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The race between providers of managed services technology for mind share intensified on Wednesday as Corente Inc. launched an initiative to recruit channel partners.

Corente, of New York, is launching the Authorized Partner Program in effort to enlist VARs, integrators and service providers to deliver managed services to customers through Corente’ Applications Without Boundaries (AWB) solution.

The solution allows partners to securely and remotely manage various applications, such as financials, VOIP and supply chain, in customer’s distributed environments.

Partners enrolling in Corente’s program will get sales and technical training, marketing support and an assigned sales executive to help them identify and acquire new customers, said CEO Jim Zucco.

Partners may opt for a software-as-service model with no capital investment with Corente providing support to customers, or they may choose to run the service and provide the support themselves.

“We can fine-tune the level of customer service required by our partners. For smaller partners that might not have the staff to provide support, we are happy to provide that for them,” Zucco said.

With its recruitment efforts, Corente is going head to head with other providers of managed services platforms, such as Kaseya Inc. and N-Able Technologies Inc., as well as managed services providers such as Perimeter Internetworking and Invision Inc., in vying for the business of VARs, integrators and service providers wanting to offer managed services.

Through managed services, channel companies take over some or all of their customers’ IT functions and manage them remotely. Customers are retained through monthly billing contracts that generate predictable revenue for the service providers.

Corente has caught the eye of IBM, which is partnering with the company through its PartnerWorld Industry Networks initiative for ISVs. The company also was singled out by analyst firm Gartner Inc., which praised Corente for its technology’s scalability and enablement of near real-time changes.

One channel companies already partnering with Corente is Prescient Development Inc., of Schaumburg, Ill., whose vice president, Marc Palano, said the partnership grew out of the need for Prescient to provide secure connectivity between customer sites. Installing Corente’s software, he said, was as easy as plug and play.

Prescient now uses Corente to deliver managed services to more than 30 percent of its customers, with sites in 30 countries. In some cases, Palano said, Prescient uses the technology to remotely take over customers’ IT functions.

“We’ve never had anybody say this implementation hasn’t worked, so take it out,” Palano said.

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By partnering with Corente, he said, Prescient has been able to operate with a smaller staff than it would have to have without the remote capabilities.

“From my perspective, any company’s biggest expense is going to be labor or revenue. This helps us to expand our reach without necessarily adding resources to do so,” Palano said.

Corente securely connects hundreds, even thousands, of locations through gateways that communicate with each other and with a control point. Control points provide each gateway with services such as configuration and policy management, software updates and monitoring.

Corente partners have options as to how transparent they want the vendor to be to their end-user customers.

“Depending on the partners’ needs and business model, they can directly resell AWB as a Corente branded service, co-brand, or for a fee, Corente can private-label the software and management portal,” Zucco said.

Corente charges partners an annual fee of $1,000, which is refundable after the first $100,000 is contracted.