Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

May 18

Microsoft Changing Partner Incentives Even as Channel Controversy Roars

By | Managed Services News

The terms take effect in October. “We are sharing updates now to help our partners plan ahead,” per Kevin McCarthy.

Microsoft is making changes to its partner incentives and investments, even as it grapples with ongoing controversy surrounding more stringent channel requirements.

Microsoft's Kevin McCarthy

Microsoft’s Kevin McCarthy

On May 17, Kevin McCarthy, vice president of global partner solutions, incentives and investments, posted a blog detailing the upcoming updates. Those will take effect in October — the same time that Microsoft is slated to replace the Microsoft Partner Network with the controversial Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.

“We are sharing updates now to help our partners plan ahead and will share additional details in the coming months,” McCarthy wrote.

Before laying out the changes, McCarthy noted the following: “[W]e recognize that successful partners drive transformational customer solutions. In our upcoming fiscal year 2023 that begins in July, we will continue to evolve our partner incentives and investments portfolio to provide a smooth and predictable partner experience that helps partners deliver exceptional value to customers.”

To that point, Microsoft is focusing its partner incentives and investments on cloud. That comes as little surprise. Cloud represents a category where Microsoft, through Azure, is showing formidable growth — even, according to some reports, surpassing giant rival Amazon Web Services. With that in mind, Microsoft’s changes apply to its six “cloud solution” areas: data and artificial intelligence; Azure infrastructure; Azure digital and app innovation; business applications; modern work; and security.

Changes to Microsoft Partner Incentives, Investments

The updates outlined by McCarthy remain somewhat vague. Here’s what he had to say, by type of incentive.

For Cloud Solution Providers: “We are adjusting modern work and security core program rates in the new commerce experience for direct bill and indirect reseller partners for consistency with the FY22 legacy CSP incentives program. We are redeploying the impact of this change through an increase to the customer acquisition lever, rewarding partners who drive new modern work and security business.”

Microsoft already has said it will end incentives support for legacy CSP seat-based subscriptions as of this coming December.

For Microsoft Commerce Incentives: “We are rebalancing incentives on Azure consumed revenue through Partner Admin Link, rewarding partners who drive customer growth and showcase their expertise through specializations.”

It’s unclear whether this news is welcome or will anger partners. Channel Futures has inquiries out.

For Activity-Based Incentives: “We continue to invest in pre-sales and post-sales workshops and assessments across our six cloud solution areas to drive customer acquisition and solution adoption. Partners will see new earning opportunities with modern work, security, business applications and Azure in FY23, as well as an improved operational experience for activities found in the Microsoft Commerce Incentives program.”

Microsoft has yet to clarify what “new earning opportunities” look like.

For Cooperative Marketing Funds: “We are launching cooperative marketing funds (co-op) to the Microsoft Commerce Incentives program in FY23. Once launched, partners earning incentives on breadth motion engagements in Microsoft Commerce Incentives will see incentives earnings split between standard rebate and co-op.”

McCarthy said Microsoft will have more information on this “in the coming months.”

Microsoft Cloud Partner Program: “[P]artners attaining legacy competencies by Sept. 30, 2022, or renewing legacy competency benefits will continue to earn incentives in FY23 program terms as eligible. FY23 incentives programs will also support the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program solutions partner designations.”

Microsoft added that partners with solutions partner designations cannot earn legacy CSP incentives for the legacy seat-based CSP subscriptions that end in December.

More Change Amid Chaos

The update from McCarthy comes as Microsoft unexpectedly functions without a channel chief. Nick Parker, corporate vice president for global partner solutions, announced earlier this week that Rodney Clark has left the company. Clark served as global channel chief for just a year, taking over from Gavriella Schuster.

Microsoft further continues to face the fallout from perhaps its biggest channel-program change in 15 years, the upcoming switch to the Cloud Partner Program. Those plans, of course, have attracted swift and steady pushback from partners. Click here for Channel Futures’ coverage of partner reactions to Clark’s departure as well as Microsoft’s new requirements.

 

 

May 18

Google Cloud Starts New ‘Strategic’ Unit, Names Umesh Vemuri to Run It

By | Managed Services News

The changes coincide with yet another Google Cloud executive exit. Find out who’s leaving.

