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.

Top Takeaways - Ingram Cloud Summit

Talk about a working vacation, I have returned well-rested and intellectually nourished from the just completed Ingram Cloud Summit held at an iconic, old-school Florida hotel (Boca Resort). In my earlier blog, I spoke toward CloudBlue, a new platform announced by Ingram Micro and Microsoft. 
But there were other nuggets at this event.

Here is my take.
1. SkyKick $40m Raise. Wow – that was a surprise. As I was monitoring Seattle-based GeekWire, a story broke that migration and backup ISV SkyKick closed on a $40-million investor round. It brings its

Skykick

Lauren Wood (SkyKick) with a partner.

2. Women in Technology. I attended a pre-conference afternoon panel about Women in Technology. As I like to do, I asked one question. While most of the women leaders on stage were from the corporate world, there was one like-minded SMB entrepreneur (Dao Jensen, Kaizen Tech Partners) who spoke towards feeling challenged as a woman geek in high school. I asked her about the findings in a popular book “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know” (Shipman and Kay) wherein as young people transition from tweens to teens, men become overconfident and women have a drop in confidence. Dao and the other panelists affirmed that inflection point in life and offered sage advice, experience, etc. Bottom line. A recognition that we all need to work on inspiring confidence in women.

 

womenintechnology

 

3. IAMCP Expanding. I’m a fan of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) monthly lunch meeting in Seattle that I attend regularly plus its annual presence at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference. I wasn’t used to seeing IAMCP at a conference like Ingram Cloud Summit. It appeared to be happy hunting to recruit new IAMCP members as the Ingram Cloud Summit catered to larger partners.

4. Microsoft IoT. The coolest thing on the tradeshow floor was the Microsoft IoT SUV. IoT was the overarching theme for the Ingram Cloud Summit (hey – every conference has to have a theme). The IoT SUV was here, now and pragmatic. I felt a lot of the IoT conversations were still too far off in the future to impact today’s cash flow. But we’re getting closer. 

iotSUV

 

 

The IoT SUV was very popular! 

5. Hallway 101. Long-time readers know that I prefer to work the hallways all-day every day at conferences versus attending lectures to meet people (I wasn’t a well-behaved student due to ADHD). The good news is that there are folks just like me walking ‘da halls and open to networking. Shout outs to Jeff Ponts (DataTel) and George Mellor (KloudReadiness) for sincere business development conversations.

jeffponts
 Jeff Ponts from DataTel

george

George Mellor from KloudReadiness

Really enjoyed this event and I will repeat. Join me.

 

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Ingram Micro to Buy Small Cloud Application Provider

by Michael Novinson

Ingram Micro said Monday that it has made another acquisition -- its sixth in six months -- buying Ensim, a firm focused on automating, orchestrating and provisioning business applications in the cloud.

The Irvine, Calif.-based distributor said its purchase of San Jose, Calif.-based Ensim will complement its existing cloud products and solutions.  ingram micro

"We expect to leverage the financial strength, brand recognition and global infrastructure of Ingram Micro to further speed the growth of our business," David Wippich, Ensim's CEO, said in a statement. "Our customers and employees will benefit from this union."

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next 30 days, were not disclosed. Ingram Micro and Ensim did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ensim enables partners to manage and monetize a range of solutions from infrastructure and hosted business applications to cloud and -as-a-Service offerings, according to the company's website. Ensim has more than 5 million seats deployed worldwide and is used by more than 20,000 organizations and government agencies through telecom partners, cloud hosting companies, VARs and MSPs, according to the company.

Ensim has been active over the past year, adding 60 new features such as ticketing, business analytics and reporting, and advanced billing configurator. Ensim also added automation service connections with Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Box, IBM SoftLayer, Skype for Business and Intel Security.

Ensim was founded in 1998 and employs 51 to 200 people, according to the company's LinkedIn page. The company is privately held.

David DeCamillis of Platte River Networks said he's seen more VARs and managed service providers selling cloud applications, with Ingram Micro continually looking to add more cloud applications and vendors to satisfy increased demand. DeCamillis praised Ingram Micro for investing lots of money into cloud and making it one of the distributor's fastest-growing business practices.

"This acquisition fits right in to what I've seen from Ingram Micro," said DeCamillis, vice president of sales and marketing at the Denver-based Ingram Micro partner. "It seems like a no-brainer."

