IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

News Bytes from the ChannelPro SMB Forum Mid-Atlantic

Here’s a look at what’s coming soon from Armor, Mindmatrix, Nfina, and TD SYNNEX. By Colleen Frye and Rich Freeman

An expo hall full of exhibitors at ChannelPro’s recent SMB Forum event in Raleigh, N.C., offered our team a chance to catch up with leading vendors on recent milestones and future plans. Here’s a look at some of what they revealed.

TD SYNNEX Planning New Cloud Programs
Now that Tech Data and SYNNEX have officially merged to form TD SYNNEX, partners can expect the two distributors’ cloud offerings to begin merging as well, along with some new programs around the first of the year “that are really going to help to accelerate [partners’] growth and their adoption of the cloud in an innovative and fun new way that the channel hasn’t really seen before,” says Dakota Fitzgerald, SYNNEX Stellr cloud and platform strategist.

Partners should envision “an acceleration ramp for cloud technologies” that focuses on solution selling over a vendor-specific approach, she adds. “Maybe you’re looking at security and networking as a whole instead of a specific-vendor solution. We’re going to be able to create an atmosphere in which you can go in and gain all of these different valuable resources and tools to help you be successful within that particular cloud category set.”

An emphasis on ecosystems will also be coming, Fitzgerald says. “There are so many third-party solutions that we have available to our resellers. We want to start incentivizing them to sell not only cloud service provider solutions and cloud native solutions but also third-party ecosystem vendor solutions that are going to add additional value to their environments and to their end users.”

Look out as well for virtual reality/augmented reality tools, she notes, “where you can go in and explore and experience different technologies within this augmented reality. It’s extremely innovative. It’s very cool to see the technology deployed in real time and … see firsthand how these technologies work and how you can interact with them and how your end users could benefit from them as well.”

Armor Relaunching Partner Program Targeted for MSPs
Armor, a global cloud security company with a turnkey platform, is relaunching its partner program within the next 60 days specifically to meet the needs of managed service providers, according to Christine Gassman, director of global channel engagement. The company, founded in 2009, recently shifted to a channel-focused model.

MSPs can take advantage of the existing channel partner program, which includes a portal, co-branded marketing materials, and MDF, “but we’re developing a new program specifically for managed service providers with benefits that will help support them in growing,” says Gassman. The new program will include additional product training as well as cybersecurity training, plus not-for-retail licenses. “We want to make it as easy as possible for MSPs to use our technology internally, as well as to be able to get to know it in the early stages to really make sure that they’re comfortable with it, they like what they see, and can manage it for their clients.” Armor also recently formed an MSP feedback group, Gassman adds, and is considering peer groups as well. 

The partner program relaunch will closely follow the hiring of channel-experienced Bryan Hauptman as chief revenue officer in July. “Armor knew that there was a lot of opportunity in the MSP space and really wanted to go after it,” Gassman says, “so they were looking for someone that had that experience selling to MSPs, nurturing MSPs, helping them grow.”

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