15 Hot Products MSPs Need To Know In Security, Cloud, AI
A number of vendors took to the XChange show floor to showcase new offerings aimed at MSPs that hold the potential to improve partners’ business. Here are 15 standouts.
A cloud management platform for Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop. A Network-as-a-Service platform with identity-based security controls that connects users to enterprise resources. And a cybersecurity platform aimed at smaller businesses.
Nerdio, Cloudflare One and Judy Security are some of the standout vendors from the XChange August 2023 conference hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company in Nashville, Tenn., this week.
Vendors of various sizes took to the XChange show floor to showcase new offerings aimed at MSPs that hold the potential to improve partners’ businesses.
Hot Channel Products
Mike Crosby, an industry analyst and executive director at Circana, said during the conference that an improved demand environment across categories can be expected next year.
“Software and cloud really are carrying us right now,” he said. “Both are up and to the right.”
During XChange, Rob Rae, corporate vice president of communities and ecosystems at IT distributor Pax8, proclaimed that MSPs are “going to be the center of everything, and the growth numbers are phenomenal.”
He predicts the channel industry will double in size by 2030.
Some of the other vendors to make this list include:
Read on for more on these hot products for MSPs.
Representatives of Nerdio were on-site at XChWange to promote the vendor’s Manager for MSP offering, which promises a multitenant, workflow-powered cloud management platform to accelerate practices around Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 and other cloud offerings from the tech giant.
Chicago-based Nerdio has made a recent push into Microsoft Intune to help partners manage physical endpoints from the same portal as where they manage Azure, Nerdio CRO Joseph Landes told CRN in an interview.
The Intune component should be built out by the end of 2023, Landes said. The company will also build out a component for Microsoft Defender.
In the days before XChange, cloud cost tools vendor Virtana made a series of improvements to its Infrastructure Performance Monitoring (IPM) and Cloud Cost Management (CCM) offerings.
Those improvements from the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company include clickable entities, device summary pages and file-based alarm thresholds in the IPM, according to Virtana.
In the CCM, Virtana added more financial operations (FinOps) capabilities, including forecasts on the overview dashboard, enhanced visibility and filtering options, a dedicated category for untagged resources and multi-cloud resource group creation.
Leslie Maher, hired earlier this year as Virtana’s vice president of global channel and strategic alliances, told CRN in an interview to expect more investments from the vendor around FinOps and Kubernetes capabilities.
Virtana has about 240 channel partners worldwide, according to CRN’s 2023 Channel Chiefs.
As Microsoft Dynamics grows in adoption, and as the tech giant adds more capabilities and integration, partners can look to TruNorth Dynamics as a way to amplify their practices around the CRM offering.
That’s according to Ole Gjerde, CEO of the Castle Rock, Colo.-based vendor, which spun out from TrueIT—a member of CRN’s 2023 Managed Service Provider 500 and is now known as ABM Technology Group.
The hype around generative artificial intelligence has also helped the Dynamics conversation as MSPs seek more ways to unite customer data under a Microsoft umbrella and improve the content and insight generated by Microsoft tools, Gjerde told CRN in an interview.
TruNorth has about 170 channel partners in North America, according to CRN’s 2023 Channel Chiefs.
BVoip, a vendor that spun out of an MSP in 2014, understands the pain points of partners all too well. The Philadelphia-based company saw a gap in the market for a standardized communication platform for MSPs to automate their call flows in conjunction with their existing systems and tools and BVoip was born.
The company’s Cloud UC offering is a channel-only, single-portal offering that provides voice services out of the box, including call attendant, voicemail, transfer/hold features and on-hold music. The platform also offers cloud contact center, web meetings, and iOS and Android mobile applications, according to the Hatfield, Pa.-based company.
The platform can integrate with more than 200 existing applications and software products that partners already invest in, such as ConnectWise, Autotask, Datto, IT Glue, BrightGauge, DeskDirector and ConnectBooster.
Network-attached storage provider Buffalo Americas took to XChange to promote its TeraStation 71210RH for data center and enterprise use cases that was launched earlier this year. The vendor said that its latest offering goes “beyond backup” because it’s optimized for demanding performance scenarios, such as hosting production data for virtualized systems. Buffalo Americas said that in its first eight months on the market, the TeraStation 71210RH has “far exceeded” its sales expectations.
The Austin, Texas-based company, which does all of its business through the channel, spoke to partners at XChange about its Activate Partner Program, a simple program designed for new and returning solution providers that gives them access to at least 50 percent off MSRP discounts and its deepest discounts ever extended on its TeraStation NAS offerings.
Network services and cloud cybersecurity specialist Cloudflare has entered the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) market with Cloudflare One, a zero trust NaaS platform that connects users to enterprise resources, with identity-based security controls delivered close to users, wherever they are located, said Cloudflare.
According to Cloudflare, because of its zero trust approach to SASE, businesses won’t have to block the use of generative AI tools because SASE fused with zero trust security allows for the safe use of these emerging technologies.
