5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Dec. 15

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is private equity company Vista Equity partners, which this week managed the merger of Datto and Autotask to create a leading player in the managed services space.

Also making the list this week are Fortinet for debuting a new security fabric architecture for operational technology targeting the critical industrial IoT arena; RSA for its plans to expand its SecurWorld channel program to reward partners that recruit net-new customers; Pax8 for its new "Stax Designer" technology that makes it easier for MSPs to deliver bundled services for customers; and Pulse Secure for hiring an industry veteran CMO whose charge includes stepping up the vendor's channel game.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Private Equity Firm Engineers Datto-Autotask Merger Creating A Managed Services Leader

Speaking of creating industry powerhouses, IT service management vendor Autotask and data protection specialist Datto were merged this week forming a managed services company that can provide more than 13,000 MSP channel partners with professional service automation, remote monitoring and management, backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, which bought Autotask in 2014, engineered the merger this week and simultaneously acquired Datto as part of the overall deal.

Datto and Autotask together employ about 1,300 and their channel partners provide managed services to more than 500,000 SMB customers.

Fortinet Tightens IoT Security Focus With New Solution For Partners

Fortinet this week stepped up its game in the increasingly critical area of Internet of Things security by developing and launching a broad security fabric architecture for operational technology in the industrial IoT arena.

The new offering integrates a ruggedized firewall, and switching and wireless access point appliances with the vendor's FortiGuard industrial threat intelligence system – a package that partners can provide to industrial customers to protect their control and SCADA systems.

The industrial IT market is facing an array of security issues as operational technology is increasingly connected to other IT systems and the Internet.

Pax8 Introduces Stax Designer To Help MSPs On-Board New Customers

Cloud services distributor Pax8 wins applause this week for its new Stax Designer technology that's aimed at making it easy for managed service providers to on-board new business customers or new seats at existing customers using pre-configured service bundles.

Stax Designer, slated for rollout sometime in 2018, is a template for instantly moving a stack of products to new customers or services. A "stack" in MSP parlance is a group of products bundled for easy use by MSP customers. But assembling and deploying such bundles isn't always easy for MSPs.

Partners will be able to log onto Stax Designer and access and modify the services stacks via the Stax dashboard.

RSA Plans Channel Program Update To Reward Partners Who Bring On New Customers

Security technology developer RSA wins applause this week for its plans to expand its SecurWorld channel program in early 2018 to reward partners who recruit net-new customers for the company.

The company plans to offer more generous incentives for partners that help RSA further penetrate the marketplace by identifying and bringing in new customers, Faraz Siraj, director of Americas Channels, told CRN this week. The company is expected to provide more details in January.

But the company was careful to note that the new incentives won't come at the expense of rewards for partners who support – and expand sales within – existing RSA customers.

Pulse Secure Lands New CMO To Drive Partner Growth

Pulse Secure made a savvy hire this week, naming Scott Gordon, previously chief marketing officer at RiskIQ, to be its new CMO. Gordon's mission includes boosting services opportunities for channel partners by expanding the company's services portfolio with system implementation and customer training.

Gordon also will focus on expanding Pulse Secure's virtual and cloud appliances business for its 3,000-plus partners. The company is expected to help partners build out their advisory practices and Gordon wants to increase the number of partners that have gone through Pulse Secure's certification program. He envisions the company's marketing operation playing a more significant role in contributing to partners' sales pipeline through demand generation activities.

Gordon served as RiskIQ's CMO for 18 months before joining Pulse Secure earlier this month. Before that he served as CMO at ForeScout between 2011 and 2015.