News Feature | February 12, 2014

Managed Services, Backup and Recovery, and Networking News From January 2014

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

BSM-Cloud2

Each month, Business Solutions reports news on business in the channel. This month in Managed Services, Backup and Recovery, and Networking news, SYNNEX provides the Google Chrome Management Console, Ingram Micro enters the 3D printing market, and Intronis Cloud Backup Integrates With Continuum RMM Platform. Also, PHD Virtual Technologies offers a new disaster recovery solution. StorageCraft introduces new ShadowProtect Granular Recovery for Exchange versions. FalconStor enhances its partner choice program, Autotask is hosting service desk training, GFI MAX announces the latest version of GFI MAX Backup and CompTIA releases its 2014 industry outlook.

SYNNEX, Google Partner To Give VARs Education Sales Opportunity

SYNNEX is providing the Google Chrome Management Console, enabling authorized resellers to provide Chromebooks in a managed environment to their K-12 education customers. SYNNEX developed a turnkey solution for  its reseller partners to offer, with technologies including networks, network security, bandwidth, accessories — and Chromebooks available through SYNNEX from Acer, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. Solutions providers can manage this business through SYNNEX’ Chrome specific CLOUDSolv marketplace. Additionally, SYNNEX has developed its “white glove” Chrome Management Console service portfolio. This includes a presales consultation to help optimize the campus for successful Chromebook deployment by considering areas such as wireless capabilities and teacher adoption. The service portfolio also includes predeployment service including device updates, network settings, and delivery, on-site teacher training, and a “concierge desk” providing technical support for teachers and administrators.

Ingram Micro Enters 3D Printer Market

Ingram Micro’s U.S. Document Imaging business unit (BU) is now marketing, selling, and supporting 3D printers. Ingram Micro’s 3D printer portfolio includes two flagship offerings — 3D Systems’ Cube, a consumer-grade 3D printer, and the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, which provides professional-quality results. The company has aligned its 3D printer business with select verticals including consumer, education, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and design. Ingram Micro chose these verticals to facilitate finding and training the right mix of channel partners to sell these printers as a part of the solutions they provide. 

Intronis Cloud Backup Integrates With Continuum SaaS-Based RMM Platform

Intronis, a cloud backup solutions provider, and Continuum, a fully integrated managed services provider, announced a strategic technical alliance that consolidates the day-to-day monitoring of Intronis backups on Continuum’s Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platform. The consolidation provides VARs and managed services providers (MSPs) with a Web-based API (application programming interface), the ability to monitor all Intronis backups from the Continuum IT Support Portal, automated ticketing from Continuum’s ticketing system, and greater detail on backup activity.

PHD Virtual DR Software Fills The Gap In Application Awareness

PHD Virtual Technologies, a Unitrends company, now offers ReliableDR 3.3, the latest version of its disaster recovery (DR) solution. It includes enhanced compliance reporting, application testing and replication, as well as additional hardware storage support with automated failover and failback for Nimble Storage arrays. While storage solutions, flash technologies, and advanced algorithms provide virtualization and disaster recovery capabilities, the challenge remains that replication is not aware of applications — or even virtual machines. To fill that gap, the solution includes snapshots and replication for DR purposes. Leveraging the data processing capabilities of storage arrays, the solution allows users to verify that DR plans are up to date, confirm they meet the requirements of service level agreements (SLAs),  keep multiple certified recovery points (CRPs) for failover, and automate failover and failback.

StorageCraft Upgrades Recovery/Search/Migration Software

StorageCraft Technology announced the release of the latest version of its StorageCraft ShadowProtect Granular Recovery for Exchange software, version 8, and also introduced StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange, which can be used with non-StorageCraft backup and recovery software. These products allow for recovery, search, and migration of exchange servers, mailboxes, emails, calendar appointments, contacts, tasks, and notes. Both products are available to managed service providers (MSPs) and VARs.

FalconStor Announces Enhanced PartnerChoice Program

FalconStor has redesigned its PartnerChoice Partner Program, now offering two levels: Premier and Affiliate. Premier partners must achieve annual revenue targets, have a dedicated FalconStor account manager, undergo sales training and system engineer/solution architect certification, and participate in regular business plan reviews. Premier level benefits include maximum discounts, value incentive rebates with quarterly payouts, 24/7 support, lead referrals, not-for-resale (NFR) trial software, and improved visibility through cobranded marketing. Also, Premier Partners are invited to participate in the Partner Advisory Council that will be implemented over the next year. Affiliate Partners must achieve annual revenue targets and undergo training. Affiliate Partners can receive discounts and greater access to sales and support, and they can be promoted to the Premier level once they meet program requirements. All partners will have access to PartnerPlace, a partner portal that features sales incentives, courseware, and sales tools to help position and sell FalconStor technology.

Autotask Hosts Service Desk Training

Autotask’s Product Training Workshops are under way at Microsoft training facilities across the U.S. The agenda of the Service Desk-focused events includes how to take advantage of revenue opportunities associated with Windows XP End of Support. Upcoming workshops are: Irvine, CA, Feb. 18, Bellevue, WA, Feb. 20, Dallas, March 4, and Atlanta, March 6. Workshops at Autotask headquarters in Albany, NY, will be held March 12-13 and April 16-17, including training in projects, contracts, and CRM.

GFI MAX Enhances Secure Online Backup Service For MSPs

GFI MAX announced the latest version of GFI MAX Backup, its online backup service. This version features GFI MAX Backup’s new Virtual Disaster Recovery technology, enabling managed services providers (MSPs) to recover failed Windows systems as a virtual machine. The service includes expanded platform coverage, with added support for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Apple Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and VMware vSphere 5.5. In addition, it includes direct integration with ConnectWise, in addition to Autotask’s PSA software.

CompTIA Releases IT Industry Outlook 2014

CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT channel, recently released its IT Industry Outlook 2014. In the report, CompTIA projects a 2014 growth rate of 3.4 percent for the global IT industry, with upside potential of 5.9 percent. The U.S. forecast is slightly lower: 3 percent, with upside potential of 5.4 percent. In addition, CompTIA’s quarterly IT Industry Business Confidence Index increased 2.1 percentage points in Q1 2014, to 60.2 on a 100-point scale. The forward-looking component of the index projects a gain of 2.2 points, which if realized, would mark a record high in the five-plus year history of the survey. The report also includes trends to watch in 2014. Trends include technology becoming a core competency for more businesses, mass customization becoming more sophisticated, diverse devices flooding the market, and the IT channel investing in technical expertise and reevaluating who are partners or competitors in the channel. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members.

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