Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Sep 01

Zoom Meetings Demand Leads to Stock Explosion, More Channel Hype

By | Managed Services News

COVID-19 and aftermath has made Zoom a staple, leading the company to raise its forecast.

Given the volume of Zoom meetings during the last quarter, revenue forecasts of $500 million were already high. But Zoom’s final tally of $664 million blew past those top-end estimates, stunning Wall Street with nearly quadruple year-on-year growth.

Zoom, which released its 2Q21 report Monday, also raised its already bullish outlook for the rest of the year. Spectacular by any measure, Zoom is among the most prominent beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the outset early this year, Zoom meetings have become the staple of enabling work and education from home.

Compared with the same period last year when Zoom took in $146 million, Zoom’s take amounts to a 355% surge. Revenue during the quarter exceeded sales for the entire previous year. Based on its raised estimate, Zoom projects revenue could top $690 million this quarter. The revised forecast for the fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31, pegs revenue at approximately $2.37 billion. Considering Zoom had originally forecast under $1 billion for the year, that’s an extraordinary surge.

The company’s stock price jumped a whopping 41% on Tuesday, now up close to 700% on the year. That’s not a typo.

Zoom Revenue Growth“We continued to see meaningful adoption of Zoom’s video-first unified communications platform across industries and geographies,” president and CEO Eric Yuan said during Monday evening’s earnings call.

Zoom meetings and webinars have become a sanctuary during the pandemic for hundreds of thousands of organizations and individuals. Demand is high for competitive offerings as well, including Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. But early into the pandemic, Zoom’s has become a platform of choice, especially for those with limited tech skills. Zoom was also the first reach out to the mass market with free services for schools and businesses. Inertia continues to drive demand for Zoom as remote work and learning are poised to continue indefinitely in some form. Zoom saw growth across small businesses and large enterprises alike.

Among some notable figures last quarter:

  • 372,000 customers with 10 or more employees, up from 66,300 during the same period last year, a 458% increase.
  • 988 customers that generated more than $100,000 in revenue, compared to 466, a rise of 112%.
  • Thirty-six percent of revenue was from customers with 10 or fewer employees, compared to 30% in the prior quarter.
  • Five hundred employees hired, representing the company’s largest growth in staffing to date.
  • Free cash flow grew 2,000%.
  • 7% operating margins.

Asked how Zoom will use its increased cash flow, CFO Kelly Steckelberg told CNBC the company will invest in continued expansion.

“We’re focused on investing in more salespeople to meet the demand,” Steckelberg said. “And of course, more engineers to continue to innovate and build our platform. And then we will always look if there are opportunities for M&A technology and/or teams that can really augment our platform or our team to continue to drive that top line growth as well.”

Steckelberg didn’t indicate Zoom has major plans to invest in broadening its channel reach. During Monday’s earnings, Rosenblatt Securities managing director Ryan Koontz asked if Zoom plans to expand its channel partner efforts. Steckelberg pointed to Zoom’s new referral program. Launched in March, Zoom tapped Avant, Intelisys, Pax8 and Telarus as master agents for its burgeoning Zoom Phone offering.

“We are really excited about that program and expect it to continue to contribute more significantly as we move through the year,” she said. However, for Zoom meetings, the company will continue to focus primarily on direct sales “which has been very successful for us today.”

Zoom did extend its outreach to …

Sep 01

Z by HP Updates Packed with Laptops, Workstations

By | Managed Services News

HP shows innovation on the debut of its Z by HP workstation portfolio for Fall 2020.

HP on Tuesday announced its Fall 2020 hardware lineup. The vendor’s Z by HP workstations business showcased more than a half-dozen new products including laptops and workstations.

More specifically, the Z by HP portfolio includes the ZBook Fury 15 G7, ZBook Fury 17 G7, and the ZBook Power G7; the Z2 Mini G5, Z2 Small Form Factor G5, Z2 Tower G5, and the ZCentral and ZCentral 4R.

