Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jun 15

StorOne Partners Get New PartnerOne Program Led by Storage Industry Vet

By | Managed Services News

StorOne partners now have access to the company’s new PartnerOne program. StorOne also has hired storage industry veteran Bill Cordero as vice president of worldwide channels.

In his new role, Cordero will execute the launch of PartnerOne and expand the global presence of StorOne’s enterprise storage platform.

The S1 software-defined enterprise storage platform enables PartnerOne members to offer customers a comprehensive solution for all their storage needs. StorOne’s solution reduces customers’ upfront and long-term storage costs, while delivering advanced data protection and data integrity.

Cordero previously was vice president of worldwide channel sales at Yellowbrick Data. Before that, he was in similar roles at Diamanti, Blue Medora, Rubrik, Tegile Systems, StorSimple and Data Domain.

StorOne's Bill Cordero

StorOne’s Bill Cordero

“I’m always interested in companies who are servicing an existing market in a new and innovative way,” he said. “StorOne has a platform unlike any other to address a massive market in a different and far more effective way.”

Storage Platform Offers StorOne Partners New Opportunities

With StorOne’s platform, partners enable their customers to start small and grow as needed on a single platform. That provides recurring revenue.

Furthermore, because StorOne’s platform is easy to manage, partners can offer additional services and integrate across various applications in the data center.

Moreover, partners can let their customers choose their preferred server vendors because StorOne is hardware agnostic.

StorOne always intended to go to market via the channel,” Cordero said. “We now have enough time in grade to justify a significant investment in the PartnerOne program. The goal is simple: Build out a word-class channel which allow StorOne to meet and exceed our growth expectations as well as for our partners.”

Cordero’s Plans

Cordero said he’s built “world-class channels” many time for many companies.

“That experience should allow me to deliver at StorOne as well,” he said. “I will employ a limited distribution model and we will make every effort to eliminate overlap in the portfolio, which will allow our partners to have first-mover advantage for going to market with S1. The competition, who all employ an open distribution model, have oversaturated the market and have far too many partners in their respective portfolios, which ultimately erodes margin and creates an exceptional level of competition within their partner communities. This will not be the StorOne GTM approach. ”

Charles Bass is chief marketing officer at Climb Channel Solutions.

“StorOne allows us to deliver what our reseller community needs and what their customers are demanding,” he said. “With a single software solution that can be utilized in almost any use case – it can be data protection, it can be high speed, almost anything – StorOne provides the simplicity that allows Climb to offer comprehensive solutions and complete customer support. With the flexibility of StorOne, we can choose the hardware that offers the best margins to improve our revenue or what the customer wants in order to close sales. It is an unbeatable combination for the channel.”

Jun 15

How to Deliver a Message

By | Managed Services News

Mixing up mediums ensures that you stay top of mind wherever and whenever customers are getting their information.

As a Senior Director at Cox Business, John Muscarella is responsible for the overall readiness strategy for the indirect business sales channels. His team has the primary responsibility to develop, implement ­and sell solutions utilizing the Cox Communications network throughout the country. John has more than 25 years of experience in business management, which includes sales and leadership positions with companies such as Polycom, Sprint and EDS.

John Muscarella of Cox Communications

In the past few months, I have shared tactical advice on how to build an effective marketing machine for your business, even if your marketing department is just you. In this final installment of our series, I will talk about reaching your customers and prospects however they best receive information. Some of us like to read, others prefer video, and others prefer to listen to podcasts to stay informed.

It takes about six to eight touches to generate a lead. Mixing up the mediums that you employ to connect with prospects and customers ensures that you stay top of mind wherever and whenever they are getting their information.

Formats like video or podcasts can seem inaccessible and difficult to produce, but there is now a plethora of free tools and low-cost equipment that can make creating both of these easy for any SMB to leverage.

Before we talk about delivery, let’s talk about the message.

