Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Mar 30

Cisco Live! Day One: Focus on SASE, Passwordless, Purchasing Models

By | Managed Services News

Cisco makes a raft of product announcements based on the theme of “connect, secure, and automate” at Cisco Live!

“Cisco Live!” kicked off Tuesday with a raft of new product announcements. Cisco says this year it will celebrate customers and partners that are “the IT heroes of their organizations.”

Cisco's Chuck Robbins

Cisco’s Chuck Robbins

“We are at a unique point in time in which we can shape the future ahead of us, and to do that, we need the right technology to form the foundation,” said Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins. “With the innovation we are delivering this week, our customers around the world will not only be able to connect, secure and automate the future of IT, but also leverage technology to truly power an inclusive future for all.”

We offer a roundup of partner-impacting announcements from day one at Cisco Live in the slideshow above.

Mar 30

Female Founders, Investors Propel Spekit’s Disruptive Technology

By | Managed Services News

The company’s in-app training platform is redefining how employees learn and retain knowledge in the workplace.

Female founders and investors are propelling the growth of Denver-based digital adoption and enablement platform Spekit. The company announced today the close of a $12.2 million Series A investment round. The investment, led by Foundry Group and Renegade Partners, with participation from Operator Collective, Matchstick Ventures and Bonfire Ventures, brings the company’s total fundraising to $15.7 million.

Spekit's Zari Zahra

Spekit’s Zari Zahra

Spekit's Melanie Fellay

Spekit’s Melanie Fellay

CEO Melanie Fellay and Zari Zahra, head of product and technology founded Spekit in 2018. It is one of only three women-led companies in the broader digital adoption, enablement and Learning Management System (LMS) space.

As part of the financing, Spekit welcomes two female investors to its board. Jaclyn Freeman Hester is a Foundry Group Partner and serial SaaS investor. Roseanne Wince is co-founder and managing partner of Renegade Partners. Renegade’s previous investments include unicorns Looker, Glossier, KeepTruckin and more.

With this latest funding round, Spekit will further advance the product. They plan to develop smarter, more personalized learning experiences and scale its go-to-market operations.

Training Techniques Must Evolve with the Workplace

Spekit tackles two of the biggest barriers to growth in today’s SaaS-driven, remote work environment: driving the adoption of constantly evolving technology and providing increasingly dispersed employees with the knowledge they need to be productive and successful in their roles.

By combining the power of a digital adoption platform, an LMS and an enablement solution, Spekit solves these challenges by embedding real-time, contextual training, processes and guidance directly within the applications that employees use every day. Spekit puts access to answers at employees’ fingertips. This enables its customers to drastically reduce the time it takes to onboard, roll out changes and scale their teams.

“Between the quantum leap of SaaS adoption, accelerated rate of change and shift to remote work, the world looks drastically different today than it did a decade ago,” said Fellay. “Yet, when I looked at the way employees were being trained and enabled in their roles, there’d been little to no progress over that same timeline”

“We’re using more digital tools and increasingly complex workflows, but the expectation remains that an employee will figure it all out with a PowerPoint presentation or LMS course. The solution became so clear. Of course, learning should be integrated into an employee’s flow of work. Obviously, training and resources should be contextualized, personalized and instantly accessible. We need to make it as easy to learn in our professional lives as it is in our personal lives.”

A History of Outstanding Growth

In 2020 alone, Spekit saw 400% growth in year-over-year revenue. High-growth companies including Uber Freight, Outreach.io, Southwest Airlines, Databricks and more joined the platform.

Harish Mohan is senior vice president of revenue excellence and operations at Outreach.io. “At Outreach, our mission is to help sales reps build pipeline and close that pipeline faster and more efficiently,” she said. “Spekit aligns with this mission by allowing our reps to be self-sufficient in mastering their tools, sales processes and the continuous changes to our business in a contextual and intuitive way. This maximizes the time they’re able to spend prospecting and selling, helping to drive the growth of our reps and ultimately, the growth of our business.”

