Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Oct 13

Check Point Rolls Out New MSSP Program to Accelerate Growth, Profitability

By | Managed Services News

Check Point designed the MSSP program to scale as threats evolve.

Check Point Software Technologies has launched a new global MSSP program. It offers an integrated security portfolio, automated processes and access to hundreds of Check Point experts and researchers.

With Check Point’s prevention-first security operations suite, Horizon, the program gives partners the capabilities needed for extended detection and response/extended prevention and response (XDR/XPR), managed detection and response/managed prevention and response (MDR/MPR), events management and SOC certainty.

Under the new program, MSSPs can:

  • Provide global SOC-as-a-service without the upfront investment required. MSSPs can leverage Check Point’s Horizon MDR/MPR solution with co-branded and white-label versions. This can supplement similar services the MSSP is offering or completely expand their current solution set.
  • Address major security incidents. MSSPs can also leverage and provide co-branded versions of Check Point’s incident response (IR) services.

MSSP Input Shaped New Program

Check Point's Frank Rauch

Check Point’s Frank Rauch

Frank Rauch is Check Point’s head of worldwide channel sales. He said input from MSSPs was “at the heart of decisions and enhancements along the way.”

Partners who have engaged with us over the years understand well the depth of our research and development team,” he said. “Through conversing with partners, we learned that because of the skilled security labor shortages, costs are going up and they see value in collaborating with Check Point to manage services such as MDR/MPR, XDR/XPR and more. Some partners expressed that they want to white-label these backend services with their own brand. Others prefer to lead with the Check Point brand, as our brand has a long legacy of quality security.”

In addition, partners and customers want Check Point to manage more than just its solutions, Rauch said.

“The most commonly used third-party integrations today include Office 365,” he said. “As we continue to add third-party services to our MDR offerings, partner and customer requests continue to guide us. As a matter of fact, through the development phases, we worked directly with pre-launch partners and customers, and we are already jointly managing MDR for over 100 customers. We are now beyond delighted to scale through partner-led services.”

Program Benefits

The new Check Point MSSP program includes:

  • Streamlined onboarding with hands-on support, including engineering bootcamps, enablement workshops, proof of concepts (POCs) and operational improvements.
  • More support for MSSPs by enabling access to Check Point’s network of experts including the Check Point Research team and the incident response team.
  • Leveraging the expanded capabilities of Check Point’s Horizon platform within the Infinity architecture, MSSP partners can now have prevention-first security operations with XDR/XPR, MDR/MPR and events management capabilities.
  • Upcoming capabilities will allow customized billing options across the security portfolio, which removes cost of engaging for partners and customers.

Competitive Advantage

“The depth of experience of Check Point‘s research and intelligence team is second to none,” Rauch said. “This sets the quality of our prevention-first strategy apart from the rest.”

With over 300 proven and documented available integrations, partners and customers have the ability to integrate with other key elements in their networks; adding speed, agility and scale, he said.

The program also offers training and MSSP badges that help to differentiate their expertise in the market for both prospect and existing customers,” Rauch said. “Lastly, continuous innovation on our part helps keep these MSSPs ahead of their competition, with added services and support/professional services to help with customer retention.”

Program to Evolve with Threats

Check Point designed the MSSP program to scale as threats evolve, Rauch said.

“Our threat intelligence team is always on the hunt for new threats,” he said. “And all of our solutions are continuously being updated as a result. Moreover, our MDR/MPR partner-led services will continue to add key integrations that matter to partners.”

Paul Solomon is head of managed cyber services at SoftCat.

“At SoftCat, we have been delivering industry-leading IT services for over 10 years,” he said. “And we do so by partnering with cybersecurity experts like Check Point as an extension of our own team to strengthen our offerings and provide a wide range of security solutions for our customers.”

Oct 13

Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet HITEC’s Top Hispanic Channel Leaders

By | Managed Services News

National Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close this weekend. Instead of beginning on the first of the month like most celebration months, Hispanic Heritage Month starts on Sept. 15 in honor of the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. (In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively).