HP's Jim Nottingham

HP’s Jim Nottingham

“If it wasn’t clear before the pandemic, I think it’s very clear now that the PC is essential,” said Jim Nottingham, general manager and global head advanced compute and solutions, Z by HP. “As good as the technology is today, we recognize that there’s a big opportunity today where we can and need to improve to enable a more sustainable and healthier one life experience for our customers. We see this as a call to innovation.”

That call to innovation is to help customers accelerate technology and solutions that increase productivity and seamless collaboration.

Innovation Calls

According to HP, the work PC has a new role. More than two in five (41%) users prefer virtual meetings. One third (32%) of time spent on a work PC is on hobbies, and 80% of professional creators and power users want to continue working from home either part-time or full-time.

The three ZBook Fury products aim to transform mobility. For example, the ZBook Fury 15 G7 is 12% smaller than the last generation of product. For the first time, the “power of Z” offers simultaneous, unthrottled performance from the latest Intel CPUs and Nvidia Quadro RT 4000 or 5000 GPUs. This PC is designed for heavy, multi-app workflows. HP recommends Windows 10 Pro for business.

The new Z2 products are entry-level workstations that boost performance in a smaller footprint. For example, the HP Z2 Small Form Factor G5 workstation is designed to pack more graphics and processing into less space. The device includes Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 graphics and 10-core processor in a small form factor. The device is re-engineered from the ground up for full, unthrottled performance for real-time rendering and faster visualizations.

ZCentral

HP ZCentral is a single-sourced remote workstation solution, while HP ZCentral 4R is a 1U rack workstation.

“We took our top selling Z4 G4 and engineered all of that capability into a 1U form factor utilizing Intel Xeon W processors with up to 18 CPU cores to aid in your CPU-intensive workflows,” said Nottingham.

The device also includes Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000 to address graphics or data science needs, or 2x mid/entry GPU. Also, an optional redundant or aggregated power supply ensures power.

HP also expanded the capabilities of its remote graphics software and introduced HP ZCentral. It allows users to leverage the full compute power of idle workstations from any remote location, including homes using ZCentral Remote Boost. With ZCentral Connect, ITDMs can manage all of the connections remotely. Continuing to enable remote work and collaboration, HP offers ZCentral Remote Boost.

“ZCentral Remote Boost enables customers to securely connect to their workstations in the office from virtually, anywhere,” said Nottingham.

Sustainability and Security

The vendor also notes that the Z by HP device portfolio is sustainable and secure. On the sustainability side, the most devices boast EPEAT Gold, a comprehensive measure of product sustainability, bulk packaging, reduced plastics entering the world’s oceans and sustainably sourced packaging.

Security for most of the devices announced today includes HP Sure Sense, AI-based threat detection; HP Sure Start Gen 6 for self-healing BIOS; HP Sure Click, HP BIOSphere Gen 6; Tamper Lock; HP Sure View Reflect, and other security features.

Expect the products to be available as follows: ZBook Fury G7, Sept. 14; ZBook Power G7, Oct. 5; Z2 Mini G5, Sept. 1; Z2 SFF G5, Sept. 28; Z2 Power G5, Sept. 28; ZCentral is now available; and ZCentral 4R, Oct. 19.

Aug 31

Surge in School Cyberattacks Expected, Ransomware Leading Threat

By | Managed Services News

Schools are the low-hanging fruit of cyberattack targets.

The FBI has issued a warning that K-12 school cyberattacks could surge during the uptick in remote-learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hackers find school cyberattacks attractive for two important reasons. First, schools hold troves of sensitive student data and have minimal defense mechanisms. That makes them the low-hanging fruit of cyberattack targets. Second, short-staffed IT teams are likely making school cyberattacks easier.

School cyberattacks make the news regularly. For example, virtual classes at Selma, California, schools abruptly ended last Friday after malicious hackers targeted the school district with a ransomware attack. And cybercriminals are increasingly targeting North Carolina school districts.

To find out more about school cyberattacks, we spoke with Guy Propper, threat intelligence team leader at Deep Instinct.

Channel Futures: Why is remote learning prompting more school cyberattacks?

Guy Propper: The transformation to a hybrid learning environment or mostly digital learning environment will make schools more vulnerable and targeted in two ways.

