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Small business IT and technology news for the SMB channel VAR, MSP, and IT professional.

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Oops…My Bad! 5 Blogs We Missed Last Week

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 busy week prior.

Here at SMB Nation, we are gearing up for the last week of official voting for our SMB 150 event. Make sure you log on to, to get in your last-minute votes, before the holiday weekend kicks this Friday. Remember, you can vote once per day, per device, for your industry faves.

Once again, here are a few snippets of information that we didn’t get a chance to bring you last week. Let us also know if there was something we might have missed, which is not mentioned in this entry…because as you know…we love news!

1.) Microsoft Study: Cloud Usage to Surge Over Next 5 Years Within SMB: Microsoft last week unveiled new research predicting a significant increase in paid cloud services over the next five years among SMBs. The research conducted by Edge Strategies includes survey responses from IT decision-makers or influencers at more than 3,000 SMBs in 13 countries. According to survey results, paid cloud services are expected to double in five years, while the number of the world’s smallest companies using at least one paid cloud service will triple in the next three years.

2.) Dell Helps Businesses Streamline Sales Processes With eSignature and eDocument Solutions: Dell is expanding its cloud applications portfolio for growing businesses, Dell Cloud Business Applications(DCBA), with new offerings that extend its Cloud Integrated CRM solution – eSignature services from Adobe EchoSign and AppExtremes’ Conga Composer eDocument solutions. The expanded solution helps growing businesses increase productivity and gives them the ability to streamline critical processes involved in sales transactions.  

Just like the other elements of Dell Cloud Business Applications, both Adobe EchoSign and AppExtremes’ Conga Composer are cloud applications delivered as subscription services over the web, so there is no hardware or software to purchase or maintain, and minimal IT deployment effort required. Both solutions are also tightly integrated with CRM applications, allowing documents and data to be shared and stored in a single unified repository. The applications enhance the productivity capabilities of Dell’s Integrated CRM offering, which includes applications from, integration to third party applications with Dell Boomi as well as turnkey services and support packages.

EchoSign pricing starts at $20 per user per month with an annual subscription. Conga Composer pricing starts at $12 per user per month with annual subscription and five-user minimum (volume discounts available).

3.) OS33 Releases Unified Cloud Consumption, Reporting, Billing Tool: OS33 is now offering  a unified cloud consumption reporting and billing tool that enables companies to assess how they utilize multiple cloud resources and services through a single, easy-to-understand Webtop window.

OS33's unified cloud consumption reporting and billing tool provides a complete view of a customer's cloud utilization across all services, including consumption of software licenses, application management services, servers and storage infrastructure, and multi-tenant cloud services resources, by company, cost center or user on a daily basis.

4.) Modular DPS’s Cloud Strategy is a Team Effort: Modular Data Protection Services (DPS) has made available its new comprehensive cloud data protection strategy, Modular 360° Partner Program for anytime, anywhere recovery-on-demand. Designed to speed deployment for comprehensive cloud data protection, the Modular 360° Partner Program integrates hardware with software and business consulting expertise to enable the channel to deploy cloud-based customer solutions that eliminate the barriers of entry and speed the time to revenue.

The Modular 360° Partner Program provides two separate paths for prospective participants:

Modular 360° AiR (Assured Information Recovery) – Fully hosted and managed by Modular DPS, this program offers a tiered, multi-tenant data protection and recovery service featuring FIPS 140-2 certified encryption.

Modular 360° DPaaS (Data Protection as a Service) – A comprehensive data vault deployment solution.  This service expands on the Modular 360° AiR™ solution to enable prospective partners to offer their own hosted data protection service by participating in the Modular 360° Partner Program™.  Modular DPS offers a complete suite of services including sales, support, training, setup and marketing tools.

5.) Avnet to Acquire Ascendant Technology: Avnet, Inc. has agreed to acquire Ascendant Technology LLC, an international IT consulting firm with operating units in North America, Europe, Brazil and India. Ascendant Technology specializes in developing end-to-end IBM solutions that help organizations optimize their information technology investment and achieve business results. As a trusted advisor in the definition and design of strategic software applications, Ascendant has helped businesses large and small develop and deploy e-Commerce, enterprise portal and collaboration, web content management, infrastructure automation and cloud computing solutions. The company generated revenue of approximately US$90 million in the 2011 calendar year.


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