|Over 18,000 Global Readers and Growing! December 27, 2011 - Issue 6-10 BusinessSpeak|
Happy Holidays in this – the final issue of 2011!
I want to tell on myself. I am writing this issue several days early so I can take a few days off between Christmas and New Year’s. Besides family time, my intentions are to visit a few friends as well. I would encourage you to do the same, recharge and get ready to rock in 2012!
This issue looks back, forward but doesn’t stand still. It reflects the dynamic SMB segment that we play in. So while sitting by a crackling fire or on a beach, enjoy the holidays my friends and we’ll see you on the flip-side in 2012.
PS – Join me Thursday December 29 for our weekly webinar: Use Clicks, Not Code, to Build Custom Applications for Your Customers, Grace Schroeder and I speaking!
PPS – Avail yourself of amazing opportunities below: MVP Nation event, Salary Survey, SMB 150 nominations…
Harry Brelsford|Founder, SMB Nation, Inc.|www.smbnation.com
Year in Review/Looking Forward
The good news is that few of us dwell on the past. I do want to briefly highlight a few notable items in 2011 and share some insights moving forward in 2012.
For the industry as a whole, the activities that occurred are too many to list here. However, you can easily observe a “Time Line” of the SMB channel by perusing the archived weekly newsletters HERE.
SMB Nation specific new-new highlights in 2011 included:
Looking forward to 2012, you can anticipate the several strategic announcements, an acquisition or two, a more aggressive competitive posture and the fortification of the Cloud Nation asset. We are also looking to hire yet another salesperson so raise your hand high here and now if you think workin’ at the Nation works for you!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Lemme know and I’ll blog it!
Special Program Note:
Karl's 2012 State of the Nation Address
On the Cloud Services Roundtable
The New Year is always a great time for looking at the year ahead and making some predictions about what we can expect. Join Karl Palachuk – a former SBSer of the Year - on Wednesday, January 4th, for his live 2012 "State of the Nation" address on Cloud Services and SMB Consulting.
In this special free broadcast, the long-time SMB blogger and podcaster will discuss our changing economic environment and what he sees ahead for consultants in the SMB space. With the fourth year of recession well underway, Palachuk is surprisingly positive about the prospects ahead.
“I’ve been on the cloud bandwagon for a couple of years now,” says Palachuk. “I don’t see any shortage of work or clients in the SMB space. In fact, if anything, there’s a greater need for us now than ever before. As the variety of options increases faster and faster, business owners can easily make some major mistakes. It’s our job as consultants to help them make good decisions.”
2012 will be Karl's fifth year of podcasting to consultants who focus on the SMB space, managed services, and cloud computing. Karl is the author of nine books, owner of two companies, and has been a consultant since 1995.
In January of 2009, Karl and Harry kicked off the “new” Cloud Services Roundtable with some thoughts about the year ahead, the challenges, and the opportunities available to small business consultants. In some ways, a lot has changed. But, in others, the world looks very much the same.
As one of the few writers to focus exclusively in the SMB space, Karl has some great insights offer.
9 AM Pacific
HEROware is excited to announce “HERO-Monitoring” (Powered by Kaseya) a new RMM utility for all HEROware users.
On January 5, 2012, included with every HERO-DefendeRx Appliance and HERO-DefendeRx + (software only) will be the HERO-Monitoring solution which consists of the HEROware Agent, Plug-in and HERO-Monitoring Server. As a HEROware partner, you will have “Free” access to use the Monitoring Server to manage all of your customers Defenders in a “single pane of glass”. Or if you prefer, HEROware will monitor, manage and mitigate your customers Defenders or other devices for a nominal charge.
As an IT Service Professional, you carry the responsibility of maintaining the lifeline of the systems you manage to ensure business goals are being met while maximizing end user productivity. Despite budget constraints, possible reduction in personnel and often limited resources you have a commitment to:
The HERO-Monitoring Solution is the ultimate solution for automating recurring IT tasks. With HERO-Monitoring, IT professionals can offer extended service capabilities with better service delivery.
Single pane of glass to view all your customers Defenders and other Devices. Start, pause, stop, test failover, live failover, undo test failover, notifications and easy LAN, WAN, and Internet deployment.
An enterprise-class IT systems management in a single pane of glass for
Call HEROware today at 1-866-810-4376 to talk to a HEROware Account Manager www.heroware.com
My “New New” News Years Resolution – More Money!
It’s a new year, and SMB Nation tribal members are busy looking forward to 2012. That includes both formal and informal (back-of-the-napkin) strategic planning. The only constant in technology is change, and it’s safe to say that it is time to commit to growing in new directions.