Deep Instinct's Guy Propper

Deep Instinct’s Guy Propper

They become more accessible and easier to compromise. With the sudden thrust from brick-and-mortar to virtual, VPN etc., outside access transformed from occasional use to mainstream. Since a lot of this access was from home networks and home machines, schools didn’t and don’t have any way of protecting those devices. This new attack pathway enables the attacker to silently access the network and cause vast amounts of damage before the school’s security team even notices. In the time that it takes for the ransomware to be detected, the damage to bottom lines could be worse and the recovery process even longer. This creates unparalleled opportunity for threat actors.

If a school’s network has been taken down due to a ransomware attack, in today’s circumstances it [means] that the school simply cannot function at all. That is intrinsically different than before COVID-19 where if a ransomware attack occurred, it may have caused a major disruption, but it didn’t inevitably mean that schools could not open and hold classes. And if you add to that the fact that governments have earmarked funds for school districts, this simply increases their exposure.

CF: What sort of damage can be inflicted by successful school cyberattacks?

GP: In the worst situation, a school could be forced to close its doors. However, the level of damage … is likely to be in line with the attacker’s objectives. Typically attackers have two main objectives when targeting schools.

The first is to gain access to the student information system, where the attacker’s goal is likely to acquire student data and perhaps change grades. Most students do not have established credit ratings, which makes their personal information especially valuable. The second target is the school’s network. By encrypting the entire network, schools can become completely nonfunctional. It’s this lack of focus and staffing that the threat actors are going to maximize.

In a ransomware attack, the damage is likely to be the high ransoms that schools will be coerced to pay. Attackers appear to be aware of the greater vulnerability that schools are in. And they aren’t hesitating to manipulate the situation to coerce schools to pay high ransom amounts to resume normalcy.

CF: What aren’t schools doing that they should be doing to protect themselves?

GP: First, backups of key systems need to be made [and] written in an encrypted format offsite.

Secondly, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of …

Aug 31

Veritas Hires Hitachi Sales Veteran as Channel VP Post Layoff News

By | Managed Services News

Veritas adds to its executive channel leadership team.

Veritas has hired long-term Hitachi veteran Jay McGloin as vice president of channel sales, Americas, the company said Monday. He replaces Tom Weldon, who left the company in July.

Veritas' Jay McGloin

Veritas’ Jay McGloin

The news comes on the heels of reported layoffs at the company. Those cuts will impact more than 70 employees, including a CTO and several high-ranking engineers.

According to the company, McGloin will be responsible for fostering mutually beneficial relationships with Veritas partners, optimizing the customer experience and shared business success.

McGloin’s must recent job is president of Coquina Systems. He joined the IT services company as president last November. McGloin was tasked with creating and executing the company’s strategy, developing new customer relationships, enabling high performing teams and driving profitability.

Coquina Systems, founded in 2017, focuses on IT staffing, data center consolidation and refresh, security, managed services and IoT consulting.

McGloin’s longest career stint was at Hitachi (Data Systems and Vantara) where he spent 17 years, beginning in 2002. His last position with Hitachi Vantara was vice president, Americas sales, partners, commercial and strategic solutions (IoT, big data and cloud).

It’s just the latest of a number of comings and goings in the channel team at Veritas.

Changes in the Channel

In September, Veritas appointed Mike Walkey, vice president of global channel sales, strategic partners and alliances. He also worked for more than a decade at Hitachi Vantara and Hitachi Data Systems. He replaced Barbara Spicek, who was vice president of global channels and alliances from September 2017 to January 2020.

Rick Fairweather left his job at Veritas in October 2018, after a stint of more than four years. He was vice president of the Americas partner organization; then, he jumped ship to competitor Commvault. Fairweather also worked at Cisco for more than 22 years, among other positions.

In May, Veritas named Dennis Brien as senior vice president of sales for the Americas. He worked at Hitachi Data Systems for nine years.

Hitachi Vantara planned to lay off more than 150 employees, it was reported a few months ago.

Aug 31

How COVID-19 Shifted Demand for SD-WAN from Branch Offices to Perimeter

By | Managed Services News

Network Solutions Provider’s CEO Phillip Walker recalls the rise and fall in demand.

