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BackBay Communications is a strategic branding, marketing and public relations firm focused on the financial and professional services sectors, including private equity, asset management, banking, insurance, financial technology, accounting, consulting and law. BackBay offers a unique combination of content and creativity.

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Marketing Strategy

Top 10 Unified Communications VARs: Leading Providers for 2024

Article | August 28, 2023

Check out the best unified communications value-added resellers in 2024. Leverage the power of unified communications platforms for better connectivity with this latest comprehensive article. Contents 1. Role of VARs in Unified Communications 2. Criteria for Evaluating Top UC Providers 3. Best Practices for VAR Excellence in Unified Communications 4. Featuring the Top 10 Unified Communications VARs 4.1 InflowCX 4.2 CNP Technologies 4.3 FirstComm 4.4 Harbor Networks 4.5 Packet FusionApp Integration 4.6 Fidelus Technologies 4.7 LANtelligence 4.8 Comscentre 4.9 CRMIT Solutions 4.10 ShoreTel 5. Future Scope 1. Role of VARs in Unified Communications Unified communications (UC) integrates various communication tools and technologies into a cohesive system to streamline business communications. It combines voice communication, video conferencing, instant messaging, email, and data sharing, enabling seamless interaction across multiple platforms. 70% of telecommunications decision makers report that they’ve already adopted or planning to adopt UCaaS Solutions. [Source: Windstream Enterprise] Value-added resellers (VARs) play a crucial role in this ecosystem by offering and supporting the UC solutions that businesses rely on. These providers ensure that all components of the UC system work together, offering services such as implementation, customization, maintenance, and support. By partnering with the right VARs, businesses can achieve a consistent user experience, reduce communication silos, and support more efficient and flexible operations. 2. Criteria for Evaluating Top UC Providers Unified communications integrates various communication tools into a cohesive system, necessitating distinct purchase considerations compared to traditional on-premise solutions. Organizations must carefully evaluate the technology they plan to integrate into their infrastructure while transitioning to a unified communication system. Given the significant system changes involved, it is crucial to ensure that UC providers can facilitate this transformation. The following criteria are essential for selecting the best UC providers: Deployment Models Provided Examine the vendor's complete UC portfolio. Partnering with a company that delivers cloud and on-premise solutions is essential, allowing for a phased 'hybrid' migration and a more gradual transition to a unified communication system. Provider Stability and Support Assess the vendor’s capability to support the business’ long-term needs. Traditional telephony and network professionals typically offer comprehensive support models, including 24/7 phone and web support. Some vendors also provide training for using the latest equipment. Feature Flexibility Evaluate the features offered by the UC provider to ensure they meet current and future requirements. Determine if the provider is invested in innovative tools and solutions that align with the business’ evolving needs. Contact Centre Solutions Consider vendors that offer integrated contact center solutions. This integration can enhance internal and external communications, providing tools for more contextual and advanced interactions, thereby creating a comprehensive communication environment. Third-Party Integration Ensure the UC tools can integrate smoothly with existing systems. Many providers offer integrations with leading management and communication tools, as well as explore APIs and SDKs for enhanced extensibility. Security and Compliance Verify that the UC solution adheres to industry-specific security and compliance requirements. Determine if the provider can host call media in a local data center and comply with applicable regulations such as PCI and GDPR. Ability to Accommodate Phased Migration Confirm that the UC provider can support phased migration solutions, allowing incremental migration by location and functionality. This approach facilitates testing new solutions and training offerings, enabling a gradual adoption of new tools. 3. Best Practices for VAR Excellence in Unified Communications As businesses increasingly turn to cloud-based UCaaS to enhance employee collaboration and customer experience, adopting the right strategies for a seamless transition from premises-based systems is crucial. Implementing UCaaS can provide considerable financial benefits, including cost savings, predictable billing, and the convenience of consolidating fiber connectivity, cloud, voice, and communication tools with a single vendor. To excel as a VAR in Unified Communications, incorporating these best practices is essential for maximizing success: Adopt scalable, cloud-based platforms and utilize artificial intelligence to boost efficiency and automate processes. Align UC systems with strategies that enhance customer and employee experiences to ensure seamless interactions. Facilitate hybrid and remote work with advanced collaboration tools, maintain high service quality, and integrate various applications into the UC ecosystem. Strengthen security measures and manage diverse multi-vendor UC components efficiently for smooth operations. Incorporate social media and collaboration tools to improve connectivity and responsiveness. 4. Featuring the Top 10 Unified Communications VARs In unified communications, value-added resellers are pivotal in delivering comprehensive solutions to businesses. These VARs have demonstrated expertise in integrating and customizing unified communications platforms, ensuring communication and collaboration for organizations of all sizes. 4.1 InflowCX InflowCX, an Amplix Company, is a value-added reseller specializing in unified communications and contact center solutions. It provides services such as evaluating, deploying, and optimizing cloud-based communication technologies to enhance customer experiences (CX). The company supports businesses in improving efficiencies and revenue through innovative customer engagement technologies. InflowCX assists in managing critical elements of the CX process, including RFI development, financial analysis, contract negotiation, project implementation, and optimization. Partnering with leading technology providers, InflowCX ensures smooth integration and robust features for clients, driving them toward CX excellence. 4.2 CNP Technologies CNP Technologies is a premier mission-critical IT and unified communications solutions provider across the Southeastern United States and beyond. The company offers a comprehensive suite of services, including VoIP, video conferencing, virtualization, data backup and disaster recovery, storage, security, intelligent WAN, and ongoing support. With over 200 years of combined IT experience, its team of engineers partner with leading technology firms and engage in continuous training. CNP Technologies delivers top-tier on-site and remote support, ensuring clients can focus on their core business operations. 4.3 FirstComm FirstComm is a leading technology solutions provider that offers hybrid network services, cloud communications, and managed security nationwide. The company, headquartered in Akron (Ohio), is dedicated to integrating next-generation technology with effective customer communications. FirstComm's comprehensive range of products includes UCaaS, SD-WAN, managed security, SIP trunking, and contact center solutions. It emphasizes a customer-first approach, ensuring network reliability and security using advanced communication tools. The company focuses on enhancing customer experience and operational expertise by designing scalable solutions aligned with business objectives. 4.4 Harbor Networks Harbor Networks, a prominent managed services provider based in the Northeast, specializes in network, voice, and security services. The company delivers solutions through an MSP model across three strategic lines of business: Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C), IT services, and cybersecurity. Harbor Networks excels in adopting new technologies to provide best-in-class solutions, programs, and services. The company enables secure, cloud-based communications and collaboration over managed, monitored, and continuously maintained networks. It also drives cybersecurity awareness, policy, and compliance, distinguishing itself by providing value, reducing risk, and delivering proactive account management. 4.5 Packet Fusion Packet Fusion is an IT advisory firm with over 30 years of experience specializing in unified communications. The company offers a comprehensive process for evaluating, comparing, and purchasing technology solutions, including IT advising, cybersecurity assessment, UCaaS/CCaaS migration, technology expense management, and managed services. The company emphasizes the importance of having an IT advisor skilled in evaluating, implementing, and managing technology to enhance business outcomes. Its dedicated team of researchers, solution architects, and vendors ensures clients receive the right IT solutions for current and future needs. 4.6 Fidelus Technologies Fidelus Technologies provides unified communications and collaboration solutions to meet businesses' needs. Its services include co-managed IT services, SD-WAN and networking, business continuity planning, procurement, and professional services. The company is committed to long-term relationships and trust and delivers client-focused service and IT infrastructure expertise. Fidelus offers world-class enterprise communication and networking solutions nationwide, emphasizing quality, reliability, and tailored solutions to address unique business challenges. It fosters a culture of teamwork and shared success, ensuring high-quality service delivery. 4.7 LANtelligence LANtelligence, recognized as a premier provider of CX solutions, specializes in unified communications (UC), contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS), and digital transformation. The company caters to its client's needs, adeptly solving complex challenges and engaging employees in integrating innovative technologies. This approach equips its customers with a competitive edge in a global marketplace. LANtelligence's commitment to delivering tailored solutions is underscored by its robust project management and constant technical support availability to address client concerns swiftly. With a team of expert engineers and a deep understanding of technological solutions, LANtelligence is adept at architecting and implementing systems that meet diverse client requirements. Through its comprehensive suite of services, including UC and CCaaS, LANtelligence helps businesses streamline operations and enhance customer interactions, promoting growth and achieving significant business outcomes. 4.8 Comscentre Comscentre, now a part of Orro Group, simplifies communications infrastructure, reduces operational costs, and boosts productivity through its extensive solutions portfolio. Its signature 'One Touch Control' solution integrates voice, video, and data into a centralized, fully managed service. It offers clients a single organization to contact, one point of communication, and a consolidated monthly billing for all network and communication needs. The company's service offerings are categorized into collaboration, enabling businesses to engage through the world's leading platforms; telecommunications services, providing enterprise-grade connectivity through traditional and modern solutions; and cloud and managed books, featuring 24/7 proactive monitoring through the One Touch Control Platform. 4.9 CRMIT Solutions CRMIT Solutions is a leader in providing digital transformation services, specializing in enhancing customer experiences through its Salesforce solutions. As a renowned Salesforce SUMMIT consulting and AppExchange partner, the firm offers an array of services centered around customer relationship management (CRM), which directly contributes to unified communications by integrating customer interactions across various channels. CRMIT Solutions elevates its offerings beyond traditional services by integrating advanced AI and decision science with its proprietary Customer360++ framework. This strategic inclusion transforms CRM from a basic service into a comprehensive solution, significantly enhancing client value by maximizing operational efficiency and productivity. Through its Salesforce Managed Services, CRMIT solutions actively enhances user adoption by providing managed capacity, support, and project services, ensuring clients harness its full capabilities to achieve optimal results. 4.10 ShoreTel ShoreTel, now part of Mitel, is a leading developer and seller of IP communications systems for enterprises worldwide, specializing in unified communications, VoIP, contact center solutions, collaboration tools, cloud communications, mobility solutions, unified messaging, virtualization, and UCaaS. As part of Mitel, a global market leader with nearly 50 years of experience, ShoreTel benefits from extensive expertise and innovation. It serves business users in over 100 countries and powers over 2 billion business connections annually. Committed to making communications and collaboration seamless for businesses, ShoreTel offers comprehensive, cloud-based solutions designed to streamline communication processes, enhance collaboration, and improve productivity for businesses of all sizes. 5. Future Scope Achieving excellence in unified communications as a value-added reseller requires a strategic approach to identifying and partnering with top-tier providers. This involves thoroughly evaluating providers' technological capabilities, customer support, scalability, and innovation. Future trends in unified communications are expected to drive significant advancements through the rise of AI in automating processes and enhancing interactions, the predominance of cloud-based UC solutions (UCaaS), and a critical focus on improving the employee experience. Security and compliance remain paramount, with robust measures implemented to protect data and adhere to regulations. Additionally, the convergence of UC and CX is reshaping business interactions, facilitating seamless omnichannel customer service. As hybrid work environments grow and the demand for integrated communication platforms increases, VARs must stay informed and foster strong partnerships to deliver comprehensive solutions that address changing customer requirements. This strategic focus will enhance customer satisfaction and position VARs to capitalize on emerging opportunities, ensuring sustained growth and relevance in the UC market.

