Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Aug 25

OpenText Hires Comcast Vet as Channel, Field Marketing Director

By | Managed Services News

Partner satisfaction is critical for OpenText to meet its sales growth targets.

OpenText, parent of Carbonite and Webroot, has hired Comcast vet Bill Steen as its new director of channel and field marketing.

In his new role, Steen will lead the North America channel marketing team for the small, midsize and consumer division focused on cybersecurity and resilience, data security and protection. He’ll help the channel protect SMB customers by providing Webroot and Carbonite security solutions.

In addition, Steen will manage the partner life cycle from targeting, recruitment, onboarding and sales enablement.

Before joining OpenText, Steen was director of indirect channel and alliance partner marketing at Comcast Business. Before that, he was with Level 3 for 13 years; his last job at Level 3 was director of partner programs and marketing.

He also had roles with Sun Microsystems and GE Access.

OpenText acquired Carbonite and Webroot in 2019 for $1.45 billion. The combined business now pitches cyber resilience to MSPs and VARs in the enterprise market, and directly to enterprise corporate IT managers.

OpenText also offers its own managed security services to enterprise customers.

During this month’s fourth-quarter 2021 earnings call, Mark Barrenechea, OpenText’s vice chair, CEO and CTO, said the company doubled revenue to nearly $3.4 billion over the past seven years.

“We can double OpenText again over the next five to seven years,” he said. “We have returned to organic growth, and organic growth is here to stay.”

In a Q&A with Channel Futures, Steen talks about what OpenText partners can expect from him in his new director role.

Channel Futures: Why did you want to take this role? Will you be working directly with OpenText partners?

OpenText's Bill Steen

OpenText’s Bill Steen

Bill Steen: I’ll be working very closely with OpenText partners, so I’m very excited about that. It cuts across a bunch of different channel types, which is fine. A lot of work with MSPs, VARs and distributors, kind of traditional channels. But then there are additional ones that are focused on tools for the channel, remote monitoring, etc. The main reason I wanted to take the job is that I really like security. And I think that there’s just going to be this continued need for advanced security for small businesses, all the way up to midmarket and into the enterprise. So with the growing need for security solutions and security products, it’s a great time for my career to really focus on that space a bit more because it’s such a growth area and such a big revenue opportunity for departments.

CF: How does this role differ from your role at Comcast Business? How will your previous experience come into play in this new role?

BS: It’s similar, actually, to what I was doing for Comcast Business. It’s really working closely with the sales team on growing the business and achieving the numbers, and bringing in new partners and getting existing partners more productive and more enabled so they drive business and revenue for themselves. The position at OpenText is very similar in terms of that full partner life cycle approach and really going deep with specific partners on demand generation, leveraging things like market development funds (MDF), helping them to drive the message out to their customers.

CF: What will be your specific role at OpenText in terms of Carbonite and Webroot, and partners of those businesses?

BS: I have a responsibility for the Americas. So we’ve got a team of channel marketers that are assigned to partner types. So there’s a team focused on the MSPs, a team focused on the remote monitoring group, distributors and OEMs. There are a bunch of different kinds of partner types, if you will. So we’ll work very closely with them on a number of things. One, in some areas, is …

Aug 25

Zscaler Helping IBM Launch SASE Program

By | Managed Services News

Zscaler technology is helping IBM maintain a zero trust posture.

IBM just rolled out new set of secure access service edge (SASE) services in partnership with Zscaler.

IBM on Wednesday introduced IBM Security Services for SASE. The program includes consulting, design, managed security services and application onboarding. It also includes embedded zero-trust capabilities from Zscaler.

SASE merges next-generation cybersecurity capabilities like secure web gateway (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA) and cloud access security broker (CASB) together with networking capabilities like software defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and delivers them through the cloud.

IBM Security general manager Mary O’Brien said businesses need to move past traditional network security methodologies. COVID-19 accelerated the already expanding diaspora of users and applications away from the main office. She said many customers are preparing for a long-term hybrid work model.

O'Brien, Mary_IBM

IBM’s Mary O’Brien

“This new approach requires a shift in culture, processes and collaboration across teams alongside a new technology architecture. By focusing on business needs, our zero-trust approach can help accelerate this transformation for clients thanks to the skills, methods and capabilities brought together via our alliance partnership with Zscaler,” O’Brien said.

The program offers solutions to help customers secure hybrid workforce access and third-party access. IBM can also enable M&A transition through integrated access management. The company is also targeting customers who need help with network transformation, 5G and edge.

IBM cited a Forrester Consulting study that found 78% of organizations are considering or planning to deploy SASE in the upcoming year.

Partnership Background

The companies announced a partnership back in May. Zscaler integrated its private access and internet access technologies with core IBM Security solutions. The partnership also represented a movement to establish more use cases for zero trust.