Before COVID-19 emerged, many Network Solutions Provider (NSP) customers were looking to boost connectivity to branch offices with SD-WAN. Not surprisingly, SD-WAN demand plummeted as customers abruptly had to focus on enabling their employees to work from home.

But within months, SD-WAN demand started to bounce back.

Phillip Walker, NSP’s CEO, recalled how priorities shifted in the early days of the pandemic. NSP, which started a master agent and is now a managed services provider (MSP), serves SMBs, midsize and enterprise customers. Its primary customers are media companies in Los Angeles and fast-growth tech companies in Silicon Valley. In a recent interview with Channel Futures, Walker shared how COVID-19 has changed how organizations are evaluating their network requirements.

Immediately prior to the pandemic, customers were in various stages of evaluating SDN to boost connectivity at their branch offices. As organizations were forced to have their employees work at home with little notice, it became a moot concern.

NSP's Phillip Walker

NSP’s Phillip Walker

“In the beginning, we saw a very big slowdown in demand for SD-WAN,” Walker said. “People hunkered down with what they had. They were relying on VPNs to get connections. And they deployed solutions like VMware or Citrix. Since most of their networks are office-driven and people weren’t in the office, they weren’t going to worry about it. It just went by the wayside.”

Initially, customers scrambled to address tactical requirements to enable employees to work from home.

“MiFi devices [portable hotspots] obviously went off the shelf,” Walker said. “People didn’t want to use their personal cellphones for hotspots for connectivity.”

Post-COVID-19 Future of Remote Work

But as employees working from home had what they needed, demand for SD-WAN rebounded, only with a different use case. Rather than branch offices, SD-WAN became attractive for boosting connectivity to employees’ homes.

“They just moved the perimeter and the edge,” Walker said.

A recent report by Dell’Oro Group found that NSP wasn’t alone in experiencing a bounce back in demand for SD-WAN.

Dell'Oro Group's Shin Umeda

Dell’Oro Group’s Shin Umeda

“There is no doubt that COVID-19 has created a major bump in the road,” noted Dell’Oro Group VP Shin Umeda. “But the fundamental drivers for SD-WAN adoption have not changed, and may even be enhanced if work from home solutions can be incorporated.”

NSP’s Walker said he also agrees with predictions that remote work for many of his clients will become permanent.

“I think some companies are never going to go back to the office,” he said. “And at that point, they’re going to need an SD-WAN solution. They are also going to need some sort of mobile plan. Some are going to move away from traditional solutions. Things like iPad Pros and Surface laptops with built-in LTE are going to become more prevalent.”

While many tablets have built-in LTE connectivity, very few PCs do, though the number has increased. Walker acknowledged the limits of LTE services and the dearth of reliable and affordable 5G.

“That gets into a carrier issue and that’s why we’re looking at bonding multiple LTE connections together until there’s something more viable,” he said.

Providers of edge networking solutions such as Cradlepoint and Bigleaf Networks are among those courting MSPs with bonding solutions. Walker said NSP is providing customers with solutions that let them bond LTE connections from multiple wireless carriers. In addition to providing increased bandwidth by aggregating connections, bonding can automatically switch networks, based on availability.

Aug 28

MSP 501 Flashback: On Repositioning, Ramping Up with 2019 MSP of the Year Finalist Calligo

By | Managed Services News

We sat down with the data-first provider to see what it’s been up to and how it stands apart from traditional MSPs.

Calligo was a finalist for the 2019 Channel Futures’ Managed Service Provider (MSP) of the Year award because of it is adept at data privacy. The U.K.-based provider also won based on its unique perspective on the market; that, and it’s ability to make a commercial success of it with a wide variety of managed services. 

The company has continued to hit the data privacy ball out of the park. It has spun up a sophisticated, complex and solid solution and business unit around these services. The purpose of the MSP of the Year award is to specifically recognize business agility, and the ability to take risks, respond to market conditions and bounce back from mistakes. It is here that Calligo shines with its business model.

