Facebook partner program firms invest in Workplace

Channel partner companies are boosting their efforts to support Facebook Workplace, which is making headway among enterprise customers, such as Walmart.

Facebook Workplace appears to be gaining enterprise momentum, and some members of the social media giant's partner ecosystem are upping their investment in the platform.

In a Sept. 26 announcement, Facebook said Walmart has joined its customer base, which now numbers some 14,000 companies. That compares with the 1,000 organizations Facebook cited when it relaunched Facebook at Work as Facebook Workplace in October 2016. At that time, the company also unveiled a Facebook Workplace channel initiative -- a Facebook partner program that included a Workplace Service Partners category for companies that assist customers deploying Workplace.

One such service partner, Los Angeles-based business and technology consulting firm SADA Systems, has rolled out new training and consulting packages geared toward enterprise and midmarket companies planning to implement Workplace. The company said it has deployed Workplace in organizations that include WilsonHCG, a 600-employee recruitment process outsourcing firm based in Tampa, Fla.

SADA Systems' Workplace training and service packages include Workplace Setup & Launch, which includes setup and configuration of Workplace with security settings; Workplace for Managers and Workplace for Workers, both of which provide best practices for group collaboration; and Workplace Custom Integrations, which the company said includes a review of systems that require integrations and prioritization.

Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA Systems, said Workplace enterprise adoption stems from company leadership wanting to engage more with employees and the platform's ability to enable distributed teams to collaborate more easily with headquarters. He said Workplace also supports the HR department's need to bring employees on board faster.

"Feedback from our customers has been consistent that Workplace improves productivity, which in turn improves the bottom line," Safoian said.

When signature customers like Starbucks and Stanley Black & Decker sign on to use the platform, other CIOs and heads of communication are more willing to see the benefits, as they might apply at their own organizations.
Carrie Basham YoungCEO, Talk Social To Me

Another member of the Facebook partner program also finds Workplace's enterprise adoption encouraging. Talk Social To Me, a Workplace Service Partner, is "betting big" on the platform, according to Carrie Basham Young, the company's CEO.

She said Workplace has also been able to take advantage of the bandwagon factor, citing the use of Facebook's collaboration offering among Fortune 500 companies.

"When signature customers like Starbucks and Stanley Black & Decker sign on to use the platform, other CIOs and heads of communication are more willing to see the benefits, as they might apply at their own organizations," she said.

In addition to service partners, the Facebook partner program includes identity providers and security and compliance firms.

Tintri releases channel-exclusive all-flash storage product

Tintri, a private enterprise cloud specialist, has launched a new all-flash storage product that it said was designed with channel partners in mind.

The new T1000 storage offering, released this week, is built for remote offices and branch offices, smaller virtual desktop infrastructure and departmental use cases, and it will be sold exclusively through Tintri partners, according to the vendor. The T1000 uses the operating system and management platforms used in all of Tintri's all-flash storage and hybrid storage, and it offers up to 10 TB of flash capacity.

"One of the things that our channel partners have asked us for, as well as some customers, is for systems that play better at the edge," said Chuck Dubuque, vice president of product marketing at Tintri, based in Mountain View, Calif. The T1000 aims to deliver on that request.

About 90% of Tintri's business goes through the channel, Dubuque noted. While Tintri focuses on midsize to large enterprises, he said the vendor expects its partners to take the T1000 to enterprise customers as "a smaller starting point" and potentially to customers that Tintri doesn't target today -- namely, smaller enterprises and SMBs.

The T1000 is prepacked with replication and security software, and it's available for order as a single SKU in a customer quote. Tintri said it will release additional software for advanced remote management in the fourth quarter. 

Flashpoint debuts channel program

Flashpoint, a business risk intelligence provider based in New York, launched its Global Channel Program.

The program offers technical, sales and customer support; a dedicated partner portal and partner manager; incentive plans; account mapping; and market development funds

Partners can access the Flashpoint Intelligence Platform, which includes an archive of intelligence reports and additional data sets. The company's business risk intelligence service can also be delivered via Flashpoint's API v4. The company has created a Strategic Partner Network for companies that integrate API v4 into their cybersecurity offerings.