Google Cloud has created a new division — the Global Strategic Customers and Industries organization — and named Umesh Vemuri to run it.

Vemuri will not directly interact with the channel in his new role. However, Google Cloud partners will be able to resell and service the solutions built by Vemuri’s teams.

Google Cloud's Umesh Vermuri

Google Cloud’s Umesh Vermuri

“Umesh will help coordinate the work of Google Cloud’s industry solutions team and some of the deeper vertical partnerships the company has with industry ISVs, ensuring we’re delivering joint value to customers,” Google Cloud told Channel Futures via a prepared statement. “As an example, we recently partnered with C3.ai to drive joint offers in retail, manufacturing, public sector, etc., and this involved mapping our solutions with theirs, eliminating any potential channel conflict and creating joint go-to-market sales motions.

The strategy ties to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s commitment that partners are involved in all deals. That includes, Google Cloud said, the cross-product area deals driven by Vemuri’s team.

Google Cloud bills the Global Strategic Customer and Industries organization as one that connects customers “across all industries, to the best technologies and services across Google and Google Cloud.”

More About Umesh Vemuri

Vemuri has worked at Google for 10 years. He started as the head of sales engineering for the U.S. federal government unit within Google Enterprise. He moved over to Google Cloud in 2017. Vemuri comes to his new job after spending nine months as the general manager of strategic projects at Google Cloud. During that time, he helped secure significant deals with big-name customers including Ford, Mayo Clinic and Deutsche Bank.

Vemuri now reports directly to Kurian and will keep focusing on partnerships with enterprises, as well as specific verticals. Over the past two years or so, Google Cloud has made no secret of its intent to gain a foothold in 10 prime sectors: healthcare and life sciences; retail; consumer packaged goods; financial services; telco; media and entertainment; gaming; manufacturing and industrial; supply chain and logistics; and public sector.

As Umesh Vemuri Steps in, Lori Mitchell-Keller Moves on

Meanwhile, the appointment of Vemuri coincides with the exit of Lori Mitchell-Keller. She served as vice president of industry solutions for two years. (Prior to that, she was with SAP for almost 14 years.) Of Mitchell-Keller’s departure, Google Cloud says in a prepared statement: “[W]e wish her the best in her next opportunity.”

Google Cloud has undergone some notable executive shakeups over the past several months. Earlier this year, Kevin Ichhpurani took over as head of channel; Carolee Gearhart left and is now chief revenue officer at Gympass. Last month, news broke that Rob Enslin, president of Google Cloud for a little more than three years, was leaving to become co-CEO of a robotic process automation firm. (Like Mitchell-Keller, Enslin hailed from SAP.) And John Jester, who was the vice president of customer experience, also left at the same time as Enslin.

The personnel changes come not long after Google Cloud parent Alphabet reported weak first quarter earnings and revenues. Despite slightly beating revenue estimates of $5.8 billion, Google Cloud’s $931 million loss surpassed the expected $893.2 million shortfall. Nevertheless, Google Cloud revenue increased 44% quarter-over-quarter.

 

May 18

Partners Speak to Microsoft’s Rodney Clark Departure and New Requirements Controversy

By | Managed Services News

Our MSPs weigh in on Clark’s sudden exit, and the shakeups and challenges the new NCE program has presented.

The channel is abuzz with the news of Rodney Clark unexpectedly exiting Microsoft as global channel chief. Microsoft’s corporate vice president for global partner solutions Nick Parker, to whom Clark reports, revealed the unexpected news on Monday.

A longtime Microsoft company veteran, Clark took over as the company’s channel chief last year, replacing Gavriella Schuster. Clark shared news of his planned departure on his LinkedIn profile.

Exits and Angst

Clark’s departure understandably rocked the channel a bit, especially considering he doesn’t yet have a replacement lined up. The announcement also highlights the controversy surrounding Microsoft and its channel challenges amid the recent rollout of its New Commerce Experience for Microsoft 365.

As a refresher, the tech giant pushed back the date when legacy subscriptions for Microsoft 365 and other big packages have to be bought through the New Commerce Experience. This rather abrupt switch indefinitely delayed the final phase of the plan to move Azure purchases to NCE.

