Datto CEO Resignation, RingCentral Update, CenturyLink SD-WAN Made the Week Interesting

The biggest story in the channel was a sad one.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

October 27, 2018

5 Min Read
Days of the Week

Sweeping changes are coming to several companies in the IT industry.

We noted last week that some of the biggest story lines surprisingly revolved around such docile subjects as SD-WAN and security education. Our story with the most traffic was an executive profile. Education? A personality profile? ‘Have you all gone soft?’ we asked.

But the news cycle swung back into normalcy this week. We returned to the regular gamete of M&A announcements, security-breach drama and news of a resignation that shocked the MSP community.

Check that — I meant to say “gamut,” not gamete,” but hopefully you’ll forgive. It’s Friday, after all.

Below, dear readers, are the seven most viewed Channel Partners articles of this week. Rest up this weekend, and we’ll catch you on Monday.

7. Facebook Might Target FireEye to Restore Reputation After ‘Embarrassing’ Security Breaches

A media report suggested that Mark Zuckerberg’s colossal repository of my high school classmates’ unfortunate memes might buy a security company in an effort to recover from multiple data breaches. The author mentioned Milpitas, California-based FireEye as a potential target.

The 2112 Group CEO Larry Walsh told us that FireEye could very well fit the bill, seeing as it’s a software company and Facebook doesn’t want to buy a hardware business.

Walsh served up a bit of downer statement – albeit a true one – about the type of company Facebook will likely acquire; Facebook is just as interested in protecting its reputation as it is actually protecting its users, so it would be important for the acquired vendor to have name-brand recognition.

“Facebook is investing in perception over reality, but it doesn’t want to take on a losing bet,” Walsh said. “Any acquisition will need to be fiscally sound.”

Edward Gately wrote this speculative piece.

6. RingCentral’s Long: Customers Demand Partners Provide UCaaS

Zane Long, RingCentral’s senior vice president of global channel sales, updated us on the growth of his company’s channel business and how more partners are coming to RingCentral looking for help in transitioning their customers to UCaaS.

Long gave a lengthy interview with Edward Gately about the growth of UCaaS and RingCentral’s channel program.

5. Extreme Networks Launches New Online Partner Training Program

We wouldn’t typically describe partner training announcements as red meat for online traffic, but readers flocked to Extreme Networks‘ Extreme Dojo Progam.

It’s a free course with four levels focusing on Extreme’s business model, portfolio, vertical targets and selling strategies. The Dojo Program originally targeted Extreme employees, but the company made it widely available after piloting it with 100 partners.

You can read more about it in Edward Gately’s article. That Gately fellow — he was a force of nature this week. One might even categorize his effort as … extreme.


4. Bitdefender, Fortinet, eSentire Lead Big Day in Cybersecurity M&A

You folks like stories about security companies getting bought, don’t ya? If so, this week was your kind of week. In addition to the Facebook acquisition speculation, there …… were – count’em, three – stories on our website about companies agreeing to M&A or completing it. And not just in the same week, but on the same day.

Bitdefender announced plans to buy Netherlands-based RedSocks Security, which specializes in automated detection of suspicious network behavior; Fortinet completed its acquisition of ZoneFox, a privately held cloud-based insider threat detection and response provider; and eSentire announced that it is buying a business that specializes in artificial intelligence (AI) for cybersecurity.

Check out the story, you security-crazed hooligans.

3. CenturyLink Teams with Cisco on SD-WAN

A big carrier joined forces with a big networking company around software-defined wide area networking.

CenturyLink‘s new “Managed Cisco SD-WAN” service runs on Viptela’s virtualized network platform and vEdge routers. Cisco acquired the company last year.

What made this story interesting is that CenturyLink was already partnering with Versa Networks for a different managed SD-WAN service. Executives say adding a service in partnership with Cisco simply affords options for partners and their customers.

Learn more about the new service.

2. Ingram Micro Opens Doors to Custom Integration Center

We also saw some action on the distribution side this week.

Lynn Haber reported Tuesday that Ingram Micro on Tuesday opened its new custom Integration Center for partner business.

Ingram also reported a new Integrated Solutions group, a revamp of its Components business unit. The team will focus on accelerating the channel’s time to market with custom solutions and optimized individual components.

Read Haber’s story about the distributor’s recent developments.

1.  Datto CEO Steps Down, Follows Brother Out the Door

The departure of Austin McChord from Datto struck a note of nostalgia and sadness in partners.

The opening quote from the story illustrates the effort McChord put into the backup and disaster recovery provider. He founded the company in 2007.

“The decision I made was a very personal one. I’ve basically done Datto my entire life. It’s been a 24/7, 365 job,” McChord said. “And a life that is just Datto is not a life well-lived.”

His brother Ian, who was serving as Datto’s vice president of product management, left the company two weeks prior.

Kris Blackmon detailed the company’s succession plans and surveyed several of Datto’s surprised MSP customers.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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