Channel Bytes August 4, 2023 – Ericsson outsourcing field service; NetApp launches Partner Sphere program; New Relic going private; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Register now: Women in the IT Channel Luncheon is Aug. 24

Join us on Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Aga Khan Museum for the CDN Women in the IT Channel Recognition Luncheon, where we will shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of women in Canada’s IT channel. We will be honouring outstanding women with two prestigious awards: the Rising Star, acknowledging a trailblazer whose recent accomplishments promise an even brighter future, and 2023’s Mentor of the Year, a woman who has dedicated herself to guiding others in their personal and professional growth. We will also pay special tribute to Fawn Annan, who led IT World Canada from 2010 until her passing in May of this year.

This year’s keynote speaker is best-selling author and gender equity, inclusion and human rights advocate Samra Zafar.

Ericsson to outsource field service

As of Oct. 1, Ericsson field services will be handled by external providers, Inside Towers reports. This will result in the layoff of 750 employees in North America.

Inside Towers cites an internal Ericsson memo, which said, “Since the inception of our field service delivery business in 2015, we have consistently worked with trusted and authorized external providers. Ericsson’s delivery of network services, from site design and engineering to continuous preemptive support and network optimization, will not change. The self-perform capability proved critical for us to accelerate local service delivery capabilities during the peak of the 5G cycle, with quality and an unwavering commitment to safety, setting a new standard for tower technicians in the U.S. However with the downturn in market demand, we can no longer justify the cost this unique capability represents.”

CIQ expands leadership team, appoints 5 new VPs

CIQ, which bills itself as the “company building the next generation of software infrastructure for enterprises running data-intensive workloads atop the Rocky Linux enterprise Linux distribution,” has expanded its leadership team with five new appointments.

They are: April Mead, vice president of product, who was promoted from her previous position of director of product management, Tony Sheridan, vice president of security and compliance, Patricia Tantow, vice president of marketing, Colin VanderSmith, vice president of product management and technology partnerships, and Richard Zack, vice president of professional services.

NetApp launches Partner Sphere Partner Program

NetApp, which specializes in flash and cloud data-centric software, this week launched a new initiative called the Partner Sphere Partner Program.

According to a release, “Partner Sphere addresses the complex demands of today’s flash and cloud customers while igniting the power of partnerships and serving as the foundation for NetApp’s partner strategy.”

Program changes that will help achieve this, it added, “include a unified engagement model where partners can sell-to, sell-through, or sell-with NetApp; new and more aligned Solution Competencies and Services Certified tracks; and updated tiering (Approved, Preferred, Prestige). Additionally, partners will have opportunities to produce co-innovation and joint offerings with shared go-to-market strategies.”

NetApp says that partners can accelerate their business through three focus areas:

  • Hybrid Cloud – Flash with cloud enabled hybrid multicloud, cyber resilience, monitoring and optimization, application optimization, and XaaS.
  • AI – artificial intelligence and analytics as consumed through generative AI with flash and cloud.
  • Cloud – hyperscaler and NetApp branded cloud services focused on cloud data modernization, cloud optimization, and cloud application optimization.

New Relic signs definitive agreement to go private

Observability platform vendor New Relic announced Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Francisco Partners and TPG for $US87 per share in cash, valuing the company at approximately US$6.5 billion. Closing is expected in late 2023 or early 2024, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Bill Staples, chief executive officer (CEO) of New Relic, said, the company “has made significant progress on its consumption business transition and, together with Francisco Partners and TPG, we will have the resources and flexibility to not only complete the final chapter of this transition, but also accelerate our strategy and provide customers with a standardized data-driven practice that any company can benefit from.”

The agreement includes a 45-day “go shop” period during which superior proposals will be sought.

Cisco promotes channel chief Oliver Tuszik to president, EMEA

Oliver Tuszik, senior vice president of the Cisco global partner sales and routes to market business, has been announced as the next president of Cisco Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). He took over the role Aug. 1, replacing retiring EMEA president Wendy Mars.

In his role as channel chief, he supported Cisco’s global ecosystem of partners and advocated for customer needs.

Tuszik’s appointment, the company said in a release, “comes as Cisco accelerates efforts to securely connect technology, people, governments, and businesses across the world. As IT and ecological priorities become more prevalent, all industries have had to reconsider business models and supply chains to become more agile, resilient, and sustainable. In his new role, Tuszik will be enabling this through Cisco’s ecosystem, partners, and customers to advance significant digitisation and innovation across EMEA.”

His replacement has not yet been announced.

VVDN launches private 5G enterprise solution

Product engineering and manufacturing company VVDN has launched an end-to-end 5G enterprise solution for system integrators (SIs), telcos and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The solution consists of VVDN‘s 5G radio units designed for multiple countries and markets, and includes both Low Power (4T4R 1W) and Mid Power (4T4R 20W) suitable for private 5G deployments. The radio units also support global requirements in Band 48 CBRS, Band n78/n77 (3400 to 4100 MHz), and bandwidth up to 100Mhz, TDD duplex mode 4T4R and 2T2R for indoor and outdoor applications. They are pre-integrated with enterprise grade VVDN CU/DU stack and 5G core, enabled by Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) and are FFC/CE certified.

The cloud native 5G core, VVDN said in a release, provides a “reliable, scalable and distributed autonomous network solution which helps mobile network operators and SIs build their own solutions to deploy IoT, private/enterprise networks, and multi-access edge computing (MEC) networks.”

The company said that the solution can be adopted for facilities such as warehouses, manufacturing, campuses, stadiums, airports, seaports, and oil and gas, as it has been thoroughly tested for factors such as on-time network launch, network performance, downtime prevention, and maintaining service level agreements (SLAs).

Time to sign up for the 39th edition of the CCCGC

The Canadian Computer Charity Golf Classic (CCCGC) taking place Sept. 7 is a premier golf tournament that brings the computer industry together to help raise funds for two worthy causes: Easter Seals Ontario and Princess Margaret Hospital.

Celebrating its 39th anniversary this year, the event is a perennial sellout, hosting an estimated 300 golfers who represent more than 100 corporations from the Canadian and the U.S. technology sectors.

It is taking place at Lionhead Golf and Conference Centre, and sponsorships and foursomes are still available. Move quickly to get your place before they sell out. Further information is available at

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree

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