Monday Morning Impact – March 9

Published On: March 9, 2020Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

FBI Report: Business Email Compromises on the Rise

Internet-enabled crimes and scams show no signs of letting up, according to data released by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in its newly released 2019 Internet Crime Report. The last calendar year saw both the highest number of complaints and the highest dollar losses reported since the center was established in May 2000.

IC3 received 467,361 complaints in 2019—an average of nearly 1,300 every day—and recorded more than $3.5 billion in losses to individual and business victims. The most frequently reported complaints were phishing and similar ploys, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. The most financially costly complaints involved business email compromise, romance or confidence fraud, and spoofing, or mimicking the account of a person or vendor known to the victim to gather personal or financial information.

“Criminals are getting so sophisticated,” said IC3 chief Donna Gregory. “It is getting harder and harder for victims to spot the red flags and tell real from fake.”

In the last year, IC3 reported seeing an increase in the number of Business Email Compromise (BEC) complaints related to the diversion of payroll funds. These scams typically involve a criminal spoofing or mimicking a legitimate email address. For example, an individual will receive a message that appears to be from an executive within their company or a business with which an individual has a relationship. The email will request a payment, wire transfer, or gift card purchase that seems legitimate but actually funnels money directly to a criminal.

In 2019, IC3 recorded 23,775 complaints about BEC, which resulted in more than $1.7 billion in losses.

Channel Impact®
Channel partners need to be increasingly vigilant about new attack vectors like BECs and communicate those risks to the companies they serve.

SolarWinds Launches Partner Advocate Team

SolarWinds, a North Carolina-based provider of IT management software, announced the launch of its SolarWinds “Head Nerds” program, a team specially trained to serve as partner advocates to help MSPs learn how to create and sell services, protect their customers, demonstrate value, and stay ahead in the rapidly evolving managed services space. Head Nerds deliver training, resources, and consultative sessions to help MSPs understand and maximize the most important business growth areas including security, automation, and operations.

The SolarWinds platform enables customer organizations to monitor and manage their IT services, infrastructures, and applications, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or via hybrid models. Targeted for MSPs, the portfolio delivers solutions that integrate layered security, collective intelligence, and automation, enabling MSPs to provide outsourced IT services for their SMB end-customers.

“The biggest challenge MSPs face is how to work on their business, instead of just working in it,” said Mike Cullen, group vice president of partner success at SolarWinds. “This was the leading impetus for creating the Head Nerds program. We wanted to give MSPs the ability to work directly with some of the premier experts in the industry—to help them look at the big-picture potential that trends and technologies bring. Our Head Nerds give our partners direct access to the consulting and content they need to leverage key areas like security, automation, and operational efficiency to boost their bottom lines. This adds to our broader set of initiatives that have one singular objective: help fuel our customers’ success.”

Channel Impact®
The program is likely to help managed service providers sharpen their skills and drive higher revenue while building customer satisfaction scores.

Lifesize Adds New Master Agent; Refreshes U.S. Partner Program to Focus on Commission Model

Lifesize, an Austin, Texas-based video collaboration vendor, has named Synnex Corporation as its newest master agent, with service provider Connection becoming the first agent under the restructured relationship. The moves are indicative of Lifesize’s shift towards a partner commission-centric model in the U.S., which will begin to take effect in phases for distributors, resellers and managed service providers (MSPs) in the geography.

Under the new arrangement, partners operating through Synnex and other Lifesize master agents receive commissions on meeting room system hardware, including Lifesize Rooms-as-a-Service, as well as on upgrades, cloud video conferencing service licenses and renewals. Lifesize will also take control of all product positioning and opportunity management.

“This natural progression to a commission-based program is hugely advantageous for our entire partner community,” said Tim Maloney, senior vice president of worldwide channels and Americas sales at Lifesize. “Lifesize takes on the heavy lifting and risk, freeing up esteemed partners like Synnex and Connection to do more of what they excel at – serving as experts and supporting businesses looking to capitalize on video conferencing and collaboration.”

Lifesize’s global partner ecosystem consists of more than 5000 partners and upwards of 75 distributors, including 3500 resellers and potential agents in the U.S.

Channel Impact®
This announcement is expected to give U.S. resellers and MSPs greater consistency and shorter sales cycles.

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