Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jun 07

Everbridge Advances Strategic Plans Despite Shareholder Controversy

By | Managed Services News

First-quarter earnings represented an increase of 22% from a year ago.

In some respects, event management company Everbridge hasn’t had the easiest year.

In March, the company was challenged by one of its shareholders, Ancora Holdings Group. Its officers insisted Everbridge evaluate sale opportunities and engage with a broad set of potential buyers. Ancora officials said Everbridge is dramatically undervalued at its current share price, which closed on Monday at $40.11. They also accuse the company of failed leadership — most notably, the fact that former CEO David Meredith left after just a few years on the job. Finally, Ancora alleges that Everbridge’s chairman of the board engaged in a conflict of interest that breached the board’s fiduciary duty to stockholders.

Channel Futures reported on Ancora’s accusations and Everbridge’s response here and here. Everbridge shareholders re-elected the company’s board despite a proxy battle waged by Ancora. However, the Boston Business Journal found that nearly one-half (49%) of stockholders who voted withheld support for chairman Jamie Ellertson.

Everbridge's Vernon Irvin

Everbridge’s Vernon Irvin

“Ancora is a shareholder, but a small shareholder,” said Vernon Irvin, co-CEO of Everbridge. “But the reality is that our obligation is to all our shareholders. Creating value for the company will remain our chief focus. We’re transforming the business, integrating the acquisitions and not buying a lot of new companies.”

Overseas Contracts

Ancora representatives might depict Everbridge as a floundering company, but it recently reported 22% growth in first-quarter earnings.

Additionally, the company has recently secured several million-dollar contracts to power public warning systems in Germany and India. This couldn’t be timelier for Germany, for example. Last year record rainfall triggered deadly flash floods – more than 200 people died – in Germany and neighboring countries. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. Through its contract with Germany’s federal government, Everbridge’s warning technology now can notify each citizen in that country during an emergency.

Irvin said that the initiatives behind these recent contracts reflect a streamlining of Everbridge’s programming.

“They’re early examples of things that we’re doing,” Irvin said. “But our customers – and more importantly, our partners and our sellers – are applauding the fact that we’ve simplified our platform.”

Everbridge has moved from offering several dozen individual point products to focus on four strategic bundles. These target a specific buyer persona with a unique and differentiated technology solution.

“Bundles make it simple for customers to actually be able to graduate up to different levels of sophistication on that bundle. Before that, they would have had to pick from 52 products,” Irvin said.

During the first quarter, Everbridge executives said they saw evidence that their strategic realignment was resonating with customers. Partners have also applauded the change.

Everbridge's Patrick Brickley

Everbridge’s Patrick Brickley

“We also saw positive traction with our partners as evidenced by an increase in the mix of our deals which came through partnerships. Our partners have responded well to our simplification strategy,” said Patrick Brickley, Everbridge co-CEO, during the earnings call.

AWS Partnership

Partners may also benefit from Everbridge’s recent announcement that it has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate program. It’s a co-sell program for AWS partners who provide software solutions that run on or integrate with AWS. It’s dedicated to the global business development of AWS partners. Joining the company’s ISV Accelerate program enables Everbridge to further meet customer needs through collaboration with the AWS sales organization. Close collaboration with AWS complements Everbridge’s ability to …

Jun 07

RSA Day 1: SolarWinds, IBM, Perimeter 81, Dell, Mandiant, More

By | Managed Services News

The cybersecurity industry can’t wait until a cyber pandemic to transform security.

RSA CONFERENCE USA — The theme of this week’s RSA Conference USA, the first live one since the start of the pandemic, is transformation across the cybersecurity industry.

Rohit Ghai, RSA‘s CEO (pictured above), gave the opening keynote detailing the meaning behind the theme. RSA Conference USA has drawn tens of thousands of attendees from across the globe to San Francisco.

Ghai asked if the cybersecurity industry is really going to wait for a cyber pandemic to transform security.

“Transform, we must,” he said. “Our survival depends on it.”

Cybersecurity needs to reframe its roles with security, convenience and innovation, Ghai said.

“We need to ditch the dogma of cyber,” he said. “Identity is the No. 1 constant. The truth is what matters most. And we need to stop thinking of security and convenience as a constant trade-off.”

Beyond the keynotes, RSA prompted a flurry of latest news from IBM, Perimeter 81, Skyhigh Security and more.

Moving Past Sunburst

In addition, SolarWinds was on hand to give an update on its progress since the Sunburst supply chain attack rocked it in late 2020 and well into 2021. Jeff McCullough, SolarWinds’ vice president of global partnerships, said the company has bounced all the way back and has even more to offer partners. He took this role with SolarWinds last November.

Since Sunburst wreaked havoc on SolarWinds, the company has focused heavily on transparency, McCullough said.

“We took the opportunity to really lean into how we improve our development processes,” he said. “We initiated a program called Secure by Design. It’s really about not just securing our products as they show up at a customer’s site, but actually securing our entire data supply chain all the way through our development cycle and putting in place multiple levels of protection and safeguarding to ensure that the methodology that was used here could never happen again, but also to be able to be forward thinking about other potential threats
and how we capture those in the most secure way possible. So in many regards, I’d say SolarWinds … comes out of this
certainly stronger from an overall security standpoint, I think certainly for the better of the industry because we’ve shared everything we’ve done; we’ve shared Secure by Design.”

