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Intermedia boosts support for channel ecosystem

Cloud company will invest in a sales enablement and engineering practice as well as system and tool capabilities to improve channel partner engagement; other news of the week.

Cloud company Intermedia has restructured its sales organization to provide greater support for its channel ecosystem.

As part of the restructuring, Intermedia will invest in a sales enablement and engineering practice, system and tool capabilities, and business and account planning with partners. Intermedia will also expand its inside sales organization and build out a field sales organization. "Some of the feedback I get from partners is that they want a deeper, richer engagement with Intermedia," said Eric Martorano, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Intermedia. "In order to do that with some of our top partners, we've got to be face to face with them."

Additionally, the company will invest in its customer management organization as well as its team for business and partner development, "which will be more focused on some of the strategic relationships [Intermedia has] and managing that," he noted.

Becoming a "channel-first" company is one of Intermedia's top priorities going forward, he said. Martorano joined Intermedia in September 2016 from Microsoft, where he served as general manager of U.S. partner sales.

Close to 50% of Intermedia's total revenue currently comes through its channel ecosystem, he said. About 70% of new business is channel derived -- a number he hopes to increase to about 80% by next year.

CompTIA to launch IT pro organization

CompTIA has launched its first IT professional organization and has acquired the Association of Information Technology Professionals to bolster the new initiative.

Some of the feedback I get from partners is that they want a deeper, richer engagement with Intermedia.
Eric Martoranosenior vice president of worldwide sales, Intermedia

The organization is scheduled to officially launch this spring and aims to provide resume-to-retirement career support for members, according to CompTIA. The industry association plans to recruit new IT professionals as well as offer membership to its certification and continuing education alumni.

CompTIA's IT professional organization will offer individual memberships. CompTIA's channel association, which includes managed service providers (MSPs), offers corporate memberships. However, individuals within channel partner companies may apply for membership in the IT professional organization, noted Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA's senior vice president of industry relations.

"We know many [people] who run MSPs are technologists first," she said. "This could be an opportunity for them" to become an individual member of the IT professional organization.

In addition, channel companies will have an opportunity to promote job openings to the IT professional members.

"We know from the channel and our members that one of the greatest challenges they have is finding IT staff and filling positions," Hammervik said.

Appirio's cloud security predictions

Glenn Weinstein, co-founder, CIO and senior vice president of global services at cloud services firm Appirio, shared his predictions for cloud security in 2017.

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) will become a "must-have feature" for cloud applications, according to Weinstein. He said customers will come to expect vendors to provide both native 2FA features and SAML-ready integrations to major cloud identity providers.
  • Attitudes about cloud migrations will change. "CISOs will increasingly see cloud migration as a risk mitigation strategy. Delegating industrial-strength security to major cloud providers, such as Amazon and Google, will be seen as safer and more scalable than continuing to invest in corporate network perimeter defense."
  • CIOs, to stem security risks posed by desktop and laptop computers, will implement measures to minimize users' dependency on these devices for storage. Measures include designing workflows to make it easier to save data in the cloud versus hard drives. He added that more laptop vendors will follow the example of Google Chromebook, which treats the user-writeable portion of the hard drive "entirely as short-term storage to be erased between user sessions."
  • Cloud application providers will increasingly developnative logging and audit features. These features would enable security professionals to monitor and control user activity "at the source," as opposed to relying on third-party tools to intercept the activity en route.

Appirio, in response to these trends, intends to work with its customers to design plans that take advantage of a predominately public cloud-based IT infrastructure, Weinstein said. These advantages include improved security, reduced risk profiles and a more "worker-friendly IT environment."

Other news

  • Security and cloud computing top the list of customers' service needs, according to a new Kaseya survey of MSPs. Respondents to Kaseya's sixth annual MSP Global Pricing Survey cited addressing security risk as the No. 1 customer requirement in 2017. Three cloud services followed security in Kaseya's ranking: hybrid cloud adoption/migration, public cloud adoption/migration/support, and private cloud adoption/migration. The survey polled more than 900 MSP respondents. Partners interviewed by TechTarget also identified security and cloud computing, along with automation, as the leading technology trends in 2017 in the channel ecosystem.
  • SADA Systems, a technology consulting firm, collaborated with Collins Engineers, a company that provides engineering services to the transportation sector, to create a cloud-based application for managing regional transportation-specific assets, such as bridges. The software-as-a-service offering, called Atom, aggregates data on assets and resources and provides analytics and reporting tools. The application uses Google Maps technology and also leverages mapping platforms, such as ESRI. A SADA Systems spokesman said Atom provides a proprietary technology that enables the tool to sync to ESRI's Roads and Highways linear referencing system.
  • Samsung Electronics America Inc. has expanded its Samsung Business Alliance Program, which the company said provides enhanced benefits for more than 300 independent software vendors (ISVs). The revised program offers ISVs exclusive access to Samsung's products, R&D, channel and direct sales teams. In addition, Samsung's program now includes large technology vendors and systems integrators as part of the company's channel ecosystem.
  • Bluewolf, an IBM company and Salesforce partner, debuted Bluewolf Go, a service that the company said gets companies running on Salesforce in 30 to 60 days.
  • IT service provider Computex Technology Solutions named channel veteran Frank Vitagliano as its new president and CEO. Vitagliano replaces Computex co-founder Jason Haffar, who will join the company's board of directors and take on a strategic advisor role at the company. Vitagliano's previous positions include Dell's vice president of global distribution sales and strategy and Juniper Network's global channel chief.
  • In distribution, Westcon-Comstor has added SMART Technologies' line of interactive whiteboards, interactive displays and software to its unified communications and collaboration product portfolio. According to Westcon-Comstor, North American government resellers can offer SMART Technologies' product line, taking advantage of the distributor's General Services Administration program.
  • In MSP software, SolarWinds MSP, a provider of IT service management technology for MSPs, updated its MSP Anywhere software with new Mac functionality. MSP Anywhere's Take Control feature now provides remote access to Mac devices. In addition, Pulseway, a remote monitoring and management software vendor, launched Pulseway Antivirus as part of its offering.

Next Steps

Read about Intermedia's marketing automation initiative

Learn about Docker's channel ecosystem

Get the details on CompTIA's report on how the channel deals with cloud

Dig Deeper on Technology Vendors-OEMs

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