Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Oct 12

Transitioning Your Digital Fax Processes to the Cloud

By | Managed Services News

Learn why cloud fax beats on-prem and hybrid options every time.

There is a common misinterpretation that hybrid fax environments include the same benefits as cloud fax environments.

In this whitepaper, you will find out why that is a false assumption. Furthermore, you will learn seven reasons why choosing a cloud fax provider like eFax Corporate results in the best long-term decision.

Click HERE to download the white paper.

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Oct 12

Secure Cloud Faxing for Regulated Industries

By | Managed Services News

There are pitfalls to avoid in cloud migration.

This paper will walk you through some of the common pitfalls in migrating fax or any new technology to a cloud environment while providing you with a helpful checklist of key traits to look for when selecting your cloud fax vendor.

Click HERE to download the white paper. 

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Oct 12

IFS Charts Channel Growth After Switch from Direct Sales

By | Managed Services News

IFS’ channel leader says acquiring competitive talents helped accelerate channel growth.

IFS UNLEASHED — Software vendor IFS is on track to hit 40% channel sales in 2023, four years after switching from an almost entirely direct model.

Global channel leader Merlin Knott said when he joined the firm in 2019, the contribution from partners was just 2%. Speaking at IFS Unleashed in Miami, Knott said CEO Darren Roos tasked him with ensuring channel growth.

IFS' Melvin Knott

IFS’ Melvin Knott

“He said, ‘We need to have engagements with people who are going to go to market, who are going to find business, who are going to sell, who are going to be able to demonstrate the solutions and then execute on them.’ And that’s pretty much the journey we’ve been on for the last four years,” explained Knott.

During the event, Roos noted that while the firm’s software business has tripled in the last four years, its in-house consulting business has remained the same size.

IFS' Darren Roos

IFS’ Darren Roos

“When Darren took over, he established the principle that we would not invest in any more consultants,” said Knott. “We had 900 consultants in 2014; we have 900 consultants today. That means that space is free and open for channel partners to pursue business in.”

Acquiring Competitive Talent

Knott gave a couple of reasons for IFS’ channel growth.

“IFS this is not a startup; it’s a well-established business,” said Knott. “So, although our brand isn’t necessarily well-known outside of the industries we work in, the maturity of consulting capability was in the market. And that means that the thing partners had to bring in were sales and presales.”

The firm was also helped by a glut of talent in the market when IFS launched its recruitment drive.

“In the last 24 months, there’s been a huge competition for talent in the market, particularly around sales and presales. But that really wasn’t the case four years ago. Our competitors were shedding huge amounts of resources in the market. SAP was going through a transformation. Oracle was not going to support Oracle Financials anymore. There was a lot of talent that was coming into the market, and that all came into our ecosystem,” he explained.

“So we focused our partners on going and acquiring those competitive talents. There were a whole lot of field service management companies that started to either fold, get acquired or start downscaling. Salesforce made acquisitions and didn’t exactly make friends with either their channel or the staff that they acquired. And of course, they all shed into the market, which is a great opportunity for us. Those partners become our partners. And so we did a lot of transformations around competitive acquisition of partners, and we also acquired a lot of talent out of the market, who then became IFS consultants.”

IFS Partner Day

The efforts are paying off. IFS’ Partner Day this week hosted 420 partner representatives.

“We have a large and robust ecosystem,” said Roos. “And we’ve done that deliberately, because we want to give our customers choice.”

 

Oct 12

The Reality of Ransomware and How to Stay Protected

By | Managed Services News

Ransomware in the healthcare industry has grown into a global concern, amplified by the aftermath of COVID-19. In this piece, we will delve into the many ways that traditional faxing has been largely insecure over the years..leading to the one solution that provides the most reassurance when discussing cyber-crime.

Click HERE to download the whhite paper.

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Oct 12

Channel Program Updates: Nextiva, Kaseya, AWS, ConnectWise, SAP, More

By | Managed Services News

SAP, Nutanix, GoTo and many other vendors have recently enhanced their channel programs.

