There’s more to the cloud than simply running workloads or storage in a hosted environment – and the channel has a vital role to play in ensuring that the technology meets customer needs.
Channel partners might feel they have been disintermediated by the cloud. Unless they’re multi-million rand players, they probably don’t have the resources to host their own data centres or develop their own software as a service (SaaS) applications.
However, they could still be valuable – and profitable – partners if they help customers to look after their management, security and data protection in the cloud.
“More companies are outsourcing their internal IT systems, and we can already see the full transformation in things like office automation,” says Eugene van der Walt, who looks after the cloud services department at COREX. “The fact is, businesses don’t see the need to have their own IT departments, or provide their own IT infrastructure services.”
As their customers move to the cloud, new opportunities for channel partners, resellers and service providers are opening up, Van der Walt says. COREX has put together a set of tools to help its partners transform their businesses to offer new services.
So many channel players still view their own role as that of “break-fix” providers, when they could be much more effective and profitable if they could offer managed IT services, Van der Walt says.
“It’s easy to see that management IT offers more for customers and partners than the traditional method of IT support. As time goes by, we hope that more business to consider and ultimately switch to being managed service providers.”
To help partners make the move, COREX has brought together a comprehensive toolset that will help them become managed service providers with a minimum investment in money and resources.
“We’ve put together a combination of software as a service (SaaS) and cyber-security platforms that will help customers to transition as seamlessly as possible – and without a huge cost. We believe that if customers invest in modern automation systems can help their customers to prevent downtime and increase network stability
“In today’s market it’s all about the services you can deliver,” Van der Walt says. “Our vision is to provide a profitable and workable SaaS solution to the channel, helping them to seize new opportunities and grow.”
The toolset from COREX lets partners offer their customers management, security and data protection.
Allowing partners to take an ecosystem based approach to IT management, COREX has already done the integration work required so that products within the toolset work together seamlessly to alleviate the pain points customers are feeling.
“These three topics are key among CIOs, particularly when they start their business transformation journey. Having the tools to offer services in these environments will give partners the edge in today’s IT service market.”
In terms of management, COREX offers Ninja and RepairShopr; Webroot takes care of security; and StorageCraft is the data protection solution.
Ninja MSP develops the SaaS-based Ninja RMM remote management and monitoring (RMM) platform, helping partners to implement a fully-functional, cloud-based monitoring solution for managing their customers’ IT environments.
Ninja RMM provides an ecosystem-based approach to IT management, combining all the products managed service providers need to run their customers’ business from a single pane of glass.
Importantly, it also integrates products like TeamViewer, Webroot, Vipre, MalwareBytes and RepairShop so partners can easily manage all their devices regardless of whether they are running a large network operations centre (NOC) or a smaller operation.
Ninja RMM is agent-based, and can monitor and manage Windows servers, PC workstations and Mac devices from one console. It’s easy to learn and simple to use, while administrators can easily find devices and customers with dynamic search.
“In IT it’s now more critical than ever to have a firm grasp on your internal infrastructure so you can fix issues easily and quickly,” says Van der Walt. “Using Ninja RMM you can do just that.”
Designed specifically for repair shops, RepairShopr is an all-in-one system integrating ticketing, customer relationship management (CRM), invoices and marketing in one easy-to-use platform.
RepairShopr opens the door for existing break-fix providers to transition to a more managed IT environment. The fool-proof system gives partners the opportunity to build a more professional-looking operation while increasing their productivity and service delivery levels.
RepairShopr integrates seamlessly with other SaaS systems.
As the scope and intensity of cyber-security threats increases, companies have to go beyond anti-virus if they want to keep their IT systems secure.
Webroot is a market leader in endpoint security, network security and threat intelligence. Award-winning products in the Webroot family include BrightCloud streaming malware protection, SecureAnywhere and FlowScape.
“Adding Webroot to our arsenal enables our partners and managed service providers (MSPs) to leverage its service offerings to secure their customers against the most advanced cyber-threats,” says Van der Walt.
In fact, more than 8 000 MSOs currently partner with Webroot to protect well over 160 000 businesses around the world.
Webroot integrates with the leading remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional service automation (PSA) systems on the market.
An award-winning backup, disaster recovery, system migration and data protection solution, StorageCraft works in both physical and virtual environments so it’s tailor-made for modern data centre needs.
The product is widely recognised for the speed and reliability of its disaster recovery solutions, which can run either on-premise or as a managed service.
“With ransomware so prevalent in the market, our partners are looking for a solution that can provide excellent recovery services that encompass backup for SaaS applications while offering file-and-folder endpoint protection and intelligent data analytics,” Van der Walt says.
“What customers want at the end of the day is the ability to report on what’s going on with their data and to easily access their back-ups. With StorageCraft, our customers can offer them this.”
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is a growing market – reports estimate that it will grow from $1,42-billion to R11,92-billion by 2020 – and StorageCraft lets partners add it to their services listing as part of a comprehensive availability strategy.
In fact, StorageCraft is not just a leader in business continuity, it also offers market-leading data management, Van der Walt adds. “So the company is pretty big when it comes to data, and can deliver software products that reduce downtime, improve security and stability for systems and data, and lower the total cost of ownership.
“StorageCraft is a 100% channel-driven company, so adding this tool to our solution set builds a more powerful offering for our local channel partners, resellers and service providers.”