Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Sep 09

8×8’s DeLozier: Golden Era of Communications Here with Need to Operate Anywhere

By | Managed Services News

It’s the golden age of communications, but for all the wrong reasons.

CHANNEL PARTNERS VIRTUAL — The COVID-19 pandemic hastened the need to operate anywhere, therefore emphasizing the importance of an effective communications platform.

That’s what John DeLozier, 8×8‘s senior vice president and global channel chief, told attendees during his Channel Partners Virtual keynote Wednesday.. He’s also the Channel Partners/Channel Futures Influencer of the Year.

John DeLozier

8×8’s John DeLozier

DeLozier said it’s the golden age of communications, but for all the wrong reasons. And it’s a new normal for all facets of life and for business.

The ability to operate anywhere has never been more crucial.

“Companies are all remote and everybody’s at home, whether you’re in Florida like me, New York, New Jersey, the Bay Area of California, in general all over the world,” he said. “And so fortunately I get to work for a company that can work from anywhere.”

The Importance of Connectivity

There’s a need to be connected, both personally as a human and professionally as a company, DeLozier said. According to Gartner, 85% of IT leaders agree their organizations have to increase work-from-home programs.

“And so they are scrambling to figure out who, what, when, where and how are we going to make this happen for our employees at home,” DeLozier said. “I know for sure Google’s returning to work in offices no earlier than next July, almost a year from now. So it’s amazing the pivot we’ve had to make.”

Also according to Gartner, one-half of all employees working from home use video.

“It’s really interesting how video has taken over,” DeLozier said. “I’m not used to getting on a conference call, getting into a meeting to collaborate without seeing you on video. It’s very, very important to our industry. I think enterprise always follows consumer. We could have seen this coming five years ago with FaceTime.”

It’s important to have a communications platform that’s reliable, secure and scalable. If it’s not, it’s “not for you as a partner and not for you as a customer,” he said.

During its recent Blitz Day, 8×8 put 338 partners across the world on the phone with its team reaching out to customer prospects, he said.

“The results have been amazing — literally tens of millions of dollars of opportunity,” DeLozier said. “Twenty-six thousand leads distributed through 338 partners. And we’re going to continue to do things like that. We’re not common over here at 8×8.”

Sep 09

Infoblox Secures ‘Significant’ Investment from Warburg Pincus

By | Managed Services News

Infoblox plans to build on the success of its BloxOne platform.

Infoblox has a second private equity owner after getting a significant investment from Warburg Pincus.

Vista Equity Partners acquired Infoblox in 2016 and will continue as an investor. Warburg Pincus and Vista Equity Partners are now equal partners in Infoblox.

The amount of Warburg Pincus’ investment isn’t being disclosed. According to Bloomberg, this brings Infoblox’s valuation to more than $3 billion.

Lori Cornmesser is Infoblox’s vice president of worldwide partner and alliance sales.

Infoblox's Lori Cornmesser

Infoblox’s Lori Cornmesser

“With this investment, we will be able to help partners better serve our mutual customers, wherever they are in their digital transformation journey,” she said. “Collaboration with partners is core to our success. We are thankful they trust us to manage and secure one of our customers’ most valuable assets: their networks.”

Investment Plans

Cloud/SaaS, security and driving new customer acquisition are Infoblox’s core focus growth areas for fiscal 2020.

Infoblox has more than 50% market share in the DDI networking market. Its partners include MSPs, resellers and technology alliance partners.

The company plans to use the investment to build on the success of its cloud-native BloxOne platform, Cornmesser said. It also plans to accelerate its product road map. In addition, Infoblox will develop technology and products that simplify and automate networking and security services for hybrid and multicloud environments, she said.

“This investment will also strengthen our ability to serve our mutual customers and enable their digital transformation, while continuing to provide the top-notch customer service that they have come to expect from us,” Cornmesser said.

Warburg Pincus has invested more than $20 billion in technology companies since its inception. It is one of the most active growth investors in enterprise technology and cloud-based platforms. Technology investments include CrowdStrike, Samsara, Avalara, Ant Financial, Trax and Gojek, and others.

