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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
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February 20, 2023 |

Meet the 2023 ChannelPro Vendors on the Vanguard

Take a tour through our latest batch of overlooked, up-and-coming, and lesser-known vendors in managed services, cloud computing, security, and the Internet of Things.

FANS OF CHANNELPRO’S annual grab bag of interesting, emerging, and underappreciated vendors may recall that last year’s list contained a surprisingly large number of cloud-related entries and a surprisingly small number of security-related ones. The exact opposite is true of this year’s collection, but the results are equally worth investigating. Read on to see if any of our latest names worth knowing provide just the answer to a thorny IT problem plaguing you or your clients.

MANAGED AND CLOUD SERVICES

Bizzity

Courtesy Bizzity

While others took up bread baking or jigsaw puzzles, long-time channel pro Ed Mana spent the lockdown months of 2020 launching a new venture aimed at conquering a familiar problem for him and others like him: the difficulties of integrating and operating a complete, effective sales and marketing tool stack. The solution he ultimately produced includes marketing, CRM, proposal drafting, KPI tracking, and workflow automation components designed to help users generate leads and convert them into closed deals more often and with less effort. It’s the product Mana wishes he had when he was hunting IT business himself. bizzity.com

Cognition360

Wondering how diligent your techs are about tracking their time in comparison with peers at other MSPs? Cognition360 knows. Drawing on machine learning, predictive AI, and anonymous data from some 100 million ConnectWise PSA (formerly ConnectWise Manage) tickets, the system helps MSPs compare themselves to best practice benchmarks in areas ranging from agreement and customer profitability to technician efficiency and service delivery. A recently introduced live dashboarding tool turns what was previously only available as an add-on to the main solution into an entry-level standalone source of real-time metrics on invoicing, opportunities, time entry, and more. Over 100 customizable reports come right in the box. Integration with Microsoft Power BI lets you create more. cognition360.com

[Editor’s note: Since the completion of this story, Cognition360 was acquired by ScalePad.]

Datagate

Telco partners are increasingly offering managed services as well. Datagate gives them a taste of their own medicine by helping MSPs enter the telco market. The cloud-based service turns data from multiple VoIP, PBX, and other providers into complete, accurate bills, and then feeds them to PSA solutions from ConnectWise, Datto, and Kaseya; accounting solutions from QuickBooks and Xero; and payment solutions from ConnectBooster and Stripe. Invoices cover minutes used, overages, toll-free, long-distance, international calling, and more, and include all local surcharges and taxes. There’s a white-label portal too for letting customers view and pay bills online. datagate-i.com

Humanize IT

Channel pros like to talk tech. Business owners don’t. Humanize IT’s sales software is designed to help MSPs close business faster and more reliably by converting the technology presentations they normally make into the business conversations they should be having instead. The system uses anonymous, aggregated data from across an MSP’s customer base to score clients in relation to other businesses on architecture, service, risk, and strategy. MSPs can then present that data, along with specific suggestions for raising scores, on a readable, user-friendly dashboard. The result, according to Humanize IT at least, can be dramatic gains in monthly recurring revenue. humanizeit.biz

Lifecycle Insights

Courtesy Lifecycle Insights

Co-founded by an MSP tired of devoting hours to prepping for quarterly business reviews, Lifecycle Insights makes QBR automation software designed to prepare client-ready reports in minutes. The system integrates with PSA solutions from ConnectWise, Datto, HaloPSA, and Syncro, plus products from Cisco Meraki, IT Glue, Liongard, cloud management vendor Augmentt, and more. Included as well are scheduling functionality for tracking not only upcoming business reviews but warranty expirations and asset refresh cycles, a baseline risk exposure tool for producing new client assessments, a project management module for following up on identified needs, and a comparative reporting component for tracking progress over time—everything, according to Lifecycle Insights, that an MSP needs to become a virtual CIO. lifecycleinsights.io

Magnus Box

Let’s face it, there’s lots of data out there. Backing it up inefficiently takes time, wastes bandwidth, and makes restoring big backups a challenge. Magnus Box’s BDR solution uses client-side deduplication, compression, and incremental updates to ease those headaches. A channel-only offering designed to comply with HIPAA requirements, the system encrypts data during backup, in transit, and at rest. Users pay a flat $45 per month for a platform license that includes three free workstations and unlimited data. Additional endpoints cost $7 per month, and you can white label the service in exchange for a one-time $30 fee. www.magnusbox.com

nOps

Simply identifying everything a client has in the cloud is tough enough. Optimizing all those assets for maximum cost-effectiveness is even harder. nOps is one of a growing crop of solutions designed to help channel pros eliminate wasted cloud spending by identifying underutilized assets and taking maximum advantage of money-saving technologies like autoscaling and reserved instances. And here’s the kicker: Pricing is based entirely on how much you save. Save nothing? Pay nothing. nops.io

Probax

Data lives in many places these days, and channel pros need multiple tools to protect it all. Hive, from Probax, employs integrations with software from Arcserve, Veeam, and Dropbox, as well as Microsoft 365, to provide centralized backup for physical devices, virtual machines, and cloud data. A second solution called Scout adds automated reporting, verification, error fixing, and remote management. A cold storage archiving service is available too, along with an outsourced oversight option for users who’d like Probax to handle BDR for them. MFA and an air-gapped storage architecture, the company says, keep data safe from ransomware and other threats. probax.io

