Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Nov 28

Facebook Fined $277 Million After Privacy Breach

By | Managed Services News

DPC has 13 more pending inquirings with Meta.

Facebook has been hit with a fine totaling 265 million euro (US $277 million) in Ireland related to personal data that was made available online.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) imposed the fine. In addition, the Commission is requiring a range of corrective measures.

According to CNBC, DPC in all has fined Facebook parent Meta nearly 1 billion euros. DPC has 13 more pending inquiries with Meta.

The DPC began its investigation in April, after media reports into the discovery of a collated data set of Facebook personal data became available on the internet. The scope of the inquiry concerned an examination and assessment of Facebook Search, Facebook Messenger Contact Importer and Instagram Contact Importer tools in relation to processing carried out by Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (MPIL) between May 2018 and September 2019.

GDPR Compliance

The material issues in this inquiry concerned questions of compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirement for data protection. The DPC examined the implementation of technical and organizational measures pursuant to GDPR.

The investigation included the cooperation of all other data protection supervisory authorities within the European Union. Those supervisory authorities agreed with DPC’s decision.

The decision imposed a reprimand. It also requires MPIL to bring its processing into compliance within a particular time frame.

Meta sent us the following statement:

“Protecting the privacy and security of people’s data is fundamental to how our business works. That’s why we have cooperated fully with the DPC on this important issue. We made changes to our systems during the time in question, including removing the ability to scrape our features in this way using phone numbers. Unauthorized data scraping is unacceptable and against our rules. And we will continue working with our peers on this industry challenge. We are reviewing this decision carefully.”

In September, DPC imposed a record fine of 405 million euros (US $420 million) on Facebook subsidiary Instagram after investigating its handling of children’s data. Meta plans to appeal that fine.

 

Nov 28

New NetApp Partner Program Drops Revenue Thresholds for Competencies

By | Managed Services News

More partners will have a chance to progress to the top levels of the new NetApp partner program, says EMEA channel exec.

NetApp is manoeuvring away from its current revenue-based partner program toward one that focuses on partner competencies.

Partner Sphere, which the company announced in October, will go live in May 2023. It will better reflect NetApp’s increasingly diverse partner base, said NetApp’s EMEA channel VP, Kristian Kerr.

NetApp's Kristian Kerr

NetApp’s Kristian Kerr

“The program is focused on the value and contribution the partner ecosystem provides through the life cycle of a customer engagement,” he explained.

Kerr said the replacement partner program currently focuses on point of sale.

“If you were the biggest partner and you did the most revenue, you got the highest badge.”

But in the new program, he said cloud-only partners, specialist AI consultancies, big infrastructure partners and MSPs can all progress up through the tiers. This is because NetApp will evaluate them on their skills, capabilities and competencies.

“You could be a cloud-only partner that’s new to NetApp, and you can reach the highest tier and benefit from all the associated rewards and incentives; whereas, in the current program, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to access all of that. Because you had to jump through a load of hurdles. So it’s very much about specialized partners with the right capabilities and competencies to deliver value.”

Partner Sphere will also focus more on life cycle management and business outcomes, he added.

“It’s about the point of sale, but it’s about customer success management in terms of upsell, cross sell, driving more of our portfolio [and] consumption with that customer through the life cycle of engagement.”

Kerr said there will also be “a heavy play” on services and consumption.

“If you’re a partner that’s focused on delivering as a service, cloud consumption, we will have a competency based on that as well,” said Kerr.

He said NetApp will give partners time to make the transition to the new model. It will also announce more details on the competencies the first week of December.

More Diverse Partner Ecosystem

Kerr was speaking at the NetApp Partner Academy in London Nov. 23. The theme of the event was the hybrid multicloud. Historically an on-premises vendor, NetApp has been building its cloud portfolio in recent years through acquisitions, like that of CloudCheckr.

“We’ve been extremely successful through the course of the pandemic, in terms of acquiring in enterprise and the midmarket space. Because we’re able to position that journey to the cloud where some of our competitors can’t. That’s really resonating with our partners and with our customers,” said Kerr.

However, he maintained that NetApp’s on-premises businesses is still going strong.

“In the UK, we are taking share, we are growing faster than the market in our on-prem business,” he said. “Even though we talk about cloud a lot, for us the de facto end state for most organisations is going to be hybrid multicloud. Securing and preparing the on-premises environment for cloud connectivity is critical. So we’re growing that business.

“It’s about giving customers that freedom of choice,” noted Kerr. “If a customer wants to go all in on the public cloud, we can support them as well in that environment with the deep relationships that we have with the hyperscalers.”

Wednesday’s event featured a more diverse audience of partners in attendance than in the past. This is because NetApp is building out a new partner ecosystem as it moves to the cloud, said Kerr.

