Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Apr 29

Clumio Extends Backup as a Service to Microsoft 365

By | Managed Services News

Clumio is investing more in product development since its latest funding round last November.

Clumio has added Microsoft 365 to its secure backup as a service to fill a data protection gap and reduce ransomware risks for Microsoft 365 users.

Businesses that standardize on Microsoft 365 need to protect and ensure compliance of their email data, Clumio said. As the data owner, these organizations are responsible for data protection and backup.

Bill Danz is Clumio’s director of channel. The addition of Microsoft 365 on Clumio’s backup as a service is a “great opportunity” for partners, he said.

Clumio's Bill Danz

Clumio’s Bill Danz

“Greater than 60% of enterprise customers use Microsoft, yet many of them don’t realize that they themselves are responsible for the protection of data in email, not Microsoft,” he said.

Danz says this is a challenging problem for Microsoft users. It’s also an area where partners can add a lot of value “by offering a solution that can protect not only Microsoft 365, but also data that they have in public and private cloud, all with a secure service built on a single platform.”

Clumio is the first data protection vendor to deliver a private, public and SaaS data protection service on a single platform, Danz said.

“Data protection can be a huge barrier to enterprise initiatives designed to help them get to cloud faster,” he said. “The complexity and cost of data protection in the cloud is exponentially harder than in the data center.”

Clumio touts a single service for a wide variety of hybrid cloud, public cloud and SaaS use cases.

“This will be much more competitive in the market relative to other channel players that partner with vendors with point solutions. You need four or five of them to equal what Clumio does with one service,” said Danz.

Multiple COVID-19-related email scams have been documented. Some provide links to fake Microsoft 365 login screens that capture user credentials.

Ransomware & Backup

By 2021, ransomware will cause $20 billion in damage globally. A business will become a rasnsomware victim every 11 seconds, Clumio said.

“There has been a significant increase in ransomware attacks because the security posture of the enterprise changed drastically when the attack surface rapidly expanded due to employees and students working and learning from home,” Danz said. “Clumio has a security-first focus and its cloud-native design ensures data is securely backed up in the cloud.”

Clumio says security credentials are separate from Microsoft 365 production credentials. And during backups, data is written to an S3 object store and can’t be changed. This creates an air-gapped security layer.

“This provides additional peace of mind for a sound recovery in the case of a data breach or ransomware attack resulting in data deletion within production mailboxes and email accounts,” said Danz.

Clumio is investing more in product development since announcing $135 million in Series C funding last November. It plans to invest more in backup-as-a-service products in the coming months.

“Clumio will continue to protect additional workloads in the private cloud, public cloud and SaaS,” Danz said. “Because we are delivered as SaaS, we rapidly innovate and push new releases to customers regularly so that they can quickly take advantage of new capabilities … each of which presents another selling opportunity for the partner, but always as extension of the platform that they are already familiar with and have sold to their customer base.”

“As enterprises continue to make oversight, protection and control of their data a priority, leaders must also solidify their backup strategy for Microsoft 365,” said Archana Venkatraman, IDC’s associate research director for cloud data management. “Without data protection that also encompasses SaaS, companies are exposing themselves to data loss, security issues and compliance risks.”

Apr 29

New Kaseya Home Device Scan Solution Designed for Employees Working from Home

By | Managed Services News

New solution tackles both network and security assessments on personal devices as the world works from home.

Kaseya‘s RapidFire Tools has a new bundled solution in response to the coronavirus crisis and increasing concerns about employees working from home.

Network Detective Work from Home (WFH) is critical because it allows remote employees to scan the home devices they’re using for security issues before they can connect to the corporate network, the company said.

RapidFire Tools' Michael Mettel

RapidFire Tools’ Michael Mettel

“Many businesses were not prepared for the sudden shift of resources from offices to employee homes when the coronavirus hit, and that left many organizations vulnerable to data breaches and internal threats,” said Michael Mittel, president and GM, RapidFire Tools. “We created Network Detective WFH to address this very issue. [The solution] delivers self-service assessments that safely allow employees to work from home using their personal devices. Business owners can have peace of mind knowing that the integrity of their IT infrastructure remains in place. They can also save money and reduce IT workload by allowing employees to use home computers and networks.”