Addressing Partner Pain Points

Microsoft's Tyler Bryson

Microsoft’s Tyler Bryson

At last month’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Tyler Bryson, Microsoft corporate vice president of global partner solutions, U.S., addressed the challenges and partners’ hesitancy to accept them.

We know change is hard.” He went on to emphasize: “This is not the removal of benefits for anyone. This is about starting, in October, a means for our partners to really start to differentiate themselves in our six course solution areas.”

Bryson also underscored that the company has created the new program to enable growth for the company and its partners.

“There’s so much more to do together,” he said. “Left to right, we have six $10 billion businesses now that our partners can designate themselves as ready for market. And that’s what we want to do, is open up those routes to market for you.”

Outcomes, My Dear Watson

Microsoft's Rodrigo Kede Lima

Microsoft’s Rodrigo Kede Lima

At the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2022 event this week, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and President for Latin America Rodrigo Kede Lima addressed these changes.

“Microsoft has dramatically changed over the past few years. It went from a product company, to what I call an outcome company. So we are a company now that wants to solve complex business problems for our customers. We are a company that wants to help our customers to address huge market opportunities.”

Lima also addressed the fact that Microsoft has shifted from being a product company to an outcome company.

“Our aim, truly, is to be trusted business advisers who help solve complex business problems. We want to help customers capture the market opportunity to do that.”

With the news of Clark’s departure, we asked partners to share their insights on the exit, and how that factors into their perception of the program switcheroo.

Click through the gallery above to see what they had to say.

May 18

ThreatX Unleashes Xcellerate Partner Program for API Protection

By | Managed Services News

Demand for real-time API protection is skyrocketing.

ThreatX, an API protection platform, has launched its global Xcellerate Partner Program for VARs, distributors and MSPs.

This program will support ThreatX and partner growth in North American and international markets. Partners can deliver ThreatX’s platform, which enables real-time protection against attacks on APIs and web applications, coupled with complete managed services.

Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)-based technology, ThreatX detects suspicious activity, builds attacker profiles over time, and applies these insights to block even the most complex attacks.

For MSSPs, ThreatX’s cloud-native, multi-tenant architecture makes it easy to deliver API protection to multiple customers.

First Official Partner Program

ThreatX's Billy Toomey

ThreatX’s Billy Toomey

Billy Toomey is ThreatX‘s vice president of sales.

“This is our first official partner program,” he said. “However, we have been working with a growing list of partners that have been helping to bring our API protection platform to customers globally. With our Xcellerate Partner Program, we are formalizing how we work with both our existing partners, but how we onboard and enable new partners. We believe this will better position our partners to grow their businesses and provide customers with market-leading API protection capabilities.”

The ThreatX program offers:

  • Deal registration and qualified lead delivery.
  • Sales and technical enablement with certifications.
  • Tiered program levels with corresponding discounts.
  • Co-marketing programs and funds.
  • Streamlined procurement with the ThreatX platform and managed services.

“It’s no secret that the demand for real-time API protection is skyrocketing,” Toomey said. “And it’s something that we’ve been hearing from customers consistently. As we continued to grow our business, the time was right for us to take this step and formalize partner delivery of the capabilities to customers globally.”

Partner Input Critical

Partner input was critical to building this program, Toomey said.

“We worked extensively with our existing partners to assess their needs in terms of training, enablement and overall go-to-market (GTM) support,” he said. “We would not have been able to build such an effective program without their input.”

The program will enable partners to deliver not just ThreatX API protection, but also strong web application security, Toomey said. That includes defending against botnets and distributed denial of service (DDoS.)

“Additionally, as many companies worldwide are facing staffing shortages, the program will provide the managed services and support needed to better serve customers,” he said.

Beth Kohler is senior director of product management at Lumen Technologies.

“As the threat landscape grows more complex, our customers are clearly seeking the ability to protect APIs and web apps against sophisticated, multi-mode attacks,” she said. “Through our partnership with ThreatX, we have proven the ability to deliver these capabilities to our global customers at scale.”

May 18

Kinka Joins Bridgepointe to Spur Charlesbank-Backed Organic Growth

By | Managed Services News

Scott Kinka made a name for himself in the channel working at Evolve IP.

