Your weekly round-up of the IT channel news you don’t want to miss.
AppDirect adds mobile functionality
San Francisco-based AppDirect announced it will be extending its white label cloud marketplace and management solution to mobile devices. The pure-play cloud services company sells MSPs and VARs a platform that helps them – and their customers – cut through the noise and clear up some of the market confusion arising as more and more *-as-a-Service offerings emerge. Just a few short years ago there were only a few hundred cloud applications, but today there are thousands, with thousands more coming. The new capabilities support the intersection of cloud with another major tech trend – mobility (and BYOD). Going forward users will be able to find, purchase and access apps both through the platform and through their mobile devices. AppDirect has also added several features aimed at MDM vendors, including license management.
Reminder: New Canadian anti-SPAM law takes effect July 1st
If you haven’t reached out to an Canadians on your contact lists to secure permission to continue contacting them you are almost out of time. A new Canadian law aimed at thinning the flow of unsolicited SPAM will go into effect July 1st (Canada Day). Under the new regulation, which applies to email, SMS text messages, instant messages and any other electronic communication, messages much include an "opt-out" option, clearly identify the sender and have a valid return mailing address and contact information. Violators could face fines as high as $10 million. While the comparable U.S. laws haven’t been enforced and are thus often ignored, vendors should take the Canadian regulation seriously. Not that long ago the Canadian government laid numerous punitive fines against telemarketers for violating the country’s Do-Not-Call registry and it’s reasonable to assume that the anti-SPAM law will be enforced with similar vigor. This leads to a decent opportunity for service providers as organizations will need to update their messaging systems while many companies – specially smaller SMBs – are going to need to employ more sophisticated CRM solutions than they currently use.
Mitel restructures North American partner program
Mitel partners are currently ranked and rewarded strictly based on the revenue they generate for the unified communications vendor, but that is going to change in early July. The new program will have three separate tracks – for solution providers/VARs, carrier and cloud provider partners. Partners in the solution provider/VAR track, which will include partners who sell Mitel’s on-prem and cloud-based UC offerings, will be segmented into four categories: Authorized, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Partners will be ranked based on a combination of the number of Mitel certifications they hold and the amount of revenue they generate. As one would expect, partner discounts and resources increase at each progressive tier.
Trend revamps partner program with new tiers and incentives
Like Mitel, Trend Micro is also planning a revamp of its global partner program. Driven by competitive pressures from Intel Security (formerly McAfee), Symantec and IBM, which acquired Trusteer for $1 billion last year, the Tokyo-based security vendor has been reworking its market approach to emphasise the SMB channel, including the simplification of its product lines for the SMB market. The new set up, which will be rolled out throughout 2015, will standardize branding, naming, revenue requirements, benefits and will be supported through a new partner portal, simplified training for sales and technical engineers, and incentives that will be applied to partners regardless of geographic location. Under the new plan, Trend Micro will rely more heavily on regional distributors for program management and channel recruiting. A new tier system is being introduced and – possibly most interesting to partners, an up-front discount of 40 points for VARs carrying Trend’s SMB products.
Carbonite releases new hybrid backup appliance for SMB
Carbonite Inc. has released a new hybrid backup solution aimed at small businesses. The Carbonite Appliance HT10 promises to deliver the high speed of local backup but with the increased reliability of a cloud model. The new Appliance makes it possible for partners to deliver centrally-managed local and cloud data backup services. Because the device is managed entirely by the solution provider, it demands increased interaction between the client and the MSP, giving them the opportunity for increased touches and thus, increased intimacy with their customers. You can find out more about the new device at www.carbonite.com/hybrid-backup/how-it-works or, if you are attending Microsoft WPC, by visiting the Carbonite booth.
D&H adds Cisco's Meraki Wi-Fi to line-up
D&H Distributing has added Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed wireless technology to its portfolio. The Meraki portfolio – which was acquired by Cisco in 2012 for $1.2 billion – has been popular with Cisco partners, enabling them to turn wireless access infrastructure sales into opportunities for recurring revenue. According to D&H, the addition of Meraki to its lineup of Cisco offerings will be particularly beneficial to Cisco partners focused on SMBs extend their cloud services practices. D&H is planning a series of Meraki training webinars for resellers over the coming months.