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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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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Startup: Network Engineer

Granted many of the SMB Nation readers are experienced IT Pros. But one layer below, many MSPs have a rising star. Typically a “newbie,” this individual is being eyed for bigger things. Which gets me to my point. Chip Reaves of Bigger Brains and I teamed up with Emily Wilson a just over a year ago to create the Networking Essentials: CompTIA Network Plus Exam Prep course. I proudly consider this the 20th publication I’ve been an author or co-author of (full list here).

chipreaves

It is my belief that this courseware is suited for the “newbie” mentioned above. However, even hot shots can benefit from revisiting the fundamentals of networking. Think of it this way. One of my annual New Year’s Resolutions is to re-read a book (albeit I might speed read it). And I always remember something I forgot and learn something new.

So here is the offer. Chip recently engaged with new distribution channels for this courseware. With high honor, I share with you that “Networking Essentials: CompTIA Network Plus Exam Prep” course can now be purchased at Udemy for a significant discount (68% discount. Consider purchasing this to support Chip’s efforts and perhaps give it away as a gift. Maybe be a Secret Santa!

So what is the courseware all about?
Description: Network Essentials is designed to give an experienced Level 1 tech a good foundation in networking technologies, both for real world benefits and to pass the newest CompTIA Network Plus certification (Exam N10-006).
Lecture: 63 modules
Length: 12.5 hours
And it even includes a certificate of completion.

Purchase HERE. Your support is greatly appreciated! (Thank you!)

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December is Migration Month!

Looking for a year-ender what will give you an edge on annual earnings? Consider migrations in December. There are a couple of important reasons for this.

Use it or lose it. There is a reality with your mid-sized companies on a calendar fiscal year that they need to spend baby spend in December or lose the mula. This is especially true in your government accounts but they tend to be on a non-calendar fiscal year. You get the point – call your fav “M” client today and secure the funds to complete any migrations to Office 365.

Downtime is migration time. When I was a day-to-day consultant, I likened the traditional December holiday season to a quiet time where I could actually get some real work done. From December 15 – early January was also an IT consultants dream to perform technology surgery at client sites. Heed the call to migrate your customers between Thanksgiving and New Years. Happy customer; happy life.

So what are your next steps. Download the “Enterprise PST Migration to Microsoft Office 365“ informative white paper here.

download

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