Last week we blogged that Microsoft is making changes to its Windows 8 OS, reportedly naming it Microsoft Blue. Today, we heard that the company has now renamed this initiative Windows 8.1.
Small business IT and technology news for the SMB channel VAR, MSP, and IT professional.
Many of us remember when Intel launched its Intel Hybrid Cloud device and the Intel AppUp Small Business Software Service with much fanfare just about two years ago, with tons of promise. It was ahead of its time pioneering the “devices and services” paradigm so popular today. It was the “third-way” in the polarizing argument(s) asserted by on-premises extremists and Cloudies. Many MSPs that I know had signed up for the service, and had high hopes for what it could do for both themselves and their SMB end users. Intel even went ahead and put together a launch platform held at SMB Nation’s Fall Conference in 2011 to target its sweet spot of SMB MSPs who largely attend our events…from what I understand, they came in droves to check out this new game-changing cloud product.
(Pictured at right): Karl Palachuk, Founder and CEO, Small Biz Thoughts / Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc., said he doesn't feel there is a correlation between the end of SBS and the end of the Intel server.
At the start of its BlackBerry World event this week in Orlando, FL, BlackBerry introduced its new Q5 smartphone that is part of the new BlackBerry 10 family. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone features a QWERTY keyboard with discrete keys in a new design that aims to provide a fast, effortless experience for users on the go.
This past weekend, I tuned into 60 Minutes, as I do most Sunday evenings, to wind down, and I came across an interview that one of their correspondents did with a former U.S. Marine who is now an SMB. The clip, titled, “Succeeding as Civilians,” featured a veteran, who had been injured during combat, and got his start as a small business owner through a program designed to help disabled and wounded veterans literally get back on their feet and get into business.
It made me think, while watching this 60 Minutes clip, on how I have recently spoken to many IT members in our community who are former military. One such conversation I had recently was with Joseph Bettencourt, Founder and CEO of Portland Computerworks. While Bettencourt was thankfully, not wounded during his military tour, he took the experience he picked up during his time at tech school in the U.S. Air Force, for Computer Information Systems. He told me that he was one of four chosen out of more than 300 students for a special assignment working at a Computer Forensics Laboratory near the NSA. By the time Bettencourt finished his military experience, he picked up various Computer Certifications from the Department of Defense Computer Training Institute as well as computer training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.
(Pictured at right): Joseph Bettencourt, Founder and CEO, Portland Computerworks
Ooma said today that its small business phone system, Ooma Office, is now available for purchase at Staples stores nationwide and at Ooma.com. According to the company, Oooma Office is the first product developed by Ooma to address the needs of small businesses. Ooma Office delivers the advanced features and service quality that come with a big business phone service at a price point that is more affordable than other solutions.
Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. It has been a bit of taking a breather here for us, since we wrapped up our Spring Conference and SMB 150 Awards Gala just over a week ago. But the quiet before the storm won’t last long…before you know it, we will be gearing up for our annual fall event to be held Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas at the Rio!
Desktone said today that it has extended its cloud-hosted desktop platform with a new on-premises, cloud-managed virtual desktop solution. The new offering resides at the customer site and is managed remotely by a Cloud Provider, giving enterprises and SMBs the flexibility to choose the cloud model that best suits their business: public, private, or hybrid.
Jeff Leventhal, CEO of Work Market, reached out to us today to let us know about the company’s most recent round of funding. This time it’s a $10 million Series Scale financing. The round was led by new investor SoftBank Capital with participation from existing investors Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital. Jordan Levy, General Partner with SoftBank Capital NY, will join the Work Market Board of Directors as an observer.
Technology author Karl Palachuk encourages Managed Service Providers to reboot their business for the current economy – and his guest keynote speaker Creative Strategist John Armato challenges the IT community to think INSIDE the box to do it. With that being said, Palachuk has invited Armato to address the community during his SMB Onlinie Conference that will run 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific on June 25-27, 2013.
D&H Distributing reported today that is has experienced more than 8% growth for the 2013 Fiscal Year (ending April 30, 2013), fueled by sales of mobility products. This figure is more than three times the organic growth rate achieved by IT distribution in general over the past year. Tablet sales at D&H have tripled year-over-year, driven by strong showings from Android models in the seven- and 10-inch formats. This year’s overall growth figure adds to D&H’s tally of more than 380 consecutive profitable quarters.