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Marketing Strategy

Pioneering the Cloud Frontier Through Top AWS Channel Partners

Article | March 18, 2024

Learn how top AWS channel partners are revolutionizing the future of cloud technology in this article. Discover the hurdles in cloud implementation along with custom solutions to mitigate them. Contents 1. Role of AWS Channel Partners in Bridging Cloud Technology 2. Maximizing Growth and Innovation Through AWS Marketplace 3. Core Challenges and Solutions in Cloud Implementation 4. Top AWS Channel Partners Revolutionizing the Cloud 5. Future Scope 1. Role of AWS Channel Partners in Bridging Cloud Technology Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads in cloud computing, offering a wide range of services that reduce costs, enhance agility, and foster innovation for businesses from startups to global corporations. AWS channel partners, pivotal within this ecosystem, bridge AWS and businesses, offering consulting services and tailored solutions that simplify cloud adoption. Their role has become increasingly vital with the cloud's growing benefits like cost efficiency, scalability, and security, leading to a higher demand for AWS services. These partners expand AWS' market reach and customize cloud solutions across various industries, ensuring technology accessibility. This collaboration between AWS and its partners, combining foundational technology with industry-specific expertise, drives the cloud revolution, significantly enhancing computing capabilities and transforming global businesses. 2. Maximizing Growth and Innovation Through AWS Marketplace AWS Marketplace emerges as a crucial platform for independent software vendors (ISVs) and consulting partners. This marketplace trend facilitates procurement, offers adaptable pricing models, and acts as an innovative sales conduit for partners, enhancing their ability to engage AWS clientele effectively. Forrester Consulting found that channel partners who build and scale an AWS Marketplace practice can realize 234% ROI, 50% faster deal closure, 4-5X richer deal sizes, and more benefits compared to traditional channels based on 14 partner interviews and data aggregation. [Source: AWS Marketplace] Nevertheless, these opportunities are accompanied by challenges. The intricacies of integrating the AWS Marketplace into pre-existing workflows and exploring its complexities present formidable hurdles. Channel partners must adjust to these evolutions and adopt innovative strategies to maintain competitiveness. Future projections for cloud computing indicate a sustained dependency on the AWS Marketplace for procurement and innovation. AWS' dedication to aiding channel partners is evidenced by initiatives such as the AWS Marketplace Training Academy and API integrations, which are designed to streamline operations and facilitate future expansion. As cloud computing advances, the significance of best AWS partnerships is poised to intensify, with a likely focus on AI integration, scalability enhancements, and broadening international presence. The outlook for channel partners within the AWS ecosystem is promising, marked by continuous innovation and opportunities for growth. 3. Core Challenges and Solutions in Cloud Implementation The increasing adoption of cloud technologies has consistently demonstrated that the advantages of enhanced IT scalability and agility significantly surpass any disadvantages. However, customers still encounter several critical challenges that must be addressed to realize the full potential of cloud computing. Cost-related Concerns Cost remains the top concern due to complex pricing structures, lack of transparency, and difficulty predicting expenses in multi-cloud and hybrid environments. Many organizations need knowledge to optimize their cloud spending across various platforms. The variability in data storage and retrieval costs, combined with non-transparent pricing structures and rising data transfer charges, makes it challenging to plan budgets for future cloud-related expenditures. Data Security and Compliance The shift to digital customer interactions requires more sensitive data storage, necessitating strict adherence to data privacy and sovereignty laws, particularly between Europe and the US. Compliance complexities are intensified by fragmented regulations and the requirement for data to remain within specific jurisdictions, influenced by the cloud provider’s headquarters location. Integration and Application Migration Concerns around open vs. closed-source cloud infrastructures have been significant, with many enterprises facing vendor lock-in. The preference for open-source software is growing due to its advantages in cost-efficiency, customization, and easier migration, contrasting with the limitations posed by closed-source solutions on multi-cloud or hybrid strategies. In response to the challenges highlighted by customers with cloud deployment, these innovative measures could be implemented: Embracing Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Approaches As cloud computing advances, there's been a notable shift in how end customers approach their cloud strategy and procurement. With the progression of digital transformation initiatives, organizations have gained a deeper understanding of cloud technology's advantages and constraints, recognizing that a singular cloud solution does not cater to all needs. This realization has led to increased adoption of a hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud approach in their IT strategies, underscoring the demand for a comprehensive understanding of the various options at their disposal. Role of IT Value-Added Resellers In response to this shift, there is a growing expectation for IT value-added reseller partners to assist in the creation and management of cloud infrastructure and engage in the co-creation of solutions that capitalize on the strengths of hybrid and multi-cloud environments. It involves identifying cost-saving opportunities by exploring alternative cloud providers, presenting a selection of cloud vendors to provide customer choice, and extending additional services such as conducting cloud audits, overseeing transformation projects, and providing ongoing support. Channel Partners' Path to Market Leadership Channel partners integrating these approaches into their cloud services portfolio set themselves apart in the market, fostering stronger customer loyalty and expanding their customer base. By aligning their offerings with multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud adoption trends, these partners pave the way for sustained success and competitive advantage in cloud computing. 4. Top AWS Channel Partners Revolutionizing the Cloud The top AWS partners are transforming cloud computing by innovating within the AWS ecosystem, offering advanced solutions and services that enhance cloud infrastructure, security, and performance. Through strategic partnerships, these organizations play a pivotal role in driving cloud adoption across industries, showcasing expertise in cloud migration managed services and bespoke cloud-based solutions that address the unique challenges of modern businesses. 4.1 Qlik As a leading partner with AWS in revolutionizing cloud technology, Qlik stands out for its advanced business intelligence and data analytics solutions. The company offers tools that help with data integration, visualization, and analytics to improve decision-making based on data. Its main products, Qlik Sense and QlikView make combining data from different sources easier and analyzing large amounts of data through interactive dashboards and reports. Qlik uses a particular in-memory analytics engine and its data indexing technology to analyze complex datasets efficiently, overcoming the limitations of traditional query-based BI platforms. Its technology for associative analytics also makes it easier to explore how different data points are related. With the acquisition of Talend, Qlik has expanded its capabilities in data integration, offering a more seamless experience from data processing to visualization. This strengthens Qlik's role as a key innovator in the cloud space. 4.2 InterWorks InterWorks, Inc. is a leading technology consultancy recognized for delivering superior IT and data solutions. This firm has carved a niche for itself by emphasizing a people-centric approach and closely collaborating with partners to offer reliable support to its clients. The company's offerings span an extensive range of technological services, including data management, visualization, server monitoring, and maintenance, thus addressing a broad spectrum of technological requirements. InterWorks is driven by a belief in creating advanced yet user-centric solutions. It aims to not just meet but surpass client expectations. The company blends innovation with a keen insight into client needs, revolutionizing cloud service delivery. 4.3 Illumina Illumina stands at the forefront of next-generation sequencing, offering innovative sequencing and array-based genomic solutions for various applications ranging from disease research to clinical diagnostics. As the preeminent provider of next-generation sequencing instruments and consumables, Illumina presents a comprehensive portfolio designed to cater to a variety of throughput requirements. The company's product lineup includes a spectrum of sequencing instruments, from benchtop models such as the MiSeq and MiniSeq to high-production sequencers like the NovaSeq. These instruments are complemented by an array of sample preparation kits, reagents, and analysis software, including BaseSpace and cloud-based informatics. Illumina's technology finds application across a broad spectrum of areas, including cancer and immune research, clinical diagnostics, and population genomics, serving a diverse clientele encompassing genomic service providers, research centers, hospitals, and biopharmaceutical companies. 