16 Hot Offerings That Bring The Cloud And The Channel Together

NexGen Cloud: The Conference For Next-Generation Cloud Business

While customers large and small are clamoring to get into the cloud, the best way to do is often not obvious. That, of course, means opportunity for solution providers bringing a wide range of cloud-focused tools to their customers.

One way to keep up on the latest of those tools is the NexGen Cloud Conference, an annual event that brings together cloud technology providers and cloud solution providers to serve a common base: cloud-hungry customers.

CRN editors have collected 16 offerings that can be used to meet the need for new cloud platforms, infrastructure and strategies. Ready to see if any of these will work for your customers?

Click through this slide show to find out.

Buffalo TeraStation TS5410

Buffalo Americas used NexGen Cloud to show off its latest NAS-based data protection appliance, the TeraStation TS5410. This unit expands on previous models with the addition of a 10-Gbps port, a doubling of internal memory to 4 GB, and the use of NAS-class hard drives. It is slated to ship in January.

That 10-Gbit Ethernet port is important, said Ben Delaurier, director of Americas support for the Austin, Texas-based company and an obvious fan of the movie "A Christmas Story," which made that lamp pictured in the background famous. "This opens the bottleneck in NAS," Delaurier told CRN. "No matter what the processor, NAS is limited to 120 MBytes per second on a 1-Gbit port; 10-Gbits enables up to 600 MBytes per second read speed in a four-bay configuration."

Webroot SecureAnywhere Business

Webroot showed off its SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection product, a next-generation endpoint security offering to defend enterprises from malware. The Broomfield, Colo.-based company called the offering the first malware prevention technology that reports its own efficacy at detecting infections and stopping malware. It allows customers to view infections on any endpoint in their network and check when the infection began.

The SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection enables security shield capabilities such as infrared to help customers thwart threats early on in their life cycle, and Web Threat Shield, which blocks access to known phishing sites and malicious domains. The cloud-based management capabilities allow MSPs and customers to manage up to 1,000 endpoints.

Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program

The world's largest software company came to NexGen Cloud to talk to partners about its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program that allows Microsoft's channel to bundle the Azure public cloud and other native products, add third-party services, and independently manage billing for their customers.

William Lewallen, senior manager for national cloud partner sales at Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, told NexGen attendees in a keynote that to drive profits from reselling cloud services, they needed to shift their sales mentality to focus on customer lifetime value, not individual deals.

Eaton Alliance Partnership

Eaton wanted attendees of NexGen Cloud to know about its Alliance partnership under which it works with strategic partners to validate its power equipment with partners' technology.

Elizabeth Bagnas, alliance manager, said the Cleveland-based company has several partners already including Cisco Systems and VMware, and in the near future will add hyper-converged infrastructure vendor Scale Computing to the alliance.

"We're showing the simplicity of using tools customers already have in place without the need to download new tools," Bagnas told CRN.

Ooma Business-Class Phone System

Ooma's business-class phone system, an enterprise-grade phone service built for small businesses, was on display for partners at NexGen Cloud. This business-class phone system supports up to 20 users on- and off-site. Customers can access the service from a variety of devices, including an analog or IP phone, a mobile app or a remote phone.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ooma said its system contains big business features like a virtual receptionist, extension dialing and conferencing. The service starts at $19.95 a month and is available to the channel.

Rackspace's E-mail Offerings

Rackspace was focused on promoting its e-mail offerings at NexGen Cloud. That included both its own branded service, Rackspace Email, and a more expensive hosted Microsoft Exchange offering. Those two e-mail products can be seamlessly blended together with Rackspace's vaunted Fanatical Support thrown on top.

Matt Grove, manager of San Antonio-based Rackspace's email anti-abuse development team, told NexGen attendees that if they didn't know what DMARC, or DKIM, or SPF were, they shouldn't even try to set up email for customers without the help of a provider.

ProfitBricks Partners With Pax8

ProfitBricks, a pure-play cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, introduced its ability to help managed service providers work with customers to turn their existing applications into cloud-ready applications. Aaron Garza (left), ProfitBricks' vice president of development, told CRN the Cambridge, Mass.-based company sets the software versions of customers existing applications in the ProfitBricks cloud with its own images and operating system distribution to build and mimic the customers' on-premise solution in the cloud.

Ryan Walsh, senior vice president of partner solutions at Pax8, told CRN the Lone Tree, Colo.-based company offers a platform to let managed service providers order needed infrastructure, and that ProfitBricks is a new partner.

