‘BIG CLOUD’ ALTERNATIVES ‘ I CLO ’ ALTERNATIVES channel v i s ionmag . com Volume 22 Issue 2 MARCH - APRIL 2023 The Voice of the Channel Sponsored by Cyber insurance primer Cyber Low-code revenue Crexendo Hits 3 million rexendo its 3 illion Scan to to view Realities of the ‘internet-first’ WAN MANAGING TRANSFORMATION Realities of the ‘internet-first’ WAN
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MARCH - APRIL 2023 EMERGENT 8 Smarter CPE 8 VC dollar dip 8 Nextiva AI investment 10 Application Factory How to use low-code to build recurring revenue By Mike Fitzmaurice VIRTUAL REALITIES 18 Cloud migration delivers 18 Serverless market 20 Know the Alternative Performance, pricing and service without ‘Big Cloud’ By Rick Mancinelli MOBILE & WIRELESS 26 Full Speed Ahead 5G maturity pushing wireless into new gigabit era By Bruce Christian 30 Innovating to Secure the 5G Supply Chain By Bob Kolasky ZETTABYTES 34 Bandwidth buster 34 Polar fiber 34 VPN futures 36 Managing Transformation Realities of an ‘internet-first’ WAN underlay By Martin Vilaboy CYBER PATROL 42 What MSPs Should Know About Cyber Insurance in 2023 By Jennifer Tribe 48 Sophos Helps Bolster Client Managed Detection, Response By Brady Hicks 50 A Smarter SOC Advanced digital displays improve data utilization, responsiveness By Chris Feldman & Shane Vega 52 Telesystem Tech, Services Target Cybersecurity Posture By Brady Hicks 54 CORO’s Channel Program Facilitates Cybersecurity for All By Brady Hicks XAAS: AT YOUR SERVICE 56 Finance-aaS 56 SaaS app alerts 56 NaaS emerging 58 Crexendo Celebrates Three Million End Users By Brady Hicks CHANNEL MANAGEMENT 60 Building Business Outcomes By Peter Radizeski 64 BI to Boost Sales Using data to amplify sales performance By Andrius Palionis 68 Relationship Resolutions Strategies for being a better channel manager in 2023 By Chelsea Storozuk 72 Keep More Commission with TDM’s Clarus 100 Percent Club By Brady Hicks 74 A New Insight 35-year-old reseller transitions to integrator By Bruce Christian 78 Versa Networks Helps Partners Become a True ACE in their Field By Brady Hicks CORE COMMUNICATIONS 80 Network Services Retirement, Forced Migration One Big Pain in the … By Glen Nelson 84 New Snom Rewards Program Provides Great Incentives for Reselling Equipment 86 NetCarrier Continues Adapting to Changing Demand with Communication Technology Services 88 Yeastar to Navigate Hybrid Working Future at CPExpo 2023 6 Editor’s Letter 90 3 Questions with Sage Management 90 Ad index CONTENTS Volume 22 – Issue 2 4 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
If indeed we are about to see the type of SD-WAN adoption that most analyst types predict, and private MPLS links in corporate WANs get replaced at those rates by pairs of traffic-shaped internet connections (see cover story, page 36), it’s hard not to see wireless broadband as an eventual winner. Wireless, that is, powered by emerging 5G capabilities. In an SD-WAN deployment, wireless internet connectivity, both fixed and mobile, mostly will play the role of the failover connection that largely assists the primary connection, as well as serve in the obvious cases such as where temporary locations are involved. And, keep in mind, lots of businesses suddenly are going to require this secondary, backup line when maybe one private connection used to be enough. Currently, all the types of internet underlay services are being used in SD-WAN setups, research shows, including everything from DIAs to consumer broadband access. Wireless WAN links, in particular, are relatively quick and easy to deploy, even up within weeks, relatively plant-free and offer a truly diverse back-up option. As remote workers gobble up more and more bandwidth, wireless mostly reaches urban and suburban workforces and sometimes is the only real option to getting a second fatpipe to a home. Assuming the necessarily competitive pricing can be achieved, that would all seem to make wireless broadband a strong play for a failover line. Speed and performance don’t appear to be a problem. As reported in this issue (see page 26), real-world analysis of global networks by CELLSMART found that 5G peak download speeds already are approaching 1 gig, while samples in Norway and the Philippines had outdoor speed tests that showed latency of less than 10ms. “5G is ramping up in 2023 and showing the viability of fixed wireless access as a simple, efficient and reliable alternative to fiber or other terrestrial network infrastructure,” said CELLSMART executives. CELLSMART certainly is not alone in its optimism surrounding wireless broadband and its potential as an underlay service. Both Gartner and TeleGeography expect its role to grow within enterprise WANs. Also worth noting, Analysys Mason estimates there will be more than 20,000 private wireless networks by 2026, and that enterprises will spend more than $5 billion on these networks in the next four years. Within the realm of the channel, familiar partner provider AireSpring recently announced its Managed Wireless WAN service, combining 4G and 5G wireless connectivity, premises equipment and management portal. The managed service, said AireSpring, “is designed to be used as wireless failover for SD-WAN, primary wireless connectivity, or for short term or temporary solutions.” “Modern enterprises require extremely reliable, flexible and redundant connectivity to conduct business efficiently,” stated Avi Lonstein, AireSpring CEO. “Our new offering provides a comprehensive, turnkey managed solution that simplifies wireless WAN management and implementation.” We will be further discussing the ongoing transformation of the WAN at our upcoming CVx 2023 Expo, as well as the impacts and opportunities brought by the shift in business networks to SD-WAN. Proposals for panel sessions are currently being accepted (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please join us in Scottsdale this November at (cvxexpo.com). 5G & the WAN LETTER Martin Vilaboy Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Bruce Christian Senior Editor / Event Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Brady Hicks Contributing Editor email@example.com Percy Zamora Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Rob Schubel Digital Manager email@example.com Jen Vilaboy Ad Production Director firstname.lastname@example.org Berge Kaprelian Group Publisher email@example.com (480) 503-0770 Anthony Graffeo Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org (203) 304-8547 Michael Burns National Account Executive email@example.com (262) 993-9116 Beka Business Media Berge Kaprelian President and CEO Corporate Headquarters 10115 E Bell Road, Suite 107 - #517 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 Voice: 480.503.0770 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2023 Beka Business Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in any form or medium without express written permission of Beka Business Media is prohibited. ChannelVision and the ChannelVision logo are trademarks of Beka Business Media 6 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
