Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jun 06

Former ConnectWise Executive Launches CyberFox, Brings Cybersecurity Companies Under One Brand

By | Managed Services News

Together, the two organizations can better serve the cybersecurity needs of MSPs and the channel, the CEO said.

CyberFox is new a global cybersecurity company launching this week. Its focus is on providing identity access management (IAM) solutions for MSPs. Channel veteran David Bellini will lead the organization as CEO.

CyberFox brings together under a single brand two IAM security companies — Password Boss and AutoElevate. It gives MSPs a one-stop destination for security solutions that deliver better control over user access to critical information.

Both solutions are critical elements of a comprehensive IAM security strategy. They can monitor, manage and mitigate risks by controlling user access to critical information. MSPs can tighten security defenses for themselves and their customers.

Bellini said he is excited about what the two companies will be able to deliver to the MSP community and ecosystem as they work together. Password Boss, which was founded by Steve Wise, and AutoElevate, which was co-founded by Todd Jones and Dave Sibiski, seamlessly integrate with several PSA, RMM and remote access tools, including those from ConnectWise, Autotask, Datto and Kaseya, Bellini added.

Leveraging An Understanding of MSPs

CyberFox’s David Bellini

“The founders of both Password Boss and AutoElevate were MSP owners first who saw a need, leveraged their intimate understanding of an MSP’s challenges and built solutions specifically designed to meet that need. It is abundantly clear to anyone who uses either that ‘MSP’ is deeply entrenched in the DNA of both solutions,” Bellini said.

Bellini is well-known among MSPs and across the IT channel. He was COO and worked with his brother Arnie Bellini to spin software company ConnectWise out of their Tampa-based IT service provider more than 40 years ago. After private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired ConnectWise in 2019, Bellini took on the CEO role at Password Boss. He and a group of investors acquired that company in 2020. That same group later acquired AutoElevate in August 2021.

Joining the two independent companies under the CyberFox brand will allow both organizations to better serve MSPs’ cybersecurity needs. It brings together a comprehensive identity access management strategy that includes password management. It also includes privileged access management as a key pillar of any cyber defense framework.

“Today’s MSPs and their customers are at high risk in an increasingly perilous IT environment where cybercriminals, hackers and other bad actors constantly probe organizations looking for an opportunity to strike. By blending Password Boss and AutoElevate into CyberFox, we’ll be able to combine resources and tap the deep MSP industry expertise that exists within the two companies. This gives both organizations the ability to quickly innovate and scale their solutions more effectively and efficiently.”

Jun 06

Alliance of Channel Women Seeks Nominations for 2022 LEAD Awards

By | Managed Services News

Winners will be announced at ACWConnect LIVE!, Sept. 13, at the Channel Futures MSP Summit in Orlando.

PRESS RELEASE — ORANGE, Calif., June 6, 2022 – The Alliance of Channel Women, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of female channel leaders in technology, announced today a call for nominations for the 2022 ACW LEAD Awards, an initiative that recognizes exceptional women in the channel. The organization is accepting nominations for the ACW LEAD Award now through June 30, 2022.

In its sixth year, the ACW LEAD Award is presented annually to celebrate women who are courageous, creative, collaborative, connected and confident in advancing channel careers. It also seeks to inspire other channel women to follow their lead.

Winners of the award will be honored at a ceremony during the Alliance of Channel Women ACWConnect Live! Networking Event on September 13 during Channel Futures MSP Summit 2022. The MSP Summit is colocated with the Channel Partners Leadership Summit and Women’s Leadership Summit, which features ACW members. (NOTE: Nominees must be present to win the LEAD Award.)

LEAD Awards Noms 2022“Five years after ACW created the LEAD Award to honor women in the channel who are stand-out leaders, I’m proud to look over the list of remarkable women we’ve recognized to date – from business owners and channel chiefs to channel managers and partner support executives,” said ACW President Cassie Jeppson, Director of North America Channel Programs for Lenovo. “What’s sets them apart? Their willingness to step up and lead, no matter the challenge or situation. Leaders today need to be bolder and braver than ever; we’re looking forward to discovering more exceptional channel leaders in 2022.”

Nominations will be accepted through June 30, 2022, via an online application at https://allianceofchannelwomen.org/lead-2022. Nominations may come from third parties or candidates themselves. All applicants will be required to demonstrate leadership and innovation in the channel as well as support, advocacy and mentorship of women in the channel.

