Partners Cheer Google's New Solutions-Oriented Channel Approach

This article appeared on CRN. Click to read the full article. 

The day before Google's Cloud Next 2017 Conference, new channel chief Bertrand Yansouni and other Google execs hosted partners at an off-site summit in San Francisco. During those sessions earlier this week, they outlined a new approach to how Google will work with its channel, one encompassing investments in product, sales and enablement programs and encouraging a mindset geared to comprehensive solutions, not individual products.

The new "unified approach" breaks down channel silos by rewarding partners for selling the whole Google Cloud stack, a change that was overdue, Yansouni told CRN. Previously "partners and sales agents were aligned by products, not accounts and solutions," he said.

Partners are elated with the new philosophy, telling CRN it aligns with how enterprise customers actually look to purchase technology. Google's program changes illustrate that, after some stumbles, the consumer-tech powerhouse is starting to understand the critical enterprise market.

"There's a really positive change that's afoot," Aric Bandy, president of Agosto, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based Premier partner, told CRN.

Google has tweaked a compensation model that could, in some scenarios, fail to provide financial parity to sales reps when delivering deals to the channel. Field agents no longer can be better compensated for taking customers direct, Yansouni told CRN, which eliminates any potential for channel conflict.

To further encourage the solutions-focused approach, Google introduced four new specialization credentials that partners can earn to validate specific skills. It also launched a revamped partner directory that makes it easier for partners to promote their expertise, as well as a new engineering team that advises partners on large engagements.

The "unified approach" assigns Google's sales reps to accounts instead of products. And the cloud operator will tabulate all revenue across the portfolio when assessing whether a partner rises to Premier status, Yansouni said.

How The Channel Can Sell More Cloud Software To SMBs

This article was published on IT Bob. Click here to read the full article. 

Reselling SaaS To Small Businesses

Cloud-based software levels the playing field for small and midsize businesses, putting enterprise-grade tools once accessible only to the big boys in their hands. That widens a largely untapped market for cloud software vendors.

But specific challenges preclude SMBs from adopting a broader array of Software-as-a-Service, a survey has found.

AppDirect, developer of a commerce platform for distributing cloud-based software, commissioned a survey of 500 small and midsize businesses to gauge their attitudes on SaaS adoption. Its report from that survey identified major stumbling blocks to adoption—challenges that only the channel can solve. "Businesses are not adopting software, not because they don’t want to or can't, but because the channel isn't enabling it enough," Daniel Saks, AppDirect's CEO, told ITBestOfBreed. "We see the opportunity for each user to use more than 20 applications, whereas now they're using only a few."

Click through to read six major findings from AppDirect's survey.

Read the full article here. 

Digital Signage Today Covers Skykit's Digital Signage Guide

Agosto Inc., a digital signage content management system developer, has released its digital signage guide as a response to questions from customers. Companies such as NEC, Intel, Best Buy for Business and FASTSIGNS participated in the guide, entitled, "10 Digital Signage Topics You Need to Know Before Buying – The Complete Guide," according to a press release.

The guide covers the history of the industry, such as how the hardware and software have developed. It also gives advice on the key features to look for in digital signage hardware and software. It also covers topics such as content, rollout and how to measure return-on-investment, according to the release.

"There's a lot to learn about digital signage, and the majority of information available addresses specific needs, rather than the big picture," said Agosto President Aric Bandy. "Our guide fills that void by providing detailed, platform-agnostic information that will educate and provide context to buyers so they can make the most informed decisions."

The guide can be read here. Users can choose to download specific chapters rather than the entire guide, according to their preference.

 

The original article can be found on the Digital Signage Today's website here

One of the Google’s most trusted partner tiers: Agosto

This article was published on The Silicon Review.

“The cloud has never been easier.”

Founded in 2001, Agosto is a Google Cloud Premier Partner & cloud product development company. Through custom cloud product development, we help organizations bring products to market more quickly, with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). In 2014, Agosto was named Google Enterprise Global Partner of the Year for Cloud Platform. Agosto is also committed to providing Google enterprise services. In 2014, we were named to the Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for the fourth time.

Based on its years of expertise building solutions on Google’s platform, we built a digital signage solution called Skykit. Skykit is the first end-to-end Google-based digital signage CMS. Designed for infinite scale for enterprises.

Google powered services

Digital Signage: Skykit is a cloud-based digital signage platform that easily distributes the content to any screen, anywhere in the world. Using its powerful content management system built on Google, end users have the ability to control, collaborate, and quickly send content to any number of displays. Regardless of location.

G Suite Business: G Suite Business is a premium version of G Suite (which many people might know it by older branding: Google Apps for Work, Google Drive for Work, Google Apps for Business, or Google Apps for Enterprise). G Suite Business includes the base solutions included in G Suite, but also includes Google Vault for every user. That means you get all the collaboration tools, plus unlimited storage, eDiscovery, auditing, and reporting features. We tailor G Suite Business to fit the company, and offer the licenses at the same price Google does.

