Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

May 13

Fidelis Cybersecurity Strengthens XDR Position via CloudPassage Acquisition

By | Managed Services News

Fidelis will be better able to protect its customers in the cloud.

Fidelis Cybersecurity, No. 275 on the Channel Futures 2020 MSP 501, has acquired CloudPassage. CloudPassage is a provider of cloud security and compliance services.

CloudPassage safeguards cloud infrastructure for organizations in finance, ecommerce, gaming, B2B SaaS, health care, biotech and digital media. Its Halo platform unifies security and compliance across servers, containers and IaaS resources across any mix of public, private, hybrid, and multicloud environments.

Halo’s automation capabilities streamline and accelerate workflows between InfoSec and DevOps.

Fidelis Cybersecurity provides extended detection and response (XDR) solutions to Fortune 100 firms and governments worldwide.

Anup Ghosh is Fidelis Cybersecurity’s CEO.

Raising the Bar in XDR

Fidelis' Anup Ghosh

Fidelis’ Anup Ghosh

“The acquisition of CloudPassage extends our vision to unify endpoint, network, cloud and deception in a single platform so our customers can detect and respond to adversaries earlier in the attack life cycle,” he said. “Adding the CloudPassage team and technology raises the bar in active XDR. Not only can our customers get out in front of adversaries across hybrid environments, but they can now increase the cost and complexity to the adversary by incorporating deception technology.”

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

Fidelis Elevate unifies detection and response on endpoint, network and cloud with integrated deception technologies. With Halo, Fidelis says it better protects customers in the cloud with a proven, purpose-built unified cloud security platform.

Carson Sweet is CloudPassage’s founder and CEO.

“Digital transformation is driving cloud adoption to new heights, and enterprises are fast recognizing that full-stack security is critical for cloud security,” he said. “The combination of Fidelis’ … XDR capabilities and CloudPassage’s battle-tested CSPM, CWPP and container security automation will give the market the powerful, unified solution it has needed to secure both cloud-based application stacks and the network connectivity that enables them.”

Sweet will assume the role of chief cloud security officer at Fidelis Cybersecurity. CloudPassage’s team will be integrated into the Fidelis Cybersecurity organization. It will continue Halo product development and integration with the Fidelis XDR platform.

May 13

Images: Alliance of Channel Women Meet in SoCal

By | Managed Services News

As vaccines flourish and the CDC issues new guidance, many of us are getting more comfortable in groups. That was the case in southern California last night when members of the Alliance of Channel Women got together for a mixer.

Channel Futures will be attending more and more of these events as they continue to attract larger crowds. All roads lead to the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in November. We hope the pictures in our slideshow above will make you realize that a return to normalcy, if you will, is almost upon us!

Members of the Arizona chapter of ACW will hold a similar event Friday night.

May 13

ScanSource Partners Get New Solutions, Resources for Health Care Customers

By | Managed Services News

Partner feedback was instrumental in formulating the new solutions.

ScanSource partners now have access to new solutions, educational resources and enablement tools to serve the health care industry.

These enhancements fall under ScanSource’s new program, Discover Opportunity. The program launched at the beginning of the year. It helps ScanSource partners serve their customers in a number of different vertical markets. Examples include retail and grocery, health care, education and warehousing.

Ansley Hoke is ScanSource‘s senior vice president of marketing.

ScanSource’s Ansley Hoke

“Some of our newest solution offerings are the result of direct inquiries from our partners about the technology solutions their end customers have needed, especially over the last year,” she said. “Many were a result of new product offerings that our existing suppliers have developed and are providing to the channel in response to the needs related to the pandemic. Not only do these solutions provide our partners serving the health care vertical with the products they have needed to respond to their customers’ challenges, but they can be used going forward to improve safety and efficiency across the health care space.”

Discover Opportunity Healthcare Program

ScanSource’s expanded Discover Opportunity Healthcare Program provides data on the health care market. In addition, it outlines trends and top solutions available to support health care providers’ evolving needs. Vertical-specific solutions include communications, telehealth, mobility, connectivity, security and self-service. All are available through ScanSource.

