Early-stage companies at MIT Sloan event tap partners

Companies participating in the business school's Innovation Showcase work with service provider partners, continuing a trend among tech startups; more IT channel news.

Early-stage companies appearing this week at an MIT Sloan conference are cultivating ties with channel partners.

Developing partner initiatives isn't always a top agenda item for startups occupied with commercializing technology and focusing on direct sales. But in recent years, young companies have made partnerships more of a priority. Relationships with IT services providers, and their customer bases, can open doors to accounts that a startup might otherwise struggle to reach. Partners benefit from access to leading-edge technology and faster time to market. IT services firms sometimes seal such alliances with an investment.

The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, which runs May 22-23 in Cambridge, Mass., features 10 startups in the event's Innovation Showcase. Participants with partner initiatives include two AI-oriented firms: Modzy, a Vienna, Va., company that offers a ModelOps platform, and Snowplow, a company with offices in London and Boston that provides behavioral data technology. A showcase participant in the extended reality (XR) sector, iQ3Connect, also pursues partnerships. The Woburn, Mass., company offers an XR platform and training.

Modzy's sales motion focuses on data science teams and senior IT leaders, but service providers are another big piece of its strategy, said Kirsten Lloyd, co-founder and head of go-to-market at Modzy.

"We are working with some of those service providers as integral to how we go to market," she said. Modzy's services partners include Booz Allen Hamilton, Carahsoft and Four Points Technology.

Service providers also support customers with the ongoing management of Modzy's platform, which aims to help organizations deploy and manage AI at scale. The company also seeks partner input on building and deploying its upcoming edge offering, Lloyd noted.

Snowplow sells through three types of partners, said Nick King, go-to-market specialist at Snowplow. Those include data platform partners such as AWS, Databricks, Google Cloud Platform and Snowflake; activation partners, which focus on specific use cases; and solution providers. That latter includes Poplin Data, which serves as the exclusive integration and enablement partner for Snowplow's platform in Australia and New Zealand. The platform gathers behavioral data as users work with websites, mobile apps and other digital channels. That data is stored in data warehouses and then modeled for AI use cases.

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In addition, iQ3Connect works with technology, sales and solutions partners. Partners include 3D Engineering, an engineering design services company, and Transform Interactive, a digital agency that specializes in XR. Technology partners include Meta Quest, formerly known as the Oculus virtual reality headset, and GPU provider Nvidia.

Microsoft's channel leader to depart company

Rodney Clark, corporate vice president of channel sales and channel chief at Microsoft, will leave the company to take an executive officer job at an undisclosed public company.

Clark was appointed the company's channel leader about a year ago, succeeding Gavriella Schuster. Under Clark, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, which will launch later this year. In March, Clark called the program the first material change to the company's channel initiative in more than 15 years.

We are working with some of those service providers as integral to how we go to market.
Kirsten LloydCo-founder, Modzy

"We are actively discussing Rodney's successor and expect to have a new leader in place by the beginning of our new fiscal year in July," said Nick Parker, corporate vice president of global partner solutions at Microsoft, in a blog post. He said the new channel leader will be introduced at Microsoft Inspire, scheduled for July 19-20.

Deloitte partners with Dynatrace, Palo Alto Networks

Deloitte expanded its work with technology partners this week in the cloud observability and cybersecurity services markets.

The New York consulting firm said it will use Dynatrace's observability and AIOps technology to expand its cloud observability practice. The practice includes DevOps principles, AI and machine learning, cloud complexity management and software engineering.

After training on the Dynatrace platform, Deloitte's DevOps and site reliability engineers will build the technology into the consultancy's Innovation Centers and DevOps Cloud Platform.

Deloitte, meanwhile, expanded its year-old strategic alliance with Palo Alto Networks. The consulting firm will offer managed security services to shared clients in the U.S. Those services will include zero-trust enterprise enablement, multi-cloud automation and orchestration, managed cyber defense and a cyber 5G security offering.