Foundry Partners Group's Jacklyn Freeman Hester

Foundry Partners Group’s Jacklyn Freeman Hester

This year, Spekit added five times more users and more than doubled its employee head count. That made it one of the fastest-growing platforms in its category.

“We look for founders like Melanie and Zari, who are obsessed with solving challenging but significant problems in innovative ways,” said Foundry Group’s Hester. “Spekit’s disruptive technology addresses a clear gap in the market by providing a comprehensive solution designed to mirror how individuals actually learn, absorb and retain knowledge. We’re thrilled to partner with the Spekit team as they reshape employee learning and empower workers to reach their potential.”

Mar 29

Kaseya MSP Survey Shows EMEA MSPs Most Worried About Cybersecurity

By | Managed Services News

EMEA MSPs’ top concern differs from those in the Americas.

Security tops the list of problems facing EMEA MSPs in 2021, according to the latest Kaseya MSP survey.

Some 54% cited security as their biggest concern. Another 48% expressed worries over the challenges of managing the devices and technology that remote workers use.

Cybercriminals were more active than ever in 2020 due to the mass shift of workforces to remote locations. Seventy-one percent of respondents said 10%-20% of their clients had experienced at least one cyberattack in the previous 12 months.

Mike Puglia is Kaseya‘s chief strategy officer.

Kaseya's Mike Puglia

Kaseya’s Mike Puglia

“Though the top three concerns were similar across all regions, we found that EMEA’s top concern was security, while the Americas top concern was managing remote workers,” he said. “While security is certainly critical regardless of location, Europe’s GDPR requirement mandates centralized breach reporting and involves hefty fines for those that don’t follow the process, which keeps security front and center in the minds of MSPs and customers.”

Increased Demand for Cybersecurity Services

The Kaseya MSP survey also reflected the increased demand for security services from clients. Revenue from this has risen in the past 12 months for 57% of MSPs. Fifteen percent of MSPs have also witnessed average growth in monthly recurring revenue by more than 20% over the past three years.

“It was interesting to see that 63% of MSPs have added four or more new services to their list of offerings in the past two years, as the changes in 2020 made it more challenging for some MSPs to add new offerings to their stack as so much of their time was spent helping their customers go remote,” Puglia said.

Hybrid workforces will create even stronger demand for MSPs, he said. They’ll support the entire IT infrastructure of workstations, servers, routers, firewalls, VoIP, IoT, storage, mobile and cloud. MSPs will continue to contend with demands to do more within their customer’s current budgets. And their ability to grow will depend on their use of solutions that provide automation and efficiency to drive higher profitability.

COVID-19 shined a light on the importance of IT and technology at every level of business and looking across forecasted spend, technology is the clear leader,” Puglia said. “Additionally, 65% of MSPs said security revenue has increased year over year. ”

MSPs will likely see continued growth in their security services with the evolving nature of cybersecurity threats, he said.

Mar 29

5 Remote Work Security Mistakes that Create Cyber Risks

By | Managed Services News

Human error is high on the list of what causes a security breach.

Remote work security remains a challenge as many employees plan to continue working from home, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

What remote work security challenges do businesses face while working virtually? eFileCabinet offers five security mistakes businesses are making with remote work.

A security breach can bring down a global business without hesitation. So when companies have employees spread over a wide area, it’s even more essential to set up proper security measures.

Andreas Rivera is a marketing content writer for eFileCabinet. He said falling back on endpoint security to take care of all attempts at causing harm is a big mistake.

Phishing with spoofed email addresses is one of the biggest causes of fraud and unauthorized access to business’ networks,” he said. Train employees to “look out for the signs of fraud,” he added.

Organizations are rethinking their IT environments to account for employees connecting from home networks with a variety of devices, Rivera said.

Endpoint security is becoming more complicated and criminals are getting more creative with how they can defraud companies and their employees,” he said.

You can avoid many mistakes with common-sense security awareness, Rivera said. That includes looking for signs of attempted fraud and instituting strong authentication practices such as multifactor authentication (MFA).

These are practices that have minimal impact on productivity, he said. However, they go a long way toward protecting businesses and their employees, he said.

Scroll through our slideshow above for five remote work mistakes that are putting organizations at risk.