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Smarter customer premises equipment (CPE) that drives an “à la carte” and differentiated service offering at the touch of a button will be essential for broadband operators to reverse declining average revenue per user, according to Broadband Forum managing director Ken Ko. With traditional revenue streams, such as fixed voice and IPTV, decreasing, Ko called for service providers to invest in devices with application intelligence built in to create an “app-store-like experience” for users. This will allow the industry to cater to multiple market segments, while maintaining fewer product SKUs in their deployments. “As consumer demand for network quality and innovative services continues to grow, it is now clear that if operators are to grow their revenue streams, their focus should be on delivering more choices and an enhanced user experience,” said Ko. “An app-enabled services gateway will achieve this, giving the capability to cater for individual bandwidth, application-aware latency and service requests at the touch of a button.” Without application-intelligent devices as a key enabler in the broadband services ecosystem, Ko warned, operators risk having to upgrade existing deployed devices and becoming utility providers that compete only on speed and price. Tech start-ups could continue to face a tight capital market. According to research from CB Insight, venture funding fell with each passing quarter in 2022 and was projected to fall yet again in Q1 2023. Early estimates indicate that venture funding for the quarter will come in at $56.3B — a 16 percent decrease from Q4 2022. Deals are expected to take a nosedive as well, dropping from 7,830 to 5,792 during the same period, said CB analysts. Connectivity Operators Keen to Harness Smart CPE Venture Funding Continues Dip Nextiva Acquires AI Company EMERGENT Nextiva announced its acquisition of Simplify360, an AI customer experience platform based in India that uses AI and automation to enable 5,000+ global businesses to deliver customer support across multiple channels, including email, live chat, social media, online reviews and e-commerce. Some of Simplify360’s customers include Amazon, Honda, HP, Nestle, Hyundai, Canon and Xiaomi. Nextiva customers will gain immediate access to Simplify360’s offerings and can expect a full integration into Nextiva’s platform over time. “Once Simplify360 is integrated with our platform, Nextiva will be in a category of its own – there is nothing else like it,” said Tomas Gorny, Nextiva co-founder and CEO. The acquisition of India-based Simplify360 opens the door to the AsiaPacific market for Nextiva, said the company. Productivity Applications Driving the Most Critical Alerts in 2022 What are the most important factors when assessing security posture? How do insurers assess cyber risk? Source: Panaseer, 2022 40% 36% 32% 31% 31% 30% 26% 25% Cloud scurity Security awareness Application security Vulnerability management PAM Patch management IAM EDR Source: CB Insight Q1 Q2 Q3 2022 2022 Q4 Q1 10,922 $151.0B $117.7B $81.6B $67.3B 9,485 8,798 7,830 Projected Deals 5,792 Projected Funding $56.3B LO % LOGGED EVENTS: 2,405,363 % THAT ARE CRITICAL ALERTS: 3.7 LOGGED EVENTS: 84,077,748 % THAT ARE CRITICAL ALERTS: 1.82% LOGGED EVENTS: 710,203,102 % THAT ARE CRITICAL ALERTS: 1.26% 71% The percentage of B2B buyers surveyed by Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology who say they want to shop with businesses that boast both physical and online ordering platforms, mirroring the demand for omnichannel experiences from B2C shoppers and underscoring the increasingly complex desires of B2B customers. 8 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
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EMERGENT 10 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023 Recent research by WEBCON and Vanson Bourne shows that, with the shortage of IT resources, 49 percent of enterprise CIOs plan to use consultants, resellers or systems integrators for application development this year. That’s great news if you’re in one of those groups, but even then, it won’t be enough to meet demand: more than 80 percent of respondents expect those partners to struggle keeping pace with business needs. This need for agility is one of the primary drivers leading almost 90 percent of companies to expect an increase in the use of low-code tools by partners. In short, low code is a hot topic for channel prospects. Unfortunately, that presents a conundrum for channel partners, which equate low-code with low revenue, one-and-done development projects. The classic partner mindset involves the belief that long-term custom development equates to significant revenue, and in the midst of a tough and unpredictable economy, the ideal would be to lock in a major project rather than risk seeing budgets for short projects dry up. It’s a mistaken perspective, and it stems from a too-narrow view of low-code tools and techniques. Changing the way an organization uses low code can not only increase recurring revenue, it also can eliminate many of the concerns that might lead to a “no” from customers. How to use low-code to build recurring revenue APPLICATION FACTORY By Mike Fitzmaurice
