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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

Rick Whiting

For the week ending Oct. 7, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

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The Week Ending Oct. 7

Topping this week’s Came to Win list are IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl and software giant Microsoft for a strategic alliance that helps link mainframes with the cloud.

Also making this week’s list are Verizon for snagging a major services contract with the U.S. Department of State, cybersecurity startup NetSPI for a very impressive funding round, IT management software developer SolarWinds for launching a new channel program, and The 20 MSP for its latest round of MSP acquisitions.

Kyndryl And Microsoft Partner On Mainframe Pipeline To Azure

With all the focus on cloud computing today it’s easy to forget that many large businesses and organizations still have powerful mainframe computers running mission-critical applications in their data centers.

So Microsoft and Kyndryl win kudos this week for establishing a strategic alliance and developing data pipeline technology that links IBM Power Systems platform and zSeries computers, Kyndryl’s mainframe-based zCloud platform, and the Microsoft Azure cloud system.

Through the relationship, Kyndryl will make it easier to run mission-critical workloads that currently reside on mainframe hardware and the multitenant zCloud using the Microsoft Power Platform. The new data pipelines allow applications running on Azure to tap into mainframe-based data without having to move it.

Connecting the mainframe and cloud computing worlds is expected to provide both Microsoft and Kyndryl with a boost in the hybrid computing arena.

Verizon Wins $1.58 Billion Deal To Outfit U.S. Embassies With Next-Generation IT

Verizon was a big winner in the U.S. federal government space this week when it was awarded a $1.58 billion contract by the U.S. Department of State to modernize U.S. embassies, consulates and other facilities around the world.

Under the 10-year Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, Verizon will implement and manage network solutions for the department’s facilities outside of the U.S. including in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

The win comes on the heels of other contract awards to modernize and upgrade IT infrastructure for U.S. government entities including a $1 billion contract from the U.S. Department of Defense in March and a more than $400 million contract with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July.

Verizon also learned this week that its Verizon Business Mobility Co-Sell program won high marks from partners in a recent survey.

KKR Invests Another $410 Million In Fast-Growing NetSPI

Cybersecurity company NetSPI received a $410 million investment from private equity giant KKR this week.

NetSPI, a penetration and attack surface management services provider, plans to use the additional funding to accelerate product development, expand hiring, aggressively expand channel initiatives and possibly fund acquisitions.

Fast-growing NetSPI just launched a new channel program in August to boost channel sales, which today account for less than 10 percent of the company’s revenue.

KKR led a $90 million funding round for NetSPI last year. With the new funding KKR effectively buys out previous majority owner Sunstone Partners.

SolarWinds Launches New Partner Program

IT management software developer SolarWinds this week launched the SolarWinds Transform Partner Program, the company’s first formal partner program since it spun out its MSP business as the independent company N-able.

With the new program, SolarWinds plans to engage with a wider community of MSPs. It also provides a unified way to go to market with all types of partners including distributors, global systems integrators, solution providers, MSPs and cloud partners.

The program offers new specialization tracks, including a services specialization, to help align partners with SolarWinds’ broad product portfolio. The program also provides a range of benefits including market development funds, growth rebates, and online training for sales and pre-sales professionals.

Security startup Vanta also wins applause for launching its first partner program geared toward MSSPs, “virtual CISOs” and other partners providing managed security services.

The 20 MSP Continues M&A Spree With Four Acquisitions

Managed service provider The 20 MSP continued to execute on its plan to rapidly grow through the acquisition of multiple, smaller MSPs every month.

This week The 20 MSP said it had acquired four MSPs around the country in a move that brings additional skills and expertise to the company and helps it expand geographically. These acquisitions come just one month after The 20 MSP announced the acquisition of six other MSPs.

The four newly acquired MSPs are: Bozeman, Mont.-based MSP and commercial network security provider WolfGuard IT; Newark, Del.-based MSP and support services provider Bolder Designs; Richmond, Texas-based MSP and cloud services provider Byte-Werx; and Columbia, Mo.-based MSP JS Computek.

The 20 MSP is a managed service provider set up to acquire other MSPs and build a nationwide services provider. Its acquisition candidates come from The 20 MSP Group, a network of independent MSPs that have signed on to use the same managed services tools that The 20 MSP provides to its own customers.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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