Mar 29

9 Takeaways from CEO Pat Gelsinger’s Intel IDM 2.0 Strategy Briefing

By | Managed Services News

Channel Futures breaks down Intel’s “Engineering the Future” growth plan.

The Intel IDM 2.0 strategy revealed by new company CEO Pat Gelsinger is an ambitious plan to restore the company’s leadership in semiconductor production. Gelsinger described IDM 2.0 as the second generation of Intel’s integrated device manufacturing model.

Intel's Pat Gelsinger

Intel’s Pat Gelsinger

IDM 2.0 is a broad strategy that doubles down on research and development. It expands manufacturing capacity and opens the door to working more closely with peers in the semiconductor industry. The move comes two months after Gelsinger returned to Intel as CEO after leading VMware for eight years.

During his one-hour presentation, “Engineering the Future,” Gelsinger methodically outlined key initiatives that form the basis of Intel IDM 2.0. In the slideshow above, we unpack nine key plans Gelsinger discussed

Mar 29

CompuCom Ransomware Attack Prompts More than $20 Million in Losses

By | Managed Services News

MSPs should protect themselves just like any other entity.

This month’s CompuCom ransomware attack will cause the MSP to lose more than $20 million. The attack took down many of its systems.

On March 3, CompuCom reported malware that affected some of the services it provides to certain customers. The company says it was able to restore delivery of those services again by March 17.

Anticipated First Quarter Losses

ODP (Office Depot) is CompuCom’s parent company. It outlined the costs to CompuCom due to the ransomware attack.

“While CompuCom has made significant progress in remediating its systems related to the malware incident, ODP nonetheless expects the downtime experienced and related impact due to the malware incident to result in a loss of revenue for the month of March, as well as incurred and accrued costs which will adversely impact the company’s financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2021,” it said. “The company estimates the loss of revenue to be between $5 million and $8 million as a result of the incident, primarily because of CompuCom’s need to temporarily suspend certain services to certain customers.”

In addition, CompuCom expects to incur up to $20 million in expenses, with about $10 million accrued through the first quarter of 2021.

“These expense estimates are primarily related to CompuCom’s efforts to restore service delivery to impacted customers and to address certain other matters resulting from the incident,” ODP said. “The company carries insurance – including cyber insurance – which it believes to be commensurate with its size and the nature of its operations, and expects that a portion of these costs may be covered by insurance.”

CompuCom wouldn’t provide further comment on the attack.

DarkSide Gaining Notoriety

Digital Shadows' Jamie Hart

Digital Shadows’ Jamie Hart

Jamie Hart is cyber threat intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows.

“DarkSide is a ransomware as a service that has gained notoriety for its purported donations to charities, their rules for affiliates, and their professionalism within the threat landscape,” she said. “DarkSide will likely continue to conduct attacks based on their success and the recent release of DarkSide 2.0 promising faster encryption and improved features. Targeting a company such as CompuCom not only provides a ransomware group with a target, but could potentially allow the group to target customers of the organization as well. Similar to June 2019, when Sodinokibi began targeting MSPs to gain access to customers, it is realistically possible DarkSide is following suit.”

Joseph Neumann is cyber executive advisor at Coalfire.

Coalfire's Joseph Neumann

Coalfire’s Joseph Neumann

“Speculation is that DarkSide is a group of individuals that were affiliated with other ransomware attacks and is the next evolution of this particular adversary,” he said. “Entities are going to continue using ransomware due to the quick monetization and difficulty to track using crypto exchanges. The best way to look at this is the ransom doesn’t require a bag of cash and a courier in the dark alley to get the money. It’s automated with wallet addresses and some criminals even give you directions on how to purchase crypto.”

MSPs Must Protect Themselves

MSPs should protect themselves just like any other entity, Neumann said. That includes good security fundamentals, patching, configurations, processes, policies and a good security culture.

“MSPs are no different then any other company out there that is being hit,” he said. “They all use the same type of systems and security that every company uses and are prone to human error from misconfigurations or patching. In the case of CompuCom, the damage isn’t so much from the ransomware itself, but its customers’ trust since its business assists in the monitoring and securing of its clients. These companies now have to concerned.”