Rewst

Robotic process automation software streamlines business workflows. Rewst’s RPA solution streamlines MSP business workflows. Integrations with a huge range of RMM, PSA, documentation, collaboration, and security solutions, not to mention Microsoft and cloud distis Ingram Micro, Pax8, and Sherweb, enable the system to take tasks like adding users or responding to phishing and dark web alerts off your tech team’s hands, boosting productivity, saving money, and freeing up resources for more complex issues. A drag-and-drop form builder and ready-made templates allow users to create automations without coding. rewst.io

SECURITY

AlertOps

Courtesy AlertOps

Winner of last year’s ConnectWise PitchIT competition for promising startups, AlertOps makes software designed to help MSPs consolidate and act on security alerts more effectively. The system lets users route and escalate alerts dynamically in customized, customer-specific ways based on type of issue, time of day, and other variables. They can also create, close, or update tickets, either automatically or with a single click, and build standard operating procedures for incident response. Integrations span dozens of RMM, log management, network monitoring, and other solutions. Pricing runs $8 per user per month for up to 10 users. A starter pack for up to five users is free. alertops.com

ApexaiQ

ApexaiQ’s IT asset management platform inventories and assesses all the workstations, servers, mobile devices, IoT gizmos, storage systems, and cloud instances in an end-user environment before calculating a numerical risk score on a 60-160 scale inspired by human IQs. Then it provides a prioritized list of necessary remediations, as well as single-click support for true-ups on maintenance contracts and obsolescence timing data you can use to prepare customers for refreshes in advance. The system comes in desktop and mobile versions, and includes over 100 built-in integrations to third-party hardware and clouds. apexaiq.com

Cybrella

Though every SMB arguably needs a chief information security officer, most can’t afford one, and most channel pros lack the in-depth knowledge required to fill that role. Enter Cybrella’s CISO As a Service offering, which gives small and midsize businesses access to a dedicated outsourced CISO for help with vulnerability management, data loss prevention planning, identity and access governance, compliance strategies, and more. Deliverables include a bimonthly status report, quarterly advisory briefs on security trends, and semi-annual security reviews. A separate threat intelligence-as-a-service solution is available as well. cybrella.io

Evo Security

Purpose-built for MSPs, Evo Partner Identity Cloud, from Evo Security, merges multifactor authentication, single sign-on, password management and rotation, and unified directory services for web applications, servers, laptops, desktops, firewalls, VPNs, network devices, and more in a single multitenant solution. Evo Privileged Access Manager, meanwhile, utilizes granular permissions to enforce least privilege access principles and eliminate password and MFA code sharing among technicians. ConnectWise liked the solution enough to announce a global strategic partnership with Evo last December. evosecurity.com

Sasa Software

Threats come in many forms, but files are the most common way they enter compromised environments. GateScanner, Sasa Software’s “content disarm and reconstruction” solution, is designed to cleanse malicious files while they’re still outside an end user’s network. The system automatically intercepts incoming files before they land in someone’s inbox or on their PC, breaks them down into their most elementary components, subjects those components to a variety of threat detection technologies, eliminates potentially dangerous macros and scripts, and then reconstructs a safe, functionally identical version of the original before sending it to its destination. The result, according to Sasa, is 99.99% effective protection from file-borne APTs, ransomware, and zero-days. sasa-software.com

ThreatAdvice

Security experts are expensive. Security stacks can be complicated. The ThreatAdvice Breach Prevention Platform takes on both obstacles by combining continuous vulnerability scanning, threat intelligence, a security management dashboard with over 65 prewritten policies, and security awareness training in a single unified solution. Integration partners include Beachhead Solutions, Cisco, Cylance, and SentinelOne. An optional warranty program supplements cyber insurance with $500,000 of coverage for remediating environments to a “state before failure” following ransomware, business email compromise attacks, and compliance violations. A referral program lets channel pros pocket a perpetual 10% commission on clients directly managed by ThreatAdivce itself. threatadvice.com

Venn

Remote work is the security challenge no one knew they had until COVID-19 came along. Now it’s top of mind for everyone. LocalZone, by Venn, is designed to help end users employ home computers for work purposes by creating an encrypted “secure enclave” for business data that’s safely walled off from everything else on the device. Configurable policies then determine which applications can access that data, where data can be saved, and whether or not downloads, copying, screen sharing, and other actions are permitted. Venn calls the system a “virtual desktop alternative” that provides the security advantages of a VDI solution at less cost. venn.com

Courtesy Venn

 

INTERNET OF THINGS

Asimily

Most ordinary businesses use lots of nontraditional IoT gear. Most healthcare businesses use even more, in examining rooms, laboratories, waiting areas, and beyond. Asimily’s software helps medical clients discover and classify those devices, identify and prioritize their vulnerabilities, execute remediation measures, and then keep the environment safe going forward by alerting administrators about anomalous behavior. Integrated out of the box with security solutions from Aruba, Cisco, Fortinet, and many others, it gives channel pros with healthcare customers a potential one-stop-shopping approach to safeguarding the Internet of Medical Things. asimily.com

Ordr

Like Asimily, Ordr’s agentless technology automatically finds, categorizes, and protects IoMT hardware. It also, however, supports other IoT gear, PCs, servers, and operational technologies. In addition to calling out vulnerabilities, the system lets organizations apply automated policies proactively on a device-specific basis and enforce ad hoc policies reactively during incidents. Built-in “time machine” functionality lets users roll back the clock to see how newly discovered indicators of compromise may have impacted devices in previously undetected attacks. Another trait the solution shares with Asimily’s is a long list of integration partners. ordr.net

Opening Image: iStock


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