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Managed services and cloud computing took center stage at the
CompTIA Breakaway conference in Washington DC this week, as standing-room-only
cloud seminars attracted hundreds of IT solution providers and vendors took
advantage of the opportunity to talk about their cloud wares. Here’s a look at
some of the vendors and products at the event.

This white label cloud-based backup and recovery provider
which works exclusively with the channel has partnerships with PSA and RMM
technology companies. The company provides the channel with a customer success
program that includes 60-day onboarding training. Fees are charged on a per Gig
basis, and partners set their own prices. 
Billing data can be exported to their PSAs. The company claims 30 second
hold times for support for its partners and 2,400 partners.

Zenith Infotech

Zenith Infotech unveiled a new “frequent flyer” program,
awarding points to its 5,600 MSP partners for sales that they can later redeem
for more services and technology. “They can even buy miles – it’s more or less
a loyalty program,” Maurice Saluan, senior vice president of sales, told
Channel Insider.  Zenith Infotech also
adjusted its business continuity pricing, offering back up for about 4 cents a
Gig, Saluan said. The solution has seen particular success in verticals such as
healthcare and retail which are bound to compliance regulations such as HIPAA
(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and PCI (Payment Card

Saluan also teased taking Zenith Infotech’s Virtual Box
solution to also support competitive hypervisors such as VMware and Microsoft’s
Hyper-V.  The private cloud solution,
introduced by the company in January, already claims 1,300 partners.  About 900 have the solution under a 90 day evaluation
and 400 partners are in production mode currently.

Zenith Infotech is also introducing a network audit tool to
its remote monitoring and management solution to provide MSPs with an
assessment of the devices on the network. The company is also working on a PC
backup solution, due to hit in Q4.


Spun off from solution provider ExternalIT, OS33 offers fully hosted
IT-as-a-service offerings for MSP partners. In addition to the dashboard which
allows MSPs to spin up any number of well-known server offering such as
Sharepoint and email, OS33 also offers Webtop, a web-based desktop software
browser based solution that provides a desktop experience for users on any
browser. The company is also working on a native client for iPad.  OS33 partners with Savvis for co-location. It
offer 24-hour support and managed backup. The company currently has 40 partners
and 100,000 end points and is actively recruiting new partners with an eye to
mature MSP companies. The bar starts at 300 end-users. Data centers are based
in Santa Clara, Calif., New Jersey and Kansas.

Calyptix Security 

Providing a multipurpose all-in-one firewall that acts as router,
firewall, intrusion detection and email filter, Calyptix offers a device that
starts at $999 through its 250 partners and does 80 to 90 percent of its sales through
the channel. “We are handing VARs a security toolbox,” he told Channel Insider.
“Normally they are handed a single product.” The greatest challenge is the
education gap in the SMB market as business owners see one solution for $100
and another for $1,000 and don’t know the difference. The company provides
training to its partners, which include MSPs


The maker of chips for PCs was at CompTIA in force this
year, talking about what it is doing to address the challenges of a more mobile
workforce (think battery life and a more graphical mobile experience) as well
as talk about its business models. AMD launched its first line of APUs at the
beginning of 2011, Accelerated Graphics Technology, which puts the x86 processor
and the graphics processing unit on a single chip, improving both battery life
and performance.  The technology provides
a fuller experience on netbook-like devices. 
Tablets are planned by Acer and NSI.


Providing business email, document management, calendar,
contact management, project management and intranet/extranet, all based in the cloud,
HyperOffice is on a VAR/MSP recruitment initiative, looking for a few
well-established partners in both North America and overseas, according to
Andrew Brown, the company’s new Director of Channel Sales. Competitive with
offerings from Microsoft and Google Apps, President Farzin Arsanjani told
Channel Insider that end-user pricing and ROI beats Microsoft and is
competitive with Google Apps. But more significantly for partners, in a time
when Microsoft and Google are driving down the margins on cloud sales,
HyperOffice is offering a 50 percent margin, on the first year and in
subsequent years. “It’s a true partnership,” Brown said. The solution is
configurable and extensible. Partners can add value through integrations and
building their own applications. Clients are also available for iPhone, Android
and other mobile platforms.


ClearCenter was on the CompTIA exhibit floor, showcasing
ClearBOX 100 line of all-in-one appliances for SMBs, which fill out its line of
products for hybrid service providers. The company’s technology marries
together the operating system for the entire stack, displacing the need for
Microsoft Server or networking OSes. It also incorporates security technology
including intrusion detection and prevention, firewall, antimalware, and
content filtration, among others. Other products include the ClearOS Enterprise,
a network, gateway and server OS designed to runs on standard x86 hardware.
ClearCenter has a deep partnership with Intel, but is disruptive to companies
such as Microsoft and Cisco, which would rather you buy their individual
offerings and integrate them yourself. CEO Michael Proper, who has also founded
IT service provider companies and IT financing companies, was recently
appointed to serve as chair of the CompTIA Cloud/SaaS Community.