Gives partners single sign-on and single-screen management via Now
The company has reinvented its marketplace site as an e-commerce platform for third-party solutions and released ConnectWise Now, an interactive interface that lets partners manage all areas of their business – sales, marketing, customer service, finance, etc. – from a single location.
The Lowdown: ConnectWise, which offers an as-a-service platform for professional service automation, remote control and access, remote monitoring and management (RMM), quote proposal and automation, and cybersecurity risk assessment, made the announcements at its IT Nation Explore conference in Orlando, Florida.
The Details: The new-and-improved ConnectWise Marketplace provides support for license and usage-based purchasing and billing. For partners, the new transactional capabilities will be available around-the-clock starting June 24; non-partners can expect to have access to those features sometime this summer.
While Webroot’s and Bitdefender’s products are the only ones available at the marketplace currently, more solutions will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.
As for ConnectWise Now, company officials said it provides partners with “more control over their business than ever before” by placing aggregate data in a single location and presenting dashboards that provide visibility into active remote-control sessions, cloud health, high-priority tickets, patch compliance, sales pipelines, and other metrics.
In addition, ConnectWise has enabled single sign-on (SSO) for its entire product portfolio, allowing partners to manage user access to all applications in one place.
The Buzz: “We pride ourselves on the service and support we provide our partners, but not everyone wants or needs to spend time going through a ConnectWise account manager to purchase a third-party solution,” said Jason Magee, CEO of ConnectWise. “When you already know the solution you want, you should be able to make a fast, simple transaction so you can get back to the business of serving your customers. That’s what the reinvention of the Marketplace is all about.”
“We understand that having accurate knowledge of your organization and the teams you manage is absolutely crucial to making better business decisions,” said Jeff Bishop, Chief Product Officer at ConnectWise, in discussing the benefits of ConnectWise Now. “That’s why we’ve been working on improving the overall alignment of our product suite, including creating a single screen where all application data can be accessed and viewed, and in a way, that can be tailored to suit your needs. And because ConnectWise is dedicated to the security of our overall suite and your systems, we have released single sign-on for all applications.”
Launches Duet, App Framework for partners
To break down silos and bring together customer-facing teams at organizations, Zendesk this week unveiled Duet, which combines the power of the company’s Sell and Support offerings.
The Lowdown: Duet creates cohesive experiences by allowing both pre-sales and post-sales teams to use the same platform.
The Details: Duet is now available for $59 per user per month.
Meanwhile, the Zendesk App Framework for Sell provides an open, accessible way for companies to integrate third-party systems and create a unified experience with the tools they already use across marketing, sales, service, etc.
With the framework, partners such as Mailchimp and GetResponse can embed third-party actions and data right within Sell and Support. In addition, company-specific information and custom objects can be brought into the Sell and Support apps from Zendesk Sunshine, Zendesk’s CRM platform.
The Impact: Zendesk is working closely not only with development partners but also with systems integrators to enhance the customer experience. Through their planning, design, and deployment services, integration partners are helping companies digitally transform their businesses.
Background: In a recent survey of SMBs, Zendesk found that 86% of software purchasers said the ability to share customer data between sales and support tools is a very important consideration when evaluating software. That ability becomes even more important in fast-growing businesses with resource-constrained sales and service teams.
The Buzz: “The days of thinking about customers as living in separate sales and support clouds is over. Customer experience transcends any single function or team,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk founder, CEO, and chairman. “With Duet, we’re changing the CRM landscape forever by breaking down the walls between customer-facing teams and making it easy for companies to get started quickly with a joint offering for sales and service.”
“We’re using Zendesk Sell and Support to make it easier for the entire organization to surface and act on relevant information,” said Simon Rodrigue, senior vice president and chief digital officer at Staples Canada. “By giving our sales and support teams everything they need in one platform, they’re able to effectively and efficiently collaborate and improve the customer experience.”
New device family aims to give small orgs big management, security features
HPE’s Aruba this week launched a new family of wireless access points designed to give SMBs the performance and security features traditionally limited to large enterprises.