4.4 Blackberry Blackberry Services is renowned for its specialization in the security and management of devices connected to IoT. This firm delivers a suite of solutions to ensure secure email, safe communication channels, and the safeguarding of information. These services are tailored for businesses and governmental entities demanding stringent security measures and compliance standards. Critical offerings by Blackberry Services encompass data encryption on devices to secure vital information, access control mechanisms to regulate information flow, prevention of security threats, and strategies to mitigate data loss. Blackberry Services offers a cloud-based platform for streamlined device and application management, emphasizing top-tier security, reliability, and user experience. The firm is recognized for secure communication, an intuitive interface, and strong technical support. It prioritizes protecting sensitive communications and data, blocking threats, and enabling centralized device and application control through its cloud portal. Committed to securing IoT devices and communications, Blackberry Services is a key partner for businesses facing serious security challenges. 4.5 Akamai Technologies Akamai Technologies, Inc. is a leading Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider, crucially involved in delivering rapid, reliable, and secure internet services. With an extensive distributed computing infrastructure, the company efficiently enhances content delivery by intelligently routing traffic through the nearest server, thus improving web performance and mobile user experiences. The company delivers significant speed and performance boosts by caching content on edge servers close to end users. Additionally, it provides a comprehensive array of cybersecurity solutions, such as bot management, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection, and web application firewalls. These measures are designed to combat cyber threats effectively and secure websites against unauthorized access. Akamai's clientele serves a wide array of prominent companies. It handles 30% of global web traffic, including leading names in the media, retail, and finance sectors, underscoring its pivotal role in revolutionizing cloud services through innovative CDN and cybersecurity solutions. 4.6 BMC Software BMC is a distinguished provider of service management software specifically designed to aid organizations in overseeing IT operations and infrastructure. This firm offers capabilities for monitoring and managing IT infrastructure, assets, changes, incidents, and problems through a comprehensive suite of tools, which include ticketing, automation, and reporting. The goal is to increase visibility within IT operations to enhance efficiency. In addition to its fundamental IT service management functions, BMC broadens its services to include a variety of modules and features, such as AIOPS, cloud cost management, systems monitoring, automation, and security. These offerings empower customers to manage their infrastructure comprehensively. Accomplished via a broad spectrum of products and solutions like Remedy, Atrium, Discovery, Helix, and AIOps, BMC's strategy involves not only the provision of its advanced solutions but also the integration with numerous third-party systems and tools, including Salesforce, AWS, ServiceNow, and SolarWinds. This integration strategy ensures seamless connectivity with other essential platforms employed by organizations, thus facilitating a more interconnected and efficient IT ecosystem. 4.7 Cloudera Cloudera, Inc. is a leading entity in developing the industry's foremost enterprise data cloud, innovating a unique data architecture designed to meet the demands of an era where data is central. The company provides an extensive portfolio of tools and services essential for effectively managing extensive data collections, thus empowering organizations to analyze and leverage their data to extract crucial insights and intelligence. Despite the practicality of Cloudera's solutions, the company's complexity and the considerable learning curve may represent significant challenges for users, requiring a substantial time commitment to achieve proficiency. For organizations handling large volumes of data, the financial commitment to accessing Cloudera's services can be significant, with its pricing structure potentially serving as an economic burden, particularly for large-scale enterprises. However, the Cloudera Platform has experienced notable advancements, directly integrating data science and analytics capabilities within its data storage solutions. This development enables business analysts to quickly access pertinent data, supporting the enhancement of decision-making processes by providing timely and precise data insights. 4.8 ZEN.COM Zen excels in delivering a broad spectrum of digital services, primarily emphasizing enhancing online connectivity and orchestrating cloud-based resources for businesses. Renowned for its dependable internet and networking services, Zen specializes in secure data exchange across various locations, cloud resource management, provision of high-speed internet connections, scalable infrastructure solutions, consistent internet access, hosting of substantial databases, support for advanced telephony requirements, and the hosting of websites and applications. The company is highly commended for its superior VPN and Internet Service Provider (ISP) solutions, characterized by their speed, reliability, and cost-efficiency. A focal point for Zen is the security aspect, where it dedicates considerable efforts to guarantee a secure online environment for its clientele. Additionally, Zen distinguishes itself by offering exemplary customer support and routine maintenance services, establishing its reputation as a reliable and economically viable option within the telecommunications and IT service management sectors. 4.9 Adastra Adastra is a leading company in the data and analytics sector, offering intelligent solutions in areas like AI, Big Data, Cloud, and digital services. Its main goal is to help businesses manage and improve the data that connects them with their customers, making their relationships smoother and more effective. Adastra helps companies use their data for better decision-making. Its solutions are flexible and can grow with a business' needs, making it easier for companies to adapt to a fast-changing environment. It also works with different technologies, which can help various organizations find new opportunities in the global market. With over 20 years of experience, the company is known for delivering reliable, secure, and high-quality solutions to large and small businesses across different industries. By offering complete services from start to finish, Adastra ensures that companies can not only meet their technology needs but also use their data to innovate, improve operations, and provide excellent customer experiences. 4.10 Avi Networks Avi Networks, now a part of VMware, delivers advanced load balancing solutions that redefine simplicity and flexibility in managing application services, mirroring the ease of public cloud use. The flagship VMware Avi Load Balancer offers an unparalleled suite of features, including load balancing, application analytics, and robust security, designed for any cloud or data center environment. This platform stands out for its innovation, geared toward environments that demand high agility, such as in the technology, media, and finance sectors. It provides critical insights, auto-scaling, and automation through REST APIs. Avi Networks, now a part of VMware, enhances application delivery flexibility and efficiency across various environments, including on-premises and cloud-based setups. It automatically scales and adjusts resources as needed. With REST APIs, it easily integrates advanced load balancing and app services into existing systems. Leveraging the NSX Advanced Load Balancer, it improves app services across multiple clouds, focusing on availability, security, and performance. This platform gives development teams more control, streamlining the development and deployment process. 5. Future Scope The future for AWS and the importance of channel partners is optimistic, driven by the growing demand for cloud computing across various industries. The expansion of the AWS Channel Partner market is set to continue, fueled by AWS's strong brand and its comprehensive cloud offerings. There's a noticeable shift toward industry-specific solutions and managed services, highlighting the market's adaptation to the unique needs of different sectors and the increasing complexity of cloud management. This trend opens up new opportunities for AWS and its partners to innovate and provide tailored services. As the demand for specialized and managed cloud services rises, AWS and its channel partners are well-positioned to thrive by focusing on customization, innovation, and superior service delivery.