The San Francisco-based company in June 2022 announced the launch of the Cloudflare One Partner Program.
WatchGuard is providing MSP partners with a number of differentiators through its endpoint protection combined with endpoint detection and response (EPDR) platform, said Marc Laliberte, director of security operations at WatchGuard, in an interview with CRN.
For instance, the platform offers a “zero trust application service” that company said is superior to the common approach in endpoint security of identifying “suspicious” files—which are then left up to the security practitioner to determine whether the files are malicious or benign, Laliberte said. With the service, “we’re able to 100 percent accurately identify whether something is legitimate or malicious by running it through this attestation process,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to Laliberte, WatchGuard’s EPDR platform also stands out with its approach to detecting and blocking malicious activity in PowerShell, an IT tool in Windows. Since PowerShell is also an important tool for legitimate purposes, WatchGuard EPDR can allow its continued use while also monitoring for indicators that malicious activity may be occurring using behavioral detection, he said.
“If it’s just your tech going in and reconfiguring this file on the system, you’re good to go,” Laliberte said. “But if suddenly [PowerShell] disables the anti-malware scan interface—and maybe it’s running obfuscated code it downloaded from some server—we can kill that process before it’s able to do damage.”
With a focus on serving businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, Judy Security offers an “all-in-one” platform with the essential cybersecurity capabilities most SMBs need in order to be protected, said Tim Hankins, senior vice president of growth at the company, in an interview with CRN.
The Judy Security essentials platform brings together endpoint protection with secure authentication—multifactor authentication and single sign-on—and URL filtering. Along with offering improved protection, the platform enables consolidation of a number of existing security tools and vendors onto a unified, affordably priced platform, Hankins said. This is in contrast to the current state of security tools for SMBs, where typically “they’ve got to stitch together solutions and make the best of it,” he said.
Judy Security—formerly known as AaDya Security—also fully plans to remain focused on SMBs going forward, Hankins said. “We will never be an enterprise sales company,” he said.
With its recently launched extended detection and response (XDR) platform, Blumira aims to bring enterprise-grade XDR technology to SMBs, according to the company.
The Blumira XDR platform brings together security information and event management (SIEM) with endpoint visibility and capabilities for automated response, the company said. The automated response capabilities include automatic isolation of a host after a potential threat is detected, enabling containment of the threat until an investigation can be performed, according to the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company.
On SIEM, meanwhile, Blumira offers a SIEM that is “actually built for IT admins,” said Jeremy Young, director of partner strategy at Blumira, in an interview with CRN. Key features include simplified configuration and guidance about how to remediate issues that are found using the tool, he said. “When you get a finding, it comes with detailed analysis and step-by-step instructions on what to do about it. So we take this really advanced tool and boil it down to something where a Tier 1 analyst can follow the instructions to remediate.”
Ultimately, up until now, “most SIEMs haven’t been attainable, affordable or usable for SMBs,” Young said. “And that’s our mission —to make this advanced security tool something that people who have been living below the security poverty line for a long time can actually use.”
The SOCSoter cybersecurity platform is specifically built for SMBs and midsize enterprises and offers network SIEM monitoring, managed cloud SIEM, compliance monitoring, managed endpoint detection and vulnerability management.
Its cloud monitoring tool offers greater visibility with a single point of access. It also integrates with Microsoft 365 and Azure. Vulnerability management and the VMS scan policy is lightweight enough to run 24x7x354 while also deep enough to find critical vulnerabilities.
The Hagerstown, Md--based company’s network monitoring offers advanced threat detection and compliance and can be found in a single compact appliance. Its compliance services offer compliance monitoring, penetration testing and more. Endpoint detection has a serverless infrastructure, is a lightweight agent and enables automatic and manual isolation of infected systems.
Vanta is a vCISO that automates GRC workflows and centralizes security program management. Its automated vCISO assesses security posture and builds remediation plans by reducing manual workloads and increasing recurring revenue.
The San Francisco-based company offers training, templates and documentation to get techs up to speed, has more than 100 integrations and offers automated evidence collection and unified risk visibility and integrated alerts. With all of its features, it provides a unified view of security landscapes and surfaces the information for MSPs to quickly address vulnerabilities.
Nodeware is a multitenant offering that is scalable from SMBs to enterprise organizations and continuously scans and monitors networks. The easy-to-use offering has virtual network sensors and agents for Windows, Mac and Linux endpoints.
The product includes scheduled or on-demand reporting capabilities that enables MSPs to run detailed or executive summary reports, compliance and auditing requirements and ongoing management. Nodeware sends notifications through email, Slack, PSA integrations and its dashboard so customers are always up to date and protected, according to the Pittsford, N.Y.-based company.
Eden Prairie, Minn.-based data protection software vendor Arcserve was at XChange to show off not only some new technologies but also to highlight the progress it has made since Arcserve and rival StorageCraft merged in early 2021.