Partners will also find the Healthcare Discovery Guide. It provides links to past and upcoming health care-based educational webinars and virtual events. Furthermore, it provides a list of featured solutions that are helping those in the health care field be more flexible and adaptable to meet patient needs.

In addition, ScanSource has added Zebra Technologies’ electronic temperature sensors to its line card of health care products and services. As the pandemic has shown, carefully monitoring vaccine temperature is critical to public health. Pharmaceutical corporations, biotechnology companies and hospitals use these devices to improve the storage and handling of hundreds of medical products.

“These solutions could certainly give partners a competitive advantage, as they allow partners to provide a broader offering of solutions and enhance the solutions they were providing for their end users,” Hoke said. “An example of this could be that a partner can now add a temperature monitoring solution for a health care provider, in addition to mobile solutions, kiosk solutions and barcode-scanning solutions that can all be utilized at the facility. This is just to name a few. By offering a wider range of products to their end customers, partners are giving them a single source for total solutions, simplifying the procurement and management process.”

May 13

IBM Think: AI, Hybrid Cloud Tech Advances You Might Have Missed

By | Managed Services News

You heard about the PartnerWorld efforts. But did you get the skinny on these tech announcements?

IBM is ramping up its focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and hybrid cloud. Together, these technologies will fuel the future, Big Blue believes. As such, it’s pouring $1 billion into initiatives for its PartnerWorld members.

But there’s more. Earlier this week, at its annual Think conference (held digitally because of COVID-19), IBM unveiled several new platforms. Each one emphasizes AI and/or hybrid cloud.

There’s good reason for that.

New market research commissioned by IBM shows that almost one-third of IT professionals say their business now uses AI. Almost half (43%) say their company has accelerated AI rollouts because of the pandemic. In other words, organizations’ needs are changing quickly and AI helps by automating workflows, facilitating communication and interaction with customers, and even managing network security.

Cloud, of course, remains core to provisioning and using AI. And IBM sees hybrid cloud as the model that will best support those efforts. The company’s own Institute for Business Value recently published a report that projects hybrid cloud adoption to grow by 47% over the next three years. On average, one organization will use six hybrid clouds, according to the study. Those findings mesh with others conducted by independent analyst firms. For example, McKinsey & Co. predicts hybrid cloud poses a $1.2 trillion opportunity by 2022.

COVID-19 stands out as the impetus for more widespread AI and hybrid cloud adoption. With that in mind, click through the slideshow above to read about the tech advancements IBM debuted this week at Think. You may have missed them in all the excitement surrounding the PartnerWorld announcements.

 

May 13

Former HPE VP Joins Ensono as SVP

By | Managed Services News

The new hire, also an alumnus of IBM, will drive North America sales growth and help expand Ensono’s client base.

IT service provider giant Ensono has a new senior vice president and general manager of strategic accounts in North America. It’s David Twohy, a 20-year HPE veteran.

As SVP, one of Twohy’s primary responsibilities will be expanding Ensono’s client base in North America. He will also drive the Ensono inside sales efforts and the initial expansion of a specialist organization. 

Ensono's David Twohy

Ensono’s David Twohy

“David’s sales and leadership expertise are unmatched in the industry,” said Paola Doebel, SVP and managing director, North America, Ensono. “His reputation for driving growth, cultivating strong customer relationships, and developing great talent make him a change agent at a critical period of high growth for Ensono.”

Experience from HPE

Prior to Ensono, Twohy most recently was vice president and general manager of HPE’s Greenlake North America. In this role, he led sales, presales, solutioning, marketing and operations. Greenlake is HPE’s on-premises, everything-as-a-service offering.

Twohy also led numerous other teams during his HPE tenure, including transformation and strategic services, global channel services and HPE Pointnext sales. Before joining HPE, Twohy was an executive director with Cybersource, an e-commerce payment solutions provider. With Cybersource, Twohy led the sales and technical solutions organizations. He also spent 12 years with IBM in various sales and management positions.

