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HPE Pointnext grows with Cloud Technology Partners acquisition

Cloud Technology Partners, a Boston-based cloud consultancy, will become central to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's cloud practice, according to the vendor; other news from the week.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week purchased Boston-based cloud consultancy Cloud Technology Partners, which the vendor said will bolster its HPE Pointnext business.

HPE Pointnext is the vendor's IT services arm, which accounts for about a third of the company's overall revenue. Offerings include advisory services; professional services, such as design and implementation; and operational services that combine HPE support and consumption services.

"One of the goals for HPE Pointnext is more and more to introduce a set of offerings through the channel," said Ana Pinczuk, senior vice president and general manager of HPE Pointnext services.

She said Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a company of about 200 employees, will boost HPE's Pointnext business and lead its cloud practice. CTP is an Amazon Web Services Premier, Google Premier and Azure Silver partner, and it's "a leader in the cloud consulting arena," she noted.

HPE believes "strongly that the world will be hybrid going forward. What we're seeing from our customers is ... the need for [consultation] and execution around cloud and making the right decision about what to do with their applications and their workloads," she said. "That's why we acquired CTP. They have a great customer roster, and they also bring a set of IP [intellectual property] that we can leverage."

HPE will use CTP's intellectual property in two ways. Firstly, she said CTP's IP will help train HPE's channel on migrating customers to the cloud and operating and innovating in the cloud. "Our goal is to build that IP up and to be able to train the channel," she said. Secondly, HPE will explore CTP's software-based IP and figure out how partners can use and build services on top of it.

CTP's customer base is comprised of mostly U.S.-based organizations, but with the help of HPE, it will have the opportunity to scale globally, Pinczuk noted. As HPE integrates with CTP, it will look to maintain its company culture, which she described as engaging, passionate and forward-thinking.

"We want to make sure that we keep that [culture] ... because that is what attracts a type of talent that they have," she said. She added that the greater extent of CTP's leadership will stay intact.

Avast rebrands and launches new channel offerings

Security vendor Avast has rolled out its SMB-focused Avast Business brand of products and services. In addition, the company introduced a new partner program that unifies its previously separate Avast and AVG partner programs.

The Avast Business portfolio includes three new endpoint protection products that integrate with the company's Managed Workplace and CloudCare managed services offerings. The three-tiered partner program provides benefits such as support, sales and marketing resources, training, and incremental rewards, as well as a brand-new partner portal that consolidates the vendor's legacy portals.

Sean Sykes, managing director of Avast Software, said the company has been working to rapidly integrate with AVG, which it acquired last year for $1.3 billion. "From a product perspective, we have taken the best from AVG and Avast, and we have unified them. ... These three endpoint solutions provide us with the ability now to protect the device, data and identity depending on what level of security ... [SMB customers] require," he said.

Current Avast partners will be grandfathered into the new program and have about a year to achieve the certifications and business level required for their desired tiers, Sykes noted.

Bluewolf expands role under IBM-Salesforce pact

Bluewolf, an IBM company and Salesforce consulting firm, plans to roll out industry accelerators as it expands its regional centers of Salesforce expertise.

The developments come six months after IBM and Salesforce announced a global partnership. Under that arrangement, the companies pursue opportunities around the IBM Watson cognitive computing platform and the Salesforce Einstein artificial intelligence technology for customer relationship management. In March 2017, Bluewolf launched a practice to support that initiative.

At the time, Bluewolf said it would create industry-specific accelerators to encourage enterprise uptake of cognitive applications. In June 2017, the company's Bluewolf AI Now for Telecommunications became available. The offering, which the company said is designed for high-volume contact centers, uses IBM Watson APIs, as well as Sales Cloud Einstein Lead Scoring and Opportunity Insights and Service Cloud Einstein Supervisor.

Corinne Sklar, global chief marketing officer at Bluewolf, based in New York, said the company will launch additional industry accelerators in sectors such as financial services and healthcare. She suggested announcements regarding accelerators could be timed with Salesforce's Dreamforce conference, which will be held November in San Francisco.

In another move, Bluewolf is expanding its global network of consulting centers, which use the company's Bluewolf Sightline project delivery tool to support Salesforce customer engagements. Within the expanded IBM-Salesforce partnership, "the one big piece for us is our investment in growing what we are calling the Salesforce Garage globally," Sklar said.

Salesforce Garages, she added, let Bluewolf provide "more global delivery at scale" for its clients around the world.

According to an IBM blog post, Salesforce Garages in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Noida and Pune are currently open. Expansion is set for centers in Bratislava, Slovakia; Montreal; Beijing; and Lille, France, which IBM said will open in the next few months.

NTT DATA, KPGM partner with RPA vendors

NTT DATA Services, a consulting and cloud services provider based in Plano, Texas, is partnering with Blue Prism, a robotic process automation (RPA) software vendor. NTT DATA plans to provide RPA implementation and support under the alliance.

The Blue Prism partnership falls under NTT DATA's Solutions for Intelligent Automation ecosystem, which encompasses offerings that let humans, autonomics and virtual assistants work together, according to the company.

KPMG, meanwhile, has formed an alliance with Automation Anywhere, an RPA platform vendor. The partnership marks the most recent addition to KPMG's roster of intelligent automation technology companies.

Anubhav Saxena, executive vice president of partnerships, strategy and operations at Automation Anywhere, based in San Jose, Calif., said KPMG has strength in several vertical industries where the companies can focus their RPA partnering activity. Those verticals, he said, include financial services, manufacturing, retail and healthcare.

Hurricane relief for partners

Kaseya, which provides IT management and monitoring products for managed service providers and IT departments, has created its Kaseya Disaster Response program to support customers affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The company said the program's goal is to help customers prepare for natural disasters and "get their businesses back up and running when they're ready to resume operations."

The program offers dedicated phone and email points of contact and IT-related tips on how to prepare for, and respond to, disasters. Kaseya said it will also partner with and donate to relief organizations in affected areas.

Other news

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

  • Intermedia, a cloud company with more than 6,500 channel partners, revealed it will purchase most of the assets of AnyMeeting, a web and video conferencing and webinar provider. Intermedia said the acquisition will expand its unified communications portfolio, which includes its Cloud Voice product, and expects to release its first integrated offering in early 2018. Intermedia didn't disclose the financial terms of the acquisition.
  • Comodo is offering one year of its Comodo Help Desk support service at no cost to managed service providers. The company said its technicians can handle most Level 1 and Level 2 support requests, noting that the help desk provides assistance with desktop performance optimization, virus and malware removal, and PC and peripheral tuning and troubleshooting, among other functions.
  • Anexinet Corp., an analytics, digital and cloud infrastructure solutions provider, appointed Joti Balani as vice president of marketing. She will help develop the company's growth strategy into new vertical markets and geographies.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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