Category: Technology

SugarCRM Adds Marketing Automation

SugarCRM Adds Marketing Automation

May 17, 2019

CRM vendor acquires Salesfusion to expand capabilities in customer experience management

Channelnomics Staff

In an ongoing bid to build an end-to-end suite of customer experience management tools, SugarCRM is buying marketing automation vendor Salesfusion. The addition of the application vendor’s capabilities will fill a gap in SugarCRM’s customer outreach and communications.

The Lowdown:  The Salesfusion marketing automation platform gives SugarCRM the ability to extend its customer relationship management core to include complementary capabilities in personalized messaging, demand generation management, and sales and communications intelligence.

The Details:  SugarCRM says it plans to operate Salesfusion as a stand-alone product. It will make investments to integrate Salesfusion functionality into its CRM platform, providing customers with the option of seamless end-to-end management of customer experience.

Background:  Salesfusion is the second acquisition by SugarCRM in the past three months. Previously, SugarCRM bought Collabspot, a provider of e-mail integration products and services. SugarCRM is following other CRM vendors in extending its core capabilities by adding marketing, sales management, and intelligence products to its portfolios.

The Buzz:  “Modern companies expect more than just technology solutions. They want a personal relationship with the companies where they conduct business. With Salesfusion, we’re taking our market-leading CRM to the next level, harnessing Salesfusion’s advanced marketing automation capabilities to streamline campaign management, drive personalized engagement, improve conversion and transform customer experience throughout the customer journey,” said SugarCRM CEO Craig Charlton. “Together, we’re enabling marketing, sales, and service professionals to be more productive, take action on customer insights, and focus on high-impact value-added offerings that create relentlessly relevant customer experiences.”

“Sugar and Salesfusion share a common vision that the next wave of innovation in B2B is sharply focused on the customer experience,” said Salesfusion CEO Logan Henderson. “The fact is that customer experience leaders significantly outperform their peers, generating higher average order values, better customer retention and satisfaction, and significantly improved brand awareness.”

“Adding Salesfusion’s powerful marketing automation solution to Sugar’s market-leading CRM enables an unequaled and comprehensive customer experience solution for companies everywhere,” said Christian Wettre, president of W-Systems, a current SugarCRM partner. “We’re proud to be able to offer such a cutting-edge platform that will not only help our customers drive more revenue, but simplify their operations as well.”

“SugarCRM’s acquisition of Salesfusion complements a market leader in easy-to-use CRM with the comprehensive marketing automation capabilities of Salesfusion. A tightly integrated platform will accelerate time to value and increase both sales and marketing productivity by streamlining campaign creation, lead nurturing, and the handoff to sales,” said Rebecca Wetteman, vice president of market research firm Nucleus Research. “Both Sugar and Salesfusion’s focus on delivering value to customers make this a good match, and integration of the two will deliver even greater benefit for customers.”

HPE Makes Super Play for Cray

HPE Makes Super Play for Cray

May 17, 2019

HPE to acquire supercomputer maker Cray in bid to expand High Performance Computing capabilities

Channelnomics Staff

In the biggest acquisition since its formation in 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is buying supercomputer vendor Cray for $1.3 billion to expand its High Performance Computing (HPC) portfolio and accelerate its growth in artificial intelligence.

The Lowdown:  HPE will add Cray’s portfolio of Shasta and Slingshot supercomputers to its existing portfolio of HPC products, including Apollo and SGI, to address the growing need for high-capacity computational systems to support Big Data and artificial intelligence use cases. HPE sees tremendous growth opportunities in use cases including advanced weather forecasting, medical research, cybersecurity, and military modeling.

According to HPE, the HPC market segment will grow from $28 billion in 2018 to $35 billion in 2021. Exascale computing systems, which can process a billion billion calculations per second, will become a $4 billion market opportunity within the next five years.

