. “Joining like-minded Bluewave allows us to further invest in our team and clients around solution consulting, expense management, and high-touch account management, as well as gain access to more robust processes and systems to provide clients with better insights and data to drive the best technology decisions.”

iSymplify Background

Burkemper founded iSymplify in 2013 following a career on the vendor side of the channel. She worked for seven years in account management at Verizon and three years in client development at Cybera. Her husband Brad joined the company in 2014.

iSymplify has gone on to win awards from vendors like Vonage and Tierpoint. It has also won awards from the tech solutions brokerage Telarus (including a 2021 Platinum Award).

Lorie Burkemper has also earned recognitions in the St. Louis business community, including one of St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners. In addition, she co-founded the St. Louis-based Women in Tech Connect group.

Riding the Bluewave

Bluewave emerged early in 2022 with a $75 million growth investment from Columbia Capital. The company has sought to use M&A to bring together complementary partner types, including a mobility expense management provider, and now a contact center expert in iSymplify.

Penland, Seth_Bluewave

Bluewave’s Seth Penland

Bluewave intends to unify the acquired companies under a single platform and philosophy that emphasizes managing the customer’s entire technology life cycle.

“Our goal is to help businesses scale their operations efficiently and effectively while seizing innovation with the guidance of our best-in-class industry advisors,” Bluewave founder and CEO Seth Penland said. “We are excited to welcome the iSymplify team and expand our presence in the greater St. Louis area. Together, our joint resources expand our capabilities and emphasize our commitment to clients who need first-class technology advisory services.”

Bluewave has made two options available for owners of companies it requires. Its “ambassadors,” which include the leaders of recently purchased Virtual Telecomm, hold equity in Bluewave but don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. Its managing partners, which include the Burkempers, will work in a daily role.

Agent M&A

Consolidation is occurring across the technology advisor (agent) channel. For example, Minnesota-based Renodis recently acquired 12 Points Consulting in a move that enhances its hospitality-focused equipment and managed solutions. Then there’s West Coast-based Bridgepointe Technologies with purchases of Canon Group and RealCom. And Upstack, whose backing from Berkshire Partners and other investors has helped it buy more than 25 agencies, continues to announce deals.

 

Nov 21

Implementing a Top-of-the-Class Power Protection Solution

By | Managed Services News

Laurens County Schools leverage the Eaton power protection solution to ensure always-on technology.

Throughout Laurens County Schools, technology is a vital partner for students and staff, promoting effective learning in nearly every subject. That’s why, when the district was preparing to refresh its fleet of uninterruptible power systems (UPSs) in 2020, the ability to deliver continuous uptime was paramount. In addition to sustaining critical infrastructure and applications — including digital learning, data-driven instruction, online testing, cloud applications and other requirements — the district also wanted to make sure it could properly support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Downtime just isn’t an option in schools today. Access to always-on technology is fundamental to learning, and clean power is a prerequisite to achieving that,” said Lance Smith, Director of Technology, Laurens County Schools, in Georgia.

Having been plagued by routine UPS battery failures, Laurens County Schools sought a solution that could facilitate high availability and reliability with no interruptions in service. In addition, the district wanted the ability to remotely monitor its UPSs and receive alerts about potential issues. They also desired power distribution units (PDUs) with the capability of measuring power consumption at the outlet level.

“Power issues can come in many forms, and over the years, we noticed that various incidents ── from inclement weather to increased demand ── were causing fluctuations in the power being fed into our schools,” explains Smith. “We needed a solution we could count on to provide unparalleled uptime regardless of the power condition.”

Across all nine of the Laurens County Schools campuses, students rely on technology to perform day-to-day learning activities, from visiting educational websites to participating in state-mandated online testing. The pandemic spurred uptime requirements to an even more critical level, as students required access to the district’s network to engage in distance learning. Students are each assigned a device as part of a 1-to-1 technology program, so the district supports upward of 7,000 Chromebooks.

“Whether we are conducting online testing or supporting student laptops during class, our network infrastructure must be operating at 100%. It is absolutely essential that all students have a good testing experience. Nothing can impact that,” said Smith.