I’ll delve into the how-to of podcasts and videos in a moment, but first we need to start with the message. When building a plan, remember that often the best content is sharing or teaching, not pushing a particular product. In my last post, I wrote about knowing your audience, and that includes the topics and issues important to them.

Speak to skills and information you believe your audience will value. And leverage industry contacts who are willing to create joint content with you. That type of content is relatively fast to create, and most people are more than willing to build their personal or corporate brand while helping you build yours.

For example, if some of your business comes from work-from-home residential services, find someone in your network (leverage LinkedIn) who has a lot of great information on optimizing your work-from-home day, including the technology people can use to be most effective. Let them talk about what they know, give your audience something useful to implement, and build your brand in the process.

Building content doesn’t have to be overly burdensome. However, it does require some planning and, most important, consistency. Pick a drumbeat (weekly, monthly, etc.) that you can commit to for pushing out new content. Then stick to the schedule.

Video

Video creation has become incredibly accessible with today’s technology. To record videos of just yourself, you can use your phone and a table or floor tripod to keep it steady. For interviews or conversations, you can jump on a Zoom or Webex and record the interview. When using a teleconference tool, however, make sure your internet connection is strong enough so there isn’t lag.

Native tools on your computer, like iMovie on Macs or Video Editor on Microsoft-based PCs, make it easy to edit videos. I recommend adding your logo in the corner of the video and at the end. Both tools are intuitive to use, and, with a little practice, a video can be “wrapped” with your branding and ready to go within a few minutes.

There are four cornerstones to a good video:

Hold the phone horizontally: This only applies if you are using your phone, but you never want to hold the phone vertically to record. It doesn’t fit any video format shape and you will end up with distracting black bars on either side of your video.

Good lighting: Make sure your light source is in front

Jun 14

Fuze Survey Shows Workers Increasingly Expecting Flexible Work Models

By | Managed Services News

The findings will help partners navigate the nuances of return-to-office strategies.

FUZE FLEX SUMMIT — Workers increasingly view flexible work models as an expectation that will continue as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

That’s according to a new Fuze report, “Flex Study: Global Findings on the Future of Flexible Work.” It was unveiled during the first day of the 2021 Flex Summit. The weeklong virtual event brings together industry experts to discuss how enterprises are embracing flexible work.

Fuze polled 8,800 front-line and office workers globally for the report. Industries include manufacturing, retail, professional services, financial services, and software and technology.

The report reinforces that organizations and business leaders should not consider flexible work as a one-size-fits-all benefit. Instead, it should be a personalized experience tailored to an individual’s unique work preferences, their role within their team, industry practices, aligned to goals and expected outcomes, and established through a foundation of trust.

Chris Jones is Fuze‘s chief revenue officer. He said the findings will help partners navigate the nuances of return-to-office strategies. Moreover, it gives them access to the information needed to make informed decisions about how to reopen while still allowing their employees to drive business results regardless of their physical location.

3 Primary Workplace Trends

Fuze's Chris Jones

Fuze’s Chris Jones

“Our Flex survey results highlighted three main workplace trends that emerged from the pandemic,” Jones said. “Large employees are more trusting of leadership, but there is still room to grow. Flexible work should be a standard practice. And companies should prioritize productivity and engagement when developing return-to-office strategies.”

Fuze’s partners face the same challenges as those companies surveyed, he said.

When it comes to trust, the results showed 54% of workers think management is more trusting of remote work since teams shifted to working remotely full time in March 2020. However, 70% of senior leaders – director level and above – believe they are trustworthy, leaving a trust gap. That leads Fuze to believe there is a larger issue with communications surrounding flexible work.

“Our partners have the opportunity to close the trust gap by listening to what their employees want and creating a transparent flexible work plan,” Jones said.

Flexible work is a must have, he said. However, the survey proved it’s more than having a policy in place.

“Instead, partners need to consider a standard practice where employees can personalize their own work experiences, especially since 65% of respondents would consider changing jobs for greater long-term flexibility,” Jones said. “Understanding what flexibility means to your employees, getting the data and making decisions based on that data, is crucial for the future. Our partners and service providers need to consider how these findings will impact their operations, and provide the support and resources that employees need to succeed, whether in the office or at home.”

