Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Jul 01

New Pure Storage EMEA Channel Leader Details Jump from Veritas

By | Managed Services News

Geoff Greenlaw says he wanted to join a high-growth company after 18 years at Veritas.

EMEA channel leader Geoff Greenlaw has explained why he has jumped to Pure Storage after 18 years at Veritas.

Greenlaw joined Pure six weeks ago as VP, EMEA & LATAM channel sales.

Pure Storage's Geoff Greenlaw

Pure Storage’s Geoff Greenlaw

“Eighteen years is a long time in anyone’s life,” he said. “I’ve done so many different roles during my tenure at Veritas and I really wanted an opportunity to join a high growth company. I’m not saying Veritas wasn’t, but Pure absolutely delivers on that No. 1 goal of mine. I also wanted to join a company with a very similar DNA and sales-focused culture. A 100% channel-centric culture.

“I also believe that there’s a real opportunity to make a difference in EMEA, with the knowledge and the network that I have from our existing partner community. Because the synergies between the two companies are quite similar in terms of our partner base, and the distributors that we engage with.”

Greenlaw said he wants to double down on four areas he sees as critical to success in the channel. He calls these areas “the four ‘Ps.’”

“It really starts with the partner. How do we ensure that our partners are driving profitability? How are we ensuring that we maintain our 100% channel-centric model?

“No. 2 is the program. How are we ensuring that the program meets the needs of the EMEA business? And that EMEA is getting its fair share of voice?

“No. 3 is around process — ensuring that it’s really easy for our partners to do business with us.

“Then No. 4 is coming back to people. Making our Pure employees the best that they can be with a clear vision and mission and strategy for the channel organization.”

Greenlaw said he needs to work on the last focus area in particular.

“I have not built yet, after six weeks in the door. But investing in our people and building individual development plans, managing top talent, to focus in on the best and brightest talent to ensure partners can benefit from that.”

Demanding Partner Commitment

Greenlaw was speaking to Channel futures at Pure//Accelerate Tech Fest in London. Attending the event, Wendy Stusrud VP, global partner sales, said Pure wanted to focus on “the partners that want focus on us.”

Pure Storage's Wendy Stusrud

Pure Storage’s Wendy Stusrud

“We want to work with partners that see the value and understand the value prop of Pure. [They] understand how to position it in front of the customer in the right way that it’s not just fulfilment. So when a partner comes to us and wants to create a partnership, we talk a lot about how we build the business together. For us, the focus on Geoff’s team is working with partners that want to build that Pure practice … because for them, selling Pure is also a differentiator.”

Greenlaw said the first thing he looks for in a partner is a growth mindset.

“We’re growing 50% year over year. So we need partners that are willing to scale with those that add that level of course, if not more.”

Another qualifier is technical and sales capability, he said.

“Are they willing to invest in technical sales capability with our accreditations? Ensuring that we can deliver proof of concepts and post service implementation as well?”

The third partner characteristic is commitment.

“Is the partner willing to be committed with us at an exec level, at a technical level and on the shop floor with sales?” he added.

Avoiding Supply Chain Problems

Greenlaw also said Pure has escaped many of the supply-chain problem experienced by competitors. Indeed, the vendor has won business from competitors due to its shorter lead times.

“COVID has contributed real opportunity for Pure because our industry has suffered greatly from lack of components and manufacturing delays. We moved to multi-site supply chain centers and manufacturing centres [pre-pandemic]. That was way ahead of its time compared to any other competition. As a consequence, our competitors are typically talking three to six months lead times on technologies. The maximum we are is six weeks.”

 

Jul 01

Qumulo Confirms Layoffs, Citing Economic Conditions, Reaching Profitability

By | Managed Services News

Qumulo has raised $351 million in funding at a valuation of more than $1.2 billion.

Qumulo, the data storage provider, is the latest company doing business in the channel to confirm layoffs. The company is cutting 19% of its 400-plus workforce.

IronNet, OneTrustCybereason and Lacework also recently confirmed layoffs.