Calligo's Julian Box

Calligo’s Julian Box

“We stand apart from traditional MSPs in that we are data-first. Our client engagements look behind even business needs and objectives – almost every MSP’s starting point – and instead start with examining how data enters, circulates and exits the organization,” said Julian Box, founder & CEO of Calligo. “From that granular visibility, we can then see where the real needs lie. These range from improving efficiency and productivity to strengthening security and compliance.”

According to Box, it is a far more fundamental and holistic approach; one that is more valuable than simply deploying and maintaining technologies to fix the needs the business thinks it has. 

Crucially, this will be delivered through a mix of services. This will include technology, such as cloud services and managed IT services, but also hands-on consultancy and process management.

The Data Privacy Differentiator

“But as the judges appreciated, we are not different for the sake of being different,” continued Box. “We have made a commercial success of this, doubling our revenues last year. And 2020 has proven us doubly right. The intense pressures of the first half of the year exposed the inadequacies of tech-centric strategies and managed services. Because of this, companies have realized that their data isn’t untouchable. They’ve realized that their most valuable asset is not as accessible, useful or safe as they thought.”

So what has the data privacy-adept company done since its award reception? Particularly to build on the capabilities that won it the award in the first place?

Earlier this year, having seen how well-received its data-first approach was, the company repositioned as a managed data services provider. 

The 2020 MSP 501 recognizes the top managed service providers in the world. See the full list. Then check out our brand-new Hot 101.

“This is a stronger, more accurate description of us, and shows immediately what stands us apart from the market,” said Box. “Most importantly, it echoes what we think is flawed with the MSP market — its pervasive “technology down” approach, rather than being “data up.

“At the same time, we launched new managed services that we had been developing throughout 2019 – automation as a service and machine learning as a service – which completed our portfolio of sophisticated managed services that would support any ambition a customer might have for their data.”  

Bold Steps

These are bold steps, but Calligo needed them to be. The provider says that it needed to capitalize on the market’s growing appetite for …

Aug 28

Performance Analytics and End User Experience for the Cloud and 5G Age

By | Managed Services News

Customers have now come to expect their digital services to add value to their lives and the infrastructure that powers them to perform faultlessly.

Meeting these expectations requires end-to-end network and service performance management, as well as the ability to analyze and resolve customer-impacting issues at speed.

Read on about how real world companies are partnering with Accedian to ensure the best-possible quality of service and experience for their customers.

Brought to you by: 

 

Aug 28

Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey Retiring Amid Continuing Disruption

By | Managed Services News

With partner channel DNA, the next Nutanix CEO should quell partner concerns.

Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey, company co-founder and chairman of the board, is retiring — but not before the next Nutanix leader is appointed. Pandey departs Nutanix on a high note in a crowded field that his successor will have to navigate.

Nutanix's Dheeraj Pandey

Nutanix’s Dheeraj Pandey

Nutanix channel partners are no strangers to disruption at the company. Most recently, in June, the channel team added Christian Goffi as vice president, Americas channel sales. He replaced Christian Alvarez, who in May the company promoted to senior vice president of worldwide channels. Alvarez was only in his job for five months before getting the top channel slot at the company. Both Alvarez and Goffi left Juniper Networks for Nutanix.

This latest change in the channel comes on the heels of a tumultuous 2019. First there was the departure of Louis Attanasio, chief revenue officer. He left after Nutanix stock fell 31% in March 2019. A short five weeks later, Rodney Foreman, Nutanix global channel chief, departed. Foreman held the job for 15 months. Nutanix announced in August 2018 the departure of Sudheesh Nair, president.

Disruption Then and Now

In an interview with Channel Futures, in May 2019, Pandey said this about the churn at the company:

“Success is never a straight line and Wall Street is so elastic in the way it makes decisions. One day they’ll hate you and the other day they will love you. One day they will dump you and the other day they’ll actually go on a buying frenzy. They are memory-less. That’s good about Wall Street. The deal is we have more money in the bank than we had a year ago. The company is successfully transitioning as a software company and every quarter we are growing and talking about subscriptions. These are two big transformations that we are doing in front of the public eye.”

To customers and partners, Pandey said, “Be patient.”