One of the firm’s core focus areas is in backing growing infrastructure software companies. That includes its recent investment in BetterCloud, and now Infoblox.

“We believe Infoblox is uniquely positioned with a tremendous opportunity ahead due to a variety of factors, including the proliferation of devices, shift to cloud, decentralization of enterprise networks and adoption of modern microservices architectures,” said Chandler Reedy, managing director and head of late-stage technology investing for Warburg Pincus.

Sep 09

Expanding Our View of Diversity – Update on Women Veterans Interactive

By | Managed Services News

Despite society’s struggles, as a community committed to change, we persist.

Ridge Innovative's Nancy Ridge

Nancy Ridge

Back in early June, I asked our channel/tech community to step up and give to 501c3 Women Veterans Interactive (WVI) as a way to take action in response to the ongoing inequality brought to light by Black Lives Matter. Back then we were all reeling from the murder of George Floyd. Today, two months later, and again we are stunned by the shooting of Jacob Blake and the subsequent racist anti-protester violence in Kenosha. It is heartbreaking to see these horrendous acts continue to happen. I am sometimes overcome by my powerlessness in the face of so much hate.

Yet, as a community committed to change, we persist. In this particular case, the channel has responded in a number of ways. In particular, Cristina Morrell, channel champion at
LogMeIn, backed by Amy Wendel, global head of corporate social responsibility, has stepped up with an in-kind donation of licenses and expertise to help WVI CEO Ginger Miller create and launch the very first all-digital National Women Veterans Leadership and Diversity Conference, Nov. 12-14, 2020.
“We are hoping to reach a bigger audience than ever before,” says Ginger Miller. “We’re anticipating 750 attendees and are launching our first virtual career fair. It’s so vital that we continue to connect, engage and empower women veterans during
COVID-19, and this virtual conference is the perfect way to do it. It fits directly into the Women Veterans Interactive mission of meeting women veterans at their points of need through advocacy, empowerment, interaction, outreach and unification. I’m grateful to have the support of Nancy Ridge, the channel, and the wonderful ladies at LogMeIn — Cristina Morrell and Amy Wendel.”

There is still more to do. WVI still has sponsorship packages available, as well as opportunities to support technical needs such as creating a landing page and a strategy for capturing the analytics from the show to extend its impact, as well as to lay the foundation for improving the next event. If you are a veteran, if you come from a military family, if you have a heart for these brave women who face great adversity after they come home from serving — then step up and take action. Together, we can show our support for change and make a difference in someone’s life.

The mission of Women Veterans Interactive (WVI) is to meet women veterans at their points of need through advocacy, empowerment, interaction, outreach, and unification to break down the barriers that lead to homelessness. WVI addresses the unique – and often unrecognized – challenges facing our nation’s 2.3 million women veterans as they return to civilian life. With members nationwide, WVI provides outreach and support services to thousands of women veterans through the three pillars of transition: empowerment, leadership and diversity. WVI offers tailored programs, training and resources to equip women veterans at all stages of their military transition.

Sep 08

3 Misguided SMB Security Beliefs

By | Managed Services News

An SMB security strategy should be dynamic and fluid and parallel the needs of the business.

Today, many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) believe that they’re too small for a cyberattack, their security systems are “good enough,” or they have an IT team that’s on top of their security. But these misguided SMB security beliefs can be detrimental to businesses.

Consider the letter posted to the website of a single-physician practice following a cyberattack:

“On August 10, 2019, we suffered a ransomware attack on Wood Ranch Medical’s computer systems…Unfortunately, the damage to our computer system was such that we are unable to recover the data stored there and, with our backup system encrypted as well, we cannot rebuild our medical records. We will be closing our practice and ceasing operations on December 17, 2019.”

The breach impacted 5,835 patients. Even if the practice were able to survive the attack and recover its patient data, the HIPAA penalties would likely be untenable for this small practice.

3 SMB Security Beliefs That Can Spell Trouble

Belief 1. “It can’t happen to us.” 

