5 Channel Ops: Vonage's Big Year, Broadview Adds O365, Google Support

Plus: Cisco Drops DOCSIS Spec; new week, new malware; IaaS spending set to double.

Lorna Garey

August 12, 2016

7 Min Read
5 Channel Ops: Vonage's Big Year, Broadview Adds O365, Google Support

Lorna GareyIn a few days I’ll be off to Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C. Hopefully you’ll be joining us, but if not, you can get a feel for the event with our bi-annual print issue, available in digital format here.

Our new sister site Light Reading reports on Cisco contributing this week to CableLabs a full-duplex DOCSIS silicon reference design that will enable fiber-optic capacity over coaxial cable. John Chapman, Cisco fellow and CTO of the company’s cable access business, told Light Reading that the goal is to help cable customers evolve to more rapidly deploy virtualized, fiber-deep and all-IP infrastructures.

“We hope to accelerate the transformation of the cable industry to deliver multi-gigabit speeds and new high bandwidth services and products, and in the near future, customers can begin to enjoy the benefits of Full Duplex DOCSIS technology,” said Chapman. For more on DOCSIS and the channel, download our free report.

Vonage Posts Strong YoY Numbers

At #CPEvolution, we’ll hear from Sanjay Srinivasan, Vonage’s VP and chief technology architect, business engineering, at our session on WebRTC. I expect some partner questions on Vonage’s acquisition of Nexmo, which closed in May. Nexmo grew revenues 43 percent year-over-year.

On the recent Q2 earnings call (transcript here), Vonage CEO Alan Masarek said a recent study showed Vonage’s brand awareness among prospective business customers at greater than 60 percent, with customer churn at 2.1 percent, a 10-year low, and 75 percent revenue growth by Vonage Business.

WebRTC is a framework for embedding communications — including voice calls, video conferences, instant messaging, file sharing and business applications — in desktop and mobile browsers. Nexmo’s APIs provide similar capabilities. Masarek says the Nexmo technology will enable businesses to communicate more effectively with customers by embedding communications functionality into customer-facing mobile apps, Web sites and business processes. As an example, he described trying to book a flight from Hong Kong to Singapore online and running into a problem. Today, you call the airline’s 800 number and start all over.

“I need to completely reintroduce myself to the agent, because he or she has no information, no context regarding what I was trying to accomplish online,” he said. “Now, imagine a world where when I hit the click-to-call button within the airline’s Web site, the agent answers and says, ‘Hi Mr. Masarek. I see you’re trying to book a flight from Hong Kong to Singapore next Thursday, how can I help?’”

Masarek said Vonage intends to distribute the Nexmo technology across all its sales channels. “Over time we’ll offer Nexmo solutions to Vonage’s 74,000 business customers to enhance their customer communications and make their businesses more productive,” he said.  

Public Cloud: Time to Stake a Claim

IDC just released its latest Worldwide Semi-annual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, and the findings support the idea that IaaS is “one of the best land grabs in IT history.” That’s the theme of a session featuring Rich Cannon, senior director of industry marketing for Microsoft worldwide hosting and cloud services; Andrew Lydecker, president of Avant; Bill Santos, president of managed cloud hosting services provider HOSTING; and James Tansey, VP, global channel sales & alliances for managed hosting and cloud services provider Datapipe.

IDC says public cloud services revenue will hit $195 billion by 2020, more than doubling from $96.5 billion this year. That’s a CAGR of 20.4 percent over the 2015-2020 forecast period, with most spending coming within the United States, which IDC says will be the largest market for public cloud services, generating nearly two thirds of total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast.

Meanwhile, for customers who place stock in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, the new IaaS MQ says the “upper right” leader field is down to AWS and Microsoft Azure. The MQ also names Google, IBM, CenturyLink, Rackspace and NTT Communications, among others.

Broadview OfficeSuite Adds Google, Microsoft Support

Broadview Networks announced this week OfficeSuite UC for Google and OfficeSuite UC for Microsoft Office 365. Customers that use these productivity tools can now integrate MyOfficeSuite UC functionality directly into Apps for Work, Gmail and Office 365 from any browser. These are in addition to existing OfficeSuite Skype and Salesforce integrations.

“Our No. 1 goal is to help employees get more work done with less effort,” said Stephen Farkouh, Broadview Networks’ executive VP. “By integrating Broadview’s award-winning OfficeSuite UC platform with cloud-based productivity tools from Google and Microsoft, we are giving the vast majority of companies and their employees the option to stay better connected.”

Besides company-wide chat, click-to-call capabilities, video conferences and online presence indicators, customer employees will be able to more easily change personal settings and update their Google or Outlook contacts.

Brian Crotty, COO of Broadview Networks, will be on hand for a keynote covering Customer Support in a Connected World as well as a Fastball session on differentiation among UCaaS products.

Security Watch

Another week, another revelation of serious malware. This time, researchers at Kaspersky and Symantec say it’s advanced enough that a nation state is likely behind it. The malware is called ProjectSauron by Kaspersky and RemSec by Symantec; as an LoTR nerd, I’m going with the former name. Ars Technica has a nice explanation of how it works.

Until now, ProjectSauron seems to have been used sparingly, for long-term cyber-espionage campaigns against high-value targets. Symantec has found evidence of infections in just 36 computers across seven organizations. Kaspersky tallies more than 30 globally. However, researchers say these attackers know security systems watch for patterns, so to evade detection, they tailored the malware for “each and every target they attacked, so that the same indicators would have little value for anyone else.”

Now that the malware has been outed, will it trickle down to exploit marketplaces on the dark web, and from there to your customers? That’s a great question to ask security expert Michael A. Davis at his session, 5 Top Ways Customers Get Hacked.

PLUS: Kaspersky Lab announced this week the launch of Talent Lab, an international competition for university students and young professionals between 18 and 30 aimed at solving cybersecurity challenges. The competition will identify three winners: the winner of the “top talent” prize will receive a $10,000 grant for further education; the “security talent” winner will be invited to SAS 2017 with expenses covered by Kaspersky Lab; and “the creativity talent” winner will get the chance to participate at the Cannes Lions 2017 with an academy pass and travel tickets covered by Kaspersky Lab. All of the 50 finalists will get additional prizes and souvenirs from Kaspersky Lab and Talent Lab’s partners, professional coaching from experts, and long-term career opportunities. Online submissions are open now until Nov. 15 at academy.kaspersky.com/talentlab. The top 50 submissions will have the opportunity to present their projects in Prague in February 2017.

Bits & Bytes

Startup Spotlight: Three months after exiting stealth and announcing a $12 million Series B financing round, E8 Storage this week unveiled the beta of its next-generation NVMe flash storage. The product, due for general availability in Q4, is one of the new software-defined shared storage architectures and takes a direct shot at EMC’s flash appliance. E8’s appliance uses an open hardware architecture and off-the-shelf NVMe drives and Ethernet NICs. The company is making some big claims, promising 10 times the performance of other all-flash arrays, latency on par with local SSD with 88 percent capacity utilization, 10 million IOPS on read and 4 million on write, and density up to 70 TB in a 2U rack unit available this year and 140 TB coming in 2017. Oh, and at half the total cost of ownership of any rack scale storage on the market.

Virtual Video Surveillance: Promise Technology, which sells through value-added distributors and resellers including Avnet, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data, announced this week open storage platforms for video surveillance, released as two new network video recorder storage servers, the Vess A2330 and A3340. The Vess A2330 is a 2U 6-bay NVR that supports as many as 35 cameras per system. The 2U Vess A3340 has eight bays and supports as many as 80 IP cameras. Partners don’t need to provision separate RAID storage.

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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