Dell channel partners adopt ecosystems, industry focus

Dell Technologies has updated its partnering strategy to focus on three trends, according to executives at Dell Technologies World; other IT channel news.

The forecast for Dell channel partners calls for ecosystem collaboration, as-a-service offerings and a vertical-market orientation.

That's the word from channel and industry executives speaking at the annual Dell Technologies World conference, held this week in a digital format. In February, Dell refreshed its global channel program, offering new VMware sales options and an Incentive Center for a centralized view of rebates and other financial benefits. The company also unveiled an Online Solutions Configurator for pricing and quoting.

Dell Technologies global channel chief Rola Dagher emphasized partners taking "an ecosystem approach" to working with customers as a key priority going forward.

As customers focus on achieving business outcomes, they frequently engage more than one partner, Dagher said. A single product or technology is not enough to meet client objectives.

In addition, distinctions among different channel business categories become less important within ecosystem efforts.

"The lines between partner types are blurring," she said.

Dell pushes into as-a-service, vertical markets

Denise Millard, senior vice president of global alliances at Dell Technologies, identified the as-a-service business model as integral to partnering's future. She pointed to the company's Apex as-a-Service portfolio, a storage-as-a-service offering, as an example. Dell this week officially launched Apex, which competes with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's GreenLake portfolio in the as-a-service market.

Underscoring the partnering theme, Dell unveiled a collaboration with Equinix, which will make Apex available through Equinix data centers. Storage as a service has become more important for channel partners as opportunities shift to the cloud and nontraditional avenues for acquiring storage.

Dell channel partners' increasing vertical market focus is the third area of focus in Dell's updated partner strategy. "Our partners are specializing by industry," said Dell global head of industries Hayley Tabor. She cited an example where Dell worked with AI and edge computing partners to deliver a loss prevention offering for retailers.

To be responsive, we really have to lean on our partners.
Cheryl CookSenior vice president of global partner, embedded and edge solutions marketing, Dell

Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of global partner, embedded and edge solutions marketing at Dell, described the current thinking on partnering as "the art of the 'and.'"

Adapting to the unexpected, an important theme during the pandemic, requires a collaborative approach. "To be responsive, we really have to lean on our partners," Cook said.

Forrester pegs 2021 U.S. tech growth at 6%

U.S. technology budgets will expand 6% in 2021, with software leading the way and consulting services gaining strength, according to Forrester.

The market research firm's updated forecast points to rebounding tech prospects. Forrester late last year forecast a 0.4% drop in U.S. tech budgets for 2021, but now cites COVID-19 vaccine progress and federal economic stimulus funds as setting the stage for growth.

Forrester predicted software will grow at a 10% clip in 2021 and will expand 12% in 2022. The firm pointed to continued demand for cloud software and the recovery of licensed software spending as spending drivers.

New projects, many of which stalled in the early days of the pandemic, are poised to make a comeback. New projects will bounce back to 31% of U.S. tech budgets by 2022, Forrest said. New project spending will grow 7.8% in 2021 and see an 11.7% expansion in 2022.

Meanwhile, consulting and systems integration services, buoyed by software spending and new projects, will grow 5.6% in 2021, according to Forrester's projections. Growth will be higher still in 2022, with the market researcher anticipating a 7.6% increase. 

Among vertical markets, healthcare will experience the largest tech budget growth at 10%. Federal funding for pandemic care and a resumption of normal medical care will boost revenue in the healthcare sector, Forrester said. Chemicals, transportation, high-tech and construction will see tech budget growth in the 8% to 10% range, while government tech spending is set to grow 7%.

Kaseya's IT Glue acquires TruMethods

IT Glue, a Kaseya company that provides automated IT documentation software, has acquired TruMethods, an MSP training and software firm.

The deal follows the companies' work to integrate TruMethods' MyITprocess offering, software MSPs use to provide virtual CIO services, into IT Glue. The integration lets MSPs update IT Glue documentation details within MyITprocess. Ninety-five percent of MyITprocess users also use IT Glue, according to the documentation provider.

In addition to software and training, TruMethods runs MSP peer groups. Gary Pica, founder and president of TruMethods, will continue to lead the company and its peer groups. 

In a similar move in the MSP software market, ConnectWise in 2018 acquired HTG Peer Groups. ConnectWise and HTG had also found overlap among their respective customers. At the time of the acquisition, about 95% of HTG peer group members used ConnectWise Manage, a professional services automation offering.

Earlier this year, ConnectWise purchased Service Leadership Inc., a consultancy that provides financial performance and operational maturity benchmarking.

