Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Dec 02

HPE Might Buy Nutanix to Boost GreenLake

By | Managed Services News

Primarily speculation at this point, the buyout would mean big things for both companies.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is potentially interested in taking over cloud computing/hyperconverged infrastructure company Nutanix. 

According to sources, HPE has held talks with Nutanix in recent months. The “talks between the companies have been on and off and it’s unclear whether they will be able to reach an agreement over price,” says Bloomberg

The Wall Street Journal said back in October that Nutanix was actively looking at potential buyers. At this point, Nutanix could decide to stay independent or go with another buyer. It is still too early to tell. 

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

Nutanix stock rose 4.3%, to $29.46, in trading on Thursday when the speculation rose, giving the company a market value of about $6.7 billion. By the closing bell on Friday, it was $30.53. HPE’s stock price has remained fairly constant over the past two days.

So, why the deal-seeking? What could HPE want with Nutanix? It could be the potential destination for the company’s virtualization and storage stack with HPE’s GreenLake XaaS platform.

Representatives for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Nutanix have declined to comment.

Dec 02

CenturyLink, Level 3 Vet to Lead Trustwave Partners Globally

By | Managed Services News

There’s a “huge” opportunity for partners and Trustwave as the threat landscape continues to evolve.

Trustwave partners have a new global leader. Garrett Gee, previously with Lumen Technologies/CenturyLink and previously Level 3, is Trustwave’s new global vice president of indirect channels and alliances.

In this role, Gee will be responsible for establishing and managing Trustwave’s ecosystem of alliances and strategic technology partners. He brings to the company more than 20 years of industry experience.

Gee announced his new role in a LinkedIn post:

Trustwave's Garrett Gee

Trustwave’s Garrett Gee

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to develop and grow the channel at an award-winning cybersecurity company. Thank you to all my friends and colleagues for their support during my job search. I’m looking forward to this new adventure, and growing my career and the channel at Trustwave.”

Gee most recently was Lumen’s senior vice president of indirect sales. He left that role in September 2021.

Before that, he was CenturyLink’s (rebranded to Lumen) senior vice president of indirect. And he was with Level 3 Communications for more than 11 years.

Managed Security Services ‘Hot’ Topic for Channel

“Managed security services have recently become a hot topic for the channel, and Trustwave is one of the leaders in the market,” Gee said. “Trustwave’s expertise with a 25-year legacy in cybersecurity was a huge draw for me as I wanted to join a team with world-class detection, response and threat intelligence capabilities that was eager to invest and grow in the channel. I was attracted to Trustwave’s unique combination of nimble execution with its market-leading, comprehensive portfolio. Since joining, I’ve been impressed with the quality, passion and commitment throughout the company, from leadership through to delivery and across supporting functions.” 

Gee said his prior experience gave him the opportunity to understand the cybersecurity challenges that partners and clients face.

“This creates a huge opportunity for partners and Trustwave as the threat landscape continues to evolve,” he said. “I’m excited to have joined a company like Trustwave with a team of professionals solely focused on delivering security solutions for our partners and clients.”

Trustwave Takes Global Approach with Channel Strategy

Trustwave has taken a global approach to its channel strategy that supports the needs of partners in each region it operates in, Gee said. This provides support in a variety of different ways based on where partners are located around the globe.

“For example, in the United States, the indirect sales motion is the dominant go-to-market (GTM), but in EMEA and APAC, reseller (both direct and distributor) are the preferred methods,” he said. “Finally, our robust alliance strategy supports our key strategic relationships with no boundaries. Regardless of the channel GTM, we plan to invest and expand in all areas to improve our partner relationships and drive value to our clients and Trustwave.”

Gee said he’s still assessing Trustwave’s channel program. He’s looking at everything, from initial engagement, to the partner and client experience that Trustwave is delivering.

“Once I conclude that review, we’ll set a strategic path for where we want our channel program to be in the next one, three, five years and start working on initiatives to achieve those goals,” he said. “As we navigate through this exciting change, we will always keep partners and clients at the forefront of what we do to ensure that we’re delivering a best-in-class service and experience.”