The Lowdown: The new Aruba Instant On portfolio features Aruba’s 802.11ac Wave 2 technology and combines the networking vendor’s business-grade Wi-Fi feature set in a bundle that includes simplified setup and management and hardened security.
The Details: The new devices should be of interest to SMB organizations that are increasingly tasked to deliver always-on connectivity and need secure and scalable systems but without the setup and management overhead most enterprise systems entail.
The Aruba Instant On family features:
• A simplified mobile app for setup and management
• Two management modes via the Instant On mobile app or cloud-based Web portal
• Compliance with the latest authentication protocols such as WPA2/WPA3
• Smart Mesh technology for network expansion to hard-to-wire areas
• Ceiling, wall mount, and desktop options to suit a variety of SMB environments
The Buzz: “Aruba is leveraging its extensive experience in enterprise networking to bring high-speed wireless connectivity to small businesses that need secure, scalable Wi-Fi with simplified setup and management,” said David Dennis, executive vice president of product management at technology distributor Synnex. “The SMB market is a focus for Synnex and our market-leading Varnex community of partners dedicated to providing great technology solutions at affordable prices. As the largest stocking distributor for Aruba, Synnex sees an enormous market opportunity with this new portfolio of products.”
“The quality and security of Wi-Fi connectivity is a real consideration for small-business customers when they’re deciding where to play, stay, dine, and do business because so much about the overall experience is tied to staying connected,” said Zeus Kerravala, analyst at ZK Research. “The introduction of Aruba Instant On gives small businesses the ability to simply and easily deploy a wireless solution that can be managed remotely by even non-tech savvy people from any mobile device.”
“Savvy small-business owners understand that, in order to compete and win in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, they must deliver a seamless and secure wireless experience to their employees, customers, and guests,” said Norm Lillis, vice president of small business at direct market reseller (DMR) giant CDW. “Together with Aruba’s Instant On platform and CDW’s expertise, our small-business clients will be able to better meet the growing needs of their business.”
Riverbed will offer Versa’s software-defined networking products alongside its network optimization and management systems
Riverbed is expanding its the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) capabilities through an OEM partnership with Versa Networks. The arrangement will fill a gap in the Riverbed network optimization and performance management portfolio.
The Lowdown: Through the Versa partnership, Riverbed will expand its capabilities and product depth in the burgeoning SD-WAN markets segment. The arrangement gives Riverbed access and ability to sell Versa’s Secure Cloud IP software platform. With the addition of Versa’s technology, Riverbed plans to address SD-WAN market opportunities in the large enterprise and Global 2000 market segments.
The Details: Riverbed sees Versa’s SD-WAN technology as a complement to its existing Riverbed SteelConnect SD-WAN solution. Riverbed says the two technologies will have greater scalability, applicability to large enterprise and carrier-grade networking needs, and advanced security features. Riverbed will market the Versa products with its global support and professional services capabilities.
The Buzz: “The agreement with Versa Networks allows Riverbed to provide our customers with a broader set of choices and address the modern networking needs of organizations of all types and sizes – large, medium and small, cloud-first, hybrid and traditional – across the globe,” said Paul Mountford, CEO at Riverbed. “Versa’s enterprise-class technology complements Riverbed’s leading SD-WAN, application acceleration and digital experience management solutions nicely, and will be backed by Riverbed’s leading support and professional services that customers rely on. This expanded portfolio allows Riverbed to more fully go after our large enterprise installed base, which includes the vast majority of the Fortune 2000, and will empower our customers to choose the right SD-WAN solution to help them transform their networks, gain agility and remain competitive in their respective industries.”
“Riverbed is a trusted leader in enterprise wide area networking and digital performance. Our partnership will provide customers with a complete family of next-generation networking and security solutions for today’s digital world with multi-cloud, multi-transport networks,” said Kelly Ahuja, CEO at Versa Networks. “Versa is teaming up with Riverbed to leverage the organization’s global reach into large enterprise, industry-leading support and services, and expertise and leadership in digital performance, which will drive greater opportunities for Versa and a strong offering for enterprise customers.”