Did you know that there is an easy opportunity to increase your revenue with very little effort? This “money maker” is the new kid on the block: Work Market. Started by long-time industry veteran Jeffrey Leventhal (founder of OnForce), Work Market is a “Labor Resource Platform” that allows buyers and sellers of IT labor to connect. It’s a very simple story. You, as an IT Pro, register at Work Market (www.workmarket.com) by providing basic information; creating your profile takes two minutes. The “net-net” with this “new-new” is that you can pick up relevant IT gigs to fill the unused and unbilled hours in your professional portfolio of services.
Work Market is just like LinkedIn or Facebook, except that Service Companies connect to your profile for one reason and one reason only: to send you work.
Running on a cloud-based platform, Work Market has a focus on IT services and delivering value for those who want to manage or supply labor. “Our customers manage service. Every day they send employees or contractors out into the field,” said Jeff Wald, Work Market Co-Founder. “Service companies can administer their entire service delivery through Work Market, managing their employees and contractors, as well as accessing the database to find new contractors. Work Market will never manage services ourselves or act as a middleman between the client and the contractor. We are just software.”
Work Market is free to join, and it only receives payment if a customer has posted a job through the platform and a contractor picks it up and completes the job. “It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s free. Work Market charges the buyers a small fee for transferring payment. The amount a service professional sees on an assignment is what that service professional gets,” Wald said.
Stay tuned for more news on Work Market in the coming months, as this is one company to watch in 2012. “We are adding more customers to the platform and expect that revenue will continue to double every month,” Wald said. “Some of the largest service companies in America will begin to manage their services on Work Market in the next few months. We are seeing customers join us with massive volume, who are ready to spend tens of millions of dollars a year.”
Office 365 – Bringing Enterprise-Class Cloud Email Capabilities to the Masses
Have you considered migrating your current messaging system to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud-based messaging and collaboration solution? If not, you should – the benefits for your business are off the charts in terms of functionality, availability and outright cost savings. And if you’re intimidated by thought of a long, over-budget and under-staffed migration process, don’t be – it’s easier than you think.
In this Windows IT Pro technical brief by Quest Software, learn how your company can benefit from enterprise-class cloud email capabilities. Get an overview of Office 365, the advantages of using a cloud solution, the path to follow when moving to Office 365 and the best way to quickly, easily and safely perform a successful migration. You’ll see what to consider when planning your migration, various scenarios to consider and powerful solutions to speed your migration so your organization reaps the benefits of Office 365. Read this technical brief today.
Use Clicks, Not Code To build custom applications for your customers.
Speakers: Grace Schroder, Idea2’s founder and CEO and Harry Brelsford, Founder of SMB Nation
Server Backup & Recovery doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive!
Today’s Server backup products are either light on substance or heavy on features. Cloud backup options are slow going up and even slower on recovery. Other solutions can be unwieldy and expensive, requiring a ‘rocket scientist’ to operate them.
Rebit’s Server offerings are designed for companies that have 1-3 servers, where cost and ease of use are important criteria and no IT staff are on payroll.
A frog of a different color
Rebit is a different kind of backup software company, making backup “ridiculously simple.” To deliver a simpler user experience, we put all the sophistication “under the hood”. In place of a scheduler/synch agent, we built a full database and object store implementation with continuous journaling technology. This enables near-continuous data protection with versioning and recovery points as well as Bare Metal Recovery points every 24 hours. For Exchange/SQL recovery, a full VSS implementation captures time-consistent images.
One reviewer called Rebit the “Time Machine for Windows” based on simplicity and ability to rewind the system to any point in time. Since 2005, Rebit has delivered unparalleled ease of use to consumers and NOW includes small businesses!
Putting the cloud in its place
Rebit’s architecture supports multiple simultaneous backup targets, including USB hard drives, network shares, or cloud storage, allowing your customers to meet data protection requirements.
Cloud backup provides handy remote storage locations for single-site businesses. But trying to recover a server from the cloud, one can grow a very long beard. Local storage has much faster backup/restore characteristics, but taking tapes offsite is cumbersome and error prone.
Rebit artfully combines BOTH local and remote storage in a simple to use backup package that is engineered to minimize operational impact and offer the best protection in the pond.
Take our 2012 SMB Nation Salary Survey, and Get a Free Gift!
By Regina Ciardiello, Editor, SMB Nation
Great New Line from Cooler Master!
Continuing with its tradition of revolutionary design and cutting edge technology, CM Storm surpasses the competition with the Trooper chassis. The CM Storm Trooper contains a wealth of features coveted by most gaming enthusiasts, including USB 3.0, external 2.5” and two 90 degree rotatable HDD cages for easier hard-drive installation. The CM Storm Trooper is the first full tower with a carrying handle for easy transport. For more information, please go to http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id=1665&product_id=3054 to get the latest information, review and support. CM Storm Trooper Model# SGC-5000-KKN1.