“Ensono has great momentum right now,” said Twohy. “I’m excited to continue to move the needle on the company’s growth and be part of a team that is curious and delivers innovative and cutting-edge solutions to their clients.”

Twohy is not the first HPE alum to join Ensono. The managed service provider just brought on Doebel last year to oversee North America.

May 13

FragAttacks Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Pose Widespread Threat to Individuals, Businesses

By | Managed Services News

Potential damage could include denial of service, information leakage and to some extent exfiltration.

FragAttacks, a new set of Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, can be exploited to steal user information or attack devices. And every Wi-Fi is affected by by at least one vulnerability.

That’s according to Malwarebytes Labs, which issued a report on the Wi-Fi vulnerabilities. They are mostly in how Wi-Fi and connected devices handle data packets; specifically, how they handle fragments and frames of data packets.

FragAttacks is short for fragmentation and aggregation attacks. Mathy Vanhoef, a Belgian researcher, discovered the vulnerabilities dating back to 1997. He launched a website providing details.

“Three of the discovered vulnerabilities are design flaws in the Wi-Fi standard and therefore affect most devices,” he writes. “On top of this, several other vulnerabilities were discovered that are caused by widespread programming mistakes in Wi-Fi products. Experiments indicate that every Wi-Fi product is affected by at least one vulnerability and that most products are affected by several vulnerabilities.”

All Types of Wi-Fi Affected

Keatron Evans is principal security researcher at Infosec. He’s been responding to emails from individuals panicking over the Wi-Fi vulnerabilities.

Infosec's Keatron Evans

Infosec’s Keatron Evans

“FragAttacks vulnerabilities range from somewhat benign, to what most of us would consider medium-to-severe-level vulnerabilities,” he said. “They affect all types of Wi-Fi because the vulnerabilities exist in the protocols that we use to communicate over Wi-Fi and not any individual device or software. Anyone who uses Wi-Fi devices can be impacted by FragAttacks.”

There should be moderate concern for organizations that use Wi-Fi in the office, and concern about employees using Wi-Fi at home, Evans said.

“Concerns include information leakage with potential for exfiltrating some packets and frames from even protected networks,” he said. “But it’s a long way from opening up devices and networks to something as devastating as remote code execution. It’s possible, but so difficult that we may not see [an] effort in trying to build it out to that level of exploitability.”

Potential damage could include denial of service, information leaks, and to some extent, exfiltration, Evans said.

“Keep in mind, though, most of these vulnerabilities are also known risks of just using wireless in general,” he said.

Definite Danger

There is definitely some danger to businesses and individuals, Evans said.

“Individuals may be more at risk than businesses because individuals are less likely to be using enterprise-level security and controls, and are more likely to be using clear text communications on their wireless networks at home,” he said. “They are also more likely to run unpatched or out-of-date operating systems and software.”

Businesses and individuals need to stay vigilant on all security 101 best practices, Evans said. These include:

  • Keep software and systems patched and up to date. Even if you don’t think you need the updates, apply them anyway. This advice has different implications following the recent SolarWinds incident. But you should still install updates, just with more caution.
  • Only use Wi-Fi internally where it makes business sense. And minimize how often employees use public uncontrolled Wi-Fi such as coffee shops, hotels, airports, etc. These public hotspots are actually the perfect playgrounds to exploit these vulnerabilities.
  • Educate yourself and the workforce on computing securely and using secure Wi-Fi at home.
May 13

Big Names in Tech on Best Employers for Diversity List

By | Managed Services News

Forbes’ fourth annual list cites VMware, Cisco, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Comcast, Verizon and others.

Forbes has released its fourth annual list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. And with events of 2020 bringing the need for corporate DE&I to the forefront, many people are giving the list more than just a scan.

To create the list, Forbes partnered with market research company Statista. Fifty thousand Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees answered a survey. The survey was anonymous, allowing participants to respond openly.  Respondents identified the companies they considered to be the most dedicated to DE&I. The 500 companies included on the final list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity received the most recommendations. They also had the most diverse boards and executive ranks, plus the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Scroll through our slideshow above to see which big tech companies made this year’s list and how they got there.