 While the speed at which a ransomware attack took down the healthcare provider above is troubling, it is not the first. A related story reported that “another healthcare provider has announced it will be permanently closing its doors as a direct result of a ransomware attack.” That’s alarming.

But business closures due to cyberattacks and data breaches are not limited to healthcare providers. Twenty-two percent of all SMBs impacted by a ransomware attack had to cease operations immediately, according to one report.

SMBs may believe that it can’t happen to them, but it can–and does.

Belief 2. “We shored up security years ago.” 

 For SMBs that think they’ve covered all the security bases, consider that 36% of SMBs in the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses report say that they have “insufficient enabling security technologies.” They also report that:

  • 69% experienced a cyberattack that evaded their intrusion detection system.
  • 82% reported that the attack evaded their anti-virus solution.

SMB security is not a one-and-done undertaking. A security strategy should be dynamic and fluid and parallel the needs of the business. There should be continual assessments, timely patches and upgrades, and frequent employee awareness trainings and simulations.

Belief 3.  “We’ve got an IT team for that.” 

 Many SMBs mistakenly believe that their IT team (or person, in some cases) is on top of it. But according to Ponemon, 45% of SMBs say that they have “no understanding how to protect against cyberattacks,” and only 30% rate their organization’s effectiveness at mitigating risks, vulnerabilities and attacks as “very high.”

IT professionals working at SMBs often wear a lot of hats. They need to be focused on innovation that can move their business forward. They don’t have the time to become security experts.

And New Vulnerabilities: Remote Workers

When the Ponemon survey was completed in 2019, 56% of SMBs said that mobile devices and laptops were their most vulnerable endpoints, an increase of 13% over 2017.

Now, with more people working from home and accessing the corporate network, those vulnerabilities have only increased. SMBs have become a prime target of cunning and malicious actors who know all too well that home networks lack the defenses of corporate networks and that security practices are minimal. These bad actors are out in full force to exploit them.

What can you do to help your SMB customers protect their businesses?

More SMBs Are Engaging Security Partners

Ponemon reports that 32% of an SMB’s IT security operations are supported by managed security services providers (MSSPs), an increase of four points over 2018—a need that will only increase as SMBs fight to protect their businesses.

Become a partner in protecting your SMB customers’ business. Educate yourself so you can educate your customers. Use the cybersecurity resources available to you from NIST, the Small Business Administration and other sources, as well as industry resources such as Tech Data.

Like having a lawyer or an accountant, it is wise to have an MSSP that can help SMBs lock down their systems to detect and prevent attacks and, if attacked, minimize the damage to their business.

Start the conversation with your SMB customers today. Download this white paper to talk about SMB security best practices that your customers can begin to put in place to guard against cyberattacks. Or visit techdata.com/security.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

 

Sep 08

Axcient Announces MSP Xperience, New MSP Category Debuts

By | Managed Services News

There has been a flurry of activity in the channel recently, so we’ve compiled a few of the top ones.

There has been a flurry of MSP activity within the last few weeks that deserve a shoutout. Kaseya recently acquired phishing defense platform Graphus, Axcient announced its inaugural partner event called the MSP Xperience, and New Charter Technologies and Oval Partners launched a new category of MSP.

Read on to get the scoop. 

Kaseya Boosts Security Capabilities with Acquisition

Kaseya recently announced its acquisition and integration of Graphus, a phishing defense platform. The move expands the cloud email security capabilities of Kaseya’s IT Complete suite of IT infrastructure and security management solutions.  

This comes at a time when workforces are nearly 100% remote and cloud email adoption is at an all-time high. Businesses have an even greater need for strong cybersecurity defenses to avoid devastating data breaches and financial consequences. With this acquisition, IT Complete now includes a simple, automated, powerful and cost-effective email security and phishing defense platform, Kaseya said.

Kaseya's Fred Voccola

Kaseya’s Fred Voccola

“Phishing attacks have been on the rise for some time now. They are even more of a risk with us all working remotely these days,” said Fred Voccola, Kaseya CEO. “We’re an Office 365 shop at Kaseya. We had been using O365’s Advanced Threat Protection to protect against phishing, but found that a lot was still getting through.”