Cooler Master also just launched two new coolers into the market. Hyper 212 Evo and GeminII S524. If you are looking for reliability and performance cooler for your processor (AMD or Intel), come check out the Hyper 212 Evo, Model# RR-212E-20PK-R1 and GeminII S524 Model# RR-G524-18PK-R1.
All Products are available through D&H Distributing. Your one stop shops for all Cooler Master Products and components needs.
SMB Nation Announces Dates, Theme for 2nd Annual MVP Nation Event
SMB Nation recently announced that it will hold its 2nd Annual MVP Nation event at the Microsoft Conference Center, Redmond, Wash., on March 2-3, 2012. Based on the theme “Best & Brightest,” the conference is being touted as one that is geared toward those who “have what it takes to be the Best and Brightest in the IT Industry.”
MVP Nation will offer attendees the rare opportunity to learn directly from the esteemed Microsoft MVPs in a deeply technical environment. With a focus on the new Windows 8 technology, the two-day event will allow attendees to create their Windows 8 road map.
The event is one that is a gathering of three well-established communities:
“After our first MVP Nation last year in Seattle, we’re back with a focused two-day deep dive on everything Windows 8,” said Harry Brelsford, Founder and Chairman, SMB Nation. “The primary emphasis will be on server-side topics along with content on desktop, mobility and tablet issues. Windows 8 is a topic that impacts everyone--whether you are an IT pro, developer, user. This event is for everyone who wants a deeply technical experience, which we have likened to “graduate school for geeks.” We joke that no “wimps” are allowed at this eye-opening, intense two-day event!”
This year’s MVP Nation event will follow the long-standing private and closed annual Microsoft MVP Summit that traditionally brings in 2,000 MVPs. MVPs represent more than 100 product groups. The MVP Nation event will provide an opportunity for both attendees and sponsors to meet and learn from the MVPs. In addition, the speaker roster for this year’s event includes many MVPs who will possess the latest Windows 8 information, since they will have just come from briefings held at the Microsoft MVP Summit.
MVP Nation has already gained support from an enthusiastic and well-known sponsor community including: D&H Distributing, Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, StorageCraft and many others that are well-known in the SMB community.
“First and foremost, we are community. We’re from the community producing a community event supported by the community and attended by community members. How cool is that,” Brelsford said. “Beyond the amazing SMB Nation staff and tribal membership, we have enjoyed fantastic support from like-minded similar communities including the MVPs, user groups, trade associations and other affinity entities. And most importantly, we really recognize and realize the warm welcome we’ve already received from Microsoft Redmond. For the first time in years, an SMB Nation event returns to the Microsoft campus at the amazing conference center. We hope that our efforts satisfy the Windows 8 hunger of the technology community!”
For more information and to register for MVP Nation 2012, please visit mvp.smbnation.com.
What's Your New Year's Resolution? Make it Managed Print Services, and Make Money!
Each New Year brings new opportunities and a renewed optimism that positive change will come. As we look forward to a prosperous New Year, we consider the future of Managed Print Services and how that area of the industry will continue to grow throughout 2012.
Technology is ever-evolving, and doing so at an alarming pace. So, too, our workplaces have changed. No longer are we tethered to a desk and a PC, and there are more vacant cubicles as a result of the economic downturn.
The manner in which we conduct our business, and the ways in which we communicate and share information has evolved, too. Work processes and workflow have changed. Mobile technologies, telecommuting, and cloud-based computing are taking hold and becoming more and more commonplace. These conveniences and demands for greater access further-impact the need for security. So what does this mean for printing manufacturers, their dealers and end-users?
As we have seen with the proliferation of Managed Print Service offerings, print fleet assessments are a valuable tool used to determine how to refresh, redeploy or replace printers and related equipment within the workplace in order to realize greater efficiencies and cost benefits. This exercise is valuable for all parties involved – from the manufacturer/solution provider to the dealer to the end-user – as all stand to benefit.
As organizations continue to seek solutions to streamline processes, minimize waste, increase security, enhance productivity and maximize return on investment, the role of Managed Print Services (MPS) assumes an even greater importance. Becoming a MPS provider, therefore, puts those within the channel at a distinct advantage to succeed – not only in the New Year, but for years to come.It’s clear that supplementing your suite of services with Managed Print will put your company in a position to capitalize on these opportunities. Add Managed Print Services and begin to realize additional revenue streams in 2012. For more information, visit www.okidata.com/tmp.