 

May 13

6 Key Questions Channel Partners Should Consider When Migrating to 5G NR

By | Managed Services News

Major changes implemented in 5G NR networks complicate the process of migrating from 4G to 5G.

As 5G begins to roll out, the promise of faster speeds, lower latency and increased spectrum efficiency is becoming real. However, the upgrade path from a 4G router to a 5G router involves much more than just swapping out the 4G modem of an existing router in order to reap the full benefits of 5G NR (New Radio).

The reason migrating from 4G to 5G is not simple is due to the major changes implemented in 5G NR networks to deliver all its new capabilities. Delivering on those new features and capabilities requires properly addressing the new demands on hardware and software when making the transition to 5G NR networks. These new demands have a pervasive effect on the hardware and software required to be able to fully take advantage of 5G NR capabilities.

One of the most significant changes with 5G NR deals with new timing constraints. These timing constraints now result in an extension of timing control beyond the just RF interface, and back into a device’s processor and software. This effect on processors and software is due to the requirements of timing intervals becoming more precise and deterministic, often requiring a move to hardware specific timing circuitry or the use of real-time operating systems (RTOS).

Those RTOSs and scheduler software pieces, coupled with 5G NR’s ability to provide for faster data rates, result in the need for a significant increase in the processing speed of most devices. But it’s not only sheer processing speed. Hardware interfaces that move data between processing elements will also need to be changed. For example, in an existing 4G device, a serial port or standard USB interface used to connect to a modem will be woefully insufficient to handle the data rates needed for 5G speeds. There are several other considerations (such as a greater need for parallel processing to obtain throughput levels), but I think you get the gist.

As a result of the above, there are several key considerations channel partners should address when upgrading to 5G so customers can experience the full benefits of 5G NR.

 Key Considerations for Channel Partners Considering 5G

When your customers are considering investing in 5G, they need to ensure that every aspect of the system can deliver the necessary performance.

Here are six key subsystems that enable true 5G operation:

  1. Software: Upgradability

With the new changes and requirements from the physical layer (PHY) on up, the ability to reliably support incremental software update becomes critical as 5G NR networks are deployed and evolve.

  1. Antennas: 4×4 6GHZ Antenna and Cables

4G LTE antenna modules typically have at most three cellular antenna elements for connectivity, using a 3×3 configuration with 5GHz cables. To achieve the full potential of 5G, a 4×4 antenna configuration with low-loss 6GHz cables is needed.

  1. Processing speed: 2 to 4x

Higher data rates, tighter timing and other demands mean a 5G router’s processor may need as much as 2 to 4x the processing speed compared to a typical 4G LTE router. As a result, a 5G router requires a highly capable, high-speed processor that may not be present in that old 4G router.

  1. Power: Double the Power

Faster processors and greater software load mean a 5G router may need as much as twice the power compared to a typical 4G LTE router. As a result, a 5G router requires a higher-capacity internal power supply as well as a higher-wattage power cable, and the installation location needs to take that into account.

  1. Chassis: Effective Heat Dissipation

With increased power use comes the need to passively dissipate more heat. Reconfiguring the existing device or the installation location may not be possible. Thus, your partners should look for

May 13

Pure Storage Boosts Partner Payout for as-a-Service Offering

By | Managed Services News

At its Pure Accelerate event, Pure Storage unveiled increased partner rebates on Pure as a Service.

PURE ACCELERATE — Pure Storage says it wants to “supercharge” partners’ subscription businesses with new channel incentives and offerings.

Announced Thursday at Pure Accelerate, partners can now make more money selling Pure as-a-Service. With the new partner rebate, partners earn 5% of the total contract value on closed eligible wins up to $100,000 per deal. Only elite-level partners, however, will be eligible. The program runs through Oct. 31, and is available for the first Pure as-a-Service opportunity for both new and existing customers.

The vendor says momentum in selling Pure as-a-Service is strong. More than double the number of partners are transacting this year versus last year.

Andy Martin is VP global partner sales, Pure Storage.