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Top 10 Best Practices for Unified Communication VARs

Article | February 29, 2024

Explore expert guidance and insights on optimizing techniques for VARs in this article. Discover best practices for Unified Communications to ensure efficiency, profitability, and to drive success. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Key Strategies for Unified Communication VARs to Implement 2.1 Cloud-Based UC Systems and Consolidation 2.2 Advanced AI Integration 2.3 Optimizing UC Platforms with Integrated CX and EX Strategies 2.4 Meetings 3.0: Hybrid Work and Global Collaboration with UC 2.5 Maximizing ROI on Unified Communications Investments 2.6 Prioritizing Service Quality in UC Solutions 2.7 Enhancing UC Strategies Through Effective App Integration 2.8 Prioritize Endpoint Security 2.9 Mastering Multi-Vendor Support for Unified Communications 2.10 Integrate Social Media and Social Collaboration 3. Wrap Up 1. Introduction As businesses deal with the complexities of the digital age, there is a growing demand for Unified Communication (UC) solutions. These platforms have become essential tools, integrating various communication channels to improve collaboration, productivity, and customer satisfaction. With businesses increasingly adopting UC solutions, the role of value-added resellers (VARs) in delivering and supporting these technologies becomes crucial. However, successfully understanding and working with Unified Communications involves more than just technical expertise. Value-added resellers need to adopt a strategic approach that encompasses understanding their clients' unique requirements, staying updated with technological advancements, and utilizing best practices for Unified Communications. This approach enables them to offer customized solutions that yield tangible business results. 2. Key Strategies for Unified Communication VARs to Implement VARs play a pivotal role in distributing and supporting technology solutions. The following best practices for Unified Communications are essential for VARs to sustain growth and achieve successful outcomes. By adopting these strategies, VARs can optimize operations, enhance customer satisfaction, cultivate strong vendor relationships, increase profitability, and ultimately solidify their position as reliable partners in delivering advanced solutions to their clients. 2.1 Cloud-Based UC Systems and Consolidation The adoption of cloud-based UC systems and their consolidation is vital for VARs seeking to augment their service offerings with scalable, cost-efficient, and flexible communication solutions. This approach streamlines communication channels, positioning VARs as pivotal providers of comprehensive and robust solutions. By leveraging cloud-based UC systems, VARs can offer unparalleled scalability and flexibility to businesses, reduce the reliance on physical infrastructure thus cutting costs, and enable enhanced collaboration across geographical boundaries. Furthermore, the shift toward cloud-based platforms ensures operational resilience, fosters innovation, and secures a competitive advantage by facilitating access to the latest technological advancements without the necessity for continuous hardware upgrades. For VARs, the strategic adoption of these practices, including the careful selection of reliable cloud providers, customization and seamless integration of services, stringent security measures, and the provision of thorough training and support, is essential. 2.2 Advanced AI Integration The integration of advanced AI into UC systems constitutes a key strategy for VARs aiming to capitalize on AI's potential to refine communication processes, elevate operational efficiency, and offer a tailored communication experience. This strategic move not only enables businesses to streamline their workflows, minimize manual effort, and enrich customer interactions but also positions VARs as suppliers of innovative solutions that employ AI to revolutionize business communication. The incorporation of AI facilitates the automation of mundane activities, such as the scheduling of meetings, transcription of discussions, and provision of real-time data during communications, thereby reallocating human resources to more strategic endeavors. Moreover, AI improves customer experience by providing personalized interactions, intelligent chatbots, and instant access to customer data, ensuring inquiries are resolved swiftly. Additionally, by analyzing extensive communication data, AI offers actionable insights into UC performance, empowering businesses to refine their communication strategies and anticipate future requirements. 2.3 Optimizing UC Platforms with Integrated CX and EX Strategies The essence of integrating customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) strategies within UC platforms lies in creating a symbiotic enhancement of both employee and customer interactions. This comprehensive strategy not only boosts operational effectiveness and increases employee satisfaction, but also strengthens customer loyalty. Together, these factors contribute to higher revenue and give businesses a competitive edge. The integration of EX and CX insights paves the way for a comprehensive appreciation of business value, linking enhancements in these spheres to revenue growth, cost mitigation, heightened employee satisfaction, and retention. Moreover, adopting a unified method for feedback and data analysis enables the harmonization of customer and employee experience management, where positive customer feedback directly contributes to employee recognition and motivation. This cycle inherently enhances customer service quality. For Unified Communications VARs, promoting and adopting this integrated CX and EX strategy offers a distinguished competitive advantage, positioning them as providers of a holistic solution that meets the needs of the workforce and customer base, aligning with the trajectory of digital transformation and workplace evolution. 2.4 Meetings 3.0: Hybrid Work and Global Collaboration with UC The essence of Meetings 3.0 is to innovate the traditional meeting environment, transforming it into a space where both remote and in-office participants can engage equally and productively. This has been made possible with the strategic employment of advanced UC technologies, aiming to mirror physical interactions, clarify communication, and cultivate a sense of unity within teams. The adoption of this approach is particularly advantageous for VARs, as it not only augments collaboration through the integration of AI-enhanced devices that ensure comprehensive participation, but also enriches the meeting experience by automating speaker focus and volume adjustments, thereby closely emulating a natural gathering. Furthermore, it embraces the shift toward hybrid work models by facilitating flexible and accessible solutions that adapt to diverse settings, thereby accommodating a broad spectrum of organizational needs. For VARs, advocating for and facilitating the transition to Meetings 3.0 signifies a commitment to the communication technology and positions them as pivotal enablers of a more dynamic, inclusive, and efficient collaborative future. 2.5 Maximizing ROI on Unified Communications Investments The essence of maximizing return on investment on Unified Communications for VARs lies in the strategic implementation of UC solutions that are aligned with the business objectives of their clients, thereby augmenting operational efficiency and generating quantifiable financial gains. By integrating various communication tools into a singular, unified platform, businesses stand to substantially diminish travel-related outlays, infrastructure expenditure, and operational costs, thus transitioning from capital expenditures to a more foreseeable operational expense framework. Furthermore, UC tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and presence information streamline communication processes, curtailing the duration allocated to contacting peers and initiating meetings, which in turn fosters improved collaboration, heightened employee engagement, and superior meeting outcomes. Additionally, the resilience of business operations during disruptions like natural catastrophes or pandemics is bolstered through UC services, as cloud-based UC systems facilitate remote access to business tools, ensuring uninterrupted customer service and internal functions. For VARs, it's important to chart out clear strategies and objectives, conduct infrastructure assessments to gauge compatibility with UC technologies, adopt a phased deployment approach, focus on training and user adoption, and commit to continuously optimizing UC environments. 