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.

Exclusive! MSP MasterClass by Microsoft, CompTIA & SherWeb!

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Starting March 15, cloud solution provider SherWeb will be holding a series of exclusive online workshops with industry experts from the Microsoft Partner Network and CompTIA. These state-of-the-art sessions are free and designed to give MSPs all the tools they need to be successful reselling cloud services. You’ll also receive a certificate for taking part in these workshops.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

    Reduce risk when transitioning your business to the cloud
    Build winning packaged cloud service offers
    Adjust to the cloud customer’s new buying behavior
    Close deals quickly and cost-effectively

Places are filling up fast!

 

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A quick look at the agenda:

March 15, 1 p.m.         

Session 1: Sales – The Cloud Financial Impact (Where the Money Really Is), by Dana Willmer, Principal at CloudSpeed

March 21, 1 p.m.         

Session 2: Sales – The Criticality of Packaged Offers, by Dana Willmer, Principal at CloudSpeed

March 23, 1 p.m.         

Session 3: Marketing is the New Sales – Building Your Marketing Muscle, by Sharka Chobot, Chief Transformation Officer at Neural Impact

March 28, 1 p.m.         

Session 4: Accelerating the Cloud Buying Process – Adjusting to Buyer 2.0, by Mark Stuyt, Chief Engagement Officer at Neural Impact

March 30, 1 p.m.         

Session 5: Trends in Managed Services, by Ian Khan, Technology Futurist
   

 

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GoDaddy launches AWS-style servers and apps to build, test and scale cloud services

GoDaddy, the web hosting and domain registration company that went public last year, is adding new cloud services to grow the revenues it makes from the 14 million small businesses that make up the majority of its customer base. Today it’s taking the wraps off Cloud Servers and Cloud Applications — Amazon-style features that will let companies build, test and scale cloud solutions on GoDaddy’s infrastructure. Mountians

Jeff King, SVP and GM of Hosting and Security, says GoDaddy is entering the market aiming not at high-end app makers but smaller businesses that are making the move to cloud services. Pricing is built around a “pay as you go” model, and it starts at $5/month the 20GB option (working out to $0.01/hour), for 512MB of memory, 1 core processor, 20MB SSD disk and 1TB of transfer, through to the 80GB option, which is capped at $80/month (or $0.12/hour) for 8GB of memory, 4 core processor, 80GB SSD disk and 8TB of transfers.

It’s important to note that while these features are “Amazon-style”, GoDaddy believes it’s filling a niche that AWS is not actually serving that well right now: smaller businesses that need cloud services that complement a wider business that may not be in the cloud.

“It’s a long way to get to that,” King said of the scale and audience that AWS largely addresses. “We’re really about enabling small business to get started and grow. You have a long way to go on GoDaddy’s before you consider bringing your business into a dedicated data center.”

It’s not coming out of the blue for GoDaddy. The company has been building up its holdings in cloud services for a while now, most recently acquiring the public cloud customer division of Apptix for $22.5 million. And last year, it launched GoDaddy Pro — a portal that also gives customers the option of using GoDaddy for various SaaS activities like WordPress hosting, running virtual private services — and now added to that cloud servers and apps.

GoDaddy’s move to launch cloud servers and apps comes at an interesting time of increased competition among Amazon and other providers.

On a high level, Amazon’s AWS business has largely dominated the market for companies that are building and deploying apps in the cloud, nabbing some of the world’s biggest online companies as customers. More recently, there have been some high-profile movements, such as Dropbox taking more control of some of its own services; Spotify teaming with Google, and Apple reportedly also diversifying the third parties it works with in the cloud.

By many estimates, changes like these are unlikely to have a lasting impact on AWS’s bottom line, but they underscore the competitiveness in the market and how a business intent on winning more business in this area can find windows of opportunity.

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Using Cloud Services to Build Your Business in the New Year

By: Pete Engler

With the start of a new year quickly approaching, it is a great time for resellers to evaluate their success over the last year and consider any changes to their business strategy or portfolio of products. For 2016, that will likely mean offering cloud services for your customers, or expanding the cloud-based service offerings included in your portfolio.

Over the last few years cloud computing services have dominated the Information Technology market, becoming the cutting-edge solution for many different products and services. Now that cloud computing is a few years old and customers are beginning to see the many benefits of using cloud services, the shift toward those solutions is growing at a rapid pace. Many IT products have made or are making their transition into the cloud as a preferred option for customers over the deployment of traditional premises-based solutions. Because of the increasing availability of cloud services from trusted vendors, and the high demand for cloud-based solutions by SMB and enterprise customers, now is the time for you to consider using the cloud as a way to expand your reseller business and increase revenue in the coming year.  

According to Forbes, the cloud computing market is increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8 percent and the trend is not likely to slow in the next several years. In addition to the market growth rate, the number of new products being introduced into a cloud infrastructure is also accelerating. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts the number of new cloud-based solutions will triple in the next four to five years. With adoption rates of cloud services growing at such healthy levels the drive for cloud services is not going to let up anytime soon.

Cloud computing and cloud-based services have many benefits for your customers. One benefit is that cloud offers an easier path to make changes. Many cloud services have the option of month to month contracts, making it much easier to add or drop services, or change vendors. Another key benefit is not having a large upfront capital expenditure as you do when purchasing a premises-based solution. Removing this costly barrier to entry is quite appealing to smaller organizations and new businesses that may have more cash constraints. Conversely, a key pain point for businesses adopting a cloud solution is bandwidth, which can be easily remedied with the wide choices and lower cost of internet services currently on the market. 

For resellers, there are many benefits for selling cloud services. Most cloud services pay monthly recurring revenue (MRR) as long as the customer is enrolled in the service. Monthly recurring revenue that is built up over time offers revenue stability for you, instead of starting the monthly sales cycle at zero. Additionally, as resellers, you now have the option of purchasing cloud services through a simplified online process, making it much easier to buy and manage the services for your end customer. Increased competition and product options also result in better service and prices for the customer, and in faster deployment times and reduced support time. All of these benefits also work in your favor as a reseller or integrator and ultimately translates into higher margins.

The need to add cloud products and services to your portfolio of products has never been more important than now. Chances are, if you haven’t already faced a competitive situation where a cloud solution is being offered, you will soon. The start of a new year is a great time to research and select cloud-based solutions that will benefit the customers you serve, but also make you more competitive and help increase your margins.

Pete Engler is the channel marketing manager at Digium, a business communications company based in Huntsville, Ala., that delivers enterprise-class Unified Communications.

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Xerox, CA Technologies Partner on Cloud-Based Initiative

Xerox said today that it is now working with CA Technologies to offer companies of all sizes subscription-based cloud services for monitoring the performance of business software and overall technology systems. These services can be delivered at basic, standard and advanced levels that are flexible and easy for clients to access. 

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