Bringing the Same Perspective from Lumen to Trustwave

Gee said Lumen‘s indirect channel was a critical part of that company’s growth strategy. He plans to bring “that same perspective and passion” to Trustwave.

“The great thing is that it’s clear that I have the support of the executive team to drive this agenda as growing our channel program is a key strategy for Trustwave,” he said. “My experience across two decades in the channel of building trust through the partner community will allow us to continue our channel revenue growth, and drive momentum and value for the company.”

As attack surfaces increase from the rapid digitization of services with fewer security resources, the need to detect threats before they cause irreparable damage is greater than ever, Gee said.

“As such, we work together with partners to provide our clients with the ability to continually fine tune their environments to provide the right telemetry and response at the right time,” he said. “I’m confident our unique combination of world-class security talent and our market-leading managed detection and response (MDR) offerings will allow us to meet the security needs of our global partners and clients.”

Dec 02

7 Channel People Making Waves This Week at AWS, 8×8, Intel, Ingram Micro, More

By | Managed Services News

Sustainability is becoming a greater priority for channel leaders. Read what AWS’ CEO had to say about it.

Channel people at AWS, 8×8, Intel, Ingram Micro and more are among the individuals making waves this week. Channel Futures’ Channel People Making Waves showcases those who have made an impact over the last seven days. (See our slideshow above.) It’s also a recap of the most-read stories on our website.

The president of Intel’s new contract manufacturing business made waves for his plans to step down next quarter. There’s already speculation of who will be his replacement. Does it have anything to do with Intel’s $5.4 billion acquisition of Tower Semiconductor? Read more from Jeffrey Schwartz’s reporting as featured on our list.

8×8 has terminated its CEO and promoted the CFO to the top spot. 8×8 has had some financial hurdles this past year. Read what the new CEO has to say about the company’s financial footing. His comments appeared in our No. 3 ranked story of the week.

Lastly, what did AWS’ CEO Adam Selipsky think is the most pressing issue of our times? Hint: It’s not specifically tech-related. His comments at AWS re:Invent comprised our most-read story of the week.

From Ingram Micro to AWS to 8×8, that’s a wrap. And, if you didn’t catch our previous edition, you can find it here.

Dec 02

Pax8 Surpasses $1 Billion ARR Milestone, Reflecting the Changing Channel

By | Managed Services News

The company has made big strides over the past year, and has plans for much more in 2023 and beyond.

Pax8 has hit quite a milestone. The cloud marketplace provider has surpassed over $1 billion in annual recurring revenue (ARR). 

Clearly, 2022 has been a big year for Pax8. The ARR milestone is in addition to the company raising $185 million at a $1.7 billion valuation, and announcing the opening of flagship offices in Zwolle, Netherlands and Bristol, U.K.

Pax8's Nick Heddy

Pax8’s Nick Heddy

“Crossing the $1 billion annual run rate is an incredible milestone for Pax8,” said Nick Heddy, chief commerce officer at Pax8. “We could not accomplish this without our people, partners, and … technology. Now is the time to accelerate the move to the cloud, and we are here to ensure partner success along the journey to gain new efficiencies, drive growth and reduce risks.

So, what are the company’s plans for continued growth in 2023?

Heddy went on to say that even though Pax8 has hit this milestone, the company is just getting started.

“In the coming year, the channel ecosystem can expect more innovation from Pax8,” Heddy told Channel Futures. “This includes resounding support, and partnerships to enable their growth and scale.”

The current state of the industry and changing political and economic factors will continue to force the channel to shift and adapt. Milestones like Pax8’s indicate such shifts and adaptations, and will indeed enable companies to grow and scale like never before.

Pax8 now has more than 1,500 employees, and 25,000 partners that support more than 400,000 customers.

Dec 02

Samsung Claims Enterprise Purchases of Foldable Phones Have Doubled This Year

By | Managed Services News

But foldables still represent a small fraction of the market for single-screen smartphones.

Enterprise customer demand for Samsung foldable phones more than doubled during the first 10 months of 2022. Samsung this week announced that enterprise purchases of its foldable smartphones rose by 105% over the same period in 2021.