This week, the retiring Pandey said the following upon news of his departure from Nutanix:

“Co-founding and leading Nutanix for the last 11 years has been the single most rewarding experience of my professional career. Guided by a vision of making IT infrastructure so simple that it becomes invisible, our team has built Nutanix into a leader in cloud software and a pioneer in hybrid cloud infrastructure solutions.

“With our strong fourth quarter financial results, 29% growth in year-over-year run-rate ACV, a delightful software stack, and our recent launch of Nutanix Clusters on AWS bare metal, Nutanix is well positioned for the future. In addition, the $750 million investment from Bain Capital Private Equity announced today underscores the strength of our business and ensures a strong financial foundation to capitalize on the significant opportunities ahead. I am confident there is no better time for me to make this transition to a new leader who can guide Nutanix through its next decade of growth and success.”

Partners Strategic to Nutanix

Nutanix channel partners will again have to show patience; however, Pandey understands the strategic role partners play for Nutanix.

“In many ways, we consider channel partners as another Nutanix customer,” he said. “Whoever the next leader is, [he/she] will have to have extreme customer-centricity. We are so deeply involved with our channel partners that no new CEO would want to unravel that, and if anything, they will likely want to go deeper, simply because our customers are asking for those partners to be helpful in their cloud transformation.”

Nevertheless, partners will have to …

Aug 28

CompTIA: ‘Growing Demand for Cloud Skills’

By | Managed Services News

In a new report, the IT cert provider expounds on areas partners will want to focus on for clients.

Channel partners honing their cloud practices amid rising demand (thanks, COVID-19) will want to lean on new guidance from IT certifications provider CompTIA. The association earlier this month published “Building Cloud Skills for the Future.” It’s an actionable road map the indirect channel can use, especially as customers plan to support remote work indefinitely.

“The obvious implication is that more cloud skills will be needed as organizations transform for the future. “Cloud-based IT has many layers to it, from simple migration of existing systems to full reimagining of the technology footprint. “Although businesses have been making strides with cloud computing up to this point, there will be a growing demand for cloud skills as adoption becomes more mature,” the analysts wrote.

It should come as no surprise that managed service providers, resellers, system integrators and other such channel partners remain the experts best suited to meet these needs. These are the specialists with IT know-how, resources and training already in place. They already farm out their capabilities to enterprises and SMBs that have limited, small, or even no IT teams. It only makes sense for partners to fill any gaps in cloud as well. And CompTIA’s new report offers ideas for doing just that.

Cloud Computing: Who’s Got What Cloud Skills?

To that point, CompTIA says only 17% of the companies it recently surveyed are creating new roles for cloud computing. Instead, they are focused on network administration (67%), systems administration (64%) and security engineering (56%), as the top three examples. That leaves the door wide open for partners. Cloud computing is the fastest-growing subset of IT, due in no small part to the pandemic.

CompTIA then uncovered the 11 cloud skills organizations – and this can include channel partners – say they require. Those are:

  • Cloud security (72%)
  • Virtualization (53%)
  • Business continuity/disaster recovery (53%)
  • Legacy applications migration (47%)
  • Optimization (39%)
  • Application-specific knowledge (39%)
  • Integration (33%)
  • Private cloud construction (28%)
  • Orchestration (28%)
  • Vendor management (17%)
  • Data analytics (11%)

Organizations are having a tough time covering all these aspects by themselves. Looking at the top three results, cloud security is proving to be the hardest.

“[M]ost firms today understand that security can be properly handled in a cloud implementation,” CompTIA analysts noted. “Actually doing the work of proper security is still a work in progress, though. New tools such as data loss prevention and identity access and management are part of a cloud security solution, and IT pros should also help build best practices around process such as procurement and integration.”

Certainly, managed security service providers rank among the partners most well-positioned to handle these requirements.

“Virtual” Reality?

As for virtualization, analysts confessed to a bit of a shock.

“It is somewhat surprising to see virtualization ranked so highly, since virtual machines have been part of the IT landscape for quite some time,” they wrote. “The fact that virtualization skills are still in demand speaks to the amount of modernization that many companies still need to perform in moving from a static on-premises mindset to a dynamic as-a-service approach.”