Bridgepointe Technologies‘ newly appointed chief strategy officer will drive organic growth for the company as it harnesses capitalizes on its investment from Charlesbank Capital Partners.

Scott Kinka, who worked with channel partners for a decade and a half in his job at Evolve IP, has joined Bridgepointe. He will oversee several areas of internal expansion including “product and technology training, partner systems and tools, marketing and lead generation, cross penetration of value-added services.” He’ll be tapping into the $100-plus million Charlesbank investment that Bridgepointe announced in January.

Kinka, Scott_Bridgepointe

Bridgepointe’s Scott Kinka

“We don’t just want to put capital to work in M&A,” Kinka said. “We’re putting capital to work in the business strategically and organically. And that’s really where my focus is: organic growth.”

Background

Kinka helped found Evolve IP in 2007. He served for a number of years as chief technology officer and later as chief strategy and innovation officer. The job brought him into contact with Bridgepointe employees and partners. He also got to know Carol Beering, formerly of Intelisys, who recently joined Bridgepointe.

Kinka’s tenure with Evolve IP gave him experience in the private equity world. Great Hill Partners made a majority investment in the cloud services company in 2016. Kinka said has vendor acquired 10 companies following that investment and doubled in size. He also met the Charlesbank team when it was looked into buying Evolve IP.

Kinka retired in February and remains a strategic adviser for the company. In the meantime, he watched with interest as firms like Bridgepointe received the attention of outside investment.

“After spending nearly two decades educating and selling through the channel, I’ve always thought that an eventual move to the channel side could be interesting,” Kinka told Channel Futures.

A Unique Strategy

Kinka said Bridgepointe’s business model attracted him to the company. He described it as a hybrid model. On one hand, Bridgepointe transacts as a technology solutions brokerage (TSB), leveraging direct supplier contracts and enabling sales partners, which it calls “IT strategists.”

However, Bridgepointe’s leaders stay away from the term TSB.

“I hesitate to call the others that are in this space competitors, because of the differences in terms of how we operate,” Kinka said.

For example, Bridgepointe conducts relationships with certain TSB partners for certain suppliers. Moreover, its IT strategists typically leverage the Bridgepointe brand – “branded feet on the street,” as Kinka describes it. Thus, Bridgepointe to some extent functions as a direct seller.

“Most of our partners carry a Bridgepointe card,” Kinka said. “I spent more than a decade as the front man in the market for a brand. So I think that and the ability to leverage Bridgepointe’s unique operating model and build thought leadership around our business as an IT consultancy are what were really interesting to me.”

Partner Dynamics

And Kinka said Bridgepointe’s tight-knit relationship with its partners makes an attractive value-proposition.

“Because these are card-carrying, largely exclusive partners, our average revenue per account and cross penetration of products is beyond that of the standard TSB,” he said. “And that’s not a knock on the TSBs who cater to all kinds of partners. Out partners are just very focused on mid-market and enterprise business consultancy.”

He said the business model makes an attractive landing point for enterprise technology sales reps who are looking to make a career change. Certain salespeople don’t want to return to the office or have grown as much as they can at their vendor employer, Kinka said.  Bridgepointe could emerge as an solid alternative, he said.

Evars, Scott_Bridgepointe

Bridgepointe’s Scott Evars

“We want to be the home for the individual contributor who’s looking to make that career change. And we’re uniquely positioned to make that easy. We have a unique lifecycle finance offering for new partners from startup bridge loans through investment and ultimately Partner (with a capital P) status with the firm.”

Marketing Needs

Kinka said Bridgepointe recently surveyed its IT strategists about what they need to grow. He said they overwhelming viewed automated marketing resources and systems as their top priority.

“We’re expecting to release a new portal towards the end of the quarter that will have a whole bunch of new capabilities in it, but our big push is going to be around giving the partner what they’ve told us they want the most, which is air cover in the form of content and systems that will help them market and identify opportunities,” he said.

Kinka said he will focus heavily on promoting the company’s brand. For example, he will function as Bridgepointe’s evangelist at industry events and online.

“For us, marketing doesn’t mean advertising,” he said. “It means acting like the consultancy that we are by providing unbiased technology content to help drive technology decisions.”