Samsung emphasized that the rise in professionals working remotely or in multiple locations is a significant driver of that demand.

According to a statement from executive VP KC Choi, who heads Samsung Electronics’ global mobile B2B organization: “Samsung Galaxy foldable smartphones were created to open up opportunities for new ways to work and explore creativity.”

Samsung cited a Counterpoint Research forecast that estimates that 16 million foldable smartphones will ship this year, which is 73% higher than 2021. Also, referring to Counterpoint’s forecast, Samsung stated that 26 million foldable smartphones will ship in 2023.

However, because Counterpoint released its forecast on the foldable market in August, its projection might be overly optimistic. Ross Young, co-founder, and CEO of DSCC, made that assessment, noting that shipments of foldable phones have since slowed.

DSCC's Ross Young

DSCC’s Ross Young

“Shipments have really slowed in [the fourth quarter],” Young said. “It looks more like 13 million.”

DSCC is a research firm specializing in display-based product and component supply chains. Young said he doesn’t see shipments picking up early next year.

“It definitely won’t be 26 million,” he said.

Despite those high figures, foldable shipments represent a sliver of the 1.27 billion smartphones IDC forecasts will ship this year.

Partners in the ‘Fold’

The head of Samsung’s B2B mobile channel, Jeff Gustafson, is bullish about the potential of foldables.

Samsung's Jeff Gustafson

Samsung’s Jeff Gustafson

“We’re seeing some unique use cases come out within finance, government, health care and in other places,” Gustafson recently told Channel Futures. “It’s just continuing to evolve.”

Samsung, which released its Galaxy Fold4 and Galaxy Flip4 phones in August, has shipped the majority of foldables. Competitors include the Huawei Mate and the Motorola Razr. The latter company, a division of Lenovo, recently released its latest version, the Motorola Razr 2022, in some countries.

Microsoft’s current Surface Duo hasn’t become a big hit. In September, Lenovo previewed an updated iteration of its ThinkPad X1 Fold portable, though the company hasn’t revealed release plans. There are rumors that Microsoft might refresh its dual-screen Surface Duo in 2023.

Young said that he’s not surprised that enterprises are the largest customers purchasing foldable phones.

“It makes sense that there would be some growth in shipments to commercial markets,” he said. “It’s good to see Samsung calling out the benefits to commercial users.”

Pandemic Mobile Spending

Techsponential principal analyst Avi Greengart noted that the foldable market has benefited from increased mobile spending from the pandemic.

Techsponential's Avi Greengart

Techsponential’s Avi Greengart

“If there’s a surprising angle here, it is that demand for foldable phones is continuing even if laptop sales are now dropping off,” Greengart said.

Greengart agreed that commercial users would most likely benefit from the foldable form factor.

“You can see more information and get more done on a Galaxy Z Fold4 than on any bar phone,” he said. “Samsung also has leading security capabilities, and its software for foldables has been refined over four generations.”

Next year, Greengart expects to see more players launch new foldables, but so far the U.S. remains a challenge.

“Most of the companies adding foldables are Chinese and lack U.S. carrier distribution and enterprise-friendly software and support,” he said. But if Microsoft does give the Surface Duo a significant update next year, Greengard added: “It could provide Samsung with competition.”


Dec 02

AWS Public Sector Partners Get Globally Expanded Security, Professional Services Support

By | Managed Services News

The hyperscaler also honored eight public sector partners of the year.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is expanding its compliance and professional services support for public sector partners.

AWS at its annual re:Invent 2022 conference this week announced the global expansion of multiple partner programs that help serve government customers. The hyperscaler has brought its public sector-focused security and compliance program and professional services initiative into four new countries, respectively.

Jeff Kratz, general manager of worldwide public sector partners at AWS, said his team is focusing more on enabling speedier, more secure response to customer needs. He said that stemmed directly from partner feedback.

Kratz, Jeff_AWS

AWS’ Jeff Kratz

“Today, public sector customers are facing a variety of challenges — increased cybersecurity threats and tightening budgets to name a few. Additionally, over the last few years as a result of the pandemic, governments have had to move faster than ever before to support citizens,” Kratz told Channel Futures. “My team and I don’t expect this pace of transformation to slow — in fact, we think citizens will want to see even more increased speed and accessibility in the coming years.”