Qumulo's Bill Richter

Qumulo’s Bill Richter

According to GeekWire, in a memo sent to employees, Qumulo CEO Bill Richter cited economic conditions and getting the company to profitability as reasons for the cuts. He also told GeekWire that “the two most important things are growth and profitability — not one or the other.”

Qumulo tells Channel futures it made a number of organizational changes to greater emphasize profitability and long-term sustainability. The layoffs impact 80 Qumulo workers.

“Qumulo has a strong balance sheet, with no debt outstanding,” it said. “Our commitment to our mission, innovation and customer success, remains unchanged.”

Qumulo‘s customers include Fortune 500 companies, major film and animation studios, and some of the largest research institutions in the world.

Qumulo has raised $351 million in funding at a valuation of more than $1.2 billion. The financing, led by funds managed by BlackRock, includes strong participation from Highland Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Kleiner Perkins, and new investors including Amity Ventures. Qumulo is using the money to accelerate innovation and scale across the globe.

In May, Qumulo announced two executive hires to bolster customer momentum and product innovation within the expansive unstructured data market. It appointed Eric Brodersen as chief customer officer and Kiran Bhageshpur as CTO.

Also in May, Qumulo introduced a new petabyte-scale archive optimized offering that enhances its Cloud Q as a service on Azure. The new offering utilizes Qumulo’s serverless storage technology on Azure.

Jul 01

Images: HPE Discover 2022 Expo Hall Featuring Microsoft, Ingram Micro, VMware

By | Managed Services News

See the big names with a presence in the HPE Discover expo hall.

HPE DISCOVER 2022 The expo floor at HPE Discover 2022 in Las Vegas was packed with in-depth demonstrations (mostly aimed at new GreenLake enhancements), new product promotions, and educational materials and activities. 

The packed expo hall featured an impressive-as-ever vendor lineup, including staples such as KIOXIA, Ingram and Commvault.

In case you missed HPE Discover, click through our slideshow above for highlights.

Jul 01

How to Make Embracing Change Part of Your Company Culture

By | Managed Services News

When we anticipate, understand, model, and celebrate change in company culture, we create a foundation that opens doors and sets us up for growth and success.

Change is an inevitable and necessary part of life. When embraced, change opens doors and leads to growth and success. But embracing change in as part of the corporate culture isn’t always easy.

Many people have negative associations with change and are hesitant to embrace the new and the unknown. Over the past three years, the average organization has taken on five major change initiatives, and, alarmingly, only 34% of these change initiatives were successful.

With 75% of organizations expecting to multiply the number of change initiatives they take on over the next three years, here are four foundational elements to help you and your team successfully embrace and lead change throughout your organization and industry.

1. Anticipate Change

Is your organization actively anticipating or preparing for change? As we all know, change is inevitable; it is expected in the tech industry, and stagnant organizations risk product obsolescence, low industry influence, and disengaged customers and employees.

Remember Blockbuster? At its peak, the organization had over 9,000 stores and an annual revenue of $6 billion. What happened? In 2000, Netflix (a DVD mail service at the time worth about $35 million) proposed a partnership that likely would have changed the trajectory of Blockbuster. The Blockbuster leadership team failed to think forward and turned down the deal. In 2004, Blockbuster tried to pivot toward the DVD mail service model, but it was too late. In 2010, Blockbuster declared bankruptcy. All the while, Netflix continued to grow, reaching $2.16 billion in revenue by 2010.

Blockbuster failed to anticipate, prepare for, and be open to change. Here, then, is a lesson for organizations of all sizes: Change must be part of your status quo and highly anticipated by your leaders.

By creating a culture of change, you empower everyone in your organization to have their eyes open to opportunities that will help grow your business—whether small changes regarding workflow or large changes that impact how, to whom or what you sell. Inspiration for change and “spotting where the puck is going” aren’t relegated to management to figure out. By empowering everyone to embrace opportunity (also known as change), you minimize your chances of missing your organization’s next great idea.

The Cox Enterprise story is based on change. From newspapers to radio, television and continual digital transformation, embracing change is what took Cox from a single newspaper to the company it continues to evolve to ultimately become today.

