Panasonic and Cisco this week broadened their services lineups, with the former company opting for direct sales and the latter targeting the channel.
Panasonic expanded its mobility focus with the launch of the P.180 global connectivity service. The company said it has no plans for using Panasonic partner firms to offer the service.
According to Panasonic, the new connectivity service aims to provide enterprise customers and their mobile workforces with pricing predictability and no roaming fees. The service network uses Cubic Telecom's eSIM technology and global connectivity platform. The Cubic platform spans about 180 countries and 25 mobile operator partnerships and has 60 fully integrated networks, Panasonic said. Additionally, the P.180 service provides a management portal, allowing IT administers to view mobile data trends and control mobile data permissions. The offering will be sold through Panasonic's internal sales force.
"Obviously, the channel is important to our business. But if you look at the way in which today we go to market with our existing wireless technologies, with the relationships that we have with our other carriers, we are actually treating this no different than that type of relationship. So we will use our internal teams," said Brian Rowley, vice president of marketing and product planning at Panasonic, at the P.180 launch event in New York.
Rowley said working with channel partners is a large part of Panasonic's culture. The company has Panasonic partner programs for its computer and handheld businesses. "We get a lot of feedback from our channel partners every day ... and we're always looking at ways that we can make their business profitable for them and make the relationship one that's worth their time and for them to be committed to Panasonic as a brand." He noted the company has more than 100 partners.
As Panasonic assesses other areas of focus for its business, Rowley cited a possible opportunity for Panasonic partner companies to offer hardware as a service. "If we start to pursue [hardware as a service] further in regards to the direction that we are heading ... then there may be an opportunity for us to further engage with channel," he said.
Cisco, meanwhile, is targeting IT departments with new services that the company said take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Channel partners will be able to sell the new services.
The offerings, Business Critical Services and High-Value Services, provide predictive and preemptive capabilities, according to the company.
Business Critical Services, delivered via Cisco Advanced Services' technology personnel, aims to reduce complexity and cost through automation and orchestration, the company said. The services also provide analytics and machine learning capabilities, as well as automated compliance and remediation services. Cisco's High-Value Services, meanwhile, provides prescriptive service options at the software, solution, network and end-to-end infrastructure levels, the company said.
Joe Pinto, senior vice president of Cisco Technical Services said much of Cisco's services business flows through the channel. He estimated that 80% of Cisco Technical Services involves channel partners.
- DFLabs, a security automation and orchestration vendor, rolled out a channel program for managed security services providers, resellers and distributors. The DFLabs Global Partner Network lets partners provide customized threat detection, response, automation and orchestration offerings. Those offerings may be delivered for security operations centers, computer security incident response teams and as a managed service, according to the company.
- Quantum Corp., a storage and data protection vendor, launched a partner program for IT data center channel partners. The company introduced its Quantum Now program in North America. The program offers enhanced margins, expanded value-added service options and expanded marketing support and lead generation, according to Quantum. The company is hosting a series of regional partner events to support the new program.
- Atera, an IT automation software vendor, has integrated its IT management system with Webroot's SecureAnywhere DNS Protection. Atera's management system targets managed services providers and combines remote monitoring and management, professional services automation and remote access technologies.
- GE Healthcare's Centricity Partner Program has tapped Masergy's unified communication as a service (UCaaS) offering. Masergy, a managed security and cloud communications solutions provider, said its UCaaS solution has been verified to work with the Centricity software suite.
- Altia Systems, the makers of the PanaCast video camera system, has named Dennis Dyer as its new North American director of channel sales and Gina Spencer as North American inside channel development manager. In their new roles, Dyer and Spencer will help create a new PanaCast Partner Program, as well as a national and global channel strategy, Altia said.
- Vision Solutions, a business resilience solutions provider for IBM Power Systems, has expanded its managed resilience offering. The new managed service line includes high availability/disaster recovery and security expertise, according to the company.
- MapR Technologies Inc., a Hadoop distribution vendor, launched new managed services for its MapR Converged Data Platform. MapR's services include patching, monitoring, performance optimization, SLA management and security updates. The company said select members of its MapR Converge Partners program play a role in its managed service offering, managing servers, networks or applications.
- Aptos Inc., a provider of retail technology solutions, said the company and its partners collaborated on 165 client projects during the company's 2017 fiscal year, which ended in September. Aptos said that total is a record high for the company. In FY 2018, the company expects partners to deliver more than 30% of its global implementations, said Danny Rosenoff, vice president of strategic alliances at Aptos, in a statement.
- NTT Data Services said it has expanded an agreement with Automation Anywhere to include its robotic process automation, cognitive and analytics offerings in NTT Data's automation ecosystem.
- Storage vendor Commvault said its new HyperScale appliance and software data protection products are available to be sold by channel partners.
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