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NEC Corporation of America extends cloud alliance with Magna5 partnership

A cloud enablement alliance between NEC Corporation of America and Magna5 will bring together NEC's infrastructure-as-a-service offerings with Magna5's communications network.

NEC Corporation of America, a technology integrator, has expanded an alliance with a longtime services ally, transitioning from the traditional reseller model to an infrastructure-as-a-service partnership.

NEC, based in Irving, Texas, had been working with NetServe365, a managed service provider in Pittsburgh, under a solution integrator arrangement. In November 2017, Magna5, a cloud and managed communications provider with headquarters in Dallas, acquired NetServe365. In light of that deal, NEC and Magna5 said the companies have "reconfirmed and extended" the alliance NEC Corporation of America originally established with NetServe365.

NEC's business with NetServe365 has evolved from a networking and telephony reseller relationship to what Mike Mitsch, managing director of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) at NEC, called a "cloud enablement model." That model aims to offload the task of purchasing and assembling IT infrastructure.

"As we saw [NetServe365] moving into the managed services arena ... we saw an opportunity to modify the channel agreement into an IaaS agreement," Mitsch said. "We are ... extending the model into Magna5."

We saw an opportunity to modify the channel agreement into an IaaS agreement.
Mike Mitschmanaging director of infrastructure as a service at NEC Corporation of America

Mitsch said the IaaS partnership lets Magna5 avoid the capital acquisition of technology, so it can focus more on professional services.

Another aspect of the expanded partnership is Magna5's communications network and services. The company offers Session Initiation Protocol trunking and other voice services, MPLS and WAN services, for example. NEC expects Magna5's communications capabilities, coupled with NEC's hosting partnership with Iron Mountain, to generate new offerings. NEC Corporation of America operates a data center in Iron Mountain's underground colocation facility in western Pennsylvania.

Justin Cameron, senior vice president of IT services at Magna5 and former COO at NetServe365, said he envisions the ability to bundle telecommunications in conjunction with NEC's offerings.

Mitsch said NEC is now looking to procure services back from Magna5 and offer those services to its client base.

Bystrak to join eFolder

Jason Bystrak, vice president of worldwide channels and distribution at eFolderJason Bystrak

Ingram Micro veteran Jason Bystrak will join eFolder, a business continuity vendor, as vice president of worldwide channels and distribution. The move is effective Jan. 29.

Bystrak will be responsible for developing strategic alliances and routes to market, according to eFolder. He will report to Adam Slutskin, eFolder's chief revenue officer. Slutskin joined eFolder in August 2017; he was previously chief revenue officer at ConnectWise.

Bystrak worked at Ingram Micro for 22 years, most recently holding the position of global executive director for technology partner enablement at Ingram Micro Cloud. Ingram Micro said it will appoint an interim replacement for Bystrak until it has named a new leader.

Microsoft partners feature at retail show

Three Microsoft partners will show off their Azure-based retail offerings at the National Retail Federation's trade show, taking place Jan. 14 to 16 in New York.

Bunsar, based in Istanbul, will feature an app built on Azure that employs AI for visual search and product matching, according to a Microsoft blog post.

Xenia, a software developer in Bloomington, Minn., will exhibit an app that shoppers use on their phone or a retailer-provided laptop that replaces physical shopping carts and checkout queues. The app runs on Azure and integrates Dynamics 365, Outlook and Power BI.

And Aprimo, a provider of marketing operations technology, will showcase a client that uses an Azure-hosted application for digital asset management.

AppDirect targets MSP space

AppDirect, a platform provider for selling cloud services, is looking to forge more strategic relationships with channel partners -- specifically managed services providers.

According to Daniel Saks, president and co-CEO of AppDirect, building out partnerships with "thousands of MSPs and VARs around the world" is a core priority for the company this year. "We are really excited about the MSP space and engaging more," he said.

Daniel Saks, president and co-CEO at AppDirectDaniel Saks

Saks predicted 2018 will be a pivotal year for managed service providers. MSPs will need to embrace cloud, or else they'll face a business "death spiral," he said. Additionally, he said he thinks bundling cloud services with their own offerings will become more important for MSPs this year, as will having expertise on a wide variety of products.

Other news

  • 10th Magnitude, a cloud consultancy that specializes in Azure, has acquired Seattle-based Microsoft consultancy Northwest Cadence. According to 10th Magnitude, which is headquartered in Chicago, the acquisition will bring new capabilities in DevOps, analytics, managed services and AI services. Additionally, the buyout expands 10th Magnitude's geographic reach to the West Coast.
  • SolarWinds, a provider of IT management software for MSPs, completed its acquisition of Loggly, a cloud-based log monitoring and log analytics company. SolarWinds said the Loggly buyout strengthens its portfolio of SaaS-based cloud monitoring products.
  • Most vendors expect significant sales via distribution in 2018, according to a Global Technology Distribution Council report. The 2018 Tech Distribution Outlook report revealed more than 70% of the vendors surveyed expect double-digit growth in their revenue through distribution. In last year's survey, 55% of vendors expected such growth.
  • Continuum, a company that provides an IT management and service delivery platform, said it plans to expand its Sales Academy in 2018. The company said it will offer IT service providers new and improved training sessions for advanced and beginner sales representatives. The company will host a Sales Academy -- Advanced event April 24 to 25 in Pittsburgh.
  • Samanage, a service management services provider, has joined the Dell Boomi Partner Network as a referral partners. Samanage said it now offers integration and custom solutions on the Dell Boomi AtomSphere integration platform as a service.
  • Unified Office, a managed service provider, said Advantrix Corp. has deployed its suite of business communications services. Advantrix, which provides medical billing services, spent more than a year evaluating phone systems, unified communications firms and service providers, according to Unified Office.
  • Cloud data management company Rubrik named Bertrand Yansouni as its vice president of worldwide channels. Yansouni's previous roles include vice president of global partner sales and strategic partnerships at Google Cloud, as well as channel leadership roles at Cloudera, Riverbed and VMware.

Market Share a news roundup published every Friday.

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Magna5 combines IT managed services with voice communications. What voice services are you offering as a channel partner?