Axcient Announces Inaugural MSP Xperience Virtual Event

Axcient recently announced its inaugural partner event called the MSP Xperience. The virtual half-day education event will take place on Sept. 25, offering MSPs a flurry of best practices and actionable takeaways for adding and growing managed security services.

“We are thrilled to unveil our inaugural MSP Xperience event,” said David Bennett, CEO at Axcient. “We are committed to partner success and how MSPs can protect everything. Now more than ever, cybersecurity is critical for MSPs and their clients. MSP Xperience is the place to be for MSPs investing in managed security and will feature best practices from industry experts and virtual networking for MSPs. We look forward to hosting MSP Xperience on Sept. 25.”

This event will be a thought leadership forum as well as a networking and community-building event for MSPs. Partnering vendors include Microsoft, CompTIA, ConnectWise, Bitdefender, Compliancy Group, Liongard, and our media partner, ChannelPro. Each will offer a best practice for all attendees that highlights their expertise for a specific security layer.

The managed security theme of the event will cover three topics, including:

  • Layered and cloud security and how to build your managed security tech stack.
  • The remote topology and how the security profile changed.
  • Overcoming the human “weakest link” presented by evolving phishing tactics.

New Charter Technologies, Oval Partners Launch New Category of MSP

New Charter Technologies and Oval Partners last week announced the acquisition of four founding companies and their decision to bring this model to the technology industry. The structure allows participating companies to fully participate in investment returns previously available only to PE firms.

“Our partner companies will enjoy the best of both worlds by continuing to run their business, and partner with other high-performance MSPs,” said Mitch Morgan, New Charter Technologies CEO. “Business owners take cash for their shares and are able to reinvest in New Charter side-by-side with Oval Partners.”

Mitch partnered with Oval Partners, a Palo Alto-based investment firm founded by John Knoll and Jake Mizrahi who recognized the value of this differentiated approach — basically one where MSPs are highly aligned but not highly integrated.

New Charter Technologies features the following highlights: 

  • The unique ownership structure allows MSP owners to take cash off the table. And, also reinvest into New Charter in a single class of shares alongside Oval Partners.
  • New Charter’s operating model provides strategic leadership and development support. entrepreneurs to improve their businesses through best-practice and resource sharing between operating companies
  • In addition to continuing to run their business, owners also become part of New Charter’s leadership team to guide the larger business as it becomes a leading national MSP.
  • New Charter quickly added four industry-leading, best-in-class MSPs to the platform, with more to come.
Sep 08

Industry Pundits Clash Over MSP-Agent, IT-Telecom Convergence

By | Managed Services News

One of the hottest debates in the channel took center stage again on Tuesday.

CHANNEL PARTNERS VIRTUAL — The jury’s still out on convergence between MSP and telecom agent channels.

The worlds are coming together if you ask Andrew Pryfogle, Pax8‘s chief market development officer. Pryfogle said Pax8 is seeing agents enter into managed services while MSP partners introduce telecom services.

But not all of Pryfogle’s peers are buying his outlook.

Pax8's Andrew Pryfogle

Pax8’s Andrew Pryfogle

“Convergence means you’re bringing something to the table that we don’t have,” said Rob Rae, Datto‘s senior vice president of business development, in reference to agents. “But you’re not bringing anything.”

Rae, Pryfogle, Bill Power and Jared Martin debated the topic at the Channel Partners Virtual event on Tuesday.

Pryfogle said MSPs stand to lose customers, particularly SMB customers, to agents that sell telecom-related technologies that the MSP portfolio doesn’t contain. Agents can get a foot in the door with a UCaaS, fiber or SD-WAN conversation and steal the client, Pryfogle said.

Datto's Rob Rae

Datto’s Rob Rae

But Rae said the biggest danger exists for agents, who are realizing that their traditional business model is dying. In the meantime, Datto and its MSP partners continue to chart positive sales forecasts, even during a pandemic.

“The MSP channel is actually flourishing, which is part of the reason why I can understand why you would want to converge with this space,” Rae said.

No one is denying that agents need to increase their recurring revenue.