Pure Storage's Andy Martin

Pure Storage’s Andy Martin

“Two of Pure’s greatest strengths are our … subscription services and our partner-led approach. Both are foundational to our business and the way we serve our customers. We are thrilled to see our partners’ continued momentum with Pure as-a-Service and are excited to deliver new opportunities for partners.”

Portworx

Elsewhere, Pure is transitioning its Kubernetes Data Services Platform, Portworx, to a 100% channel model.

The vendor says partners will be critical advisers in the future, helping customers navigate a Kubernetes and container-based world. With Portworx sales now 100% channel-led, partners can expand their subscription offerings to cover Kubernetes-based applications.

Portworx, which Pure acquired late last year, enables building, automating, protecting and securing cloud-native applications. Customers can run any cloud-native application, in any cloud, using any Kubernetes platform. It says it offers “built-in high availability, data protection, data security, and hybrid cloud mobility.”

Pure as-a-Service

“Customers want complete flexibility, agility, transparency, and simplicity — benefits often best achieved through subscription services,” said Pure.

Pure claims to be the only vendor to deliver “true enterprise class utility with flexible storage consumption.”

The company’s subscription offerings include Pure as-a-Service, Evergreen program, Pure Cloud Block Store and Portworx. It says with these, partners can meet their customers’ evolving needs while generating recurring revenue.

Pure has continued to advance its Pure as-a-Service offerings. This includes reducing complexity by eliminating additional licenses and support costs, and introducing a service catalog with transparent pricing.

The storage company has also extended its Pure1 partner portal to enable partners to manage subscriptions on behalf of their customers. This empowers partners to bring “a fully operational service with full transparency to joint customers.”

Customers using Pure1’s self-service portal are also able to buy new services or expand their as-a-service footprint via their channel partner whenever they need.

May 13

Another Telarus Alum Joins Scott Forbush at Upstack

By | Managed Services News

In the meantime, Telarus continues to bulk up its field resources.

Another high-ranking Telarus executive has joined the Upstack team.

Paula McKinnon is now vice president of vendor relations at the direct selling agency. She will oversee relationships with hundreds of vendors, whose contracts Upstack will hold directly and through master agents. McKinnon will recruit, negotiate contracts with and onboard service providers.

McKinnon_Paula_UPSTACK

Upstack’s Paula McKinnon

“I’m excited to join an organization that is transforming the industry by rethinking both the telecom agency model and the technology buying experience for their business customers,” said McKinnon. “I’m eager to leverage my experience, relationships and expertise to bring new service providers to the Upstack platform and coordinate closely with our master agents to ensure our joint partners and their business clients are well served.”

McKinnon spent 11 years at Telarus. She rose the ranks from from post-sales support manager to vice president of supplier management. She will work on the same team as Scott Forbush, who also recently moved from Telarus to Upstack.

Trapp, CHristopher_Upstack

Upstack’s Christopher Trapp

“We’re thrilled to welcome Paula to the Upstack team,” Upstack CEO Chris Trapp said. “Paula’s track record for success and her extensive connections and years of experience managing vendor relationships will help us build a vendor portfolio spanning the tech stack – from colo and network to UCaaS and security – that’s second to none.”

Forbush was Telarus senior vice president of global sales; now he works as Upstack’s chief revenue officer.

Upstack announced a $50 million investment from Berkshire Partners last month. The agency is using part of the investment to acquire other agencies, including consultancy Cloudnexion. Trapp, a veteran of data center/colocation, founded Upstack partly because he saw that glaring lack of agent colocation sales. Now colocation accounts for approximately 40% of Upstack’s residual revenue.

Telarus Hires

Meantime, Telarus, former home to McKinnon and Forbush, has announced several hires of its own this month. The Utah-based tech services distributor built up its sales engineering team with Jason Kaufman in the Southeast and JW Stanley for the Midwest. In addition, Telarus tapped Jason Lowe as a contact center solution architect.

Telarus also signed a supplier agreement with Ericsson, which recently bought Cradlepoint.

The company landed a private equity investment from Columbia Capital late last year and used some of that money to buy Philadelphia-based consultancy and master agency Chorus Communications.

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