The Details:  Cray’s products, which include Big Data and artificial intelligence software, will join HPE’s existing HPC products. HPE says the addition of Cray will give it the resources to address the growing demand for HPC products as a service through the GreenLake program, a greater ability to capitalize on the growing demand for exascale computing products, and advanced capabilities for developing artificial intelligence and machine learning systems. The acquisition is contingent upon regulatory review and approval. HPE believes the deal will close in early 2020.

The Impact:  HPE has a significant presence in the HPC segment. Folding in Cray will give HPE an end-to-end computing portfolio that includes x86 servers, storage, networking equipment, and supercomputers. Additionally, the deal will give HPE a big lift against competitors such as IBM, Fujitsu, Bull, NUDT, and Hitachi.

Background:  Cray is a storied company that produced some of the first supercomputers in the world, including systems that processed nuclear weapons and energy simulations. The Seattle-based company generated $456 million in sales in 2018 and employs more than 1,300 people worldwide. Cray is a specialist that operates in a niche, but is not a stranger to the IT channel. Its partner program includes solution providers such as Sirius, World Wide Technology, Datacore, Alliance Technology Group, Altair, and Xoriant. In an existing technology partnership, HPE provides Cray with storage equipment for its HPC systems.

The Buzz:  “This is an amazing opportunity to bring together Cray’s leading-edge technology and HPE’s wide reach and deep product portfolio, providing customers of all sizes with integrated solutions and unique supercomputing technology to address the full spectrum of their data-intensive needs,” said Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. “HPE and Cray share a commitment to customer-centric innovation and a vision to create the global leader for the future of high-performance computing and AI. On behalf of the Cray board of directors, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that we believe maximizes value and are excited for the opportunities that this unique combination will create for both our employees and our customers.”

“Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data. Only by processing and analyzing this data will we be able to unlock the answers to critical challenges across medicine, climate change, space, and more,” said HPE CEO Antonio Neri. “Cray is a global technology leader in supercomputing and shares our deep commitment to innovation. By combining our world-class teams and technology, we will have the opportunity to drive the next generation of high-performance computing and play an important part in advancing the way people live and work.”

Tenable Takes Aim at Skills Gap, Beefs Up Vulnerability Starter Kit

Tenable Takes Aim at Skills Gap, Beefs Up Vulnerability Starter Kit

May 17, 2019

Enhanced free Nessus Essentials tool now fair game for limited commercial use

Channelnomics Staff

Saying it wants to help address the withering skills gap in cybersecurity, Tenable this week released an enhanced version of its free vulnerability scanning solution that lifts previous restriction limiting the tool to personal, non-commercial use and adds some new functionality in the bargain.

The Lowdown:  Nessus Essentials, the tool formerly known as Nessus Home, is aimed at students, instructors and entry-level cybersecurity professionals looking to hone infosec skills and master vulnerability assessments.

The Details:  Tenable’s augmented Nessus Essentials now includes:

Tenable research and community with access to alerts and reports as well as peer discussion and collabortation from directly within Essentials interface.
Classroom guides featuring vulnerability assessment lesson plans and curriculum from expert educators worldwide.
In-product tutorials and guidance to help new users create scans and analyze results.

A free course and certification for Nessus Essentials will be made available later in 2019.

Background:  The release of Nessus Essentials comes as global demand for skilled security continues to outstrip supply, creating a skills gap that threatens the digital economy. According to the CyberSecurity Jobs Report 2018-2021, demand for cybersecurity talent this year will top 6 million jobs globally, but roughly 1.5 million of those positions will remain unfilled.

The Buzz:  “Nearly every cybersecurity professional has used Nessus at some point. Many even learned the fundamentals with Nessus,” said Renaud Deraison, chief technology officer and co-founder at Tenable. “Our vision for Nessus Essentials is to advance the next generation of cyber professionals, whether it’s in the classroom or on the job. We’re continuing to give back to the community, helping to close the security skills gap and building a foundation of cybersecurity.”