Over the past four weeks, Americans have celebrated the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

According to the Hispanic Heritage Month website, this year’s theme of “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation” is intended to encourage us “to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation.”

The Census Bureau reports that Hispanics represent the fastest-growing portion of the American population. In 2021, 62.6 million people identified as Hispanic or Latino; that’s 19% of the U.S. population. Between 2010 and 2020, more than half of the total U.S. population growth (51.1%), was due to an increasing Hispanic population.

And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics were responsible for nearly 80% of growth in the U.S. workforce between 2010 and 2017. was due to the number of Hispanic workers grew from 10.7 million in 1990 to 29.0 million in 2020 and is projected to reach 35.9 million in 2030. It is projected that 78% of net new workers between 2020 and 2030 will be Hispanic. By 2050 they will account for nearly one-third of the workforce.

Numerous but Neglected

But despite their substantial numbers, Hispanics are sorely underrepresented in executive positions. They account for 17% of the workforce, but only 4.3% of executives. And in the tech industry, the numbers are even worse in terms of both workers and executives. Hispanics account for less than 8% of tech industry workers.  Even at the biggest tech firms representation is lacking. Axios reports that as of 2021, Hispanics accounted for 8.8% of the tech workers at Google, 8% at Apple, 7% at Microsoft and 6.5% at Meta (Facebook).

And according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only about 3% of executives in the tech industry are Hispanic. For that reason and more, their recognition is especially important.

Each year, the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council (HITEC) names the 100 most influential Hispanic leaders in technology. Many of these HITEC 100 honorees are with channel-oriented companies. They are a source of pride for their communities as well as an inspiration to achieve. As HITEC Chairman Guillermo Diaz Jr. stated, “This amazing group of awardees has shown us — and more importantly, the next generation that they ‘can be what they can see.’”

Click through the gallery above to see some of the HITEC 100 for 2023.

 

 

Oct 13

Channel Futures Presents 2022 MSP 501 Woman-Owned MSPs

By | Managed Services News

This list features the woman-owned businesses from our 2022 MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists.

We are proud to present our woman-owned list, derived from the 2022 MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists. This series of lists represents partners who are from underrepresented groups in the channel, such as women, people of color and veterans.

This is the second slideshow in our series, our woman-owned shops. Our veteran-owned list will follow.

Click here to view our minority-owned list.

Oct 13

Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating the Hispanic-American Dream

By | Managed Services News

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by learning about the inspirational story of award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa.

Hispanics come to the United States to realize the fabled American Dream. We celebrate their rich cultures, traditions and contributions during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Hispanic population accounted for nearly half of the population growth in the United States from 2010-2021. Our numbers reached 62.5 million in 2021, up 19% from 2010. Today, nearly one in five people in the United States is Hispanic.

These statistics from Pew Research show that Latinos are a sizable and growing community in America. As a Latino immigrant to the United States, I can attest that many Hispanics still come to this country to realize the fabled American Dream. In that pursuit, they also bring rich cultures, traditions and contributions, which we celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15 every year.

My company, Granite Telecommunications, is marking Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting the inspirational story of one powerful Latina who has made it in America. Granite’s Community Awareness, Networking, Diversity & Informational Development (CANDID) group invited award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa as a guest speaker for a companywide virtual event on Oct. 7.

Maria Hinojosa’s American Dream

Headshot of Maria Hinojoso

Maria Hinojosa

Maria’s story begins, like many of ours, as an immigrant. Maria came to America from Mexico and tells the story of growing up in Chicago as the daughter of an immigrant doctor who brought her to this country as a baby. She became one of the first Latina reporters in many U.S. newsrooms. She dreamed of creating independent, multimedia journalism covering the diverse American experience. To realize her dream, in 2010 she formed the Futuro Media Group, an independent, nonprofit organization based in Harlem.