Chaudhry, Jay_Zscaler

Zscaler’s Jay Chaudhry

“Implementing a zero-trust architecture is an important step for organizations adopting SASE to effectively secure new distributed working models and safeguard mission-critical services that have now moved to the cloud,” Zscaler founder and CEO Jay Chaudhry said. “Through our expanded alliance partnership with IBM, as part of the Zscaler zero-trust ecosystem, customers can confidently expedite their secure digital transformation journey to support essential initiatives, from ensuring secure employee productivity from anywhere to accelerating M&A transactions.”

 

 

Aug 25

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 25

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 25

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 25

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 25

Jury: Vade Secure ‘Willfully and Maliciously’ Misappropriated Proofpoint Trade Secrets

By | Managed Services News

Vade Secure put a positive spin on it, saying the $13.5 million verdict shows Proofpoint’s claim was an “overreach.”

A federal jury has awarded $13.5 million in compensatory damages to Proofpoint in a trade secrets lawsuit against Vade Secure.

The jury unanimously found that Vade Secure “willfully and maliciously” misappropriated over a dozen trade secrets and infringed copyrights belonging to Proofpoint and its subsidiary, Cloudmark.

The court will decide punitive damages for Vade Secure’s misappropriation of trade secrets in late October. Proofpoint will also seek injunctive relief to address ongoing and future harm.

Gary Steele is Proofpoint‘s CEO and chairman.

Proofpoint's Gary Steele

Proofpoint’s Gary Steele

“Proofpoint invests heavily in R&D to provide innovative and highly effective products to its customers,” he said. “At the heart of this case was our strong belief that intellectual property rights must be respected. While we welcome fair competition and collaboration within the cybersecurity community, the misappropriation, copying and theft of our intellectual property required us to vigorously enforce our rights. We appreciate the jury sending a strong message that the theft of source code and misappropriation of trade secrets is unacceptable.”

3-Week Trial

The verdict is the culmination of one week of jury deliberations following a three-week trial. Proofpoint presented evidence of Vade Secure’s theft and use of its confidential and proprietary information, and source code. Proofpoint says it demonstrated that Vade Secure unlawfully took, copied and used its trade secrets and copyrighted source code as part of several Vade Secure products. Those include Vade for Microsoft 365, Email Content Filter, Vade Cloud and Vade MTA Builder.

The court found Olivier Lemarié, Vade Secure’s CTO, individually liable for trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement. It also found him liable for breach of his employment agreement with Cloudmark. He worked at Cloudmark before joining Vade Secure in 2017.

Vade Secure sent us the following statement:

“While we were hopeful we would be successful on all claims, we are pleased that the jury saw that Proofpoint/Cloudmark’s claims were an overreach as evidenced by their decision on damages. As a company whose core values are integrity and innovation, we don’t believe this outcome accurately reflects who we are. We will be evaluating our next steps in the coming days in light of this verdict.”

Aug 25

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 25

Diversity & Inclusion How-To: TBI’s Resonate Committee

By | Managed Services News

The committee encourages TBI’s nearly 300 employees to “Speak Strong. Listen Loud.”

TBI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (Resonate) was still being developed when the events of June 2020 made it a priority.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

“The events of that summer definitely were a catalyst,” said Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s director of sales operations.

“We wanted to be able to give everybody involved with the company a safe space to come and talk about everything that was happening in the world.”

“People need a place where they can ask questions and share experiences. Where they can talk about how the headlines make them feel, their fears — just generally learn from one another,” said Reynolds.

TBI's Ashley Kain

TBI’s Ashley Kain

Reynolds and Ashley Kain, TBI’s office manager and executive assistant, co-founded and currently co-chair the committee.

Open Share

The committee, launched in June 2020, was well-received by employees. The group meets once a month. Each meeting starts with an “open share,” which allows participants to share anything they want with the group.

“It could be their struggles, their successes or their concerns,” Reynolds said. “That gives us a starting point for the kind of conversations that people generally don’t want to have.”

“We have a comfortable, safe space to ask the uncomfortable questions. We all learn from that. And that’s what stimulates most of the conversation.”

“Ashley and I will also have some topics of discussion. For example, in our last meeting we talked about how to be a good ally in the workplace and things we can do to be better allies.”

Bryan Reynolds is a charter member of the Channel Futures DE&I 101. The list, which debuted earlier this month, honors 101 individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the ICT channel.

“We also encourage our members to give back to the community. For example, we recently teamed up with Meals on Wheels for Chicago. We registered for their virtual 5K to help raise funds and awareness. We’re going to do a lot more like that in the coming months.”

“We also maintain an internal SharePoint page where we upload the articles that we talk about in our meetings. There’s a diversity days calendar that we go through every month to highlight specific days around diversity so we can celebrate those.”

“In addition, we have a Yammer page where people can keep conversations going outside of the meetings. They can post any relevant articles, news headlines, TED Talks — things like that.”

