18 Hot Products And Services Cloud Partners Need To Know In 2018

The Best Of The Best

This holiday season, IT vendors and service providers put their best offerings on display at The NexGen Conference & Technology Expo, from new cloud-based solutions to brand-new partner programs and innovative offerings that the channel did not expect to see.

On the showroom floor in Los Angeles, CRN met with vendors and service providers to see what they have in-store for partners heading into 2018.

Ruckus WaaS

Wireless vendor Ruckus urged channel partners to set themselves apart with a managed Wi-Fi solution that won't require a substantial investment in training, or even dedicated engineers to support the solution.

Ruckus' Wi-Fi as-a-Service (WaaS) solution is designed to "just work," according to Jeanette Lee, senior director of global field enablement for Ruckus. The Ruckus solution gives partners a Wi-Fi solution that offers a quality user experience within the most "challenging" wireless climates, but perhaps most importantly, partners will not have to learn wireless from the ground up with the managed wireless solution. Channel partners can put Ruckus' controller or virtualized software within their own data centers to serve their end customers in a managed services approach. Partners can also choose to resell and manage Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi, which lives in Ruckus' data centers.

Intermedia UCaaS

Eric Roach (pictured), global vice president of field channel sales and distribution at Intermedia, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of a variety of cloud-based applications including unified communications as a service, used a keynote presentation at NexGen 2017 to talk about several myths related to the voice and unified communications business, including myths about the reliability of the technology, the level of technical support, and the ease of onboarding customers.

Roach said his company provides flexible training, high availability service, and full sales, onboarding, ordering, billing, and tax support to help overcome those myths. Moreover, as a way to attract interest, Roach promised to provide partners with a free upgraded phone for each Intermedia voice line they sell through the end of the year.

Pax8 Stax Designer

Cloud services distributor Pax8 introduced Stax Designer, aimed at making it easy for managed service providers to onboard new business customers or new seats at existing customers via pre-configured bundles of services.

Stax Designer is a template for instantly moving a stack of products to new customers or users, said Nick Heddy, vice president of sales for Denver-based Pax8. Stax Designer will be available as a stand-alone offering, as well as be integrated into the ConnectWise and Autotask services management platforms.

Partners who log into Stax Designer will be able to access and modify the services stacks via the Stax dashboard, Heddy said.

Pax8 plans to offer themed pre-configured Stax bundles including a Compliance Stax built around HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) requirements, he said.

Z oho SaaS

Zoho, a pioneering vendor in the cloud-based office productivity space, discussed with NexGen attendees its comprehensive suite of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business tools.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company's latest product, Zoho One, offers a few dozen integrated web applications as a complete package for businesses, including sales, marketing, accounting, customer support, human resource management and business intelligence software, along with personal productivity and collaboration applications such as email and document processing.

OnRamp Cloud Gets More Secure

Hybrid cloud hosting provider OnRamp officially released its HITRUST-certified virtual private cloud (VPC) built on OpenStack open-source software in September. At NexGen, the Austin-based provider told partners that its cloud solutions would continue to evolve, giving way for partners to offer their customers more options to scale their infrastructure.

Jean Carlos Carrasquel, senior director of OnRamp's channel partner program, told CRN that partners should also expect a suite of security and compliance solutions that simplify risk management and help organizations prepare for compliance audits.

OnRamp's solutions today include pay-as-you-go billing and self-service provisioning. It has expanded its VPC to support Windows and Linux operating systems.

Lenovo SDDC Strategy

Noah Johnson, enterprise data solutions account executive at Lenovo, told attendees that his company is helping partners bring the agility, simplicity, and on-demand pricing of the public cloud to private data centers via a software-defined data center strategy. That strategy combines Lenovo servers with a choice of software from a variety of partners including Nutanix, VMware, DataCore, Pivot3, Cloudian, or Nexenta.

Scale Computing As A VMware Alternative

Scale Computing showed a complete hyper-converged infrastructure offering the company claimed was a leading alternative to HCI appliances based on VMware software. Dave Hallmen, chief revenue officer for the Indianapolis developer, said the Scale Computing offering included a built-in hypervisor so that customers do not need to pay VMware hypervisor fees, as well as an integrated disaster recovery capability.

Hallmen said the Scale Computing offering, unlike that of Nutanix, includes hypervisor-embedded storage which he said is significant given that his company next year will be offering an NVMe storage option.

APC Tackles Edge Computing Power Requirements

APC by Schneider Electric is keeping the burgeoning adoption of IoT technology with a new series of standard data center infrastructures it recommends for edge deployments, said Katie Boeh, director of channel marketing and communications for the West Kingston, R.I.-based company.

APC is offering three standard recommended deployments for edge computing including a standardized physical infrastructure such as the company's Micro Data Center, an entry-level remote monitoring, and management practice, and physical security including full enclosures, badge access equipment, and video surveillance equipment.

Eaton Expands MSP Program

Eaton is expanding its MSP program with a new ConnectWise integration, said Elizabeth T. Bagnas, alliance manager for the Pittsburg-based power management technology developer.

