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.

Mobile Apps – Your Blue Ocean Recurring Revenue Opportunity

Part 1 – Charting the Waters


Recurring revenue is the life-blood for IT consultants and managed service providers these days. The challenge for us is to find new products and services that can be added to staples like network management and Office 365, which areRecurring Revenue logo the low-hanging fruit that we have already adopted. The conundrum we face is that new solutions typically require a significant commitment of time and money in order to learn how to implement, manage and sell them while generating an acceptable return on that investment as quickly as possible. As a result, inaction and procrastination hold us back when we should be proactively expanding our solution stacks.


One area that has not been fully explored is mobility. Although we may deploy mobile devices – tablets, notebooks and phones – for our clients, it is easy to construe the devices to be solutions when they are merely tools. The power of mobility actually resides in the ability to connect people to the information that they want and need wherever and whenever they need it. Studies by comScore have shown that nearly two-thirds of all digital media access is now done through mobile devices. Furthermore, the bulk of that access occurs through smartphone mobile apps.


Given the prominent role that smartphones play in connecting people to information, it follows that many of our clients have businesses that can benefit by making it possible for their customers to connect with them via their mobile devices. This opens the doors for us to enter the mobile app market on behalf of our clients, but few if any of us are able to become app developers.


In Part 2 of this series, we will take a look at the things that have been holding us back from adopting a mobile app practice and what can be done to overcome them.

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What is Amazon Web Service? Features explained

Over the years when digital world has taken revolution, Cloud Computing has grown tremendously as a service. Today it is described as one remote service to store, process and manage information. Cloud Computing is management of vast set of information infrastructures. It is management of information tools, systems and architectures.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been a recognized Cloud service provider since 2007. It operates from 16 different host destinations providing exclusive Cloud service to global clients. It features On-demand Cloud, Elastic Cloud Computing, Simple Storage, Internet of things and much more in comprehensive Cloud Computing.

What is AWS and what are its salient features is matter of our discussion. We will elaborate on AWS basics to make Cloud users a slight more aware about AWS.

Cloud Computing

Simple Storage and AWS

Simple storage (S3) through AWS means a highly flexible and always available web storage service. It is a round the clock service to store major sets of information in optimum time. Using S3 gives good flexibility in accessing data to any assigned URL. S3 provides effective access control with resourceful data protection. Robust backup and expiration times are further notable features of S3. It is simple and indeed very convenient to use.

Elastic Cloud Computing and AWS

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a scalable technology that provides cloud computing to multiple virtual computers. Every virtual machine is assigned with an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) containing tools, infrastructure and any web service that is rented to machine’s user. For EC2 provision Amazon applies ‘Pay as you Go’ price model which means on-Demand computing service. EC2 caters and manages virtual machines that are provisioned independently and with frequent modifications. Instead of buying a conventional server during changing or unpredictable workload, EC2 is most preferred.

AWS

Internet of things (IoT) and AWS

Amazon IoT platform offers diverse and adaptive cloud computing, adapted by virtual user to connect their devices with cloud applications. Controlled interaction between devices is possible through AWS platform. IoT at AWS means organized exchange of messages between billions of devices at one time. Fast and effective exchange of trillions of messages is made possible through AWS IoT.

What have we Built

AWS IoT integrates with other devices for managing larger groups of data. It integrates with devices to build and organize IT infrastructures. For building web applications. AWS IoT effectively integrates with Amazon Dynamo, Amazon Machine Learning, S3 and Kinesis.

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Harrybbb’s Recommended Reading for 1Q2017

I wanted to share a few recommended readings for you to consider with the start of 2017. Why? Because it’s essential you are always in life learner mode as a technology professional. You want your medical doctor to read the latest journals, right?Books to read

I’ve scoured the Office 365 community for content that can add value to your professional journey. Here are my findings.

HOW TO PROFIT FROM SELLING OFFICE 365

Just the other day, I posted a provocative statement on my personal Facebook page. I asked everyone to take an oath that “I will not work for free in 2017” as a response to some of my own experiences and that of others last year. Loosely translated, it means I’ll only do things that make money in my professional realm. Someone I respect even extended that thinking to include his sentiment that he’ll only commit to a day long workshop if it will help him make money. Fair enough.

So the “HOW TO PROFIT FROM SELLING OFFICE 365” book that I’m recommend hits the nail on the head. This thoughtfully written guide hits a major issue in our MSP community head-on: how to make money with Office 365. There is a lot of context to this observation. Some SMB Nation members are still smarting from the perceived lost profits now that the server-side, Big Iron era has passed. And while its unlikely we’ll “make servers great again” in 2017, it’s time to navigate the “new-new” of profiting from Office 365. Specifically this recommended guide will let you discover how to package, market and sell your Office 365 offers. Granted I see this as a foundational part of the cloud money maker pathway but it’s a not the entire answer. That said, don’t be a monkey and follow the money by downloading the guide HERE.