To better understand, let’s dig deeper into the research data and then discuss a newer factory-like approach to low-code development. According to the WEBCON/Vanson Bourne survey, CIOs pointed to several recurring challenges when implementing new business applications: • 64 percent noted that their business requirements change “during the course of the project”; • 51 percent characterized their own business requirements as “imprecise”; and • 49 percent noted they were concerned about the increasing risk of managing a large number of applications. Uncertainty appears to be the norm. CIOs consider their own business applications to be both an unclear target and a moving one at that. It makes half of them nervous about taking on these kinds of projects at the scale needed to make a business difference. So, we have service organizations craving long-term stability, but a client base whose needs are anything but stable. It’s an app gap – and nature abhors a vacuum. Some consultants/integrators/ channel partners are pivoting toward agility, and more follow every day. They’re accepting – no, embracing – the reality that the way to make more money over the long haul is through repeat revenue, and juggling larger numbers of shorter projects is inevitable. The issue is that with an increase in agility comes an increase in risk that needs to be addressed. That includes the risk clients already fear regarding vendor lock-in, whether it’s for products or services. The shift to multiple smaller projects could inspire clients toward spreading service revenue among several providers. While this could provide more opportunities to approach new clients, it also increases the need for service provides to stand out. Ideally, given that risk aversion is a powerful driver behind a lot of decisions, the way to stand out is to double down on reliability and adaptability. It’s not enough to be good and fast – one must be, above all, flexible. There isn’t a client that doesn’t have an application backlog. Budgets can limit how many applications they have room to address, but bandwidth shouldn’t. The dreaded “umm, not now” answer comes from uncertainty over cost, duration and results. You get past that by demonstrating a track record of success. You can achieve that track record faster when there are a lot of shorter-term projects to be tackled. Once you reach critical mass, that leads to a series of subsequent “umm, why not?” opportunities. Referrals. Increased and repeating revenue opportunities. EMERGENT 12 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023 Source: WEBCON; Vanson Bourne Source: WEBCON; Vanson Bourne
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That said, juggling multiple projects is genuinely riskier. You can’t get that track record of success without a refined approach that best fits rapid results despite uncertain requirements. You cannot continue to treat every project like a custom work of commissioned art. Application Factory Approach Earlier, I mentioned a more factory-like, low-code development approach. This is in direct contrast to the “studio” concept of traditional development, where each application is a unique, stand-alone custom effort. A factory, in contrast, is focused on sustained output. This is hard to achieve with custom code efforts, but low-code tools and platforms are well-suited to this approach. The application factory philosophy regarding development projects is best explained with five principles. Continuous Improvement The DevOps crowd understands that you get more done by releasing quickly and refining regularly. I’d go so far as to say that users and stakeholders find it much easier to critique imperfect (albeit pretty good) applications compared to having to thoroughly envision everything they want in advance. You get more done when you quickly get minimum viable product prototypes into the hands of users, and then add features and functionality based on direct feedback and usage. You need the speed of low-code tools/ platforms to be able to do this. This continuous improvement not only addresses the “imprecise” nature of business requirements mentioned above, the planned evolution and changeability becomes a feature when requirements change during a project. Not all low-code solutions are change-friendly, but the ones that are, are invaluable. Consistency If you’re trying to deliver three applications and each of them becomes a unique effort, you’re effectively doing three times the work and requiring three times as long to deliver. From a consultative perspective, that could equate to more money – but it can also equate to a “no.” If instead we could have these applications follow an established set of conventions regarding interface, process, database calls, documentation, reporting, etc., each additional application takes a fraction of the time to develop. Moreover, you’re much more likely to get the opportunity for the fourth, fifth and sixth application. The customer also gets another benefit: useability. When applications are consistent instead of being unique flowers, users find it easy to come up to speed on how to use them. The less context-switching, the better. This is not to say that creativity isn’t important, but being creative for its own sake when it comes to breadand-butter business applications isn’t useful. Most of the time, it’s better to be clear than clever. There are – and should be – special-purpose applications that warrant custom treatment, but that application backlog involves a lot of applications that need to be built more than they need to be special (and, in fact, will never get built otherwise). Platform Reliance Prolific producers don’t fight with their tools; they master them and frame their handiwork in terms of what’s possible with those tools. When it comes to application development, this means focusing on the desired outcome as opposed to any particular approach to achieving it. In other words, what do the users/stakeholders actually need versus any one mental image of how it might look. Some (not all, perhaps not even most, but certainly multiple) low-code 14 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023 Source: WEBCON; Vanson Bourne EMERGENT ... application backlog involves a lot of applications that need to be built more than they need to be special ...
