25 Hot IT Products To Check Out Right Now
Best In Show
Dozens of technology developers showed off their latest and greatest products this week at the XChange Solution Provider 2018 conference in Orlando, Fla., where solution providers and vendors gathered to discuss the latest trends, issues and opportunities affecting the IT industry.
This year's summit once again afforded attending companies an excellent opportunity to discuss and promote their automation platforms, infrastructure solutions, security offerings and other devices and services before a core audience of solution providers. The event featured a diverse group of established channel players and up-and-coming vendors, including the likes of Datto, Intermedia, Scale Computing and more.
In the slides that follow, CRN highlights 25 products that drew attention at XChange Solution Provider 2018.
Targus Dock180 USB 3.1
Laptop luggage pioneer Targus is pushing its USB Type-C universal docking station, the Dock180, to solution providers as more businesses support mixed-device environments and allow flexible work schedule policies. The Dock180 works with a wide range of USB Type-C host ports, including Gen 1, Gen 2, Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI and DisplayPort Alternate Mode. The product is also compatible with Type-A and Type-B USB ports, and supports 4K2K video monitors.
The growing remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform provider has partnered with patch management vendor Ivanti to allow MSPs to schedule scans and run patches on individual devices on demand and, if needed, suppress a reboot if and when the patch requires it. Ninja's IT management software, which also includes RMM, network management, automation, security and reporting features, integrates with ConnectWise, Autotask, IT Glue, Webroot, Bitdefender and CloudBerry Lab, among others.
The artificial intelligence delivery platform, supported by AI professional services company Digital Nebula, enables partners to manage the entire life cycle of AI services for customers through a solutions marketplace. ELE.AI allows for custom integrations, tools that support billing management, technical support and solution utilization, and a workflow assessment tool that can help solution providers target specific ROI opportunities in either their customers' business or their own. Digital Nebula also offers data science outsourcing services to facilitate AI solutions delivery.
Data protection giant Datto is offering MarketNow, a complementary marketing enablement service that allows partners to use customizable collateral, pre-built email and social media campaigns, campaign tracking and analytics, lead scoring and IT services platform integrations. MarketNow includes the Advantage Program, a six-month marketing and sales development and learning program, and the Concierge Program, which provides partners with a dedicated marketing representative.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based IT service management vendor Atera highlighted its flagship RMM platform, which relies on a single code base and an IoT and cloud infrastructure to support RMM, PSA and remote access capabilities. The software features a fixed-price billing model, starting at $79 per technician, per month, that allows for "unlimited" device and agent connections.
"The IoT-based technology enabled us to build a platform that monitors and pulls out data very efficiently. This is why we let MSPs install as many agents as they want. It's a fixed, predictable price," Atera CEO Gil Pekelman told CRN. "Our MSPs install as many devices as they can. We then get more data, which goes into the pure cloud solution. The more data we have, the more insights can provide and the more capabilities we have."
Eaton's New XT Supercapacitor
The data center power management specialist unveiled this week its new 3.0-volt XT supercapacitor that offers 15 percent higher energy density and 20 percent higher power density at a lower cost per watt-hour versus currently available supercapacitors. Eaton's new supercapacitor enables a reduced size and weight for high cell count designs. The company said its XT supercapacitors are ultra-high-capacitance devices utilizing electrochemical double layer capacitor (EDLC) construction combined with new, high-performance materials.
Dell EMC VxBlock 1000
Last month, Dell EMC launched its new VxBlock 1000, which increases server scalability by 56 percent from previous generations, from 512 to 800 servers, and can support up to 10 storage arrays. Theoffering adds new options of storage and native data protection as well as compute and networking from Cisco. Organizations can mix four types of storage arrays - Dell EMC's Unity, VMAX, XtremIO and Isilon - as well as opt for Cisco's UCS C-Series rack servers in the VxBlock 1000.
Discovery and mapping specialist iQuate provides a digital management platform to automate discovery and service mapping across complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments. The Software-as-a-Service solution, iQcloud, targets cloud migration and digital transformation projects for managed service providers, giving them an agentless discovery of IT environments for a unified view of businesses services before moving to the cloud.
Scale Computing HC3
The hyper-converged infrastructure vendor's flagship HC3 platform provides infrastructure for virtual workloads, and includes a variety of backup and disaster recovery features including snapshots, replication, failover, failback and cloud Disaster Recovery as a Service. In February, the offering received a boost from a partnership with backup and continuity vendor Unitrends. The partnership combined HC3 with Unitrends' Recovery Series offering, enabling organizations to better protect and recover their cloud workloads.
StarContact is the unified communications company's customer relationship management offering, allowing partners to organize, track and manage customers' information, activities and conversations. Star2Star Communications said the offering improves customer communication and retention, while also enhancing prospect tracking. In late 2017, Star2Star unveiled a newly enhanced StarContact system for Salesforce with advanced call analytics.
