Intel partner marketplace to drive ecosystem collaboration
Intel aims to make partner-to-partner collaboration easier with the launch of its Solutions Marketplace; other IT channel news from the week.
Intel has rolled out the Solutions Marketplace in a bid to facilitate collaboration among its global partner ecosystem.
The Intel Solutions Marketplace, launched Wednesday, provides a platform for Intel partners to create virtual storefronts where they can market their businesses and products. According to Intel, partners can use the Solutions Marketplace to browse other partners' offerings and engage one another for collaborative purposes. The Solutions Marketplace is the latest move by the company in laying the groundwork for the Intel Partner Alliance program, a revamped partner program slated to launch in the second half of 2020.
"We have this ecosystem across our partner program that spans almost the entirety of our industry, and, oftentimes, the level of collaboration needed between two points in that ecosystem -- or three points or even four points in that ecosystem -- is growing as the complexity of end customer demands … grows, as well. The Intel Solutions Marketplace would be the way that that industry comes together to facilitate that," said Eric Thompson, Intel general manager of global partner enablement.
Intel built the Solutions Marketplace on its Solutions Directory, a previously established feature of the company's IoT Solutions Alliance program. The Solutions Directory lets partners post and promote their IoT-related products and solutions, Thompson said.
Given its origins, the Solutions Marketplace is heavily focused on IoT, but Thompson said offerings will expand into other technology areas. He noted that the marketplace also carries Intel Select Solutions -- data center-oriented products for running enterprise software applications such as SAP HANA.
At launch, the Solutions Marketplace has approximately 4,600 unique offerings from about 1,000 Intel partners, Thompson said.
Making partner-to-partner collaborations easier
Other vendors, such as IBM, have recently made efforts to facilitate the partner matchmaking process within their complex channel ecosystems. There are a number of factors driving the need for partner-to-partner collaborations.
Thompson said the Intel partner ecosystem ranges from ODMs, OEMs and ISVs to systems and solutions integrators, services providers and cloud service providers. Customer demand for advanced IT solutions increasingly requires channel firms to combine their skill sets and expertise in joint engagements.
When Intel designed the Solutions Marketplace, the company sought partner feedback on the challenges typically involved in collaborations, Thompson said. Intel partners cited issues such as finding the right companies to connect with and identifying the right people in those companies to contact. "Our intent was to build features into the marketplace to help solve some of those challenges with collaboration," he noted.
Each virtual storefront lets an Intel partner display a listing of its offerings as well as a detailed profile of its business and targeted industries, focus areas and geographic markets. Partners can be contacted by potential collaborators directly through the storefronts. Additionally, a dashboard gives partners insight into user visits to their storefronts, lead management functions and reporting on lead statistics, Thompson said.
With the Solutions Marketplace launched, Thompson noted that Intel will also continue to host face-to-face partner matchmaking events where partners can learn about one another's companies and forge alliances.
Intel's vision for the Solutions Marketplace is to also extend beyond partner-to-partner collaboration. The company aims to drive end customers to the Solutions Marketplace -- for example, by shepherding customers to the platform from the Intel.com website, Thompson said. "We see this as a good opportunity for us to help connect end customers … to partners across that variety of solution spaces," he said.
- Rackspace, a cloud and managed service provider, augmented its Service Blocks portfolio of packaged services for cloud environments. The portfolio now includes Container Services Journey, a Service Block to help customers develop container strategies and containerized apps; Hybrid Transformation with VMware Cloud on AWS, which offers tools and expertise for transitioning to hybrid cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS; and Data Modernization, aimed at strengthening customers' analytics processes, Rackspace said. Rackspace this week also closed its acquisition of Onica, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Service Provider.
- IT management software vendor SolarWinds released the latest version of its N-central remote management and monitoring tool. N-central 12.2 adds network topology mapping capabilities, as well as features for disk encryption, automation and patching, SolarWinds said.
- NTT Data, an IT services provider based in Tokyo, will resell GoodData's analytics platform under a new agreement between the companies. NTT Data will also use GoodData's technology in its iQuattro industrial IoT platform.
- NTT Data Services, a Plano, Texas, division of NTT Data Corp., signed a definitive agreement to acquire Flux7, an IT services provider and AWS Premier Consulting Partner. Flux7's expertise includes cloud implementation and migration, automation, and DevOps consulting services, according to NTT Data.
- Cost and security are key barriers impeding SMBs' cloud migration, an Insight Enterprises survey found. Fifty-six of the 408 SMB IT decision-maker respondents cited cloud costs as an obstacle, while 50% of those polled identified security requirements. In other findings, the Insight report said 95% of respondents have either implemented or plan to implement within the next year digital transformation initiatives, but 49% rate integrating new technology with legacy systems as very or extremely challenging.
- Cloud managed service provider Faction introduced a free educational series for companies adopting VMware Cloud on AWS. Dubbed "6-Step Blueprint for the Success," the program offers business and technical best practices.
- MSP360, formerly CloudBerry Lab, rolled out macOS and iOS releases of MSP360 Remote Assistant, a freeware remote access and control offering. The Lewes, Del., company said the Apple-oriented releases will make it easier for MSPs to support customers from MacOS computers as well as iOS and iPadOS devices.
- InterVision, an IT services provider with headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., and St. Louis, said it has obtained Premier Consulting Partner status within the AWS Partner Network.
- Wipro, an IT consulting and business process services company, has unveiled cloud Security Operations Center (SOC) services using Microsoft Azure Sentinel. Azure Sentinel is a security information event management offering. Wipro will provide managed cloud SOC services with integrated AI and orchestration capabilities in light of the Microsoft relationship. Wipro will also use its HOLMES AI platform to measure risk factors against compliance standards, according to the company.
- CloudCheckr, a cloud management platform provider, rolled out a global partner enablement program. The Business Partner Program offers business expertise, sales enablement tools and cloud technology to support MSPs and resellers building cloud service practices, CloudCheckr said.
- Coronet, a small business data breach platform provider, is partnering with Coalition, a cyber insurance provider for SMBs. The arrangement lets Coronet's customers obtain Coalition's cyber insurance products.
- Identity services provider GlobalSign has signed up Impression, a Johannesburg, South Africa-based solutions provider, to its Certified Regional Partner program.
- The Internet of Things Security Services Association (IoTSSA) named Robin Miller as its director of channel. Miller will oversee IoTSSA's industry engagement as the organization develops cybersecurity education resources for MSPs and managed security service providers, IoTSS said.
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