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5 Channel Ops: CounterTack ManTechs Up, AT&T and Verizon Under Fire

Lorna GareyWould-be Amazon retail rival Jet officially takes off next week, likely fueled by a massive amount of hype. Members pay an annual fee of $49.99 per year and get free shipping and returns as well as discounts at retailers like J. Crew, Nordstrom and Pottery Barn. What’s interesting is that the site provides a popup comparison of item pricing at rivals including Amazon and Walmart. If you’re interested in getting a free six-month trial membership, register now on the site.

Endpoints: Roots of Most Evil

As mobile and cloud give rise to new attack opportunities, partners should look into adding an endpoint security product to their portfolios. One innovator in the fast-growing endpoint detection and response (EDR) space, CounterTack, this week announced that it has acquired ManTech CyberSolutions International, whose former parent company, ManTech International, will become an equity investor in CounterTack as well as a global distribution partner. The purchase enables CounterTack to combine real-time OS-level behavioral threat detection with in-memory threat analysis.

“Our core product, Sentinel, uses behavioral analysis to tell you what happened during an attack on an endpoint,” says CounterTack CTO and security expert Michael Davis, who will be a featured speaker at Cloud Partners. “With the addition of the ManTech products, we will enhance our behavioral analysis to provide not just what happened, but what could happen next. That gives security teams the ability to better prioritize threats by understanding not just what the attacker has already done to the environment, but what they are capable of.”

CounterTack’s Sentinel product analyzes big data to find threats based on anomalous behavior by endpoints including laptops, servers and mobile devices. Once installed on endpoints, Sentinel collects and analyzes data in stealth mode. IT or the MSSP partner uses a centralized management console to track real-time behavioral information, including which systems are infected, how severely and how the infection happened; the specific behaviors that indicate compromise; and potential impact on the network.

The company will now support two additional products based on the acquisition:

  • Active Defense: Enterprise-class malware detection and analysis platform, powered by Digital DNA.
  • Responder Pro: Advanced in-memory forensics, malware analysis and reverse engineering tool specifically designed for incident responders, powered by Digital DNA.

The company’s Cyberpath partner program includes MSPs, MSSPs and other solutions providers.

Let’s Make A (Better) Deal

Don’t be surprised if you get calls from small-business customers with Verizon or AT&T wireless plans for employees. U.S. Cellular yesterday announced a new promotion promising consumers and businesses that it will make them a better offer or pay out a $50 promo card … for U.S. Cellular stores. Hey, everyone can use a new Bluetooth headset. To qualify for the lower pricing, customers must port their numbers from Verizon or AT&T to a Shared Connect plan with installment pricing for devices. U.S. Cellular is also offering an unlimited contract payoff, which covers early termination fees or remaining device balances with the current carrier. The unlimited contract payoff is available for up to 25 business lines, says a U.S. Cellular spokesperson, and employees must turn in a current working device.

What Do We Want? Last Mile! When Do We Want It? Now!

That’s not the only shot over AT&T’s and Verizon’s bows this week. The Broadband Coalition, the CCIA, Level 3, Sprint, Comptel, XO, BT, consumer advocate Public Knowledge and others have teamed up to form Competify. The specific demand, fashioned after a pharma ad, is somewhat vague — petition the FCC to “restore broadband competition by fixing the broken market for high-capacity broadband lines. The FCC must address anticompetitive behavior in this market to reach its goal of delivering better, faster, cheaper broadband to all Americans. The future of our information economy depends on it.”

What’s not vague are the underlying goals. This fight is over last-mile line access when the lines are not copper. Competitive carriers want the FCC to force incumbents, including cable providers like Comcast, to rent access to their fiber and cellular networks on demand. Incumbents usually counter that such a requirement would take away their incentive to build out broadband access. If you thought the Net Neutrality debate was nasty, you may not have seen anything yet. As my colleague Josh Long explains, the fight between legacy phone carriers and rivals looking to rent access to incumbent networks has challenged regulators for years; this is an area Channel Partners will continue to covered.

Metalogix, Other Microsoft WPC Highlights

At this week’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Metalogix announced Essentials for Office 365. The suite combines migration, administration, backup, analysis, user provisioning and service-management capabilities from a single management console. Essentials also supports One Drive. The system generates a detailed pre-migration report with a focus on ensuring licenses are appropriately allocated and that user, groups, and content permissions are properly set. Partners can then track trends in site and user activity, data growth and license deployment and use, and permissioning and sharing settings.  

Other show highlights include more opportunities to resell Surface — the number of partners will jump from a few hundred to a few thousand globally the coming months. This has a lot to do with the impending release of Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility Suite. There’s also a new premium Office 365 enterprise suite on tap. Called E5 and due by year’s end, it will supplement Office 365 with new Skype for Business services, Power BI and analytics features, and advanced security.

Microsoft also announced the location of WPC 2016: Toronto.

Bits & Bytes

Channel-focused storage software vendor Infinio announced that it has been added to VMware’s Partner Verified and Supported Product (PVSP) program, which certifies interoperability with recent and upcoming vSphere versions and validates that Infinio meets VMware’s standards for support. Partners reselling Infinio Accelerator can deliver improved performance of data-center storage, says the company.

Looking for a new market for Internet hotspots? Consider your local library. In this podcast, GeekWire.com editor Todd Bishop describes the experience of trying to check out a Verizon Jetpack MiFi device from the Seattle library. In late May, Bishop writes, the library announced a program to lend 126 Wi-Fi hotspots, purchased with grant money from Google, to card holders. Within the first day, 175 people had placed holds. Now, nearly 1,300 people are on the waiting list. And you thought Go Set A Watchman was hard to get a hold of.

Black Friday is in 133 days — officially Nov. 27. Are your retail partners ready? Next week, cloud-based e-commerce company ChannelAdvisor will co-host a webinar to help retailers and their solutions providers tune up their fulfillment strategies in advance of the 2015 holiday season. The webinar, titled “Holiday 2015: Does Your Fulfillment Strategy Check All the Boxes?” is scheduled for Thursday, July 23, at 1 p.m. EDT and will offer tips and best practices. The ChannelAdvisor 2015 Online Retail Survey found that fulfilling orders on time is online retailers’ top challenge during the holiday season. “Consumers expect fast and free shipping, especially during the holidays,” said Rachel Miller, ChannelAdvisor senior product marketing manager, in a statement. “This webinar will help retailers develop a plan to meet shipping deadlines and fulfill orders on time to ensure they’re not missing out on significant revenue opportunities during a pivotal time of year.”

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.


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