“We still have the same partner ecosystem as we did a few years ago. But because of our build out in the cloud space, we’ve been attracting a new set of partners,” he said. “Not only in cloud, also in other modern workloads like AI and modern data analytics. So we’re engaging with those consultancies and boutique partners. We’ve also got a presence today from hyperscalers … as they’re using our technology to deliver their cloud services,” he said.

NetApp is also working more closely with alliance partners like Cisco, as partners and customers look for integrated solutions.

“They’re expecting the vendors together to come together to collaborate, to deliver outcome based solutions,” said Kerr.

 

Nov 28

5 Easy Ways to Grow Your Business by Growing Existing Accounts

By | Managed Services News

Start from a place of trust with current clients to boost sales. Be intentional in reaching out.

Zomentum's Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy

“It costs less to retain a client than recruit a new one.” No doubt you’ve heard this advice time and again. It follows, then, that it costs less to grow existing accounts than it does to sign new ones.

Whether upselling, cross-selling or scaling your clients’ current solutions, building deeper and wider relationships with customers increases account-level profitability without the overhead of new customer recruitment and onboarding.

Plus, you’re already starting from a place of trust with current clients. They’ve already chosen to work with you and count on you to provide solutions to their problems. You have the inside track in identifying services that could deliver desired business outcomes.

5 Easy Pieces

Grow together. Strengthen your clients’ businesses with strategic recommendations while also growing and strengthening your MSP. It’s a win-win. Here are five easy ways to get started:

1. Communicate consistently. When you’re trying to win a client, you pay them a lot of attention with calls, emails and maybe even dinners. Once they’re sold customers, do you continue those interactions? If not, you should. Managing client communications with the same enthusiasm and consistency as you did during the sales process can lead to discussions about business requirements. Ongoing conversations lead to additional sales and service opportunities.

Email, texts, social media, web meetings and virtual events can be part of your proactive communications plan to share information with clients about tech trends, innovative solutions, added features, special offers and more. Consider automating communications outreach via email and text, so that it happens regularly.

If you’re offering managed services that ensure client systems run smoothly, proactive communication is even more important since they can’t “see” what you’re doing for them. Automate reports and schedule routine check-ins. Hold quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to remind your clients of your value and to uncover new pain points or objectives.

2. Incentivize your sales teams. If you want your sales teams to focus on growing business with your base, you must not only communicate that but also motivate them to do so with incentives. To encourage reps to increase wallet share with existing clients., consider SPIFFs (a sales performance incentive fund) on single sales or bonuses on revenue milestones.

In addition to incentives for performance, consider rewarding communications behaviors. For example, coach your account executives to ask clients about:

  • Their challenges in serving their customers;
  • Feedback on services provided ; and
  • Where they see their company in three to five years.

In each case, these questions open conversations with clients that can lead to upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

3. Train your techs to spot opportunities. Your ability to upsell and cross-sell new services to existing customers is directly influenced by your post-sale support quality. Train techs to own their role in building those relationships and, over time, grow revenue.

Groom your techs to identify opportunities when they’re on-site or helping clients remotely. For example, they may uncover possibilities for platform integrations, compliance assistance or increased data security.

4. Turn clients into advocates. An overlooked way to increase average revenue per account (ARPA) is asking existing clients to refer new clients and then attributing the referral revenue to their lifetime value. Keep in mind that referrals can be a measure of how valuable a client is to your business.

Turning your best clients into advocates can not only help keep your net-new pipeline full but also strengthen those relationships. By bringing clients into your inner circle and sharing what’s new in your industry and product road map, they’re more likely to engage in conversations about how you can help them with their own business needs.

5. Make add-ons easy. Make it easy for your clients to upgrade services plans or add related services online. Self-service is a growing preference for many clients, especially millennial and Gen Z buyers, who are more likely to research products on their own and try them before they buy without even talking to your sales team. Don’t put obstacles in their way by forcing them to speak to a sales rep if you can enable an easy upgrade online.

The Bottom Line

Increasing revenue with current customers might take a lot less investment than landing new customers, but it won’t happen on a large scale without intention. Put as much time and effort into farming your base as you do when hunting new clients. Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table and the doors open to an enterprising competitor.

Shannon Murphy is chief marketer for Zomentum, an intelligent revenue platform built to help partners discover, sell and manage services. With more than 15 years of tech marketing experience, Murphy focuses on end-user perspectives to develop campaigns, tactics and sales approaches that convert opportunities and drive revenue. You may follow her on LinkedIn or @zomentum on Twitter.

Nov 25

6 Ways to Make Digital Fitness Your New Year’s IT Resolution

By | Managed Services News

Embrace the spirit of what’s possible. Create sustainable business value with focus on digital fitness.

Sanjib Sahoo

Sanjib Sahoo

The beginning of a new year traditionally generates a spate of resolutions to get physically fit. Each year, many try and fail. The same can be said about business goals, particularly those around digital transformation. Many try and, again, many fail. Why? Because digital transformation isn’t a resolution or a project to complete. It’s about introducing a spirit of change within your team that embraces the art of possible.