Maria’s nearly 30-year career includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN and NPR, as well as anchoring the Emmy Award-winning talk show from WGBH, “Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One.” She is the author of three books and has won dozens of awards, including four Emmys. She was honored with her own day in October by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and has been recognized by People En Español as one of the 25 most powerful Latina women. Most recently, Maria has been awarded a Pulitzer award for her work with the podcast “Suave” produced by Futuro Media Group.

Why Tell Maria’s Story?

I was fortunate to meet Maria many years ago when I worked for a then-startup Boston Hispanic Media company, El Planeta Media. She gave us a tour of her production company, and I stayed in contact with her over the years. Since then, Maria has become one of the most influential Latinos in the country. Her story is not only about her journey but how she’s paving the way for others.

In her 2020 memoir, “Once I Was You,” Maria shares her experience growing up as a Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. She also tells the story of immigration in America through her family’s experiences and decades of reporting. In 2022, she retells the story for young readers in a new version of the book so that they can see the possibilities for their futures.

The takeaways from the original book for me, other Latinos, or anyone willing to read or listen are:

  • Education is a great equalizer towards the path to success.
  • Hard work always pays off.
  • Believing in ourselves is catalyst for our dreams.
  • Dreaming big brings greater victories.
  • Having a trusted network of people to lean on is key.

In short, Maria’s story is about the American Dream, no matter who you are. It’s not just about being Hispanic. Maria belongs to many groups:

  • Immigrant
  • Woman
  • Mother
  • Hispanic
  • Journalist/Author
  • Businesswoman
  • Business owner
  • Wife
  • Visionary

All groups are trying to identify qualities that will make them successful. At Granite CANDID, we talk about two in particular – mental endurance and emotional intelligence. Maria exhibits both:

  • Mental endurance – Maria is disciplined in approaching her career, getting up early for recording, finding ways to add value to her stories with different angles that were not being covered by anyone else, thinking out of the box and exploring different points of view.
  • Emotional Intelligence – Maria candidly shared the struggles in her marriage, her awareness of her emotions and feelings, and the need to seek professional advice despite the stigma of psychiatry in the Hispanic culture.

As a Mexican American, I feel a kinship with Maria though our journeys are quite different. I am grateful for the trails she’s blazed and the legacy she’s leaving for other Hispanics to follow – hopefully, with fewer bumps along the way.

Granite's Raul MedinaRaul Medina is National Relationship Development Manager at Granite Telecommunications and co-Chair of the Granite CANDID Network. CANDID stands for Corporate Advancement Networking Diversity Inclusion and Development. The overall mission of CANDID is to create a culture of positivity and acceptance within the Granite workplace so that all teammates feel welcome and enjoy their work environment. Medina also leads Granite Rock OUT, Granite’s first LGBTQA+ Employee Resources Network. For more information, visit Granite at www.granitenet.com. 

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Oct 12

Auvik Acquires SaaS and Remote Management Companies

By | Managed Services News

The acquisitions advance Auvik’s end-user experience goals and overall initiatives for MSPs.

Auvik, the network monitoring software provider, is buying a pair of companies. The first is Saaslio, which pffers software-as-a-service security and management. The second is Boardgent, a remote device management company.

These snap-ups are part of Auvik’s plans to expand its capabilities overall. They are also designed to aid MSPs and internal IT departments in effectively managing the end-user experience. 

By bringing Saaslio and Boardgent into the fold, Auvik will provide a specific toolset to providers. This includes greater control, visibility and troubleshooting capabilities over the new last mile of the office network.

Auvik's Marc Stein

Auvik’s Marc Stein

“An organization’s ability to be productive is paramount anywhere,” said Marc Morin, founder and CEO of Auvik. “Auvik is working to support distributed-first organizations that need a centralized tool to monitor and manage the modern work environment. Auvik, Saaslio and Boardgent have a similar approach to the market and how we value our clients. We believe that the combination of our deep expertise in network monitoring and management, experienced workforces, proprietary technologies and innovative solutions allows our unified company to deliver the ultimate network monitoring platform.”