‘Shocking’ Result

The most “shocking” finding was around how employees prioritized productivity and engagement while working remotely, Jones said.

“Contrary to some public perceptions, we’ve actually gained productivity throughout the last year,” he said. “Eighty-six percent of survey respondents feel as or more productive than they did before the pandemic, highlighting that even as employees balanced families, remote learning and working out of small bedrooms, they still felt empowered to drive continued business success for their organizations.”

Fuze’s Partner-First Initiative, announced last month, provides partners with the services, support and technology to meet modern customer needs and drive digital transformation efforts “as we move to the new normal,” Jones said.

“As organizations across industries continue to move away from legacy communications technologies, and shift toward the future of hybrid work, they’re looking for partners who help them more seamlessly digitally transform,” he said.

Fuze recently announced its Fuze Contact Center. It’s a standalone solution that provides customers with rapid deployment of contact center features, such as call routing and queuing, without the cost associated with traditional solutions.

“While previously, customers were automatically deployed with Fuze’s fully integrated UCaaS + CCaaS platform, this standalone offering will support call-heavy departments streamline operations for enterprise customers that are not ready to migrate all of their communications systems to UCaaS,” Jones said. “This new solution will help our partners drive revenue and increase profit margins, as they can now offer a tailored product that meets the modern needs of customers, which will strengthen relationships with their existing client base, and open them up to new customers that are looking for a standalone offering.”

Jun 14

Ensono Hires Ex-Accenture Exec to Head Up European Growth

By | Managed Services News

Hannah Birch will drive Ensono’s European growth strategy after its recent acquisition.

Ensono has appointed a new general manager and deputy managing director for its business in Europe.

Ensono's Hannah Birch

Ensono’s Hannah Birch

Joining from Accenture, Hannah Birch will drive Ensono’s European growth strategy, leveraging investment from new owner KKR. The company also recently boosted its cloud-native software capabilities with the acquisition of UK consultancy Amido.

Ensono’s managing director for Europe, Barney Taylor, said Birch “understands how to drive transformational growth strategies.”

Taylor said the acquisition of Amido and KKR’s investment pointed to Ensono’s momentum in the market. He said the company has “an accelerated opportunity to invest and grow in both the UK and European markets.

“Hannah is the right person to drive our growth ambition,” he said.

Birch joins Ensono from Accenture, where she held a number of leadership positions. She also led its UK Technology Business for Insurance and was a member of the Technology Leadership Team for UK & Ireland.

Birch started her career at Energy giant BP. She later held leadership positions at Fujitsu Services UK and Computacenter.

A 2020 IDC survey shows that women hold only slightly more than 8% of leadership positions in European channel firms.

Birch claims Ensono is “one of the few service providers that meets organisations where they are at the inflection point.” She says the firm is “looking to leverage technology to drive transformational change to their business.

“Many organisations struggle to cut through the noise to identify the technology solutions that are right for them,” she said. “This has increased the pressure on service providers to be trusted partners for enterprise clients, guiding and streamlining the transformation process.”

Strong Performance

The investment by KKR follows strong performance by Ensono, including robust growth in 2020.

Charlesbank and M/C Partners acquired the company in 2015. It rebranded as Ensono in 2016, and since then has grown significantly in terms of new clients and revenue.

Ensono described the purchase of Amido as “a turning point” for the company. It said it would be “one of the few companies” that can manage customers’ IT estates across mainframe, private and public cloud.

Ensono frequently ranks high on Channel Futures’ MSP 501.

 

Jun 14

Channel Marketing Agency Mojo Marketing Rebrands to Mojenta

By | Managed Services News

The agency has added new programs for specific types of channel companies.

Mojo Marketing, the longtime channel marketing agency, has rebranded to Mojenta to reflect its “maturity.”