Network Detective Work from Home provides:

  • “Graded” PC risk scores and consolidated report cards to prevent compromises to the business. Areas include basic IT security protection, as well as antivirus and personal firewall configuration. It also includes third-party applications, scanning for potential threats.
  • Critical asset information for the IT helpdesk that captures computer and network data to make remote IT support a breeze.
  • A self-service portal that lets employees scan without the assistance of IT..
  • An option for automatic weekly re-scans and “grading” to ensure the integrity of the corporate infrastructure.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend businesses, companies are now in the middle of a massive, unplanned work-from-home experiment. One thing is certain, though. Ease of access for employees working from home and security are now more important than ever.

Apr 29

Equinix Interconnection Services Expand in EMEA

By | Managed Services News

ECX Fabric is a global interconnection service available in 45 strategic markets.

Equinix is expanding interconnection services in EMEA, designed to simplify hybrid and multicloud connectivity.

Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) is available in Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva, Istanbul, Lisbon and Sofia. It will be available in Hamburg later this quarter. Enterprises and service providers can interconnect to a community of clouds, networks, partners and customers.

Equinix's Eugene Bergen Henegouven

Equinix’s Eugene Bergen Henegouven

“Most of the organizations we work with around the world are already on a digital transformation journey. And they are using the cloud to improve their global reach and seamlessly connect with the customers, partners and suppliers that matter to them,” said Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, Equinix’s EMEA president.

Cloud Research

Equinix recently conducted a global survey of IT decision-makers that produced interesting results.

“Nearly three-quarters (71%) [of respondents] said they plan to move more of their IT functions to the cloud. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend for some businesses that have had to rapidly virtualize their services to respond to the extremely fast-changing nature of business during this crisis,” he said.

This EMEA expansion of Equinix interconnection services will help businesses navigate the difficult months ahead, he said. And they’ll “come out the other side fit for the future and ready to seize the opportunities the cloud offers.”

ECX Fabric is a global interconnection service available in 45 strategic markets. It allows businesses to exchange their data on demand, and between metros through private connections.

Through a single port, customers in any ECX Fabric-enabled market can create and manage on-demand connections. Equinix says it is making it easier for digital businesses to increase their global reach.

“Platform Equinix’s global interconnection capabilities help Aryaka … with our peering and cloud connectivity needs,” said Armin Rishi, Aryaka‘s director of technical partnerships. “This enables us to provide an industry-leading managed SD-WAN service to our customers. Seeing the expansion across several European markets opens up more possibilities for the future growth of our platform.”

Last month, Equinix completed its acquisition of Packet, a bare metal automation platform, to speed the development and delivery of its interconnected edge services.

Apr 29

Juniper Networks’ Mist Systems Propels Channel Partner Opportunity

By | Managed Services News

Enterprise Plus partners are the vendor’s preferred go-to-market partners for AI Access for the network edge.

The combined Juniper Networks-Mist Systems portfolio positions the vendor to leapfrog the competition, prompting new channel investments. Just one year into its $405 million acquisition of Mist, Juniper is moving full-speed ahead with its channel strategy. This includes the expected merger of the Juniper and Mist channel partner programs later this year.

Mist’s next-gen, AI solution for cloud-managed wireless networks plugs a critical solution gap in Juniper’s campus networking portfolio, and more. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Access infrastructure, published last September, featured Juniper Networks‘ Mist Systems as a visionary.

With the Mist acquisition, Juniper leads with the AI-driven enterprise marketing message. Gordon Mackintosh is the company’s recently appointed vice president of global channels and virtual sales. He is rewarding partners who take that message to market. He discussed the company’s channel strategy with Channel Futures.

Mackintosh Talks Partner Differentiation

Channel Futures: What does the Juniper Networks/Mist Systems channel look like?

