SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Affordable Dial-In Conferencing Solutions as Simple as One Click

Conference calls make doing business easier. Unfortunately, traditional conference call services can be cost-prohibitive and difficult to use for many SMBs. That’s why AppRiver recently rolled out dial-in conferencing as a part of its Office 365 service.

Customers using the service can host conference calls for audiences small or large on their computers, cell phones or landlines – often for about half the cost of other appriver septemberpremium services, and managed right from familiar tools like the Outlook desktop and Web clients. For AppRiver’s resellers, it’s a convenient way to incorporate another critical business function into their practices, saving their customers money and growing their topline revenue at the same time.

AppRiver offers several Office 365 and hosted Exchange plans designed to match the needs of businesses of all sizes. Now, customers can add unlimited dial-in conferencing to Skype for Business at a budget price, just for the users who need it. For most organizations, this price point could mean a dramatic cost savings compared to standalone services currently on the market.

Dial-in Conferencing adds valuable new capabilities to Skype for Business service plans, which already include secure instant messaging, screen, file, and application sharing capabilities for meeting organizers and attendees. For attendees who need or prefer a benchmark dial-in audio connection, the new PSTN conferencing option is the ideal solution.

AppRiver is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), and helped Microsoft develop the Indirect model that powers the growth of the CSP program today. As a result, AppRiver’s channel sales advisors, support team and billing staff have years of experience helping partners price, sell, bill and support Office 365 for their customers. This experience can be invaluable for resellers who are new to Office 365 or who can’t or choose not to participate in the CSP program on their own.

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Dan the Man: What Cloud Partner Program is Best?!

Long-time SMB Nation member Daniel Williams (Xpedeus) from Tampa, FL asked a very relevant question this past week. I wanted to crowd source the answer.

Dan asked: What MS “certs” or MS programs can our Xpedeus consultants gain for becoming “MS Cloud” consultants and transitioning Xpedeus to become an MS Cloud consultancy? In the old SBS days it was easy, just become Small Business Specialist. What is the equivalent in the cloud? It seems MS has so many programs for becoming a “cloud guy” I am not sure which applies best to Xpedeus customer base of 5-250 knowledge-worker companies.


Harry here. I’d offer the short answer is that Dan jump into the Microsoft Cloud Services Provider (CSP) program with both feet. There are a few resources for Dan to learn more. One is Microsoft itself. The other concerns third-party Office 365 ecosystem partners such as AppRiver, long-time supporter of SMB Nation.

But most importantly, I want to hear from YOU the reader in answering Dan’s important question. Please leave a comment on this blog which I’ll approve and also use in a follow-up contribution next week. Thanks in advance.

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New Features to Look for in Office 2016

By Nathan Mitchell, Appriver

The highly anticipated Office 2016 was released on September 22. While you will quickly notice that many of the Office apps appear very similar to the 2013 version, Microsoft, however has snuck in several new features that make Office 2016 work great with Office 365.AppRiver Nathan Mitchell

Sharing files and saving to the cloud have become very popular with Office 365’s OneDrive for Business. Microsoft has now further simplified that process by adding “Save to Cloud” and “Share” features right into the Office 2016 apps. With co-authoring also available in Office 2016 apps, the workflow for creating, sharing and collaborating has never been easier.

Right: AppRiver’s Office 365 Support Team Lead, Nathan Mitchell

 With collaboration and team work being a huge part of business today, the “Groups” feature helps teams communicate easily and effectively by acting as a shared inbox, calendar, and OneDrive. Office 2016 incorporates the new Groups feature in the Outlook app making it readily available for Office 365 users.

A ton of features have been incorporated into Office apps over the years and it can be difficult to remember all of those things. Not to worry though, as Office 2016 includes the new features “Tell me” and “Smart Lookup” that make finding answers to all Office questions a breeze. The Smart Lookup feature brings the Web browser right into the Office app so you can quickly and easily search the Web. The Tell me feature makes it easy to find commands or options within the Office app you are using. Tell me will be especially useful for users upgrading from older versions of Office with different interfaces who want a quick nod in the right direction.

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AppRiver to speak at industry conferences, receives high rankings on Penton lists

SaaS provider AppRiver shared two announcements yesterday: Penton awarded the company high positions on lists ranking MSPs and CSPs, and it will share its insights and strategies at Channel Directions Live. appriver logo emailwebsecurityexperts stacked

At the conference, AppRiver will accept its No. 31 ranking on the Talkin’ Cloud 100 list of Penton’s top CSPs and its No. 9 ranking on the MSPmentor 501 Global Edition awards list. 

"Evolving technology trends such as cloud computing, BYOD and sophisticated advanced persistent threats directed toward businesses are driving the adoption and demand of new security solutions," AppRiver channel sales manager Justin Gilbert said. "Not only have we designed our technology to keep businesses productive and information secure, but we're helping resellers become trusted advisors to their clients.”

Gilbert said the awards serve as a testament to  AppRiver’s continued dedication to its partners.

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SMB Nation Webinar: The Rise of Cloud Vertical-ization

SMB Nation, the events and media company for the SMB channel community, announced this morning it will host “The Rise of Cloud Vertical-ization” from 10-11 a.m. PST Sept. 24. 

The webinar, featuring AppRiver’s Scott Paul, will give MSPs and IT pros an opportunity to learn how they can deliver innovation and create profit.  smb nation webinar topper

As platforms continue to mature, and more organizations are drawn to the financial and management benefits, cloud is spurring interest from industries that have been hesitant, including those most beset with regulation, compliance and privacy: banking and finance, healthcare, and legal firms and companies.

Organizations need help navigating the security and compliance hurdles they face, and cloud service providers are delivering more features, certifications and tools to help them. 

Managed service providers who bring these needs and resources together to create well-defined, compelling packages that are easy to implement are delivering real innovation and value.

Those interested in the webinar can register here.

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AppRiver Reaches 100,000 Active Users

AppRiver, LLC, announced today the number of active Office 365 users surpassed 100,000, with April 2015 as the best month year-to-date for license activations since the launch of the service in 2011.Appriver

"Office 365 is a great platform," says Scott Paul, strategic accounts executive, AppRiver. "AppRiver makes it a great service as well. That's because we live in an age of offshore call centers, indifferent customer service and increasingly complicated solutions. AppRiver gives its customers choice, peace of mind and adds a personal touch to technology – qualities that have become rare in the Digital Age."

According to AppRiver, its 93-percent customer retention rate and steady increase in partners engaged to sell O365 is due to above-and-beyond dedication and flexibility as it serves its customers.

AppRiver also offers the ability to wrap additional security services around O365, including SecureTide Spam and Virus Protection, CipherPost Pro Email Encryption and SecureSurf Web Protection.

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AppRiver Announces Enhanced SecureSurf Solution

AppRiver, LLC, a provider of email messaging and Internet security solutions, announced today a new version of SecureSurf Web Protection, a multi-layer cloud-based adaptive solution which continues to defend against existing and emerging threats and now includes an critical threat notification capability.Appriver Logo

“Unfortunately for online users today, it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ you will encounter Web-based malware, but ‘when,’” CTO Joel Smith said.  “Our SecureSurf solution was built to put businesses at ease.  It’s secure, reliable and delivers the protection a business needs without the complexity and costs often associated with enterprise-grade IT security.”

SecureSurf works as both a stand-alone solution and in tandem with AppRiver secure messaging products. Features of the SecureSurf product include continuous updates, minimal footprint and availability of 24-hour customer service.

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