Ensim enables VARs to save money and simplify their users' IT by automating management of the entire end-user life cycle, while MSPs can benefit from Ensim's self-service ordering and management capabilities for enterprise users, according to the company's website.

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Ingram Micro receives recognition in Cloud Partner Program Guide

Ingram Micro announced today it was recognized in The Channel Company’s CRN 2015 Cloud Computing Partner Program Guide for its support and acceleration of partner initiatives in Ingram Micro Cloud Elevate. 

According to Ingram Micro, its free-to.enroll channel program is designed to drive partner channel sales and cloud profitability. 

"It's an honor to receive this recognition for a second straight year, as it further validates our commitment to channel innovation and partner success in the cloud," said Renee Bergeron, Vice President, Global Cloud Computing, Ingram Micro. "Ingram Micro Cloud Elevate provides channel partners with the resources needed to quickly expand their cloud footprint while accelerating business transformation and profitability."


The Cloud Partner Program Guide will be included in the October issue of CRN and is available at www.crn.com.

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Ingram Micro announces expanded availability of MSFT Advisor to CSP service plan

Channel partners are empowered to take control of Office 365 subscriptions through the Microsoft Advisor to Microsoft Channel Solution Provider service plan, which Ingram Micro announced today is now available in 13 countries worldwide. 

The program allows channel partners to convert O365 Advisor subscriptions to the CSP program through Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace, transferring control from the end-user to the channel partner. ingrammicro

“Ingram Micro remains fully aligned with Microsoft to drive channel sales for Microsoft Cloud Solutions,” said Nimesh Dave, executive vice president, global cloud, Ingram Micro. “As the first tier-2 partner to automate the conversion of Microsoft Office 365 Advisor subscriptions to CSP through a single portal, we are excited to deliver a service plan that accelerates the transition and the adoption of CSP.”

Channel partner control of O365 pricing, billing and support will lead to greater profits and retention for the partner, while providing simplicity and stability to the client, according to Ingram Micro.

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Ingram Micro Acquires Arabian Applied Technology

Ingram Micro Inc. announced substantial completion of its acquisition of business assets of Arabian Applied Technology, the largest value-added technology distributor in Saudi Arabia.

Ingram Micro Inc.

As part of Ingram Micro’s Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region, Arabian Applied Technology will operate as Aptec Saudi Arabia and offer a solutions portfolio cobering data center, storage, security, networking and software.

"The acquisition of the business of Arabian Applied Technology in Saudi Arabia, is another excellent addition to Ingram Micro's expanding presence in the rapidly growing and higher value Middle East market," said Alain Monié, Ingram Micro chief executive officer. "Aptec Saudi Arabia will continue the leading operations as a Value Added Distributor, and under Ingram Micro's leadership, the company will be able to provide an even greater breadth of services and solutions to its partners and customers to help them realize the promise of technology across multiple technology segments including Advanced Solutions, Mobility, Cloud, Professional Services, Training and Supply Chain."

According to Ingram Micro, Aptec Saudi Arabia is expected to contribute annual revenue of about $200 million.

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Harry’s Pick: Addressing the Five (5) Pivot Challenges in a Cloud Practice Transformation Strategy (including Office 365)

idc studyGood morning – Harry here with out-of-band special edition article concerning an amazing IDC study I have just reviewed. As part of my daily activities as your Office 365 ombudsman and independent community advocate, I take my responsibilities very seriously. So when I read Marilyn Carr’s “Building a Cloud Practice: Challenges and Rewards” article, I hit the POST button to get it to you as soon as possible. This is a MUST READ! I’d offer it defines a generation of SMB IT Pros much like the classic book “In Search of Excellence” defined a generation of MBAs (present company included).

Essentially, Carr hits the topic head-on and doesn’t sugar coat the challenges of going from a server-side on-premises world too often defined by break-fix to an Office 365 or cloud consulting practice. Here conversation on the danger of the revenue trough is classic. As I’ve said before and we’ve validated with our Office 365 Nation workshop tour this spring, the business model surrounding Office 365 consulting is very different from my beloved Windows Small Business Server (LOL – RIP).  