Tenable Takes Aim at Skills Gap, Beefs Up Vulnerability Starter Kit

Tenable Takes Aim at Skills Gap, Beefs Up Vulnerability Starter Kit

May 17, 2019

Enhanced free Nessus Essentials tool now fair game for limited commercial use

Channelnomics Staff

Saying it wants to help address the withering skills gap in cybersecurity, Tenable this week released an enhanced version of its free vulnerability scanning solution that lifts previous restriction limiting the tool to personal, non-commercial use and adds some new functionality in the bargain.

The Lowdown:  Nessus Essentials, the tool formerly known as Nessus Home, is aimed at students, instructors and entry-level cybersecurity professionals looking to hone infosec skills and master vulnerability assessments.

The Details:  Tenable’s augmented Nessus Essentials now includes:

Tenable research and community with access to alerts and reports as well as peer discussion and collabortation from directly within Essentials interface.
Classroom guides featuring vulnerability assessment lesson plans and curriculum from expert educators worldwide.
In-product tutorials and guidance to help new users create scans and analyze results.

A free course and certification for Nessus Essentials will be made available later in 2019.

Background:  The release of Nessus Essentials comes as global demand for skilled security continues to outstrip supply, creating a skills gap that threatens the digital economy. According to the CyberSecurity Jobs Report 2018-2021, demand for cybersecurity talent this year will top 6 million jobs globally, but roughly 1.5 million of those positions will remain unfilled.

The Buzz:  “Nearly every cybersecurity professional has used Nessus at some point. Many even learned the fundamentals with Nessus,” said Renaud Deraison, chief technology officer and co-founder at Tenable. “Our vision for Nessus Essentials is to advance the next generation of cyber professionals, whether it’s in the classroom or on the job. We’re continuing to give back to the community, helping to close the security skills gap and building a foundation of cybersecurity.”

Report: Businesses Eagerly Await 5G

Report: Businesses Eagerly Await 5G

May 16, 2019

ISPs poised to embrace next-gen standard, diversify bills of fare

Channelnomics Staff

IT marketplace Spiceworks this week unveiled its 2019 State of Corporate Connectivity report, which reveals that 5G is likely to spur increased competition among ISPs as they look to expand their portfolios beyond Internet service.

The Lowdown:  According to the Spiceworks study, one in three polled businesses plans to purchase new 5G devices once the service becomes available. More than half (55%) of respondents with 5G purchase plans intend to buy 5G-enabled devices within a year of availability. Specifically, 83% plan to buy 5G-enabled smartphones; 44% plan to buy 5G-capable modems; 42% are set to buy 5G-enabled tablets; and 7% plan to purchase IoT devices that leverage 5G.

The Details:  Most of the businesses surveyed are considering or planning the purchase of one or more additional services through their ISP beyond just Internet connectivity. The top services:
• VoIP (43%)
• VPN/MPLS (30%)
• mobile data (19%)
• unified communications (18%)
• SD-WAN (11%)

Further, enterprises are even more likely than their small and midsize peers to purchase additional services through their ISPs. They’re twice as likely to purchase VPN/MPLS, mobile data, and unified communications, and three times more likely to recruit an ISP for data storage, mobile device management, and network planning services.

Background:  The Spiceworks survey, conducted this past February, included 716 technology buyers in the Spiceworks network. Respondents represented organizations in the United States (76%) and the United Kingdom (24%), spanning the gamut in terms of size, with 36% from small businesses (1 to 99 employees), 55% from midsize businesses (100 to 999 employees), and 9% from enterprises (1,000-plus employees). The polled businesses also hailed from various industries, including construction, education, finance, government, health care, IT services, manufacturing, and retail.

The Buzz:  “New 5G service can allow ISPs to extend their reach and offer high-speed broadband service to new cities and neighborhoods without having to incur last-mile expenses associated with physically connecting homes and businesses,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “As a result, 5G will likely spark more competition among ISPs, ultimately benefiting businesses within 5G coverage zones.