Winners will be selected from among the nominees by a vote of the ACW Board of Directors and Awards Committee.

About the Alliance of Channel Women
Founded in 2010, the Alliance of Channel Women is a not-for-profit organization of women in the indirect sales channel of the telecom and IT industry. The Alliance of Channel Women brings us together to empower and advance women’s careers and leadership roles in the technology channel through education, community, advocacy and opportunities for personal growth. To learn more and to become a member, please visit www.allianceofchannelwomen.org.

Jun 06

7 Channel People Making Waves This Week at Airtable, Proofpoint, Dell Technologies, More

By | Managed Services News

One company is expected to hit $11 billion in revenue by fiscal year 2024.

Dell Technologies, Proofpoint and Airtable are among the companies we feature this week in Channel People Making Waves. Each week we highlight our top news stories and the people behind them.

Take Laura Padilla for example. She left Zoom to take on the role of VP of partners at Airtable. Click on the slideshow above to learn more about her vision for partners.

Our most-read story will be obvious to anyone in the industry. It involves a major, multibillion-dollar acquisition that stunned the channel. The opinions surrounding the deal are mixed. Read on to find out what partners had to say about Broadcom buying VMware.

Then, Edward Gately, senior news editor at Channel Futures, posed a somewhat controversial question to his sources at a company roundtable. He asked: Is ransomware good for business? Readers may find some of the answers surprising from the experts. We particularly liked Proofpoint SVP Joe Sykora’s response.

That sums up this week’s edition featuring Dell, Proofpoint and more. Click here to catch last week’s roundup in case you missed it.

 

Jun 06

Coffee with Craig and James Episode No. 112: Bluewave, Vodia

By | Managed Services News

You know Bluewave’s Curt Allen from X4 and Windstream, and Eric Brooker from Bigleaf.

Craig and James beg for your forgiveness as the podcast has been on hiatus for a while. But with guests like Bluewave Technology Group and Vodia, like Die Hard 3, they are back with a vengeance.

Well-known channel figures Curt Allen and Eric Brooker are new to Bluewave, but not the channel. These gents talk with the guys about the unique business model the company offers and the flood of investment money coming into the industry.

Next up is Christian Stredicke, president and CEO of Vodia Networks. You might know him best as the founder of Snom. Stredicke will discuss WebRTC and other new technologies impacting the IP PBX market.

And it wouldn’t be a podcast without a discussion of Channel Partners events. We’ll have a preview of Channel Evolution Europe, less than two weeks away. Moreover, the MSP Summit in September will be here before we know it. And we’re introducing the inaugural Channel Partners Leadership Summit that we are co-locating with the event.

All that plus the 2022 MSP 501 reveal is almost here. We’ll get you excited for that and tell you about a webinar where you can get a sneak peak of the top winners.

Links mentioned in this podcast:

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

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

 

Jun 06

How to Adapt and Thrive in a Changing Partner Ecosystem

By | Managed Services News

Today’s channel programs are about quality over quantity.

Netacea's Kirk Horton

Kirk Horton

The channel landscape is going through a major transformation. Rapid consolidation, with larger service providers acquiring smaller players, has resulted in weakening the competition while equipping acquired companies with the expertise (and customer base) they need to dominate in their respective markets.

Private equity and investment are also game changers, with VC funding flowing into the IT channel like never before. All these moving parts have resulted in rapidly evolving vendor/partner relationships. There is still tremendous opportunity for midtier partners and independent consultants with expertise in niche markets such as telecom, security and cloud infrastructure services, etc., to bolster their reputation and help vendors expand the reach of their offerings beyond their respective comfort zones.

Quality Over Quantity

Another change that has shaken up the vendor/partner status quo is that today’s channel programs are all about quality over quantity. The old mantra of signing as many partners as possible and hoping this will lead to more deals was unrealistic, unsustainable and unproductive.

For channel programs to lead to successful outcomes, there must be material value and alignment for both the partner and vendor to justify the investment in the partnership. The relationship needs to have strategic value for both parties and be reciprocal in nature. This requires that both the partner and vendor make deep investments across all levels of their respective organizations to make the partnership mutually successful.

To build and maintain a thriving channel organization, the vendor must also vet and choose the right partners, making sure they’re a good fit from a portfolio perspective and have a proper program in place to support the partnership.

