ServiceNow partners get workflow boost in Quebec release

The Quebec release of the Now Platform arms partners with new tools to improve customers' digital workflows, as well as prebuilt vertical extensions; more IT channel news.

ServiceNow partners will find more workflow and process design options in the latest release of the Now Platform.

The Quebec release, which ServiceNow unveiled this week, includes Process Optimization -- a feature that lets organizations explore the processes that underly business workflows and identify bottlenecks. Other features include Workforce Optimization, which monitors customer or IT service agent productivity and KPIs. The update also emphasizes low-code development.

Process Optimization helps partners avoid the mistake of building an offering on top of an inefficient process, said Dave Wright, ServiceNow's chief innovation officer. "When a partner is going in and wants to implement a new solution … this is the prime time to look at the processes people have got and analyze them," Wright said. "[Process Optimization] allows partners to work with a customer to map out their ideal processes."

Workforce Optimization, meanwhile, lets ServiceNow partners reorganize work across agents. This approach lets partners shift customer conversations from technology to process improvement, Wright said.

Erica Volini, principal and human capital leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP, said the Process Optimization feature could have a wide-ranging effect on how clients identify, and take action on, improvement opportunities in their digital process landscapes. She also pointed to Workforce Optimization, Predictive AIOps and Incident Response Playbooks as valuable new features.

According to ServiceNow, Predictive AIOps provides insight into customers' digital operations, predicts issues and helps to automate resolutions, while the Incident Response Playbooks feature helps speed up security incident response processes. "These capabilities together set the foundation for autonomous process orchestration -- something we see to be a true differentiation of the platform," Volini said.

Dave WrightDave Wright

Now Platform adds prebuilt vertical extensions

In addition, the Quebec release includes applications for financial services and telecommunication, building on ServiceNow's foray into industry-specific apps with its September 2020 Paris release. The new apps, which aim to help customers quickly launch digital workflows, include financial services loan operations and telecommunications order management.

Deloitte worked with ServiceNow to design the industry applications, Volini noted.

While ServiceNow boosts workflow and prebuilt vertical extensions, partners will have plenty of latitude for customization.

"The Quebec release brings a wide range of capabilities, especially around workflow, but without solutions targeting unique use cases, there is still a heavy lift required to bring value to an enterprise," said Larry Carvalho, research director of platform as a service at market researcher IDC.

Partners can build offerings for industry-specific use cases to accelerate the value ServiceNow customers obtain from the platform, he added.

Partners benefit from industry app play, as well. "Listing solutions on ServiceNow's marketplace will drive adoption and, if priced correctly, can lead to longer term and more lucrative business for partners," Carvalho said. ServiceNow launched its Industry Partner Solutions marketplace in May 2020.

Cask, a ServiceNow partner based in San Diego, plans to develop customer offerings based on the Quebec platform and sell them in the marketplace, noted Cask Chief Marketing Officer Neil Anderson. ServiceNow in February cited Cask as its Americas Creator Workflow Partner of the Year.

Security moves target MSPs

MSPs and the companies that sell to them continue to ramp up their security capabilities.

  • Datto Holding Corp., a Norwalk, Conn., company that provides software and technology for MSPs, acquired BitDam Ltd., a cyberthreat detection company based in Israel. BitDam's platform provides ransomware, malware and phishing protection for collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, according to Datto.
  • Barracuda Networks Inc. added Barracuda CloudGen Access, a zero-trust network access product, to its MSP product portfolio. The company initially launched Barracuda CloudGen Access in November 2020. The MSP version includes multi-tenant management and monthly pricing options.
  • F-Secure, based in Helsinki, Finland, will make its cybersecurity offering available under a usage-based business model, a move geared to MSPs and their customers.
  • NClouds, a San Franscisco-based MSP and AWS partner, earned SOC 2

Partner programs launch

This week's channel program activity covers a range of infrastructure, cloud and security vendors.

  • Schneider Electric, an energy management and automation provider, unveiled an initiative to help IT solution providers build Managed Power Services practices. Schneider Electric describes Managed Power Services as the remote management of uninterruptible power supplies and physical infrastructure, as well as data collection and analytics to improve the reliability and cost-effectiveness of those assets. The company's Edge Software & Digital Services Program offers financial incentives, support tools and certifications.
  • NetSapiens, based in San Diego, rolled out a partner program with cross-promotional marketing, thought leadership and speaking opportunities, and product demonstrations. NetSapiens offers unified communications, video conferencing and collaboration, and contact center products for service providers.
  • MemVerge, a big memory software company based in Milpitas, Calif., said its new M3 Channel Partner Program includes guaranteed profit margins on software and software renewals, deal registration, training resources, and marketing development funds.
  • Zerto, a Boston-based cloud data management and protection vendor, expanded its partner program, adding tiered incentives for partners to build Zerto into their go-to-market strategies. The company said it will work with partners such as Ahead, Cumberland Group and Sirius.
  • Network security vendor Iboss debuted a channel program for distributors, solution providers and other partners. The Boston-based company offers a secure access service edge cloud platform. The Iboss Channel Partner Program includes deal registration and margins for reselling the company's cloud platform and service offerings.
  • Cobalt, a San Francisco-based provider of pen test services, rolled out a partner program for referral and reseller partners. Program benefits for qualifying partners include referral fees and discounts, according to the company. Cobalt said it has signed 14 partners.