Google Enterprise Search: Bring the power of Google’s search capabilities to your intranet, databases, cloud applications, and much more. A Google Search Appliance (also known as a GSA) can provide clients’ employees or external site visitors with an easy-to-use, dependable search experience. Agosto will help customize GSA’s capabilities and increase the speed, range of results, and search functionality for the users.
A GSA uses the same algorithms used by Google.com. That means, the users will see the most relevant search results first. And with over 220 file types and translation for 72 languages, the user experience is a personalized and positive one. You can also extend search results beyond files and databases to include content from social media streams and different cloud applications. With results delivered through a browser, searching a GSA is also possible from mobile devices, depending on the organizations needs.

IoT (M2M) Accelerator: IoT (M2M) Accelerator is a cloud-based software foundation for improving machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) communications analysis, interaction and reporting. Based using Google’s Cloud Platform products, IoT (M2M) Accelerator gathers multiple device inputs and simulates to scale.
With several layers of security, the framework processes up to millions of events an hour, storing and managing results. User interaction is enabled across the framework for meaningful reporting, planning, data export, analysis and other ongoing user tasks.

The Happy Customer:

Premier Utility Services
When Premier Utility Services was acquired by Willbros Group, Inc., the Company’s IT management team was working with Microsoft Exchange. However, the system was not scalable enough to meet the needs of the quickly growing entity. Significant stability and reliability issues started causing business disruptions, so the Company’s technical staff began to investigate alternative platforms that could provide more reliability. Marc Makely, President of Premier, suggested the Company move to Google Apps. Premier was already working with Google Geo (mapping) tools, and Makely believed in the cloud and in Google’s powerful solutions.

What Premier Utility Services Wanted

  •  Scalable, reliable, stable platform
  • Unified employee communications
  • A system that would improve the team’s ability to provide excellent customer service

Why Premier Utility Services Went Google

  • Level of trust in other Google products (Geo/Mapping)
  • The ability of Google Apps to provide a consistent employee communication experience
  • Real-time collaboration

What Premier Utility Services

  • Accomplished Through Agosto
  • Reduced capital expenses and management costs
  • Ability to immediately share updated information with clients
  • Secure, reliable communications
  • Increased productivity

Meet the Master

Irfan Khan, CEO: Khan sets Agosto’s strategic direction and assembles and manages the delivery teams to continue the company’s growth. Khan co-founded Agosto in 2001 as an IT consulting firm focused on delivering new technologies to increase operational efficiencies for their clients. Today he is identifying new opportunities to leverage the Agosto’s market position as a leading cloud brokers and product development experts.

A true evangelist for cloud computing and SaaS (software-as-a-service), Khan excels at change management and has personally helped migrate tens of thousands of users onto Google Apps. For more than 13 years, he has helped grow Agosto into a recognized leader in cloud circles.

In 2004, he co-founded Jumpnode Systems, an innovator in cloud network management. During Khan’s four-year tenure as CEO, he took a new concept to a revenue-earning product in less than 12 months and successfully raised a multimillion dollar round of venture financing. The company was awarded the Best New Technology honor by Twin Cities Business in 2006. That same year, Khan was awarded Innovator of the Year by Finance and Commerce magazine. Khan holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Oregon.

“We help companies move from legacy systems. Our experienced team knows the requirements and can make it easier for you, too.”

Georgetown University Interviews Agosto Employees for Workforce Report

Georgetown University interviewed Aric Bandy, President of Agosto, and Dan Hildebrand, Account Executive, about their perspective on millennials being a large piece in the current and future workforce. 

They released a report titled "Women, Millenials, and the Future Workplace: Empowering All Employees." 

Click here to read the Huffington Post article summary. 

Click here to read the full report. 

Huffington Post: Google’s Cloud Business is Soaring

“Google Cloud delivers the original value of the cloud at enterprise scale”

This was one of the most crystallizing quotes of Google Horizon, an event structured to loudly and poignantly proclaim Google’s intent to dominate the public cloud. Surrounded by customers, select top partners like Agosto , and the press, Greene and her team laid out their enterprise plan.

Starting things off, Greene laid the foundation. Google has the biggest, fastest network that supports 8 brands that each has 1 billion active users: YouTube, Android, Gmail, Maps, Google Play, Search, Chrome AND Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

But Google isn’t resting on their laurels.

Read the full story originally published on Huffington Post

Cloud partners: G Suite update heralds a Google enterprise push

Google's rebranding efforts make a strong appeal to the enterprise and could reposition the company as a major force in the market, according to cloud partners.

Aric Bandy, president of Agosto Inc., a cloud services company based in Minneapolis. Agosto provides services around the Google Cloud Platform and Google Apps.

Google is behind in the email collaboration space and in the cloud and have to make a lot of moves in a very short amount of time to close the gap. Google has needed to make a very public and direct proclamation that they are going to be an enterprise player,” he added. “Prior to this [announcement], the market hasn’t heard it.
— Aric Bandy, President of Agosto

Nasdaq: Alphabet's Google for Work Team to Hire Wyoming State CIO

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Analyst Report) Google is reportedly appointing Flint Waters, the chief information officer (CIO) of the state of Wyoming.

