Hundreds of tech companies coordinated efforts on Tuesday to protest the Trump Administration’s efforts to rollback Internet protections put in place by the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) under President Obama.
Since the new administration took over from the previous one, rolling back if not outright eliminating “Net Neutrality” protections has been a top priority supported by carriers including AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and others. The move, however, is not supported broadly in the industry. On Tuesday, hundreds of tech companies made their opposition known via social media.
The virtual protest was led by Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon, and was joined by a chorus of thousands.
“Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be free and open for everyone,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his personal Facebook page Tuesday. “If a service provider can block you from seeing certain content or can make you pay extra for it, that hurts all of us and we should have rules against it.”
Channel companies have typically favored net neutrality and that is likely to continue. If you want more info on Net Neutrality, check out some websites dedicated persuading the FCC to change its mind. They include: iadayofaction.org and battleforthenet.com.
Fortinet Named to Gartner Magic Quadrant
While Kaspersky continues to wrestle with challenges, other security vendors are quick to blow their horns. This week, Fortinet was named a “Leader” in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls. Gartner singled out Fortinet, which is used by more than 300,000 customers worldwide, for the execution of its Enterprise Firewall Strategy and the high marks it gets for its Security Fabric Solutions.
“FortiGate Enterprise Firewall customers have enthusiastically provided 288 perfect 5-star reviews and 498 total reviews on Gartner Peer Insights, compared with the 418 reviews for the next ten enterprise firewall vendors combined as of July 12th,” Fortinet said in a prepared statement.
Verizon Exposes AWS Customers
My colleague, MSPmentor editor Aldrin Brown, reports on the Verizon/AWS breach. “The exposure of an estimated 14 million Verizon customer records in an unsecured Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 storage bucket is calling new attention to the seemingly growing trend of cyber breaches resulting from misconfiguration of public cloud services,” Brown writes.
The implications for MSPs and cloud services providers couldn’t be more clear: self-service customers—including big ones—are getting in over their heads.
“Cyber Risk research firm UpGuard today announced it discovered the highly sensitive customer data – including names, phone numbers, addresses, account balances and even account personal identification numbers (PIN) – largely unprotected during a search for data exposures last month, as part of its mission,” Brown writes.
Carousel Attracts News Partners
In April, Carousel Industries unveiled a new program to recruit telecom agents, VARs and fellow MSPs. The pitch: sell our services to augment or complement the ones you offer.
Maybe it wasn’t an earth shattering bit of news at the time. But partner-to-partner partnering is something that I like to follow, especially when it’s formalized. Why? I think it epitomizes just how much traditional company definitions in the new digital channel feel outmoded.
So this week I reached out for an update on how the Carousel National Agent Partner Program from the Exeter, R.I., company was going. Recall that it offered fellow partners rewards for reselling Carousel’s portfolio of solutions, which include carrier, hosted, cloud, data center, managed services, networking, inventory management, IT outsourcing, security and unified communications and collaboration services.
Here’s what I learned: Overall, am told, the program is building momentum. Carousel is growing its national footprint, and gaining in influence. Specifically, the program has led to 17 new partner relationships. At this point, the company is engaging, on average, two new allies every week. At this rate, Carousel will add 100 new partners by the end of the year.
Carousel is meeting expectations to build it sales funnel and is focused on a training program to enable partner success with a couple very large multi-million dollar opportunities, according to a company spokesman.
Learning from The Outlaws
If you’re into podcasts, there are several that offer channel insights. (Coming soon, there will be a new one you can turn to for information, insights and inspiration. Send me a note if you want more info.)
It’s randy and rough but with a ‘lil soul—everything you would expect from our friends at Intelisys.
The latest edition showcases Dan Passacantilli, the founder of Blue Front Technology, a 16-year old technology advisory company with offices in Boston, New York and (soon) Fort Lauderdale.
Passacantilli lets loose on sales tactics, grit and what distributors can do for you.
Give it a listen.
Marty Wolf Interviews Kudelski Security
If you’re not into podcasts and want some insight in plain old black and white, then give this interview a read. It’s the latest “Executives Perspective” from Marty Wolf, founder and principal at Martin Wolf Securities. The California consultancy has brokered more deals in the channel than just about anyone else.
In this interview, Wolf talks security with Rich Fennessy, CEO of Kudelski Security, a division of a Swiss tech consultancy that expanded into the U.S. in 2016. Fennessy, you may recall, was previously CEO of Fishnet Security.
Herein, the two industry veterans talk cybersecurity, M&As and more.
VR as a Sales Tool
Audi. Century 21. Google.
What do they have in common? They are all exploring ways that Virtual Reality Technology (VR) can be leveraged to sell. What about tech services?
Yes, indeed, channel companies are exploring the same. Take Higher-State Technology, an Austin, Texas IT consultancy. It now offers clients “The HST VR Experience.”
“Our Experience events will allow 8 people to step into the zone for the full experience while up to 20 people are able to interact or observe via the green screen experience,” the company says.
Which brings me to you: how are you pushing the boundaries of new experiences?
Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, a previous edition misidentified the company interviewed by Martin Wolf. The company interviewed is Kudelski Security.