2. Identify the why.

We are all curious by nature. From a young age, we desire to understand the “why” in the world around us. As adults, our “why” questions bring us meaning, security, and confidence in the unknown.

As your organization embraces change, remember the importance of “why.” Take the time to explain why your organization is making/pursuing these changes and how these changes will impact your team and the individual. By empowering your employees with this knowledge, you give them a greater sense of control over the situation, making them more open, adaptable and excited.

3. Model change.

 Change initiatives often require everyone to learn new behaviors and skills—and that includes you as a leader. As you look to empower your team, make sure you are also investing in yourself to learn how to navigate and lead effectively through change. Studies show that when senior leaders model new behaviors and skills, change initiatives are five times more likely to be effective.

 4. Celebrate the small wins.

Change is exhausting and often doesn’t happen overnight. Change experts recommend breaking up your change initiatives into bite-sized goals and then deliberately celebrating the small wins as a team. Recognizing and celebrating progress will help prevent burnout in your employees, reinforce organizational alignment, and instill confidence that they are on the right path and working toward success.

Change is a constant in life. When we anticipate, understand, model, and celebrate change, we create a foundation that opens doors and sets us up for growth and success.

 

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.

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Jul 01

Tetra Defense: Unpatched Systems Behind Costliest Cyberattacks in Q1

By | Managed Services News

Log4J/Log4Shell is still being actively exploited.

Unpatched systems – not employee error – prompted the most costly cyberattacks during the first quarter of 2022.

That’s according to a new Q1 2022 report by Tetra Defense, an Arctic Wolf company. Each quarter, Arctic Wolf‘s Tetra Defense collects and analyzes data and insights from its incident response engagements in the United States.

Scott Holewinski is Arctic Wolf‘s senior vice president and general manager of incident response.

Arctic Wolf's Scott Holewinski

Arctic Wolf’s Scott Holewinski

“User action is often touted in the media as a top point of compromise, with the fear-mongering attached,” he said. “Reports that someone from HR clicked on a link and single-handedly invited a ransomware attack into their organization are a cautionary tale used by many vendors and employers alike to articulate the consequences of a simple user action.”

User action can be a piece of a threat actor’s strategy, Holewinski said. However, it’s not the easiest way in, nor is it the most popular.

Encouraging Findings

Holewinski said there are a lot of encouraging findings in this report.

“The most significant is that 82% of major cyber incidents are preventable by making sure your organization does not have any vulnerabilities on the perimeter of the network and do not allow external remote desktop protocol (RDP) access directly to workstations or servers,” he said. “If you combine that with using multifactor authentication (MFA), user awareness training, and some level of managed detection and response, your organization will no longer be low-hanging fruit for a major cyber incident. A lot of these are economical to implement. Other than the people time, patching vulnerabilities is usually free.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Tetra Defense’s report on the cost of unpatched systems and more.

Jul 01

HPE Recognizes Partners’ Transformation and Growth with Awards

By | Managed Services News

HPE highlighted channel and ecosystem partners around the globe.

HPE DISCOVER/PARTNER GROWTH SUMMIT — Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) punctuated its Discover 2022 conference in Las Vegas this week by recognizing its top from around the globe.

More than 80,000 partners make up the HPE ecosystem. That ecosystem is constantly expanding and evolving, so these awards honor those that display tenacity and success in several different ways. The HPE Partner Awards 2022 highlight those businesses that demonstrate exceptional results in financial performance, innovative solutions and meaningful business results.

HPE's George Hope

HPE’s George Hope

“We continue to reward partner alignment to our strategy and the winners have been selected from across the ecosystem for their performance, commitment, innovation and growth.” said George Hope, worldwide head of partner sales, HPE. “We are celebrating these achievements with gratitude for the ongoing partnerships, collaboration and joint successes we’ve seen over the past year.”

Top Partners

Congratulations to all recipients of the 2022 HPE Partner Awards! Here is a breakdown of some top partners/companies by region. You can see the full list here.

