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.

The UnWebinar: Help Design the Next SBS


Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Time: 8-9am PST/11am-12pm EST

Presented by: Harry Brelsford, Founder and Chairman, SMB Nation        

Join us for an interactive hour of freeform brainstorming about what the next SBS would look like in a pure world. Be prepared to participate in a positive manner about features, functions, licensing, and economics. Bring your “invest forward” thoughts (sorry – backward complaining now not allowed) and help Harry make a business case for the next generation SBS that includes an on-premises server-side solution. No guarantees this will get funded but the crowd sourcing exercise is worth the price of admission alone!

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Action Pack Updates – Harrybbb Style!

A few weeks ago I reported that the Cloud Essentials title was being rolled into the Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS). It was an odd fit coming on the heels of Microsoft announcing a huge gain in cloud-based Office 365 earnings.

This past week, I received some additional insights into that roll-up strategy. Turns out that Microsoft is “cloud,” with its devices and services strategy and, ergo, MAPS is now more “cloudy” so that Cloud Essentials didn’t need to be an outlier. In other words, anything and everything cloud is mainstream at Microsoft. Thus the consolidation.

Photo credit: Microsoft Action Pack

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I use our Office 365 account to troubleshoot customer problems and as a Demo for customers. The Action pack purpose is to get part... Read More
Thursday, 06 March 2014 13:06
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Community Corner: North Carolina User Group Announces First Meeting

As many of you remember, we announced the formation of the Triad NC IT Pros for SMB and the Cloud User Group earlier this year. We received an update from Dexter Southerland letting us know that this group will have its first meeting next Tuesday, March 4, 2014 from 6:00-8:30pm.

The meeting will be at the following address:

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Parallels Summit Day Three: Company News and Insights from Serguei Beloussov

Parallels Summit LogoWednesday marked the final day of the Parallels summit, and I wanted to take some time to not only give a quick summary of that morning’s keynote from Arconis CEO, Serguei Beloussov, but to also cover Parallels’ company announcements.

I’ll begin with the news Parallels released earlier this week in the form of a press release. Parallels announced that it has completely redesigned its Parallels Cloud University, an online (browser-based) training program for business and technical roles in service providers’ companies. According to Parallels, this training allows service provider partners to quickly onboard new employees.

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Open-Xchange Opens Eyes at Parallels Summit 2014

RafaelLaguna portraitI was able to meet with Open-Xchange CEO, Rafael Laguna (pictured) this afternoon at the OX booth in the Parallels Summit Exhibit Hall, and it was a rather eye-opening experience. First of all, Laguna spoke to me about the history of his organization.

Laguna is one of the founding members of OX, which began as a company in its own right in 2005, but that it started as a smaller organization. He explained that their story was a little backwards, as they got the customer first, noted hosting company, 1&1, Inc., and then launched their new venture. Having 1&1 as the launch customer gave OX an edge, as they had to scale with 1&1’s well-known growth.
Open-Xchange was originally started as a US Inc., but has most of its operations in Germany. Laguna then explained he and his fellow co-founders started with the idea that email is a major asset. He compared email to phone numbers, in that you can take your number with you to any carrier, but email is stuck. OX was also ahead of its time, in that all solutions were browser-based to begin with.

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