Ciena Software Creates New Business Model for MSPs

By Gina Roos
managed service providers

Ciena Platform Sets Up New Business Model for MSPs

Ciena introduced a software solution that establishes a new business model for managed services providers (MSPs). The new virtual services software platform, Agility Matrix, gives providers a more profitable strategy for adding and expanding network services and appliance functionality with a simple web interface and a consumption-based billing model, said Ciena.

The new approach links the managed services model with the virtualization trend. It is designed to modernize the acquisition, distribution, consumption and payment of virtualized network functions (VNF), and allows enterprises to improve performance of all enterprise and cloud-based applications and better manage distributed networks.

The Agility Matrix software includes a VNF Market, an open, online marketplace for a variety of third-party VNFs, and Director, a management and orchestration engine. The virtual network interface is described as similar to an online shopping experience—users can drag and drop items into their carts.

New network services, such as encryption, firewalls and VPNs, can be delivered as managed services in a matter of minutes versus days or weeks, said Ciena. The network specialist is building out its VNF Market, and is currently working with several leading virtual appliance vendors, including BlackRidge Technology, Brocade, Certes Networks, Silver Peak and Spirent Communications.

Ciena also established a new business division, Ciena Agility. This division includes dedicated resources for software development, product line management, product marketing, service and support, sales and business development, and has accountability for delivering network control and application software technologies to help providers deliver an on-demand, consumption-based business services.

Ciena expects the Agility Matrix solution to be generally available in the second quarter of 2015.

Novus Expands Microsoft Lync Portfolio

Continuing to build its Lync services business, Novus, a distributor of telecommunications and IP equipment, has added several Lync-qualified products from leading device and hardware manufacturers to its portfolio. The announcement comes nine months after Novus achieved the Microsoft Gold Communications Competency.

Focusing on voice applications, new products added to Novus' linecard include AudioCodes' lineup of Lync-qualified products, including IP phones, gateways and session border controllers; Sennheiser's latest Lync product, the "puck-shaped" Speakerphone series for personal or small group conferences using a PC, smartphone or tablet; and Numonix's Lync-based call logging and recording system. Novus carries Lync hardware from more than 10 manufacturers with a full portfolio of IP phones, media gateways, load balancers and Session Initiation Protocol trunks.

HP, Alcatel-Lucent Expand Global Alliance

HP and Alcatel-Lucent have expanded their global alliance to help the largest organizations and service providers build network-enabled, distributed cloud solutions to create business opportunities, offer greater efficiencies and improve customer service. Leveraging the strengths of both companies, the partnership incorporates selected Alcatel-Lucent IP routing and optical products into HP's existing routing and storage portfolios. Combining these data center and network solutions helps to "reduce complexity, lower OPEX and boost agility to accelerate innovation of new products and services," the companies said.

The partnership touts increased business agility with new HP storage solutions that deliver fully validated end-to-end business continuity and disaster recovery, enhanced scalability using Alcatel-Lucent IP service routers and next-generation platform offerings.

dinCloud Windows Desktop Service Available on Android Platform

dinCloud's HTML5-based hosted virtual desktop (HVD) solution, webHVD, is available on Android devices. By expanding the selection of devices on which webHVD can be used, the cloud services provider allows customers to access their workspace regardless of which mobile device is used.

Existing webHVD customers can download the free Android app at the Google Play store by searching "webHVD" from their phones or tablets. WebHVD can also be accessed from Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops through the Google Chrome browser.

Avnet Expands Oracle Partnership

Avnet Technology Solutions has expanded its Latin America and Caribbean relationship with Oracle beyond Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico to also include Venezuela, as well as bolstered offerings in Puerto Rico.

Under the new agreement, Avnet will now offer Oracle's full-stack capabilities, including Oracle Systems, Oracle Technology and Oracle Applications in Venezuela. Avnet also will provide channel partners with Oracle Systems initially in Puerto Rico.

The global IT distributor plans to extend this into other Caribbean markets in the future. The combination of Oracle's offerings with Avnet's expertise will allow channel partners to better address their customers' software and systems requirements in these markets.

JB&A to Sell Adder Technology Products via CDW Website

Adder Technology, a manufacturer of high-performance keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) products, has expanded its distribution agreement with JB&A to include ordering and fulfillment of Adder's connectivity products through the CDW Website. Adder's media networks, extenders and keyboard, video and mouse switch solutions, including the AdderLink Infinity, are immediately available through CDW's Website, making its products more widely available to customers.

By working with partners, such as Adder and CDW, JB&A is able to customize end-to-end workflow solutions to meet the needs of media and broadcasting industries in North America, said the company. The new channel is expected to expand JB&A's market share of Adder product sales.

AppSense Upgrades Product Suite for VARs

AppSense, a provider of User Environment Management (UEM) solutions, is launching new versions of its DesktopNow suite that help its VARs support virtual desktops, physical desktops and midmarket organizations. The expanded portfolio—DesktopNow Virtual Edition, DesktopNow PC Edition and UEM Essentials—offers simplified infrastructure, deployment options and reduced price points to meet the requirements of organizations of any size, industry or use case.

These additions, along with existing solutions, enable AppSense to offer product packages and price points that address all segments of the market. UEM Essentials enables midmarket businesses to solve the most common issues in deploying virtual desktops, said AppSense.

The benefits of DesktopNow PC Edition for businesses with physical desktop estates include simple PC recovery and replacement, improved end-point security and increased IT efficiency, while benefits of the DesktopNow Virtual Edition include faster logons, application and desktop optimization, increased IT efficiency and the economic benefits of non-persistent VDI, the company said.

Swiftpage, ALSO Sign Master Distribution Agreement

Swiftpage, a provider of software and services for small businesses, has entered into a master distribution agreement with ALSO Holding, an information and communications technology (ICT) distribution company in Europe. Under the agreement, ALSO will distribute the Act! customer and contact management business application portfolio through its established channel and its new ALSO Cloud Marketplace.

The Act! offering is designed for resellers that are looking for a locally hosted, subscription-model contact management offering for their customers, said Swiftpage. Act! resellers, known as Act! Certified Consultants, may use the ALSO platform to bundle, sell and manage ALSO qualified cloud services from the local ALSO Marketplaces. ALSO CHOICE is a customizable white-label service, allowing resellers to rebrand as their own and begin selling in the cloud.

N-able by SolarWinds Releases Backup Manager UDP for MSPs

N-able by SolarWinds, a provider of remote monitoring and management (RMM) and service automation software, has launched its Backup Manager–Arcserve UDP, an addition to its backup offerings for MSP partners worldwide. Simplifying backup management for MSPs, N-able's Backup Manager Unified Data Protection (UDP) gives MSPs a single backup solution to address all of their customers' needs, delivering deduplication, high availability, offsite replication and other advanced features in a single unified management console that eliminates the need for multiple tools.

The new "as-a-service" backup offering operates across virtual and physical environments, providing quick restores and streamlined backup management. Other features include simple task-based data protection and availability plans; agentless backup for VMware & Hyper-V (Windows & Linux VMs); support for physical systems (Windows & Linux), built-in replication and high availability for advanced backup; true global deduplication to reduce storage requirements and storage costs; migration of disk images to tape, with granular restore from disk or tape; self testing of backups as they are completed; and easy-to-manage remote capabilities when used in conjunction with N-able's N-central RMM, the company said.

This article was originally published on 2014-12-10