Indeed, that finding does seem strange, and for the reasons CompTIA cites. Yet, take into account how COVID-19 caught so many organizations off guard, how difficult adjusting to remote work was – and is – for them. While people in the technology sector understand the importance of cloud-based solutions, people in other fields still are learning.

Finally, BC/DR rounds out the top three cloud skills issues organizations face.

“Obviously a top-of-mind topic following the COVID-19 outbreak, BC/DR is a perfect example of a broad process rather than a discrete skill,” CompTIA analysts wrote. “By understanding the various options available in cloud storage and cloud software, IT pros can build a solid BC/DR plan that helps their organization navigate disruptions.”

Or, insert “channel partners” in place of “IT pros” and “customers” instead of “their organizations.” Above all, channel partners must make sure they can serve clients’ increasing demands for cloud.

“After the first half of 2020, businesses are accelerating their approach to cloud computing, exploring deeper adoption of cloud infrastructure and software,” CompTIA pointed out.

So partners with proven cloud skills will help their end users “move forward and be more resilient.”

Aug 28

Salesforce Layoffs Amid Record Revenue, ‘Ohana,’ Drum Up Employee Fury

By | Managed Services News

Will channel partners feel the impact? Salesforce is mum.

Salesforce layoffs are in action around the world and the company is facing withering criticism.

The job cuts come five months after CEO Marc Benioff said the CRM giant would not “conduct any significant layoffs over the next 90 days.” The company had closed its offices due to COVID-19 and moved to keep paying its hourly workers. On March 25, Benioff cited his longtime Ohana ethos as one key reason. (Benioff has touted “Ohana,” or treating employees like family, since he want on a vacation in Hawaii in the late ‘90s. The credo is meant to embrace caring for one another, not taking a “Knives Out” or “Parasite” sort of approach).

Salesforce's Marc Benioff

Salesforce’s Marc Benioff

But it appears the clock stopped ticking on that layoff moratorium, even as Salesforce on Aug. 25 reported record revenue of $5.15 billion, or $1.44 per share.

Indeed, the second quarter of 2020 marked the first time Salesforce surpassed the $5 billion threshold. Analysts, according to CNBC, were expecting $4.9 billion, and 67 cents per share. Salesforce also raised its sales guidance into fiscal year 2021, indicating it does not expect to incur much damage from customer COVID-19 cutbacks; in fact, if anything, the cloud IT software company stands to continue benefiting because its platforms streamline and improve operations.

Salesforce Employees Seething over Layoffs

Salesforce’s financial boon, paired with its pervasive Ohana claims, has employees fuming.

“‘Business is business’ and ‘It’s okay to cut fat’ are some pretty rich … takes when talking about a company that a) just put up record numbers for the last quarter or two, and b) never … shuts up about ‘Ohana’ and everyone being one big family,” wrote one anonymous poster on TheLayoff.com.

Another said: “I have never in my 20 years of corporate experience seen this [**] play out. Company-wide layoffs are a last resort, when they are actually struggling. I have worked for some pretty terrible companies, but never have I seen complete disregard for livelihoods when there is literally no need for it.”

Keep up with our layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and how the channel is impacted.

An anonymous poster on TheLayoff.com also wrote this week that the Salesforce sales distribution group ranks among those impacted. In a roundabout way, that ostensibly could affect the indirect channel. Channel Futures asked Salesforce to comment on any changes managed service providers, VARs and integrators might experience because of the layoffs. Rather than answering the question, Salesforce responded with the same statement it has provided to other media outlets:

“We’re reallocating resources to position the company for continued growth. This includes continuing to hire and redirecting some employees to fuel our strategic areas, and eliminating some positions that no longer map to our business priorities. For affected employees, we are helping them find the next step in their careers, whether within our company or a new opportunity.”

The job losses do seem to inordinately impact employees of acquired companies. Posts on TheLayoff.com indicate that people who were brought over from ExactTarget, MuleSoft, Tableau (a $15.7 billion deal, three times more than Salesforce’s second-quarter revenue) and others are …

>