Cloud MSP Burwood Group taps HyperGrid for orchestration offering

Burwood Group, a Chicago-based consulting and managed services firm, launched a cloud management services offering that uses HyperGrid technology; other news from the week.

Cloud management platform provider HyperGrid is putting a special focus on cloud MSP partners as it build out its channel strategy.

HyperGrid, which offers IaaS, PaaS and application management services, currently does business with a handful of cloud MSPs worldwide. HyperGrid also has alliances with systems integrators, IT consultancies and value-added resellers, with about 80% of HyperGrid's go-to-market activities involving a partner in some way.

Manoj NairManoj Nair

"We are trying to build a real joint offering with [MSPs] using our technology platform rather just using them as a channel," said Manoj Nair, chief product officer at HyperGrid.

While the HyperGrid platform provides a broad set of capabilities, such as cloud cost management, cloud application management and governance services, Nair said MSPs can break down the platform into a set of services to package into offerings. He pointed to HyperGrid's alliance with Burwood Group, an IT consultancy and cloud MSP based in Chicago. The vendor's HyperCloud intelligent cloud management platform serves as the cornerstone for Burwood's cloud orchestration services.

Chris PondChris Pond

Chris Pond, president of cloud services at Burwood Group, said the company evaluated a number of cloud management platforms, including options from VMware, Red Hat, Dell, RightScale, Scalr and Cisco, before selecting HyperGrid's technology. "The right platform is what fits your organization, your skill sets, your customer base -- keep going down the list," Pond said. "The market of [cloud management platforms] is changing every single day right now, and it's rapidly improving its offerings."

HyperGrid stood out on a number of fronts. Among them, Pond said, was the platform's ability to address governance-, policy- and security-oriented issues relevant to Burwood Group. Additionally, the company liked that the cloud management services platform can quickly create templates, integrate with multiple other platforms and pull in software containers.

Pond noted that Burwood is finding opportunities to enable customers' migrations to public cloud environments. The company focuses primarily on the healthcare and manufacturing verticals. "Particularly in that healthcare space, the ability to bring in policy, governance, security and basically that crossover of SecOps and DevOps with a platform like HyperGrid, we feel like that's a big catalyst for healthcare to adapt to public cloud environments, much more aggressively than they have in the past."

Burwood sees several customer opportunities in the marketplace, including those related to the "public cloud backlash," Pond said. Customers "made this mad rush to a public cloud environment. They aren't getting the cost benefits … because they never did it in a well-thought-out, manageable way … and they are paying these huge bills in their public cloud environment that they have no understanding of or control over."

Pond sees an opportunity to target customers that are beginning to retreat from the public cloud and show them another way.

Say goodbye to UEBA?

A new report from Trace3, an IT services and solutions provider based in Irvine, Calif., suggested organizations take a hard look at user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) products.

"At this time, it is not recommended to rely solely on a stand-alone, pure-play UEBA product, as these have a limited market window before being absorbed or evolved into a larger security platform," the report, "Security Operations in Flux," stated.

UEBA offerings create a baseline of normal behavior for users and entities, such as endpoints, and then flag anomalous behavior. Market researcher Gartner defined the UEBA category as an expansion of the original user behavior analytics (UBA) tools segment.

But the UEBA category has transitioned since 2016, according to Trace3. Those shifts, the report said, include UEBA products adding security information and event management features, SIEM offerings adding UEBA capabilities and UEBA features melding into other security platforms, such as cloud access security brokers.

This consolidation could see the demise of UEBA as a distinct product category. The Trace3 report cited Gartner's UEBA prediction that the market will disappear by 2022.

UiPath, Booz Allen join up for federal RPA

UiPath, a robotic process automation (RPA) vendor, unveiled a partnering arrangement with Booz Allen Hamilton in the federal government market.

Under the partnership, UiPath, based in New York, will provide its software, while Booz Allen, based in McLean, Va., will contribute its management and IT consulting services. The alliance is among the latest in a series of linkages uniting vendors and partners in the RPA space. Partnering activity has expanded as the RPA industry shifts from pilots to enterprise deployments.

UiPath and Booz Allen began working together earlier this year. The companies had begun deploying RPA at large federal healthcare agencies and within the Department of Defense, according to executives at both firms.

The executives said RPA can be used in a range of desktop and back-office processes. The fastest ROI, they said, will be in repetitive digital worker processes, such as HR onboarding and offboarding, supply chain, data management, financial forms and applications. Back-office applications related to field response, IT service and customer service are also in the works, they added.

UiPath and Booz Allen will make their products and services available via the General Services Administration schedule and other contracting vehicles.

Reports: Employee, customer experience need improvement

Channel partners looking to successfully hire and hold on to top talent should make sure they aren't treating their employees like the cobbler's kids.

A new Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report, which Insight Enterprises commissioned, noted 58% of respondents said their organization's technology offerings "factor into a candidate's decision to take the position." At the same time, however, a bit more than half the respondents cited "outdated and inadequate office technology" as a hurdle in retaining skilled employees.

The results come from an online survey of 241 U.S. business executives, managers and consultants.

Customers, however, are also in need of better experiences. Ninety-five percent of the organizations polled by Avanade and Sitecore said their customer experience is in "critical need of improvement." That finding is based on a survey of 1,440 CIOs, CTOs and chief marketing officers.

Other news

  • Dimension Data and its Merchants subsidiary disclosed the acquisition of Millennium 1 Solutions, a business process outsourcing firm based in Toronto. The company was sold by The Gores Group.
  • Maxta Inc., a hyper-convergence software vendor, has inked a reseller agreement with Connection, a solutions provider in the business, government and education markets. In addition, the company said Arrow Electronics will offer Maxta hyper-convergence software and preconfigured systems.
  • Azuqua, a cloud-based business automation company, launched the Azuqua Connect Partner Program for SaaS vendors and their services partners. Early partners can receive a referral incentive of 20% of year-one subscription revenue, Azuqua said. Adobe, Allocadia, Widen, Workfront and Zendesk are among the SaaS vendors that have joined the program.
  • Advanced Credit Technologies Inc., a developer of identity access management software, has launched a channel initiative, signing partner agreements Synnex, Software & Peripherals LP and Network America Inc.
  • Scalr, a hybrid cloud management vendor, said the latest enhancements of its platform will help partners assess customers' cost vulnerabilities and control costs. The platform now provides greater visibility and budgeting for infrastructure and services not under Scalr management, Scalr said.
  • Security vendor Barracuda Networks added a new PhishLine offering that targets customers with less than 1,000 employees. PhishLine is Barracuda's phishing prevention product line.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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