The supplier community knows now more than ever that it needs to show partners love. More and more of their peers have launched incentives and support to drive partner loyalty.

In some of these cases, the changes are routine, involving the addition of a partner tier, certifications/competencies or training. But in some cases, vendors formalized or launched entirely new programs. Some of those are catered to a specific partner type, like MSPs. In other cases, agents. One vendor launched an incentive model to compensate individual sales people within a partner organization.

And in the case of Kaseya, the IT management software company touted its recent investments in people and its vow to adopt Datto‘s MSP support model.

Scroll through the 17 images above to see the most important program updates of the previous month. Or check last month’s new programs recap if you missed it.

 

Oct 12

Vista Equity Partners Buying KnowBe4 for $4.6 Billion, Taking It Private

By | Managed Services News

KnowBe4 became a public company in April of last year.

It’s official: Vista Equity Partners is acquiring KnowBe4 for $4.6 billion, taking the security awareness training provider private again.

Last month, KnowBe4 confirmed receiving a proposal from Vista Equity Partners to acquire all outstanding shares of the company

The all-cash transaction should wrap in the first half of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. Those include receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by KnowBe4 stockholders.

Vista Equity Partners will acquire all outstanding shares of the company for $24.90 per share in cash. The proposal represents a 44% premium over KnowBe4’s closing price on Sept. 16. That was the last full trading day before Vista Equity Partners publicly disclosed its initial, non-binding acquisition proposal.

Vista Equity Partners Acquisition Next Phase of KnowBe4’s Journey

Stu Sjouwerman is KnowBe4‘s founder, chairman and CEO.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
KnowBe4's Stu Sjouwerman

KnowBe4’s Stu Sjouwerman

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the success of our strategy and the strength of our incredible team,” he said. “This acquisition by Vista represents the next phase of our journey. KnowBe4 has a strong record of performance, as evidenced by our market-leading platform and global customer base. Under Vista’s ownership, we will have access to additional resources and support, which will help us achieve our goals and deliver enhanced value to our customers. We look forward to partnering with Vista’s team to continue empowering businesses worldwide to strengthen their human firewall and make smarter security decisions every day.”

KnowBe4 became a public company in April of last year. Its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) was worth more than $2 billion.

When the transaction closes, KnowBe4’s shares will no longer trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and it will become a private company.

Cybersecurity Interesting, Active Area for Vista Equity Partners

Vista Equity Partners said cybersecurity remains an interesting and active area for the investment firm. This year, it announced a $1 billion investment in Securonix and a $215 million investment in Critical Start. In addition, it sold SecureLink to Imprivata after a successful five-year partnership. And it’s selling Ping Identity to Thoma Bravo for $2.8 billion.

KnowBe4 is Vista Equity Partners’ third take private of the year, following Citrix and Avalara.

Vista Equity Partners' Rod Aliabadi

Vista Equity Partners’ Rod Aliabadi

Rod Aliabadi is managing director at Vista Equity Partners.

“As a significant investor in KnowBe4, we could not be more excited to take this next step in our journey together,”he said. “We have long appreciated the work that KnowBe4 does in strengthening the human layer of cybersecurity through educating employees on how to identify social engineering and related cyber threats.”

Oct 12

IFS: ‘We Don’t Play the Numbers Game with Partner Recruitment’

By | Managed Services News

IFS says it doesn’t want to dilute value proposition for customers – unlike competitors.

IFS UNLEASHED ― Software vendor IFS has taken a swipe at rivals that “play the numbers game” with channel partner recruitment.

CEO Darren Roos and global channel leader Merlin Knott were speaking at IFS Unleashed in Miami this week.

Knott said IFS’ partner recruitment strategy is based on “quality, not quantity.”

IFS' Melvin Knott

IFS’ Melvin Knott

“We have a personal relationship with our partners — and that’s the difference in our model. If you look at a Microsoft or SAP or Oracle, they have a program which tries to attract as many people as they possibly can. It’s a numbers game,” Knott said.

