Partners launch managed cloud services to spark uptake

Ensono, SADA and NWN Carousel target mainframe modernization, Google Cloud adoption and cloud-based unified communications, respectively; other IT channel news.

A number of partners this week kicked off the new year with expanded managed cloud services, seeking to ease customers' transition from on-premises technology.

Consider the following moves:

  • Ensono, an MSP based in Downers Grove, Ill., boosted the legacy migration aspect of its cloud offerings, acquiring mainframe modernization firm ExperSolve. The acquired company provides proprietary software that facilitates mainframe-to-cloud migration.
  • SADA, a business and technology consultancy in Los Angeles, unveiled a services product line that steps customers through Google Cloud adoption, from initial assessment to ongoing managed services.
  • NWN Carousel, a cloud communications service provider with headquarters in Waltham, Mass., rolled out collaboration services that aim to transition businesses from on-premises unified communications to cloud-based options from Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft.

The partners' services arrive as clients attempt to move more workloads to the cloud. Nearly all organizations now use cloud resources. According to an Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) study, 95% of senior IT professionals said their organizations use public cloud resources such as IaaS and SaaS. But the migration appears far from over. ESG, a division of TechTarget, found that 18% of respondents house more than 40% of their business applications in the public cloud -- and 44% planned to do so within 36 months.

Legacy systems and insufficient staffing, however, rank among the factors forestalling wider cloud migration, creating a cloud value gap. Competition with other IT priorities and uncertainty over the steps of cloud adoption also hinder deployments, industry executives said.

Tooling for legacy modernization

Organizations' in-house mainframe skills continue to decline as knowledgeable technologists retire. Some partners aim to address the expert shortage, specializing in the modernization and migration of legacy systems. IT service firms, however, face the same mainframe staffing limitations.

Chad Mead, vice president of mainframe consulting and security, EnsonoChad Mead

Against that backdrop, Ensono's ExperSolve purchase includes a migration tool that reduces the MSP's reliance on individuals skilled in legacy technology, said Chad Mead, vice president of mainframe consulting and security at Ensono. ExperThink converts code written in COBOL or other legacy programming languages to modern languages such as Java and C#. "It's one of the key reasons we acquired [ExperSolve]," he said.

Larry Goldberg, senior vice president of global advisory and consulting services, EnsonoLarry Goldberg

The acquisition also furthers Ensono's push into business applications from its traditional infrastructure management business, said Larry Goldberg, senior vice president of global advisory and consulting services at Ensono. The company's 2021 acquisition of Amido, a United Kingdom company that develops cloud applications, was an earlier step in that direction.

ExperSolve and Amido may prove complementary businesses within Ensono. While ExperSolve analyzes legacy applications and provides a modernization roadmap, Amido can rewrite mainframe software as cloud-native applications if that's the recommended path, Mead noted.

Many customers in the last year or so have followed this path, but few had it laid out for them in advance.
Miles WardCTO, SADA

Plotting the cloud path

SADA's newly coined SADA Power service products line aims to help customers better navigate the steps of a cloud project. The services cover four areas: assessment and Google Cloud recommendations; a proof of concept or sample implementation; full implementation; and managed services with ongoing support.

"Many customers in the last year or so have followed this path, but few had it laid out for them in advance," said Miles Ward, CTO at SADA. "While we often say that 'we help a customer do X,' it is actually a process that involves multiple steps for both parties."

Miles Ward, CTO, SADAMiles Ward

The segmented services provide clarity around the cadence of cloud adoption, which de-risks the process for customers, according to Ward. In addition, each line of service includes "internal structural support" in the form of sample code, automation frameworks and policy configurations, he added.

Cloud consultancies like SADA are developing their own intellectual property -​- frameworks and accelerators, for example -- to help differentiate their services and create repeatable offerings.

Transitioning unified communications to the cloud

NWN Carousel, meanwhile, debuted its Hybrid Work Suite, a cloud offering that encompasses collaboration, high-definition video meetings and telephony options such as IP phones and software clients. The suite also includes network and PSTN (public switched telephone network) connectivity options, which the company said will reduce the number of vendors and contracts customers must manage.

Pricing starts at under $20 per user, per month. The suite marks the latest development in NWN Carousel's as-a-service strategy, which the company launched in 2019.

IT services continues growth spurt

The IT services sector continues to experience solid revenue growth as it rebounds from the pandemic's 2020 economic shock.

Companies providing infrastructure for hosting and related services generated 23.2% year-over-year growth in the third quarter of 2021, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The hosting industry expanded to $66.4 billion in Q3 2021 compared with $53.9 billion for Q3 2020.

The computer systems design industry, which includes systems integration, expanded 9.1% year over year, growing to $129.5 billion in Q3 2021 compared with $118.6 billion in Q3 2020.

Both industries saw sequential growth slow in Q3, suggesting a return of revenue expansion to a more typical pattern. Hosting's quarter-on-quarter growth dropped to 3.6% from 4.6% in Q2. Computer systems design declined to 1.3% from 3.4%.

Other news

  • Xebia, an IT consultancy based in Atlanta, acquired SwissQ, a digital consulting firm in Bern, Switzerland. SwissQ focuses on Agile, DevOps and software quality.
  • Kaseya, a Miami company that provides IT and security management offerings for MSPs, grew more than 25% in 2021. The company said its expansion was fueled, in part, through acquisitions. The company last year acquired RocketCyber and TruMethods. Kaseya said it plans to hire more than 1,300 people in 2022.
  • Netacea, a Manchester, U.K., company that provides a bot detection and mitigation platform, launched a North American partner program and appointed sales executives in that region. The company hired Peter Berg as senior vice president of U.S. sales and Kirk Horton as vice president of channels and partners. In addition, Netacea has inked a partnership with Upstack, a web platform that sells cloud services through sales agents.

Executive appointments

  • Ingram Micro has named Paul Bay as the distributor's CEO. He was previously president of Ingram Micro Global Technology Solutions. Bay replaces Alain Monié, who becomes the company's executive chairman. In another personnel change, Nimesh Davé, executive vice president and president, Global Cloud, has "decided to pursue interests outside of Ingram Micro," according to the company. The distributor's cloud executive team now reports to Bay.
  • Netrix, an MSP and professional services firm based in Chicago, has appointed Russell Reeder as CEO. Reeder, who joins the company from Infrascale, replaces Rob Dang. Netrix said Dang will continue to serve on the company's board of directors, where he has been named vice chairman.
  • Datto Holding Corp., a software and security technology provider for MSPs, has appointed Brooke Cunningham as chief marketing officer. Cunningham joins Datto, based in Norwalk, Conn., from Splunk, where she was area vice president, global partner marketing and experience.
  • Nfinit, a hybrid cloud solutions provider in San Diego, has appointed Bradley Craig as director of channel sales. Craig previously held positions at Veeam and Insight, working with MSPs and cloud service providers.
  • FlexIP Solutions, a managed communications company in Montville, N.J., has appointed Robert Latronica as vice president of business development. He joins FlexIP Solutions from the LLB Group, a technology consulting firm and MSP.

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