kran77 - Fotolia
As we wrap up a busy year of covering the IT channel, take a moment to review our most-read news stories of 2019. Our top 10 news stories run the gamut, covering shifts in channel strategy at AWS, Microsoft and ServiceNow, as well as developments among global IT services companies such as Accenture, DXC Technology and Wipro. Stay tuned for more channel news coverage in 2020.
Amazon raised the bar for its MSPs in February, introducing more stringent requirements to its partner program. The requirements changes involved certifications, customer references and performance-based audits. AWS partners such as Strativa and ServerCentral Turing Group responded positively to the changes yet noted AWS could improve its lead-sharing practices.
In a revamp of its partnering strategy, Microsoft decided to shift beyond transactional reselling to cultivate deeper relationships across its channel ecosystem. Microsoft also discussed plans to update its licensing processes to enable customers to buy Azure services directly from the vendor. Executives from Ensono and Nerdio discussed the shift in strategy.
Microsoft's Inspire partner event in July, which coincided with the start of the company's fiscal year 2020, highlighted opportunities for its channel. Microsoft pointed to cybersecurity, Azure cloud migrations, as well as Teams and PowerApps, as the top areas that its partner should pursue.
ServiceNow ramped up its channel strategy with a slew of new resources and a reworked partner ecosystem framework. David Parsons, senior vice president of global alliances and channel ecosystems at ServiceNow, said the move aimed to fuel ServiceNow's journey from a $3 billion to $10 billion company.
The robotic process automation (RPA) market saw the emergence of process discovery tools, a development promising to accelerate RPA projects and reduce expenses. Executives from Kofax and Kryon Systems discuss how these tools could potential affect consulting firms delivering services around RPA technology.
In June, Tata Consulting Services cut the ribbon on a New York City-based co-innovation and research center focused on digital transformation in retail. The center's initial resources included a retail-specific framework for AI, machine learning and IoT technologies, as well as an accelerator to help solve business and technology problems.
2019 was awash in high-profile security breaches. Among them was a security incident at global consulting, integration and managed services provider Wipro. The Wipro security incident involved an advanced, persistent phishing campaign and served as an example of the growing threat of MSP-targeted attacks.
The IT services industry saw a series of deals this year: Accenture bulked up Accenture X.0 group, which focuses on digital innovation in industry, with the purchase of Enterprise System Partners. Meanwhile, SADA Systems divested its Microsoft Business Unit to Core BTS, as Wipro sold its Workday and Cornerstone SaaS business to Alight Solutions.
Accenture released a tool, myNav, seeking to simplify the cloud adoption process. The tool gives customers advice on enterprise architecture and cloud offerings and then simulates potential deployments. IDC analyst Stephen Elliot said myNav's simulation capability differentiates Accenture's tool from other firms' offerings.
In August, IT services company DXC Technology struck a partnership with Google to resell Google Cloud Platform (GCP). DXC said it planned to wrap managed services and consulting around its GCP deals. The two companies also teamed up to capture AI and SAP S/4HANA migration opportunities.
Review our top 10 feature stories of 2019