10 Hot Emerging Vendors For February 2011

Ready for Primetime

Step right up and get what may very well be your first look at 10 hot new IT vendors that are exploding onto the scene. Each month CRN profiles 10 new IT vendors that are looking to shake up the industry in various technology segments, from security to cloud computing, from software to hardware.

These startups know the importance of the channel and are looking to align with valued channel partners to get their names and products out.

Take a look and get introduced to 10 vendors that are ready for prime time.

AHX Global

Company: AHX Global
Tech Sector: Mobile PCs/Tablets
Key Product: iTablet

The Lowdown: AHX Global is a joint venture between X2 Computing, a British mobile computing solutions supplier and AMtek Systems, a Taiwanese designer of tablet computers. The company caused a stir in February 2010 when it unveiled the iTablet, which officially launched at CES 2011. One of the first tablet devices to run Windows 7 Home Premium, AHX Global's iTablet was followed by a W10 tablet running Windows 7 Starter with the same specifications as the iTablet, except that it doesn't include a built-in Webcam or HDMI input.


Company: PHP Fog
Tech Sector: Cloud Computing Services
Key Product: N-Tier PHP System

The Lowdown: PHP Fog, a PHP-based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud specialist, was founded in 2010 by Lucas Carlson, a PHP developer for more than eight years. The Portland, Ore.-based company offers cloud-based development and scaling of applications in the PHP Web development language, including one-click deployments for PHP apps such as WordPress, Drupal, Kohana, Zend and SugarCRM, according to PHP Fog. In January 2011, the company received $1.8 million in financing. It is currently in a private beta but expects to launch publicly during the first half of 2011.

Virsto Software

Company: Virsto Software
Tech Sector: Storage Virtualization
Key Product: Virsto One

The Lowdown: Virsto Software, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup founded in 2007, is taking aim at storage performance issues in virtual environments. The company's Virsto One platform manages I/O requests for all VMs on a physical server, helping to avoid bottlenecks and maximizing storage performance. Virsto One currently works only with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, but the company plans to expand its support to other platforms in the future. Virsto also partners with Citrix to improve the functioning of storage hardware in Citrix XenDesktop deployments.

"We believe we are building a visionary storage software platform that will fundamentally transform the data center -- decoupling storage from the physical world once and for all to save organizations time and money," Virsto says on its Web page.


Company: BridgeSTOR
Tech Sector: Storage
Key Product: BridgeSTOR AOS Appliance

The Lowdown: Poway, Calif.-based storage startup BridgeSTOR develops appliances for deduping primary data and providing high-performance services for VMware virtual machine data. One model comes pre-configured with Symantec's Data Deduplication Suite of software integrated with hardware-accelerated data compression technology to dedupe primary and secondary data as it is being stored. The other focuses on backing up and recovering virtual machines and their data in VMware appliances.

BridgeSTOR is a 100 percent channel-focused company, said John Matze, founder and CEO who is well-known as a channel-friendly storage entrepreneur.


Company: Bizroof
Tech Sector: Software
Key Product: Bizroof CRM

The Lowdown: Bizroof was founded in July 2008. The Bizroof hosted CRM software platform is a collaborative customer relationship management (CRM) and events scheduling system that is a Software-as-a-Service offering. The company’s stated mission is to build the world's easiest hosted applications for businesses of all sizes. There are two subscription plans: Basic and Pro. Basic is free and accepts three users, 30 contacts and 30 organizations every month, limitless event scheduling and data tagging, and 10MB of file space for uploads. Pro costs $120 annually. That fee provides subscribers access to 1,000 users, 20,000 contacts and 20,000 organizations per month, 1 GB of room for data, and zero advertisements.

Vu TelePresence

Company: Vu TelePresence
Tech Sector: Networking
Key Product: Vu TelePresence Pro

The Lowdown: Vu TelePresence is among a handful of upstart companies committed to the idea of lower-cost, lower-hassle video telepresence for small office, home office and SMB customers, and the India-based company, whose North America headquarters is in Zelienople, Penn., is already building a buzz in the channel. Billed as a "plug-and-play" telepresence experience, the Vu Pro package includes a pan-tilt-zoom camera, a hardware codec unit, a wireless keyboard and mouse, speakers and a microphone and can support 1 or 2 screens. According to Vu's executives, 500 Kbps of bandwidth is sufficient to run the Vu-ing, and 720p picture support, multi-party conferencing up to 5 parties and recording and archiving of conference sessions is all available. The package costs $1,500 per unit -- not including a display -- or is offered as-a-service for $49 per month.

Peep Wireless Technology

Company: Peep Wireless Technology
Tech Sector: Wireless Networking
Key Product: PeepApp

The Lowdown: Peep Wireless is looking to shake up the wireless market by creating a mesh network of connected mobile phones. Instead of relying on cell phone towers, Peep Wireless-powered mobile phones can connect to one another and piggy-back off of their respective wireless signals. Therefore, the company’s PeepApp software turns a user’s mobile phone into a sort of miniature wireless access point and creates a peer-to-peer network. If the technology works as stated, Peep is sure to get the attention of the major wireless carriers.


Company: NephoScale
Tech Sector: Cloud Computing
NephoScale Infrastructure-as-a-Service

The Lowdown: NephoScale officially came out of stealth mode in January as a new player on the cloud computing block with infrastructure services to kick the speed and scalability of Web apps up a notch. The San Jose, Calif.-based startup's flagship infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) play includes cloud servers, on-demand dedicated services and object-based cloud storage powered by NephoScale's own programmatic interface, called CloudScript, to give users management capabilities and control over their cloud infrastructure. NephoScale's cloud services platform can scale horizontally, vertically and geographically to remove some of the complexity from cloud environments.

Lookout Mobile Security

Company: Lookout Mobile Security
Tech Sector: Security
Key Product: Lookout Mobile Security

The Lowdown: With mobile device security threats looming and predicted to be a security menace in 2011, Lookout Mobile Security is looking to lock down the smartphone and ensure mobile computing is safe computing. The San Francisco-based startup, which in December received a $19.5 million Series C funding infusion, delivers mobile malware and spyware protection, data backup and recovery and device location is a smartphone goes missing or stolen. The company's cross-platform, cloud-connected application scans applications worldwide to stop threats before they can infect a device. The Lookout Mobile Security app is currently available on the Google Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry platforms.


Company: Leapfactor
Tech Sector: Software
Key Product: Leapfactor

The Lowdown: Launched in 2010, San Francisco-based Leapfactor offers an enterprise-class mobility platform that businesses can use to make any application available to employees, customers and partners through their mobile devices. The cloud-based system integrates with back-end systems, extracts data using light XML trading mechanisms, and securely delivers it to mobile devices through what the company describes as "consumer-like apps."

Leapfactor also offers a suite of three micro apps: Business Alerts, which delivers important messages needed for decision making; Business Indicators, which publishes business metrics such as key performance indicators and financial data to mobile users; and Business Approvals, which extends to mobile devices workflows that require approvals and rejections.