That ConnectWise integration, which Eaton plans to release shortly, will allow MSPs to connect the ConnectWise console to Eaton's network management card to remotely monitor and manage Eaton UPSs and power distribution units, Bagnas told CRN.

"This will allow MSPs to provide power monitoring through these services while offering clients a complete view of their overall infrastructure," she said.


Telecom master agent and connectivity services distributor World Telecom Group (WTG) came out in full-force with its IoT portfolio at NexGen 2017.

Vince Bradley, CEO of Malibu, Calif.-based WTG said that his company today has over 150 connectivity providers in its portfolio. Coupled with a plethora of connectivity options, WTG also has a wireless mobility business unit and is currently developing a unit around IoT equipment manufacturers to offer a full set of IoT solutions for partners just getting into IoT.

IoT, Bradley said, is presenting a huge money-making opportunity for the channel. "We need to start asking customers what their IoT strategy is, and if they don't have one, that is an opportunity," he said.

Datto Now Way Beyond Its Storage Roots

Datto is busy reintroducing itself to partners in the wake of some key acquisitions that have turned the Norwalk, Conn.-based company from a provider of data protection technologies into one of the IT industry's top provider of technologies to the MSP community after its merger this year with Autotask.

Eric Torres, channel development manager, told CRN that Datto is seeing faster-than-expected growth in the networking services business since its acquisition this year of OpenMesh, and has become a significant provider of data protection for Office365 and Google Suite customers thanks to its acquisition of Backupify.

Samsung Mirrors

Korean tech giant Samsung took the opportunity to showcase some impressive – and unexpected -- digital signage products at its NexGen booth.

Those included a mirror display that can present vivid and colorful content across a large reflective mirror. Partners also marveled at some large format displays delivering bright outdoor signage for storefronts, or rectangular stretch displays ideal for transit systems or other constricted spaces.

Commvault HyperScale Appliance

Bill Neill, director of product marketing for Commvault, introduced channel partners to the Tinton Falls, N.J.-based company's new HyperScale appliance which provides secondary storage for both on-premises and cloud environments.

HyperScale is a complete appliance that is pre-configured with 80 TBs of storage, a full data protection software stack, and single-pane-of-glass management of data. Its software stack, consisting of Red Hat and other vendor's applications, offers full resiliency, so there is no single point of failure, Neill said.

"From a business perspective, we are providing a low-cost, simple way to decrease storage costs while providing data protection," he said.

Buffalo TeraStation 5010

Some things never change, such as Austin, Texas-based Buffalo Americas annual offering of a copy of the leg lamp featured in the movie "A Christmas Story" as a raffle prize at NexGen.

Other things do change. This year, the company introduced the TeraStation 5010, the company's latest NAS appliance. Ben DeLaurier, director of Americas support for the company, told CRN that the TeraStation 5010, new for 2017, features built-in 10-Gbit Ethernet connectivity. It is also unusual in that it can be purchased either partially or fully populated with disk drives with full warranty on any drives purchased through Buffalo, DeLaurier said.

"The cost-per-terabyte is good, and the support is the best," he said. "As director of tech support, I may be biased. But I think it's a true statement."

ScienceLogic Monitoring

ScienceLogic welcomed to its booth partners who target the enterprise market to talk about its full line of tools for monitoring on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments.

Reston, Va.-based ScienceLogic enables monitoring of networks, server, storage, and cloud applications to simplify IT service delivery. The platform enables customers to auto-discover assets in hybrid environments, visualize dependencies, and automate their systems from a single pane of glass.

NetApp Data Fabric

Mike Cirrincione, NetApp's director of North American channel sales, was quick to remind solution providers that the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company used to be a storage company, but over the last three or four years has morphed into a focus on data and data transformation.

NetApp helps businesses with their data transformation via its Data Fabric, a platform that allows data to seamlessly move across on-premises and off-premises infrastructures, public or private clouds, hybrid environments, hyper-converged infrastructures, and multi-cloud environments, Cirrincione said.

"We embrace it all," he said. "Our answer is yes, yes, yes. We give partners freedom of choice, and we do not lock them in."

ConnectWise Unite

ConnectWise was focused on introducing existing and prospective MSPs to the Tampa, Fla.-based managed services platform developer's new ConnectWise Unite program. Tori Mannix, a community specialist for ConnectWise, said Unite integrates the portals of partners like Cisco and Amazon Web Services to the ConnectWise management platform. It is currently being pilot tested by partners and is expected to launch on about January 1.

eFolder's Data Protection Suite

eFolder wants solution providers and MSPs to look beyond simple data protection to a complete suite of technologies that manage data from a wide range of perspectives, said Kaitlyn Langer, field marketing manager for the Denver-based company.

That suite is made up of a number of parts, many of which came from acquisitions, including the Replibit image-based backup technology, the Anchor business-grade file sync-and-share application, and the CloudFinder cloud-to-cloud backup offering for Office365, she told CRN.

"Over the years, we have made acquisitions and combined them with our own intellectual property to create a suite of data protection solutions," she said. "We're focused on tying them together."