Why Vendor-Partner Relationships Fail

Before exploring the key elements for a mutually successful partnership in the highly competitive technology industry, let’s review some of the more common reasons vendor/partner relationships fail:

  • The one-way street conundrum – Some vendors expect their partners to be lead engines. Partnerships are like any personal relationship in that they require good communication and an alignment of goals. This misconception commonly leads to a failure to live up to expectations and the eventual failure of the partnership.
  • Misalignment of goals – The service provider may have an expectation that isn’t in alignment with the vendor’s partner strategy, or the vendor may provide services or products that don’t match up well with the partner’s core expertise. This creates false expectations, which are accelerated by poor communications.
  • Poor training and enablement – There’s minimal chance for partnership success if vendors don’t provide the partner company with rigorous training and an enablement program that reinforces the vendor’s value proposition. Without proper training, the partner’s sales team won’t be equipped to ask the customer the right qualification questions and assess the opportunity correctly.

Bringing ‘Harmony’ to Channel Relationships

So how can vendors and their partners build mutually successful, long-lasting relationships? First, rather than having the direct sales team compete against their partners, which can degrade trust (and the relationship), the most effective approach to building a successful channel program is by using the “harmony” model. This entails the integration of sales organizations that enables direct sales through the channel and vice versa.

Not only does this create synergy and harmony, but vendor sales representatives are also incentivized to work with partners in a more collaborative fashion and partners receive the training they need “on the job.” This includes equipping partners with case studies, resources and a proper training regimen that includes …

Jun 03

Cybereason Confirms Layoffs Due to Closed Tech IPO Market

By | Managed Services News

Macroeconomic issues are impacting the overall tech market.

Cybereason this week announced layoffs impacting 10% of its workforce in Israel, the United States and Europe, citing a closed tech initial public offering (IPO) market.

According to CTech, Cybereason is laying off about 100 workers, with the company laying off dozens at its Israel headquarters, and the rest working at its offices in the United States and Europe.

Cybereason operates in 50 countries and its workforce totaled 1,500, CTech said.

Cybereason sent us the following statement regarding its layoffs:

“On June 1, we internally announced a reduction in workforce (by approximately 10%). This was an extremely difficult decision. As the bullish tech market conditions have turned and the tech IPO market has essentially closed, companies like us must now exercise more strict financial discipline and prioritize profitability over top-line growth.”

Cybereason’s Market Traction ‘Remains Strong’

Cybereason said its market traction remains strong. It has “long-term objectives in mind and plans for a tremendous outcome when the markets – and we – are ready.”

In February, Cybereason reportedly filed for an IPO at a valuation of $5 billion. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s investment firm, Liberty Strategic Capital, is one of Cybereason’s investors.

Cybereason reportedly finalized underwriters for its IPO. It anticipated the IPO in the second half of the year.

The company wouldn’t address the status of its IPO plans.

According to CNBC, after a banner year for tech IPOs in 2021, the most notable companies to go public are now suffering some of the biggest losses on the market. CNBC said the IPO calendar for 2022 has been dormant. In addition, no big tech companies will likely file for IPOs in the second quarter.

Macroeconomic Issues Affecting Overall Tech Market

Eric Parizo is principal analyst of Omdia’s cybersecurity operations intelligence service. He said Cybereason‘s staff reduction is likely less about the company’s ability to execute and more about the macroeconomic issues affecting the tech market overall.

In a matter of weeks, an overall solid economy has quickly taken a downturn largely due to inflation,” he said.

Omdia's Eric Parizo

Omdia’s Eric Parizo

“That is having a ripple effect throughout the global economy,” Parizo said. “And both tech and more specifically cybersecurity aren’t immune to those effects.”

Amid the current conditions, an IPO for Cybereason becomes much more challenging, he said. Moreover, the vendor was counting on a near-term IPO to deliver a long-awaited return for its investors.

“Now that the horizon for its market debut seems to be much longer, or perhaps even off the table in favor of an acquisition, it’s understandable that Cybereason needs to show its investors that it is doing everything it can to be fiscally responsible in the interim,” Parizo said. “Overall, I believe Cybereason is one of the most innovative threat detection, investigation and response (TDIR) vendors in the market today. The company is so far succeeding with its transition into extended detection and response (XDR), and boasts a number of industry-leading capabilities, including investigation automation, event sequence-visualization, and even predicting likely attacks based on known indicators.”

Despite this bump in the road, Cybereason has a bright future ahead, he said.