“[A] lack of differentiation in the brand perceptions [of ISPs] suggests businesses view each provider as relatively interchangeable,” Tsai added. “However, there are opportunities for ISPs to stand out from the competition by embracing emerging technologies like 5G and offering additional IT services beyond Internet connectivity.”

Related Links: 
CHANNELNOMICS: AT&T Selling IoT Data Connections Via Amazon

AT&T Selling IoT Data Connections Via Amazon

AT&T Selling IoT Data Connections Via Amazon

May 16, 2019

Enterprise customers can buy AT&T’s 4G LTE and LTE-M services through Amazon Web Services marketplace

Channelnomics Staff

Under a new agreement intended to expedite data connection sourcing, enterprise Internet of Things buyers will be able to get AT&T wireless services through the AWS marketplace.

The Lowdown:  AT&T will offer self-service contracts that enable IoT buyers to get access to 4G LTE and LTE-M connection services via AWS. The data plans offer IoT users connectivity services that support everything from automotive telemetry and power meters to shipping-container tracking sensors and smart vending machines.

The Details:  AT&T says it’s the first telecommunications carrier to offer data services via the AWS marketplace.

The Impact:  The agreement is a harbinger of things to come in the IoT segment. AWS and other cloud providers have expanded their IoT practices, offering infrastructure, applications, and support resources for deploying and managing IoT devices. Adding easy-to-acquire data services through an online marketplace could expedite IoT rollouts. At the same time, data services sold via marketplaces could disrupt existing channels, such as sales through master agents and agents.

The Buzz:  “We’re pleased to be the first carrier to enable IoT data plans on AWS’ marketplace,” said Emily Soelberg, vice president of IoT Solutions at AT&T. “Our mission is to make IoT easy.  Businesses who use AWS cloud solutions now have a streamlined way to add IoT connectivity and experience the productivity, insights, and cost savings that it can bring.”

LogRhythm Takes Its SIEM to the Cloud

LogRhythm Takes Its SIEM to the Cloud

May 15, 2019

New hosted option gives security analysts full platform benefits in a SaaS model

Channelnomics Staff

LogRhythm this week introduced a cloud-based version of its NextGen Security Information and Event Management platform which promises full security monitoring, management and automation functionality with fewer infrastructure headaches.

The Lowdown:  The new LogRhythm Cloud is not a stripped down version of the vendor’s on-premises SIEM offering, officials stressed. Rather, LogRhythm Cloud in includes all of the features of its on-prem sibling such as machine-based analytics and embedded security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) functionality.

The Details:  With minimal setup and no ongoing hardware or software maintenance to worry about LogRhythm Cloud users get subscription-based access to all the requisite SIEM collection, detection and analysis capabilities as well as advanced security program management features such as incident response playbooks, case management, integrated threat intelligence feeds, and workflow automation.

The Buzz:  “Solution maintenance is never on my mind when using LogRhythm Cloud. It just runs,” said Kevin Merolla, security manager at Chart Inc. “Instead of spending my first week setting up new hardware and software, I identified a new production use case. It was so valuable that we’re implementing the same technique across multiple other networks.”

“We designed LogRhythm Cloud to deliver customers our full breadth of battle-tested NextGen SIEM platform capabilities when it comes to detecting advanced threats and ensuring the most rapid response possible,” said Chris Petersen, co-founder and chief product and technology officer at LogRhythm. “Unlike some other vendor solutions, which are functionally limited when compared to their on-prem offering, LogRhythm Cloud provides the same feature set and user experience our customers have come to love and rely on. We are confident LogRhythm Cloud is the most complete and powerful NextGen SIEM-as-a-service offering in the market today.”

Insights: Amid Digital Transformation, Security Poses Primary Challenge

Insights: Amid Digital Transformation, Security Poses Primary Challenge

May 13, 2019

IT decision-makers seek out managed services, automation

Channelnomics Staff

A poll of 400 enterprise ITers in North America by Insight Enterprises sought to gauge how companies are handling digital innovation within their organizations. The result? The 2019 Insight Intelligence Technology Index.