Uptime as Easy as ABC

At the recommendation of its service provider, Grainger Technology Company, Laurens County Schools replaced its previous UPS solution with one from a different manufacturer: Eaton. The district began by deploying a 12kVA Eaton 9PXM UPS to safeguard the transfer switch of its backup generator, as well as to protect multiple servers, core network switching and security cameras. The scalable, modular UPS combines the highest levels of reliability and the lowest total cost of ownership, with a patented design that allows the district to add capacity or redundancy and increase runtime as its power needs change. In addition to offering plug-and-play power and battery modules that are lightweight and user-replaceable, the 9PXM boasts a small footprint that can easily be converted for rack installation.

To support uptime in the network closets throughout its campuses, Laurens County Schools chose the Eaton 5P UPS. Rolling out a total of 53 units, the district placed a 3000VA UPS within each main distribution frame (MDF) and a 2200VA model in every intermediate distribution frame (IDF). The enterprise-class backup power solution — which can be deployed in a tower, wall-mount or rackmount configuration — is primarily tasked with protecting network switches throughout the schools, as well as access door controllers and intercom systems.

Laurens County Schools has been especially impressed by Eaton’s exclusive ABM technology, which has solved its previous battery failure issues. ABM not only increases the service life of UPS batteries by 50%, but also provides the fastest safe recharge time and reliable advanced notice when batteries need replacement.

“The technology behind Eaton ABM has afforded exceptional reliability and gotten us away from constant UPS battery failures,” noted Smith.

Complementing the UPS fleet are 20 Eaton-managed rack PDUs, which provide information at the outlet receptacle level on critical factors such as voltage, current and power factor. The units also feature remote on/off outlet switching that allows rebooting of connected equipment, as well as the ability to turn off outlets to prevent unauthorized use.

The district completed its backup power solution by pairing the Eaton Gigabit Network Card (Network-M2) with every UPS. The communication card, the first in the industry to comply with the UL and IEC cybersecurity standards, provides remote monitoring and management of all connected equipment through Eaton’s Intelligent Power Management (IPM) disaster avoidance software. Part of the Brightlayer Data Centers suite, IPM provides tools to monitor and manage all power devices on the district’s network, ensuring system uptime and data integrity. Both the HTML5-based software and the PDUs are managed as a service for Laurens County Schools by Grainger Technology Group.

With the Eaton solution, Laurens County Schools has been able to:

  • Achieve high availability and continuous uptime
    • Successfully support all of its technology initiatives
    • Remotely manage and monitor all connected devices throughout its network environment
    • Extend battery life and optimize battery health with ABM technology

“It’s been great,” said Smith. “We’ve experienced zero downtime and no problems. We couldn’t be happier with the Eaton solution.”

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Nov 21

The MSP Model Is Key to IT Growth

By | Managed Services News

Here’s why you should take advantage of the MSP model, especially now.

We’re currently in a technological transition where data — and not the IT its created on — is becoming the true business driver. Companies need data to adapt to customer needs, adjust operations and dynamically shape their business strategy. It’s becoming crucial to keep up with growth, stand out and remain competitive. To do this, they need their technology to keep pace, but they don’t have to do it alone.

The managed service provider (MSP) model allows companies to focus on core competencies while meeting an ever-changing business environment. Acting as a trusted advisor and true member of the team, an MSP can provide outside support for clients surrounding data management, infrastructure, devices and more — whether the client is adapting to industry changes or trying to survive economic flux. Those who offer managed services secure sustainable, recurring revenue, build strong relationships with clients and differentiate themselves from competitors, making the model increasingly attractive.

Are you taking advantage of the MSP model opportunity? Here’s why you should.

  1. Support clients through economic flux: Economies across the globe are in turmoil, due to a variety of factors. Supply-chain issues leftover from COVID-19, geopolitical conflict and a tech industry hiring freeze are all factors. An MSP’s role is not only to monitor assets, but also to act as a consultant to clients, helping them look at their cash flow, eliminate waste and drive value to other parts of the business.

In today’s economy, many companies are resource-challenged and strapped for in-house manpower, especially as layoffs continue. Companies have spent a lot of money on IT equipment and software but have no one to effectively manage it. MSPs help them prepare a strategy with a specific, proactive plan of who is responsible for what if the power goes out.

Additionally, a struggling economy can put a strain on a client’s IT budget. The MSP model provides a solid solution that acts as a flexible workforce without affecting the operational budget.