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platforms have an array of built-in functionality (reporting, auditing, documentation, security, compliance) that’s ready to activate and use. Not having to custom-develop these functions saves time in design, delivery and adoption. Hand-crafting custom implementations of such functionality not only adds time to development efforts but also increases their fragility. A built-in consistent (i.e., factory) approach to these things makes a platform more valuable and less risky; it’s easy to say “this is how all of the systems report” versus one-off solutions. And once prototypes are in-hand, users quickly get used to (and appreciate) the commonality, no matter what they might have imagined out of the gate. Involvement Which brings us to another point: factories are built on the concept of teamwork. Having users, IT and other stakeholders as active participants not only helps create alignment, it also ensures that solutions move quickly through concept, prototyping, production, deployment and iteration. Factory-style involvement includes different people in different roles contributing different things at different times; everyone has a part to play, and every part contributes to the output. It also contributes to the recurring part of the revenue stream, as it builds a pipeline of change orders and new opportunities. Modifications and finetuning become not only possible but an expected part of the partner lifecycle. Scale Finally, it’s important to recognize what Henry Ford saw in the assembly line: you can’t scale uniqueness. Making every car a custom vehicle means few people could afford them, and the world would tend to treat them like one-off oddities. In exchange for reduced and structured options, cars were made at a scale that transformed the world. The way to help clients achieve true transformation is to focus on a multitude of organizational improvements and efficiencies. No one application induces digital transformation, but being able to quickly deliver a multitude of use cases does. Using a change-friendly low-code platform that facilitates fast deployment and rapid iteration will not only quickly deliver bottom-line improvements for the customer, but it will also create a steady stream of follow-on engagements for any partner. Enterprises today expect to lean on partners to help build critical business applications, but they’re concerned about the ability of those partners to keep up with business needs and mitigate the risk of development projects. Nine out of 10 of these CIOs expect partners to use low-code to meet these challenges. Building on that low-code demand with a factory-like approach to business applications will not only surprise and delight these organizations, it’s also the true secret to creating recurring channel revenue. o Mike Fitzmaurice is vice president of North America and chief evangelist at WEBCON. Low-Code Evolutions Spectrum Source: Gartner What public cloud providers does your organization use? Source: Flexera, 2023 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 Low Code for IT Democratization Low Code for IT Hyperautomation Low Code for Business Composition Innovators and Early Adopters (0% to 20%) Early and Late Majority (20% to 80%) Rest (80% to 100%) Azure AWS Google Cloud Pl tform Oracle Cloud Infrastructure IBM Cloud Alibaba Cloud Other 41% 30% 13% 6% 47% 27% 10% 4% 17% 26% 19% 9% 8% 18% 16% 12% 5% 8% 5% 4% 5% 11% 10% 8% 12% 16% 9% Running significant workloads Running some workloads Experim nting Plan to use 16 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023 EMERGENT
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While the serverless architecture market is expected to witness stagnant near-term growth on account of the complexities of deploying serverless architecture and enterprises’ heavy reliance on tech vendors, the extensive penetration of cloud computing services and cost benefits linked with cloud infrastructure results are anticipated to escalate the market growth by 2032, said researchers at Global Marker Insights. The research firm expects the serverless architecture market to grow from its current market value of more than $9 billion to more than $90 billion by 2032. Considering the services segment of the market, the API management service segment is expected to exhibit 25 percent growth rate during 2023 to 2032. The growth can be attributed to the service’s ability to reduce the internal complexity and time taken to run the microservices, said the research firm. Based on the deployment model, the hybrid deployment model will demonstrate a 26 percent growth rate during the estimated timeframe. “Better support for a remote workforce, improved scalability and control, reduced costs, increased agility and innovation, business continuity, improved security, and risk management are some of the key factors expected to transform the segment outlook over the forecast period,” said GMI. Based on organization size, the SME segment is slated to witness massive growth through 2032, owing to the increasing adoption of cloud computing by SMEs. Cloud Migrations Deliver Serverless Architecture Market to Surpass $90B By 2032 Source: Global Market Insights SERVERLESS ARCHITECTURE MARKET Source: Viavi Solutions What is the average product mix of your WAN sites? GLOBAL STATISTICS Automation & Orchestration Segment Share (2032) (2022) CAGR (2023-2032) Value in 2023 Private Deployment Model CAGR (2023-2032) Large organizations Segment Share (2022) >23.5% >$9 BN >25% >$90 BN >27.5% >66% Global Market Insights e? 2026 2027 o 100%) % s? Little/no impact 26% Little/no impact 22% Little/no impact 26% t 41% 45% 38% 39% 3% 17% 1% 16% CLOUD COST SAVINGS CLOUD COST BENEFITS No, below predictions Matched predictions Yes, savings greatly exceeded predictions Yes, benefits greatly exceeded costs Yes, somewhat exceeded predictions 80% 70% VIRTUAL REALITIES The acceptance of cloud for application and service hosting reported in this year’s “State of the Network” report from Viavi Solutions appears to be completely justified based on respondents’ feedback regarding cost savings and benefits. As much as 80 percent stated actual cost savings of migrating to the cloud either somewhat or greatly exceeded predictions. Meanwhile, 83 percent responded that predicted benefits of cloud migration outweigh the transition and ongoing costs. Only one respondent out of 308 was negative about cloud. Source: Global Market Insights SERVERLESS ARCHITECTURE MARKET Source: Viavi Solutions What is the average product mix of your WAN sites? GLOBAL STATISTICS Automation & Orchestration Segment Share (2032) (2022) CAGR (2023-2032) Value in 2023 Private Deployment Model CAGR (2023-2032) Large organizations Segment Share (2022) >23.5% >$9 BN >25% >$90 BN >27.5% >66% Global Market Insights 2026 2027 00%) Little/no impact 26% Little/no impact 22% Little/no impact 26% 41% 45% 38% 39% 3% 17% 1% 16% CLOUD COST SAVINGS CLOUD COST BENEFITS No, below predictions Matched predictions Yes, savings greatly exceeded pr dictions Yes, benefits greatly exceeded co ts Yes, somewhat exceeded predictions 80% 70% 60% MPLS DIA 18 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
"We are appreciative of all of our resellers taking on new frontiers and creating unique practices that are accelerating LTE and 5G Wireless WAN adoption. Granite has worked hard to receive this recognition.” -Eric Purcell, Senior Vice President of Global Partner Sales at Cradlepoint www.granitechannels.com email@example.com Partner with us. Grow together. Don't just take our word for it... Contact us 877-884-5200 LEARN MORE LEARN MORE “Granite’s ability to consistently leverage our technology to help drive positive outcomes for customers across industries, at scale, set them apart and made them one of our 2022 Partners of the Year.” -Julianne Zuber, Head of North America Channels at Juniper Networks LEARN MORE ““Granite’s SD-WAN has demonstrated true innovation and is leading the way for Software Defined Wide Area Network. I look forward to continued excellence from Granite in 2023 and beyond.” - Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC “I am honored to recognize Granite with a 2023 Product of the Year Award for its commitment to excellence and innovation” - Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC LEARN MORE "Granite Channels has made a commitment to engaging with partners in a more impactful way, not only through the expansion of our team and both the solutions and support we provide, but by bringing partners into the workings of Granite. " -Charlie Pagliazzo, Granite VP Channel Sales
Performance, pricing and service without ‘Big Cloud’ KNOWTHE ALTERNATIVE By Rick Mancinelli VIRTUAL REALITIES When it comes to cloud services, three familiar brands dominate: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). These major players – often referred to as “Big Cloud” – dominate the cloud services space with widespread brand awareness and massive marketing budgets. The original promise of Big Cloud was to provide organizations with a simple, cost-effective alternative to designing, deploying and managing IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, the growth and success of Big Cloud has often come at the expense of its small- and medium-sized clients, most of whom are unaware of the emerging “Alternative Cloud” ecosystem and its performance, price and service advantages. Alternative Cloud encompasses the thousands of smaller but equally capable cloud services providers around the globe. While Big Cloud aims to be all things to all people — with countless, complex niche services — Alternative Cloud tends to focus on the essential, bread-and-butter hosting services that most organizations need to thrive. Let’s explore Alternative Cloud’s advantages across performance, price, ease of use, service and flexibility. 20 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