Along with the name change comes a newly designed logo, brand image and website. The rebranding reflects the evolution of the channel marketing agency, a desire to further differentiate from other marketing agencies, and an alignment with future growth plans, the company said.

The channel marketing company’s staff and ownership remain the same.

Angela Leavitt is Mojenta‘s founder and CEO.

Mojenta's Angela Leavitt

Mojenta’s Angela Leavitt

“More than a rebrand, this really is a rebirth of the company,” she said. “We’ve completely gutted our processes from the inside out and made them better and more efficient. We’ve also added new offerings and productized campaigns like webinars, in-person events and MDF implementation.”

Specific Programs for Channel Companies

In addition, Mojenta now has specific programs for MSPs, telecom agents, distributors and suppliers, Leavitt said. They’re all based on more than a decade’s worth of experience.

Mojenta is now a “highly sophisticated, data-driven growth” agency, Leavitt said.

“We have attracted some top talent in B2B marketing,” she said. “We understand the entire ecosystem of the B2B telecom, IT and cloud industries we serve, and stand ready to help them achieve their growth goals more efficiently than ever before.”

This change comes after more than 10 years under the former name. In that time, Mojenta has served nearly 300 B2B telecom, IT, cloud, and SaaS companies. It acts as their outsourced marketing departments and helps them drive business growth.

Mojenta logoMojenta will continue adding top marketing talent, Leavitt said.

“We will launch even more service offerings, with account-based marketing being a big focus,” she said. “We are also working on an MSP marketing boot camp that will help educate MSPs on their growth.”

Dan Rooney is Mojenta’s vice president of operations.

“Our vision is to become the most powerful full-service growth agency for B2B tech companies on the planet,” he said. “This new brand will allow us to carry that message into the market and solidify our thought leadership in the industries we serve.”

Jun 14

Vonage, XO Alum to Lead Intelisys Sales

By | Managed Services News

He has founded multiple channel-facing companies.

The new Intelisys senior vice president of sales has worked on multiple sides of the channel.

Michael Sterl will lead field and inside sales teams in his new role at the technology services distributor. He’ll bring entrepreneurial experience that he gained from launching multiple companies.

Sterl, Michael_intelisys

Intelisys’ Michael Sterl

“The paradigm for what a sales partner needs to be successful in this rapidly growing marketplace is changing, quickly and consistently,” Sterl said. “I’m 100% aligned with Intelisys’ strategic plan to use its platform to enable its sales partners to scale and take advantage of the connectivity and cloud marketplace opportunity. Intelisys is uniquely positioned to enhance the business of the sales partner community in a manner that no other can do.”

Intelisys president Mark Morgan described Sterl as a perfect culture fit. Morgan called Sterl’s mentality “channel-first.”

Morgan-Mark_Intelisys

Intelisys’ Mark Morgan

“He has an intimate understanding of the business of the channel from all angles, and his insights will be instrumental in driving the sales partner experience at Intelisys.” Morgan said.

Background

Sterl has co-founded multiple companies. He launched unified communications service provider SimpleSignal in 2004. Vonage bought SimpleSignal for $25.3 million in 2015. Sterl went on to serve as Vonage’s vice president of indirect channel sales. He later launched a marketing firm geared toward channel partners. He also founded Cloud Optik, which gave service providers and channel partners a data insights platform.

Sterl started his telco career by working as an account executive for XO Communications in 2003.

“Michael’s track record as a trailblazer in the industry proves his vision is on target,” Morgan said. “I expect he will have an immediate impact on the resources we develop that help bridge our partners to the best solutions offered by our roster of suppliers.”

Sterl two years ago partnered with private equity firm Periscope Equity, which stated its intention of acquiring MSPs. Sterl also sits on the board of directors for Telecom for Change.

Intelisys recently announced its first “palladium” partner.

Jun 14

Arctic Wolf Valuation Could Reach $4 Billion with New Potential Funding Round

By | Managed Services News

Arctic Wolf is benefiting from high demand for managed security services.