 

MAKING OFFICE 365 A ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR EMAIL RECORDS COMPLIANCE
I’ve been involved in more conversations lately about returns to specialization and riches in niches as a 2017 strategy for MSPs. We’re basically talking verticalization and it doesn’t have to be a geography or economic sector. Instead it can be a specific skill area. Such is the case with this white paper concerning email records compliance.

This whitepaper offers organizations planning a migration to the Cloud a 'considerations roadmap' for migrating their legacy email records. It also provides guidance on the critical aspects of sustaining the integrity and value of your legacy email records as they are migrated to Microsoft Office 365.

Key insights include:

10 things to consider as you migrate legacy email records to Office 365
Moving journals into the new Office 365 model
How Microsoft replaces the journal in Office 365
Enhanced eDiscovery in Office 365

Additionally this paper is positioned as an advisory piece for all key stakeholders that should be involved in a migration project. That is, not just the IT team, but also the legal department, records managers, business leaders and advocates acting on behalf of users.

If the shoe fits, download this whitepaper HERE.

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Analysis: How Seattle became “Cloud City”

 Seattle is a great investment! Why? Because this city consistently reinvents itself. Follow the dots: timber to gold to aerospace to tech to cloud. I’ve enjoyed living here nearly 30 years and confirm that every time I land after a trip, realizing I’m home!
 
So what is Seattle’s secret sauce in becoming Cloud City? I’d offer competition. Both AWS and Azure were invented here. Hell even competitors like Google are now moving north to drink the water. I have a question for you before we discuss
 
the Seattle Time’s analysis.  Would you like a fall collaborative, Azure Nation, where we meet in Seattle for a multi-day event and discover what Azure is and is not. Would you like to see a shoot-out between Azure and AWS? Please join the conversation on our Facebook page so I can crowd source your interest level.
 
The Seattle Time’s article is an overview of the cloud computing sector and the customers (such as Boeing) that use cloud services. One takeaway is that Jeff Bzos, CEO of Amazon, proclaims “We got a seven-year runway. That’s almost unheard of. For years, we were kind of left alone.” True that but I’d offer he shouldn’t give up his day job as Microsoft is roaring back big time. And you know how Microsoft likes to start late and dominate even later.
 
Read the article here
 
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Start-over: Technology Innovation in 435 Congressional Districts

Before the end of the year, Karl Palachuk and I intend to do our quarterly analyst briefing webinar that typically enjoys a receptive audience. On deck on the agenda for our to-be-announced 4Q Analyst Report webinar is a non-partisan review of the election. We’ll stick to the facts and discuss how it results impact MSPs. Trust us!
 
I want to leak one topic right here, right now. At a high-level it concerns each part of America having the ability to innovate technology. For example, my hometown Anchorage Alaska could be an Arctic engineering powerhouse (it’s the same altitude as Finland which is very technologically oriented).
 
This amazing study here was published by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and written by John Wu, Adams Nager and Jospeh Chuzhin. It’s pitch is simple: “Contrary to perceptions, America’s innovation-driven, high-tech economy is not concentrated around hubs like Silicon Valley; it is widely diffused—and every state and congressional district has a stake in its success.”
 
Description
 
For years, policy discussions about America’s innovation-driven, high-tech economy have focused on just a few iconic places, such as the Route 128 tech corridor around Boston, Massachusetts; Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and, of course, California’s white-hot Silicon Valley. This has always been too myopic a view of how innovation is distributed across the country, because many other metropolitan areas and regions—from Phoenix to Salt Lake City to Philadelphia—are innovative hot spots, too, and many more areas are developing tech capabilities. An unfortunate result of this myopia has been that policy debates about how to bolster the country’s innovative capacity have often been seen as the province of only the few members of Congress who represent districts or states that are recognizably tech-heavy, while many members from other districts focus on other issues. This needs to change, not only because the premise is incorrect, but also because the country’s competitive position in the global economy hinges on developing a broad-based, bipartisan, bicameral understanding and support for federal policies to spur innovation and growth.
A defining trend of the last decade is the degree to which technology—information technology, in particular—has become a critical driver of productivity and competitiveness for the whole economy, not just the tech sector itself. This is abundantly clear throughout the United States, as revealed in both traditional economic data, such as high-tech export activity, and in newer metrics, such as broadband deployment. Indeed, all districts have some kind of technology and innovation-driven activity occurring locally, either because long-established industries such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and professional services are rapidly evolving into tech-enabled industries, or because new developments such as cloud computing and ubiquitous access to broadband Internet service allow innovators to create new, IT-enabled enterprises in any small town or rural area they may choose, not just in Silicon Valley or Boston.
 
Bottom Line
 
This is a great study. You’ll need to get your smarts on to read the 56+ pages but, trust me, it’s worth it! Download here. 
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