Josh Lefkowitz, CEO at Flashpoint, said partner enablement is an important component of its channel initiative and one in which the company invested. The goal, he said, is to make sure partners thoroughly understand the company's offerings, which employ both technology and human-based analysis.

"That [enablement] is front and center of this program," Lefkowitz said.

Wanted: More understanding on public cloud security 

Cloud consultants may have an opening to educate customers on public cloud security.

Nearly three-quarters of IT professionals don't fully understand the public cloud shared responsibility model, according to a new survey from 2nd Watch, a managed cloud provider based in Seattle. More than 1,000 respondents from enterprise companies participated in the online poll.

The results indicated that many IT professionals believe cloud providers have more responsibility for securing applications and data than they do under the shared security policies of providers such as Amazon Web Services. Forty percent of the respondents believe their "applications and data are fully protected by their cloud service provider," 2nd Watch noted.

Jeff Aden, executive vice president of marketing and strategic business development and co-founder at 2nd Watch, suggested the lack of understanding stems, in part, from IT professionals' grounding in how they have traditionally delivered IT services.

In the past, launching new workloads and applications could take months in a conventional on-premises data center setting. That model, he said, gave IT personnel "lots of time to work out security and governance." But that's not the case with the rapid pace of cloud environments. Cloud services are quick to deploy, so the appropriate security and governance measures may not be in place, he noted.

"Today, with cloud, you are able to launch some highly sophisticated resources fairly quickly and easily," he said.

Forcepoint appoints channel VP

Cybersecurity vendor Forcepoint, based in Austin, Texas, has appointed Tom Flink as the company's vice president of global channel sales.

Flink, most recently senior vice president for global sales and services at RES Software, will lead the company's global channel team, which works with service providers, systems integrators, distributors and other channel partners. Forcepoint, which does more than 90% of its business through the channel, had a partner program prior to Flink's appointment.

Flink said the existing program provides a "great foundation," adding the channel team plans to make a few refinements. Those include "focusing on partners with areas of specializations like managed security services," he said.

Forcepoint's motivations for working with the channel include increasing the breadth of partners' portfolios and expanding the company's market reach.

More news

  • Entisys360, an IT consultancy, has launched a Digital Transformation Practice, which focuses on DevOps, IT as a service, and big data and analytics.
  • Distributor Westcon-Comstor and Swoop Datacom Ltd., a telephony-based internet-of-things services and software development company, have partnered to launch ForgeServe, a device provisioning and lifecycle management offering. ForgeServe is available through Westcon-Comstor's unified communications and collaboration solutions practice.
  • FogHorn Systems, which develops software for industrial IoT (IIoT) systems, launched a partner ecosystem that includes industrial solutions providers, IIoT consultants and systems integrators, IIoT gateway suppliers, IIoT semiconductor developers, and cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence and machine learning companies.
  • GlobalSCAPE Inc. has expanded its channel partner program to include deal registration; video-based sales support and training; and what the company described as enhanced enablement resources, such as conversation guides for resellers. The company said the added features aim to help partners take advantage of growth in the managed file transfer market and boost sales opportunities around its Kenetix integration platform-as-a-service offering.
  • 128 Technology, a secure vector routing software company, unwrapped a partner program for its 128T Networking Platform. The 128 Technology Solution Partner Program offers three partner engagement models: Partners can sell 128T software and earn fees for license subscriptions; provide consulting, professional services, implementation and support to end users; or integrate 128T software into a managed service offering.
  • Masergy, a software-defined networking and managed security provider, released its Network Visibility Tool. The company said the new tool, bundled with the Masergy Managed Detection and Response service, provides network insight for identifying and investigating malicious activity.
  • IndependenceIT, a cloud management platform provider, introduced a Windows AppServices on Google Cloud Platform offering for partners. According to the company, AppServices for GCP lets partners manage app collections and deliver apps and data directly to customers.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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