Arctic Wolf reportedly wants to raise a new venture capital funding round at a company valuation of $4 billion.

That would more than triple Arctic Wolf’s valuation in less than a year. Bloomberg is reporting the news, citing people familiar with the matter. Viking Global Investors is expected to lead the investment. It’s already an investor with the cybersecurity startup.

Other existing investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Unusual Ventures.

Last fall, Arctic Wolf raised $200 million in Series E funding at a valuation of $1.3 billion. Viking Global Investors led that funding round with additional participation from DTCP and existing investors.

Arctic Wolf declined to comment on Bloomberg’s report.

The company provides security monitoring for small and midsize organizations to detect and respond to cyber threats.

Arctic Wolf Benefitting from Demand for Managed Security Services

Eric Parizo is principal analyst of Omdia’s cybersecurity operations intelligence service. Informa is the parent company of both Omdia and Channel Futures.

Omdia's Eric Parizo

Omdia’s Eric Parizo

“Arctic Wolf has benefitted from an environment in which the demand for managed security services has grown significantly,” he said. “Because of the pervasive threats facing enterprises, the preventing, detecting and responding to those threats effectively, and the ongoing cybersecurity workforce shortage, many organizations see managed security services as a viable alternative.”

Last week, Arctic Wolf unveiled its enhanced partner program and introduced two new partnership tiers — authorized partners and wolf pack partners. The enhanced partner program focuses on investing in top-performing channel partners. It also outlines a path for partners of all sizes to grow with and expand their strategic relationship with the company.

Two years ago, Arctic Wolf switched to a 100% channel strategy to provide its entire portfolio of services and products only through its U.S. and Canadian channel partners.

The past year has accelerated Arctic Wolf’s channel momentum and growth with key accomplishments. Those include a record number of participants at key events, number of transactions and registered deals, and more.

Jun 14

Coffee with Craig and James Episode No. 98: SADA, Vince Menzione

By | Managed Services News

Tony Safoian of SADA on being a Google Cloud partner; plus, Vince Menzione on building the ultimate partnership.

Craig and James return with another podcast for the ages!

SADA Systems' Tony Safoian

SADA’s Tony Safoian

It all starts with some “cloudification” featuring Tony Safoian of SADA. The company’s president and CEO talks about the cloud wars and what it’s like to be exclusive to Google. Furthermore, he explains why Google’s third-place position among hyperscalers is nothing to shake a stick at.

Later, Vince Menzione, founder of the Ultimate Guide to Partnering, shares his methodologies around good business partnerships. He’ll offer some significant takeaways for both the partner and vendor audience.

Vince Menzione

That, plus the guys dig into what’s become an internet phenomenon — the “Florida Man” craze.

Links mentioned in this podcast:

Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts or via SoundCloud. You can find us just about anywhere you get your podcasts.

Follow Craig and James on the Coffee with Craig & James Twitter page!

 

Jun 14

5 Essential Cybersecurity Services

By | Managed Services News

Here are the five cybersecurity services that MSPs should provide to drive revenue, meet customer needs and tap new markets.

Small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are becoming increasingly aware of cybersecurity as a major area of concern. In fact, our 2020 ConnectWise State of SMB Cybersecurity report found that over half of SMBs don’t have the skills to properly manage cybersecurity. 

Cybersecurity services represent a massive window of opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) in 2021 and beyond. Consider that the same report also found that 91% of small businesses would consider switching IT service providers if they found a new one that offered the “right” cybersecurity services. 

As SMBs start thinking about security, they’re often turning to MSPs for help, and well-prepared MSPs who adopt an MSP+ playbook (traditional MSP services plus cybersecurity support) will be better equipped to take advantage of this growing demand.

Below, we’ve broken down five key cybersecurity services that MSPs should offer. Take a look to see where you could increase your service offerings to drive revenue, meet customer needs and tap new markets.