Juniper Networks' Gordon Mackintosh

Juniper Networks’ Gordon Mackintosh

Gordon Mackintosh: Mist had its own channel and small partner team and program. What’s happened over the last year is tremendous interest from the broader channel, post-acquisition. Seven hundred new partners have signed up and 40 new distributors, globally. The majority of new Mist partners are in the Americas, with some from Europe as well.

Juniper has about 3,000 partners transacting on a quarterly basis. A lot of the newly onboarded Mist partners come from the Juniper partner base. They want to take advantage of the new AI-driven enterprise solution. They’re seeing great differentiation in it. Many were selling security and switching products from Juniper.

CF: Do you plan to merge the separate Juniper and Mist partner programs?

GM: We’re looking to merge the programs this fall and create a new partner program. We want to take the best ingredients of both programs. Mist has a simplistic and effective program. Juniper has a very rich set of rebates and MDF program.

New Investments

CF: What investments has Juniper been making in its partners?

GM: There are 600 new technical resources within the partner community. Three hundred partners are going through deep enablement program. We’ve seen a 240% increase in deal registration as well from a Mist perspective. It’s catching on like wildfire because it’s a simple technology to get enabled for. It is highly differentiated and in high demand.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

CF: Tell us more about the investments you’ve made in the company’s enterprise strategy. 

GM: We’ve doubled down on the enterprise segment. This acquisition is rocket fuel for those investments. Within my organization we’ve brought in 50 new people this year. They focus on partners and customers through our virtual sales motion. AI-based Mist is fantastic for that kind sales motion because the technology sells itself.

We’ve had different inside sales organizations models in the past, but we’ve built a new virtual sales organization that we’re scaling to 100 people. We call it …

Apr 28

Spotlight on Vendasta: Evolve to Survive

By | Managed Services News

This isn’t a new concept, but given this “new norm,” we’re shining a light on how this powerhouse company did things.

In order to survive, MSPs must continually evolve. You’ve probably heard this before with varying spins. Perhaps you have some form of it as your desktop background, cross-stitched on a pillow, or printed on a t-shirt. In fact, this is one of the main aspects we highlight with the MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists — recognizing outstanding partners and the outstanding ways they have evolved their businesses.

Nontraditional Methods

One such company has become quite the powerhouse by doing just that. Vendasta, our second place winner for the MSP of the Year award last year, didn’t start out as an MSP in any way, shape or form. 

The company had its genesis as a platform for homeowners to connect and share inspiration in 2008. It then saw a need for an online reputation management platform within the home services market. So, it built one that was designed for local business. The company began targeting markets that were being drastically disrupted. Markets like the online media industry, for example.

Industries like these needed to learn to sell digital products fast in order to keep up with revenue expectations. Once it had a toehold in those companies, it leveraged their channels to gain access to the greenfield SMB market. Vendasta kept churning out product after digital product, owning the process from development to implementation to ongoing management. It wasn’t managed services in the way we might think of them, but technically, Vendasta was a managed services company. Then, in a roundabout way, it started coming for other shop’s customers.

No More Lanes

In 2017 the company launched a marketplace of resalable apps and solutions. This was a combination of products that Vendasta owned and built, services fulfilled by their in-house agency, and vendor apps. When 2018 came around, it added a number of global brands to Marketplace. This included Google’s G Suite, GoDaddy and Constant Contact. In 2019, Vendasta worked to expand its solutions to span SMB business needs. This was similar to MSP practices that behemoth companies like Office Depot were spinning up. SMB IT in a box. The platform supports dozens of digital marketing and business productivity tools with marketing automation, a robust CRM and a client-facing portal, all under a single login. 

Be counted among your peers as one of the top managed service providers in the world. Click here for the 2020 MSP 501 application.

At Channel Partners Evolution last fall, Vendasta, a managed service provider itself, participated in the Channel Partners version of Shark Tank. Startups wanting to build their channel practices pitched their concept to a lineup of master agents and distributors. Vendasta is a partner, and now it’s finding its own partners, and we don’t really even know what to call hybrids like that — except competitors.

