Unify partner program reduces certification demands

In an effort to simplify its channel partner program, UC vendor Unify has cut back certification requirements across its portfolio; more IT channel news from the week.

Unify Inc. has cut the number of certifications partners need to sell, design and implement the company's unified communications software and other products and services.

Michelle Jones, vice president of channel marketing at Unify, cited a 50% reduction in the number of Unify partner certifications required across its portfolio. She said that step gives partners a clearer certification path, while cutting the time and cost of certification.

Unify, which has its origins in Siemens, was purchased in 2015 by Atos SE, a consulting and systems integration firm based in France. Unify's product lines include unified communications systems, desktop phones and wireless phones. More than half of the company's revenue comes through the channel.

Jones said the certification effort is part of the company's initiative to simplify its partner program. In another move in that direction, Unify is in the process of rolling out a single application that lets partners configure and price its products and generate proposals. The company has been maintaining multiple systems to handle those functions across its product lines. Initially, partners will be able to use the configuration tool with Unify's OpenScape unified communications platform, but the company's entire portfolio will be on the system by September.

In addition, Unify has launched vertical specializations within the Unify partner program, including one in healthcare. The program also includes a module for partners who pursue the software as a service (SaaS) delivery model. Jones said partners have expressed interest in company's Circuit SaaS-based unified communications offering.

The Unify partner roster includes distributors, service providers, systems integrators and telecommunications resellers.

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IT channel news roundup for the week of May 2

Here's a look at highlights from the week:

  • New Signature, based in Washington, D.C., acquired U.K.-based Dot Net Solutions, bringing together two prestigious Microsoft partners. New Signature was Microsoft's U.S. Partner of the Year in 2014 and 2015, and Dot Net won U.K. Partner of the Year in 2014. Following the merger, New Signature plans to tap the U.K. organization's expertise in application migration to Microsoft Azure, application development and business transformation for its North American customers. New Signature will also look to grow Dot Net's current markets and pursue additional acquisitions in Europe. Dot Net will continue to operate under its current executive team.
  • Distributor Avnet Inc. launched an EMC software-defined storage offering that features IsilonSD Edge. The offering aims to speed up network-attached storage (NAS) deployments and targets small, midsize and enterprise customers' remote office and back office requirements. Avnet said it will incorporate CapacityNow, its consumption-based financial service, into the offering to allow customers to buy technology through a flexible managed service.
  • Primary Data connected its storage-agnostic DataSphere data virtualization platform with EMC storage systems, including ScaleIO block storage products, Isilon NAS and Amazon Simple Storage Service cloud storage. The unified EMC storage systems enable enterprises to scale EMC Data Lake technology across their different EMC storage platforms. DataSphere lets resellers add new systems from EMC and other vendors to customers' existing storage ecosystems, a Primary Data spokeswoman said.
  • Kaseya Ltd. launched Kaseya VSA 9.3, the latest version of its remote monitoring and management software for managed services providers (MSPs). Kaseya 9.3 introduces a raft of enhancements and new security capabilities. Additional enhancements include new peer-to-peer software deployment technology for large-scale distribution of software applications and updates, as well as "Automation Exchange" for the easy exchange of automation processes, scripts, reports and integrations among its user community. In other news, Kaseya introduced AuthAnvil On-Demand, an Azure-based identity and access management product for MSPs.
  • Following the launch of Kaseya VSA 9.3, security software vendor Trend Micro Inc. said it will introduce a plug-in for Worry-Free Services, its endpoint security offering, for the Kaseya VSA platform. Trend Micro said it will release the plug-in on May 21, available for free as part of its Remote Manager offering.
  • Professional services automation software company ConnectWise added new capabilities to CloudConsole, its software for managing, monitoring and billing cloud services. The upgrade includes expanded options for purchasing and provisioning Microsoft Office 365, as well as improved reporting, billing and invoicing.
  • Security vendor Barracuda Networks' integrated Barracuda Essentials for Office 365 with Intronis MSP Solutions, a set of backup and data protection products for MSPs. Barracuda Essentials for Office 365 is a suite of cloud services combining email security, archiving and backup.
  • Cisco revealed the new "There's Never Been a Better Time" brand campaign that focuses on its technology and partners' effect on the world. Cisco will provide partners with access to the brand campaign assets, which include social media posts, digital assets and a playbook, as well as training through the Engage Marketing Suite to use the assets.
  • Cloud services company nGenx spun out a new workspace as a service company, called CloudJumper. The new company will provide CloudJumper nWorkspace and flexible licensing options.
  • Distributor Arrow Electronics Inc. joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program and will use its global base of value-added resellers and MSPs to sell Azure, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Dynamics CRM Online subscriptions in the U.S. and Europe. Arrow aims to grow its Microsoft cloud sales through value-added services delivered to the channel, including cross-vendor products, go-to-market playbooks, and cloud assessment and migration toolkits.
  • In addition to Arrow, global cloud distributor intY joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program this week.

The Market Share is a weekly news roundup published on SearchITChannel.com every Friday.

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