Global Channel Winners

  • Distributor of the Year 2022: TD Synnex
  • Service Provider of the Year 2022: Spark New Zealand
  • Solution Provider of the Year 2022: Kinmax Technology
  • GreenLake Partner of the Year 2022: ACP Holding

Global Ecosystem Winners

  • System Integrator of the Year 2022: Infosys
  • GreenLake Ecosystem Partner of the Year 2022: Nutanix
  • GreenLake Momentum Partner of the Year 2022: Equinix
  • Storage Partner of the Year 2022: Qumulo
  • Global Technology Partner of the Year 2022: VMware
  • ISV Momentum Partner of the Year 2022: TigerGraph

North America and Canada Winners

  • Solution Provider of the Year 2022: CDW
  • Distributor of the Year 2022: Ingram Micro
  • System Integrator of the Year 2022: Infosys
  • Rising Star of the Year 2022: Mark III Systems
  • GreenLake U.S. Partner of the Year 2022: Milestone Tech
  • GreenLake Canadian Partner of the Year 2022: Powerland Computers
Jun 30

Veeam Co-Founders Launch Startup Object First with S3-Compatible Storage

By | Managed Services News

The storage appliance will be built with commodity servers and JBOD storage using Veeam’s Smart Object API.

Veeam founders Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov hope to catch lighting in a bottle again with Object First. This week they launched the startup that has created an on-premises, S3-compatible object storage backup appliance.

When Timashev and Baronov started Veeam in 2006, they rode the then-emerging wave of server virtualization on VMware’s coattails. Veeam recorded $1 billion in annual revenues for the first time in 2019, and a year later Insight Partners acquired the company for $5 billion. Now they are taking another stab at capturing emerging demand for object storage.

Object First attracted attention at last month’s VeeamON conference, where word spread that the two were backing the startup. At the time, Object First was still in stealth mode and offered few details on its launch plans. With this week’s launch, Object First revealed that Timashev and Baronov have invested an initial $12.5 million in the company.

The appliance, which only runs Veeam’s data protection software, is the first such on-premises object storage system designed for backup. Object First expects to release it in the fourth quarter of this year. It will compete with object storage appliances from providers such as Cloudian and Scality. But Object First is signaling it will price its appliance aggressively by using commodity servers and JBOD storage. The lower-cost components will make it more practical as a dedicated backup appliance for mid-sized customers, company officials said.

Veeam Inside Only

Each Object First appliance will scale to a half-petabyte of storage, though customers can expand capacity by adding appliances. Although the appliances will only run Veeam software, Veeam and parent Insight Partners have no financial stake in Object First. Object First doesn’t have plans to develop appliances that can run other vendors’ backup software.

Object First's Tony Liau

Object First’s Tony Liau

“With Veeam being where they are in the market, they’re tied at No. 1 market share with Dell,” said Object First VP of marketing Tony Liau. “Veeam has enough market share for us to be very successful. And we’re going to be filling a gap for a lot of the Veeam customers out there.”

Object storage is becoming attractive for backup because higher-speed and more reliable backups have become a critical defense against ransomware. It also enables immutability, which protects backup data from ransomware because no one can change the backups.

Object Storage's Anthony Cusimano

Object Storage’s Anthony Cusimano

“There’s no root access,” said Anthony Cusimano, Object First’s director of technical marketing. “There’s only one account you can login with.”

The company is also working on enabling multifactor authentication (MFA).

The value in Object First’s appliance is in the software, which the company said in the hardened operating system it created. Besides its scalability, it can pull in data at 4 Gbps with dual 10 GB Ethernet NICs.

“The way we connect is S3 over HTTPS,” Cusimano said. “It is strictly a generic S3 object storage type connection to Veeam. The secret sauce really comes in from how we’re managing the object storage on our end. And we’re also utilizing Veeam’s own APIs to write to us directly over that S3 connection.”

Developed for Forthcoming Veeam Backup and Replication v12

Object First has developed its appliance to utilize key new features coming later this year to Veeam Backup and Replication v12. At the VeeamON event, Veeam emphasized support for direct writes to object storage as a key feature slated for v12. Rick Vanover, Veeam’s senior director of product strategy, said the company has spent …

Jun 30

Avaya Reshapes Partner Landscape with New Cloud Products for a Hybrid World

By | Managed Services News

The company is offering more low code, no code solutions as well.