TPx's Jared Martin

TPx’s Jared Martin

“The agents have seen a shift in the market. They’re looking for ways to stay relevant when it’s no longer just about bandwidth and transaction. The future really is managed services,” said Jared Martin, vice president of MSx managed services for TPx Communications.

Case in Point

Both sides of the debate pointed to TPx as evidence for their case. The long-time CLEC rebranded three years ago to focus more on managed services than connectivity. Martin said his company converged, because at the end of the day, the market demanded it.

“For us, it was all about reading the tea leaves, that managed services component was the future,” Martin said.

While Martin and Pryfogle used TPx as a positive example of convergence, Rae viewed the company as an an outlier.

“That [transition] took a significant lift. It took a lot of investment and time, resources and money. And people just don’t have it. They don’t have the will to do it,” Rae said.

Agent Alliance CEO Bill Power, who works in the telco industry but sided with Rae, pointed to the skills aspect. Although Power believes that a slow, infant-stage convergence is occurring, most agents won’t be able to bridge the managed services skills gap. He said the legacy telco agent channel has relied on its subject matter expertise.

The Alliance's Bill Power

The Alliance’s Bill Power

“To me, being an expert means I know this much more about what you know about whatever the subject matter is. To talk to somebody about voice circuits or telephony or data circuits or wide area networks, it’s pretty easy to know this much more than the office administrator or the office manager in a customer opportunity,” Power said. “Now we’re talking about technology and solutions that are infinitely more complicated, and I don’t know this much more than the CIO about security or some of the virtualized services these guys are selling.”

The Outcome

JS Group's Janet Schijns

JS Group’s Janet Schijns

Although a majority of online attendees voted in favor of the “Yes” team, both sides seemed to be getting at the truth. JS Group CEO Janet Schijns, who moderated the debate, gave a nuanced conclusion.

“I do think we’re seeing a little bit of convergence, but I don’t think it’s a total convergence,” Schijns said.

A similar debate took place last year at Channel Partners Evolution. Rae and Pryfogle debated each other, joined by Peter Radizeski and Michael Bremmer, respectively.

Sep 08

How MSPs Can Sell the Value of a BCDR Solution

By | Managed Services News

To nail the BCDR pitch, MSPs must take the time to nurture their customers and prospects with educational content.

Many managed service providers (MSPs) often struggle with communicating the value of an actual business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution to their small-business clients and prospects.

Why is that? For starters, many business owners don’t understand how a BCDR solution differs from traditional backup. More cost-conscious business owners may find it difficult to justify spending an additional amount for data protection than they have in previous years, particularly when they’ve never suffered any severe data loss or outages.

To nail the BCDR pitch, MSPs must take the time to nurture their customers and prospects with educational content. This article shares three perspectives that will help your clients understand the benefits of a fully managed BCDR solution over traditional backup products.

Explaining the Cost of Downtime 

A few hours of downtime, never mind days or weeks, can be devastating for a business. When a company is down, customers cannot make purchases or access account information, employees can’t work, and the lost revenue adds up quickly. In 2019 we asked 1,400 MSPs we partner with worldwide to shed some light on the cost of downtime as a result of cybersecurity attacks. The survey revealed that downtime costs went up by 200% year-over-year, increasing from $46,800 in 2018 to $141,000 in 2019. These are figures no company can afford.

Excellent news: BCDR solutions eliminate downtime. Companies that make BCDR implementation a priority are better protected. In fact, 92% of MSPs surveyed reported that clients with BCDR solutions in place are less likely to experience significant downtime during a ransomware attack. Furthermore, our survey revealed four in five MSPs indicate that victimized clients with BCDR in place recovered from the attack in 24 hours or less.

Meet with your client or prospect and determine the amount of downtime the company currently faces, what downtime would be in the event of a cybersecurity attack and what the cost of downtime could potentially be. In fact, many MSPs approach BCDR conversations with their customers as if they were talking about business insurance. For just pennies a day, a BCDR investment makes a lot of sense when you compare it to the average cost of a downtime event. This conversation provides a clearer picture of the benefit that BCDR provides.