The Lowdown:  For the most part, survey respondents agreed that data is the key to transforming their businesses. More than half (52%) said the primary objective of digital innovation is improving business operations, while 47% cited improving the customer experience and their relationships with customers.

The Details: 
>Investments on right track, but challenges loom: 89% of respondents said they think their investments in digital innovation have been moderately or very successful. The challenges include security and data privacy (48%), up-front costs (38%), expertise in new technology (32%), and infrastructure delays (31%).

>Secure data will drive transformation: IT pros need to determine where information lives, how to secure and back it up, and when and where to move it for optimal value. According to 50% of respondents, the top challenge in managing cloud spending is determining best-fit workloads for public, private, and hybrid clouds. Of those polled, 43% said securing data in a dispersed environment poses their top challenge over the next three to five years, while 41% cited modernizing data protection and recovery.

>Subscriptions, managed services propel workplaces into future: Of respondents, 77% said IT leasing models would help them better equip their workforces with modern technology solutions. Nearly three-quarters (72%) said their organizations consume at least some bundled products and services, and 89% plan to continue or increase their consumption of bundles.

>Automation, e-procurement to strengthen IT supply chain: When it comes to procurement, More than half of respondents (52%) said their IT supply chains are “very or extremely optimized” in the way of procurement, but 47% said they want to improve how they use providers to streamline hardware lifecycle services. Also, 47% said they need to improve their e-procurement process, and only 16% have fully automated IT procurement processes.

The Buzz:  “There is no greater reality check today in technology than how a business handles its data — it creates the most challenges and opportunities. While data enables innovation, its vulnerability continues to cause anxiety among IT leaders,” said Steve Dodenhoff, president of Insight North America. “Companies have no choice but to launch transformative initiatives that allow them to improve how they access and leverage data across geographies, platforms, and systems.”

“IT modernization is foundational to successful digital transformation,” said Shawn O’Grady, senior vice president and general manager of cloud and data center transformation at Insight. “From assessing cloud and on-premises platforms required to support processing-intensive applications like AI and deep learning to acquiring new skills and processes required by digitally driven organizations, IT is evolving from the ground up. Data transformed into intelligent information derives greater returns for the business and creates seamless experiences for employees and clients.”

What Just Happened? Mellanox Wants You to Know

What Just Happened? Mellanox Wants You to Know

May 13, 2019

New telemetry technology alerts to data center interconnect anomalies

Channelnomics Staff

Mellanox Technologies today introduced a new network telemetry technology that monitors and alerts on data plane anomalies in an effort to reduce system downtime. The technology, called What Just Happened, targets primarily cloud and enterprise data center environments.

The Lowdown:  An improvement over traditional streaming and inband network telemetry, What Just Happened skips over much of the time-consuming data collection and manual sifting for network problems. WJH leverages capabilities built into the ASICs of its Spectrum and Spectrum-2 Ethernet switches to inspect packets across all ports at line-rate, multi-terabit speeds.

The Details:  WJH, which can identify anomalous behavior and issue concise, actionable alerts for rapid remediation and recovery of cloud applications and critical business operations, is available now with the latest versions of Mellanox Onyx, Cumulus Linux, and SONiC Network Operating Systems.

The Impact:  Mellanox WJH technology is compatible with Open Ethernet and can be integrated with open-source tools such as InfluxDB, Grafana, and Kibana. It also works with data center monitoring solutions like Mellanox NEO and Cumulus’ NetQ.

Mellanox will be showcasing WJH at the 2019 KubeCon event in Barcelona later this month.

The Buzz:  “We make the most advanced Ethernet switches in the market, with networking capabilities that go well beyond industry-leading latency and packet forwarding performance,” said Amit Katz, vice president of Ethernet switches at Mellanox. “Customers need a smarter network, a network that can be invisible when it comes to automated installation and provisioning, but extra-visible when it comes to troubleshooting. Every customer who has tried WJH has been amazed at how quickly they were able to discover behavior they never knew was occurring in their network. We make WJH advanced telemetry available to all our customers without playing the license-per-feature game that our competitors do. WJH is a technology enabler that is the missing element for autonomous and self-healing networks.”