From contact center apps to conversational AI software, Avaya and its channel partners are embracing cloud 3.0 with a series of new products that don’t disrupt a user’s existing systems. Rather, Avaya offers tools that are complementary for customers, the company said.

At the Avaya Customer Experience Center in New York City Thursday, executives showcased products and a vision for their company. In one demonstration, an Avaya representative called a doctor’s office complaining of a knee injury. Avaya’s conversational AI bot responded to the representative, showed empathy regarding her faux injury and was able to follow the conversation well enough to send a text message scheduling the representative for a doctor’s visit. It was like Alexa or Siri but a little more gifted. Using the bot also wasn’t dependent on downloading an app. Avaya’s conversational AI software also recognizes languages, eliminating the need for contact centers, for instance, to hire bilingual agents.

Avaya's Karen Hardy

Avaya’s Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy is global VP of product management at Avaya.

“It’s been partly the pandemic that’s led us to a point where we’ve had a lot of remote workers who have needed the same tools as when they were in the office to when they’re remote,” Hardy said. “So, the technology road map has had to change. As Avaya looked at our road map, we had to look at what those employee and agent experiences needed to be, how immersive technology had to come into play.”

However, these products – many of which offer low code, no code solutions – show they are useful beyond a remote-office setting. They may have ubiquitous applications for a greater hybrid world. For example, when Avaya placed its virtual agent in the front of a chain of grocery stores, the chain reported a $3 million increase in productivity.

A New Era for Partners

Avaya's Steve Forcum

Avaya’s Steve Forcum

“Partners can sell something that’s additive, not competitive,” said Steve Forcum, director and chief evangelist, marketing, at Avaya. “We’re empowering them to introduce technologies to customers that solve business problems. However, these solutions don’t carry with them the prerequisites of a platform change.”

Forcum added that from one sale, partners can keep adding new apps and services. A couple of years ago, Avaya introduced its subscription model. giving partners an opportunity to return to customers and have a different conversation. This enabled customers to experience a transformation to cloud and to Avaya’s OneCloud experience, the company said. These new cloud-based products and services on display build on that.

“Our customers [and] our partners love this approach because it is arming them with new tools and new services to introduce to customers instead of trying to … blindly call customers to find those opportunities, such as asking them if they are moving to the cloud,” Forcum said.

Jun 30

Scality Partners Get Channel Program Enhancements

By | Managed Services News

Scality partners now have access to an enhanced partner program with new training enablement, incentives and additional support.

These additions will position partners to grow as market trends indicate increased demand for multicloud and hybrid data flow strategies.

The updated partner program includes new sales and product enablement paths, deal protection and a partner portal. Scality structured the program to support growth so that new partners have everything they need to build their practice and pipeline with the company.

Resources such as co-brandable campaign kits, market development funds and joint business planning are now available. As the partnership grows, additional benefits kick in. Those include higher margin protection, rebates and incentives.

In addition, partners can be promoted to an elite or global elite partner. Partners also will be able to earn competency badges to highlight their areas of expertise and differentiate themselves within the ecosystem.

Scality Partners Key to Growth

Melissa Lyons is Scality‘s senior director of channels for the Americas.

Scality's Melissa Lyons

Scality’s Melissa Lyons

“We know that the way to accelerated growth is through our channel,” she said. “And we have some incredible partner relationships that have helped us get to where we are today. In order to take these relationships to the next level, and grow our ecosystem as a whole, we recognized that we needed to invest in our programs, processes and people. Enhancing our channel foundation enables partners to fully take advantage of the market opportunity that is in front of us. For example, the launch of our latest product, Artesca, was built with partners in mind.”

Artesca combines lightweight, cloud-native object storage design with enterprise-grade capabilities. It provides a solution for both small footprints at the edge and scalability for the data center. Starting from 50 terabytes and up, partners can now land more customers with Scality, and grow with the needs of their customers’ business.

Easier to Work with Scality

The program enhancements will make it easier than ever for partners to work with Scality, Lyons said. That will lead to channel growth for both Scality and its partners.

