Sales of hardware and software through the channel rose 9% in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2020, according to market research firm NPD Group. The latest metric, published this week, indicates that revenues have risen, which is not surprising considering the state of the pandemic during the first half of last year, when channel revenues increased only 5 percent, compared with the same period in 2019. Through June of this year, sales of security software rose 8 percent year-over-year, and represented 26 percent of all sales of software through the channel. Storage and data protection software also rise 8 percent. Hardware revenues grew 10 percent, driven by a 35 surge in notebook PC sales.
Despite signs that the worst of the pandemic is over, there is cautious optimism in some areas of ongoing concern. Factors such as the Delta variant of COVID and continuing supply chain issues, portend headwinds will linger. CompTIA, which this week published its International State of the Channel 2021 report, noted that four in 10 executives remain concerned that customers may not yet have the appetite to spend on new technology solutions. That’s especially the case among small businesses and companies in industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic such as hospitality and retail. Despite the headwinds, respondents to COMPTIA’s latest survey are optimistic about revenues rebounding during the next two years. Technologies that will remain highest in demand include cybersecurity, cloud services, data analytics, digital marketing, and other emerging technologies.
After 25 years at Microsoft and five years as its global channel chief, Gavriella Schuster this week said that she has left the company. As a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), Schuster is now going to help others bring that to their organizations and their ecosystems. Schuster said she has joined the boards of several prominent associations including Women in Cloud, Women in Technology Network, International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, the SHE community, the Women’s Business Collaborative. Also, she has aligned with several companies. Schuster joined the board of Corent Technology, is chairman of the advisory board for Artificial Solutions and strategic advisor to private equity firm Berkshire Partners, where she said she will focus on bringing more diversity, equity and inclusion to the IT industry.
Avaya and Microsoft are now offering deeper integration between their respective cloud communications and contract center platforms. Through a partnership revealed by the companies this week, Avaya’s OneCloud Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is now integrated with voice, video, chat and SMS features of Microsoft Azure Communication Services. Avaya has also expanded the availability of its OneCloud CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) in the Microsoft Azure cloud. In addition, Avaya said the two companies have integrated OneCloud CCaaS with Microsoft Teams through the Microsoft Teams Connected Contact Center Certification Program and with Dynamics 365. Avaya SBCs are now certified for Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and Media Bypass.
Telecom and network service provider Lumen Technologies is now offering edge private cloud solutions, which are now available to 2,200 third-party data centers throughout the world. The new Lumen Edge Private Cloud is a managed infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It consists of pre-built private cloud infrastructure connected to the Lumen global fiber network and is also available on customer premises and to VMware Cloud on AWS. The infrastructure consists of networking gear, storage and pre-built servers based on VMware’s Cloud Foundation and Software-Defined Data Center and VMware Cloud Director. Lumen, which was known as CenturyLink until last year, claims it has an estimated 450,000 route fiber miles throughout 60 countries.
LogMeIn, which provides a portfolio of collaboration, password management and remote system support offerings, revealed its top partners based on sales in 2020. The company recognized partners for sales of LogMeIn’s GoToConnect, GoToMeeting, LastPass and Rescue, during its North America Partner Summit. SHI International was LogMeIn’s top performer and was identified as LastPass Sharp Seller. Also recognized were Telarus (master agent), Proton Technologies (vertical specialist), Sandler Partners – Dustin Riedel (top GoToConnect deal) and ACS Cloud Partners (GoToConnect Contact Center Pro). ASAP Software Express was LogMeIn’s top new partner. Earlier this month, LogMeIn named Bill Robinson to its newly created role of chief revenue officer. Robinson was previously executive VP of sales NICE inContact, which is a GoToConnect alliance partner.
Communications systems provider Mitel this week said it has named Daren Finney as senior VP of global channel sales. Finney, who was chief operating officer for Citrix worldwide channel, is now overseeing Mitel’s global partner organization, where he is leading its strategy, program development and administration, according to Mitel. The news comes a month after Mitel launched its new Amplify and Velocity programs for partners. The Amplify program is designed for agent advisors. Mitel said Amplify partners receive free sales and technical enablement certifications, a dedicated account manager and specialized sales, marketing and technical support throughout the deal process. Mitel’s new Velocity program offers cloud delivery models, including the company’s recently launched MiCloud Connect Partner Managed. Mitel said it also gives Velocity Partners dedicated business planning and executive support.