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

Distributed Workforce

Before the pandemic, productivity, collaboration and work typically occurred within the walls of the traditional network. Now, however, the distributed work trend reigns supreme. This, of course, creates unique challenges for IT teams. This shift created a new last mile of the office network located on home networks, 4G & 5G hotspots, and unsecured Wi-Fi. As a result, IT teams find themselves rendered nearly powerless.

Auvik recently acquired MetaGeek to gain its Wi-Fi troubleshooting technologies. With the additions of Saaslio and Boardgent, Auvik will now be able to help IT organizations ensure end-users can remain productive regardless of their location or which applications they are using. Auvik’s product line will also allow IT departments to identify, isolate and resolve issues impacting the end-user experience. This is significant because this is not typically an area covered by traditional endpoint management and RMM tools.

Securing SaaS Systems

Saaslio’s SaaS discovery solution enables IT professionals to uncover, manage and secure SaaS ecosystems. 

Saaslio's John Harden

Saaslio’s John Harden

“The advent of SaaS productivity apps has enabled the work-from-anywhere trend and lessened reliance on VPN connectivity, further complicating the work IT teams must do to keep end-users productive,” said John Harden, founder, Saaslio. “Now, Saaslio and Auvik will provide IT professionals visibility and centralized control beyond the office firewall and into SaaS applications and issues facing end-users.”

Boardgent’s solution allows IT teams to remotely support end-users and manage endpoints through a web-based interface. The partnership between Auvik and Boardgent will bolster existing endpoint management and troubleshoot issues affecting the end-user experience.

Boardgent's Ricardo Polo Jaramillo

Boardgent’s Ricardo Polo Jaramillo

“Much like Auvik, we want to enable IT pros to quickly resolve any end-user impacting issues,” said Ricardo Polo Jaramillo, CEO, Boardgent. “By joining forces, IT teams can now have the ability to diagnose and resolve end-user experience issues as they arrive, no matter where they sit on the new network.”

Oct 12

Microsoft to Certify Cisco Hardware for Teams Rooms, Premium Version Planned

By | Managed Services News

An enhanced Microsoft Teams Premium will be available next year for $10 per user, per month.

MICROSOFT IGNITE — Microsoft will certify Cisco’s conferencing and communications devices with Teams Rooms, a move that will let partners ensure compatibility. The certification is one of a broad set of announcements on Wednesday kicking off the Microsoft Ignite conference.

Further, Microsoft introduced Teams Premium, which will bring enhanced collaboration and conferencing capabilities for an added $10 monthly fee. Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella announced Teams Rooms enhancements during his opening keynote address at Ignite.

“Cisco will become a Microsoft Teams Rooms-certified device partner and run Teams Rooms on Android natively on their room systems,” Nadella said during the keynote. “The certified device portfolio will include multiple meeting devices and peripherals — and more to come.”

Nearly a year ago, Cisco promised to ensure interoperability with Teams and Google Meet. Cisco and Microsoft have formed a partnership agreement to provide that compatibility with Teams. Cisco’s general manager of Webex devices, Snorre Kjesbu, noted that 85% of its customers use multiple meeting room platforms daily.

Cisco's Snorre Kjesbu

Cisco’s Snorre Kjesbu

“For the first time ever, Cisco will become a certified Microsoft Teams Rooms devices partner,” Kjesbu wrote in a blog. “Our mutual customers will benefit from the option of running Microsoft Teams or Webex meetings natively on their Cisco devices. Microsoft Teams users get to leverage the powerful machine learning and AI included in our devices.”

Initial Interoperability Plan

Microsoft initially will certify six of Cisco’s most popular meeting room systems, along with three peripherals, by early next year. Among them are the Cisco Board Pro 55-inch and 75-inch, the Cisco Room Bar and the Cisco Room Kit Pro. To follow will be the Cisco Desk Pro and Cisco Room Navigator. Both will offer the option of setting Microsoft Teams Rooms as the default setting, though will continue to support Webex.

