CompTIA Offers Tips for MSPs

By Gina Roos
managed services

CompTIA Offers Managed Services Guide

CompTIA added a new guide to its educational resources to help managed service providers (MSPs) address the challenge of building a successful managed services sales organization and managing it. The free guide includes insights into the best practices used by some of the most successful MSPs.

CompTIA's "Quick Start Guide to Managing a Managed Services Sales Organization" covers seven areas that will help MSPs build and maintain a strong sales team. They include the following:  targeting the right market, creating a sales process that differentiates the business, choosing the right sales team, grounding the sales team in a strong managed services knowledge base, motivating the sales team with the right compensation system, using technology to make sales and service more efficient, and enabling sales through professional aligned sales collateral and robust marketing.

One challenge MSPs face is the shift from transactional product sales to selling service contracts, according to the industry association. A CompTIA survey of 350 IT companies, released in August 2014, found that 35 percent of channel firms planned to make some major changes to their sales and marketing approaches in the coming year, driven by the shift from product-based reselling to a bigger reliance on recurring services revenue.

Lenovo, Zenoss Forge Alliance

Lenovo has entered into an alliance with Zenoss, a unified monitoring and analytics specialist, to help enterprises and service providers improve IT service reliability, responsiveness and operational efficiency. Under the agreement, the companies will extend the Zenoss Resource platform by adding the ZenPack plug-in to Lenovo's lineup of x86 servers.

The Zenoss Resource Manager provides increased visibility into x86 server environments in virtualized, converged and cloud infrastructures. This includes advanced performance management and availability monitoring, event management, notification and escalations in a single Web-based interface. By providing a services-oriented view into the infrastructure, the software tool helps to isolate and resolve problems.

OnApp Unveils Web Portal for VMware-Based Clouds

OnApp announced the availability of OnApp for VMware vCloud Director, a Web and mobile portal for VMware vCloud Air Network service providers. OnApp for vCloud Director enables service providers to manage VMware-based clouds, provision and bill for services, and provide the latest features to their customers through customizable and rebrandable Web, iOS and Android portals.

The portal supports the new functionality released in vCloud Director 5.6 and includes OnApp's extensive control of billing plans to vCloud Director environments, as well as self-service VM management for end user/tenant operations. With the release of vCloud Director 5.6 last year, VMware announced that new vCloud Director functionality will be available only through APIs and third-party user interfaces under its ISV Partner Ecosystem program.

Zynstra Launches Hybrid IT as a Service to North American SMBs

Zynstra, a provider of enterprise-class hybrid IT for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), now offers its Cloud Managed Server Appliances in North America.  Providing enterprise-class IT at an affordable cost for SMBs, the hybrid IT solution, which leverages both on-premises IT and the cloud, will be sold as a service for a monthly fee to small businesses in North America.

Zynstra's appliances will be delivered exclusively on HP ProLiant servers at the SMB location. Standard features include core IT services, automatic updating and local security. Using a channel-only sales model in North America, the appliances will be sold through a network of North American channel partners. Zynstra's first distribution partner in North America is CloudMSP.

Red Commerce Joins SAP Partner Programs

Red Commerce, a global solutions provider, has become an SAP services partner in the SAP PartnerEdge Program in the United States and has joined the SAP Consulting Partner Program for North America. Red also is authorized to offer services in support of cloud solutions from SAP, including those from SAP companies Ariba and SuccessFactors, as well as the SAP HANA in-memory database management platform.

As an SAP services partner, Red has access to a broad range of software tools and solutions, resources, services and benefits to help them build a partnership with SAP. As a SAP consulting partner, Red said it will collaborate with the company to further accelerate time-to-value on the implementations of SAP solutions, and provide experts on projects led by SAP's professional services organization.

Continuity Software Attains Oracle Gold Level Partner

Continuity Software, a provider of service availability risk management solutions, has achieved Gold Partner status in the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). Gold-level partnership recognizes Continuity for its Oracle-related knowledge in delivering solutions that mitigate downtime and data-loss risks across the entire enterprise IT environment, and for addressing the challenges of joint customers.

As a Gold-level partner, Continuity Software can start developing specializations that will help the company grow its business, increase expertise, reach higher levels of customer retention and create differentiation in the marketplace. The company also now has access to Oracle account representatives and My Oracle Support updates for all products. Continuity Software also becomes eligible to resell all Oracle Technology products and can apply to resell Oracle Applications and Industry Solutions.

ObserveIT Expands Global Partner Program

ObserveIT, a provider of user activity monitoring, has expanded its RAMP partner program.

The new partner program increases marketing support, financial incentives and training for global partners. The multi-tiered program supports a variety of partner types, including value-added resellers, technology partners, alliances and service providers.

New program benefits include discounts, free training and certifications. Enhanced marketing support includes lead sharing, specialized collateral and co-marketing funds. The company also added a "JumpStart" incentive that provides a guaranteed 30 percent margin on new business registered with ObserveIT.

CounterTack Teams Up With Clone Systems

CounterTack, a big data endpoint detection and response specialist, has announced a partnership with Clone Systems, a network security provider. As part of the partnership, Clone Systems will support the CounterTack CyberPath Partner Program, which is CounterTack's ecosystem of managed security service providers (MSSPs), channel, solution and technology partners built around CounterTack Sentinel, an enterprise platform for endpoint threat detection and response. The program enables MSSPs to deliver an advanced threat protection service to their customers to help enterprises regain endpoint control across an off-site, managed deployment.

This article was originally published on 2015-01-21