|Over 18,000 Global Readers and Growing! January 31, 2011 - Issue 7-1 BusinessSpeak|
Guess what? The first month of 2012 has flown by very fast. If you are discussing “what” you want to accomplish in 2012 – it’s time to get rocking!
PS – Be sure to attend this week's webinar: How do I increase my revenue using online tools? Eric Castro, Jeff Wald and I speaking Thursday, Feb 2, 2012 10-11am PST
PPS - I’ll be there! Cloud Intelligence conference 2-2-12 Portland. Cloud computing A-Z. #cloud #msp #mspartner Discount info here!
Harry Brelsford|Founder, SMB Nation, Inc.|www.smbnation.com
Hurry Up! SMB 150 Nominations Needed!
Welcome to "SMB 150," produced by SMB Technology Network (SMBTN) and SMB Nation, and brought to you by BlackBerry. The SMB 150 honors individuals who have made a significant impact on the worldwide small and medium business (SMB) channel. In phase 1, you nominate influencers. In Phases 2 and 3, you and an all-star judging panel will vote for the top 150. It all culminates with honoring the SMB 150 Influencers in late-April 2012, with an awards dinner in Los Angeles, CA!
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE A SMB 150 INFLUENCER?
An SMB 150 influencer is a person that has made a meaningful and lasting impact on the worldwide SMB channel. Impact may mean (i) providing products widely used by significant numbers of MSPs, SMB channel partners and resellers, or (ii) influencing significant numbers of MSPs, SMB channel partners and resellers by being a thought leader, or (iii) providing information or services of note to significant numbers of MSPs, SMB channel partners and resellers.
People that fall into one of the following five categories may be nominated:
1. Vendors – Sponsors, hardware and software manufacturers, service providers, and anyone else providing something for sale to the partner community. Examples: Blackberry, Microsoft, Spam Soap, Reflexion
2. Partners – MSPs, owners, VARs, resellers, and anyone else selling to the SMB end user space. Examples: CMIT, Dependable Computer Guys, DoItSmarter
3. Experts – MVPs, technical gurus, subject matter experts, bloggers, and others that provide information and guidance to the partner community. Examples: Susan Bradley, Jeff Middleton, Chad Gross, Cliff Galiher
4. Leaders – User group or trade association leaders that better the partner community. Examples: Arlin Sorenson, Ramon Ray, Josh Freifield
5. Media – Press, authors, editors, and others that provide news and other content of interest to the partner community. Examples: Harry Brelsford, Larry Walsh, Michael Siggins
HOW DO WE NOMINATE SOMEONE?
To nominate an influencer, simply click HERE and fill in the information on the submission form. Nominate as many people as you wish. All nominations are subject to administrative review, and may be edited for completeness, proper categories, accuracy, grammar and typographical errors. Nominations will appear on the SMB 150 site starting late February 2012 for the voting period.
WHEN DO WE VOTE? WHO GETS TO VOTE?
After the nomination period concludes, there will be a period of 30 days for voting. When the voting period is open, voting buttons will appear on the site. To vote, simply click on the "VOTE" button for the person or organization of your choice. Come back daily and vote. This starts in late February 2012.
Anyone may vote. One vote per IP address per nominee per day (i.e., 24-hour period).
CAN I VOTE MULTIPLE TIMES?
Yes. Every 24 hours you can vote for as many nominees as you like. But you can only vote for the SAME nominee once in any given 24-hour period.
If you're unsure, just click the vote button next to the nominee's entry. If you are allowed to vote on that nominee, the system will register your vote. If you are not allowed to vote on that nominee, it will not accept your vote until another 24 hours goes by.
WHAT ROLE DO THE JUDGES PLAY?
Once the community has voted, the all-star small-business judging panel will cast their votes. The community vote counts for 40% and the Judges' vote counts for 60%. The SMB 150 influencers will be announced in in early April 2012. The judges are Chip Reaves (former CEO, Computer Troubleshooters), Jeff Connally (CEO, CMIT) and Josh Peterson (Sr. Management Consultant, Taylor Business Group).
WHAT DO THE SMB 150 INFLUENCERS GET?
Every person officially listed as a nominee can say they are a SMB 150 Influencer Nominee. The top SMB 150 Influencers at the conclusion of voting will each be named to the 2012 SMB 150 Influencers' list, along with the recognition that comes with being named a 2012 SMB 150 winner. Recognition includes: publicity as a winner, as well as the right to display Winners insignias on books, websites, brochures and elsewhere. Winners will also receive an awards plaque.
WHO'S BEHIND THE AWARDS?The SMB 150 Influencers initiative is jointly produced by the SMB Technology Network and SMB Nation. The contest and supported by BlackBerry and other sponsors.
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Facebook's IPO: What Does It Mean?
By Joseph Walker, Contributing Blogger, SMB Nation
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.”
Why Now's the Time to Become an Office 365 Reseller
By Joseph Walker, writer for SMB Nation, Inc. and Cloud Nation
SMB Nation (along with Cloud Nation, of course) has been one of Office 365's first adopters. I didn't think I'd like it, but I gotta admit that it's grown on me. Mostly, I like its flexibility. My documents are always there and I'm not tethered to a single licensed computer. The collaboration features are also pretty sweet and make telecommuting a breeze.
Of course, Office 365 hasn't been without its hiccups. I've experienced several email glitches, including an infuriating bout of having to enter my password every time I wanted to check email. There was also that multi-hour outage back in September, but let's not dwell on the past.
As far as I can tell, Microsoft's managed to stamp out all of the software's major bugs, and word is that big business is starting to take notice and ramp up its adoption of Office 365 products. TechWatch reported last week that a number of large corporations are now using Office 365. Early adopters include the American Heart Association, JetBlue, Campbell Soup, and Patagonia.
Microsoft's cloud apps have also proven popular with SMBs. While Microsoft hasn't released specific sales numbers, it indicated last December that 90 percent of new Office 365 customers fit their definition of small businesses (meaning less than 50 employees).
So what does this mean for Microsoft channel partners? In short, get in now while the pickin' is ripe. MSPs, IT Consultants, VARs, cloud integrators, etc. don't have long before almost every SMB owner who doesn't have his or her head in the sand realizes what a great deal Office 365 is (compared to buying new Office licenses every few years anyway). When that day comes, potential customers are less likely to rely on their IT guy's advice and much more likely to go directly to Microsoft's website.
Also, a just-in-case-you-didn't-know-already FYI: When you make an Office 365 sale, you receive monthly residuals for the entire lifetime of that customer's subscription. Sell a few hundred Office 365 seats and you're looking at some pretty generous gravy for next to no work.
There's one more potentially big benefit to consider when weighing whether to become an Office 365 reseller: Sooner or later Microsoft is bound to release some sort of private/hybrid cloud channel program. When that day comes, current channel partners will probably have first dibs at reseller opportunities, and that's not something I'd want to miss.
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