Bridgepointe co-founder Scott Evars praised Kinka’s abilities.

“Scott brings a wide range of skills and talent to Bridgepointe that is critical to ensuring our success as we rapidly grow. He’s a strong cultural fit and a natural leader who will play a key strategic role in helping us to triple in size,” Evars said.

Integration

Last month Bridgepointe announced the appointment of Carol Beering as vice president of integration. The role gives her responsibility for ensuring that partners Bridgepointe acquires experience a seamless transition. Bridgepointe has already used the Charlesbank funding to acquire multiple agencies and hand partners equity status.

Kinka will also play a role in integrating those companies.

“It’s one thing to grow your business in a grassroots way. But it’s another thing to grow your business at scale with external investment. It’s easy to buy companies, but not so easy to integrate them, make stakeholders happy and help them to grow organically,” Kinka said.

Looking Ahead

Kinka joins a list of high-profile executives from the vendor side who have moved to a private equity backed TSB or agency recently. Curt Allen and Eric Brooker recently joined Columbia Capital-backed Bluewave Technology Solutions, and Upstack has made several notable hires.

When asked if competition is shaping up between any of these private equity-backed players, Kinka pointed to the rising tide of the channel. He said he’s cheering for entire industry to succeed.

“We’re not competing against each other. We’re competing against the 75% of decisions that are still made outside of this channel,” he said.

 

May 18

The CF List: 2022’s 20 Top SD-WAN Providers You Should Know

By | Managed Services News

A leading SD-WAN provider has to show greater value across a number of different domains.

Top SD-WAN providers need to offer more than just MPLS replacement to stay relevant in today’s highly competitive market.

Managed services are playing a bigger role in the market and numerous acquisitions have reshaped the industry in recent years. In addition, the hybrid work model facilitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has changed what customers demand from SD-WAN providers.

This is our second annual “CF List” focused on top SD-WAN providers, and the fifth if you count our previous CP Lists. Analysts and experts share their views on what it takes to succeed with the technology. It includes an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

Omdia projects SD-WAN revenue to hit $5.5 billion in 2025. The analyst firm increased its forecast by $100 million since its last published its market prediction last June.

Biggest Shifts for SD-WAN Providers

Brian Washburn is Omdia‘s research director of service provider enterprise and wholesale. (Informa Tech is the parent company of both Omdia and Channel Futures.)

Omdia's Brian Washburn

Omdia’s Brian Washburn

“The biggest shift is that enterprises are seeing security as part of the network again,” he said. “This is due to the demise of the security perimeter, which was fueled by work from home (WFH) and increased use of cloud services. So remote access support plus stepped-up security requirements plus increased use of cloud as part of the enterprise IT fabric, each of these trends feeds into the others.”

Enterprises now have numerous priorities for their SD-WAN solutions, Washburn said. Those are: more security, better performance, more reliability, more flexibility, better control and lower cost.

Evolving Definition of Top SD-WAN Providers

Mauricio Sanchez is Dell’Oro‘s research director for network security, secure access service edge (SASE) and SD-WAN.

Dell'Oro Group's Mauricio Sanchez

Dell’Oro Group’s Mauricio Sanchez

“I think the definition of a cutting-edge SD-WAN provider continues to evolve and expand,” he said. “No longer can an SD-WAN provider rest on their laurels and just focus on how they can replace MPLS with commodity internet links at branch offices. While this is still a valid use case, the leading SD-WAN provider now needs to be able to show greater value across a number of different domains.”

Those four domains include security, cloud proficiency and capability, visibility and control, and 5G and its implications, Sanchez said.

“The explosion in remote work during the pandemic brought security front and center,” he said. “As we move into an era of hybrid work, the need to provide strong security when offsite, as a remote worker, and onsite, when in the office or branch, is key. Leading providers need to show how they fit into security-infused frameworks like SASE or what role they play in emerging security markets like secure service edge (SSE).”

Cloud Proficiency and Capability Important

In terms of cloud proficiency and capability, that’s how well the network supports the enterprise’s shift to the cloud, Sanchez said. It’s about cloud-based network services or how the SD-WAN solution supports the connectivity needs of workloads that have gone multicloud or third-party SaaS applications.