2.6 Prioritizing Service Quality in UC Solutions For VARs in the Unified Communications sector, the emphasis on prioritizing service quality when partnering with UC service providers is paramount. This strategy is foundational to ensuring the provision of UC solutions that are not only of high quality, reliable, and scalable but also meet the stringent standards of security and compliance demanded by contemporary business environments. Such an approach guarantees that VARs can furnish their clients with robust UC platforms capable of adapting to both present and future communication requirements. The benefits of selecting a provider committed to service quality include access to UC solutions that support business growth, adherence to crucial compliance and security benchmarks, particularly vital in regulated sectors such as healthcare and finance, and the realization of cost efficiencies through a shift from capital expenditures to operational expenses. Additionally, high-quality UCaaS platforms facilitate the support of distributed workforces, enabling seamless access to communication services from virtually any location. To implement this best practice effectively, VARs should thoroughly assess providers' capabilities in managing sophisticated network and cloud infrastructures, understand the UCaaS architectures to best meet client needs, and evaluate the comprehensive benefits offered by the provider, including cost savings, management efficiencies, scalability enhancements, and security updates. 2.7 Enhancing UC Strategies Through Effective App Integration The pursuit of integrating a variety of applications and tools within a UC platform serves to create a smooth communication experience, significantly elevating the efficiency and collaborative capabilities within an organization. This strategic approach not only refines the user interface by streamlining the transition between different communication mediums, such as email, calendars, video conferencing, and instant messaging, but also capitalizes on the inherent strengths of each application, thereby enhancing productivity and collaboration. For VARs, this methodology underscores the importance of creating streamlined workflows, which in turn fosters a more connected and productive environment, reduces the reliance on physical meetings through enhanced collaboration tools, and delivers an improved user experience by offering a cohesive platform that integrates various communication tools. Despite potential challenges, such as interoperability issues, the complexity of managing multiple service providers, and maintaining consistent security across integrated applications, the effective integration of apps within UC strategies remains a crucial best practice for VARs. 2.8 Prioritize Endpoint Security The need for VARs specializing in UC systems to prioritize endpoint security is underscored by the importance of safeguarding the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data and communications across all interfacing devices. By implementing rigorous security measures designed to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and other cyber threats, the strength of the UC ecosystem against compromises is greatly reinforced. The adoption of such measures substantially mitigates the risk of data breaches, thereby preserving sensitive corporate information against unauthorized disclosures. Simultaneously, following endpoint security protocols enables adherence to strict regulatory requirements commonly found in different industries, helping to avoid possible legal and financial consequences. Additionally, the prevention of malware infiltration and the restriction of unauthorized device connectivity are instrumental in maintaining optimal network performance, a critical component for effective communication channels. The methodology includes detailed asset identification, user security training, advanced antivirus and endpoint response deployment, zero-trust security via minimal access rights, and consistent security checks and updates. This approach is crucial due to the continuous evolution of cyber threats and the complexities from increased remote work and bring your own device (BYOD) practices. 2.9 Mastering Multi-Vendor Support for Unified Communications The implementation of multi-vendor support within UC systems constitutes a strategic imperative for VARs, designed to afford businesses unparalleled flexibility in selecting premium solutions across different vendors. This method enables the development of a UC environment tailored to their particular needs, thus avoiding the limitations associated with single-vendor frameworks by enhancing features, scalability, and system robustness. Furthermore, it enables businesses to maximize their return on investment and achieve cost efficiency by avoiding the fiscal pitfalls associated with vendor lock-in, while simultaneously providing the agility necessary to adapt to evolving business needs and integrate advanced technologies. However, this multi-vendor approach necessitates the employment of unified management and integration tools to mitigate the complexity of overseeing such diverse environments, alongside the deployment of automation and workflows to streamline operational processes and minimize human error. Moreover, the continuous monitoring and optimization of UC systems are paramount to sustaining high service quality and ensuring an exceptional user experience. 2.10 Integrate Social Media and Social Collaboration The integration of social media and social collaboration tools into UC platforms presents an essential strategy for VARs aiming to construct a more vibrant, engaging, and efficient communication ecosystem for their clients. Such integration is vital for VARs as it facilitates businesses in meeting their customers in their natural digital habitats, thus significantly enhancing engagement levels and customer satisfaction. Moreover, it encourages a more unified work environment, optimizes workflows through improved teamwork, and elevates overall productivity by streamlining communication processes and minimizing the need for toggling between different platforms. Additionally, integrating social media within UC platforms grants businesses access to invaluable insights into customer behaviors and preferences, enabling the formulation of more refined communication strategies. To effectively implement this, VARs need to carefully choose social media and collaboration tools that match their organization's communication needs and customer preferences, adopt solutions that comply with strict data protection laws for secure communications, offer thorough training and support for smooth integration, and employ monitoring and analytics to evaluate engagement and the success of their communication strategies. 3 Wrap up Value-added resellers are essential in steering businesses toward digital transformation with their expertise and innovative solutions. The adoption of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is crucial for facilitating collaboration and enhancing customer experiences in remote and hybrid work settings. The shift toward digital messaging over traditional calls, especially among younger consumers, requires a flexible multichannel strategy to maintain business competitiveness in a digital-first environment. A comprehensive service level agreement is vital for ensuring UCaaS meets performance criteria, setting clear standards for service quality and downtime, and providing businesses a means to address non-compliance. VARs aim to deliver solutions that surpass client expectations by integrating applications, supporting hybrid work policy, ensuring security, and adhering to industry standards. The success of UC VARs depends on their ability to adapt, innovate, and steer the market toward excellence. This necessitates the integration of best practices for unified communication, which is crucial for thriving in a digital and interconnected world.