And therein lies the point. You cannot pinpoint these shops and say, “Here is your lane, here is mine. Let’s stay out of each other’s way and everyone wins.” There aren’t really lanes anymore. There are only solid businesses with the right amount of business savvy, market knowledge, tech expertise, customer experience chops, proven case studies in vertical markets, and a willingness to take risks. And yes, to continually evolve. 

Pivoting During a Pandemic

Dealing with shifts has become …

Apr 28

Pandemic Impact on IT Investments by Small and Medium Businesses

By | Managed Services News

The pandemic impact on IT invests creates uncertainty and glimmers of hope.

Common sense tells us that the pandemic impact on IT investments by organizations of all sizes isn’t good. In fact, several industry research firms have already revised their forecasts. But what about the SMB sector, specifically? Techaisle surveyed 2,500 SMBs in several countries for insight on the COVID-19 impact on business and IT operations.

The results? Both small and medium-size firms face uncertainty — but not the same. More SMB companies than not expect IT to return to the usual priorities. And, more than half of SMBs are planning to increase investment in digital transformation going forward.

Techaisle's Anurag Agrawal

Techaisle’s Anurag Agrawal

“Irrespective of well-intentioned investment strategy, 32% of SMBs say they lack sufficient IT budgets and 39% are worried about cost of implementations,” writes Anurag Agrawal, founder and chief global analyst at Techaisle. “When depleted financial capacity is combined with a lack of in-house expertise and security concerns, rapid investments seem impossible. This is where an as-a-service model with deferred payments becomes beneficial.”

There’s no shortage of vendors introducing new financing options to partners and their customers to help them establish business continuity.

A Closer Look

Here’s a closer look at the pandemic impact of IT investments, according to the Techaisle survey.

Investment in collaboration will see the biggest IT investment increase and smallest spending delays (58%). That’s followed by cloud solutions (47%), security solutions (45%) and remote work/mobility solutions (43%). SMBs also expect to increase investments in PCs (39%), managed services (32%), migrating to modern IT (31%), digital transformation (25%), business continuity (10%) and analytics (2%). These figures represent spending increases that reflect delays due to the pandemic. Actual spending percentages are higher.

On the flip side, investment in IoT moved into the negative (-2%). Investment in analytics, at 2%, also took a hit as SMBs opt to delay spending.

Looking at the investment data, the report highlights what 2020-2021 future-past COVID-19 digital transformation looks like. In 2020, SMBs are focusing on reducing costs and improving operational agility. As these firms move toward 2021, their focus is on connected business to drive growth, innovation and customers intimacy.

When looking at the current pandemic impact on IT investments, Agrawal looked for lessons from recent history to attempt to understand the present.

During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, uncertainty and unpredictability led to agility and business growth among SMBs in 2009-2010. During deflation, Brexit, a weak dollar and economic uncertainty in 2015-2016, SMBs were driven toward efficiency and a value shift. And, in 2016-2017, there was optimization and digitization.

“After every downturn, SMB IT spend has rebounded higher and faster than overall (consumer + SMB + enterprise + government + education) IT spends,” he observed.

While uncertainy among SMBs currently abounds, more than half of SMB business leaders in Asia Pacific and some countries in Europe are optimistic about a V-shaped recovery as compared to U.S. and U.K. SMBs who believe in more of a U-shaped recovery.

Channel Partners Have Their Own Woes

The mixed bag of SMB survey results is probably of little comfort to channel partners also seeing the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

In fact, a Techaisle survey of 225,000 channel partners looked at the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. Thirty-seven percent of partners expect to see revenue decreases, compared to 21% earlier in the year.