“As the internet becomes the corporate network, enterprises are clamoring for solutions that can help them gain the end-to-end visibility and control that they enjoyed on the networks they own and controlled,” he said. “[In addition], 5G is here and we’re in the early stages of its impact. Whether it’s the likely explosion in connected devices (think IoT and OT) or the new cadre of 5G-enabled network services (like private networks), there’s a lot of looming challenges and opportunities.”

Challenges with WFH Deployments

Joe Fizor is director of solutions engineering at TBI. He said SD-WAN platforms have been needing to address VPN/remote users and how they tie into the solution. That’s due to the increase in remote workers.

TBI's Joe Fizor

TBI’s Joe Fizor

“Many suppliers/vendors have chosen to pursue the SASE/SSE route to accomplish this and stay relevant to the newer definitions from organizations like Gartner,” he said. “Though we have also seen SD-WAN providers position WFH deployments, too. This becomes tricky when you … have to battle with other users on a personal network. For example, kids streaming/gaming, other knowledge workers in the home needing internet access, etc.”

We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 top SD-WAN providers. It’s based on feedback from analysts, experts and recent news reports. The providers are making the most of the ongoing competitive landscape and charting success.

May 18

AWS Reaches 80 More Countries, Adds Public Sector to Ingram Micro Cloud

By | Managed Services News

Find out what’s going on at the world’s largest public cloud provider and the prominent cloud distributor.

INGRAM MICRO CLOUD SUMMITAmazon Web Services is adding 80 more countries, for a total of 177, to its reach. It’s also targeting more public sector opportunities through its existing Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Ingram Micro Cloud.

Cisco's Ruba Borno

AWS’ Ruba Borno

Ruba Borno, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances at AWS, made the announcements Wednesday morning during her keynote session at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Miami Beach.

First, she told Channel Futures in a pre-speech interview on May 17, AWS’ bigger footprint marks “a pretty material jump in terms of availability.”

As such, channel partners in AWS’ 80 additional countries now may offer all of the public cloud provider’s products and services. That makes AWS available in the world’s top 100 countries (by gross domestic product), except for those on sanctions lists and engaged in active conflicts (think Iran, Iraq, Libya, Belarus, the Dominican Republic, and others.) If you’re wondering about Russia, which continues to invade Ukraine, AWS tells Channel Futures: “We no longer accept new Russia and Belarus-based AWS sign-ups and Amazon third-party sellers.”

Bringing Public Sector Opportunities to Ingram Micro Cloud

But AWS isn’t just expanding on its own across the globe. It’s growing specifically through distributor Ingram Micro Cloud, too.

On Wednesday, Ingram Micro Cloud said it’s bringing more AWS platforms and services to the public sector. That initiative comprises federal, state, and local government, as well as health care, education, research, and other government institutions, and non-profit organizations. The selected geographies include the United States, Latin America, Canada, the Caribbean, the European Economic Area, and the Asia Pacific Japan region.

There’s some backstory between AWS and Ingram Micro Cloud that readers will want to recall.

Ingram Micro joined the AWS Partner Network more than a decade ago — with fewer than 50 channel partners in tow. Then, in 2021, Ingram Micro became the first AWS distributor to sign a multiyear, global Strategic Collaboration Agreement. (AWS uses its SCAs as investment vehicles. The vendor funnels money, tools and support into partners’ — often companies that Channel Futures readers view as providers — operations when it sees the right opportunities for growth.) That deal, as Borno put it on May 17, “took things to the next level.”

That’s because AWS and Ingram Micro each contributed more co-investment and innovation efforts, allowing partners to go after potential clients in more parts of the world. The strategy is undergoing its next evolution with the public sector announcement — and with 1,600 Ingram Micro Cloud partners on board.

Ingram Micro's Victor Baez

Ingram Micro’s Victor Baez

“There’s never been a better time for us to focus intensely on our core cloud solutions business, and this SCA with AWS further underpins our commitment to driving accelerated growth for our partners,” said Victor Baez, senior vice president of global cloud channel sales, at Ingram Micro.