Ivanti's new partner program slated for July

Automation software vendor Ivanti plans to ramp up its partner strategy under its newly appointed channel chief.

The company on Feb. 11 named Erik Randles as its senior vice president of the global channels and alliances. Randles previously worked at VMware, where he led global business development and alliances for VMware's cloud management SaaS business. In his new role, Randles will roll out Ivanti's global partner program, which is slated to launch on July 1.

Ivanti partners can expect the new program to feature improvements related to its structure and scale, Randles said. Ivanti will also change how it handles and rewards renewals, provides market development funds, and uses its education program, Ivanti Advantage, to enable partners.

Companies that Ivanti acquired in 2020 will be folded into the redesigned channel strategy, an Ivanti spokesperson noted. This effort will include integrating Cherwell's partner program into the new global partner program. Ivanti revealed in January that it plans to acquire Cherwell.

Other news

  • Wipro Ltd., an IT, consulting and business process services company, agreed to use IGEL's operating system for cloud workspaces as part of its desktop as a service (DaaS) offering. Wipro will use IGEL OS alongside cloud workspace platforms from Citrix and Microsoft, according to IGEL, which has U.S. headquarters in San Francisco.
  • In another DaaS move, Ensono, a hybrid IT services provider based in Downers Grove, Ill., launched its Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) managed service. The service includes patching for master images, security updates and 24/7 monitoring. Partners are finding a role in WVD deployments among SMBs and enterprises.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise updated its portfolio of GreenLake cloud services and related partner resources. Partners can now access modular GreenLake cloud services for virtual machines, containers and bare-metal management, as well as simplified billing on GreenLake Central. Additionally, HPE said it has integrated GreenLake services in the online marketplaces of distribution partners Also Group, Arrow Electronics, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data.
  • GPMF Holdings, a Holyoke, Mass. company that includes VertitechIT and four other consulting firms, rebranded as Pixel Health. Pixel Health will span strategic planning and technical execution and provide advisory services, human-centered design, and technical design and support.
  • Thrive, an MSP based in Foxborough, Mass., acquired Howard Tech Advisors, an MSP with headquarters in Elkridge, Md. Howard Tech Advisors provides services in the Baltimore, Annapolis and Columbia, Md. areas, growing Thrive's reach in the mid-Atlantic region. Thrive earlier this year completed a majority recapitalization with Court Square Capital Partners.
  • KSM Consulting, a consulting firm based in Indianapolis, will serve as preferred IT service provider for the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., under a 3-year, $ 11.7 million contract. The contract's scope includes the city, City Utilities and Allen County government, which share IT services.
  • Virtusa Corp., a digital strategy and IT services provider based in Southborough, Mass., will partner with software vendor Pegasystems Inc. on a digital transformation project with Converge International, an employee assistance program provider in Australia. The initiative will involve Virtusa's Digital Transformation Studio and Pegasystems' Pega Customer Service for Healthcare and Pega Sales Automation. The implementation is expected to take less than 12 months.
  • Involta, a hybrid IT, cloud computing and data center services company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, now offers a CloudOps Workshop. The workshop is a consulting engagement that assesses an organization's current state of business and provides guidance on potential use cases and opportunities for evolution.
  • HYCU Inc., a multi-cloud data management software company, added SAPBasis ApS to its Cloud Services Provider Program. SAPBasis, based in Denmark, works in the SAP environment, providing project management and migration to Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.
  • Bamboo Systems, an Arm-based server vendor located Cambridge, U.K., entered a distribution agreement with Spinnaker, which will expand Bamboo's server rollout in the U.K. and Ireland.
  • BeeCastle, an Australian data analytics company, partnered with distributor Ingram Micro. BeeCastle's software will be available through the Ingram Micro marketplace.
  • Navisite, a managed cloud service provider based in Andover, Mass., achieved Google Cloud Partner status.
  • Digital workspace vendor Cameyo appointed Brad Rowland as vice president of channel and strategic partnerships. Rowland has been a member of Cameyo's board of advisors since July 2020.
  • MSP software vendor NinjaRMM hired Dean Yeck as its chief revenue officer. Yeck will initially focus on growing NinjaRMM's value-added channel program and sales of Ninja Data Protection, an endpoint and backup disaster recovery product, according to the company.

Additional reporting by Christine Yerin Kim.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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