According to reports, Waters is expected to step down from the state service on Sep 23 and join Google for Work team in early October. He will play an advisory role, helping local and state governments migrate to Google products, especially the cloud.

Water’s Days as Wyoming CIO

Waters has been Wyoming’s CIO for five years and led a number of cloud migration projects. Waters headed Wyoming’s migration from state-owned data centers to Google and Azure-based cloud.

He also led the development of the Wyoming Unified Network, which is a network of fiber lines that connects important cities in the state and provides broadband access of 200 Kbps per student to school districts across the state.

Recently, Wyoming collaborated with Google for Work partner Agosto to upgrade from Google Apps for Government to Google Apps Unlimited. The upgrade will provide the state unlimited drive storage, advanced reporting and auditing capacities and additional administrative features.

Read the full article here.

Agosto Named 2016 Best Places to Work Honoree

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal presents our 65 Best Places to Work honorees for 2016, the 18th year of Minnesota's longest-running awards program recognizing top workplaces.

They accepted nominations for Best Places to Work honorees from late-March through mid-May. Their research partner, Omaha, Neb.-based Quantum Workplace surveyed employees at participating companies from mid-April to mid-May, asking them to rate their employers on communication efforts, leadership and more.

Companies with the highest scores from the anonymous employee surveys were then ranked in four size categories.

Click here to read the full article and to watch the video announcement. 

RingCentral, Google Join Forces to Help Transition Enterprises to the Cloud

RingCentral, Inc. (RNG), a leading provider of business cloud communication and collaboration applications, and Google today join efforts to help mid to large size enterprises transition to the cloud. Companies are increasingly adopting cloud productivity tools like Google Apps and cloud communications applications like RingCentral Office® to enable greater flexibility and workflow efficiency.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo Finance featuring Agosto. 

CRN Interviewed Aric Bandy for Article on Google I/O

Google's keynote at the Google I/O conference Thursday was filled with examples of how the company intends to reshape the consumer experience through artificially intelligent systems paired with speech-recognition technologies.

But at Agosto, a Google Apps for Work partner based in Minneapolis, President Aric Bandy told CRN that he couldn't help but see the business corollaries. 

Read the full article on CRN.com

Agosto's Irfan Khan Named as One of Minnesota's Young Millionaires 2015

From weekends in his basement, he built what became one of Google’s 2014 Global Enterprise Partners of the Year.

The allure of early wealth is the American entrepreneurial fantasy. How businesspeople achieve that dreamed-of status by age 40 is not consistent, but rarely does the story involve an MBA followed by two decades working for a Fortune 500 corporation. The paths are eclectic and often idiosyncratic, but the 2015 crop of Twin Cities Business young millionaires do have intriguing characteristics in common. Most are immigrants or first-generation Americans.

Read More

 

MN Business Magazine: Repositioning Itself as Google Specialist Pays Off for Agosto

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2014 AT 11:28AM

Tech firm finds success helping companies switch to Google apps and cloud for IT needs.

Located on the fourth floor of the historic Ford Center in Minneapolis, the red-brick offices of tech consulting firm Agosto have the creative, shabby-chic ambience of a trendy cafe. It’s an appropriate atmosphere for one of the nation’s top Google apps and cloud consulting firms.

Read more

Inc. Magazine: The 10 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in Minneapolis

Meet the rapid-growth companies dominating Minnesota's bigger Twin City.

Minneapolis is home to more than just the Minnesota Twins and the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. The 14th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., is also home to 85 companies on this year's Inc. 5000.

Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota, nurturing industry giants such as Target, Best Buy, Pillsbury and General Mills. It's also the second-largest economic center in the Midwest--lagging just behind Chicago--with major business sectors including publishing, milling, food processing, education, and more.

The 2014 Inc. 5000 tracked company performance, including the three-year revenue growth rate, between fiscal years 2010 and 2013. Here's a list of the top 10 companies that are benefitting from all that this Twin City has to offer:

5. Agosto

The third of four IT services firms to make it onto our top 10 fastest-growing companies in Minneapolis, Agosto is thriving under the leadership of CEO Irfan Khan. The fifth fastest-growing company in the metro area, and No. 1,343 on the Inc. 5000, Agosto caters to more small and midsize businesses, with a focus on Google services such as Google Apps, Google Cloud Platform and Google Enterprise Search services.

Boasting an impressive $7.7 million in 2013 revenue, the 13 year-old company has grown by more than 322 percent over the past three years.

Read more

Talkin' Cloud Features Agosto CEO Irfan Khan

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2014 AT 8:44AM

Agosto CEO Irfan Khan is featured in the online cloud publication's 'Friday's Last Word' section, which highlights top cloud service provider CEOs.

Khan co-founded the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based IT services firm back in 2001. Since then he's been identifying new opportunities in the market as a cloud broker. As CEO, he has assisted with the migration tens of thousands of users onto Google Apps.

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