Over 18,000 Global Readers and Growing! December 13, 2011 - Issue 6-10 GeekSpeak
|Yo Ho Ho! I’m getting in the holiday spirit here. So this issue focuses on the geek-side of Xbox 360/Kinect, we have opened the SMB 150 nominations and we have a holiday visit with Microsoft executive Cindy Bates. Read on!
Harry Brelsford, Founder of SMB Nation, Inc. and Cloud Nation.
P.S.: Be sure to check out our Webinar: Use Clicks. Not Code. To build custom applications for your customers. Grace Schroeder and Harry Brelsford speaking. 10:00am-11:00am Pacific Thursday, December 29, 2011. Register here!
Xbox Wins the Living Room!
My son Geoff is an avid sailor on the Bainbridge Island High School sailing team. He is quickly learning life lessons at the daily three-hour workouts that can be applied to business. One such strategy is this: when behind, take an opposite tack to trump the fleet ahead of you. If you’ve raced, you know what I’m talking about.
Arguably, Microsoft has taken this “great circle route” by going on an opposite tack, and it’s won the living room. I’m not alone in my thinking with how Microsoft’s Xbox 360, combined with Kinect, is a surprising win for Redmond. The journal SF Gate chimed in earlier this week here. Its original Xbox solution was positioned as a gaming device and my boyz and I certainly joined in the fun. The incremental upgrade to Xbox 360 was both expected and accepted. But the Kinect bolt-on was the game changer. Not only did it bring Nintendo Wii-like game playing freedom, but it sparked an innovation wave not anticipated by Microsoft itself. Medical, academic, business, government and not-for-profit stakeholders are already scheming and dreaming about new uses for the Kinect. It’s truly a paradigm shift where even old jaded ‘puter guys bellow “WOW!” like the first time you used Windows 95 or Outlook or OneNote. You get the “picture” I’m painting here.
My experience with Xbox 360 and Kinect is kid-driven, and I already see business results. Last Friday I purchased my Xbox 360\Kinect combo in Redmond (where else?). I got the 4GB RAM with 250GB hard disk plus a one-year Xbox Live Gold Membership (this is a MUST DO for this solution to work). Upon arriving home, I had a serious chat with my two teenage boyz that Santa arrived early and there won’t be this kind of gift under the tree if they want to use it NOW! Agreement reached, they devoured the devices attaching it to my Panasonic Plasma TV.
One modification we made out of the box was to use a HDMI cable instead of the simple component cable provided. HDMI gives you the high definition experience. One hour later, we were UP and running with our Xbox Live Gold membership activated. The boyz took over for several hours playing violent games that yo momma don’t like. Later, I played around discovering streaming content such as ESPN sporting events and other news feeds. That was so cool because it got me thinking I could have Xbox 360/Kinect inside the SMB Nation offices to have a defacto lobby/office TV streaming ESPN, Netflix, Hulu Plus, EPIX, ZUNE and Verizon FiOS (with CNN!) and even the Today Show! The mind spins…is this a combination of a TV/cable content feed and a Muzak replacement for the office? See what I mean guys – it’s a paradigm shift.
Our own Chris Bangs was also enamored with the sophistication of the Kinect device. You can learn the basics here. Chris was actually startled from a “Big Brother/Military Industrial Complex” paranoia viewpoint. The Kinect camera follows him around the room automatically. His wife actually puts a towel over it when not in use so it can’t “spy” on the Bangs family! I will say that Microsoft must be selling the Kinect at a loss because this technology certainly appears to be the civilian implementation of military technology! Once Microsoft gets in the living room….well….I’m just sayin’!
The video above is an example of the Video Kinect application. You can also learn more here. It’s essentially telepresence for the home owner and perhaps the small business person. I’m just starting to play with this because I have a huge interest in telepresence. More in future submissions on this capability, but for now watch the vid above and give me your feedback!
PS – run, don’t walk, and go buy one of these things for the holidays!!!!
HIPAA Compliance with HEROware
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 abbreviated ARRA (Pub.L. 111-5) and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama. The approximate cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion ($19 billion to Healthcare) at the time of passage.
Under HITECH, physicians can qualify for Stimulus incentives if they demonstrate meaningful use of a Certified Electronic Medical Record System.
· Providers who accept Medicare can receive up to $44,000 over a 5 year period (2011 - 2016). EHR Meaningful Use begins 1/1/2011 and EMR stimulus payments are expected to begin in May of 2011.
· Providers who see more than 30% Medicaid patient volume (or 20% for pediatricians) are eligible for payments up to $64,000 starting in 2011.
· Providers who do not demonstrate 'meaningful use' of a certified EHR system by 2014 will see a decrease of 1% in their Medicare fee schedules for 2015.
The HIPAA Security Rule
The Security Rule applies to protected patient health information in electronic formats. This rule must be implemented as follows:
Based on these directives, an organization should evaluate their system and then implement a secure backup, archiving and recovery solution to comply with HIPAA standards.
HERO-DEFENDERx is a complete solution available today for Healthcare Facilities that helps organizations meet HIPAA compliance requirements, specifically those of the Security Rule. DEFENDERx was created with Healthcare providers in mind who want a complete All-In-One HIPAA solution.