“Mellanox Spectrum switches are a part of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Storage Networking portfolio as the HPE M-series. For storage administrators, troubleshooting network and SAN issues has always been a challenge. With WJH, we solved this problem and can easily debug severe network issues in minutes. This is the power of Ethernet Storage Fabric (ESF) – it’s not just another Ethernet switch,” said Rupin Mohan, director of R&D for storage networking at HPE. “The combination of WJH and Smart Fabric Orchestrator (SFO) enhances HPE M-series solutions and simplifies SAN management and troubleshooting by providing advanced diagnostics that help keep everything running smoothly without performance degradation.”

“Unplanned data center outages cost millions of dollars per year in lost revenue. In today’s digital world, a stable network is key to reliable business operations, and this is only achieved by knowing what is going on in the network,” said Dell’Oro Group analyst Sameh Boujelbene. “As data center networks increase in performance and sophistication with overlays, such as VXLAN and GENEVE, there is a real need for ever more advanced visibility. Advanced network telemetry is an emerging technology that will increase data center uptime. While a very basic level of telemetry has been part of all data center switches for years, this new kind of advanced telemetry is now an area of innovation that network operators are focused on, and we believe WJH will drive demand for Mellanox Ethernet switches.”

“Nimbix accelerates HPC, AI, and machine/deep learning applications by providing purpose-built cloud computing technology that is optimized for these workloads,” said Rob Sherrard, co-founder and vice president of service delivery at Nimbix, a provider of cloud computing for AI, machine learning, and High-Performance Computing (HPC). “Mellanox’s switches are part of our best-in-class cloud computing infrastructure and we are excited to use WJH to increase the utilization of the data center fabric while improving the visibility of the overall network.”

“As Web-scale networking becomes the enterprise norm, so does complexity. As complexity increases, so does the need for enhanced visibility. Complementing Cumulus NetQ, which provides fabric-wide telemetry, WJH is switch-by-switch and collects data at the packet level across all ports at line-rate,” said Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus Networks. “Combining WJH and Cumulus NetQ provides fabric-wide telemetry and packet information, enabling deeper visibility with additional granularity across the network fabric for better understanding of the entire network.”

Survey: Business Units Won’t Wait for IT Depts

Survey: Business Units Won’t Wait for IT Depts

May 13, 2019

Capacity limitations and request processing inefficiencies cause business units to bypass IT departments

Channelnomics Staff

For solution providers, there’s some good news and some bad news. The bad news first: Inefficient IT departments unable to keep up with their business units’ requests are forcing operations managers to seek products and services outside the normal acquisition and deployment process. The good news: This problem is also a benefit to IT solution providers.

The Lowdown:  According to a survey conducted by TrackVia, a provider of workflow platforms, many business unit and operations managers are avoiding their IT departments when they need new hardware and software systems because of the long processing times.

The Details:  The survey of 200 operations and business unit executives found that 62% avoided submitting a request to IT departments because they take too long to process. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they bypass IT departments, acquiring and deploying required systems through “other means.” Those other means — commonly known as rogue, or shadow, IT — involve the purchase and deployment of technology independent of IT departments.

One-half of the participants said it can take six months or more for IT departments to consider a request for new systems and support. Among those who receive IT approval, 58% said it can take six months or more for the deployment.

The Impact:  Rogue IT spending and deployments are common, particularly since cloud computing services make it easy for business units to spin up software and infrastructure services. The survey reinforces what many solution providers already know: Line-of-business managers are increasingly better sales targets because they will act with greater speed than inefficient and overtasked IT departments.

The Buzz:  “Digitizing processes is a priority for organizations looking to accelerate performance and control costs, but this is often easier said than done,” said Walker Fenton, senior vice president of product at TrackVia. “Common digitization projects are laden with roadblocks, driving most right back to where they started — manual processes.”

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