“I don’t want to invest in 50 partners in that space because that’s disruptive,” he added. It confuses customers [and] it dilutes the messaging. It dilutes the value proposition, quite honestly, for the customer. We have a very focused go-to-market around industries, product segments, and distinct customer segments. If you think of that as a chessboard, we only ever want two partners in [a square].”

Competitors ‘Building a Wall’

Additionally, Roos (pictured on stage above) said many of IFS’ competitors “create a wall between themselves and partners” to get a strategic advantage.

“I don’t want to compete with our partners, and I’m happy to give them every advantage we can. There’s no reason for us to create that wall,” he said.

The CEO pointed out that while the firm’s software business has tripled in the last four years, its in-house consulting business has remained the same size.

“All of our efforts have gone into building a large and vibrant ecosystem of partners. We don’t compete,” he said. “We give them access to R&D, we involve them in the sales cycles, we do planning with them. They’re involved in our support propositions. Our consulting organization’s targets are based on partner enablement, training and certification, all of which we do for free.

“There is literally nothing we could do to bring are partners closer,” Roos told Channel Futures. “If there is, I’d love to hear it so we can do that.”

Maintaining Vertical Focus

Knott said IFS was seeking “real intimacy” with partners. However, they need to be focused on growth.

“We want them to scale vastly,” said Knott. “I don’t want channel partners who are mom-and-pop shops. If you look at our best and our biggest channel partners, they have 200 consultants. And we raise the level of the commercial accounts that line up in value, to encourage them to keep investing, to go after bigger customers.”

IFS has increased its midmarket focus to the enterprise under Roos’ leadership. However, he is determined the vendor maintains its vertical market focus. The verticals are aerospace and defense, energy, utilities and telco, construction and engineering, manufacturing and the service industries.

“We continue to deliver in the same five verticals that we have had since I joined in 2018,” said Roos. “That remains our strategy. Often, I get asked, including by my board members, when are we going to do something outside of these verticals? And my answer is, ‘We’re not.’ The reason is that we can continue to develop depth of capability in these verticals. And that is going to add more value to our customers.”

 

Oct 12

Intel Reportedly Planning Thousands of Layoffs, CEO Says Company ‘Must Do Better’

By | Managed Services News

One analyst said Intel is no longer the ‘all-conquering, 800-pound gorilla of the silicon market.’

Intel reportedly is planning massive job cuts that could impact thousands of employees in response to the PC market slowdown.

The layoffs will be announced as early as this month, likely around the same time as its third-quarter earnings announcement on Oct. 27. That’s according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the situation, Some divisions, including Intel’s sales and marketing group, could see layoffs impacting about 20% of staff.

The company had 113,700 employees as of July. Intel isn’t commenting on the layoffs.

Bloomberg also said Intel is seeing a steep decline in demand for PC processors. In addition, it hasn’t won back business from rivals.

Workers have started buzzing about the upcoming layoffs on TheLayoff.com.

There are two good indicators for it,” said one worker. “Are you over 50? Is your pay above average? It doesn’t matter if you are on one of the main projects or if you think you’re indispensable for your institutional knowledge and experience. If you check those two categories, your chances of being laid off are above average.”

Dropping Revenue

Intel’s revenue was down 22% during the second quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s CEO, said the results were “below the standards we have set for the company and our shareholders.”

Intel's Pat Gelsinger

Intel’s Pat Gelsinger

“We must and will do better,” he said. “The sudden and rapid decline in economic activity was the largest driver. But the shortfall also reflects our own execution issues. We are being responsive to changing business conditions, working closely with our customers while remaining laser-focused on our strategy and long-term opportunities. We are embracing this challenging environment to accelerate our transformation.”

Rik Turner is principal analyst at Omdia, which shares a parent company with Channel Futures (Informa).

Omdia's Rik Turner

Omdia’s Rik Turner

It’s quite clear that Intel is no longer the all-conquering, 800-pound gorilla of the silicon market that it once was,” he said. “That’s not to say that it’s a spent force. But one does get the impression that it’s now in the walking wounded category.”