Partner roster updates          

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), an IT services provider in Mumbai, India, said its financial industry cloud offering is now available on Google Cloud. TCS BaNCS -- a SaaS product for banking, capital markets and insurance companies -- will use Google Kubernetes Engine and Apigee for API management as well as Google Cloud's AI and ML tools. In April, TCS entered a partnership with Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, offering TCS BaNCS in the Azure Marketplace. Service providers and cloud vendors have been partnering to boost vertical cloud development.
  • TBI, a technology brokerage based in Chicago, added SurgCX and Dataprise to its product provider portfolio. SurgCX offers partners a communications hardware procurement service. Dataprise provides managed cybersecurity, network, infrastructure, cloud, mobility and end-user support services.

Channel program launches and updates

  • ThreatX, an API protection platform with headquarters in Boston, launched its Xcellerate partner program for value-added resellers, distributors and MSPs. The program includes deal registration and qualified lead delivery, sales tools, technical certifications, co-marketing programs and funds, one SKU for the ThreatX platform and managed services, and tiered program levels with discounts.
  • ScaleFlux, a computer hardware manufacturer based in San Jose, Calif., unveiled its channel partner program for resellers of its computational storage drives. The program gives benefits in three tiers -- registered, advanced and premium -- including access to marketing and sales resources, training and accreditation, expert support, a partner portal and financial incentives.
  • Apica, a performance monitoring platform headquartered in Stockholm, rolled out its channel partner program with three tracks: reseller MSP, systems integrators and technology integration. The two-tiered program -- silver and gold -- gives partners access to Apica's active monitoring and load testing platform, training curriculum and contract management. The program aims to help partners grow sales revenue and create recurring revenue from a subscription-based model.

Other news

  • NTT, a technology and business solutions provider, is employing data analytics, AI and digital twin simulations to offer Indianapolis 500 viewers greater insight into the annual car race. NTT, partnering with Penske Entertainment, said the technologies will shed light on race strategies, pit stop performance and the effects of fuel levels and tire wear. The race is scheduled for May 29.
  • The average MSP expects to see year-over-year revenue growth of more than 33% in 2022. That's according to Barracuda Networks survey of 500 MSP decision-makers and knowledge workers in North America, EMEA, and Australia and New Zealand. The survey results predicted an average MSP revenue of $12.1 million this year compared with $8.9 million in 2021. Barracuda Networks, a security solutions provider in Campbell, Calif., also found that nearly all MSPs need more vendor support. Ninety-eight percent of respondents said they need more help from their suppliers, with security incident response planning, hybrid working best practices and marketing support the top three areas.
  • Technology law firm Scott & Scott LLP, in Southlake, Texas, has integrated its contract management offering with ConnectWise Sell, an automated quote and proposal product for IT services firms. MSPs using Scott & Scott's cloud-based contracts-as-a-service tool can take advantage of the integration to bind their customers to services agreements through ConnectWise Sell's quote acceptance and electronic signature features.
  • Mavenlink and Kimble Applications, which merged in Dec. 2021, have rebranded as Kantata. The company, with offices in Irvine, Calif., and London, provides professional services automation (PSA) Kantata has added new features to its SaaS-based PSA offering, including a Talent Network capability that lets professional services firms add external partners and independent contractors to their resource pools.

Executive appointments

  • Cymulate, a cybersecurity firm with offices in New York and Tel Aviv, appointed Frederica Melis as senior vice president of global channels and partner alliances. The company also hired Rudy Piekarski as vice president of sales for North America. Melis joins Cymulate from Docebo and has also worked at Proofpoint. Pierkarski was previously vice president of sales for the Americas at LogRhythm.
  • ClickUp, a project management tool based in San Diego, hired Marshall Tyler as chief strategy officer to lead global channels, alliances and enablement. Tyler previously held positions at ServiceNow and Salesforce.
  • Kyocera Document Solutions America, based in Fairfield, N.J., appointed Joseph Fuccillo as vice president of software and ICT. Donald DuVall joins the company as vice president of channel sales. Fuccillo formerly led managed and professional services at Hitachi Vantara/Hitachi Data Systems. DuVall previously led Konica Minolta's dealer business unit.
  • Auvik, a network management software company in Waterloo, Ont., appointed Bob Gault as chief revenue officer. In that role, Gault will focus on MSP and corporate IT markets. Gault previously worked for Extreme Networks, Cisco and Geoverse.

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