Discussing Your Client’s Backup and Storage Needs 

Your client needs to think about their recovery point objective or RPO. Their RPO refers to the amount of data that their company stands to lose between backups. Here’s a potential scenario to work through with them. Imagine they created 10 GB of new data in a day, and a pipe burst, flooding a server at 4 p.m. If the previous backup occurred at 6 p.m the night before, that 10 GB of data is lost forever. That’s why today’s businesses have a standard practice of taking periodic data backups throughout the day. Next, look at their current backup solution and analyze if that is genuinely protecting their data, both in the cloud and on-premise. If not, talk about what weaknesses may exist and how you can help shore up their data’s safety.

With this information, you’ll be able to discuss the value of their data and share with your prospect the importance of a constant, all-encompassing continuity solution. If a business owner can put a dollar value on what they stand to lose, it’s much easier to explain a BCDR solution’s value.

Bringing Brand Reputation to the Equation 

Downtime can also have a severe impact on a company’s reputation, which is an important concept to communicate. One way to illustrate this to potential customers is to get them to think about how their customers would react if they were unable to serve them for an extended period—say, an entire day. Consider the nature of the business and tailor the message accordingly. If you have a client that left another IT service provider because they couldn’t recover IT operations quickly, you might build their story into your pitch. Security breaches can harm a business’s reputation, particularly if they are in an industry that involves sensitive customer data. While a BCDR solution isn’t exactly a security tool, it allows users to recover from a security breach quickly and, therefore, potentially strengthens their reputation in the service industry.

Selling the value of BCDR to your clients will result in a more secure business and higher recurring revenue numbers for you. Learn more about the benefits of Datto’s Unified Continuity solution and how it can help you earn more revenue by registering for Datto’s upcoming MSP Tech Day virtual event.

Christian Kane is Product Marketing Manager, Continuity.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Sep 08

Untangle: SMB IT Security Strained by COVID-19, Remote Work

By | Managed Services News

A growing number of SMBs continue to do more with less.

SMB IT security has become even more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic with the switch to remote work, and limited budgets and resources.

That’s according to Untangle‘s third annual SMB IT Security Report. Untangle polled more than 500 SMBs on managing IT security.

The SMB IT security report finds that, year-over-year, a growing number of SMBs continue to do more with less. Some 38% are allocating $1,000 or less to their IT security budget. That compares to 29% in 2019 and 27% in 2018.

Heather Paunet is senior vice president of product management at Untangle.

Untangle's Heather Paunet

Untangle’s Heather Paunet

“SMBs are facing many challenges right now, one of them being the transition from employees working within a headquarter location to working from home,” she said. “At the height of the pandemic, 78% of SMBs transitioned up to 100% of their employees to a remote workforce. And now, as states and cities work to provide some normalcy, 56% of SMB employees will remain working remotely. This challenge … is met with the additional challenge of bringing employees back into the office.”

IT teams need to audit each device that is home, Paunet said. They also need to audit each endpoint and connection to ensure it hasn’t been compromised. And they need to ensure the VPN is used correctly at all times.

You need a full system audit to identify if any employee credentials have been compromised.

Biggest Barriers

Consistent with previous report findings, one in three (32%) identify budget as their greatest barrier. That’s followed by employees who don’t follow IT security guidelines, limited time to research and understand emerging threats.

SMBs rank firewalls (82%), antivirus protection (57%), endpoint security (48%), archiving management and backup and VPN technologies, (47%), and web filtering (40%) as the most important features when considering which IT security offerings to buy.

Of the organizations surveyed, almost half (48%) operate in more than two locations. That makes SD-WAN an ideal infrastructure, according to Untangle. SMBs are able to increase branch office network security, increase internet efficiency and decrease IT spending.

“One of the more surprising findings in this report was that SMBs are still in the learning phases of understanding the benefits of adopting SD-WAN technologies,” Paunet said. “Many times, SD-WAN technology can be associated with large enterprise network infrastructure, but those same benefits can support SMBs. SMBs may not have considered this technology, but with the benefits it can provide, and money saved with its deployment, many more should.”

