By The Business Solutions Network
IT Channel’s Cloud Conundrum Detailed In New CompTIA Study
Information technology channel firms are caught up in a dichotomy over where cloud computing fits into their business, new research from CompTIA reveals. Nearly 40 percent of companies surveyed for CompTIA’s Sixth Annual State of the Channel report say cloud computing is the number one reason to be optimistic about the channel’s future. At the same time, cloud computing is one of the main reasons that a third of channel firms surveyed are thinking negatively about the days ahead.
“The channel still isn’t 100 percent comfortable with cloud; in fact, they are less sure than they were two years ago,” says Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA. After several years of aggressive cloud activity, the channel appears to be undergoing a reality check, according to April.
“As the channel has had more experience working with the cloud, they’ve seen the problem areas, tempered their expectations around cost and return on investment, and are now in the ‘refinement’ phase,” she explains. “It demonstrates that the channel’s shift to the cloud is not a linear, evenly paced march, but more a case of two steps forward, one step back.”
The channel’s complex relationship with the cloud is evidenced in its perceived impact on dealings with customers. Six in 10 channel firms said the cloud has strengthened their bonds with customers this year. About one-quarter of firms believe the cloud has weakened ties to customers.
Even with the mixed signals on the cloud, the majority of channel firms (63 percent) are optimistic the channel will fare generally well in the years ahead, with large and medium-size firms more optimistic than their small business counterparts.
StorageCraft Introduces New Global Partner Program
The backup and recovery industry is changing rapidly, requiring the channel to keep up with technical advances. StorageCraft believes its new program is designed to help its partners in this respect. Engineering certification is now achievable through a redesigned online curriculum. These e-learning resources will help partners stay current on new intelligent business continuity solutions. Partners will also have the opportunity to use the soon-to-be-released StorageCraft Cloud to Cloud, a data protection solution for Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, and Box. When used in combination, these solutions provide efficient and rapid recovery of mission-critical data.
Additionally, the StorageCraft Partner Network features a redesigned single-login, self-service portal that allows MSPs and VARs to manage their StorageCraft accounts. The Network also provides benefits such as profit margin enhancements, deal registration, and automated marketing tools.
SolarWinds MSP Integrates Risk Intelligence Functionality
SolarWinds MSP recently announced its MSP Risk Intelligence (MSP RI) software is now fully integrated within its MSP Remote Monitoring and Management (MSP RMM) SaaS platform. This development allows MSPs of all sizes to provide their customers with the ability to broaden their managed security services portfolio with a competitive data security offering.
MSP RI is a cloud-based software that enables MSPs to identify application and OS vulnerabilities in their customers’ networks, discover how hackers will get to this data, and then calculate the real-time risk of a data breach and assess the financial liability. In addition, it provides critical vulnerability data from targeted devices including patch completeness.
MSP RI also enables users to build a case for security investment through auditing and reporting, estimate Data Insurance requirements, maintain acceptable risk levels, and provide continued compliance with industry regulations such as PCI.
D&H Distributing Launches Cloud Marketplace For SMB VARs
D&H Distributing has launched its new Cloud Marketplace portal, available on dandh.com. The platform allows small business resellers to select cloud-based solutions for resale on a monthly annuity basis, creating ongoing revenue opportunities and allowing those resellers to deploy more hosted services.
The portal features a “self-service” model wherein resellers can click through a menu of cloud-based offerings, including solutions that integrate with the Microsoft Office 365 platform, plus migration and support. VARs and MSPs can manage those purchases on a monthly basis via the platform. The Marketplace will allow resellers to create a flexible, scalable services offering, and the program will be enhanced with additional offerings by way of storage, backup, security, antivirus, and more as time progresses.
D&H’s Cloud Marketplace model is backed by a consultative support program that is tailored to the needs of resellers in the SMB sector, including migration services provided in conjunction with BitTitan, a cloud services enablement and managed services automation provider, plus dedicated web-based resources on dandh.com. Resellers will have access to D&H’s in-house cloud solutions specialists, and the distributor will host ongoing educational opportunities at its trade events and via its solutions lab training portal. The company also offers a customizable partner services marketing brochure on hosted services, available at no charge through its online marketing resource library, which resellers can leverage to help demand among small businesses.
Avast Closes Acquisition Of AVG Technologies
Avast Software announced it has acquired a majority stake in AVG Technologies after completing the initial offering period of its tender offer for all of the outstanding ordinary shares of AVG Technologies. As of Oct. 3, the two companies have been operating as one. The cost of the acquisition is reportedly $1.3 billion.
Vince Steckler was named the CEO of the new Avast, overseeing more than $700M in revenue for 2016 for the newly combined entity. As of the completion of the initial offering period of the tender offer, AVG’s CEO Gary Kovacs departed, but will be available on a consulting basis throughout the transition.