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.


Members of the PowerSource online community enjoy unparalleled opportunities to buy and sell all kinds of new, used or refurbished IT and telecom parts, including computer parts and related equipment. Our B2B network connects sellers with thousands of buyers worldwide, allowing suppliers and resellers of computer components to greatly expand their sales prospects and develop industry contacts from a single online platform.  PSO20151209 banner 220X150

PowerSource Online’s advanced selling and sourcing tools give our members a leg up on the competition by allowing them to advertise up to 30 “Seeking to Sell” postings per day. Members can view and respond directly to requests to buy computer parts, telecom equipment and more. Another advantage of PowerSource is the ability for members to customize who sees their inventory. As well, PowerSource members are able to access government contract opportunities in their region that require the purchase or sale of computer parts and telecom equipment.

PowerSource Online members are experienced dealers, resellers, brokers, distributors and service providers within the IT and Telecom industries. These companies and individuals regularly buy service and sell used computer parts, laptop parts, printers and printer parts, VoIP phones and associated equipment, as well as PBX/Key systems and other Telecom and IT equipment as part of their day-to-day business.

Corporate and government end users also use the Public section of PowerSource Online to buy and sell computer, telephony and IT parts and systems. These end users consist of SMBs, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies, as well as schools, hospitals, hotels and other businesses that need to buy or sell equipment during a period of growth or transition.

By using our global market place, buyers and sellers can source or dispose of hard-to-find, excess, discontinued, obsolete and end-of-life computer parts and systems.

Increased sales, greater market reach and the opportunity to build new relationships within the industry are just some of the reasons to become a PowerSource Online member.

If your company has not used the service before, simply fill out our Free Trial form to enjoy a free trial of PowerSource. A PowerSource Online Account Manager will contact you within one business day to set up your full trial access and give you a demo of the business tools and features that PowerSource Online can offer your company.

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The Value of Partner Advisory Councils

By Pete Engler

It’s a fairly common practice for technology vendors to maintain partner advisory councils. Yet, there are varying opinions - and questions - as to the value these councils provide. Who benefits the most? Is it worth everyone's time and energy to participate? Partner advisory councils are usually made up of a vendor’s select partners and designed as a means to collect insight and feedback on everything relating to products, markets and customers. With the right process in place, partner advisory councils can benefit everyone from the vendor to the end-user customer.

The overarching goal of the group is to help improve all aspects of the product and the selling process for both the vendor and its partners. Typically, it’s the top tier of resellers, or the highest revenue generating partners, who are tapped for a council position. The meetings can range from a recurring conference call several times a year to semi-annual or annual in-person events.

Without such councils, love them or hate them, vendors may steer off course over time to the point where channel frustration and neglect becomes prevalent. When vendors and resellers aren’t engaged and synced with their market and customers, the customers eventually spend their money with someone else.

In reality, partner advisory councils hold significant value for vendors on many levels. Feedback from partners, who are on the front lines of customer interaction, is essential in driving both product and sales activities. If a vendor is out of sync, based on customer needs, losses could mount quickly. Resellers are uniquely tuned into the market and can help a vendor realize a new trend or validate what they are already experiencing while selling into that market. Partners have intimate knowledge on the pain points of varying industries and business types of all sizes. Another extremely valuable aspect is potentially gathering crucial information regarding competitive products and sales methods, which could help a vendor pivot and correct a potentially negative path.

For resellers, advisory councils can have significant benefits - even outside that of strengthening their relationship with a key vendor. One such benefit is receiving advanced information on products and services that a vendor has on its roadmap. Such information could lead to an advantage on how to sell, and possibly open up the opportunity for the reseller to beta test new features or services. With this advanced knowledge a reseller could be more prepared to sell than competitors who have the normal notification window of product releases. In addition, when a reseller participates in an advisory council it serves as validation that the reseller is indeed considered a trusted partner.

Most of all, advisory councils are good for the customer. It starts with the vendor hearing and acknowledging the problems that an end customer needs to solve, as relayed through partner advisory councils. Once the vendor understands that the partner feedback is consistent with its internal market research, then the resulting outcome is likely the improvement of products and services - which is what the customer ultimately wants. Customers are one of the best resources to help a vendor improve their solutions and the selling process, so why not lean heavily on the partners that are speaking to them on a daily basis.

If you are a partner interested in serving on an advisory council with a vendor, there are various ways to get involved. Start by reaching out to your channel account manager (or other vendor point of contact) and ask for guidelines on qualifying and participating on an advisory council, and make known your interest to participate. You may also be able to find guidelines for being nominated to serve on the vendor’s partner portal. Even if you’re not currently eligible, or you’re not ready for the full commitment of serving on the council, reach out to other resellers serving on the advisory council and ask them for the best way to communicate ideas and customer feedback to the council so that your voice is being heard.

Pete Engler is the channel marketing manager at Digium, a business communications company based in Huntsville, Ala., that delivers enterprise-class Unified Communications.

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Don’t Miss It! HPE March MicroServer Sale

During the month of March 2016, the HPE ProLiant MicroServer (HPE SKU#783959-S01) is on sale at a 19% discount. HPE’s ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 is a super small and quiet “front office” server. This small server has companion stackable options – a switch called the HPE PS1810 (HPE SKU# JL066A) an 8 Port switch, and the HPE PS110 Wireless 802.11n VPN WW Router (HPE SKU# J9833A).  What’s HP20140317757revmore – for HPE Partners who use Engage and Grow ; you’ll find award points available that you can’t ignore.