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Kentucky Teen Once Subject of Viral Video Warns Republicans of 'Outrage Mob'

Article | August 25, 2020

A Kentucky teen who became the subject of a viral video after an incident during a class field trip to Washington, D.C., warned viewers of the Republican National Convention Tuesday of an "outrage mob" that threatens to silence conservative viewpoints. After Nick Sandmann attended the March for Life anti-abortion rally with his former classmates from Covington Catholic High School in January 2019, a cellphone video of a close, face-to-face interaction between the students and a Native American demonstrator spread quickly online.

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Backbay Communications

BackBay Communications is a strategic branding, marketing and public relations firm focused on the financial and professional services sectors, including private equity, asset management, banking, insurance, financial technology, accounting, consulting and law. BackBay offers a unique combination of content and creativity.

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Channel Partnerships

HiddenLayer Launches Channel Partner Program to Secure AI and MLOps Lifecycle

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

HiddenLayer, the leading security provider for artificial intelligence (AI) models and assets, today announced a new partner program to empower enterprises with complete AI protection including rapid threat detection and security across the entire MLOps lifecycle. "Our Channel Partner Program is designed to drive innovation by allowing partners to introduce security for AI to their customers, helping to educate more businesses about a new threat landscape," said Rebecca Cahak, Head of Channel, HiddenLayer. "By leveraging this new offering, partners will ensure margin and deal protection, leverage incentives, access flexible and easy-to-use training tools, demo environments, and proof of value tools to drive success." The Channel Partner Program allows partners to seamlessly onboard while providing predictable, transparent pricing and flexible licensing models, and a first-of-its-kind unobtrusive, automated, scalable Artificial Intelligence Security (AISec) Platform. Partners will be able to educate customers on a new threat landscape and provide the solutions they need to protect their AI, and competitive edge, build stronger relationships, and establish their team as AI leaders for their customers. "The HiddenLayer line of products is an important component in our AI security service offerings," said Matt Keating, Head of AI Security at Booz Allen Hamilton. "We are excited to continue to strengthen our strategic partnership with the HiddenLayer team, furthering our ability for joint strategy and co-solutioning." HiddenLayer aims to optimize its current partner network, enhancing it through streamlined support and collaborative offerings. There will be three tiers for the program, Covert, Concealed, and Clandestine, so customers can work together with HiddenLayer to achieve the best-shared outcome. Each tier includes pricing discounts, free online training for sales, and technical enablement and security for AI marketing partnerships. Concealed includes free on-site training and performance incentive programs for extra financial success. Clandestine includes everything previously mentioned, with the addition of account mapping, executive security research briefings, and more. "By joining HiddenLayer's partner program, we're enabling customers to safeguard against constantly evolving cybersecurity risks," said Rick Echevarria, Vice President and General Manager, Intel Security Center of Excellence. "We are now able to provide a scalable security solution for AI and help more businesses foster the acceleration of safer AI adoption." Additionally, HiddenLayer recently announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, named HiddenLayer to its 2023 Stellar Startups list. This annual list, previously known as CRN Emerging Vendors, recognizes fast-rising technology manufacturers committed to delivering leading-edge solutions that propel innovation and growth in the IT channel. Learn more about HiddenLayer's Channel Partner Program here. About HiddenLayer HiddenLayer, a Gartner-recognized AI Application Security company, helps enterprises safeguard the machine learning models behind their most important products with a comprehensive security platform. Only HiddenLayer offers turnkey security for AI that does not add unnecessary complexity to models and does not require access to raw data and algorithms. Founded in March of 2022 by experienced security and ML professionals, HiddenLayer is based in Austin, Texas. For additional information, including product updates and the latest research reports, visit www.hiddenlayer.com.

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Channel Partnerships

ServiceNow Unveils Next Wave of Partner Program Transformation with New Specializations

Business Wire | January 24, 2024

ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the leading digital workflow company making the world work better for everyone, today unveiled the next wave of partner program transformation with new Specializations. As part of the revamped ServiceNow partner program announced in January 2023, the recently developed Partner Specializations are the next step in the partner program evolution for partners to unlock new revenue opportunities and earn a range of benefits to further grow their practice. Announced today at ServiceNow Partner Kickoff in Las Vegas, partners can obtain three Specializations which include Service Operations, Serve the Customer, and Power the Employee. ServiceNow is on a path to significantly increase the percentage of net new revenue sourced by partners in the coming years by supporting partners who build the ServiceNow platform into the core of their business models. Partners can acquire the new Specializations by showcasing a combination of product and sales expertise through customer wins and a go-to-market strategy. The new Partner Specializations showcase partners’ unique strengths in the market and encourage innovative ways to continue to grow their ServiceNow practice. “Last year at this time, we made a massive commitment to our partner community by completely transforming our partner program to ensure that partners are front and center in everything we do as a company,” said Erica Volini, senior vice president, global partnerships at ServiceNow. “With the launch of Specializations, our customers can easily identify partners with the best experience and expertise they need to help solve some of their biggest digital transformation challenges.” Obtaining a Specialization will help partners in three critical areas: Differentiate among the ecosystem:Partners will receive badging that will appear across their ServiceNow profiles with increased visibility on the ServiceNow Partner Finder. Prospective customers will also be able to search partner experts in Partner Finder based on the current Specializations. Unlock new revenue opportunities:Each Specialization addresses a pressing customer need that presents a large, untapped market opportunity and high year-over-year growth. Earn benefits to grow ServiceNow practices:ServiceNow will offer additional benefits for partners to build and grow their business through invitation to the ServiceNow Partner Advisory Council to ensure their needs and counsel are being addressed across the broader ServiceNow ecosystem. Qualifying partners will also have access to ServiceNow co-marketing programs and the ServiceNow Partner Development Fund announced last January. The program is launching with three Specializations, Service Operations, Serve the Customer and Power the Employee, that present large market opportunities with high year-over-year growth and a large total addressable market (TAM). All Specializations can be obtained at the regional and global level as well as two levels of achievement for further differentiation. Additional Partner Specializations are expected to be launched in 2024. The three Partner Specializations are expected to be available for partners to obtain starting in ServiceNow’s second quarter of 2024. Many partners have already expressed their feedback on the importance of the ServiceNow Partner Specializations including: Jason Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President at Cask: “ServiceNow’s new Partner Specializations offer an opportunity for Cask to showcase our unique consulting expertise and change management solutions to drive digital transformation across enterprises. Program updates like subsequent badging and product line achievements provide greater reach and visibility with organizations looking for the best partner to meet their specific needs. We believe Specializations and the partner finder are a winning combo for connecting customers with the right support and implementations.” Michael Lombardo, Chief Executive Officer at GlideFast Consulting: “We’re thrilled about the new designations to ServiceNow’s Partner Program. With new Partner Specializations, we can continue expanding our technical consulting services and delivering deep ServiceNow expertise to new markets. We look forward to helping customers find value in the Now Platform.” Michael Vadini, Chief Executive Officer at Infocenter:“Today, organizations are looking for a collaborative partner for support with the adoption and scale of new technologies. ServiceNow’s new Partner Specializations will help Infocenter build industry-specific solutions and accelerate technology for customers and their businesses more quickly. We are excited about the enhanced benefits offered by ServiceNow and the continued focus on partners.” Jon Reynolds, Senior VP Global Alliances & Corp Development at Thirdera, a Cognizant Company:“As our company looks to further expand our work across different industries, we’re focused on differentiating our services and ServiceNow platform expertise. ServiceNow's comprehensive Partner Program provides valued guidance and incentives to improve how we advise, implement and optimize technology for businesses worldwide. ServiceNow sets a standard for what it means to be an innovative partner.” ServiceNow is also launching a brand-new partner channel on LinkedIn. Join the new social community for the latest ServiceNow partner news here. For more information on the ServiceNow Partner Specializations visit here. About ServiceNow ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) makes the world work better for everyone. Our cloud-based platform and solutions help digitize and unify organizations so that they can find smarter, faster, better ways to make work flow. So employees and customers can be more connected, more innovative, and more agile. And we can all create the future we imagine. The world works with ServiceNow™. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.