Jun 03

Short on Cybersecurity Expertise? No Problem

By | Managed Services News

To close the gap in cybersecurity expertise, look for intelligent solutions that use automation and AI.

Today’s businesses are under constant risk from an ever-expanding list of cyberthreats. Breaches, ransomware and state-sponsored attacks are on the rise, placing strain on organizations already stretched too thin. Unfortunately, security is reactive rather than proactive for many businesses due to absent security policies, a lack of the proper security tools, employees who disregard security best practices and—perhaps most importantly—a lack of cybersecurity expertise.

According to Shawn Mininger, channel CISO (chief information security officer) for Ingram Micro, the IT industry needs people trained and educated on cybersecurity. “The biggest threat to our industry isn’t so much the latest malware or attack vector, it’s a lack of expertise,” he says. “We’ve spoken to many customers who are hesitant to purchase the latest and greatest security solution because they recognize that it doesn’t make sense to purchase a tool if they don’t have someone on staff capable of using it. Tools can’t fix anything without people. We need more good guys.”

Address the Void in Cybersecurity Talent

According to Cyberseek US data, there are nearly 600,000 cybersecurity job openings in the United States. However, filling those openings will require a concerted effort and take time most companies don’t have. Therefore, Mininger and Ingram Micro have been crafting a strategy built around working smarter.

“We’re focused on augmenting security knowledge gaps by offering smarter next-generation security solutions,” he says. “Tools that make use of automation, AI and machine learning can impact an organization’s security posture while requiring little to no expertise to operate.”

Managed security services is another area where Mininger says the industry needs to be working smarter. “There’s obviously a lot of interest and love of managed services in the industry,” he says. Unfortunately, due to the level of expertise needed, most MSPs don’t offer security services. If they do, many use subcontractors, handing over most of the recurring revenue and putting their customer relationships at risk. Mininger adds that the large MSPs who offer security services mainly focus on more extensive opportunities found with Fortune 500 companies. As a result, SMBs are an often-neglected segment.

Overall, Mininger says, the IT channel is struggling to respond to the demand due to a shortage of cybersecurity and cloud expertise, the challenges of moving to an as-a-service model, the complexity of integrating multiple vendor solutions and increasing risk of cloud consumption models that bypass the channel completely.

Ingram Micro offers various programs and education to assist solution providers in providing managed security to their SMB customers. Whether you’re an existing MSP who doesn’t yet offer security services, or a security-focused business that just needs help, solutions are available.

Security Expertise Shortage: Your Next Steps

Turning Mininger’s advice into action isn’t difficult—at least, not for Ingram Micro partners. Interested solution providers should speak with their Ingram Micro representatives about intelligent solutions that use automation and AI to do more with fewer people involved. Additionally, Ingram Micro offers accredited security training to raise your team’s security IQ. Finally, Ingram Micro offers professional services that alleviate most, if not all, of the burden of providing security solutions to your customers.

Getting back to the issue of a lack of people, Ingram Micro has identified community colleges as a great recruiting resource. “The answer to a staffing shortage isn’t offering more money,” says Mininger. “We need more people, and our local community colleges have many potential candidates coming through every semester. MSPs would be wise to look at local talent still in the education pipeline.”

The cybersecurity talent shortage is genuine, but with an emphasis on working smarter, there’s no reason your customers need to remain vulnerable to attacks.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jun 03

Apiiro Unleashes First Partner Program for Cloud-Native Application Security

By | Managed Services News

Apiiro has experienced “incredible” momentum since emerging from stealth.

Apiiro, a cloud-native application security provider, has launched its first partner program for technology, consulting and reseller partners.

The Apiiro Partner Program will help customers fix cloud-native application security risks faster. It equips partners with technical, sales and marketing support. That will help security teams and developers improve risk remediation with context across the software supply chain.

Partners like Alacrinet, Defy Security, Google Cloud, HashiCorp and Trace3 are joining the program. They’ll work together to help customers remediate cloud-native application risks across the software supply chain.

John Leon is Apiiro’s vice president of business development.

Apiiro's John Leon

Apiiro’s John Leon

“We’ve seen such a huge level of interest in customers expressing a need for identifying and remediating cloud-native application development risk across their entire software supply chain,” he said. “The ‘tip of the spear’ is that new technology consulting and reseller firms see an incredible need to align with the right, and often newer, technologies in order to meet the needs of securing the software supply chain.”