Mar 29

Manufacturing & SD-WAN: The Challenges, the Opportunities

By | Managed Services News

The overall economy is beginning to recover from the impact of COVID-19. And as market growth improves, so do the prospects of selling SD-WAN. But those familiar with the SD-WAN market think adoption will play out differently in different verticals.

The manufacturing vertical, for example, exhibits an interesting polarization. SD-WAN is already widely in use and there is tremendous interest in increasing its usage even more. At the same time, however a sizable number of manufacturers don’t use SD-WAN and — for now, at least — don’t plan to. That’s more than any other vertical. So what’s going on?

In this report you will learn about:

  • Economic and technological trends in the manufacturing industry
  • What makes the vertical an intriguing target for SD-WAN deployment
  • The trends that could inhibit growth

About the Author

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Partners and Channel Futures. He covers SD-WAN, wireless, cable, network services and the agent channel. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.


Sponsored By

Comcast Business logo

 

 

 

 


Mar 29

Manufacturing & SD-WAN: The Challenges, the Opportunities

By | Managed Services News

The overall economy is beginning to recover from the impact of COVID-19. And as market growth improves, so do the prospects of selling SD-WAN. But those familiar with the SD-WAN market think adoption will play out differently in different verticals.

The manufacturing vertical, for example, exhibits an interesting polarization. SD-WAN is already widely in use and there is tremendous interest in increasing its usage even more. At the same time, however a sizable number of manufacturers don’t use SD-WAN and — for now, at least — don’t plan to. That’s more than any other vertical. So what’s going on?

In this report you will learn about:

  • Economic and technological trends in the manufacturing industry
  • What makes the vertical an intriguing target for SD-WAN deployment
  • The trends that could inhibit growth

About the Author

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Partners and Channel Futures. He covers SD-WAN, wireless, cable, network services and the agent channel. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.


Sponsored By

Comcast Business logo

 

 

 

 


Mar 29

Dell Boosts Storage Sales Incentives, Toasts Partner Financial Successes

By | Managed Services News

Cheryl Cook touts updates to Dell incentives and rebates; plus, kudos to partners for great results.

Dell has expanded incentives and rebates on its midrange storage portfolio.

In Novmber, Dell introduced an initiative for its PowerStore all flash storage platform. It gave partners 20 points in combined front-end discounts and back-end incentives. Now, it is increasing discounts and expanding the initiative to include the PowerScale family, including Isilon.

Partners selling eligible PowerStore or PowerScale products with approved deal registration will get a bigger front-end discount. It aims to provide an average 20 points in addition to standard eligible storage and acquisition back-end rebates.

Cheryl Cook is SVP, global partner, embedded and edge solution marketing, at Dell. She said the initiative “addresses a sweet spot in the market.” She adds PowerStore is the fastest growing product in Dell’s history, outselling even VxRail.

Dell EMC's Cheryl Cook

Dell’s Cheryl Cook

“[It’s] locking arms and really sharing in those incentives so that [partners] can continue to lean in and grow aggressively,” said Cook.

Partners can set their own resell pricing and Dell says margin “may vary by transaction, region, partners’ own resell price and other factors.”

Dell says the scheme demonstrates its continued focus on storage. When it launched the 2021 Dell Technologies Partner Program in February, it announced continued investment in “new business, competitive swap and tech refresh rebates.” It also flagged continued incentives to support midrange selling momentum.

Cook said the move also highlights Dell’s strategy of refining its partner engagement rather than making wholesale changes.

“What we’ve done is evolution, not revolution,” she said, echoing Dell channel chief Rola Dagher. “Partners really value and respect consistency. It’s validating that our strategy seems to be working, and it is resonating.”

Life-Cycle Incentives

Last week, VMware announced new incentives that move away from transactional rewards to focus on the entire customer life cycle. In an interview with Channel Futures, Cook said we might expect similar with Project Apex, Dell’s as-a-service model.