Some 45% of SMBs said they have adjusted or reevaluated their IT security road map based on recent breaches and attacks. And of those SMBs who experienced a data breach within the last 12 months, 15% were able to stop the attack or any unauthorized access before the malicious hackers extracted any sensitive data.

MSSPs Can Help

MSSPs and other cybersecurity providers should explore services that streamline what SMBs may already have in place, or further address pain points they are already dealing with,” Paunet said.

In addition, MSSPs and cybersecurity experts can provide ongoing employee education.

Another point where MSSPs can help SMBs is to streamline their hybrid network infrastructure, Paunet said.

“While SMBs have adopted a hybrid on-premises/cloud-based IT infrastructure for business applications … 71% of SMBs have their firewall on site rather than in the cloud,” she said. “Building a path for SMBs to extend their firewall or other key network components into the cloud, reducing hardware costs, or giving the organization the flexibility to pay on consumption, can extend their IT budgets into other crucial areas.”

Sep 05

Channel Partners Virtual: Get Ready for One Amazing Virtual Experience

By | Managed Services News

Channel Partners Virtual isn’t a “because we had no other choice” event. It’s where the channel comes together.

When we decided to go virtual with the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, your reaction was probably like mine. “Well, I guess we have no other choice.”

But since then, I and our team have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support from the channel community. And it’s not just support — it is genuine excitement for our first-of-its-kind channel event. We have seen a terrific number of partner registrations, and the enthusiasm from our sponsors has been stellar.

I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising; this is a tight-knit community that thrives on the education and networking opportunities at our shows. Lest you think there will be less to take in just because we’re virtual this year, take a gander at some of the incredible content we are offering.

Channel Partners Virtual Keynotes

  • The show kicks off Tuesday morning with channel favorite Tiffani Bova on our virtual stage. She will encourage partners to respond to the present and rethink the future, rather than dwell on what’s been a tough year.
  • Then, sit in on the first of our hot debates: Is convergence just hype or the future of the channel? The JS Group’s Janet Schijns will lead a panel of “yes men” and “naysayers” to help you decide which side will win out.
  • Our next debate asks “To MSSP or Not to MSSP“? This time, we’ll line up speakers from Malwarebytes, Sophos and more.

CP Virtual Banner Pre-ShowAnd those are just the day one keynotes. We’ll follow that up on Wednesday with a panel of channel “influencers,” featuring our Channel Influencer of the Year, 8×8’s John DeLozier; renowned industry speaker Will Harris telling you how to upsell and outsell on LinkedIn; and a third debate — this one on the future of distribution. It features execs from Ingram Micro, AppSmart, MicroCorp and Tech Data. Then DeLozier returns to the “main stage” to discuss the “Golden Era of Communicatons.”

Day three includes CompTIA’s Todd Thibodeaux presenting five ways to survive and thrive in the next year. That’s followed by a frank discussion on diversity in the channel. It will be led by international speaker Risha Grant, and feature a panel discussing how to achieve diversity and inclusion in your business.

Dozens of industry speakers who will “take the stage” at Channel Partners Virtual. Our online trade show is Sept. 8-10. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind event. It’s not too late to register!

Education

Our traditional conference education is intact, with a handful of tracks dedicated to helping you grow your business. They are business of the channel, sales and marketing, technology stack and security.

Another recent Channel Partners tradition, SD-WAN and UCaaS “Thunderdomes,” are back and stronger than ever. They pit rival vendors against one another to help you decide whose solution is the best. For our SD-WAN event on Monday, we’ve lined up channel leaders from Bigleaf Networks, Fusion Connect, CBTS and Aryaka. The UCaaS version features Fuze, Granite Telecommunications, CallTower and CenturyLink.

You’ll also increase your brain power via our “Fastballs,” five-minute pitches from companies telling you about their latest products. And our “On Topic” sessions – brand-new to this year’s show – include such subjects as WAN optimization, the post-pandemic reimagined, and more.

Channel Partners Virtual Networking & Awards

Our surveys show that networking is the No. 1 reason you attend our channel events. Pretty tough in a virtual show, right? Wrong!