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Channel Partnerships

Vendavo Drives Strong Growth in 2023 with AI-Powered Product Innovations and Partner Program

PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

Vendavo, the global market leader in B2B pricing, selling and rebate solutions announced a strong 2023 finish today, noting a 12% growth in annual recurring revenue and 43% growth in higher margin recurring services. "As economic uncertainty persisted through 2023, global organizations increased investments in AI-driven technology to drive profitable growth, placing their trust in Vendavo," said Alex Hoff, Chief Product Officer, Vendavo. "While many predict stronger economies in 2024, manufacturers and distributors face a growing demand for agility in pricing, channel incentives, and commercial processes. We take pride in enabling significant revenue and margin growth for our customers." Vendavo's products and services enabled a 1.5% margin increase for customers in 2023 through improved pricing over cost. On average, customers achieved $27 million benefit from price improvement. To offer more features to customers, Vendavo's product investment increased by 21% in 2023. New AI product innovations have set the stage for smarter, more efficient commercial processes for customers. A new AI fueled Price Sensitivity metric was added to Vendavo Deal Price Optimizer, a solution that maximizes revenue and profitability through a better understanding of customers' willingness to pay. AI algorithms allow for more in-depth segmentation and analyses that deliver more precise sales guidance. AI now powers timely pattern detection for Price/Volume/Mix analyses in Vendavo Margin Bridge Analyzer. Ranked a Strong Performer in the 2023 Forrester Wave™ for CPQ, Vendavo Intelligent CPQ now has new pricing capabilities within the solution's agreement's function. Sales teams can incorporate more accurate pricing from the onset for even the most complex quotes. Vendavo Pricepoint, the flagship solution for B2B price management, improved both pricing calculation speed and performance. Vendavo's commitment to growing its partner ecosystem led to a doubling of partner-originated pipeline year over year. Notably, Vendavo's existing partnership with Oracle significantly expanded with the creation of new rebate and channel management incentives and the addition of support staff. In response to increasing market demand for rebate and channel management solutions, and following the 2022 acquisition of Market Medium, Vendavo integrated Rebate & Channel Manager into their suite of growth and profitability products. Many customers now effectively manage their rebate programs with the solution. About Vendavo Vendavo empowers global manufacturers and distributors to accelerate growth and profitability with leading pricing, selling, and rebate management solutions. Companies like Emerson, Medtronic, and GAF rely on Vendavo to manage, optimize, and digitize their end-to-end commercial processes. Vendavo's solutions, team of pricing and selling experts, and proven process accelerates value and outcomes that are not only predictable, but unrivaled. With Vendavo, the world's most ambitious B2B organizations can develop dynamic customer insights and execute optimal pricing strategies that maximize margin, boost sales effectiveness, and improve the customer experience.

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Channel Partnerships

HiddenLayer Launches Channel Partner Program to Secure AI and MLOps Lifecycle

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

HiddenLayer, the leading security provider for artificial intelligence (AI) models and assets, today announced a new partner program to empower enterprises with complete AI protection including rapid threat detection and security across the entire MLOps lifecycle. "Our Channel Partner Program is designed to drive innovation by allowing partners to introduce security for AI to their customers, helping to educate more businesses about a new threat landscape," said Rebecca Cahak, Head of Channel, HiddenLayer. "By leveraging this new offering, partners will ensure margin and deal protection, leverage incentives, access flexible and easy-to-use training tools, demo environments, and proof of value tools to drive success." The Channel Partner Program allows partners to seamlessly onboard while providing predictable, transparent pricing and flexible licensing models, and a first-of-its-kind unobtrusive, automated, scalable Artificial Intelligence Security (AISec) Platform. Partners will be able to educate customers on a new threat landscape and provide the solutions they need to protect their AI, and competitive edge, build stronger relationships, and establish their team as AI leaders for their customers. "The HiddenLayer line of products is an important component in our AI security service offerings," said Matt Keating, Head of AI Security at Booz Allen Hamilton. "We are excited to continue to strengthen our strategic partnership with the HiddenLayer team, furthering our ability for joint strategy and co-solutioning." HiddenLayer aims to optimize its current partner network, enhancing it through streamlined support and collaborative offerings. There will be three tiers for the program, Covert, Concealed, and Clandestine, so customers can work together with HiddenLayer to achieve the best-shared outcome. Each tier includes pricing discounts, free online training for sales, and technical enablement and security for AI marketing partnerships. Concealed includes free on-site training and performance incentive programs for extra financial success. Clandestine includes everything previously mentioned, with the addition of account mapping, executive security research briefings, and more. "By joining HiddenLayer's partner program, we're enabling customers to safeguard against constantly evolving cybersecurity risks," said Rick Echevarria, Vice President and General Manager, Intel Security Center of Excellence. "We are now able to provide a scalable security solution for AI and help more businesses foster the acceleration of safer AI adoption." Additionally, HiddenLayer recently announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, named HiddenLayer to its 2023 Stellar Startups list. This annual list, previously known as CRN Emerging Vendors, recognizes fast-rising technology manufacturers committed to delivering leading-edge solutions that propel innovation and growth in the IT channel. Learn more about HiddenLayer's Channel Partner Program here. About HiddenLayer HiddenLayer, a Gartner-recognized AI Application Security company, helps enterprises safeguard the machine learning models behind their most important products with a comprehensive security platform. Only HiddenLayer offers turnkey security for AI that does not add unnecessary complexity to models and does not require access to raw data and algorithms. Founded in March of 2022 by experienced security and ML professionals, HiddenLayer is based in Austin, Texas. For additional information, including product updates and the latest research reports, visit www.hiddenlayer.com.