“Absolutely, you will see that,” she said. “When you look at the scale of both companies, we are going to see multiple business models coexist, for some time. We’re at one of those pivotal transformative times in the industry where one size doesn’t fit everybody. You have early adopters that are pivoting much more to consumption-oriented. You have some customers that are doing a little bit of both. Then you have some customers that still are going to transact in a capex model. For VMware, that’s all software; it makes a lot of sense. We’re going to make sure partners can serve and support the customer in the best way that meets their needs.”

Big Year

Overall, coming off a big 2020, Dell Technologies says it owes a lot to partners for their “significant” contribution to its record-breaking financial results.

“Record revenue, record margin, record units shipped, the most PCs shipped ever, server growth, market share gains, just incredible results. We’re grateful, we’re humbled, we’re pleased,” said Cook.

Dell’s full-year revenue was a record $94.2 billion, up 2% over the previous year. The company also generated record operating income of $5.1 billion, a 96% increase over the prior year, and non-GAAP operating income of $10.8 billion, up 6%.

Fourth quarter revenue was up 9% to $26.1 billion. The company generated operating income of $2.2 billion, a 204% increase over the same period in the prior year, and non-GAAP operating income of $3.3 billion, up 19%.

Dell’s channel is worth $52 billion in orders, and is now more than half the company’s revenue, said Cook.

“Our partner community delivered and contributed a significant amount to those financial results. It’s a meaningful, material part of our go-to-market and has been outpacing the competition for some time. We’re really pretty delighted with the overall engagement.”

‘We Collectively Showed Up’

Cook acknowledged the success of partners equipping their customers with devices for their new remote workforces.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how we collectively showed up. It was just ‘focus on the customer’; they all needed help as the world pivoted. And we clearly benefited from the opportunity it created around client solutions demand. Our partners are uniquely well positioned and were there to help serve our customers. For that we’re very grateful.”

Dell’s client devices business grew 23% in the channel in the fourth quarter and up 7% for the year. During that same period, its Client Solutions Group grew 19% faster than the rest of the market.

Lenovo, HP and Dell are the three horsemen that are really running in that race. We grew materially faster than the other two competitors, but we did it with our partners,” said Cook.

Cook believes the demand for devices will continue.

“Many surveys are starting to substantiate that people want a hybrid environment, and don’t want to go back to the office for five days a week. [Also, people will be] going to go back to their facilities and find a device on their desk that may be 8-10-12 quarters old. There’s going to be this necessity to change from a desktop to a notebook, or refresh and update the device because of current software needs. I think the horizon for demand and growth [will] continue, at least to the first half of the year.”

Data Center Business

Elsewhere, Cook said Dell’s data center business picked up toward the end of 2020.

“[It happened] as the world began to acknowledge we’re going to be in this situation for a little bit longer,” she said. “A lot of work needed to be done on these data center projects to support and enable and secure the remote workforce. There isn’t another competitor that has the breadth and range of capabilities and technology that we have. And partners are really embracing our program, realizing the opportunity of the upsell and cross-sell opportunity across our multiple lines of business.

“We’re going to keep our foot on the gas, we’re not going to slow down,” she added. “And I think the opportunity for our partners is going to continue to be quite robust.”

Mar 29

Manufacturing & SD-WAN: The Challenges, the Opportunities

By | Managed Services News

The overall economy is beginning to recover from the impact of COVID-19. And as market growth improves, so do the prospects of selling SD-WAN. But those familiar with the SD-WAN market think adoption will play out differently in different verticals.

The manufacturing vertical, for example, exhibits an interesting polarization. SD-WAN is already widely in use and there is tremendous interest in increasing its usage even more. At the same time, however a sizable number of manufacturers don’t use SD-WAN and — for now, at least — don’t plan to. That’s more than any other vertical. So what’s going on?

In this report you will learn about:

  • Economic and technological trends in the manufacturing industry
  • What makes the vertical an intriguing target for SD-WAN deployment
  • The trends that could inhibit growth

About the Author

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Partners and Channel Futures. He covers SD-WAN, wireless, cable, network services and the agent channel. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.


Sponsored By

Comcast Business logo

 

 

 

 


>