For those of you who didn’t make it to the SMB Nation Spring Conference, we discussed how embracing the cloud could compare to “eating your broccoli:” You know it’s good for you, and you will, at some point, have to try it out.
Since launching Windows 8 this past fall, Microsoft has experienced its brunt of comments, complaints, successes and opinions regarding this new operating system. Now, as a result of the backlash and noisemaking, the tech giant has listened to the market, and is reportedly making changes to the OS, calling it Microsoft Blue. According to various news reports, such as posted on ZDNET yesterday, Blue will be designed to address user complaints regarding the OS.
Owning a business is stressful, but running a business from home brings additional challenges, according to a new survey by Wakefield Research for cloud provider Carbonite. The study found that while home-based small business owners are concerned about data loss and struggle to find a proper work/life balance, a majority (79 percent) aren’t taking full advantage of cloud-based business tools.
Here we go again! As I do each week, I am really enjoying bringing our readers a quick round-up of the blog coverage I didn’t manage to get to during the week prior. We are coming down from our very busy Spring Conference and SMB 150 Awards Gala, which took place this past weekend. Now is the time for a bit of a “breather” until we start gearing up for our annual Fall Conference, which will be held again in Vegas, October 10-12, 2013.
HP today announced new products, technology and tools designed to help SMBs improve productivity and increase their connectivity.
SMB Nation announced today that it has promoted two longtime team members to elevated roles within the company. As noted during Chairman and Founder Harry Brelsford’s keynote speech this morning at the 2013 Spring Conference, SMB Nation has promoted Senior Manager Jennifer Hallmark to the role of President, and Chris Bangs, Director of Business Development & Strategic Relationships, to the role of VP of Sales & Marketing.
Seiko Instruments USA Inc. (SII) Thermal Printer Division today announced the availability of its new Smart Label Printer 600 Series (SLP 600). The new desktop label printer lineup offers three cost-effective models, ideal for professional services firms, healthcare applications, small businesses, and home office users. SLP 600 printers are more convenient and versatile than traditional sheet-fed label printing solutions. The new printers allow customers to rapidly customize individual labels, print out whole mailing databases, and easily interchange among address labels, file folder labels, shipping labels, multipurpose labels, and others.
StorageCraft Cloud Services, which allows companies to use offsite backup of servers for complete system and data disaster recovery, will now be offered to VARs who are Lifeboat and SYNNEX partners. Now, through these new partnerships, these VARs will be able to offer their end users, through StorageCraft Cloud Services, anytime, anywhere access to data and instant system failover in the cloud. The platform also provides users with options that range from instant virtualization to simple archiving, allowing organizations to meet business continuity requirements and the ability to always stay in control of offsite systems and data.
GFI Software today introduced a new, interactive, social community that provides a forum for MSPs to obtain crowdsourced scripts that solve IT problems. The interactive FixIT Scripts platform unites the MSP community by connecting those looking to source a script with those who can provide scripts that solve a specific IT problem. GFI MAX RemoteManagement gives managed service providers the capability to implement automated and customized scripts – FixIT Scripts extends this by giving MSPs the ability to choose from a much wider range of scripts, enabling them to more easily meet the needs of their customers.
Cbeyond said that it has expanded its service portfolio to now include TotalAssist Services, a strategic set of services designed to alleviate the burden of IT management for customers. With the launch of TotalAssist, Cbeyond says that it is now the only services provider positioned to completely support and guarantee quality of service for the entire SMB IT user experience from a user's desktop through a private, secure network right to an enterprise-class cloud data center.
When Mike Foreman was chosen to lead the small business group at AVG Technologies, he was quick to tap into his own experience as a small business owner, having managed and sold two IT businesses before joining AVG. As a former reseller, he was also determined to create products and programs that work for both the partners and SMB customers.
As SMBs and the VARs and MSPs who service them, we know that every last bit of revenue depends on our livelihood and survival, this also includes being able to pay the fees currently charged by today’s banks and credit cards for merchant transactions. But how would you feel if you knew that two popular credit card companies, namely Visa and MasterCard, were the subject of a landmark $7+ billion class action settlement that recently received preliminary approval from the Court; In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation?
(At right): Click on the video to learn more about this lawsuit as Harrybbb interviews Robert Danese, CEO, Innovative Channel Network Group (ICN).