Read More

Channel Partnerships

ServiceNow Unveils Next Wave of Partner Program Transformation with New Specializations

Business Wire | January 24, 2024

ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the leading digital workflow company making the world work better for everyone, today unveiled the next wave of partner program transformation with new Specializations. As part of the revamped ServiceNow partner program announced in January 2023, the recently developed Partner Specializations are the next step in the partner program evolution for partners to unlock new revenue opportunities and earn a range of benefits to further grow their practice. Announced today at ServiceNow Partner Kickoff in Las Vegas, partners can obtain three Specializations which include Service Operations, Serve the Customer, and Power the Employee. ServiceNow is on a path to significantly increase the percentage of net new revenue sourced by partners in the coming years by supporting partners who build the ServiceNow platform into the core of their business models. Partners can acquire the new Specializations by showcasing a combination of product and sales expertise through customer wins and a go-to-market strategy. The new Partner Specializations showcase partners’ unique strengths in the market and encourage innovative ways to continue to grow their ServiceNow practice. “Last year at this time, we made a massive commitment to our partner community by completely transforming our partner program to ensure that partners are front and center in everything we do as a company,” said Erica Volini, senior vice president, global partnerships at ServiceNow. “With the launch of Specializations, our customers can easily identify partners with the best experience and expertise they need to help solve some of their biggest digital transformation challenges.” Obtaining a Specialization will help partners in three critical areas: Differentiate among the ecosystem:Partners will receive badging that will appear across their ServiceNow profiles with increased visibility on the ServiceNow Partner Finder. Prospective customers will also be able to search partner experts in Partner Finder based on the current Specializations. Unlock new revenue opportunities:Each Specialization addresses a pressing customer need that presents a large, untapped market opportunity and high year-over-year growth. Earn benefits to grow ServiceNow practices:ServiceNow will offer additional benefits for partners to build and grow their business through invitation to the ServiceNow Partner Advisory Council to ensure their needs and counsel are being addressed across the broader ServiceNow ecosystem. Qualifying partners will also have access to ServiceNow co-marketing programs and the ServiceNow Partner Development Fund announced last January. The program is launching with three Specializations, Service Operations, Serve the Customer and Power the Employee, that present large market opportunities with high year-over-year growth and a large total addressable market (TAM). All Specializations can be obtained at the regional and global level as well as two levels of achievement for further differentiation. Additional Partner Specializations are expected to be launched in 2024. The three Partner Specializations are expected to be available for partners to obtain starting in ServiceNow’s second quarter of 2024. Many partners have already expressed their feedback on the importance of the ServiceNow Partner Specializations including: Jason Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President at Cask: “ServiceNow’s new Partner Specializations offer an opportunity for Cask to showcase our unique consulting expertise and change management solutions to drive digital transformation across enterprises. Program updates like subsequent badging and product line achievements provide greater reach and visibility with organizations looking for the best partner to meet their specific needs. We believe Specializations and the partner finder are a winning combo for connecting customers with the right support and implementations.” Michael Lombardo, Chief Executive Officer at GlideFast Consulting: “We’re thrilled about the new designations to ServiceNow’s Partner Program. With new Partner Specializations, we can continue expanding our technical consulting services and delivering deep ServiceNow expertise to new markets. We look forward to helping customers find value in the Now Platform.” Michael Vadini, Chief Executive Officer at Infocenter:“Today, organizations are looking for a collaborative partner for support with the adoption and scale of new technologies. ServiceNow’s new Partner Specializations will help Infocenter build industry-specific solutions and accelerate technology for customers and their businesses more quickly. We are excited about the enhanced benefits offered by ServiceNow and the continued focus on partners.” Jon Reynolds, Senior VP Global Alliances & Corp Development at Thirdera, a Cognizant Company:“As our company looks to further expand our work across different industries, we’re focused on differentiating our services and ServiceNow platform expertise. ServiceNow's comprehensive Partner Program provides valued guidance and incentives to improve how we advise, implement and optimize technology for businesses worldwide. ServiceNow sets a standard for what it means to be an innovative partner.” ServiceNow is also launching a brand-new partner channel on LinkedIn. Join the new social community for the latest ServiceNow partner news here. For more information on the ServiceNow Partner Specializations visit here. About ServiceNow ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) makes the world work better for everyone. Our cloud-based platform and solutions help digitize and unify organizations so that they can find smarter, faster, better ways to make work flow. So employees and customers can be more connected, more innovative, and more agile. And we can all create the future we imagine. The world works with ServiceNow™. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.

Read More

Channel Partnerships

Vendavo Drives Strong Growth in 2023 with AI-Powered Product Innovations and Partner Program

PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

Vendavo, the global market leader in B2B pricing, selling and rebate solutions announced a strong 2023 finish today, noting a 12% growth in annual recurring revenue and 43% growth in higher margin recurring services. "As economic uncertainty persisted through 2023, global organizations increased investments in AI-driven technology to drive profitable growth, placing their trust in Vendavo," said Alex Hoff, Chief Product Officer, Vendavo. "While many predict stronger economies in 2024, manufacturers and distributors face a growing demand for agility in pricing, channel incentives, and commercial processes. We take pride in enabling significant revenue and margin growth for our customers." Vendavo's products and services enabled a 1.5% margin increase for customers in 2023 through improved pricing over cost. On average, customers achieved $27 million benefit from price improvement. To offer more features to customers, Vendavo's product investment increased by 21% in 2023. New AI product innovations have set the stage for smarter, more efficient commercial processes for customers. A new AI fueled Price Sensitivity metric was added to Vendavo Deal Price Optimizer, a solution that maximizes revenue and profitability through a better understanding of customers' willingness to pay. AI algorithms allow for more in-depth segmentation and analyses that deliver more precise sales guidance. AI now powers timely pattern detection for Price/Volume/Mix analyses in Vendavo Margin Bridge Analyzer. Ranked a Strong Performer in the 2023 Forrester Wave™ for CPQ, Vendavo Intelligent CPQ now has new pricing capabilities within the solution's agreement's function. Sales teams can incorporate more accurate pricing from the onset for even the most complex quotes. Vendavo Pricepoint, the flagship solution for B2B price management, improved both pricing calculation speed and performance. Vendavo's commitment to growing its partner ecosystem led to a doubling of partner-originated pipeline year over year. Notably, Vendavo's existing partnership with Oracle significantly expanded with the creation of new rebate and channel management incentives and the addition of support staff. In response to increasing market demand for rebate and channel management solutions, and following the 2022 acquisition of Market Medium, Vendavo integrated Rebate & Channel Manager into their suite of growth and profitability products. Many customers now effectively manage their rebate programs with the solution. About Vendavo Vendavo empowers global manufacturers and distributors to accelerate growth and profitability with leading pricing, selling, and rebate management solutions. Companies like Emerson, Medtronic, and GAF rely on Vendavo to manage, optimize, and digitize their end-to-end commercial processes. Vendavo's solutions, team of pricing and selling experts, and proven process accelerates value and outcomes that are not only predictable, but unrivaled. With Vendavo, the world's most ambitious B2B organizations can develop dynamic customer insights and execute optimal pricing strategies that maximize margin, boost sales effectiveness, and improve the customer experience.

Read More

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