Channel program launches and updates

  • Stratus Technologies, an edge computing platform provider based in Maynard, Mass., launched a systems integrator program. The program offers three levels of certification and accreditation: Stratus Registered, Certified and Endorsed. The entry-level registered status provides access to the program's partner portal and a listing in a partner locator. Certified-level integrators receive an "enhanced listing" in the partner locator and previews of Stratus' product roadmap. Certified partners can also complete implementation certification and use Stratus' proprietary installation methodology. Endorsed integrators, meanwhile, receive executive sponsorship and an invitation to joint opportunity pursuits, according to the company. Other program features include access to not-for-resale units for testing and development of proof-of-concept projects.
  • Sumo Logic, a Redwood City, Calif., software company, rolled out a DevOps and security multi-tenant offering for MSPs, managed security service providers, and managed detection and response providers. The product, Sumo Organizations, boosts visibility and control of observability and security intelligence across managed operations, according to the company.
  • CRM and process automation vendor Pegasystems introduced Pega Partners, a revised partner program. New program resources include the Pega Partner portal and an enhanced Pega Marketplace, the company said. PegaSystems also released new automation features for its Pega Infinity software suite, revealed this week at its PegaWorld Inspire event.
  • AppViewX, a machine identity management and application delivery automation vendor, launched AppViewXpert, a global partner program. Led by newly appointed vice president of global channel and alliances Chris Peterson, the program will provide professional services opportunities, opportunity registration and protected renewals, access to qualified leads, and marketing support. Partners can also access a new partner portal, AppViewX said.
  • Axcient, a Denver company that provides business availability software for MSPs, updated the disaster recovery runbooks for its x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud offering. Other new features include single sign-on and multifactor authentication. Axcient will also offer partners the opportunity to beta test its local cache technology, which recovers data locally with commodity storage to accelerate recovery operations, the company said.

Ingram Micro expands alliances

Distributor Ingram Micro made several channel developments this week, forming new alliances with UiPath, Pixel Health, BeyondTrust and McAfee.

  • UiPath's robotic process automation software portfolio is now available to Ingram Micro partners worldwide. Ingram Micro began working with UiPath in India in 2018.
  • Pixel Health, a healthcare technology consortium based in Holyoke, Mass., and Ingram Micro said they will create a sales channel that addresses hospitals and health systems across the U.S.
  • BeyondTrust, a security vendor based in Atlanta, partnered with Ingram Micro to provide its privileged access management software in the U.S., Canada and Latin American countries.
  • McAfee's Mvision device-to-cloud security portfolio is now available worldwide through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.

Other news

  • Accenture purchased Electro 80, an operational technology provider based in Perth, Australia. Electro 80 focuses on customers in industries such as mining, energy, engineering, construction and utilities. Australia's resources industries aim to pursue transformation initiatives following the pandemic's operational disruption, Accenture said.
  • Peak-Ryzex, a Sole Source Capital portfolio company, acquired Inovity, a reseller of automatic identification and data capture labels, media and hardware. Peak-Ryzez is a barcoding and data collection reseller.
  • Alliance of Channel Women, a nonprofit organization based in Orange, Calif., is partnering with WiseHer, an expert marketplace. The relationship will provide alliance members with access to expert consultations on business and careers.
  • 2SB, a Paris-based distributor, joined Digital Guardian's Synergy Partner Program. The company is the first French distributor for Digital Guardian's Data Protection Platform.
  • SNP Schneider-Neureither & Partner SE, a transformation software and solutions provider, launched three SAP workload migration offerings. Those packages cover SAP ECC landscape migration to the cloud, selective data transition for ECC landscapes, and cloud migration from SAP ECC to S/4HANA. A landscape is a group of SAP servers.
  • Integrated Media Technologies and its SoDA software division will support AWS' media and entertainment initiative. The initiative, unveiled in April, revolves around new and existing services -- provided through AWS and its partners -- built for content creators, rights holders, producers, broadcasters and distributors, according to AWS. Integrated Media Technologies is a design and data management company based in Los Angeles.

Executive appointments

  • High Wire Networks Inc., a systems integrator and managed cybersecurity solutions provider based in Batavia, Ill., hired Don Schmidt as executive vice president responsible company's Technology Solutions business unit. Schmidt was previously senior director of strategic and global client solutions at Black Box Corp. High Wire Networks is currently in the process of being acquired by Spectrum Global Solutions Inc.
  • Komprise, a data-management-as-a-service provider based in Campbell, Calif., appointed Martin Gibbons as EMEA channel director and promoted Ben Conneely to vice president of EMEA. Gibbons joins Komprise from Cohesity, where he was EMEA channel director. Conneely joined Komprise in January 2021 as regional sales director for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Northern Europe.
  • Bishop Fox, a consulting and security-as-a-service provider based in Phoenix, named Tony Needler as its associate vice president of consulting managed services. Needler previously served as director of IT operations at Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies, an insurance group.
  • Network Services Provider Flomatik, a network services provider based in Hampshire, U.K., appointed Dean Checkley as its CEO. Checkley's previous roles include interim managing director at Rural Optic, a part of Airband Community Internet; head of shared services and IT operations at The Law Society; and director of service and operations at Virgin Media Business WiFi. He also had an earlier stint at Flomatik as the company's chief delivery officer.
  • ZeroNorth, a Boston company that provides risk-based vulnerability orchestration, named Dan Beauregard as its vice president of strategy alliances. Beauregard will lead initiatives to grow ZeroNorth's technology alliances and channel partner programs, the company said. Beauregard joined ZeroNorth in October 2020 as a DevSecOps evangelist.
  • Broadvoice, a Los Angeles company that provides hosted voice, unified communications and SIP trunking services, made the following appointments to its channel sales and marketing teams: Jim Longtin, Anthony Saitta and Aaron Conant have joined the company as regional channel managers; Jared Golden and Patrice Frankley joined as junior channel managers; Andy Watson was tapped as product marketing manager; and Bill Tarulli was appointed a channel marketing manager.

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