The first peripheral that Microsoft will certify is the Cisco Desk Camera 4K, an intelligent USB webcam, available this month. It will also enable Microsoft Teams as its default user experience, though it will also support Webex meetings. Early next year, two Cisco headphones with Teams buttons will ship.

Microsoft Teams Premium

The new Microsoft Teams Premium is an add-on to make meetings and webinars more personalized and secure. Nicole Herskowitz, VP of Microsoft Teams, noted that virtual and hybrid meetings have become prevalent.

Microsoft's Nicole Herskowitz

Microsoft’s Nicole Herskowitz

“Virtual and hybrid meetings continue to take up the lion’s share of time spent at work,” Herskowitz wrote in a blog announcing the premium edition. “Now, more than ever, leaders need an integrated solution that combines all the advanced meeting capabilities, takes meeting culture to the next level, and allows them to do more with less.”

Microsoft will release a preview of Teams Premium in December. We show some Teams Premium features in the slideshow above.

 

Oct 12

Top Cloud Fax Benefits for Financial Companies

By | Managed Services News

There are pitfalls to avoid in cloud migration.

Whether it’s legal documents, tax forms, or mortgage packets, the number of financial documents being faxed daily is greater than you can imagine.
This paper dives into the countless benefits associated with cloud faxing within today’s constantly evolving financial industry. .

Click HERE to download the white paper. 

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Oct 12

Rick Dellar, Visionary Intelisys Architect, Joins Forces with Upstack

By | Managed Services News

“The people who’ve joined the Upstack family are partners that have become my friends over 25 years,” Dellar said.

Upstack just added Intelisys co-founder Rick Dellar to its board of directors. It’s a move that reunites Dellar with many of his former sales agent partners.

Dellar, who left the Intelisys leadership team in 2020, will also serve as senior advisor to Upstack CEO Christopher Trapp. The move pairs a gigantic figure in the technology advisor channel with one of the channel’s most powerful partner organizations. Upstack has harnessed funds from Berkshire Partners and other investors to bring more than 20 agencies into its family. Dellar and his Intelisys leadership team, on the other hand, sold Intelisys to publicly traded ScanSource in a deal that many in the channel say drove future investors into the space.

Dellar_Rick_Upstack

Upstack’s Rick Dellar

Trapp called Dellar “a true visionary and one of the most highly respected executives in the digital infrastructure industry.”

Upstack's Christopher Trapp

Upstack’s Christopher Trapp

“Twenty-five years ago, Rick and his founding team successfully pioneered a new distribution model for telecom and digital infrastructure services — a model that Upstack aspires to transform as it enhances the way businesses of all sizes design and source digital infrastructure,” Trapp said. “Furthermore, Rick’s ability to cultivate a culture and community across thousands of entrepreneurs that transcends their competitive natures aligns perfectly with our aspirations of building an ambitious yet highly inclusive and supportive culture across our entire organization. Rick’s guidance, experience and support for our vision will be invaluable to Upstack’s future success.”

Career Pivots

Dellar, formerly a sales rep for Cable and Wireless, co-founded technology services distributor Intelisys in 1994. According to Dellar and Upstack, the firm grew to drive $120 million in gross commissions with its partners in 2015.

Dellar stayed on for about four year following the sale of Intelisys to distributor ScanSource. He left in July 2020, two months before ScanSource delivered its final earnout payment to former Intelisys shareholders.

From 2020 to now, Dellar has been leading the real estate development company he founded in 2015. He will continue to lead that company.

Now Dellar turns to helping Upstack succeed.

“The motivation for me at this point in my career is to be part of something impactful,” Dellar said. “The channel community is evolving and consolidating in meaningful ways. I want to work with an organization that’s making an impact and leading the market. Upstack is disrupting the channel, gaining momentum and attracting the finest talent.”

Dellar said moving to Upstack would put him back in contact with some of his longtime partners. For example, Upstack has invested in multiple platinum Intelisys agents, including Subsidium and RDS Solutions. In addition, Dellar joins several other former Intelisys employees. Those include Danielle DeCosta (Upstack’s vice president of supplier and sales enablement), Samantha Jacks (Upstack’s vice president of commissions operations) and Cybil Nielsen (Upstack’s senior vice president of business operations).

