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.

Harry Mention: On SMB MSP & Cloud Channel Challenges

Who Dat? Below is a reprint of a blog., based on our SMB Nation State of the Union 2016 Webinar (January 2016) with Anurag from TechAisle. Enjoy the read!

On 7th January, Harry Brelsford, Founder, SMBNation had a Q&A webinar with Techaisle on the challenges of SMB-focused MSPs and cloud channel partners. Given below are his questions and Techaisle’s responses.

Harry: Referring to this blog SMB IT Channel has reached an inflection point can you better define “inflection point?” does that mean a tipping point before collapse or a pivot?

Anurag: It is a pivot not a collapse – “one stop solution shop” is dying as each of cloud, mobility, managed services and CI/virtualization gets too complex for generalists to manage. The IT channel is changing, permanently and in ways that are entirely different from what we have seen in the past. In the same way that “cloud” refers to a very wide range of very different IT models and deployments, “the channel” is becoming a generic phrase 

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How to thrive in the coming tech gig economy

Story by Paul Heltzel

The rise of contract and contingent work is shaking up the traditional IT career path. Here’s how to navigate for success.

Disruptive technologies do more than shake up markets -- they drastically alter the way we work. And it’s not only nonstop cost cutting that has businesses favoring IT contractors they can bring on -- or scale back -- as necessary without paying benefits. Emerging platforms, in particular around the cloud, have many organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape.agile business maneuver stressed overworked 100613656 primary.idge

In short, the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments may be dwindling for many IT pros, and while millennials coming of age in tomorrow’s gig-based tech employment market may be attracted to the idea of remote work for multiple clients -- as can be seen by the growth of co-working environments -- not everyone is prepared to embrace a nomadic future of career contingency.

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Introducing BizTechXperts — Showcase Your Smarts, Win New Customers, All from the Comfort of Your Inbox

Today’s business marketplace is presenting you with a gi-normous business opportunity. And, now, you can tap it from the comfortable confines of your email inbox.



Then, say hello to, a brand new property officially launching at CompTIA 2015 ChannelCon this week in Chicago.

BizTechXperts, a joint venture between Harry Brelsford's SMB Nation and my own MediaArchiTECHs,  is devoted to helping businesses choose the technologies on which they live and breath, but in a unique way — by providing one-to-one advice from qualified, verified, and identified IT experts just like you.

Hear that? Just like you.

Along with opening the doors to the site, we’re also signing up qualified experts — sorry, we won't take just anyone — from among the thousands of MSPs, CSPs, resellers, ISVs, and integrators who have long been part of the SMBNation community.

'You can join our expert network by filling out this brief form. And, oh, for now, it’s free to you.'

 But there’s a far bigger economic incentive here for you: If you’re one of our experts, we match you to highly qualified leads you can quickly and easily nurture.

You’re wondering, I know: What’s the catch? Is this another forum?

No! Forums fail. Whether you’re seeking an answer or giving one, you have to go to separate place. Then you have to hunt and peck. Bleh!

BizTechXperts is better. At its heart-and-soul is a smart Q&A platform based on cutting-edge natural-language processing technologies that, in the end, gets you a highly qualified lead in the form of an advice seeker. You can try it by typing a question into the little widget on the upper right side of this very page.

How BizTechXperts smart Q&A system works

NOT 'SPRAY AND PRAY.' Natural-language processing and machine learning allows the platform to accurately 'understand' a question so it can be matched to an expert.

When you receive a question, it's accompanied by all the things you typically get with a lead, except for this: It's even more qualified because the question itself contains explicit or implicit signals about the prospect.

What’s more, the platform allows a back-and-forth with the the advice seeker — your prospect — until you’re both ready to connect by phone or your own email addresses.

Think of it as a micro-consulting engagement en route to a recurring revenue contract.

Along with the it’s smart Q&A platform, BizTechXperts is also a complete marketplace, where business buyers can browse reviews, product listings, and — in another free spiff to you — a directory of IT partners like this one from IT Total Care or this one for the Computer Information Agency.

If you’re a product maker or developer, you’re welcome to join this party. You can showcase your product with a basic product listing for free or a rich, paid listing.

Have questions? Sure you do. So we have answers. Go to our FAQ for prospective experts.

Finally, while BizTechXperts brings one other big advantage to the table. Under the uber-brand, we’re launching contextually targeted expert “hubs.” Among the first: One dedicated to Office 365.

These hubs, which we’ll launch around products, technologies, product segments, and verticals, provide the advantage creating a highly authoritative, search friendly destinations of experts, their answers, and other kinds of content.

Please take a look. Apply to join our network. If you’re an IT consultant, MSP, CSP, reseller, get a free listing.

And by all means, feel free to contact us with feedback, questions, or other ways you can participate.

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Schneider Electric Extends PowerChute Network Shutdown Software

Energy management specialist Schneider Electric announced the release of PowerChute Network Shutdown v4.0,Schneider Electric Logo which includes advanced redundancy capabilities and a new Uninterruptible Power Supply configuration option.

The UPS configuration option enables IT personnel to manage and monitor multiple groups of redundant UPSs and add increased redundancy for IT equipment when necessary.

“Due to the growing trend of virtualization, IT architectures have evolved into increasingly complex systems, with many IT managers struggling with how to not only manage but protect their multiple servers across varying locations,” said Paul Bohan, vice president, network management, IT business, Schneider Electric. “PowerChute Network Shutdown v4.0’s seamless integration, migration and shutdown capabilities give IT managers the peace of mind that their entire virtualized and physical IT infrastructure is protected from potential power events or outages – no matter their location.”

The software provides IT managers with control of movement of virtual machines and can be integrated with VMware vCenter and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

PowerChute Network Shutdown v4.0 is available for download here.

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My Digital Shield Hires Jason Graf as VP of Operations

my digital shield

SMB Security-as-a-Service provider My Digital Shield announced today Jason Graf joined its executive team as vice president of operations, a role in which Graf will provide operational oversight for implementation, management and support of MDS services.

“My Digital Shield has offered me the opportunity to leverage my background in IT security, particularly within the SMB space, to aid both partners and their customers in maximizing usage of MDS’ security solutions,” Jason Graf said. “I look forward to helping grow our team’s expertise within the always intriguing world of IT security.”

Graf most recently worked at The IT Company LLC as director of project services, and MDS CEO Andrew Bagrin said his extensive experience in IT and project management is vital to the growing MDS executive team.






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