The top five immediate business concerns of partners:

  • Business survival in the short term and improving cost efficiencies in the medium term. Both are manifestations of cash flow constraints and demand shock.
  • Increasing employee empowerment and organizational productivity in the face of crushing uncertainty.
  • Improving customer intimacy by innovative and empathetic communication, service and support.
  • Prioritizing investments, expenditures and crisis renegotiation of contracts with suppliers to drive operational excellence.
  • Long-term planning on driving business growth.
Apr 28

3 Reasons Why There Has Been a Rise in Phishing

By | Managed Services News

Factors including opportunity and diversity figure into the rise in phishing.

One notable finding from Carbonite partner Webroot’s 2020 Threat Report was a 640% rise in the number of active phishing sites in 2019. This rise in phishing may still represent a small fraction of all malicious sites, but it’s a significant and growing fraction.

“Of all websites that host malicious content, phishing historically has been a minority,” says Webroot Security Analyst Tyler Moffitt. “While it’s growing quite a bit and a significant threat, it’s still not a large percentage of the websites being used for malicious content. Those would be things like botnets or malware hosting.”

Even small growth for a tactic that has traditionally made up some a small portion of overall malicious can seem like a large percentage, which may be part of the explanation for the rise in phishing we are seeing.

But there are at least three other factors that may have contributed to the rise in active sites.

  1. More types of phishing attacks

Phishing attacks are becoming more diverse. The aim is always to steal credentials by posing as an authorized individual, but it’s now carried out over the phone, text messages, with malware, and in much more targeted forms—where cybercriminals will actually go through the trouble of learning a little about their targets before reaching out.

Spear phishing, the name for this targeted for of phishing, has turned out to be lucrative for those who carry it out. These tailored attacks require more individualized web pages than the broad-brush attacks that preceded them, further fueling the rise.

  1. Striking while the iron is hot

There are predictable patterns when it comes to phishing attacks. Online shopping seasons and “cyber holidays” are almost always accompanied by more phishing attacks. Webpages spoofing Apple, for example, rose four-fold around the company’s March product release date before returning to their normal volume.

And cybercriminals, of course, aren’t above capitalizing on a panic.

“Not only do we always see a spike in phishing attacks around the holidays,” says Moffitt, “It also always happens in times of crisis. Throughout  the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve followed a spike in phishing attacks in Italy and smishing scams promising to deliver your stimulus check if you click. Natural disasters also tend to bring these types of attacks out of the woodwork.”

This means that, while there were plenty of opportunities for malicious hackers in 2019, don’t be surprised to see an overall rise in 2020, as well.

Short codes and HTTPS also make it easier to land a successful phishing attack. Short codes obscure destination URLs, one of the recommended ways to check if a link is legit. And HTTPS encryption protocols make it easier to hide malicious content on benign domains, which may prompt a site visitor to let their guard down.

“All of sudden these mental checks that everyone was told to use to sniff out phishing attacks, like double-checking URLs, no longer hold,” says Moffitt.

  1. It’s a money maker

Not surprisingly, profit is the essential motivator for the rise in phishing attacks. Shared drives help to drive profitability by acting as a stepping-stone to further data compromise. A single corporate Google Drive account may house enough valuable information to warrant a six-figure ransom, especially when fines for not

Apr 28

Red Hat Summit: Red Hat OpenShift Getting Deeper Virtualization Features

By | Managed Services News

Other Red Hat applications also get performance and feature enhancements that will benefit partners and customers.

The Red Hat Summit 2020 virtual event opened with big OpenShift news. The family of containerization software is getting new virtualization capabilities.

Also announced were upcoming features for advanced cluster management for Kubernetes and a new Red Hat OpenShift version 4.4.

The OpenShift virtualization features are a technology preview within Red Hat OpenShift and won’t be complete until later in 2020. The new virtualization capabilities come from the KubeVirt open source project. They aim to provide opportunities to develop, deploy and manage applications consisting of virtual machines alongside containers and serverless.

The virtualization tools will allow standard VM-based workloads to come to Kubernetes, according to Red Hat. That can help eliminate workflow and development silos that often exist between traditional and cloud-native application stacks. Ultimately, this will make it easier for organizations to migrate and modernize existing applications and services on Red Hat.

