Riverbed Technology's latest version of its network performance monitoring product, SteelCentral, has made a positive impression on channel partners -- particularly Teneo, an integrator and Riverbed Elite partner headquartered in Dulles, Va.
The Riverbed SteelCentral update, released this week, offers improvements to its digital experience management platform among other enhancements. Teneo's CTO Marc Sollars pointed to the integration of SteelCentral's monitoring tool Aternity with ServiceNow as being particularly valuable. "There are a number of customers of ours that are adopting or have adopted ServiceNow," he said. Sollars also said he is looking forward to taking advantage of Riverbed's central reporting dashboard enhancements.
Teneo built its professional and managed services on the vendor's performance platform and introduced a managed visibility-as-a-service offering that uses components from the Riverbed SteelCentral product line last month. The aim of the visibility service is to provide customers with continuous visibility for their global application and network infrastructure, as well as actionable data to help improve performance.
"What we see at the moment is ... big growth within the visibility space and also within the SD-WAN space, so it's exciting to see Riverbed working in both of those areas," Sollars said.
Teneo will continue to develop and deliver more of the Riverbed portfolio as a service and use the vendor's products to "provide [customers] with a business outcome," he said.
In addition to the SteelCentral release this week, the vendor said its cloud networking and SD-WAN product, SteelConnect, now integrates with Zscaler's cloud security platform.
Cisco, ConnectWise launch managed services tool
Cisco and ConnectWise collaborated on a tool that the companies said simplifies the task of creating managed services around Cisco offerings such as Cisco Meraki, Cisco Spark, Cisco Umbrella and Stealthwatch Cloud.
A free trial of the tool, dubbed ConnectWise Unite, is available to managed service providers (MSPs) and Cisco partners through Jan. 1, 2018. ConnectWise Unite is available in North America and Europe and will roll out to other regions in the next 12 months.
The companies said MSPs will be able to use one interface to manage, monitor and bill customers for their Cisco cloud-based service offerings. Cisco and ConnectWise will offer ConnectWise Unite training through roadshows, online training and a webinar series starting Nov. 13.
Panasonic Prime partners see more benefits
Feedback from channel partners has led Panasonic to revamp its Prime Partner Program to include additional marketing funds, among other new perks.
The Prime program, which exists under Panasonic's general reseller program, offers partners additional benefits "above and beyond what you would receive just by being part of the general program," said Dominick Passanante, senior director of sales at Panasonic. Partners can qualify for the Prime program if they agree not to sell or carry competitive products, he said.
Under the revised program, Prime partners gain access to additional market development funds and an expanded pool of demo units, Passanante said. Panasonic will also list its top-tier Prime resellers on the company website. Other program enhancements include a flat discount percentage off products and an annual rebate for achieving a certain percentage of business growth year over year.
Panasonic has about 200 resellers in its partner program and about 34 of those are Prime partners, Passanante said. The Prime program changes went into effect last month.
- In M&A activity, systems integrator Sirius Computer Solutions acquired enterprise solution provider Forsythe Technology. Sirius said the acquisition will expand its security, risk management and data center transformation offerings. The Forsythe purchase marks Sirius' seventh acquisition since 2014. Previous acquisitions include solution provider Force 3.
- Having trouble hiring security personnel? You're not alone. IT security, cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence (tied with DevOps) are the hardest skills to fill, according to a NetEnrich survey published this week. The survey polled more than 200 IT professionals in the IT services sector.
- IBM unveiled the winner of Watson Build, a competition for IBM partners to develop working prototypes of their Watson-based business ideas. The grand prize went to B.digital, an Italian cognitive innovation company, for their precision farming tool, BioBotGuard. For winning Watson Build, IBM will provide B.digital with go-to-market support, recognition and promotions, IBM said.
- Atera updated its cloud-based IT automation platform for MSPs with new security and automation functionalities, increased system control and monitoring, patch management and 24/7 app support with Atera specialists.
- NinjaRMM, which provides a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform for MSPs, integrated its platform with patch vendor Ivanti's management software. The integration is available to current NinjaRMM users, an Ivanti spokesperson said.
- Value-added cloud distributor Pax8 promoted Jennifer Bodell to vice president of channel and Don Jeter to vice president of marketing. In her new role, Bodell will lead Pax8's field marketing initiatives and strategic channel relationships, the distributor said. Jeter will oversee Pax8 marketing efforts, including brand development, lead generation, campaigns and partner-vendor engagement.
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