You can download the white paper here: http://bit.ly/1IYrPkx

To give you a quick view into Carr’s landmark work, some of the change agent topics include:

  • The Shift to Recurring Revenue
  • The Changes in Sales Model
  • The Changes in Delivery Model

My bottom line. My job is to peruse the body of knowledge concerning Office 365 as an analyst and share with you the most relevant and interesting information and conversations. In a sense, I’m an analytical filter. This study has my endorsement for you to read. Agree with me or not – lemme know what you think: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can download the white paper here: http://bit.ly/1IYrPkx

 ANAYST DISCLAIMER: This white paper study by Marilyn Carr was prepared by IDC and funded by Ingram Micro and Microsoft. I do not own any stock in IDC, Ingram Micro or Microsoft.

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The week that was – July 3rd, 2014

With the 4th of July celebrations in the US and Canada Day early in the week north of the border, it was a relatively slow news week in the IT world. That’s par for the course this week every year, as any half decent PR pro knows not to pitch stories they actually want covered. However, business is business and a few things worth noting managed to squeeze out.

MobileIron takes EMM mobile with new tablet apps

mobileiron logoMountain View, California-based MobileIron has released a new app that will make it possible for IT administrators to manage mobile devices from their iOS and Android tablets. MobileIron Insight allows IT admins to view, monitor, and manage deployed devices from their own mobile devices. The new app provides admins with the same kind of flexibility EMM typically provides for mobile employees, giving them the ability to view devices by platform, ownership, carrier and compliance; drill down to device status and configuration data; troubleshoot problems and apply policies. The new app is one of several new capabilities announced by the enterprise mobility management vendor as part of its summer release this week including a new OS platform, data security and ecosystem integration capabilities to the toolbox for IT administrators. Additionally, MobileIron Spaces delivers a new way for IT to set data and task boundaries, to address user privacy issues and deliver flexible delegation of IT responsibilities in MobileIron Core – which adds mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile content management to the MobileIron Platform.

SimpliVity unveils new channel program

simplivity doron kempel f2Westborough, Mass-based SimpliVity took the wrappers off its new and improved channel program this week. The hyper-converged infrastructure solution developer hopes SimpliVity PartnerAdvantage will help scale up business as more vendors make significant moves in the immature market – including Nutanix, which signed an OEM agreement with Dell last week. According to the company, the new program builds on a previous channel partner program with new benefits and streamlined processes. Hyper-converged infrastructure is a software stack which includes is set of resources such as computing, storage, networking, virtualization and others running on commodity hardware. This gives users a solution that is managed holistically rather than through individual management systems/interfaces.

Ingram Micro acquires Rollouts

Ingram-Micro-logoIn the first major move since it announced it was rebranding to broaden its focus to place more emphasis on services, Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro added IT services capacity with the acquisition of Chaska, Minn.-based IT services company Rollouts. Rollouts specializes in providing the engineering and technical support to execute big projects and manage cost-effective solutions delivery. To this end the company maintains a network of more than 15,000 technicians, a project management team and a project tracking tool. According to Ingram Micro the acquisition will help provide partners with the value-add professional services they need to be successful, especially in vertical markets like retail, health care, finance, education and the public sector where Rollouts has particular expertise. “Adding Rollouts' proven and highly scalable workforce and project management services to our professional services portfolio will further enable our channel partners to pursue larger deals with confidence and look to Ingram Micro Professional Services as an extension of their own IT services practice,” said Paul Bay, president, North America Technology Solutions at Ingram Micro, in a statement. Rollouts will become part of Ingram Micro Professional Services.

Germany cancels Verizon contract over NSA spying

verizonThe fallout from the NSA spying scandal continued as the German government announced it will end a long-running contract with New York-based Verizon citing concerns that the company is facilitating NSA eavesdropping. The decision, announced late last week by the Germans Interior Ministry, kills a relationship through which Verizon has provided telecommunications services to several German government agencies since 2010. A report from the Associated Press suggests that Germany was already reviewing its contract with Verizon when reports surfaced indicating the U.S. government had focussed intelligence gathering efforts on German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed officials to drop the contract completely. Many US companies have seen their overseas business damaged by the scandal prompting the likes of Cisco CEO John Chambers and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to call on the government to change the way the NSA is operating.

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SkyKick Teams with Ingram Micro, Expands CSP Channel Reach

SkyKick Project Management ApplicationToday, Seattle-based SkyKick announced that it has entered into a partnership with Ingram Micro. Through this agreement, Ingram Micro can offer the SkyKick Migration Suite to its cloud solution provider community via the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.