  1. Secure recurring revenue and strengthen relationships: One of the biggest benefits for MSPs is securing sustainable revenue as their client list grows. Not only does this consistent revenue stream help keep the bottom line secure, but the MSP model also can further bolster that revenue by building strong relationships with clients.

IT service providers (ITSPs) that break into the MSP model gain the ability to offer more value with a personal relationship, while existing MSPs can expand their reach to new clients and, at the same time, double down on annuity clients who provide important revenue. This consultant role is a key differentiator. By positioning yourself as a strategic advisor, you can gain trust with clients, dive deeper into their business model and secure future business.

  1. Help customers adapt to industry growth: According to Gartner, in 2018, about 10% of enterprise-generated data was created or processed outside of a traditional data center. Gartner expects this number to reach 75% by 2025. What does that mean for your local coffee shop, grocery store, bank, and so on — businesses that understand they need IT infrastructure to support their new app or online ordering system but don’t have the bandwidth to manage it? It means they’re outsourcing. Especially when it comes to power management.

In fact, according to IDC, more than 60% of companies go outside of their core business to support edge deployments. If you’re not already offering managed services, now is the time. MSPs are the ideal partner to help customers adapt and stay competitive. After all, if you’re not changing, you’re not growing. The MSP model provides high-level, immediate visibility of all technological assets across locations to help clients avoid costly downtime if (and when) something goes wrong, as well as save brainpower for higher income-producing activities.

Ready to Learn More?

The Edge Software and Digital Services Program by Schneider Electric allows ITSPs to add the managed power model into their offerings and for existing MSPs to continue investing by expanding their managed services offerings. Leveraging the many MSP certifications available, you can learn how to monitor, manage and fix issues related to critical IT infrastructure, plus gain access to tools and incentives after certifying. Existing MSPs can access continued education trainings, and all enrollees can take advantage of the lifecycle rebate, as well as one-on-one support with a dedicated success manager.

Enroll today.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Nov 21

Cisco Giving Channel ‘Everything’ in Partner Life Cycle Services Expansion

By | Managed Services News

Denzil Samuels shared how Cisco prioritized getting partner executives involved in PLS and how that paid dividends.

Cisco Systems is giving partners the keys to the kingdom with the expansion of its Partner Lifecycle Services initiative.

Cisco as of earlier this year was already following the road map for its Partner Lifecycle Services, which offer resources and train partners to provide deeper and more profitable solutions for their customers. The IT giant back in May made its Partner Lifecycle Services Support (PLSS) available, and continues to track on schedule with its planned updates. That’s according to Denzil Samuels, global channel and partner leader for Cisco Services (CX).

Samuels, Denzil_Cisco

Cisco’s Denzil Samuels

Next March, Cisco will make PX Cloud, a window for partners into Cisco’s CX Cloud portal (based on digital approval to view certain customers’ data), generally available to eligible partners. At the same time, Cisco will give partners Success Tracks ‘Enhanced Access,’ giving them co-sell abilities, access to additional accelerators, and multiple net new APIs beyond what the company announced at its recent Partner Summit. Then in July, Cisco will give partners PLS Success Tracks that they can co-deliver to end customers. Samuels said that means Cisco is making its entire CX portfolio that it has been selling directly customers, available in a customized manner for channel partners.

“That means anything the partners want to do with our portfolio is available for them,” Samuels told Channel Futures. “… We’re giving them everything.”

Partner Experience

Moreover, Cisco at Partner Summit made its PX (partner experience) Cloud APIs generally available for partners. Samuels said Cisco has offered API’s on PX Cloud in limited availability – mainly to a select number of its larger partners – but that access is about to expand.

“What we’re basically saying is, ‘If you want to sign up for that API access by PX Cloud, now you can. Because we’ve tested it. We know it works. We know the data’s sound,” Samuels said.

Samuels said that when Cisco launched PLS, his teamed had hoped to convince 500 to register their interest in learning about eligibility criteria, smart bonding and PLS workshops. Moreover, he had hoped that at least 25 partners would indicate their interest in smart bonding. However, the initial partner response exceeded his expectations, with nearly 470 partners coming on board in the first three months.

Samuels shared details about the CX Cloud and PX Cloud platforms, how smart-bonded partners are supporting customers differently and why Cisco revamped its PLS workshops to foster C-suite engagement.

See the eight slides above to learn more about Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services.

 

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