‘Incredible’ Momentum Since Emerging From Stealth

Apiiro has had “incredible” momentum with cloud-native application security since coming out of stealth in October 2020, Leon said.

“We wanted to embrace this momentum, and provide our partners and prospective partners with the means to engage with us in a way that allows them access to resources, support and an understanding of the technology in a scalable way,” he said. “We are committed to building our business with and through partners as we continue to grow into the future.”

Before launching the program, Apiiro had a three-month beta period with a few select partners, Leon said.

“We made key assets and resources available to them for feedback and input,” he said. “We added a deal registration component as well that has been tested and working well. While our program is new, we intend to innovate and mature with our partners just as we do with our award-winning technology that is being adopted across a number of verticals.”

Meeting Partners Globally

Apiiro is meeting with partners globally, Leon said.

“As called out by the U.S. president in an exec order, securing the software development process is mission critical to our nation and to every enterprise in the market,” he said. “The competitive advantage for Apiiro is in the form of enabling partners (consulting, VARs, tech vendor partnerships to start) with our solution in a scalable and partner-friendly manner. Through partnership is how we will succeed.”

Jun 03

Ingram Micro Trust X Alliance: Solving Problems, Not Selling Tech, Key to Partner Success

By | Managed Services News

This is the first in-person Trust X Alliance event since before the pandemic.

A big message for partners at this week’s Ingram Micro Trust X Alliance Invitational in Phoenix was solving customers’ problems rather than selling technology.

During his keynote, Sanjib Sahoo, Ingram Micro‘s executive vice president and chief digital officer, addressed solving customers’ problems and effective digital transformation.

This is the first in-person Trust X Alliance event since before the pandemic. Trust X includes more than 350 solution providers, Ingram Micro and technology vendors.

Ingram Micro is adding Trust X Alliance sales leaders globally, including a new North America communities leader, to guide further growth in the months ahead. The distributor appointed Darren Gottesmann to executive director of sales for the United States. He’s been with Ingram Micro for more than 19 years and most recently was executive director of SMB sales.

This summer, Ingram Micro is piloting its new Xvantage platform for channel partners, and Ingram Micro employees and suppliers, in the United States and Germany. Ingram Micro will then roll out Xvantage globally during the remainder of 2022 and throughout 2023.

Solving Problems Brings New Solutions

The spirit of continuously understanding customers’ problems and challenges is the key to partners’ growth and success moving forward, Sahoo said.

Ingram Micro's Sanjib Sahoo

Ingram Micro’s Sanjib Sahoo

“It makes our partners bring new solutions to our customers,” he said. “And it creates stickiness to the customers because technology will change and come, but your spirit of solving problems, learning new things and bringing that together for the customers — that idea and knowledge set is the value. It creates that true trust between the partner and the customer that, ‘OK, we have a trusted partner to solve our problems for our value creation of the company.’ That’s when you create that stickiness. That’s when you create that true partnership, and then technology follows.”

That changes from a one-time transaction to fulfill technology to an “actually sticky scenario” where you continuously create value, Sahoo said.

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Ingram Micro Trust X Alliance Invitational.

Jun 03

Twilio, Vonage Make List of Top CPaaS Vendors

By | Managed Services News

Ericsson’s pending acquisition of Vonage is a big one to watch in the CPaaS market.

As the last two years have shown, not all CPaaS vendors are the same. As the pandemic continues, people have adopted various video calling services such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet for remote work and school. Video calling on apps such as WhatsApp, Weixin/WeChat, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime also grew. Consumers’ increased exposure to video calling means they are more open to enterprises using video calling for customer interactions.

This represents an opportunity for CPaaS vendors, according to research firm Omdia. (Informa is the parent company of both Omdia and Channel Futures.) It has released its “Omdia Universe: CPaaS Platform Providers, 2022-2023″ report. In the study, researchers rank the CPaaS vendors that are market leaders in providing these additional capabilities: programmable APIs, phone numbers, cloud-based access to communications networks, developer resources, and PAYG contract-free pricing. In addition, most CPaaS providers offer a range of other technologies and services.

Omdia defines CPaaS as “a suite of technologies and services that enable developers and organizations to easily integrate communications into their customer-facing platforms across multiple use cases and vertical industries.”

To learn about CPaaS and which companies rose to the top of the Omdia list, see our slideshow above.

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