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BitTitan Focuses on Upsell Capabilities for Microsoft Partners

BitTitan took another step this month in its ongoing effort to expand its cloud migration tools into a platform that Microsoft partners can run their businesses on.

Previous milestones in the effort included the launch of the MSPComplete and CSPComplete packages in October. Those bundles packaged BitTitan's existing tools in an "onboard" pillar and added a "sell" pillar and a "service" pillar. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 12, 2016 at 10:40 AM0 comments

Microsoft Partner Exec Shuffle: Sorgen Goes to EPG, Schuster Interim Channel Chief

Microsoft is moving some senior partner executives around as it comes into the home stretch of its fiscal year, which ends next month.

After a nearly three-year stint as corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, Phil Sorgen will become corporate vice president of the U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group (EPG), a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail Tuesday. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM0 comments

Partner of the Year M&A: New Signature Buys Dot Net Solutions

In a merger of high-profile Microsoft partners, U.S.-based New Signature bought U.K.-based Dot Net Solutions in a deal announced Tuesday.

New Signature is the 2014 and 2015 Microsoft U.S. Partner of the Year; Dot Net is the 2014 Microsoft U.K. Partner of the Year. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 03, 2016 at 2:35 PM0 comments

Microsoft Expanding IUR for Cloud Partners

More internal use rights (IURs) are now available to certain categories of Microsoft partners to allow them to broaden their experience with the new Office 365 E5 suite and to better enable them to create customer demos for Dynamics CRM Online.

Gavriella Schuster, general manager of Microsoft Worldwide Partner Programs, unveiled the new benefits this week in a blog post that also discussed the availability of the new Windows and Devices competency. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 27, 2016 at 11:51 AM0 comments

SkyKick Deepens Exec Bench with Microsoft Vets

SkyKick added three senior leaders with Microsoft experience to its executive team as the company acts to bolster its marketing and accelerate its global expansion.

Seattle-based SkyKick, which provides tools for migrating and backing up Office 365 and managing Software as a Service (SaaS) accounts from multiple vendors, announced on Monday the hiring of Chike Farrell as vice president of marketing; Kathryn Saducas as general manager of Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Anthony Philips as general manager of business development EMEA. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 25, 2016 at 10:11 AM0 comments

MSP Platform Vendors Race To Integrate

Three major providers of managed service provider-focused platforms revealed substantial expansions or integrations of their platforms in the last week, highlighting the arms race among top-tier vendors to provide a one-stop toolset for an MSP's business.

Autotask on Monday announced the unification of its professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools. Newly dubbed the Autotask PSA and Endpoint Management platform, the unification is supposed to make technicians at MSP companies more efficient by eliminating the need for them to toggle between systems, while also leading to new insights as they see previously disparate information in the same user interface. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 20, 2016 at 11:52 AM0 comments

Carbonite Updates Partner Program for EVault Era

Three months after closing the North American portion of its EVault acquisition, Carbonite this week began rolling out a new partner program to accommodate its broader product portfolio.

Carbonite announced the $14 million cash acquisition of the EVault assets from Seagate Technology in December. Founded in 1997, EVault had been part of Seagate since 2007. The North American portion of the acquisition closed in mid-January, although the European Union part of the deal stretched further into the year. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 20, 2016 at 2:37 PM0 comments

Microsoft Waives Fee for New Windows Competency

Microsoft on Monday launched a new Windows and Devices Competency, designed to highlight Microsoft partners with expertise in Windows 10 and mobility, with a fee waiver for partners who sign up for the silver level in the next two months.

The competency becomes the 29th competency in the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). However, Microsoft announced plans last week to retire a dozen competencies over the next 18 months, including a Devices and Deployment competency that the Windows and Devices competency partially replaces. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 18, 2016 at 2:20 PM0 comments

Office 365 Sales Put Microsoft in Close 2nd in Enterprise SaaS

Microsoft is breathing down Salesforce.com's neck in the enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) market, according to a new research report.

Synergy Research Group, which specializes in quarterly tracking and segmentation of IT and cloud markets, on Monday released a report showing Microsoft barely behind market leader Salesforce.com in the competitive enterprise SaaS market. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 18, 2016 at 1:22 PM0 comments

On the Offensive: Microsoft Sues U.S. Government over Secrecy Orders

On the theory that sometimes the best defense is a good offense, Microsoft struck out at the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch with a lawsuit on Thursday.

The suit tacitly acknowledges one of the most powerful objections to using cloud services, in which a megavendor like Microsoft stores much of the most vital data for millions of customers in, virtually, one place. While centralizing that data under one vendor's control brings powerful cost efficiencies and delivers enterprise-class features for small customers and even home users, it also becomes an extremely attractive target for criminal hackers, spies and government investigators. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 14, 2016 at 12:52 PM0 comments

Study: BYOD Usage Widespread but Security Is a Question Mark

Bring your own device (BYOD) usage is widespread, popular with companies and users, and largely mysterious when it comes to security, according to a new survey of 800 security professionals worldwide.

Conducted by Crowd Research Partners within the Information Security Community on LinkedIn, the survey was sponsored by Bitglass, Blancco Technology Group, Check Point Software Technologies, Skycure, SnoopWall and Tenable Network Security. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 30, 2016 at 9:13 AM0 comments

Dizzying Array of Landing Places for SQL Server 2005 Customers

When support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 expires on April 12, Microsoft partners will have more choices than ever as far as Microsoft-approved migration paths for their customers. Many of those choices would seem very strange to those partners' 2005 or 2006 selves, who moved those customers onto SQL Server 2005 in the first place.

The first option is an old-fashioned approach -- upgrading customers to SQL Server 2014 or getting them ready for SQL Server 2016 when it is generally available later this year. Also familiar from the old Microsoft playbook is a parallel campaign to attract Oracle customers to the SQL Server platform. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 24, 2016 at 12:20 PM0 comments