Helping Partners with Concerned Customers

When partners have customers that have expressed concerns, SolarWinds immediately takes them through Secure by Design, McCullough said.

“We show them everything that happened, what we’ve learned from it, and how we’ve put those learnings to use within our Security by Design approach,” he said. “And I’d say especially some of our biggest partners who we work with every day have really appreciated the the way we’ve gone about supporting them and their customers, and ultimately and helping them continue to grow.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from SolarWinds and much more from RSA Conference USA.

Jun 07

IT Nation Secure: ConnectWise Helps MSPs with Cyber Insurance, Unveils Simpler Branding

By | Managed Services News

This year’s IT Nation Secure is all about trust.

CONNECTWISE IT NATION SECURE — ConnectWise is unveiling new solutions to help MSPs gain cyber insurance. It also has simplified the branding of its cybersecurity products.

Taking place in Orlando, Florida, IT Nation Secure aims to help MSPs reduce risk and transform their business. Streamlining cybersecurity service delivery for clients is another goal of the conference.

Raffael Marty is ConnectWise’s general manager of cybersecurity. He said the theme of this year’s IT Nation Secure is all about trust.

ConnectWise's Raffael Marty

ConnectWise’s Raffael Marty

“We’re going to grow with the MSPs, helping them grow faster and really focusing on how do we become a close partner with the MSP,” he said. “We need to earn that trust again. We need to earn the trust of our partners because trust is not something you just have. And then tying it into security, trust or secure is a big piece of that … making sure that MSPs trust our infrastructure, our tools. But then also, how do we help the MSP be a trusted entity for their customer so that they can rely on working with the MSPs on a customer level?”

Cybersecurity More Important than Ever for MSPs

Patrick Beggs is ConnectWise’s new CISO. He said in today’s evolving threat landscape, it’s most important for MSPs to know their attack surface and what their assets are.

ConnectWise's Patrick Beggs

ConnectWise’s Patrick Beggs

ConnectWise focuses on third-party penetration testing and compromise assessments, he said.

“We’re actually letting folks within our third parties come in our environments and looking for any active compromises,” Beggs said. “They’re going to start exploring internally and looking for weaknesses. The point of this is to have remediation efforts that we’re going to be able to identify and mature from. Every organization has an issue for something like that. If somebody tells you they don’t, they’re lying to you or they just don’t have an idea of their security.”

ConnectWise is transitioning more to the threat intelligence side of cybersecurity, he said.

See our slideshow above for more from ConnectWise IT Nation Secure.

Jun 06

AWS, IBM Lead Enterprise Cybersecurity Ranks as Spending to Hit $226 Billion by 2027

By | Managed Services News

The report identified a rising awareness of vulnerabilities, alongside emerging threats.

It’s an astronomical number, but Juniper Research has determined that enterprise cybersecurity spend will exceed $226 billion in 2027. This is up from $179 billion in 2022. This five-year growth reflects the increasing evolution of the cybersecurity market, which continues to mature as new threats emerge.

The Juniper report identifies a rising awareness of vulnerabilities, alongside emerging threats. These include ransomware and DDoS (distributed denial of service) as key determinants behind the increasing spend.

Competitor Leaderboard

Juniper ranked AWS and IBM, respectively, as leading cybersecurity providers in its competitor leaderboard. They are followed by Cisco, Oracle and Sophos in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Damla Sat is co-author of the research.

“Cloud computing has been transformative for businesses, so it is no surprise that two of the biggest cloud computing vendors, AWS and IBM, also lead in the cybersecurity space,” Sat said. “For cloud vendors, effective cybersecurity is a basic requirement — by offering in‑house cybersecurity solutions, AWS and IBM are capitalizing on their existing large user bases; acquiring businesses and capabilities as needed to enhance their product offerings.”

Juniper Research’s competitor leaderboard provides an independent assessment of the market standing of the leading cybersecurity players. It includes what the firm says is transparent assessment methodology, including heat map analysis and a thorough explanation of each company’s market position. The leaderboard tool assesses each vendor’s capacity, capability and products. This analysis includes assessing the size of their operations, financial performance and the sophistication of their cybersecurity offerings.

The new research found remote working and cloud computing increase attack vectors available to cybercriminals. The report identified machine learning as a key requirement within cybersecurity solutions; improving response times and combatting evolving tactics of cybercriminals. In response, cybersecurity vendors must form strategic partnerships with smaller, specialized cybersecurity vendors to acquire new data sources and point solutions, and offer services, such as unified threat management, in order to maintain relevance in this highly competitive market. 

Jun 06

New, Changing Channel Partner Programs: 8×8, AWS, Telarus, Microsoft, Fortinet, More

By | Managed Services News

Hyperscalers, UCaaS providers, security vendors and distributors galore.

Some of the worlds’ largest cloud computing providers have updated the way they run their channel programs.

AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud all revealed updates to their channels in the month of May. One of them teased changes that will come to its incentives, and another announced changes around specializations.

Cybersecurity vendors remain active as ever in the channel. Take Fortinet, for example, diversifying its program, and eSentire embracing an ecosystem approach.

Furthermore, the distributors in the agent channel were very active. One TSB/TSD signed a deal with an MSP community. Another one enhanced its cybersecurity practice with a new sales tool.

Check out the 20 images above to see the most important channel program updates in the last month.

Missed our previous gallery? See that here.

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 …

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