Westcon Group says Intact acquisition is in the works; more news

Westcon says it will acquire Intact Integrated Systems; Microsoft launches initiative to help partners move to the cloud; more news.

Westcon Group says it will buy Intact

Distributor Westcon Group this week announced its intent to acquire Intact Integrated Services, a Cisco-focused provider of project, support and managed services. Neither company has disclosed the financial terms of the acquisition, but said the transaction is expected to close next month.

Formerly a direct subsidiary of Datatec Ltd., Westcon's parent company, Intact is a partner-focused specialist in the Cisco channel that assists clients to expand globally using its INspan global support network, or to enter new technology markets. According to Dolph Westerbos, CEO at Westcon, Intact will support Westcon's services business, helping partners generate new revenue streams through value-added services.

Microsoft introduces Cloud SureStep to partners

This week, Thomas Hansen, vice president of worldwide small and medium-sized businesses at Microsoft, blogged about the release of Cloud SureStep, a new initiative from Microsoft to help partners who are looking to move to the cloud.

According to Hansen's blog post, Cloud SureStep is a "one-stop resource built within our MPN [Microsoft Partner Network] website." Resources include whitepapers, product information, training and access to communities, such as the Yammer group and the Office 365 Technical Blog, Hansen said.

Avnet Technology Solutions adds SoftLayer to its cloud service portfolio

Distribution company Avnet Technology Solutions, an operating group of Avnet Inc., this week announced it expanded its distribution relationship with IBM and will now distribute cloud services from SoftLayer, an IBM company and cloud infrastructure provider. Avnet Technology Solutions said the deal gives partners access to SoftLayer's cloud services.

The company also said the addition of SoftLayer to Avnet's cloud portfolio will bolster its services and provide a private network that will enhance partner performance.

As of now, the deal covers the U.S. and Canada.

Avnet Technology Solutions falls short of third-quarter expectations

Avnet Inc. this week released its third-quarter 2014 earnings results and said its sales of $6.7 billion represent a 6.1% increase in reported revenue year-over-year.

The Avnet Technology Solutions operating group reported a sales increase of 2% year-over-year to $2.6 billion, which Avnet said is less than what was originally expected following Avnet Technology Solutions' unexpectedly strong second-quarter performance. Avnet said the shortfall was due to a weaker close in the Americas regions than had been anticipated. The revenue decline in the Americas region impacted Avnet Technology Solutions' overall profitability, as operating income dollars and margins at the global level fell by 11.3% and 35 basis points year-over-year, respectively, Avnet said.

According to Avnet, Avnet Technology Solutions' year-over-year growth in networking, security and services was partially balanced by a reduced demand for servers.

The company's stock dropped by almost 7% the day following its earnings release.

Tintri builds out its channel partner program

Tintri, a producer of storage for virtualization and cloud environments, said this week it has expanded its global partner program with new initiatives and tools that offer additional resources, training and program benefits.

The company has added an online certification program for sales professionals; three levels of partnerships (Platinum, Gold and Silver); a mobile app for registering deals and for accessing information such as sales tools and incentives, updates, training and sales contact information; and the Tintri Partner Advisory Council.

CommVault upgrades PartnerAdvantage

On Wednesday, CommVault announced additions to its PartnerAdvantage program that include changes to training accreditation curriculum and tools; the creation of a MarketBuilder partner designation that offers new incentives and resources; and the creation of the PartnerAdvantage Service Provider Edition, a program designed to provide a framework for partners that host CommVault solutions as a service.

CommVault said it has expanded Partner University to give partners access to the company's Global Technical Enablement Center. This resource is designed to provide information, training and tools to improve partners' services work.

The PartnerAdvantage Service Provider Edition brings access to customized software licensing and pricing models, membership level-based discounts and rebates, sales enablement tools, specialized services and technical assessments, and marketing support and development funds.

The Market Builder designation offers special benefits, including executive sponsorship, additional marketing funds, an automated tool for Simpana system design, incentives, lead sharing and a dedicated CommVault representative.

CommVault also said it has updated its partner portal with a single, self-service point of entry.

Total Defense changes its name to iSheriff

As part of a rebranding effort, cloud security company Total Defense this week said it has changed its name to iSheriff. The new name follows the company's sale of its consumer division to Untangle, a network software and appliance company.

iSheriff will now focus on creating cloud security solutions for managed service providers and small and medium-sized enterprises, Total Defense said. As part of Untangle, Total Defense's consumer solutions division will be dedicated to securing and managing endpoint devices in the consumer and small office/home office markets. The two companies will share expertise and resources to accelerate time-to-market for key features while delivering products to customers and partners.

X-IO and FalconStor sign global reseller agreement

FalconStor Software Inc., a provider of data and stored virtualization solutions, and X-IO Technologies, a storage industry company, this week announced a deal in which X-IO's global network of resellers will be able to package and sell FalconStor Network Storage Server. The companies said the combination of X-IO's Intelligent Storage Element solutions with FalconStor Network Storage Server will give customers an enhanced storage solution that includes a suite of data protection and recovery solutions.

The agreement makes FalconStor the key storage virtualization provider for X-IO.

The two solutions are now available as a package with X-IO's standard five-year warranty and backed by five years of support and service from FalconStor, which includes major version upgrades to the software.

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