Intel Competitors

In terms of Intel competitors, AMD seems to have been in one of its periodic upticks over the last year or so, Turner said.

“Though I notice that it has just spooked the market with an announcement that PC demand isn’t what it used to be,” he said. “Nvidia appears to have gone from strength to strength.”

Turner said when he listened to a briefing from Intel on their current situation and future plans, “they came across as a company fighting a rear-guard action rather than one that was breaking significant new ground.”

“It’s definitely the case that we live in uncertain times,” he said. “And numerous developed-world economies are somewhat shaky. But I can’t help feeling that Intel’s is a particularly bad situation, a bit like someone with underlying health problems when COVID-19 came along.”

Intel’s stock price was up a little more than 1% at 1:23 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Oct 12

Channel Futures Presents 2022 MSP 501 Minority-Owned MSPs

By | Managed Services News

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

We are proud to present our minority-owned company list, which we derived from our 2022 MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists.

This is the first in a series of lists that feature underrepresented groups in the channel. Look for woman-owned and veteran-owned lists to follow this week.

See our slideshow above for the minority-owned companies from our lists. Our Channel Futures DE&I 101 list might interest you as well.

Oct 12

Dell Technologies Moves Closer to the Edge with Project Frontier

By | Managed Services News

“We see the edge as the next frontier for our customers’ business transformation,” the company said.

Dell Technologies is ramping up its focus on edge computing with the launch of a new software platform, Project Frontier.

Project Frontier will help organizations simplify and automate their edge operations, said Dell. The company announced the launch Wednesday at the Dell Technologies Summit.

“We see the edge as the next frontier for our customers’ business transformation,” said Sam Grocott, SVP of product marketing at Dell. “We’re seeing extremely high adoption of infrastructure for edge growing very, very quickly.”

According to IDC, 42% of businesses say the most challenging aspect of edge deployments is putting together an entire edge solution.

Dell's Sam Grocott

Dell’s Sam Grocott

“We know the game has got to change,” said Grocott. “We need to deliver solutions to help our customers maximize their edge. We think this is the perfect time to introduce Project Frontier as the next frontier for our multicloud strategy.

“Project Frontier is going to allow organizations to better manage and operate edge infrastructure and applications much more securely, efficiently and at scale.”

What Is Project Frontier?

Project Frontier’s open design supports use cases across software applications, IoT frameworks, operational technologies (OT), multicloud environments and future technologies.

It claims greater efficiency and reliability of end-to-end edge operations with centralized management, zero-touch deployment and secure device onboarding. There is minimal need for IT expertise in the field with automation to streamline edge deployments and operations across edge locations.

It can also integrate with edge compute, and storage hardware with workloads. Another feature — global planning and support services across 170 countries. This will help design edge deployments and create a road map for scaling customers’ edge infrastructure.

Potential For Partners

Grocott said there are a “multitude of potential opportunities” for partners around Project Frontier.

“Many partners deliver services around edge use cases today so those partners who are resellers will be able to resell those. Partners who have services, for example, around vertical use cases would benefit very much [from] the levels of automation and the ability to create blueprints and simplify the deployment.

“And over time, some partners … would be able to collaborate with us and offer it as an offer from themselves. There are a multitude of potential opportunities for channel partners. We’re encouraging channel partners to talk to us and let us know what business models they see around this as we are building the platform.”

Expanded Dell Portfolio

With the launch, Dell is expanding its current edge portfolio. This includes an enhanced Dell Validated Design for Manufacturing Edge. The solution now includes new Dell-validated partner applications to support advanced edge use cases.

Dell PowerEdge XRMeanwhile, the Dell PowerEdge XR4000 is the shortest depth server in the Dell PowerEdge family — about the size of a shoebox. The XR4000 is 60% shorter than traditional data center servers, and its mounting options allow it to be installed in a rack, on walls or ceilings, saving floor space.

Additionally, Dell said the Latitude 7230 Rugged Extreme Tablet can withstand “the most demanding edge locations.”

Project Frontier will be available in 2023.

 

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