The OpenShift virtualization developer enhancements include a consistent development experience across VMs, containers and serverless functions for users. Users can manage all of the enterprise application stack components directly through Red Hat OpenShift. In addition, one can migrate VMs to OpenShift without fully containerizing them. This allows them to run mixed applications.

The general availability of Red Hat OpenShift virtualization is later in the year.

Red Hat OpenShift 4.4

Also unveiled at Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience was Red Hat OpenShift 4.4, the company’s latest enterprise Kubernetes platform. Building on Kubernetes Operators, the new version includes improvements in core platform capabilities around compute, networking and storage. In addition, a new descheduler tool helps OpenShift administrators rebalance workload distributions across OpenShift for improved efficiency and utilization. OpenShift 4.4 also upgrades the ingress controller implementation to use HAProxy 2.0, which allows higher performance.

OpenShift 4.4 also now gets self-guided installation experience support for deployment with full-stack automation (IPI) on Red Hat Virtualization (RHV). It includes support for Helm 3, making Helm charts visible and available in the OpenShift Console’s developer catalog.

Kubernetes users weren’t forgotten in Red Hat’s announcements at the event, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Kubernetes users, a new Red Hat advanced cluster management for Kubernetes tool was unveiled as a tech preview. The tool provides a single, simplified control point for the monitoring and deployment of OpenShift clusters at scale. It offers policy-driven governance and application life cycle management. It allows organizations to consistently manage their Kubernetes clusters across hybrid clouds. That includes Red Hat OpenShift deployed on-premises, on bare metal and on public clouds from Amazon, Google, IBM and Azure.

Red Hat's Brian Gracely

Red Hat’s Brian Gracely

Brian Gracely, director of product strategy for Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat cloud, told Channel Futures that partners will benefit from the virtualization enhancements because they are being added to existing OpenShift products being used by customers.

“What’s important to note is that OpenShift virtualization is a component of OpenShift, it’s not a separate offering requiring an additional subscription or new infrastructure,” said Gracely. “As with all of our technologies, this is not covered by an expensive proprietary license — if you are an OpenShift subscriber, you immediately will have access to OpenShift virtualization and the benefits that it could provide to you and your customer organizations.”

Partners can use OpenShift virtualization to innovate while still protecting existing investments and …

Apr 28

Cumulus Networks Releases NetQ 3.0 with Life Cycle Management

By | Managed Services News

Cumulus NetQ 3.0 further simplifies network operation and deployment.

Cumulus Networks on Tuesday released NetQ 3.0, a network operations tool that now includes full life cycle management capabilities.

With the latest enhancements, Cumulus NetQ 3.0 gives data centers and campus environments new features such as configuration management and software upgrade management. Cumulus NetQ utilizes telemetry for deep troubleshooting, visibility and automated workflows from a single user interface.

Cumulus Networks' Patrho Mishra

Cumulus Networks’ Patrho Mishra

“We are in the business of providing our customers with the tools to make network operation and deployment as easy and cost-effective as possible,” said Partho Mishra, president and chief product officer at Cumulus Networks. “Adding life cycle management capabilities to NetQ provides significant operational benefits to our Cumulus Linux customers and opens the doors to unprecedented insights into the state of modern network infrastructure at the push of a button.”

NetQ, the telemetry-based fabric validation system, first hit the market three years ago. The vendor rolled out NetQ 2.0 about two years later. At that time, Cumulus added a new GUI for visibility into Cumulus Linux.

Cumulus says NetQ 3.0 full life cycle management functionality allows users to easily upgrade, configure and deploy network elements with a full suite of operations capabilities. Those capabilities include visibility, troubleshooting, validation, trace and comparative look-back functionality.

Here’s more info on the new NetQ 3.0 features:

  • Configuration Management — Customers can now install a new switch and push a golden configuration from a centralized location. So users get the ability to enforce standards and deploy tools that help to automate repetitive configuration tasks. It also helps to easily identify differences between this and the default configuration.
  • Software Upgrade Management — This feature helps avoid network disruption. For example, disruption during important software upgrades for new features, critical security patches and bug fixes. NetQ Upgrade Management aims to simplify software upgrade functionality.