  1. Threat Detection and Response

Every endpoint—from laptops, to mobile phones, to tablets—in your customer’s organization represents a potential entry point for a hacker to infiltrate their systems. That’s why endpoint management is a crucial part of any cybersecurity program. One key service MSPs can offer their customers is monitoring for cyber threats, detecting them if/when they occur, and responding quickly to stop them in their tracks and prevent fallout.

For example, email is one of the most common ways hackers try to enter systems. By monitoring popular software and SaaS apps on your customers’ endpoints—such as Microsoft 365 and Azure—you can detect abnormal behavior, stop it and investigate whether something malicious (or accidental but dangerous) is happening.

Other core threat detection and response services can include:

  • Monitoring and analyzing logs
  • Security information and event management (SIEM) management
  • Customizing alerts for individual users and devices
  • Dark web scanning to detect stolen credentials
  • DNS protection

The least impactful cyberattacks are those that are caught, stopped and remediated early. Endpoint monitoring and threat detection are the frontline in preventing attacks.

  1. Risk Assessments

Dental offices, legal firms, and medical practices are all busy doing what they do best—fixing teeth, practicing law and treating patients. They’re typically not cybersecurity experts, and they know it. So, while your SMBs customers may be aware that cybersecurity is important, they may not know where their risks are or what to do about them. At the same time, they must keep up with industry regulations like the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and protect patient and client data and confidentiality at all costs.

MSPs can prove value to customers like these by identifying potential security risks proactively. And that starts with having the security conversation and conducting a risk assessment.

Presented in an easy-to-read report, a risk assessment should cover areas such as:

  • How employees are trained/educated about cybersecurity
  • If and how threats are documented and addressed internally
  • Whether the organization assesses IT assets for vulnerabilities
  • Any plans or processes for addressing cybersecurity incidents (and whether that plan is followed during an actual incident)

Based on the information gathered in a risk assessment, MSPs can then recommend actionable next steps for their customers to shore up security. A thorough risk assessment includes network vulnerabilities, data compliance issues and even internal threats. It can also make the threat of cyberattacks more real for customers who are not well informed or fully aware of their risks.

A risk assessment can be a starting point for a discussion around compliance with key security and privacy regulations—such as the EU’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—and the difference between being secure and being in compliance. For healthcare and medical companies, HIPAA may come into play, and for law practices, there are often client confidentiality rules and laws that must be respected.

To get started, take a look at

Jun 14

Leverage Third-Party Research to Choose Cybersecurity Vendors

By | Managed Services News

Third-party testing gives you a smart, reliable basis for your vendor decision-making strategy.

Preventing advanced and sophisticated security threats remains a top challenge for managed service providers (MSPs) as cyberattacks grow more complex and pose devastating consequences. At the same time, companies are moving toward a hybrid work environment, creating new vulnerabilities in their network security. At the very least, it’s a good time for MSPs to talk with customers about cybersecurity practice. Perhaps now they will listen.

Before you schedule that meeting, can you ensure you’re implementing the right cybersecurity platform for your MSP business? With the magnitude of platforms and solutions on the market, it’s not easy to understand how they stack up against their claims. We recommend looking at the experts–independent, third-party analysts who have real-world experience–to understand and evaluate cybersecurity options.

Independent third-party labs perform publicly conducted tests, which set the gold standard in today’s crowded cybersecurity marketplace. Real-word testing offers the most significant insights into a platform’s value. Furthermore, these tests use live malware and viruses often running for an extended period of time with continuous live updates of the malicious codes and URLs introduced.

Moreover, these tests share several common traits:

  • Vendors do not fund them.
  • They test performance, false positives and protection.
  • They pull from massive collections of malware.
  • They offer vendors the chance to dispute or clarify results.
  • They do fail platforms in one or more categories based on results.

Third-party testing gives you a smart, reliable basis for your vendor decision-making strategy. Now, you have a solid plan in place to advise your customers! If you’d like to take a deeper dive into independent testing in the cybersecurity industry and the industry’s leading independent, third-party antivirus and antimalware labs, download the guide: The Ultimate Guide to AV and EDR Independent Tests.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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