Performance Advantages Contrary to popular belief, companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google don’t have access to superior hardware. Their services rely on the same enterprise-grade hardware that Alternative Cloud providers use, with raw performance being generally equal. However, Big Cloud can employ several dubious strategies to increase their margins at the expense of performance: • Extended service life: Big Cloud often extends the service life of its hardware beyond its optimal lifespan, meaning that a customer may unknowingly end up on a platform that is several generations old. • Higher consolidation ratios: Big Cloud is fond of forcing more customers to contend for fewer resources – such as RAM, CPU, disk and network resources – which can hurt performance during periods of high usage. • Performance throttling: To counter the effects of older hardware and higher consolidation ratios (the number of virtual servers that can run on each physical host machine), Big Cloud can employ aggressive throttling strategies, which prevent customer systems from performing at full potential. Good Alternative Cloud providers avoid strategies such as this. C3 Complete, for instance, offers currentgeneration hardware, conservative consolidation ratios and performance throttling only as a last resort – never as a tool to enhance margins. In other words, there is no inherent performance benefit when working with Big Cloud, and in many cases, you could end up with a performance deficit. Price and Cost Containment Imagine that a local self-storage company charges you $200 a month for a unit. They boast that another company down the street charges $300 a month – “Just think of the savings,” they’d say. But after reading the fine print – or worse, when receiving your first monthly invoice – you realize you’re only allowed one monthly visit, and every subsequent visit cost you $50. Your $200-a-month unit has become an $800-a-month unit. Over and over again, this is what we see with Big Cloud. Too many organizations sign up with a Big Cloud provider, build their environment and move in their data and applications, only to discover that the provider ’s baseline services don’t meet their needs, triggering additional fees. And boy, does Big Cloud love fees: ingress fees, egress fees, high-usage fees, high-utilization penalties, and more. Before long, many customers find that they pay twice as much or more than originally budgeted. One Big Cloud provider ’s egress fees even earned them the name “Cloud California”: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. So, while Big Cloud costs may initially appear lower, unexpected fees can rack up fast. The result? Budgetbreaking bills you didn’t anticipate, don’t understand and can’t comfortably explain to your CFO. Alternative Cloud typically works differently. At C3, we determine your monthly cost based on your actual business needs — determined by actual conversations between our engineers and your team — and then allow you to utilize your cloud environment to its fullest. There is no metering of data transfer, CPU time, disk I/O or other metrics. It’s your platform to use, without limitation and without fear of unexpected fees. In short, there is no fine print here. Your CFO will love the budget-friendly cost containment of a flat monthly fee, and your CIO/CTO will enjoy the unencumbered performance, reliability, security and flexibility. Ease of Use Advantages Over time, Big Cloud has evolved into a collection of absurdly complex platforms. Consider that Amazon Web Services alone offers no less than 11 certification programs that teach engineers how to deploy and manage their services. Not to be outdone, VIRTUAL REALITIES What public cloud providers does your organization use? Source: Flexera, 2023 Azure AWS Google Cloud Platform Oracle Cloud Infrastructure IBM Cloud Alibaba Cloud Other 41% 30% 13% 6% 47% 27% 10% 4% 17% 26% 19% 9% 8% 18% 16% 12% 5% 8% 5% 4% 5% 11% 10% 8% 12% 16% 9% Running significant workloads Running some workloads Experimenting Plan to use Which factors are having an impact on ri ing p emiums? Sour e: Panaseer, 2022 Increasing sophistication of cyber threat actors Increasing cost of ransomeware attacks (e.g. higher ransoms) Inability to accurately understand a customer’s security posture What are the most important factors when assessing security posture? Little Lit Lit Somewhat of an impact 36% Somewhat of an impact 42% Somewhat of an impact 39% Significant impact 38% Significant impact 36% Significant i pact 35% How do insurers assess cyber risk? 40% 22 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
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Microsoft has more than 75 different Azure-related training programs. Alternative Cloud tends to focus on the core cloud technologies that meet the needs of all but the most extreme use cases. This results in simpler user interfaces, shorter deployment times and expedited troubleshooting. At C3, we further differentiate ourselves from Big Cloud by offering self-managed, co-managed and fully managed cloud service options. It’s ironic that cloud’s original promise of simplicity has been obscured by the complexity of Big Cloud’s platforms. Regardless of which approach fits your organization, a reputable Alternative Cloud provider should support you through every step of your cloud journey: from concept to design, all the way through operations and support. Service and Support When it comes to service and support, Alternative Cloud providers have major advantages over Big Cloud. Consider that AWS has more than one million active customers — that makes it awfully hard to stand out in their support queue. In fact, to become a top 10 AWS customer, you would need to spend about $7 million per month just on cloud services. Thankfully, you have other options. Many Alternative Cloud providers have built their businesses around a personalized service model that Big Cloud can’t replicate. As a C3 customer, for instance, you have access to a 24/7, U.S.