“But what truly gives us a competitive edge is combining these enhancements with the ecosystem we’ve already built and the market opportunity in front of us,” she said. “Not only are we a software-defined solution, we also work with over 100 application partners, which allows our partners to build fully integrated solutions for their customers, giving them an edge in the market and an opportunity to increase their value to existing customers.”

One of the key areas Scality focused on with this launch was expanding partner enablement, Lyons said.

“The more enabled our partners are, the better they’ll be able to serve their clients and identify new opportunities,” she said. “Our sales enablement is focused on helping partners understand the vast amount of use cases we can support, but also how to narrow in on the best place to start and the best way to land a new customer. From there, we already know that the majority of customers are going to expand with us. Our partners are now in a great spot to help their customers grow and capture additional revenue. We’ve also ramped up our marketing support for partners, which will help partners fill their lead funnel and build joint pipeline together.”

Jun 30

What Recession? Cloud Computing Lures Billions in PE Data Center Deals

By | Managed Services News

New findings this week from Synergy Research indicate there’s no slowdown in sight for private investors.

Despite inflation, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the looming threat of recession, private investors throughout 2022’s first half poured billions of dollars into the data centers that power cloud computing.

This week, Synergy Research Group released new numbers supporting those findings. Analysts said 87 merger-and-acquisition deals closed between January and the end of June, totaling $24 billion.

More activity is coming.

Synergy says pending agreements worth $18 billion are expected to close before the end of the year — and that’s even in the face of a global economy that appears more fragile every day.

All told, 2022’s data center investments around cloud computing look to at least match 2021’s record-breaking M&A activity, Synergy noted. The research firm said it tracked 209 deals that closed last year for an aggregate value of more than $48 billion. That amounted to a 41% increase over 2020 — which itself went down as a record year due to its $34 billion in deals.

Notably, Synergy analysts said, private funds account for much of the infusion into data centers. That’s because cloud computing continues to stand out as the go-to technology for organizations keen on digital transformation. Indeed, cloud computing supports everything from remote work to entirely new business models.

Consider that between 2015 and 2018, private equity provided 42% of deal value in the data center sector, according to Synergy. That figure ballooned between 2019 and 2021. During those two years, private equity share of the total deal value rose to 65%. Compare that to the first half of 2022, where private equity share now stands out at more than 90%, Synergy said.

Who’s Leading Data Center Investments Tied to Cloud Computing?

So far this year, four private-equity acquired companies rank among the top 15 colocation operators worldwide, Synergy analysts said. Furthermore, these firms hold the No. 3-6 spots in the U.S. market, trailing Equinix and Digital Realty. Those providers are:

  • CyrusOne, purchased for $15 billion by KKR and Global Investment Partners.
  • Switch, which DigitalBridge intends to buy for $11 billion.
  • CoreSite, snapped up by American Tower in 2021 for $10.1 billion.
  • QTS, acquired by Blackstone last year for $10 billion.

It’s no surprise that behind this momentum lies a thirst for cashing in on the cloud computing craze.

Synergy Research Group's John Dinsdale

Synergy Research Group’s John Dinsdale

“There is an ever-increasing demand for data center capacity, driven by rapidly growing cloud markets, aggressive expansion of hyperscale operator networks and continued growth of data-rich digital services,” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy Research Group. “The trouble is that building and operating large fleets of data centers is highly capital intensive. Even the biggest data center operators have had to seek external funding to allow them to meet growth targets while protecting their balance sheets. As the level of resulting M&A activity has shot through the roof, virtually all of the incremental investment has come from private equity.”

Yet even without private equity resources, there’s a lot of traction behind data centers. To wit, this week, Oracle Cloud and Google Cloud both opened new “regions” (industry-speak for “data centers”). Oracle Cloud went live in the Mexican State of Querétaro while Google Cloud bid bonjour to Paris.

Synergy’s new findings come just a week after the firm’s analysts issued an alert that public cloud computing generated $126 billion in just the first quarter of 2022. Some industry observers predict demand for cloud computing will slow in line with a recession, but the numbers have yet to back those forecasts.

 

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