Samsung Shows Real-World Mobility Solutions

Samsung used NexGen Cloud to show off how its products were being deployed as solutions in the medical field. For instance, Samsung's Galaxy S7 phones can serve as a hub or interface for situations such as diabetes monitoring. The mobile products also can improve patient experience and enable workflow efficiency. For instance, they will let doctors put tablet PCs on bedside tables with digital signage applications or interactive patient interfaces.

Samsung, South Korea, said its Gear VR products can be used to monitor wellness, reduce opioid prescriptions, and decrease anxiety and stress, as patients who use the headsets with calming natural topology settings receive a 65 percent reduction in anxiety. Samsung works with the channel to implement these devices in hospital settings.

Red Hat CloudForms

Solution providers visiting the Red Hat booth at NexGen Cloud were particularly interested in hearing about CloudForms, the open-source software vendor's hybrid cloud management framework, a representative for Raleigh, N.C-based Red Hat told CRN.

CloudForms delivers unified life-cycle management capabilities for public cloud, virtual networks and private cloud, as well as container-based infrastructure. The comprehensive offering for Infrastructure-as-a-Service management integrates more than 60 open-source projects.

Lenovo ThinkAgile

Lenovo, Morrisville, N.C., already has started talking with partners about its new Lenovo ThinkAgile converged infrastructure offering, which was only introduced in October and is not slated to ship until January.

The ThinkAgile CX4600 converged infrastructure solution combines Lenovo's x3550 M5 servers with all-flash or hybrid-flash storage solutions from Nimble Storage. Rusty Pierce, channel technical sales representative for Lenovo's Data Center Group, told CRN it was designed to be up and running shortly after being plugged in.

PTC ThingWorx IoT

PTC, Needham, Mass., used NexGen Cloud to show off its ThingWorx Internet of Things platform, an enterprise-ready platform that enables companies to develop and deploy connected solutions in the industrial or manufacturing space.

With ThingWorx, companies can connect devices using PTC's Kepware, which collects primary sensor data from control systems. They can then analyze and share that data with ThingWorx analytics, which automates complex processes for IoT data like real-time edge anomaly detection and predictive analytics.

NetSuite Integrated Suite

NetSuite, the cloud-focused business software company that was recently acquired by Oracle, offers a number of offerings to midmarket companies all highly integrated with each other to work as a single, cohesive product. The company's Software-as-a-Service suite includes human resources, financials, ERP and e-commerce modules.

A representative from NetSuite, San Mateo, Calif., told CRN the vendor came to NexGen especially looking to recruit legacy solution providers looking to build ERP practices.

APC By Schneider Electric MSP Program

APC by Schneider Electric used NexGen Cloud to drive awareness among channel partners about the data center power and power management company's MSP program, said Katie Boeh, director of the IT department's channel marketing and communications.

Partners already managing and monitoring customers' networks can work with West Kingston, R.I.-based APC by Schneider Electric to add a managed service, Boeh told CRN. "Partners can increase recurring revenue, decrease operating expenses by not needing to send someone out to fix a switch when it's just a battery needing replacement, and increase customer satisfaction," she said.

Extreme Networks ExtremeCloud

San Jose, Calif.-based Extreme Networks, which offers switches and cloud management solutions, displayed its ExtremeCloud, a scalable cloud-based network management subscription service.

ExtremeCloud supports company corporate and guest networks with role-based management for users, devices and applications. The offering includes managed switches and wireless access points, as well as smart edges that enable services such as call admission control, secure access policies and rate limiting.

BitTitan MSPComplete

The Kirkland, Wash.-based Microsoft technology partner showcased its MSPComplete cloud-enablement platform that helps IT service providers sell more cloud services like Office 365 and Azure, on-board new users, and manage the entire life cycle of Microsoft cloud adoption.

BitTitan also offers an Azure Starter Kit that enables just about any partner to quickly begin generating revenue by selling Microsoft's public cloud.

Intronis Office 365 Backup

Intronis, a Chelmsford, Mass.-based data protection software developer, showed off its new offering for backing up data specific to Microsoft Office 365. The application helps solution providers and managed service providers protect customers against ransomware, viruses and other e-mail attacks, said Erin Crawley, the company's event marketing manager.

Gerry Texeira, senior product manager, said the offering is unique in its ability to intercept attacks on cloud-based e-mail. "Whenever an email comes in, it's analyzed for attachments, phishing and spoofing anomalies," Texeira told CRN. "If it's OK, the e-mail passes."

Also, unlike Microsoft's own backup solution, Intronis offers regulatory and compliance backups with the ability to archive e-mails and search e-mail boxes all in the cloud, he said.