The award winning “little” server1 has a big personality for the home and small business. HPE SKU#783959-S01 is an affordable server that’s loaded with four 1 TB drives and the Intel Xeon E3-1220v2 processor.  This unique SKU also comes loaded with 8GB (1x8GB DDR3 Unbuffered UDIMM) and can be upgraded to 16 GB.  For remote management this server comes Standard with HPE iLO Management Engine.  When pairing it with the HPE Networking “lego” stackable options, HPE iLO consolidates the view of servers and switches in the network so workloads can be prioritized.

The HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 is available with tool-less access to hard drives, memory, and PCI slots for simple installation or upgrade.  And it has two up-front USB ports allow for easy deployment.  It’s quiet and easy to deploy. The server has been certified for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (SP2) and 2012 R2 and tested for Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2.

Use cases for this server have been for small businesses with up to 10 users. Home users have utilized this server for media and entertainment hosting.  Several mid-sized companies have deployed this server as a simple Proof of Concept box.  This server has been deployed around the world over 500,0002 times, so feel confident in your choice!   

Learn More by contacting your distributor or by contacting D&H at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit these websites:  or



2. HPE Worldwide Sales of the MicroServer and MicroServer Gen8, HPE internal sales.

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Over 500,000 Customers Served – Get to know the HPE ProLiant MicroServer

If you aren’t familiar with HPE’s ProLiant MicroServer Gen8, it is a super small and unique cube shaped server or Ultra Micro Tower.  Over 500,000 customers1 have adopted this server worldwide for their small business needs.  The server according to Absolutely Windows2 states this is “one serious one-to-ten-user small office/branch office device”. The MicroServer is great for your Point of Sale system, work collaboration, and with 4x1TB hard drives you’ll have plenty of storage!

During the month of March, the HPE SKU#783959-S01 is on sale at a 19% discount.  What’s more – for HPE Partners who use HPE Engage and Grow; you’ll find award points available that you can’t ignore.  Contact your distributor to order HPE SKU#783959-S01. 

Here are the Key Features for HPE SKU#783959-S01 MicroserverTabletRev

  • Processor - Intel® Xeon® E3-1220Lv2
  • Memory - 8GB (1x8GB DDR3 Unbuffered UDIMM)
  • Hard Drive - Included: 4 x 1TB Entry-Level LFF SATA
  • Internal Storage - 4 LFF NHP SATA HDD cage; includes 4 LFF hard drive carriers
  • Power Supply - 150W Non-Hot Plug, Non-Redundant Power
  • Supply Management - Standard: HPE iLO Management Engine

Additional Options

  • 647909-B21  - 8GB (1x8GB DDR3 Unbuffered UDIMM)
  • 652241-B21 - HP 9.5mm SATA DVD-RW JackBlack Optical Drive
  • 722320-B21 - HP MicroServer Gen8 Front Bezel Faceplate Kit
  • J2P86A  - HP T1000 G4 Uninterruptible Power System
  • 701586-A21 - Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Edition
  • B7B69B - HP RDX+ 1TB System
  • U2EF9E - HPE 3 year Foundation Care Next business day with CDMR MicroServer Service

Compatible Stackable Networking

  • JL066A - HP PS110 Wireless 802.11n VPN WW Router.
  • J9833A - HP PS1810-8G Switch. An 8-port switch

Learn More by contacting your distributor or by contacting D&H at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit these websites: or


1.  HPE Worldwide Sales of the MicroServer and MicroServer Gen8, HPE internal sales.


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Work in evolving and so should your business communications

The world of work is being transformed with the smart phone generation bringing applications into the work place and with employees increasingly working more flexibly.

Employees increasingly expect employers to support a healthy work / life balance and to allow them more control over the Work is Evolvingcommunications devices and applications they use.

The research organisation SMB Group say that today 92% of SMBs use at least one cloud solution with 86% using mobile applications.

Stephen Tanner, Founder of OfficePOD Ltd commented “An organization cannot promote the idea of flexible working and merely cover the provision of a desk and a chair in a room. Employers have a duty to provide staff with the tools they need to work effectively and productively, wherever that happens to be.”

All businesses face the challenge of providing workers with flexibility while at the same time ensuring that productivity is maintained, costs are controlled and teams can collaborate effectively.

Rob Charlton, CEO of Space Group said “As a company we are moving towards keeping and managing everything in the cloud…Whatever we need, whenever we need it, accessible from whichever device is most suitable and available at the time.

We’ve converted an unused part of our headquarters into a flexible workspace for local businesses and entrepreneurs, where instead of long-term leases we offer far more flexible facilities, and that goes for everything from individual offices to collaborative spaces. People pay a monthly subscription and can drop in and use our facilities by the hour.”

To discover more about these trends global business communications company Mitel asked users, leaders in innovation, architects, psychologists and H.R. experts for their perspectives.

In a wide-ranging guide key issues covered include:

• How technology trends are setting the agenda • Next generation workplaces • The impact of a global market • Cultural changes and the impact on work.

To discover more insights download the full guide.

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