First, several dozen suppliers will …

Sep 04

Intel Launches 11th Gen CPU, New Evo Logo for Premium Laptops

By | Managed Services News

Intel says its new mobile CPU integrated with Xe graphics is its fastest yet.

OEMs are readying the channel for laptops based on the new Intel 11th Gen CPU integrated with Iris Xe graphics. Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and other PC makers plan to ship laptops based on Intel’s new mobile processor.

Intel formally launched its next-gen mobile CPU this week, along with the Evo platform, a new brand for premium laptops. The first Evo logoed laptops are those based on the new Intel 11th Gen mobile CPU (code-named Tiger Lake). Intel’s new 11th Gen mobile processor also includes a new CPU architecture, codenamed Willow Cove. Intel claims it offers 20% better performance for office tasks and graphics rendering that is twice as fast.

Only the highest-end laptops rolling out this fall will carry the Evo logo. Evo is the brand for devices certified by Intel that meet the second version of its Project Athena design framework. Laptops that can carry the Evo logo must be certified by Intel, that they meet design and engineering criteria. Laptops based on the Evo platform meet Intel’s advanced connectivity, battery life, built-in intelligence and performance metrics. The laptops, which include Windows PCs and Chromebooks, must also meet specific form factor, feature and UI requirements.

Intel started priming its huge ecosystem for the new platform during January’s Consumer Electronics (CES) show. Building on last year’s long delayed 10nm processors, Intel’s 11th Gen CPUs are based on its new 10nm SuperFin technology. Described as “the largest single, intranode enhancement in the company’s history,” Intel said SuperFin will deliver a performance improvement comparable to a full-node transition. A full node infers the transition from 14nm to 10nm or Intel’s pending 7nm designs.

Thinnest and Lightest Laptops

Besides offering higher performance, Intel claims the new crop of laptops will be the thinnest and lightest to date. During an online launch event this week, the company released its first 9 Evo SKUs ranging from i3s to i7s.

Intel's Gregory Bryant

Intel’s Gregory Bryant

“It’s the best processor on the market,” said Gregory Bryant, EVP and GM of Intel’s client computing group. “The 11th Gen Intel Core processor brings together a new CPU that delivers industry leading performance.”

Bryant emphasized the new Evo CPUs scales to frequencies up to 4.8 Ghz. The new CPUs also have a new integrated system on a chip (SoC) GPU designed with Intel’s Xe graphics architecture. The new CPUs will offer improved AI performance and enhanced Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 integration, he added.

In the coming months leading into the peak fourth quarter selling season, OEMs partners will launch 50 new designs. Among them, 20 are set to carry the Evo logo. Overall, 150 based on Intel’s 11th Gen CPU platform are in the pipeline, the company said.

Bryant called out two of the new laptops during the launch presentations. One was Samsung’s Galaxy Book Flex 5G, a 2-in-1 laptop with a 13.3-inch display. Among several new laptops with the Intel 11th Gen CPU from Asus, Bryant pointed to its ExpertBook B9 (B9400).

“With super slim bezels, you get a 14-inch display, and it’s feather light, only 870 grams (1.9 lbs), making this one of the world’s lightest business notebooks.

While Intel is by far the predominant supplier of CPUs for PCs, it has lost ground to longtime rival AMD. Specifically, an increasing number of PCs of choice now offer the Ryzen processor line. Intel has signaled it will push back. Apple this summer also announced it is shifting from Intel CPUs to power its Macs to its own processors.

Among the 50 new laptops with 11th Gen CPUs in the pipeline:

  • Acer: Swift 5 Evo and Swift 3 are now available.
  • Asus: ZenBook Flip S (UX371, FHD LED-backlit 1W panel version) is Evo-certified and the company launched lineup of new laptops with 11th Gen processors.
  • Dynabook: Portégé X30W-J Evo certified and Portégé X30L-J with 11th Gen CPU will ship in the fourth quarter.
  • Lenovo: New Yoga laptops will offer an 11th Gen processor option.
  • Dell confirmed it will offer a version of its XPS 13 with an Intel Core 11th Gen CPU.
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