News Feature | December 29, 2016

Managed Services, Networking, And IP Video News

MikeMonocello

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

Case Management

New Tigerpaw Version Includes New Project Management, Merge Quoting, More

Tigerpaw Software has released a new version of its professional services automation (PSA) software, enhancing its project management capabilities as well as features to merge quotes and consolidate billing from multiple meters.

Project management enhancements include the ability to create a single project, with single CBI billing, for work from multiple accounts; support for progressive billing for projects with standalone and CBI invoices; the ability to create a quote or add an existing quote to a project; the ability to generate more sales and cost information detail on a project; and more.

New quotes merging functionality gives users the ability to merge multiple quotes for an account into a matrix and create a single, unified quote; the ability to create a new opportunity or use an existing one for a merged quote; copy quote-level comments to a new quote or remove it; set original quotes to a different status, including deleting them; and more.

Multi-metered contracts functionality allows users to define multiple meters on a contract, and multiple meter groups for billing items on a contract; add multiple devices to items covered on a contract; enter usage information for various meters on devices on a contract to compute usage; and calculate invoices for a contract based on meter readings and billing parameters set up in the meter groups.

ConnectWise Unveils New UI, Product Names, Integration

ConnectWise launched its new, fully integrated user interface (UI) recently by revealing to IT Nation attendees how they can now manage all ConnectWise business management solutions from a single point of access. During his keynote address, CEO Arnie Bellini also announced the new names for ConnectWise’s four flagship solutions — ConnectWise Sell (formerly known as Quosal), ConnectWise Manage (the original ConnectWise PSA product), ConnectWise Automate (formerly Labtech RMM), and ConnectWise Control (formerly ScreenConnect remote control/access software). The new UI brings together what had been separate tools for different products into a single platform that has a consistent look and common elements across all solutions.

Also at IT Nation, value-added cloud distributor Pax8 announced it has integrated ConnectWise into its Command Console, a cloud product marketplace brandable for partners. The new partnership allows service providers to seamlessly synchronize accounts, cloud subscriptions, and billing transactions between ConnectWise and Pax8. “Pax8 strategically helps partners build their cloud practices through assisted selling, automated provisioning, and simplified billing for cloud products,” says Ryan Walsh, seniorVP of partner solutions at Pax8. “The integration with ConnectWise enables us to relieve the pain points associated with handling and processing cloud subscription business. By connecting the Pax8 Command Console with ConnectWise, service providers can take advantage of real-time provisioning through Pax8 while connecting complex billing and order transaction details to ConnectWise.”

Milestone Releases New Device Pack

Video management software (VMS) provider Milestone Systems has released Device Pack 8.8 for partners and customers using its XProtect video solutions. Device packs, released every other month, contain software updates supporting new hardware based on requests from its partner community. There are three updates of particular interest in this pack.

AXIS A8105-E Network Video Door Station: This is a full-fledged security camera, communication device, and door opener in a single device. HDTV 1080p resolution and WDR (wide dynamic range)-forensic capture deliver visual identification even under strong backlighting conditions. Built-in LED lights provide identification at night. Axis Zipstream technology built in is able to reduce bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image quality.

Sony SNCVB770 4K Network Camera: The Sony 4K camera with full-frame 35 mm sensor features ultra-high sensitivity of expandable ISO 409,600 to capture detailed 4K/30 fps color video. This capability is possible at night or in extreme lighting environments. The camera also captures virtually blur-free images with a high-speed electronic shutter which gives users the ability to track characters, numbers, and human facial expressions in poorly-lit conditions.

AXIS C1004-E Network Cabinet Speaker: This speaker system can be used for background music and for live or scheduled announcements in retail stores. In-store announcements can be scheduled to inform customers about opening hours and share the latest campaigns. They can also be triggered by events captured by a surveillance camera such as someone entering an exit the wrong way. In supporting this device, Milestone further expands its interest in the retail vertical as desired by the Milestone community.

Aerohive Addresses IoT Security

Aerohive Networks recently detailed its IoT security solution for Wi-Fi and wired networks. Built on Aerohive’s Software Defined LAN (SD-LAN), Aerohive’s solution helps protect networks from attacks, such as the Oct. 16 Mirai botnet DDoS attack, which recruited over a half-million devices in a coordinated strike that brought down a large swath of popular internet services, including Twitter, Spotify, Airbnb, Netflix, and Reddit.

Aerohive’s SD-LAN addresses recent IoT attack vulnerabilities by putting security protection right at the point where IoT traffic first touches the network. This provides a first line of defense for businesses against IoT malware. Via Secure IoT Authentication and Encryption, each IoT device can now effectively have a unique password, allowing it to be uniquely identified and secured on the network. Aerohive accomplishes this using Software Defined Private Pre-Shared Key that unlocks the benefits of 802.1X secured networks, without the drawbacks of certificate overhead or specialized client configuration. Software Defined Private Pre-Shared Keys can be used for IoT devices that typically don’t even support 802.1X. Customers can create (and revoke) tens of thousands of unique keys for individual or groups of devices on the same SSID that can be managed and distributed via the cloud, mobile applications, or user self-registration.

Other features include a deep packet inspection firewall at the access layer; context-based policies that define which users, devices, and things can enter the network, then granularly controls what they can do once connected through role-based profiles; and centrally managed policy enforcement to create, deploy, and monitor secure access policies from any location with public and private cloud networking.

Ingram Micro Adds New Managed Print Bundle

To meet the growing demand for “as-a-service” offerings, Ingram Micro recently announced a new recurring revenue stream and subscription service bundle for SMB-focused channel partners in the U.S. Available now, Ingram Micro’s Managed Print Complete (MPC) program allows VARs and MSPs to offer single or multi-function printers, toner, and an extended warranty for a fixed monthly subscription. The as-a-service subscription offer sells as a flexible program whereby the customer can refresh and renew the service at any time, or purchase the printer at the end of the subscription term.

A recent survey fielded by Ingram Micro notes 65 percent of SMB channel partners polled are in favor of “print-as-a-service.” The top three reasons why a subscription model is preferred are that it reduces time spent ordering supplies, provides fixed and predictable printing costs while establishing a recurring revenue stream, and keeps the latest printer technology in play, which helps reduce support costs.

The survey also indicates “print-as-a-service” is more popular among those channel partners who service clients that print 3,000 to 8,000 pages a month. Ingram Micro estimates channel partners’ margins for the new MPC to be in the double-digits. Within the first 90-days of launch, channel partners can choose from a variety of single and multi-function print and consumables leaders including Brother, HP, Lexmark, and Xerox.

StorageCraft Announces New Data Analytics, BDR Solution

StorageCraft Technology Corp. recently announced that the recently acquired data analytics technology from Gillware Online Backup is available globally. This solution, now called StorageCraft File Backup and Recovery with Backup Analyzer, uses analytics to identify data that should be backed up and the data that should not, resulting in an intelligently tiered data architecture that provides rapid access to mission-critical information. 

StorageCraft File Backup and Recovery with Backup Analyzer is designed to reduce costs associated with backup and storage and saves time during the recovery process by providing rapid access to mission-critical information, which allows organizations to more efficiently protect their data while enhancing their profit margins by jettisoning high storage costs and ensuring immediate recovery.

With StorageCraft File Backup and Recovery with Backup Analyzer, users can manage the backup and recovery process with a web-based interface for centralized installation, deployment, configuration, monitoring, and reporting; intelligently decide what data to backup or not to backup with the Backup Analyzer; selectively deploy the protection level that makes the most sense for different data types; and execute recovery of critical data without the need to sort through unnecessary files.