“What previously would require automation scripting and significant development effort to perform a software upgrade, can now be done simply with the push of a button,” Scott Ciccone, senior director of product marketing at Cumulus Networks wrote in a blog.

In January, Cumulus and HPE partnered to put Cumulus’ open network operating system on HPE’s StoreFabric M-series Ethernet switches. The M-series switches also run Cumulus Linus and NetQ.

Apr 28

Channel Steps Up Big to Offer Customer Support During COVID-19 Crisis

By | Managed Services News

The channel has come out in force to support customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The past few weeks have seen IT vendors rush to roll out a series of COVID-related measures to support partners. Just as importantly, however, is what channel companies themselves are doing for customer support during COVID-19. Channel Futures spoke to some key channel players about customer support during COVID-19.

“The channel’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been almost overwhelming in its generosity,” said Alex Louth, managing director of Logicalis UK.

Logicalis UK's Alex Louth

Logicalis UK’s Alex Louth

“Our part was to help our customers make sense of those offers and get them implemented quickly and without disruption, so that they can focus on steering their business through this crisis,” said Louth.

Logicalis has implemented its Rapid Support Services to help maintain security and infrastructure readiness and to provide supplemental IT support for remote workers. Logicalis engineers can deliver all services remotely.

“While we are still engaged in long-term transformational projects, these Rapid Support Services are key to enable everyone to focus on the business at hand,” said Louth.

Elsewhere, Insight UK has been sharing its own experiences of remote working with customers. It is equipping them with devices such as notebooks, tablets, displays, headsets and wireless access points, and accompanying services. It is also helping them to use collaboration solutions and establishing secure remote working practices.

At the same time, the firm has been helping customers “keep a firm handle” on costs around remote working. That’s according to Matt Elrick, practice lead architect, workplace and collaboration. 

Insight UK's Matt Elrick

Insight UK’s Matt Elrick

“We offer rapid remote management tools for cloud services, providing data-driven analysis and guidance on how to reduce costs. We have been smoothing the path to remote working, so employees continue to see IT as a help rather than a hindrance over the longer term, regardless of wherever they are working, from home or in an office.”

Securing Customers

With employees forced to work from home, there has been a corresponding sharp increase in cyberattacks. Some estimates note an 80% spike in phishing and malware attacks alone in March.

As a result, cybersecurity MSP Effective Cyber Security (ECS) designed a free external scanning service for customers. It includes a dashboard that enables customers to translate technical data into everyday language. It highlights vulnerabilities, ranks them in order of criticality and recommends remedies. All the work is done remotely, with additional telephone support if required.

“Everyone is having challenges at the moment, whether you’re on the front line doing amazing work saving lives or working frantically behind the scenes to keep your organisation secure and ticking over,” said ECS co-founder and CTO Simon Gray. “We wanted to help those often invisible IT staff, who do such an important job in keeping a company’s crown jewels safe yet are only really noticed when something goes wrong or doesn’t work.”

Cybersecurity is also top of the agenda at channel firm EACS. It is providing customers with free access to webinars with cybersecurity and privacy vendors, as well as cloud data protection. It also is offering free and discounted software application subscriptions from the likes of Sophos and Bitdefender.

In addition, it has established a system where it can sell refurbished hardware to customers, then offer to buy it back later in the year.

“This means that our customers are able to have the hardware they need to continue operating like business as usual at this difficult time, while giving them peace of mind that any investment now doesn’t need to be long term,” said Steve Dickinson, head of supply chain at EACS.

Communication with Customers

Richard Wyn Griffith, director of solutions, services and marketing at Softcat, explained that communication has played a key part in the company’s customer engagement strategy.

“We keep customers fully informed on orders, stock and deliveries, as well as additional advice and expertise through emails, blogs and personal one-to-one conversations. The aim is to …