New combined offering brings simple audio to conference and huddle rooms through a subscription model
Everyone who has ever tried initiating a conference call in a meeting room has probably uttered that line from the old Verizon commercials, “Can you hear me now?” Establishing clear audio connections in video-enabled conference rooms is a real chore, which is why LogMeIn and Dolby Laboratories are teaming to create a simple, clear audio solution for meeting rooms that’s sold through a subscription model.
The Lowdown: The collaboration between the two companies will combine LogMeIn’s GoToRoom technology with Dolby Voice technology for simply activated audio connections that deliver clear and consistent sound quality.
The Details: Dolby Voice is part of the company’s Room-as-a-Service offering and model. As an add-on to the GoToRoom service, partners can sell the combined LogMeIn and Dolby platform through a subscription model. Dolby says subscription pricing removes the high upfront cost of equipping and supporting multiple meeting rooms and simplifies deployment.
The Impact: After many years of the promise of simplified communications and collaboration platforms, videoconferencing is quickly becoming the norm for individual desktops in meeting rooms. Users often complain, though, of sound and video quality, particularly in meeting room settings where equipment is often difficult to configure and operate. End users are looking for simple systems with high quality to meet their needs and expectations. On paper, the LogMeIn-Dolby system aims to meet that market need.
Background: Video collaboration is a hot market segment, as demonstrated by the recent Zoom initial public offering. The competitor to LogMeIn went public in April and within weeks doubled its value as its simple and effective service wowed analysts, investors, and customers alike. According to IDC, the video onferencing market will reach $1.6 billion annually in 2020.
The Buzz: “With most conferencing solutions today, people spend far too much time struggling to be heard or figuring out what is being said by participants. Dolby’s expertise in audio and video technologies enables us to deliver a natural, life-like, and intuitive conferencing experience with Dolby Voice,” said Andrew Border, vice president of the Communications Business Group at Dolby. “With LogMeIn’s leadership in the collaboration and communication market, along with our shared passion for delivering spectacular user experiences, we will now be able to deliver Dolby Voice to a larger audience.”
“As an innovator in audio and video technologies, Dolby brings an immense amount of expertise to our vision of creating best-in-class, video-enabled spaces [that are] easy to set up and manage,” said Mark Strassman, senior vice president and general manager of UCC at LogMeIn. “With companies increasingly dispersed, and analyst firms such as Aragon Research predicting that by 2022 65% of conference rooms will be video-enabled, it’s more important than ever to offer the most realistic in-room experience so that colleagues, customers, and partners can feel like they are in the same space whether they are sitting across the table or across the globe. Through our collaboration with Dolby, we are closer than ever to achieving that goal, and we look forward to delivering this to the market later this summer.”
New features in Protect help wrangle often unruly native security controls
Tanium this week made a significant addition to its Protect platform, wrapping in encryption management capabilities for Windows and MacOS machines.
The Lowdown: The new Drive Encryption Management features target users who want to take advantage of native data protection controls and policies built into the operating systems (as opposed to third-party encryption tools), but who often find them difficult and complicated to manage at scale.
The Details: Tanium Protect with Drive Encryption Management lets organizations take advantage of native OS security controls using a single console.
With the updated Tanium Protect, security teams can also:
• Manage and enforce policies on local and remote endpoints.
• Create policies to block malicious network connections and applications.
• Secure endpoints with AV protection.
• Strengthen security posture with full-disk encryption and removable media control.
• Remediate security incidents.
The updated Tanium Protect will be available later this summer.
The Buzz: “Encryption of data at rest is essential for securing portable endpoints in the event they are lost, stolen or inappropriately decommissioned. It isn’t optional; it’s a fundamental security control, and most compliance regulations today, such as HIPAA and PCI, require the use of encryption to protect sensitive data,” Matt Hastings, Tanium’s senior director of product management for security and risk wrote in a blog post announcing the feature add-ons. “Tanium offers a lightweight approach to managing and enforcing endpoint security policies, avoids agent bloat, minimizes impact to overall performance, and circumvents the challenges common to slower, antiquated management tools.”