AWS also announced nine companies that have earned a spot in its exclusive new sustainability cohort. It also unveiled its public sector partner awards.

Scroll through the 14 images above to see the latest news and awards for AWS public sector partners.

Also check out Channel Futures’ Day coverage of re:Invent 2022.


Dec 02

Channel People on the Move: VMware, 8×8, AWS, Nextiva, Telarus, More

By | Managed Services News

All those plus HP, HPE, Telesystem, RapidScale, Microsoft, GTT, ConnectWise, Comcast and more.

As the year winds down, the new hires and promotions in the channel keep ratcheting up. VMware, AWS, Nitel, Avant Communications and HP were among those making big personnel moves in November.

Take Ivanti, for instance, which grabbed new channel hires from big names like Microsoft and Citrix. Then there was security giant Barracuda, which landed a well-known indirect sales vet as its channel boss.

Technology services distributors were active promoting people and expanding their staffs. We’ve got five moves at Telarus in the slideshow above, and a pair at Avant.

Looking for more big names? How about HP and HPE? Nutanix? AWS, Comcast and GTT? They’re all here.

In all, we once again have more than 60 new hires and promotions to show you in this edition of Channel People on the Move.

Remember, we have all of our Channel People on the Move image galleries for 2022 in one place! And you can keep up with personnel moves in near real-time here.

If you missed last month’s edition, it’s here. Check that out after reviewing these moves at VMware, AWS, Telarus and more.

Dec 02

Customer Belt-Tightening Leads to Elastic Layoffs Impacting 13% of Workforce

By | Managed Services News

Customers are reviewing investments more closely.

Elastic is laying off 13% of its workforce, or nearly 390 workers globally, citing decreased customer spending.

As of April 30, the security, observability and search vendor had nearly 3,000 employees in more than 40 countries globally. In addition to the layoffs, Elastic is reducing costs in other areas, including optimizing how it uses office space.

Elastic joins numerous other companies doing business in the channel that are laying off workers. Others include HP, Asana, Oracle, Salesforce, RingCentral, SADA and more.

Keep up with our telecom-IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and the ensuing channel impact.

Elastic announced the layoffs with its second-quarter 2023 earnings. Its revenue was a little more than $264 million, a 28% increase year over year. However, it reported a $47.3 million loss for the quarter, slightly higher than its loss for the year-ago quarter.

SMBs in Particular Spending Less

Elastic CEO Ash Kulkarni posted a blog detailing the layoffs.

Elastic's Ash Kulkami

Elastic’s Ash Kulkami

“We are fortunate that security, observability and search are mission-critical to our customers,” he said. “However, it has become clear that the global macroeconomic environment is forcing our customers to tighten budgets and review investments more closely. This is especially true in certain segments of the market like small and medium businesses where the current appetite to spend in uncertain times is limited.”

Elastic will focus on those areas of the business that are most critical to its future, and finding more efficient ways to service some parts of its business, Kulkarni said.

“This will enable us to navigate through this business climate and emerge even stronger in the future,” he said.

The vast majority of employees impacted by the layoffs have been notified, Kulkarni said.

“We operate in 45 countries, so in some cases the timing of notifications may vary based on local laws and practices,” he said. “An Elastic manager will reach out in the next 24 hours to set up meetings with those who are affected. I am confident we have the right strategy. We will continue to focus on developing the best cloud experiences for our customers and driving profitable growth.”

The Next 2 Years

With the layoffs and other reductions, Elastic expects to accelerate operating income growth in the second half of its fiscal 2023 and fiscal 2024.

“I know that this decision is the right decision for our organization,” Kulkarni said.

Elastic will “come out of this stronger and better prepared to grow our market share,” he said.

The company’s stock price fell approximately 10% Friday at the opening bell on Wall Street.

Dec 02

The Gately Report: Cybersecurity Top Priority for AWS Since Day 1, LastPass Breached Again

By | Managed Services News

The massive scale of AWS means it can better fend off cybercriminals.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched 16 years ago with cybersecurity as a top priority, knowing it could be a “business-ending” issue. And that’s helped keep the cloud giant safe from data breaches and ransomware attacks.