More on Ingram-AWS in Public Sector: Partners Are ‘Force Multiplier’

To that end, Ingram will enable its software and services partners to take part in AWS’ public sector efforts (incidentally, AWS is holding its Public Sector Summit in Washington, D.C., next week). To achieve this, Ingram Micro says it will do the following:

  • Provide frameworks around engaging with and supporting public sector clients;
  • Develop new offerings on AWS; and
  • Train its own people to better support channel partners across sales and technical enablement, practice development, professional services, and business and financial support.

The AWS-Ingram Micro Cloud public sector work applies to more than 20 countries, with Canada, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore and India representing just some of those regions.

“[W]e’re looking forward to helping thousands of channel partners and our joint customers grow and transform their business, accelerate their AWS development journey and launch new solutions that will help public sector organizations meet their mission,” said Jeff Kratz, general manager, worldwide public sector partners, at AWS. (Kratz replaced Sandy Carter who left late last year to run Web 3.0 startup Unstoppable Domains.)

Borno agreed.

“Ingram is an amazing partner at enabling other partners to make better use of AWS services,” she said.

Outfitting Ingram Micro Cloud partners with public sector capabilities comes at an important time for AWS. The United States federal government alone is expected to spend $8.5 billion in 2023, per Bloomberg Government. Other governments are on pace to follow suit. AWS, for its part, wants its piece of the pie, and the channel is key to its success.

“We’ve been investing quite a bit in helping our public sector clients transform, and we see more and more of a need for that, and not just in the United States,” Borno said. “Public sector customers are transforming and we’re excited about the pace of transformation.”

And partners, she noted, “are our biggest force multiplier.”

 

May 18

Marketing All-Stars Share Their Focus for 2022 and Beyond

By | Managed Services News

Where do our CMO roundtable members expect to be concentrating their efforts in the months ahead?

What will our marketing all-stars be focusing on in 2022? That was the “lightning round” question with which Allison Bergamo topped off the CMO Roundtable at Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Bergamo Marketing Group's Allison Bergamo

Bergamo Marketing Group’s Allison Bergamo

The roundtable participants included Amy Bailey, senior vice president of marketing for Telarus; Nick Bandy, CMO at LiveVox; Theresa Caragol, CEO of AchieveUnite; Jamie Domenici, CMO of GoTo; Brian Gilman, CMO at IntelePeer; Khali Henderson, senior partner at BuzzTheory; Amanda Lee, senior vice president of global communications at Pax8; Michelle Ragusa-McBain, leader for the global partner organization at Cisco; Brittany Watts, marketing director for Informa Tech; and Dalyn Wertz, executive director, indirect channel program and marketing for Comcast Business.

Telarus' Amy Bailey

Telarus’ Amy Bailey

LiveVox's Nick Bandy

LiveVox’s Nick Bandy

AchieveUnite's Theresa Caragol

AchieveUnite’s Theresa Caragol

GoTo's Jamie Domenici

GoTo’s Jamie Domenici

IntelePeer's Brian Gilman

IntelePeer’s Brian Gilman

In part one, the group shared what they were doing to maintain a consistent presence with clients, partners and peers in the ever-changing ICT channel.

 

 

Comcast Business' Dalyn Wertz

Comcast Business’ Dalyn Wertz

Informa Tech's Brittany Watts

Informa Tech’s Brittany Watts

Cisco's Michelle McBain

Cisco’s Michelle Ragusa-McBain

Pax8's Amanda Lee

Pax8’s Amanda Lee

Buzz Theory's Khali Henderson

Buzz Theory’s Khali Henderson

In part two, they provided insights on how they were keeping their teams up and running despite the talent shortage precipitated by “The Great Resignation.”

In this third and final installment of the series, they look ahead to the next six to 12 months and predict what will be their primary area of focus.

Click through the gallery above to see what they think will be their priorities in the months ahead. 

 

May 17

A Sneak Peek at the 2022 BrightCloud Threat Report

By | Managed Services News

The 2022 threat report shows soaring ransomware payments, consistent infections, deceptive URLs and more.

Cyber threats are becoming increasingly difficult to detect. Cybercriminals are also becoming experts in deception. What does this mean for your business? How can you keep your family members safe online and reassure your customers you are protecting their data?

Our threat research analysts have complied the latest threat intelligence data to bring you the most cutting-edge and insightful information about the most recent cyber threats and what they mean for you.

