News Feature | April 15, 2014

Managed Services, Backup And Recovery, And Networking News From March 2014

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

Managed Services, Backup And Recovery, And Networking News

Each month, Business Solutions reports news on business in the channel. This month in Managed Services, Backup and Recovery, and Networking news, Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Conferences will feature Gary Pica, Axcient teams with Ingram Micro, GFI MAX announces App Control, Autotask IT Business Mangement now integrates with StorageCraft Recover-Ability, StorServer launches a backup appliance and a small expansion system, N-able introduces Help Desk Manger and N-central 9.4,  HP develops bundled solutions, snom phones are capable of Lync Device Management, Xerox offers new business tools for partners, and D&H is carrying Sophos’ UTM.

Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Conferences To Feature Pica

Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Executive Conferences, powered by Business Solutions, will feature managed services and recurring revenue advisor Gary Pica at its 2014 events. Pica’s company, Dynamic Digital Services, became one of the fastest growing MSPs in the country, generating more than $500,000 of monthly recurring revenue. Pica’s company was acquired by mindSHIFT Technologies, and he has since launched TruMethods, a coaching and mentoring company that has helped transform more than 800 IT providers around the world. His presentation at Channel Transitions is “Pricing and Packaging Strategies to Dramatically Increase Recurring Revenue.”

Business Solutions is hosting three Channel Transitions Conferences in 2014: the recent Channel Transitions West in Santa Ana, CA, as well as Channel Transitions East on July 22 in Boston and Channel Transitions Midwest on Oct. 7 in Chicago.

Axcient Teams With Ingram Micro

Axcient announced an expanded strategic alliance with Ingram Micro, now the sole distribution partner for Axcient’s Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) solution. By working together, Axcient and Ingram Micro provide U.S. channel partners with an all-in-one RaaS offering that eliminates disparate traditional technology solutions such as backup, business continuity, disaster recovery, and archiving.

GFI MAX Introduces App Control

GFI MAX introduces App Control, a new cloud services management component in GFI MAX RemoteManagement. Initially, App Control will allow managed services providers (MSPs) to manage Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps user accounts, mailboxes, and licenses, all from a single dashboard. With the app, MSPs can perform user and group management tasks in both Office 365 and Google Apps from a single interface and are equipped to resell Office 365 or Google Apps licenses. Support for additional cloud-based services such as sync-and-share and productivity services will be added on an ongoing basis.

Autotask IT Business Management Now Integrates With StorageCraft Recover-Ability

An integration module is now available for managed services providers (MSPs) to leverage the Autotask IT Business Management Solution with the StorageCraft Recover-Ability Solution. It allows MSPs to automate their billing processes by mapping and synchronizing data from the StorageCraft MSP portal and StorageCraft Cloud Services with their Autotask IT Business Management Solution. Users will be able to manage licenses for components of the StorageCraft Recover-Ability Solution, map and analyze account usage and storage space information, synchronize client history for auditing changes, and create manual and scheduled updates of billing information between the StorageCraft MSP portal and StorageCraft Cloud Services portal and their Autotask solution.

STORServer Launches Backup Appliance, Small Expansion System

STORServer has launched a new entry-level backup appliance (BA641-CV) and the Small CommVault Expansion System (EBA-EXPSM-CV), both powered by CommVault. BA641-CV is an upgraded version of the BA601-CV, adding 256 GB of two RAID-1 “value-class” solid-state drives (SSDs). It features front-plane hot-swappable disks and a faster processor than the BA601-CV. The second launch, the Small CommVault Expansion System, provides customers who have multiple expansion system sites with remote sites or departments in the sub-10 TB range. Expansion System customers have the option to purchase installation separately — for multiple expansion system deployments, the customers could choose to purchase one installation and install the rest on their own.

N-able Introduces Help Desk Manager, N-central 9.4

N-able Technologies by SolarWinds released Help Desk Manager, an N-able-branded and MSP-optimized version of SolarWinds Web Help Desk. Features of this help desk and ticketing management platform include email-to-ticket-to-email support, customer portals, and automatic ticket assignment based on issue type, available technicians, and escalation level. It also includes time and material billing, an integrated knowledge base system and survey engine, and drag-and-drop and drill-down dashboards. Help Desk Manager can run alone or integrated with N-central (version 9.4 is required).

Newly released N-central v. 9.4 features updates and enhancements, including the capabilities to automatically discover existing installations of TeamViewer and to establish a remote control session directly from the N-central user interface.

HP Develops Bundled Solutions, Subscription Service

HP is helping channel partners and their SMB customers by providing bundled solutions and by offering them as a service. HP SMB Solutions — based on a previously announced collaboration with Google — are precurated bundles of hardware, software, services, and solutions from HP and other technology providers. HP Financial Services (HPFS) Partner Connection enables SMBs to purchase these bundled offerings, as well as stand-alone hardware products, on a monthly subscription basis.

HP also is announcing the launch of HP Business Helpdesk to support SMBs operating in nonmanaged IT environments. This new service provides 24/7 technical support for a wide variety of PC and software applications running on Microsoft, Apple, and Android operating systems, as well as connectivity support to common peripherals such as tablets, smartphones, and printers.

snom UC Edition Phones Capable Of Native Lync Device Management

snom technology announced that its UC (unified communication) edition Lync qualified phones can leverage Lync server’s native administration interface for device management directly from the Lync server. These phones support in-band device management, which eliminates the need for additional servers or provisioning tools. Required settings (e.g., language, time zone, and function keys) can be assigned by the administrator for individuals, user groups, or locations directly via the Lync server administration interface (PowerShell).

Xerox Offers Partners New Tools, Enhanced Program

Xerox now offers its channel partners the Personalized Application Builder,  a set of tools, training, and marketing resources that enables partners to tailor solutions to their customers’ requirements — as well as differentiate themselves by branding solutions under their own names. Tools include Xerox App Studio, Software Developer Kits for MPS, FreeFlow (workflow software), and Extensible Interface Platform. Partners can build their own solutions or work with Xerox’s authorized developer network to create solutions on their behalf.

Xerox is also enhancing its partner program. Improvements include a six-fold increase in the amount of solutions content for partners, including new campaigns, templates, and the ability to send automated email campaigns. A new SmartPad app allows sales reps to access interactive presentations, videos, photos, datasheets, and brochures via Android tablets and iPads.

D&H Carrying Sophos’ UTM Offerings

D&H Distributing expanded its agreement with Sophos to offer Sophos’ UTM (unified threat management) network security software. Sophos recently enhanced its partner program, moving to a distribution-only model for better pricing and new opportunities for VARs. The full portfolio of Sophos network, server, and end user protection products is available to D&H VARs for servicing customers in the SMB, education, and government markets. D&H is offering a variety of resources to VARs, including a comprehensive online training series and the Partner Services marketing template on data security.

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