DEFENDERx is a Hybrid Solution with on-site full server restore (the DEFENDERx device becomes the disabled server in a few minutes with an exact replica of all the information of that server or servers) 7 year archiving, encrypted secure, private email and a disaster recovery solution in HIPAA certified Datacenters that automatically backs up copies of all the electronic data to allow for recovery in the event of a disaster.
Call HEROware today at 1-866-810-4376 or go to www.heroware.com for more information on how to become a HEROware partner.
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:
So click here and letting the SMB 150 voting process commence!!!! It’s election season folks!!!
Sky-high opportunity—for your clients and for you.
Greater efficiency. More flexibility. Significant cost savings. You know that helping your clients move to cloud computing and virtualization can improve their business. But do you know how it can transform yours?
For starters, demand is high. Experts predict that within 4 years, the number of CIOs with most of their IT in the cloud will increase from 3% to 43%. That represents an unprecedented opportunity for you, because most aging infrastructures can’t handle the new power requirements—such as higher power demands per server and enclosure, more critical applications per server and shifting power consumption.
You can help clients make the transition to new computing models—and enhance your role as a trusted advisor—by focusing on a few key areas: backup power, distribution, and monitoring.
Backup power protection is an area that may need to be addressed. As power density needs rise, existing UPSs may prove insufficient. Eaton offers more powerful UPSs with up to 99% energy efficiency in smaller form factors.
Another key area is power distribution. Many power distribution systems were designed for the old 1U servers of 60-100 watts per U, not the demands of blade servers. Eaton offers rack-based PDUs that bring greater capacity and visibility to the individual rack and outlet.
Finally, virtual environments call for more sophisticated power monitoring. On-demand migration of applications requires new levels of visibility. Power management software, such as Eaton’s Intelligent Powerâ Software Suite, fits seamlessly with leading virtualization platforms such as VMware’s vCenter ServerTM and Microsoft’s SCVMMTM.
Don’t miss the opportunity to boost your bottom line by capitalizing on the move to new computing models. Turn to Eaton for the solutions you need—and the insight on how to turn them into powerful revenue streams. Learn more and become an Eaton PowerAdvantageâ Partner at switchon.eaton.com.
A December To Remember – Cindy Bates Speaks Up!
I spent a sunny Friday afternoon with Cindy Bates at Microsoft’s Lincoln Square office in the Seattle-area and we took stock on the US SMB market. Front and center was happy news. US distributors and VARs are closing the quarter strong. Evidence of that is D&H’s recent announcement of 14% revenue growth here.
In part, the success can e attributed to Microsoft’s $10M spend on marketing/sales/promotion and advertising in H1 from July-December 2011. The demand generation spend was mostly in digital advertising combined with a telesales campaign to build a big demand funnel for the SMB product stack including Office 3654 and CRM. The outcome was to connect customers with partners. “The seat size is bigger when a partner is involved.” Bates stated. “The majority of customers are using partners.” Bates is qualified to offer these observations. She is responsible for all SMB revenue in the US subsidiary – at least a couple of billion bananas folks!
In the spirit of the holidays, and outlined in the video, you can participate in Cindy’s December to remember:
What's Your New Year's Resolution?
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.
Take our 2012 SMB Nation Salary Survey, and Get a Free Gift!
By Regina Ciardiello, Editor, SMB Nation
2012 International CES®: Where the next big thing meets the light of day.
Tuesday, January 10 – Friday, January 13
Las Vegas, NV
Somewhere a backroom conversation has caused a burst of inspiration, and it will be unveiled here, in exciting Las Vegas at the International CES, the world’s largest tradeshow for consumer technology.
This January, the 2012 CES will feature more than 2,700 exhibitors showcasing their most innovative and ingenious products and services. Representing 15 product categories and spanning 1.8 million net square feet of exhibit space, you’ll see technology come to life throughout the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center/the Las Vegas Hilton and The Venetian. Amid these halls, more than 25 uniquely themed TechZones group new technology markets together and feature up-and-coming products, services, and companies for the industry; this year we’re pleased to introduce two new TechZones.
Every year, one place brings together the innovators on digital imaging’s cutting edge; this year that one place is the PMA@CES TechZone. This brand new destination offers industry-specific content and products representing all aspects of digital imaging.
Creating a new home for all thinkers, creators, dreamers, and innovators, Eureka Park is set to become an inspiration location. Located in The Venetian, our second new TechZone is the premier destination where the budding entrepreneurs, fledgling start ups and home grown innovations can be found.
The 2012 show also boasts more than 250 conference sessions and 500 speakers. Ready to expand your knowledge and increase your inspiration, these thought provokers will cover all things groundbreaking, market- leading, and pioneering in the consumer electronics industry. But remember, half of realizing a new idea is having the right people in the room. With CES’ global attendees you’ll be sure to make a connection that will spark tomorrow’s innovation: 40,000 senior-level executives, some 30,000 international attendees from 140 countries, 5,000 media and analysts, 4,000 venture capitalists and financial executives, and top international, federal, state and regulatory officials.
International CES also offers all attendees special rates at over 30 official CES hotels and has partnered with many major airlines to provide discounted flights. Find detailed information on conferences, exhibitors, travel, and more on our website. Register today at CESweb.org.
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.
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 the site here 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.
|SMB Nation Magazine Nov/Dec 2011 is now available for download!
click to download
|Copyright 2011 SMB Nation, Inc. 9727 Coppertop Loop NE, Suite 204, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 - PH: 206-201-2943 Fax: 360-824- 6042|