Below is a summary and sneak peek from the full report. http://channelpartners.com/

Malware Infections Are Not Equal

Whether you operate a business or spend time online surfing the web, malware remains a concern. In the last year, 86% of malware remained unique to a PC, which has been consistent for the past few years. This implies attackers are obtaining a level of consistency in what they do to avoid being caught.

While the goal of spreading infection is top of mind for a bad actor, infection rates are not equal. When we compared the trends between businesses and consumers, there are some marked differences:

  • 53% of consumer PCs were infected more than once, but businesses lag in migrating from Windows 7, leaving them more suspectable to infection.
  • For medium-sized organizations (21 to 100 licensed PCs) infection rates are just over one-third (34%), infecting nine PCs on average.
  • The manufacturing, public administration and information sectors experienced higher-than-average infection rates.

If your business falls within these industries or if you’re concerned your personal PC could be prone to infection, read the complete section on malware in the 2022 BrightCloud Threat Report. It’s chock full of insights into the differences in infection rates by type of PC, region and industry.

Skyrocketing Ransomware Payments Will Cost More Than Just Revenue

If you’re a small-business owner, you don’t need to be told that you’ve suffered immensely throughout the pandemic. Exposure to ransomware is just another element you’ve had to consider. Ransomware continues to plague small to midsize businesses (SMBs). While this is not a new revelation, the smallest organizations, those with 100 employees or less, accounted for 44% of ransomware victims last year.

That’s nearly half.

Why do cybercriminals focus on SMBs? Attacks on larger enterprises and state-owned entities bring a level of publicity and attention that makes it harder for bad actors to achieve their goal of a financial payout. SMBs have fewer resources with which to respond and are thus more likely to pay–and pay a lot. The year-end average for 2021 more than doubled the 2020 average, reaching $322,168. With limited resources at their disposal, the smallest of organizations are faced with tough decisions ahead when it comes to making ransomware payments and disclosing their decision to do so.

Law enforcement agencies are starting to gain headway with ransomware gangs. To learn how countries are banding together to shut down notorious groups like REvil and DarkSide, check out the ransomware section of the full report.

High-Risk URLs Are Phishing for Your Data in the Most Benign of Locations

We discovered four million new high-risk URLs were in existence in 2021. To make matters worse, almost 66% of them involved phishing. Cybercriminals look to certain times of the year to execute their attacks.They are also keen to impersonate well-known brands to lure you into clicking on malicious links. Our complete list of top brands that are most impersonated is available in the phishing section of our full report.

Cyber Threats Can Be Thwarted through Cyber Resilience

“Businesses’ ability to prepare for and recover from threats will increase as they integrate cyber resilience into their technologies, processes, and people,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText CEO & CTO. “With security risks escalating worldwide and a persistent state of ‘unprecedented’ threats, compromises are inevitable. This year’s findings reiterate the need for organizations to deploy strong multi-layered security defenses to help them remain at the heart of cyber resilience and circumvent even the most creative cybercriminals.”

Our full report helps you uncover the latest cyber trends powered by our BrightCloud Threat Intelligence platform. To learn more and empower your cyber know-how, download the 2022 BrightCloud Threat Report.

 

Grayson Milbourne is the Security Intelligence Director at Webroot, where he has worked for the past 14 years. In his current role, Grayson works to support the Product Management team to ensure Webroot products are effective against today’s most advanced threats.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

May 17

6 Takeaways from the Ingram Micro Executive Panel

By | Managed Services News

“Ingram’s role is to be the enabler of an ecosystem,” one panelist said.

Ingram Micro is holding its Cloud Summit in Miami this week with more than 1,600 attendees. Before the conference’s official opening, Ingram Micro executives and partners held a press conference for both journalists and analysts. There they discussed a range of topics — everything from the supply chain crisis to the tech talent gap to redefining the role of digital transformation in the channel.

Ingram Micro's Sanjib Sahoo

Ingram Micro’s Sanjib Sahoo

When it comes to the concept of anything-as-a-service, executives said it changed the way they sell.

“Anything-as-a-service gets us closer to the life cycle model,” said Sanjib Sahoo, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Ingram Micro. To learn more about what executives meant by that and other concepts, click on the slideshow above.

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