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BlackBerry partners tapped for role in new mobile security platform

BlackBerry is enabling channel partners to play a consulting and integration role with its newly announced BlackBerry Secure mobile security platform; more news from the week.

BlackBerry Ltd. is getting channel partners onboard with BlackBerry Secure, the company's newly unveiled mobile security platform.

BlackBerry partners are being primed to market the company's new platform, which debuted Dec. 8. BlackBerry Secure, according to the company, wraps up the integration of technologies BlackBerry has acquired in recent years through deals involving such companies as Good Technology, WatchDox, AtHoc and Encription.

The vendor said BlackBerry Secure, which targets the internet of things, is central to its software push. The company, once known as smartphone maker, has been shifting into enterprise mobility management and earlier this year outsourced device manufacturing to its partners.

BlackBerry is now cultivating channel partners for its software initiative. The company has 1,200 partners globally that work with the software side of its business. Many of those partners came through the consolidation of the acquired companies' channel programs. But about 450 out of the 1,200 companies are net-new partners that have signed on with BlackBerry since the company revamped its channel program in May 2016, according to Richard McLeod, global vice president of enterprise software channels at BlackBerry.

"We are looking for partners that want to continue to move up the application curve and continue to grow services capabilities and application integration capabilities," McLeod said.

Indeed, an emerging role for BlackBerry partners is in integrating BlackBerry platform components into applications. BlackBerry Secure includes a software development kit (SDK) that lets partners integrate such technologies as BlackBerry Unified Endpoint Management endpoint security (formerly BES12), BlackBerry Workspaces enterprise file sync-and-share software (formerly WatchDox) and BlackBerry Dynamics mobile security (formerly Good Dynamics), for example.

We are looking for partners that want to continue to move up the application curve and continue to grow services capabilities and application integration capabilities.
Richard McLeodglobal vice president of enterprise software channels at BlackBerry

BlackBerry has developed partner roles, or competencies, reflecting the company's software suite approach and integration drive.

BlackBerry partners in the Gold and Platinum levels of the company's partner program can become accredited in the Customer Success Management competency. Partners in that role work with customers to make sure they "get the maximum return and usage" out of the suite-oriented software, McLeod noted. He said Customer Success Management partners conduct quarterly reviews with customers, consulting on new applications and use cases that a business may explore.

The Applications Consultancy and Integration competency, meanwhile, is a specialization in which partners use BlackBerry's SDK, APIs and connectors to link the security platform with horizontal or vertical business applications. Partners in this role can use the SDK to integrate with commercially available applications and work with clients to integrate BlackBerry Secure into custom applications.

McLeod said integration generates consulting and professional services dollars for BlackBerry partners.

Gigamon on the hunt for cloud partners

Network visibility vendor Gigamon Inc. is looking to build out its channel community and partner resources to capture cloud market opportunities.

Gigamon's recent launch of its Visibility Platform for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud enabled the company to offer "holistic visibility for data in motion, whether on premises or in the cloud," said Barbara Spicek, vice president of worldwide channel at Gigamon, based in Santa Clara, Calif. "For the Gigamon partner community, this obviously means also that we are automatically providing new business opportunities."

Gigamon is currently looking to link up with its partners that have cloud practices. The vendor is also working closely with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the AWS channel community, she said.

Additionally, Gigamon will look to enable its VARs that have yet to make the transition to the cloud market. However, "some of [our partners] will remain and stay in that classical hardware-software business and are not interested" in cloud business, she said.

Spicek revealed Gigamon will launch a cloud partner program next year, slated for the second quarter, and update its learning management systems in the first quarter to cover its new cloud offerings. She noted Gigamon is hosting its first North American partner conference in January and expects about 200 VARs to attend.

Avnet adds AWS, Oracle cloud programs

Avnet Inc. added two channel partner programs to its Cloud Marketplace. The distributor's Avnet AWS CloudFront Reseller Program aims to create partnerships with key AWS partners that focus on content delivery network (CDN) workloads on behalf of customers. The program provides access to Amazon CloudFront, a global CDN service. The second program, Avnet Oracle Cloud Reseller Program, offers what the distributor described as an "out-of-the-box branded storefront" that partners can use to resell Oracle cloud products. Both programs are for Avnet partners in the U.S. and Canada.

Tim FitzGerald, vice president of digital transformation for Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, called CDN "a key solution element" in many public cloud workloads, such as web-based applications, APIs and websites.

The Oracle program, meanwhile, opens opportunities for both "existing Oracle partners, as well as net-new-to-Oracle partners with a depth of competence in these solution areas," FitzGerald said. Today, Avnet partners tend to sell Oracle database, business intelligence, analytics and Java cloud services, to name a few, he added.

Other news

  • HNA Group's purchase of Ingram Micro is now official with the closing of the $6 billion deal. Alain Monié, CEO of Ingram Micro Inc., based in Irvine, Calif., in a message to employees, said Ingram Micro remains a stand-alone operating company and now has the backing of a "much larger global company," with $90 billion in assets.
  • EPlus Technology, a subsidiary of solution provider ePlus, acquired Consolidated IT Services, the Minneapolis-based IT services equipment and integration business of Consolidated Communications Holdings. Consolidated IT Services offers data center, unified communications, networking and security technology to range of markets, including commercial, enterprise, state, local and education organizations. According to ePlus, which is headquartered in Herndon, Va., the acquisition will provide new geographic reach among other benefits.
  • Global investment firm KKR signed a definitive agreement with security solution provider Optiv Security to acquire a majority stake in the company. The companies expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2017. KKR's previous security-related investments include Darktrace, Ping Identity and Cylance.
  • Microsoft has dropped Worldwide Partner Conference as the name of its annual channel partner meetup. The conference will now be known as Microsoft Inspire. The first conference under the new name will be July 9 to 13, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
  • Quest Software has named Tech Data Corp. as an authorized distributor. Under the agreement, Tech Data's advanced infrastructure solutions division will provide Quest products and services to North American channel partners. According to Tech Data, the distributor will offer more than 100 Quest products that span areas such as security, IT and cloud management.
  • Security vendor LookingGlass Cyber Solutions expanded its Cyber Guardian Network partner program to address managed security services providers. Through the program, MSSPs can provide LookingGlass services such as threat intelligence, detection and response, and cybersecurity awareness training.
  • Adar Inc., which provides the Nerdio IT-as-a-service platform, unveiled a new partner program for managed service providers. The program offers lead generation, comarketing funds, product and sales training, and sales support.

The Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Next Steps

Read about BlackBerry's move to join an industry consortium

Learn about the enterprise role of BlackBerry's Android phones

Take a look at an opinion piece on BlackBerry-Good Technology integration

Dig Deeper on New emerging technologies in the IT channel

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