20 Hot Channel Offerings Spotted At XChange 20124:00 PM EST Mon. Aug. 27, 2012
XChange 2012, which took place in Dallas last week, was a mix of info-packed keynote sessions, meetings, workshops and peer-to-peer networking, not to mention a good party or two. But it was also a way for vendors both established and up-and-coming to showcase their wares, whether they were the latest in wireless LAN products or a set of leasing options designed with IT solution providers. Here's a look at 20 of those offerings, including products showcased during XChange's QuickFire sessions and in the Solution Pavilion exhibit hall.
CEO: Justin Moore
Axcient's made a reputation among VARs and MSPs for state-of-the-art data backup, business continuity and disaster recovery products for SMB customers, especially for its flexible subscription billing options. Earlier this year, Axcient rolled out a new channel program and has expanded its relationships with distributors such as Ingram Micro.
Buffalo specializes in NAS as well as wireless routers, portable hard drives and optical disc drives. Its LinkStation and TeraStation NAS products, which are intended for backing up multiple PC and Mac computers in small offices, home offices and residences -- as well as various media, from games to music -- were a popular draw following researcher The NPD Group's comment that NAS would be a bright spot in an increasingly sluggish SMB spending environment.
CEO: Michael George
The MSP world is a crowded one, but Continuum is continuing to gain momentum behind recent offerings such as its revamped RMM platform. The stated goal, according to Continuum CEO Michael George, is to be able to monitor and manage "anything that is plugged into the wall in an SMB environment," and in an interview with CRN just before XChange, George said that Continuum's MDM offering is not only coming, but is also going to be more comprehensive than what competitors offer -- whole MSP offerings in a single platform.
CEO: Austin McChord
With low-budget backup and disaster recovery options becoming commoditized in the channel, partners are looking for vendors that can help them bring some additional value-add to the BDR space. Datto's had some good buzz in this regard, thanks to the virtualization-centric approach to BDR and a promise of partner premiums some 70 percent higher than a lot of the commodity BDR alternatives. Its services were discussed at XChange, as was its recently debuted Datto Academy -- a training program for partners consisting of everything from device setup to advanced device level commands and troubleshooting.
EnGenius is perhaps best known for its business class, large-area wireless products, and at XChange, it was showing off recent additions to that portfolio such as the EAP300 (pictured) and EAP150 802.11b/g/n access points, as well as the phones and other accessories its more than 4,000 partners know well.
CEO: Gord Boyce
ForeScout had a big product rollout in line with XChange: new mobile security features for its NAC-as-a-service platform for MSPs. Dubbed ForeScout Mobile, those add-ons, which are modules integrated into ForeScout's CounterAct NAC platform, can offer granular information on mobile devices, their users, how they're configured, their apps and their security posture in Apple iOS and Google Android environments.
CEO: Tony Golobic
GreatAmerica Leasing had some good notices following its direct, to-the-point QuickFire presentation, especially when it began talking up HaaS and Hardware-as-a-Rental (HaaR) financing. GreatAmerica works closely with VARs and MSPs and, since passing $1 billion in assets a few years ago, has been cultivating a bigger presence in the channel.
Huawei is trying hard to appeal to North America VARs and integrators, and in the past year has staked out a presence at major industry conferences such as Interop and XChange. To hear its U.S. channel chief tell it, Huawei is making progress, and during XChange, the company was showing off routers, switches, telepresence and storage products that it currently offers through partners in the U.S.
CEO: Kent Plunkett
Intronis has the goods when it comes to cloud storage, and the company has spent the past few months riding a wave of good industry notices, including the nearly $3 million funding round it nabbed in May. At XChange, the company was talking up some of the bigger benefits and sweeter features of its platform, including the expanded security in its backup software and the white-labeling program it offers to partners.
CEO: Antonio M. Perez
Kodak's been in the news for its financial troubles but the company isn't any less of a channel brand, particularly in managed print services and other services support it offers through partners. Kodak provides those services to other vendors' products as well and at XChange representatives talked up how -- thanks to partners taking the company up on its offer -- nearly 40 percent of the products for which it provides services aren't Kodak-branded.