The two companies have completely merged their operations and systems,and have restored a lot of continuity with channel partners, said Sam Elbeck (right in photo), vice president of America sales.
“We’re reigniting our business,” Elbeck told CRN.
For instance, Elbeck said, Arcserve previously focused its cloud services, primarily Disaster Recovery as a Service, on enterprise customers. “But we’ve simplified everything to make it available to SMBs and midmarket customers to let them bring up their entire infrastructure in the cloud if needed,” he said.
Shawn Massey, Arcserve’s vice president of sales engineering for the Americas, explained the company’s flagship offering has always had one-click restore, but has more recently been simplified so that single click operates regardless of the number of devices that need to be restored.
Arcserve has been focusing on a new suite of products specifically for MSPs, Elbeck said. This includes adding a security perimeter around the data with a cyber-resiliency-focused back end.
“When ransomware gets through, we provide a platform to restore data even if it’s encrypted,” he said. “It includes flexible deployment, along with immutable copies that can’t be touched by ransomware.”
Most of all, Massey said, the technology lets customers test their ransomware capabilities. “Testing is key,” he said. “With ransomware, it’s not a matter of if, but when and how many times a company will be attacked.”
Data protection and business continuity technology provider Axcient in October brought Rod Mathews on as its new president and CEO, and has since moved quickly to increase its focus on a number of fronts, said Tim Sheahen, senior vice president of global sales for the Denver-based company.
Axcient, which focuses primarily on MSPs, has been actively expanding its strategic partnerships, and this summer at the ConnectWise IT Nation conference unveiled a move to integrate its technology with ConnectWise’s Network Operations Center in a nonexclusive partnership that lets MSPs more easily leverage Axcient’s technology, Sheahan told CRN.
The Denver-based company has also been driving efficiencies into its offerings via automation, Sheahan said.
“”We’ve been building automation in our solutions but are now investing in building automation over the long term,” he said. “We want to make sure partners don’t need high-end engineers to manage their backups.”
This includes Axcient’s patented air-gap technology that separates the deletion of data from the mechanics behind to recover if a bad actor gains access to encrypt or delete data, Sheahan said.
“If they do, customers can reach out to Axcient, and we’ll tell them we have a fresh copy of the data from them to use,” he said. “We also add fake data assets so that if they are obtained by bad actors who think they’ve succeeded, they will not have accessed the real data.”
Axcient is also busy on the product side, Sheahan said. The company is moving toward a single platform to cover all backup scenarios, and has just released a Linux agent, he said. A Mac agent is on the way, he said.
Axcient also just released more automated capabilities for its Incremental Vault Recovery technology, part of its X360 Recovery offering, Sheahan said.
“When an MSP migrates data from one vendor to another, it’s a big project,” he said. “So a lot of MSPs don’t switch vendors. It’s expensive and requires a lot of downtime. Our Incremental Vault Recovery lets them migrate data while providing an SLA so that in the event of a failure, they can restore to the original vendor. We’re not about our cloud versus your cloud.”
Another new automation feature is the ability to automatically tear down a virtual office in the cloud set up for recovery purposes, Sheahan said.
“We let MSPs recover to the cloud with a bootable virtual office,” he said. “Previously, MSPs sometimes forgot to tear down the virtual office. Now we will automate it so we tear down the virtual office, or let the MSP schedule schedule the teardown. This will be available before the end of 2023.”
Vancouver, B.C.-based MSP management software developer ScalePad in 2023 has made four acquisitions and is using them to expand how it works with its over 10,000 global MSPs, said CEO Dan Wensley (right, in photo).
They include the July acquisition of AdeptMC for its business continuity technology; the April acquisition of Lifecycle Insights for quarterly business review and asset management; the March acquisition of ControlMap for its governance, risk and compliance platform; and the February acquisition of Cognition360, a business intelligence and analytics platform.
Going forward, ScalePad will leverage the acquired technologies, along with its organically developed technology, to leverage data across a large number of “swim lanes,” Wensley said.
“For example, our Backup Radar can monitor backups it sees, but it couldn’t see assets that weren’t backed up,” he said. “So now we leverage our data collector from Lifecycle Manager to show which assets are not being backed up. Backup Radar monitors 1.3 million backups a day. Over 10 percent fail. So we are helping automate the process.”
Eric Torres (left in photo), ScalePad’s vice president of channels, said that most MSPs work with three to five backup solutions. “Every day somebody has to monitor those backups,” he told CRN. “ScalePad automates that process.”
ScalePad is also now automating life-cyle management for MSPs’ customers’ workstations via its new Workstation Assurance offering, Wensley said.
“Our partners are retiring 100,000 workstations per month,” he said. “We now automate their disposal and recycling. We work with Veritree to plant almost 17 acres of trees to mitigate climate change while recycling tons of metal that would otherwise go to landfills. We also recycle those workstations using NIST 800-standard data wipes with certificates.”