New zSeries appliances, updated software platform target SMBs
Network security vendor Untangle this week rolled out a handful of additions to its zSeries line of appliances, along with a point upgrade to its interface software that improves content filtering and IDS/IPS capabilities.
The Lowdown: The five new zSeries appliances range from small desktop models to 1U rack-mount servers, plus a new wireless option. All come loaded with the new version of the Untangle NG Firewall software, 14.2, which adds enhancements to Web security and content filtering, the ability to synchronize users with Azure Active Directory, and improvements to the platform’s intrusion detection and prevention capabilities.
The Details: Specific Web security and content filtering enhancements in the new wares include:
● Flagging, blocking, and alerting based on search terms for Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask
● Enforcement of safe search for YouTube, with the ability to log searches and lock down usage to show only content that meets the safe search criteria
● Enhanced malware detection to block attacks originating from Web browsing
The new Untangle zSeries appliances are available now. The wireless appliance, z4w, is available in the United States only. Untangle NG Firewall 14.2 is available as a free upgrade for existing customers.
Background: Untangle solutions are aimed primarily at MSPs that serve SMB clients, as well as larger organizations with multiple remote locations.
The Buzz: “The zSeries offers a simplified lineup to suit customers from branch offices to large campuses. Key upgrades available with the zSeries include faster processors, more RAM, NVMe SSD storage on the z6 and above, and fiber connectivity on the z12 and above,” said Heather Paunet, vice president of product management at Untangle. “It’s never been easier to deploy cost-effective, cloud-managed network security across dispersed networks while ensuring a consistent security posture for organizations of any size.”
The file sharing vendor is expanding its collaboration capabilities to extend its functionality, value
Don’t think of Dropbox as a file sharing or synchronization company anymore. The company unveiled new desktop, web and mobile application updates along with new app integrations that are transforming the service into a collaboration platform.
The Lowdown: The updates across the Dropbox portfolio are an attempt to unify the user experience across three mediums — desktop, online and mobile — into a single platform to facilitate better collaboration, communication and information sharing. Dropbox says the new tools, capabilities and extensions for third-party applications will help bring teams together for more efficient operations.
The Details: The new Dropbox release includes a number of improvements, including the ability to create, open, and share Google files (Docs, Sheets, Slides) inside the Dropbox platform; new features for creating shortcuts to Web documents in Dropbox files and directories; and extensions for activating and leveraging third-party applications such as Slack for collaboration and Zoom for audio and video conferencing. Additionally, Dropbox has plans for expanding its partnership to enable in-platform utilization of Atlassian applications, such as Trello for project management Jira for agile product development, and Bamboo for software release management.
The Impact: Dropbox, which has more than 500 million users workwide, is pushing to move beyond its consumer and file sharing roots. The company is aggressively seeking more business customers and is working with partners to uncover new opportunities and facilitate better user experiences. The enhancements and new capabilities to Dropbox to make it more of a collaboration and workspace platform will enhance its value to partners and customers alike.
The Buzz: “The proliferation of cloud files and work apps is staggering, and can make work feel scattered and overwhelming,” said IDC analyst Marci Maddox, Research Manager, Enterprise Content Strategies. “The new Dropbox experience offers a modernized central workspace where users can access all of their files-including web-based and traditional files, seamlessly integrate popular tools, and better coordinate with team members. It’s the first time anyone has natively integrated these new modes of work in one place.”
“Work has become scattered—files are spread across devices, in the cloud, and on our hard drives. We’re working across multiple apps that don’t talk to each other, and teams are struggling to keep up,” said Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox. “We’re focused on removing the friction from that experience, pulling everything together in a way that nobody has done before. The new Dropbox helps you quiet the noise and find focus at work.”
