Datto partner opportunities expand with Open Mesh acquisition

Data protection player Datto will expand its networking offerings through the buyout of Open Mesh; more IT channel news from the week.

Datto Inc., a data protection vendor that sells exclusively through managed service providers, has broadened its offerings in the networking sector with its acquisition of Open Mesh.

The deal was announced Jan. 31. Like Datto, Open Mesh, which offers Wi-Fi, switches and cloud controller products, relies heavily on channel sales. About 70% of its revenue comes through managed service providers (MSPs), noted Scott West, senior product marketing manager at Datto.

Datto began offering networking products a couple of years ago when it rolled out its Datto Networking Appliance. West said the company's goal was to offer the Datto partner channel a unified threat management and firewall product that it could bundle into other offerings.

"But we realized there is a lot more that is needed ... switches, Wi-Fi access points," West explained.

To that end, the Open Mesh acquisition lets Datto add wireless access point and Ethernet switching technologies to its existing Datto Networking Appliance. Datto Networking Wi-Fi access points, created by Open Mesh, are 802.11ac devices that Datto said self-organize and self-heal in an encrypted mesh network. Datto Networking Switches, also made by Open Mesh, offer Layer 2 management features and plug-and-play integration with Datto access points, according to the company.

Datto has dubbed its expanded connectivity product line Datto Networking.

Open Mesh joins Datto as a subsidiary company with its headquarters in Portland, Ore. West said Open Mesh has many partners in the U.S., but noted the overlap between the Open Mesh and Datto partner ecosystems is "not huge."

Kaspersky Lab boosts regional partner support

Kaspersky Lab has boosted regional support for channel partners and expanded offerings for MSPs in the company's 2017 channel partner program.

This year, Kaspersky Lab's partner sales managers will serve as a single point of contact for the company's partners. As a result, the partner sales managers can focus on smaller territories, which the company said will foster more regular interaction with their channel allies.

"What we have really done is put more people in the field," said Kevin Lozeau, director of channel marketing at Kaspersky.

Lozeau said the partner sales managers, which may have managed relationships in five to seven states in the past, will cover "much smaller regions" and
"spend a lot more time with the partners in those regions."

The small-region focus will let Kaspersky Lab offer partners a higher level of enablement, certification and training to partners, he added.

Michael Knight, president and CTO at Encore Technology Group, said Kaspersky's move to put more resources in the field will help his employees "stay up to speed on training." He said different groups of employees need training delivered in different ways. For example, deployment personnel need training on configuration steps and policies, while inside sales representatives need training on how to quote customers on products.

The more resources a vendor such as Kaspersky Lab devotes to the field, the better partner employees will know the products from a sales, implementation or support perspective, Knight noted.

On the MSP side, Kaspersky Lab now offers integrations with remote monitoring and managing platforms such as ConnectWise and LabTech. The integrations have relevance for Encore Technology Group, which uses ConnectWise for billing, Knight said.

In addition, Kaspersky partner program developments for 2017 include an enterprise specialization for the Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack (KATA) product.

The specialization provides partners "a better differentiation for higher-end products," Lozeau said.

With a KATA enterprise specialization, partners gain access to a dedicated partner account manager, specialized sales toolkits and joint-marketing support, he said. According to Kaspersky Lab, the specialization also lets partners "earn additional margin on registered, qualified and approved new Kaspersky Lab sales."

The company will also kick off in 2017 regional Kaspersky Lab Partner Summits, to be held in six cities.

CloudJumper grows channel through buyout

Workspace-as-a-service provider CloudJumper has acquired an IT services business unit that it said will help expand its footprint in the channel.

Through the acquisition, CloudJumper stands to gain about 62 MSP and ISV partners affiliated with the business unit. The purchase officially closed on Dec. 31, 2016, in all-cash transaction from an undisclosed seller.

"I have gone through several acquisitions at previous companies. ... This has been by far the smoothest that I've ever been a part of," said Max Pruger, chief sales officer at CloudJumper.

CloudJumper has transitioned the new partners over to its sales environments and IT portal, he said. The company will convert partners to its billing platform next week and anticipates immediate financial gains.

"From a financial perspective, we had a great year last year. We doubled in size both in revenue and in partner count," Pruger said. CloudJumper expects to double in size again in 2017.

According to Pruger, the acquisition was CloudJumper's first since spinning out of its sister company, nGenx, in 2016. While CloudJumper has no other imminent acquisitions on the horizon, Pruger said he "would not be surprised" to see another buyout by year's end. He noted CloudJumper's background is in the Citrix space and the company is seeing many smaller Citrix providers looking to be acquired.

Groupware partners with Infoblox for DNS security

Solution provider Groupware Technology has partnered with network control vendor Infoblox to sell ActiveTrust Cloud, a domain name system (DNS) security product.

According to Groupware, DNS security is an emerging market. "The DNS security market is in its infancy stage right now. This is the very beginning of securing DNS," said Chris Zwergel, practice manager of application solutions at Groupware, in an email.

Zwergel said he expects a slew of DNS-focused security products to materialize over the next three to five years, driven by increasingly sophisticated exploits, malware and ransomware. Groupware's customers have experienced an "exponential increase in ransomware events," which he noted is an alarming issue as access to ransomware products proliferates on dark web markets.

Other news

Here's a look at other highlights from the week:

  • Green Cloud Technologies, a channel-exclusive cloud provider, closed on its acquisition of cloud solutions provider Cirrity. According to Green Cloud, the buyout will expand its capacity and data center presence and bolster its security and compliance services.
  • Avnet has added HotLink Corp.'s offerings for hybrid IT to its distributor line card. HotLink Cloud-Attach Platform, which integrates on-premises VMware environments to public cloud resources such as Amazon Web Services, is available to Avnet channel partners in the U.S. and Canada.
  • EiQ Networks, which offers security as a service, said it now provides a cloud-native patch management-as-a-service offering as part of the company's SOCVue Security Operations and Analytics Platform.
  • AppRiver, a cloud cybersecurity firm, released a free email marketing tool for its partners. The tool, called appMailer, lets partners distribute co-branded email campaigns to its customers. Partners can access appMailer within AppRiver's partner portal.
  • TierPoint, a hybrid IT solutions provider, appointed Terry Morrison as CTO. Morrison was most recently senior vice president of technology at the company.
  • Aryaka, a SD-WAN provider, said Nick Fan will join the company as vice president and general manager of Americas. Fan will lead the company's sales and channel activities in the Americas region. Fan was previously regional vice president at Masergy.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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