IBM launches new SoftLayer cloud initiatives; more news

IBM launches initiatives to help partners capture the growing market for cloud; Citrix announces the Citrix Center of Excellence; more news.

IBM launches cloud initiatives to drive partner sales

IBM announced the launch of several new initiatives today that are intended to support SoftLayer, an IBM company providing cloud infrastructure, and IBM partners develop, market and sell SoftLayer cloud services. These new initiatives include new sales incentives, marketing programs and training courses, and build on IBM PartnerWorld's current cloud-related resources, IBM said.

Since 2007, IBM has invested $7 billion into advancing its cloud initiatives and building its cloud-related portfolio, the company noted.

As part of the initiatives, IBM said it will offer improved margin opportunities to SoftLayer partners; create a SoftLayer Services and Solution Provider program; create a co-marketing initiative for PartnerWorld partners; and expand technical training courses for both SoftLayer and IBM partners that IBM Global Training provider Global Knowledge will deliver.

Citrix launches Center of Excellence for service providers

This week, Citrix Systems Inc. launched the Citrix Service Provider Center of Excellence, a resource created for the benefit of the company's more than 2,600 service provider partners. According to the company's blog, the Center of Excellence was created to help bump up the value of the partners' hosted desktop businesses.

The Citrix Service Provider Center of Excellence addresses "nearly every functional area a service provider requires," the Citrix blog post states. Some resources that partners will find in the Center of Excellence include guidance on best practices and technology implementation; access to partners and third-party firms for assistance with specialized services; data assembled by Citrix to help with business decision making; and access to an online community of Citrix service providers, according to the vendor.

The company also noted that it plans to expand its Center of Excellence in the future, adding new resources, practices and technologies.

Intronis launches its Spring Release '14 backup platform

Intronis Inc., a provider of backup solutions for the channel, announced this week the release of its Spring Release '14, a cloud backup platform. According to the company, the platform offers channel partners expanded support for physical imaging and virtualized environments, including Hyper-V and VMware 5.5, and reduces partners' management time by streamlining the tools they use.

Spring Release '14 adds several new features to its platform, including physical imaging backup; Hyper-V backup; expanded platform support, which includes support for Exchange 2013 and VMware vSphere version 5.5; a redesigned portal interface; and improved performance of the Intronis portal.

The new product is one of several products that the company will be introducing this year that tackle the intricacies of new business IT environments, Intronis said.

"Business IT environments are becoming increasingly more complex and data-driven, putting greater pressure and responsibility on the channel partner to protect, secure and recover the entire business, not just the data," said Rick Faulk, CEO at Intronis.

Naverisk and Scorpion Software partner up

In order to deliver enhanced security and authentication capabilities to its global managed service provider (MSP) community, Naverisk, a provider of unified remote monitoring management (RMM) and service desk software for MSPs and IT service providers, announced this week that the company has partnered with Scorpion Software, the makers of AuthAnvil.

According to Naverisk, it will use AuthAnvil, an authentication suite for IT service management, to provide the Naverisk MSP community with two-factor authentication, single sign-on and centralized password management.

"Naverisk was built with security in mind, but ultimately, IT systems are only as secure as their passwords," said Jon Kalaugher, founder and CEO of Naverisk. "By integrating AuthAnvil with Naverisk, we are delivering the tools our partners need to ensure the ongoing security of their clients' IT systems."

Naverisk's bolstered security and authentication capabilities will be available with the company's May release of Naverisk 2014 R1.

Arrow signs Stratus for mainframe-class availability

Infrastructure-based solution provider Stratus Technologies and Arrow Electronics Inc. announced this week that the companies have signed a distribution agreement that enables authorized resellers of Arrow's enterprise computing solution network to provide mainframe-class availability for x86 servers to their enterprise customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The distribution agreement comes shortly after the release of Stratus' everRun Enterprise, a downtime prevention software solution, which, along with the rest of Stratus' downtime prevention solution portfolio, strengthens Arrow's existing management practice, said Mark Taylor, vice president of enterprise servers, systems and software at Arrow.

Susan Bailey, vice president of sales and services America at Stratus, said the agreement represents opportunities for Stratus to grow by expanding its market reach throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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