Intermedia: Free Phones
Unified communications as a Service player Intermedia is sweetening the pot by offering free phones when partners sign up for the company's Cloud PBX solution or its new Unite UCaaS platform. The Unite platform was introduced recently and pulls together a complete set of UCaaS products and services from voice to video, as well as services and support for between $15 and $20 per month, per user. The company said partners stand to see healthy double-digit margins when selling the Unite platform, and for a limited time, it is offering free Polycom VVX 410 phones when it, or its Cloud PBX VoIP service, are sold.
Buffalo Americas External Hard Drives
Buffalo Americas' customer base of small businesses from 10 to 50 employees is all about external hard drives. With most other major North American players out of that market, Buffalo is filling the void. Its DriveStation and MiniStation drives emphasize support and are aimed at small offices, small franchise locations and other similar users. The drives are backed up to Buffalo NAS and then moved off-site to the private cloud. The devices also integrate with public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
VoIP firm Cytracom recently released IVIE, the Integrated Voice Intelligence Engine. IVIE is a new feature set that provides analytics to Cytracom partners. IVIE has been launched in two modules, voice continuity, which transitions easily and seamlessly, and active intelligence, which addresses a key VoIP bugbear: call quality. Bandwidth and telephony have improved vastly since the early days of VoIP, but Cytracom is seeking to make the VoIP experience better still by allowing for the adjustment of call quality thresholds to allow partners to tackle problems before they're noticed by customers. The system notifies partners when there are problems and need to intervene.
LogicMonitor SaaS-Based Infrastructure Monitoring
After an acquisition, a company that relied on one vendor's infrastructure and another that relied on a competing vendor's infrastructure may find it difficult to bring all that technology together. A company may have gear in a data center, gear on-premises and data in the cloud. In that scenario, purpose-built monitoring tools go out the window. On top of that, customers' tolerance for downtime or degraded performance is zero. LogicMonitor finds the choke points and gets that infrastructure running smoothly, and its business is growing strongly. The platform also can predict where problems might occur, detecting where a customer may soon run out of storage, for example. The platform does all of this while providing a single view for customers and MSPs.
Cambium Networks cnMaestro
Cambium's cnMaestro cloud-based wireless network management platform goes end to end from broadband to Wi-Fi and is offered free to MSPs. The platform is easy to use yet robust, offering control as well as full visibility of the network. The platform boasts "zero-touch" provisioning and is available either in the cloud or on-premises. Cambium's philosophy is based on offering licensing, software support and other aspects of the platform for free, which is a key differentiator among other Wi-Fi companies. The platform allows customers and MSPs to perform a range of wireless network management functions in real time, optimize system availability and maximize throughput.
Cyren is looking to productize more assets within its portfolio and on-board more customers into its ecosystem by doubling down on its training and enablement services. The cloud internet security vendor will introduce a new partner relationship management platform on Salesforce that will provide automated visibility into what deals are being managed by solution providers. Cyren today isn't able to track deal registrations online, according to Denise Ahrens, director of channel marketing. The company will also launch a formal partner program in North America for the first time at the end of the month, offering a highly trackable portal, enhanced technical and sales training, and co-marketing and co-sponsorship opportunities.
Huntress Labs' managed detection and response offering is targeting MSPs supporting customers that each have a couple of hundred endpoints.
The company's MDR offering presents virtually no false positive and provides value by giving partners an exact, step-by-step guide to remediating breaches found through the system, said Ryan Denning, vice president of sales and marketing.
Huntress also has invested in new ways to deliver the service rather than having it be bound to the technology of other security vendors to ensure that it's more affordable for customers, said Kyle Hanslovan, founder and CEO.
The MDR offering costs $2 per agent, per month for customers with up to 100 customers, with additional buckets available to cover clients with 200, 500, 1,000 or 2,000 endpoints. MSPs are typically taking care of customers with less than 200 endpoints, Denning said.
ID Agent has exploded onto the scene as its pivoted from supporting enterprise customers and government agencies to working with the channel, going from two MSP partners nine months ago to a whopping 521 MSP partners today.
The threat intelligence and identity monitoring vendor's offering isn' complex since it doesn't have to be installed on the network, according to CEO Kevin Lancaster. MSPs can see all of the results for the domain simply by logging in, Lancaster said, with the findings providing an entry point for upselling other security products.
Unlike surface security assessment tools that don't validate whether or not their data is real, Lancaster said ID Agent does a tremendous amount of validation before publishing by leveraging the 9 TB of data the company has harvested.
The base ID Agent offering providing a certain number of domains and searches typically costs $400 per month, while the enhanced offering with unlimited searches and domains goes for $500 a month.
Opaq Networks plans to close an acquisition next month that will enhance the compliance and reporting capabilities available for solution providers.
