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Atos completes Maven Wave buy, boosts Google Cloud services

French IT services firm Atos expanded its global Google Cloud partnership with the purchase of Chicago-based Maven Wave; other channel news from the week.

Atos, a Paris-based IT services company, acquired Maven Wave to boost its Google Cloud services footprint in North America.

Maven Wave, based in Chicago, employs 330 people and expected $130 million in revenue in 2019. The company is a Google Cloud Premier Partner and was named by Google as the North American services partner of the year in 2017 and 2018.

Jessica Wesley, senior marketing director at Maven Wave, said the company will operate as Maven Wave, an Atos company. Atos' financial backing will let Maven Wave "expand our current capabilities and our partnership with Google Cloud," she said. Atos generates annual revenue of more than $12 billion.

Under Atos, Maven Wave also has an opportunity to eventually extend into Europe and other regions, Wesley added.

The Maven Wave deal feeds into Atos' global partnership with Google Cloud, which launched in April 2018. The arrangement focuses on hybrid cloud offerings, data analysis, machine learning and the connected work environment, according to Atos. Atos has opened AI labs in London, Dallas, Munich and Paris.

A report by Forrester Research, a market research firm based in Cambridge, Mass., ranked AI among the areas Google Cloud partners are expected to pursue as they expand their businesses. The Google-commissioned report, which studied the Google Cloud partner opportunity, suggested partners will "move up the Google Cloud stack" with higher-level offerings.

"As cloud migration services increasingly become a commodity and IT spend on data and analytics continues to grow, strong capabilities in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will further bolster partners' value propositions and differentiation in the marketplace," the report stated.

Forrester's report also pointed to differentiation through Google Cloud specializations, expansion into new engagement models and the creation of custom intellectual property as Google partner opportunities. Forrester's findings are based on interviews with 19 partners with established Google Cloud practices across North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.

Reports: Consulting, marketing and security show promise

Industry surveys published this week suggest potential business directions for channel partners in 2020, although channel companies may have to deal with declining IT spending rates.

Forrester points to slower growth for the global technology market in 2020 and 2021. The market research firm forecasts growth of about 3%, compared with 5% in 2018 to 3.9% in 2019. Andrew Bartels, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, cited declining economic growth in the U.S., China and United Kingdom and international political disruption as factors contributing to slowing tech expansion.

Bright spots, however, include software, which Forrester predicts will ride the cloud adoption trend to outpace the growth of the overall market. Technology consulting and outsourcing services, including cloud infrastructure as a service, will also outperform the market.

In addition, the uncertain business outlook will compel CIOs to "shift new-project spending to back-office technologies that can help them cut costs," Bartels wrote in a blog post. That said, most businesses will have enough spending power to support at least some projects that "can help them win, serve and retain customers," according to Bartels.

Frost & Sullivan, a market researcher based in Santa Clara, Calif., also predicted continued spending around customer-oriented projects. The company's digital transformation report cites customer experience, digital presence, and sales and marketing effectiveness as the key drivers for IT and telecommunications investment over the next two years.

The report also notes more than two-thirds of the companies polled believe the sales and marketing function will be the business department "most impacted" by digital transformation.

Additionally, cybersecurity received attention in the latest round of market studies. A survey from Netwrix, an information security and governance software vendor based in Irvine, Calif., singled out security as a "game changer" for managed service providers (MSPs).

Netwrix said 51% of the MSPs that have added security and compliance offerings to their portfolios reported being able to boost customer satisfaction, while 44% said the addition of security improved their reputation.

The company, which polled 50 North American MSPs, also identified vertical-specific offerings as an important strategy for gaining competitive advantage in 2020. The Netwrix survey cited professional services -- legal and real estate, for example -- financial services, and healthcare as the top industries MSPs are targeting.

SecurityScorecard revamps channel program

SecurityScorecard, a New York company that provides a security ratings platform, has retooled its global partner program with new entitlements and incentives. SecurityScorecard also added a distributor to work with smaller channel companies.

The company launched its partner program in 2017 and sells exclusively through the channel. Nicole Stavroff, senior director of channels at SecurityScorecard, said the fiscal year 2020 updates signify a maturation of the program.

In another channel move, the company is working with Lifeboat Distribution. Lifeboat will support partners that conduct one to three transactions a year with SecurityScorecard, Stavroff said. Stavroff's channel team, meanwhile, will directly handle the company's top partners. SecurityScorecard has identified 25 such channel companies.

Other news

  • Apps Associates, an Oracle cloud migration company and MSP headquartered in Boston, has agreed to acquire Strafford Technology, a tech consulting services provider. Strafford focuses on Oracle Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence offerings.
  • The majority of SMBs experience frequent problems with their audio/video tools, according to a survey from OnePath, a managed technology service provider based in Atlanta. The survey, which polled 100 IT decision-makers, managers, directors and executives, found 61% of respondents reported weekly or daily difficulties with AV systems. Poor connectivity was the most frequently cited issue, followed by the inability to see or hear everyone on an audio/video conference and difficulties with setting up or using AV tools.
  • Cynet, a cloud-based cybersecurity platform provider, launched a global partner program targeting systems integrators and value-added resellers. The program offers support such as onboarding and training aimed at helping partners transition into managed security service providers, Cynet said.
  • Trustifi, a cybersecurity vendor based in Las Vegas, has entered a distribution pact with Ingram Micro Inc. The agreement focuses on Trustifi's inbound and outbound email security offerings.
  • ElectrifAi, an AI and machine learning product company in Jersey City, N.J., has launched a global alliances program. The company's shift to providing its AI platform as a SaaS offering opened an opportunity to create a channel program, according to the company.
  • TPx Communications, an MSP in Los Angeles, augmented its managed services portfolio with a managed network service offering. Dubbed MSx Network, the new service spans network technologies such including Wi-Fi, security, SD-WAN and switching, TPx said.
  • Netsurion, a managed network connectivity and security provider, said it saw a surge of partners signing up in its channel program last year. According to the company, Netsurion works with about 500 partners.
  • Global Secure Solutions, an information security management firm based in Accra, Ghana, has inked a partnership with Cloud Range, a simulation-based cyber defense training platform for security operations center teams.

Additional reporting by Spencer Smith.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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