AWS' Mark Ryland

AWS’ Mark Ryland

The Gately Report logoThat’s according to Mark Ryland, AWS’ director of the office of the CISO. His team’s function is handling customer engagement on behalf of AWS cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity was a hot topic at this week’s AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas. AWS unveiled Amazon Security Lake, a service that automatically centralizes an organization’s security data from cloud and on-premises sources into a data lake in a customer’s AWS account so customers can act on security data faster.

Security analysts and engineers can use the service to aggregate, manage and optimize large volumes of disparate log and event data. That aims to enable faster threat detection, investigation and incident response.

AWS Cybersecurity Priorities

We spoke with Ryland and Ryan Orsi, AWS‘ worldwide cloud foundations partner lead for security — MSSP/identity/ops/management, to find out more about AWS’ cybersecurity priorities.

Channel Futures: Was there an overall message at re:Invent for partners in terms of cybersecurity?

AWS' Ryan Orsi

AWS’ Ryan Orsi

Ryan Orsi: I would say absolutely. I kind of tie this back to CEO Adam Selipsky‘s keynote where he announced Amazon Security Lake. It’s yet again the next evolution. Let AWS do the undifferentiated heavy lifting. We work with a lot of partners. And they have to develop their software to integrate with so many sources of logging telemetry. Wth Security Lake, they can sort of boil that down to one because now it’s a single common file-logging format. They have less code to maintain, [fewer] integrations to maintain, and they can focus more on the analytics side, the threat intelligence and threat investigation side.

See our slideshow above for more from Ryland and Orsi, and more of the week’s cybersecurity news.

Dec 01

Automated Customer Experience Platform Ada Bolsters CCaaS Business in Channel

By | Managed Services News

The company is on track to have over 80% of its business with the channel in 2023.

You might not have heard of Ada, but it’s possible you’ve used the automated customer experience platform. Ada’s conversational AI technology is utilized by hundreds of companies, including some of the biggest: Facebook, Samsung, Zoom, Square and Verizon, to name a few.

Ada’s capabilities allow companies to personalize brand interactions, helping them prioritize the customer experience (CX).

In October, Ada entered into a supplier agreement with Telarus, the largest privately-held technology solutions brokerage. Thousands of Telarus partners sell CCaaS and focus on next-gen technologies, making it an obvious partnership, said Ada.

Ada's Nick Stocking

Ada’s Nick Stocking

“It was an easy decision to work together,” said Nick Stocking, senior channel manager, strategic alliances at Ada. “[Telarus’] regionalized support model gives us access to consultants who have accounts across the globe.”

The Telarus agreement is not Ada’s only foray into the channel, as it worked with some strategic TSBs/TSDs. However, this new partnership is a signal that the company is making its mark with channel organizations.

Ada Channel History

More than a year ago, Ada tasked Nick Stocking with establishing the company’s referral channel program with CCaaS consultants. The company is on track to have over 80% of its business with the channel in 2023.  As companies tighten their spend on customer support, they are showing great interest in automation strategies that scale. Organizations are leaning on consultants to find the right solution that proves an ROI the quickest.

In this interview with Channel Futures, Stocking discusses the technology behind the brand, Ada’s competitors, as well as what were the motivations for entering the channel. In addition, he maps out the company’s goals for the year ahead.

Channel Futures: Let’s get started with a very basic question. What is Ada?

Nick Stocking: Simply put, Ada is an automated brand interaction platform that’s composed of digital, virtual agents and voice bots that are powered through conversational artificial intelligence. Our claim to fame is being able to resolve 30% of the support inquiries within 30 days and 80% once fully implemented.

Also, we try to stay away from the word chatbot because there are so many bad ones out there. They aren’t good at resolving as many inquiries. They’re very simple, answering just a handful of basic FAQs. You’re on your own from there. Really, you have to go and figure it out yourself. Most contact centers are built in such a way that they try to talk to their customers as little as possible.

For the rest of the interview, see the slideshow above.