Whether big or small, today’s organizations must become digitally fit to stay relevant and thrive now and in the future. They must think differently about how to balance experience and automation, talent, and technology. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

6 Digital Fitness Tips

For those who want to push forward, here are six ways your company can create and capture sustainable business value by making digital fitness its New Year’s IT resolution:

  1. Focus on value: Businesses spend trillions of dollars on technology and yet their approach to digital transformation is often less than successful. The technology doesn’t produce the expected value. Stakeholders are unsatisfied with the ROI. The reason is too often companies build technology in isolation, then try to commercialize it. Meanwhile, technology is changing, and business needs are changing. The No. 1 shift must be learning how to perform value transfer for technology that you innovate or provide. Moving the mindset to relevance and value first will promote longevity.
  2. Evaluate your legacy systems: In becoming more digitally fit, you need to perform a wellness check of your legacy systems. Are they flexible enough to build new technology on? Can they serve as the right foundation for a digital ecosystem? Most companies struggle with this. Often, the optimal way forward is to modernize your systems. However, most companies need to conserve spending. It’s imperative to take stock and identify what you might be able to use before adding new digital tech.
  3. Make data work for you: Most companies talk about data, but they don’t understand what to do with data. Think of using data as a product, making sure you can create a harmonized data mesh or a data foundation across all your systems and create a single source of truth. Also ensure you can easily and securely share the data. This enables you to create an AI and machine-learning factory to serve as the data foundation for digital operations and innovation.
  4. Let go of digital misconceptions: Digitization isn’t only about automation or hyper-automation. Start by thinking about how to deliver a better customer experience, employee experience, or vendor experience. Once you focus on the experience, automation or new application development can follow. Technology is the tool to deliver the experience, but not the endgame. To help customers become digitally fit, think first about what they need, and then think about how to solve for that need. Technology that delivers value should follow from this process.
  5. Embrace consumerization: Think of a Sunday-style experience on a business Monday. Consumers love to “order in,” to have pizza and chips arrive after a quick touch on a delivery app. Businesses want that same experience when buying solutions or working with providers to improve their operations. Businesses that understand consumerization is the top priority will have the best chance of retaining customers.
  6. Think customer, not project: Moving from a project-based organization to a customer-focused organization is necessary to become digitally fit and move along with the market’s changing requirements. There’s no room here for “set it and forget it” thinking. The customer and product mindset is especially important because that’s how you focus on feedback, foster engagement, and create a better experience through innovation.

Create Your 2023 Digital Training Model

Fitness trainers work with their clients to design a program that encompasses exercise, strengthening and a healthy diet. Businesses can use this model to devise a 2023 digital fitness plan to get them on the right track to better digital health.

To gauge your fitness, evaluate your legacy systems for future use and identify needed improvements in data collection and analytics. Also, determine how much of a change in your cultural mindset is needed. Putting the customer first and thinking about value every step of the way are both essential to digital fitness.

Sanjib Sahoo is the executive vice president and chief digital officer of Ingram Micro, a worldwide leader in technology distribution. He is leading its global digitization, including that of the company’s digital twin, Ingram Micro Xvantage. He has also been involved in leading digital transformation in the financial services and transportation industries. Sahoo has won awards for his leadership and technology innovation, including being one of 10 global executives named to the 2021 Business Transformation Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and holds several patents for data and streaming technologies. He is a contributor to Harvard Business Review and a TED speaker. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @IngramMicroInc or @SahooSanj on Twitter.

Nov 25

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 25

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 25

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 25

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 25

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

Nov 24

Meet Channel Futures’ Top 20 Communications & Collaboration Channel Leaders for 2022

By | Managed Services News

This is our fourth Channel Leaders of the Year list highlighting some of the biggest names in the industry.

Remote work has forever changed the face of business. These 20 communications and collaboration leaders are stepping up to move the channel forward.

This is the fourth in a series of Channel Futures Channel Leaders of the Year lists. We are unveiling them one-by-one until the end of the year. They include senior partner executives in cloud, security, networking and connectivity, EMEA, managed services, distribution and cloud.

These leaders have earned a reputation as partner-friendly, customer-focused and future-minded. Some of them have been putting their mark on the industry for decades; others are rising stars. These leaders will determine the future of the channel as they redefine the partner-supplier relationship.

We’ve chosen these leaders based on their company’s market share, growth potential, strength of partner network, scope of partner program and the individual’s impact on the partner ecosystem. Partner feedback played a key role, with special attention on how these individuals supported and advocated for their agent, VAR and MSP partners.

These leaders will be eligible for our 2023 Channel Futures Influencer of the Year Award, as well as the Channel Futures/Channel Partners Circle of Excellence Award.

See our slideshow above for our list of 20 EMEA channel leaders of the year for 2022. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Then, check out our other 2022 Channel Leaders lists:

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