Solution providers today struggle with demonstrating the real value of their security offering, which would require answering questions such as the number of infrastructure attacks avoided thanks to the tools in place, said Glenn Hazard, chairman and CEO of the security vendor.
Opaq today has a runtime dashboard providing real-time reporting on threats and activity, but the view is more at an operational rather than an executive level, said Chief Strategy Officer Ken Ammon. The acquired capabilities will make it possible for solution providers to produce a single report incorporating the data, platform activity, and analysis that demonstrates the value they're created, he said.
The acquired capabilities should be integrated into the platform and made available next month, Hazard said.
RapidFire Tools has unveiled its first-ever product that's sold through channel partners. Audit Guru for GDPR is intended to allow data protection officers at SMBs to act as an internal auditor, monitoring for compliance on a monthly basis and formulating a remediation plan should that be necessary, said Mark Winter, vice president of sales.
Audit Guru for GDPR combines automated scanning, data discovery and customer inputs with a guided set of to-do checklists to ensure compliance, Winter said. The offering also generates a risk treatment plan delineating the things that need to be remediated, Winter said, and carries out ongoing change reporting to ensure the problems are being addressed in a timely manner.
The offering can be procured as an annual subscription, Winter said, and starts at $69 for a smaller appliance, with the price increasing based on the number of client endpoints. Unlike most of RapidFire's offerings that are geared toward MSPs, Winter said Audit Guru for GDPR is also well-suited for solution providers that don't have an outsourced IT offering.
Pax8 Betas Stax Designer
Cloud services distributor Pax8 rolled out its MSP-focused Stax Designer platform into beta testing to give partners an opportunity to test its ability to offer customized and easily configured software stacks to their customers.
Stax Designer lets MSPs combine applications from multiple cloud-based software developers into stacks that can be managed as a whole rather than as individual applications. This allows MSPs to quickly configure multiple applications at once, said Ryan Walsh, chief channel officer.
Those software stacks are customizable for individual customers. For instance, Walsh said, MSPs can add or cut the number of licenses and automatically adjust billings for all the applications through a single portal via a single command. MSPs can also easily look at the applications included in one customer's software stack and compare to others' stacks to see what applications that customer might want to add, he said.
Vault America Brings Data Protection With AWS
Vault America lets solution providers easily connect customers to their own Amazon Web Services account for data backup, restores, archiving and discovery, said Zak Karsan, president and CEO. Once the software is installed, it bootstraps a connection to the customer's AWS account. In a failover event, Vault America spins up a virtual public cloud in AWS to run applications until the primary site is recovered, with all billing for the AWS usage handled between AWS and the customer, Karsan said.
Vault America, founded in 2004, is unusual in that it has no outside investors, Karsan said. The company's first distributor, Jenne, gives it a toehold in the telecom market. However, Karsan told CRN, the company in December started on-boarding with the Ingram Micro marketplace to reach a wider partner base.
Egenera's Wholesale Managed Cloud Services
Egenera brings MSPs infrastructure, data production, and migration services related to public and private cloud, said Richard Carbone, vice president of North American sales for the company. Its specialty is making it easy for partners to quickly get started. "We spend a lot of time with partners, a lot of hand-holding," Carbone told CRN. "We'll make sales calls with them, and provide ongoing support."
Egenera recently added a self-service portal to let partners easily configure customers;' environments, set up price quotes, and make changes. The company is now looking at how to integrate its offering with third-party RMM platforms, and is looking at how it might add Desktop as a Service, Carbone said.
New NetPath From SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP, which brings both the SolarWinds N-able on-premises and Web-hosted RMM platform and the LogicNow cloud-based RMM platform to MSPs, introduced NetPath, a new technology for letting partners know how networks outside their businesses impact their performance, said Aris Demosthenous (right), marketing manager for the company.
Demosthenous and Hao Zhang, sales engineer for the company, showed how MSPs have a tough time identifying what is going on outside their own networks and how to resolve issues impacting their business. "If a customer says it can't get to Amazon, they can tell NetPath where they want to look," Demosthenous said. "It sees all the ops and jumps needed to get to Amazon, and points to where the problem is."
The cloud-based version was released this week, while the on-premises version is slated to be available in the second quarter.
Acronis Adds Disaster Recovery
Cloud-based data protection technology developer Acronis has just added the ability to stand up full-blown servers in its own cloud as a way to expand channel partners' disaster recovery capabilities, said Josh Briand, sales manager for the Boston-based company's cloud platform.
Also new is the Acronis File Cloud, which offers file storage, sync, and share capabilities similar to those offered by Dropbox or Box, Briand said. The big difference is that Acronis File Cloud provides those services using the company's secured cloud, and includes them as part of the Acronis platform, he told CRN.
The company also plans to add notary services in April, Briand said. "This will let top administrators in a company be set up to assign people to send out official documents online and ensure they are signed," he said.