As MSP big shots go, Level Platforms is definitely in the club, having built consistent loyalty among partners building rock-solid RMM products. Among Level Platforms' recent announcements was a tightened partnership with Symantec, through which Level Platforms' Managed Workplace platform will integrate even more tightly with Symantec's Endpoint Protection Service Module to allow easier troubleshooting of customers' security infrastructure.
CEO: Brett Jackson
Conversations with software-centric partners attending XChange revealed quite a bit of love for LogiXML, a business intelligence developer whose scalable dashboards and reporting tools offer advanced analytics in existing applications at a cost that, according to LogiXML, is far more affordable than what bigger business intelligence vendors charge. The main platform, Logi Info, includes everything from ad hoc reporting and advanced charting to GIS maps and other forms of data visualization.
Apart from having one of the best performances in QuickFire history -- everyone digs the ukelele! -- LSI also had a lot to talk about when it came to managing flash memory in solid state drives. In July, the company launched additional features for the SandForce SF-2200/2100 Client Flash Storage Processor technology it acquired with SandForce last October, including additional benefits for Ultrabooks whereby they consume less power, support SATA 6-Gbps host connectivity and enable 24 GB to 512 GB of NAN flash memory.
CEO: Eyal Waldman
Solution providers told CRN that many of the best big data-centric conversations they had at XChange were with Mellanox, which has staked out a position in the big data trend as being able to help partners provide state-of-the-art Ethernet and InfiniBand solutions for data center optimization projects. Shortly after XChange ended, Mellanox released its VSAVirtual SAN software appliances, which create large-scale virtual storage networks using server hardware and local storage and SSDs and offer built-in caching and clustering and RDMA, InfiniBand and Ethernet hardware acceleration.
CEO: Phil Elias
The productive role of social media in the enterprise is still emerging, but it can't be ignored, especially with how quickly customers are adopting sophisticated software platforms and tools to mine their data and use it to extract business value. That's the arena PointBurst plays in. An 18-month-old company, PointBurst syndicates social media messages through partners, fans and other company advocates, keeps the messages consistent, and provides analytics to help companies measure the reach and effectiveness of their social media activity.
CEO: David Hughes
Reflexion's Reflexion Total Control (RTC) has amazingly strong buzz in a market as crowded as hosted email, in part because RTC offers robust, multifaceted hosted email security that includes spam blockers, virus control and mitigation of volume-based attacks approaching the corporate network. Partners also have cottoned to Reflexion Archiving, Disaster And Recovery (RADAR), which offers searchable email archives that can be accessed at any time from anywhere on the Internet.
Hotshot wireless provider Ruckus, which for the second year in a row nabbed the SMB Networking Hardware crown in CRN's Annual Report Card (ARC) awards, is a favorite of solution providers, not the least for its ZoneFlex line of smart wireless access points. At XChange, the company was showing off a number of its best-known wares, including the ZoneFlex 7982, a dual-band, three-stream 802.11n AP. It's a high-end AP that, following its May 2012 debut, represents the "big iron" in the Ruckus portfolio.
CEO: Matthew J. Schiltz
Symform, whose president and co-founder, Praerit Garg, had a particularly memorable XChange QuickFire presentation, has a growing following in the cloud storage market thanks to a unique offering in its Symform Cloud Storage Network. The short answer for how it works is that each member of that network contributes its excess local storage in exchange for Symform cloud storage -- in effect creating a peer-to-peer network, managed by Symform, that provides everything from data redundancy and fast uploading to data encryption.
Tandberg Data arrived at XChange riding industry notice for its new 1.5 TB RDX data cartridge. Tandberg has a firm stake in the ground specific to RDX, a technology that allows users to quickly store and/or back up data onto removable cartridges. Using the new RDX cartridges with Tandberg's RDX QuikStation means that customers can realize up to 12 TB in native storage capacity for the appliance as well.
CEO: Jay Chaudhry
With cloud security all the rage these days, it's little wonder why ZScaler's star is rising -- the company covers about 8 million users with its cloud-delivered security services and has continued to add veteran security industry talent to its management team. At XChange, ZScaler talked up its relatively new Pinnacle Partner Program, in which it offers solution providers an integrated SaaS solution consisting of Web, email, mobile and data security.