Finding an Identity

Once the group was up and running, Reynolds and Kain decided it needed to be more than just the “Diversity & Inclusion Committee.” It needed an identity.

“I was thinking of what we actually do in the group,” said Reynolds. “We give people an opportunity to speak. We give them a voice, a platform to share their experiences. The purpose of this group is to give people an opportunity to resonate verbally, spiritually amd emotionally, so that people can learn from one another. The name ‘Resonate’ fit perfectly.”

A Safe Space

Kain admits that it took a while for employees to feel comfortable opening up on uncomfortable topics. “In the beginning, everyone was keen on being a part of the group, but it took a while for them to realize it really was a safe space. A couple of people volunteered at the beginning to open share. Then we had a couple of volunteer speakers in the meetings. And that’s when people started to feel comfortable opening up.”

“Since then, it’s been amazing to how something that Bryan and I built from the ground up has become a place where employees get to share experiences, life stories, concerns and questions with no judgment, no attacking.”

No Magic Formula

Reynolds and Kain stress that there’s no magic formula for what they did. “We just recognized that there was a need,” Kain said. “So we set about meeting it.”

“We didn’t really know where to start. It was just put together step by step. We started with foundational items like the mission statement and went from there.”

The duo enlisted the aid of a few committee members to develop things like meeting content and community outreach.

“I’m not sure anyone really knows where or how to start,” said Kain. “My biggest piece of advice would be…

Aug 25

Comcast Business Acquiring Masergy to Bolster Enterprise, SD-WAN Capabilities

By | Managed Services News

Both companies have invested heavily in their channel programs and SD-WAN/SASE solutions.

Comcast Business is buying software-defined network services provider Masergy. It’s a move likely to have significant implications for partners as both companies are very active in the channel.

Announcing the acquisition on Wednesday, Comcast Business executives hail Masergy as a boon for its midmarket and enterprise initiatives.

Comcast Business' Bill Stemper

Comcast Business’ Bill Stemper

“Masergy provides a perfect complement to our portfolio of enterprise services and solutions and will allow us to instantly and dramatically amplify our growth in the global enterprise market,” said Bill Stemper, president, Comcast Business. “We’re excited to welcome Masergy’s employees and leadership to Comcast Business as we bring continued innovation and superior experience to our customers.”

Multiple private equity firms have acquired Masergy over the years. Most recently, Berkshire Partners bought it in 2016. Comcast isn’t saying how much it is paying for Masergy.

Irwin Lazar, president and principal analyst for research firm Metrigy, said the deal makes sense for both companies. He said Comcast gives Masergy a last-mile footprint that it doesn’t have. And Comcast significantly expands its technology portfolio.

Irwin Lazar

Metrigy’s Irwin Lazar

“For Comcast, it allows them to expand their enterprise networking offerings via Masergy’s global SD-WAN and managed network security offerings,” Lazar told Channel Futures.

Comcast & SD-WAN

While Comcast’s software-defined networking platform utilizes Versa Networks for SD-WAN, Masergy has teamed up with Fortinet to launch multiple SD-WAN and SASE offerings. Comcast Business executives have said their company started offering SD-WAN before any other cableco back in 2017.  And the service paid dividends, helping Comcast make inroads in the midmarket.

“We are enterprise-ready, and this platform is ready to sell against any competitor out there today, and we’re beginning to see traction now,” said Craig Schlagbaum, Comcast Business’ vice president of indirect channels, back in 2018.

Masergy owns a solid footprint in the enterprise sector, but the company recently reported midmarket growth. According to Masergy, 62% of its new customers are coming from the midmarket.

Lazar also pointed to Masergy’s Performance Edge solution, which it launched as a broadband assurance offering earlier this year. Adding that solution helps Comcast better support remote workers, Lazar said.

Partner Perspective

Both companies have invested heavily in the channel. Masergy a year ago launched the Zenith partner program, which helped the company increase its channel sales 70% year over year. The companies partner with many of the same service distributors.

Masergy's Chris MacFarland

Masergy’s Chris MacFarland

“On behalf of everyone at Masergy, we are thrilled to join the Comcast Business family and are extremely excited for the next chapter of Masergy. We are confident that together we can significantly enhance our service offerings to businesses of all sizes in their journey to the cloud,” Masergy chairman and CEO Chris MacFarland said.

Earnings

Comcast reported significant year-over-year improvements in its second-quarter earnings. Business services revenue jumped from $2 billion in the year-ago quarter to $2.2 billion; the company enjoyed a net gain of 17,000 business customers.

We know that Masergy made $306 million in 2017. Former CEO James Parker told Light Reading he wanted to bring the company to $1 billion in annual revenue.  Assuming Masergy is sitting between $300 and $500 million, it is anywhere from one-seventh the size of Comcast Business to one-fourth.

The deal still needs to get regulatory approval. Stay glued to Channel Futures for more information, including partner reaction to the deal.

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