-based support team that actually knows you and your organization. Beginning with your onboarding, our engineers work with you to determine how your business actually operates: What are your business objectives? What are your true cloud services requirements? This hightouch approach helps us provision each customer appropriately for their unique resource needs. When we meet new customers, we often discover that they are struggling with two notorious Big Cloud problems: over-provisioning and “cloud sprawl.” Over-provisioning occurs when Big Cloud providers allocate – and charge for – far more resources than the customer needs (e.g. a 128GB environment, when your application only needs 32GB). Meanwhile, cloud sprawl refers to the gradual accumulation of duplicative cloud instances that a customer no longer needs but continues to pay for. Only an attentive cloud partner that knows your business can catch and eliminate these redundancies. While Big Cloud may be able to offer personal service to clients spending $1 million per month, they simply can’t extend that service level at scale to smaller organizations. That’s where Alternative Cloud comes in. Unparalleled Flexibility Cloud computing was originally hailed as a flexible alternative to building and managing your own infrastructure. Sadly, as the coud services market has matured, customers often find Big Cloud to be far more rigid than they imagined. From the start, Big Cloud tends to shoehorn new customers into whichever pre-packaged instance type provides the closest fit. At best, this can result in an over-provisioned cloud environment and unexpected cost overruns. At worst, your systems architect may be forced to make compromises leading to unacceptable performance and unanticipated organizational impacts. Meanwhi le, reputable Alternative Cloud providers give cl ients discrete control over each resource type — RAM, CPU, GPU, disk, network — which guarantees a perfect fit every time. It’s the difference between an off-the-rack suit and a tai lored tuxedo, without the added expense. One of our clients, an automotive group, faced another kind of cloud flexibility challenge on its digital transformation journey. Although the company wanted to adopt a modern, cloud-based environment with fully virtualized desktops, it was mandated by its manufacturing partners to keep certain legacy systems on-site. To meet this challenge, C3 placed the legacy systems within the same data center as our cloud platform, employing a hybrid solution (cloud and co-location). If this automotive group had been a Big Cloud customer, it would have been forced to acquire its own costly co-location space, interconnect the legacy systems with those hosted in the cloud and absorb the continued cost of managing this subpar solution. In other cases, cloud customers require data locality for regulatory or operational purposes. In these instances, an alternate provider such as C3 can deliver cloud ser- vices via a secure edge data center near you. One of our clients, an Ohio-based medical service provider, needed its data to be stored locally within the state. We were able to operationalize a Cleveland data center to meet its needs within three months. Meanwhile, Big Cloud corrals customers into huge regional data centers. Is Amazon willing to create a new AWS center that’s optimized for your small business? Of course not. Flexible delivery is the essence of Alternative Cloud. Instead of making your systems and applications fit the Big Cloud model, reputable Alternative Cloud providers mold their environment to fit your needs. For a growing number of organizations, Big Cloud has turned out to be far from the panacea it was marketed to be. As we enter a new era of Alternative cloud, your customers have the opportunity to avoid Big Cloud’s compromises, and finally enjoy the potential of Cloud computing as it best fits their organization. And far from being “Cloud California,” you really can check out any time you like. o Rick Mancinelli is CEO of C3 Complete VIRTUAL REALITIES 24 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
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FULL SPEED AHEAD By Bruce Christian With 5G evolving as rapidly as it is, perhaps it’s time to ask whether we already have entered a new gigabit era, or are we just getting prepared to burst open the door? During a recent six-month period, local performance testing by CELLSMART, the cellular intelligence division of SmartCIC, found new levels of performance in indoor and outdoor 5G networks. And according to the assessment results 5G, indeed, is demonstrating maturity and beginning to deliver on the promise of 1 Gbps download speeds. While the report concludes that we aren’t quite ready to say we’ve entered the gigabit era, we certainly are close. “The industry is on the cusp of the gigabit era in cellular networks with these speeds moving from the lab to field in 2023.” CELLSMART analysts stated. The CELLSMART survey, which collected data from 21,456 network speed tests conducted in 67 countries and 1,350 locations between March 25, 2022, and October 31, 2022, documents that cellular performance remains uneven globally, but the overall trend is toward higher speeds, lower latencies and greater resiliency in cellular networks. This led CELLSMART to conclude that 5G is showing the viability of fixed wireless access as a simple, efficient and reliable alternative to fiber or other terrestrial network infrastructure. 5G maturity pushing wireless into new gigabit era MOBILE & WIRELESS 26 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