“The people who’ve joined the Upstack family are partners that have become my friends over 25 years. Working with them again and having a continued impact is a huge bonus.”

Seeing Eye-to-Eye

Trapp said he first met Dellar about a year ago during an executive retreat. At that point, he had already heard a great deal about him.

“Many of the agents that we had invested in up to that point had expressed not only the amount of respect they had for what he had built at Intelisys, but how their relationships transcended business and turned into genuine, meaningful friendships,” Trapp said. “Hearing this from entrepreneurs I truly respect resonated with me because culturally he sounded like the type of business leader whose success was not only determined by financial outcomes, but also the personal outcomes, with lifelong friendships built over decades as proof,” Trapp said.

Trapp added that their relationship took time to develop.

“Despite some initial tension – which is not uncommon when you bring two ambitious people together – Rick and I came to not only like each other personally, but professionally, and I was able to clarify our mission at Upstack, which I believe resonated with him,” he said. “Rick is at a point in his life and career where he can do whatever he wants, wherever he wants. I think what excited him most about working with Upstack was to be part of one of the most compelling visions for the future of our industry, in addition to working with and closely mentoring me as a young chief executive. I couldn’t be more excited to work with him.”

Upstack

Trapp first broadly introduced Upstack to the channel world in April 2021 with news of a $50 million investment from Berkshire. That money would go in part to invest in agents and their books of business. Trapp told Channel Futures that he was aiming to build “the best direct sales agency in the country.”

Upstack has produced a steady stream of headlines in 2022, including its partnerships with Lumen and more acquisitions.

 

Oct 12

jSign Blockchain White Paper

By | Managed Services News

There are pitfalls to avoid in cloud migration.

Studies show that when evaluating electronic signature solutions, most businesses tend to over-focus on cost, ease of use, and integration capabilities. A feature that is often under-valued is whether the tool in question includes blockchain technology to store and safeguard your signature history.

Click HERE to download the white paper. 

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Oct 12

Vade Picks SolarWinds, Barracuda Vet as New VP of Sales for the Americas

By | Managed Services News

The new sales leader will strengthen both new and established relationships with MSPs.

Vade, which monitors 1 billion email messages worldwide, has hired Mike Pate, previously with SolarWinds and Barracuda, as its vice president of sales for the Americas.

Pate’s job is to grow and strengthen Vade’s sales channels in the North American markets. He’ll do so as the company embarks on major expansion plans in the region.

Vade's Mike Pate

Vade’s Mike Pate

“After seeing what Vade’s products can do, and the successes they have already achieved in Europe, I was excited to take on this role,” he said. “When I saw how this product really spoke for itself, in terms of the power that it brings to the table and the ease of installation, I knew that this was an organization that I could truly build with. My goal is to execute upon Vade’s growing awareness in the Americas to expand our sales teams to strengthen and forge new relationships among our channel partners.”

Extensive Experience in B2B Technologies

Pate joins Vade with more than 30 years of experience in B2B technologies, the majority of which were with cybersecurity firms. He’s held sales-focused leadership roles at Drobo, SolarWinds, Barracuda and ioSafe. He’s also spent time as a part of Uberall’s North American leadership team.

Pate will be responsible for expanding the company’s sales team in the Americas. He’ll focus on an early sales motion, and strengthening both new and established relationships with MSPs.

Georges Lotigier is Vade’s CEO. 

“We can’t be more excited to have Mike join our team,” he said. “He is a natural leader and a born salesman, with a keen instinct for our business. He brings to the table years of experiences learning from some of the best salespeople in our industry, as well as the energy, enthusiasm and practical know-how to take the helm of our sales teams in the Americas and bring about explosive growth for Vade.”

In May, Vade received $30 million from Tikehau Ace Capital. The French government also kicked in funding through French Tech Souveraineté, which is part of France 2030.

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