So what does SkyKick do? The SkyKick Migration Suite is designed for MSPs, VARs, System Integrators and IT Consultants, and will automate a full Office 365 migration from start to finish. In fact, SkyKick states that this solution reduces up to 90% of the effort from traditional migration tools and can take the migration time from 40 hours to less than 4 hours per project. Check out the image pictured for a look at the Migration Automation dashboard.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Oops ladyHere we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior.
 
In addition, here at SMB Nation, we are already gearing up for our annual fall event to be held Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas at the Rio! We have designed a brand new Web site specifically for this event, which you must check out today. For additional information on the new Web site, our cool XP Migrations video produced by Bigger Brains, and our fall conference, check out our blog post here. Hurry up, and get your registration in, as we are less than two months away from this event!

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Oops ladyHere we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior.

In addition, here at SMB Nation, we are already gearing up for our annual fall event to be held Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas at the Rio! We have designed a brand new Web site specifically for this event, which you must check out today: http://fall.smbnation.com/. For additional information on the new Web site, our cool XP Migrations video produced by Bigger Brains, and our fall conference, check out our blog post here. Hurry up, and get your registration in, as we are less than two months away from this event!

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Oops ladyHere we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior.

In addition, here at SMB Nation, we are already gearing up for our annual fall event to be held Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas at the Rio! We have been hard at work designing a brand new Web site specifically for this event, which you must check out today: http://fall.smbnation.com/. For additional information on the new Web site, our cool XP Migrations video produced by Bigger Brains, and our fall conference, check out our blog post here.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. Last week was quite a busy week in terms of news, which was headlined by AVG Technologies announcing that it had acquired the business of LPI Level Platforms. I offered my own analysis here, and Harrybbb also provided his take on what MSPs need to consider as a result of the acquisition.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. Here at SMB Nation, we are already gearing up for our annual fall event to be held Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas at the Rio! We have been hard at work designing a brand new Web site specifically for this event, which you must check out today: http://fall.smbnation.com/. For additional information on the new Web site and our fall conference, check out our blog post here. Speaking of live events, Harrybbb will be attending a Seattle Accounting Technology Boot Camp at the Edgewater Hotel on Thursday evening.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. This week’s installment comes to you a day late(r) than usual, and that is due to the Memorial Day holiday, which was celebrated yesterday in the U.S.

SMB Nation’s offices were closed in honor of this holiday, which salutes our veterans. I am always grateful for our Armed Forces, especially since it runs in my family—both my grandfather and my father served honorably in the U.S. Army—grandpa served during WWII, and dad was in Special Forces during the Vietnam War.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. It has been a bit of taking a breather here for us, since we wrapped up our Spring Conference and SMB 150 Awards Gala just over a week ago. But the quiet before the storm hasn’t lasted for long…before you know it, we will be gearing up for our annual fall event to be held Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas at the Rio!

Please take some time to peruse a few snippets of information that we didn’t get a chance to bring you last week….let us also know if there was something we might have missed, which is not mentioned in this entry…because as you know…we love news!

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. We have been pretty busy around here at SMB Nation in gearing up for our SMB 150 Awards Gala Dinner (sponsored by BlackBerry), and our Spring Conference, which will be held May 3-5, 2013, at the Microsoft Redmond Campus. For more information, and to register, go to: http://spring.smbnation.com/.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior.

A reminder that voting has been extended to Feb. 22 for the 3rd Annual SMB Nation 150 Awards; go to www.SMB150.com, to vote for all of your industry favorites…

Also note that this year’s Spring Conference will be held May 3-5, 2013, at the Microsoft Redmond Campus. For more information, and to register, go to: http://spring.smbnation.com/.

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Ingram Micro Promotes Kirk Robinson to Senior VP, Commercial Markets and Global Accounts

Ingram Micro Inc. said yesterday that it has promoted Kirk Robinson to senior vice president, commercial markets and global accounts, North America; according to the distributor, the promotion is effective immediately.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior.

A reminder that voting has commenced for the 3rd Annual SMB Nation 150 Awards through January 18; go to www.SMB150.com, to vote for all of your industry favorites…voting expires soon!

Please take some time to peruse a few snippets of information that we didn’t get a chance to bring you last week. Let us also know if there was something we might have missed, which is not mentioned in this entry…because as you know…we love news!

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