Providing real-world intelligence and based on speed tests run in the field, the CELLSMART survey represents performances average users would experience in each location. And according to the data, 5G peak download speeds already have hit 1 Gbps, with the top five download speeds exceeding 780 Mbps in outdoor tests. Meanwhile, peak 5G upload speeds in outdoor tests have increased by 35 percent, from 109 Mbps (Netherlands) to 146.75 Mbps (United States). Compared to 4G, 5G speeds show significant improvement: with an increase of 486.57 percent (outdoor) and 694 percent (indoor). Overall, global average outdoor download speed for 5G is 210.05 Mbps. Average indoor speeds clock in at 182.46 Mbps. All the while, samples in Norway and the Philippines had outdoor speed tests that showed latency of less than 10ms, followed closely by the United States (10ms), China (11ms) and France (11ms). Overall, 5G provided hyperasymmetrical test results, said CELLSMART, with the average outdoor download speed of 210.05 Mbps compared to an average outdoor upload speed of 26.78 Mbps. Also noted were that average upload speeds lag download speeds with almost no improvement from 4G to 5G in indoor tests. Both 4G and 5G upload speeds remain significantly lower than download speeds, but 5G upload speeds as a percentage of download speeds is 17 percent, compared to 74 percent on 4G. As download speeds continue to increase, however, Forman expects upload speeds to rise, as well, especially as fixed wireless access becomes increasingly recognized as a revenue driver and greater emphasis is placed on the 5G B2B opportunity. Another challenge, said CELLSMART analysts, is that increases in capacity are not distributed evenly, and cellular network performance is hyper-localized. According to the data, Telemovel in Portugal, which leads the rankings with 545.38 average download speed, across all network types, has 138 percent greater average speed than 10th placed Mint Mobile in the United States, showing how different average performance can be even among leading carriers. Other than Singtel, all carriers in the top 10 are in Western Europe or North America. Singtel is ranked number two in average download speed with 417 Mbps. Average upload speeds across all network types show even greater variation. Telstra Mobile in Austria leads with 103.30 Mbps average upload speed, and it is followed by Finetwork in Spain with 84.58 Mbps. The survey results also revealed how latency is impacted in indoor settings, with average 5G latency being 14.58ms lower indoors than outdoors. Average latency indoors was 15.32 higher on 4G than outdoors. Moving forward, CELLSMART analysts expect service providers in North America and Western Europe will be the first players to tap the opportunity in 5G fixed wireless access based on the available cellular networks, with the opportunity later cascading across developed markets in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. And make no mistake, the 5G FWA market is expected to explode. According to research firm MarketAndMarkets, the global 5G fixed wireless access market is expected to be worth $29.4 billion this year but will reach $153 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent. Ericsson, for its part, recently predicted that FWA connections will reach 300 million by 2028, out of which 5G FWA will represent almost 80 percent of the total FWA connections. o 5G Maximum Download Speeds: Outdoor (Mbps) Spain 993.00 United States 966.00 Austria 921.10 France 803.96 Norway 789.00 5G Maximum download speeds: Indoor (Mbps) Norway 994.00 France 898.00 Spain 753.00 United States 735.00 Germany 619.00 Source: CELLSMART Top Five Carriers: Average Download All Networks (Mbps) 1. Telemovel; Portugal 545.38 2. Singtel; Singapore 417.00 3. T-Mobile; United States 351.69 4. Meo; Portugal 350.52 5. Telia Norge; Norway 323.85 Source: CELLSMART MOBILE & WIRELESS 28 CHANNELV ISION | MARCH - APRIL 2023
Wireless for small businesses So good it sells itself B U S I N E S S America was built on the backs of small businesses. PureTalk understands what it's like to be a small business because we've been there, we understand that their needs can be different than large corporations, but these businesses are important and deserve the same level of support. At PureTalk, we’ve built our reputation for quality by: • Delivering superior wireless service at affordable prices • Offering the same 5G network as the overpriced carriers at half the cost • Providing unlimited talk and text plus blazing fast data in a variety of mix-and match plans • Giving customers the option to keep their current number and phone, or upgrade to the newest Apple or Android Why become a PureTalk Business Distributor? • Highly competitive agent compensation • Dedicated agent management portal • Business unlimited plans, shared data plans and tablet plans • Switch instantly with eSIM technology • 100% U.S.-based customer support team • Market is small and medium-sized businesses Becoming a PureTalk Business Distributor is your opportunity to help small businesses while growing your own. B U S I N E S S To become a distributor contact us at BecomeADistributor@puretalk.com ©2023 PureTalk Holdings, Incchannelvisionmag.com.com