The success of the two companies’ relationship underscores the growing demand for planning software and support
Global systems integrator Deliotte plans to expand its staffing and resources that support Anaplan’s cloud-based planning and process management applications by 67 percent this year to keep up with growing market demand.
The Lowdown: Deloitte already employees 650 consultants that specialize in helping customers adopt, deploy, customize and operationalize Anaplan’s planning management applications. It will increase its ‘model builder” capacity by two-thirds this year as more customers ask for help with planning management in their specific verticals.
The Details: The two companies are building off of already developed joint go-to-market initiatives, including combining Deloitte’s strategic planing capabilities in workforce capacity planning, financial planning and analysis and tax planning with Anaplan’s project and workflow management applications. The two companies closed more than 40 major deals in the first half of 2019, and see momentum continuing in specific market segments including oil and gas, insurance, consumer packaged goods, and retail.
The Impact: The relationship between Anaplan and Deloitte underscores the potential for partners in helping customers identify better processes, managing projects and workflows, and continuously improving project management for better performance and outcomes. Anaplan is looking to expand its partner relationships in a similar fashion to what its doing with Deloitte to meet global market demand for its cloud-based applications.
The Buzz: “Together with Anaplan, we are seeing increased appetite and momentum for Connected Planning solutions across industries and verticals to give our clients a competitive edge amidst constant, disruptive and unpredictable market changes,” said Ed Majors, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and US & Global Anaplan Alliance Leader. “We are honored to be at the forefront of delivering innovative solutions to the market with Anaplan that are enhancing business planning and execution for sales, operations, and finance.”
“From the rise of e-commerce to rapidly evolving consumer expectations, the confluence of disruptive trends is forcing consumer goods companies to rethink their planning and decision-making capabilities,” said Ana Pinczuk, Chief Transformation Officer at Anaplan. “With Deloitte, we jointly created a custom-built commercial planning solution that connects people, data, and plans to enable real-time decision-making and give consumer products companies a competitive edge.”
Cloud CRM vendor believes Tableau can help it attack $1.8 trillion digital transformation opportunity
Salesforce is paying a premium to acqure the tools of data visualization vendor Tableau.
The Lowdown: The all-stock deal values Tableau at $15.7 billion, 13.5 times the company’s 2018 gross revenue. Tableau brings with it a strong recurring revenue stream that topped $841 million in 2018, making it a strong contributor to Salesforce’s existing subscription and services income and profit model.
The Details: Salesforce will integrate Tableau’s data visualization and analytics tools with its Einstein artificial intelligence engine. The intent, Salesforce said in a statement, is to provide businesses with more tools for analyzing operations and productivity that fall under the digital transformation umbrella. According to market analyst firm IDC, businesses worldwide will spend more than $1.8 trillion on digital transformation programs by 2022.
The Impact: While Salesforce will integrate Tableau’s visualization tools with its CRM and management applications, Tableau will continue to operate as an independent company to prevent disruptions. Tableau and Salesforce operate similar channel models, both enabling integrators, resellers, and consultants to support customer experience through support and customization services. The synergies of Salesforce and Tableau should open new opportunities for professional service partners.
The Buzz: “We’re bringing together the world’s No. 1 CRM with the No. 1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers–bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce. “I’m thrilled to welcome Adam and his team to Salesforce.”
“Joining forces with Salesforce will enhance our ability to help people everywhere see and understand data,” said Adam Selipsky, president and CEO of Tableau. “As part of the world’s No. 1 CRM company, Tableau’s intuitive and powerful analytics will enable millions more people to discover actionable insights across their entire organizations. I’m delighted that our companies share very similar cultures and a relentless focus on customer success. I look forward to working together in support of our customers and communities.”
REUTERS: Salesforce to Buy Big Data Firm Tableau Software for $15.3 Billion
CNBC: Salesforce to Buy Tableau Software in $15.7 Billion Deal
GEEKWIRE: Tableau Hits $841M in Annual Recurring Revenue, Up 41%, as Transition to Subscription Model Continues