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Enterprise file synchronization and sharing: Channel alliances take flight

Recent file sync and share channel moves include Accenture's Box alliance, Dropbox's expanded partner network, and eFolder's product debut at IT Nation 2015; other IT channel news.

Accenture's alliance with Box, an enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS) platform, has taken off with a 13,000-seat deployment at Amadeus, a technology company for the travel industry.

The rollout is the largest deployment for Accenture using Box technology, noted Miguel-Angel Garcia Diez, managing director in Accenture's Travel practice. He noted, however, that scale isn't the sole measure of the project.

"It's important to note that the impact of our solution is changing people's working practices -- meaning the importance is based on the use case rather than the volumes," Diez said.

With Box, Accenture's Travel practice works with the integrator's Communications, Media and High Tech group along with Accenture Digital to create specific capabilities, leveraging Box Solutions and SDK, according to Diez. Box announced its alliance with Accenture last November.

Accenture's Enterprise Content Management & Collaboration practice, meanwhile, includes a much larger domain of expertise and delivery than enterprise file synchronization and sharing technology, according to Diez.

"We typically deliver more complex enterprise content solutions than sync and share, given sync and share typically requires less complex integration and user experience design," he said.

It's important to note that the impact of our solution is changing people's working practices.
Miguel-Angel Garcia Diezmanaging director, Accenture Travel practice

Also in the enterprise file synchronization and sharing space, Dropbox has expanded its Dropbox Partner Network, which launched in 2013. The latest iteration of the network works with both technology partners and channel partners. In addition, Dropbox now provides an array of application programming interfaces (APIs) -- including shared link, shared folder, permanent delete, session and app management APIs -- to make it easier for partners to go to market with Dropbox, according to a company spokesman.

Dropbox also launched new two-tier distribution deals with Ingram Micro and Synnex. Those deals, along with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's plans to resell Dropbox Business, will speed the growth of Dropbox Business sales, the spokesman added.

This week's IT Nation 2015 also included enterprise file synchronization and sharing news: eFolder announced the availability its Anchor Not for Resale program as well as the release of Anchor 2.4. The company described Anchor as a business-grade file sync and share service designed to be deployed by IT service providers.

Channel news roundup from the week of Nov. 9

Here's a look at the highlights from the week:

  • Bot-detection and mitigation company Distil Networks launched a global channel partner program for solution providers that specialize in Web app security and website performance. The program offers deal registration as well as support from dedicated channel sales professionals, sales engineers, and post-sale integration and service delivery teams. Rob Rodier, director of channel sales, said the company has signed more than 10 partners thus far and expected to have 20 to 30 in its program by the end of 2015. He said Distil Networks has seen good synergy with channel partners, such as security-centric managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs), cloud consulting firms, and digital marketing and analytics companies. "We are expecting the channel to provide a substantial amount of our revenue," Rodier said.
  • Distributor Tech Data Corp. expanded its agreements with several vendors this week, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and Infinio Systems Inc. Under the new agreements, Tech Data will offer Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Aruba Networks products and Infinio's data center technology in the U.S., as well as Brocade's Virtual Application Delivery platform in the U.S. and Canada. Tech Data also added Mitel's cloud communications products to its Cloud Solutions Store.
  • Distributor Avnet Inc. unveiled the Avnet Knowledge Network, a new sales training and enablement community for MSPs, systems integrators, VARs and independent software vendors in North America.
  • Avaya Inc. announced its Avaya Midmarket Select Program. This program, for a limited number of Avaya Connect channel partners, lets those companies offer Select Engagement Packages, a set of business communications packages that target the midmarket segment, according to Avaya. Select Engagement Packages provide offerings for unified communications, contact center, video, networking, mobility and professional services, Avaya said.
  • Backup vendor CloudBerry Lab integrated CloudBerry Managed Backup with the ConnectWise business management platform. The integration allows service providers to import and "welcome" contacts from ConnectWise to Managed Backup and specify a storage limit and backup destination for every user before adding them to the system. Users can also configure Managed Backup to automatically create support tickets in ConnectWise and provide each customer with a single, unified bill.
  • Desktop as a service vendor IndependenceIT released Cloud Workspace Suite 4.2. The 4.2 version of the workspace as a service product introduces Microsoft Azure support, new controls over how the platform aligns with compute, memory and capacity resources, and more.
  • Artisan Infrastructure, a channel-only cloud infrastructure provider, has appointed Chris Wiser as its MSP channel chief. Wiser joins Artisan Infrastructure following the sale earlier this year of his MSP company, TechSquad IT, to Waident Technology Solutions, a Chicago-based company.

Additional reporting by Spencer Smith.

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Where do you see the greatest demand for enterprise file synchronization and sharing?
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One of the larger demands I’ve recently seen has been between IT and the business units that we work with. The move away from IT as a stand alone producer of products and into the role of a business partner has created many opportunities for collaboration, and that’s where the demand for file sync and share is being felt.
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Thanks for your feedback. I've heard a lot recently about file sync and share for remote access, but IT/business unit collaboration is another interesting use. 
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