SMB 150 Nominations OPEN!
It’s that time again, folks! We’ve teamed with the SMB Technology Network trade group to undertake the well-received SMB 150 list project. Last year, quite frankly, we were OVERWHELMED by the response, excitement and enthusiasm!
This year the SMB 150 program has some exciting improvements:
• Nominations accepted! Click HERE to nominate yourself or a like-minded accomplished SMB IT leader. You know how you are; you know who they are! Just do it!
So click here and letting the SMB 150 voting process commence!!!! It’s election season, folks!!!
Cisco UC-320 Rocks!
Blast from the past! The Toronto pre-day hands-on lab in June was a hit! Known as SMB Spring, over 20 IT Consultants fully setup the CISCO UC 320 in under an hour without a hitch. (15 had never installed a phone system) This system was the easiest install I have ever seen on a full featured UC product. There is a special website for you to engage with the UC 320 here. You can sign up to be a partner that will get you free training on the system and other goodies. There is no fee or certification cost for this program yet, so we urge you to be an early bird.
Here is what folks learned at the hands-on lab:
• For under $800 the UC 320 is a front runner for the very small business that wants to enjoy cost savings and a robust feature set.
• Fully installs, from opening the box to making calls, in under an hour
• Support for 24 users
• SIP trunking support to deliver clear, high-quality voice over IP services
• Interoperability with up to 12 public switched telephone network (PSTN) analog lines (4 FXO ports)
• Voicemail and automated attendant and Voicemail to email notification
• 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with VLAN support, to connect devices or expand
• Gigabit Ethernet WAN port that can be designated as the network edge
• Integrated 802.11n wireless access point for voice and data, so that employees can connect to the network while away from their desks
Why Do You Need to Partner with Cisco, Today?
Teaming with Cisco can be a profitable proposition. Here are the top five reasons to become a Cisco Registered Partner and benefits from the Cisco Small Business Advantage:
• Products: We have the broadest portfolio of solutions to help you meet your customers' needs.
• Profitability: You have the potential to realize greater profits when selling Cisco Small Business products by earning rebates with Partner Development Funds and taking advantage of rewards, promotions, and incentives, offered from programs such as Fast Track 2.
• Support: Get the help you need to sell, deliver, and support Cisco solutions with pre- and post-sales support and customized tools like SMART Designs.
• Marketing: Use co-branded materials to help drive sales; having ready access to free customizable marketing materials can help put more money in your pocket.
• Financing: We have EasyLease options for those who qualify. EasyLease may help you overcome customer budget objections and help eligible customers acquire technology solutions based on business needs.
It's easy to join. No training courses, exams, or additional costs required. Visit HERE.
Unleash Your Hardware with the CharTec Soft BDR
The CharTec BDR solution is now available to run on existing hardware you may already own. With an easy “10 click” installation process, you can deploy this solution in less than an hour. Plus, you receive all the features and benefits of our current award-winning BDR solution including:
Running on your hardware and deployed with little effort from a single USB key!
Now you can avoid the hassle of new hardware when transitioning from contracts or vendors.
Visit www.chartec.net/softbdr for more information or call us at 866.544.2772!
Award-winning HaaS from Equus
Remember the day when you bought that Tivo set top DVR? It was an expensive, bulky machine, but you loved it. Then the cable companies figured out the demand for this and began including the equipment with their service. This is called “converging” solutions; this new, converged product/service has been able to provide additional service revenue, and give the customer a friendly, expected, user experience. The Tivo-like experience has become the standard in the cable industry and everything is pointing in the direction for the computer industry to go the same direction. Hardware as a Service has been around for many years. It provides computer equipment on a monthly basis, to the IT service provider, rather than the client, allowing complete control and “convergence” of hardware and services. This helps increase recurring revenue and allows IT companies to start making profits on hardware again. Early adopters of Hardware as a Service found it to be expensive, and didn’t see enough value to their client or their bottom line to make it a permanent part of their solution. Those days are over! Equus Computer Solutions a well-known industry leading system builder for the channel, has created an affordable, easy to sell, and well-rounded solution stack to help IT service providers “converge” their service with hardware. They provide Hardware as Service products, which include servers, desktops, notebooks, networking equipment, and licensing all with no upfront cost and a low monthly fee. On top of this, Equus has announced several initiatives for their partners to “converge” their service-based solutions. This includes Mobile devices and applications, Managed Service SaaS products, and has just announced a partnership with Intel to provide the Intel Hybrid Cloud solution. Are you ready to “converge”? Become a partner today! Visit our website at www.equusmsp.com or contact 612-617-6249
Nov/Dec SMB Nation Magazine is HERE! Download NOW!
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