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ForensicSoft Releases SAFE Block Win8

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ForensicSoft announced it released today SAFE Block for Windows 8, a software write-blocking product that facilitates quick and safe acquisition and analysis of disk or flash storage media attached to a Windows PC. The Win8 edition also protects users from the SSD TRIM/UnMap/Sanitize functionalities Windows 8 natively supports.

SAFE Block is designed to provide protection for myriad fields including law enforcement, military, forensic examiners and IT security and litigation support professionals. Notable features include its speed, convenience and affordability, according to ForensicSoft.

Netbiscuits Implements NetSuite OneWorld Suite

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Netsuite logoNetSuite, Inc. , an industry provider of cloud-based financials, enterprise resource planning and omnichannel commerce software suites, announced today its NetSuite OneWorld unified cloud business management suite was implemented at Netbiscuits, a provider of multiscreen web analytics tools for digital marketers.

OneWorld is replacing Sage Finance and Order Processing solutions, as well as multiple Excel spreadsheets. Netbiscuits chose OneWorld for its scalability, flexibility and agility, according to NetSuite.

netsurionNetsurion recently announced that it has added industry veteran, Mark Bartig, to its team, as the company’s new Senior Vice President of Sales. He previously spent 10 years on the Symantec team, and brings with him years of corporate strategy experience in the SMB space.

This was actually the major push for Netsurion to add Bartig to its team. The Houston, TX-based provider of Cloud IT Security services is looking to expand into the SMB space, wherein there is a quickly-growing market opportunity.

appcaraAppcara’s turnkey software-defined application platform AppStack has been renamed App360 with inclusion of enhanced CloudStack and OpenStack capacity limit controls in version 3.12.

"The name App360 better communicates the holistic, 360-degree nature of our product," said John Yung, Appcara CEO and founder. "App360's deep integration with cloud computing platforms like OpenStack and CloudStack, along with its end-to-end feature set, allows users to deploy and manage mission-critical applications in the cloud with complete visibility and control."

pervasipPervasip Corp. announced today it closed agreement to acquire 90 percent of the issued and outstanding equity of Canalytix LLC, an energy and resource solutions provider.

"We are excited to complete this transaction and leverage our historical technology development experience to gain entry into an exciting and rapidly growing business," Pervasip CEO Paul Riss said. "Canalytix is positioning its offering to meet the specific needs of indoor grow facilities, and the company has allied itself with a Denver-based distributer of hydroponic equipment to integrate and provide the Canalytix technology to existing clients."

comptia logoCompTIA recognized yesterday Mike Brogan, past president and owner of Erb’s Technology Solutions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for his contributions to the IT channel community with the 2015 “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Brogan has more than 40 years of experience in the IT industry, and is recognized nationwide as an expert in how SMBs can use IT for a competitive advantage.

“Mike is a well-respected IT services pioneer and true channel ambassador who has built a successful career and exceptional company by staying focused on building meaningful relationships, giving back to his community, peers and future leaders, and delivering exceptional service and technical expertise to small businesses,” CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux said. “We are pleased to honor his legacy and applaud his efforts and continued passion for making the IT channel a strategic business partner, and a great place to build a career.”    

clearslideSales engagement platform ClearSlide announced today release of ClearSlide Engagement and Follow, new capabilities that allow sales and marketing staff to follow specific engagement-level activities.

“ClearSlide Engagement and Follow gives Sales leaders the insights they need to know where to focus their time to close business faster,” said Raj Gossain, VP of Product at ClearSlide. “We designed these features with busy Sales and Marketing execs in mind, giving them unprecedented visibility into seller activity and buyer behavior. ClearSlide Engagement and Follow add to our market-leading Sales Engagement Platform, enabling ClearSlide to deliver the most comprehensive set of tools to accelerate sales performance and continually improve sales strategy.”

mantaCrowdfunding and other alternative funding methods have expanded exponentially, yet a Manta survey revealed about two-thirds of small business owners don’t think enough funding options are available and believe the funding environment has not improved in the past 12 months.

"Small business owners have more diverse options today than ever before when it comes to funding their business," Manta CEO John Swanciger said. "However, we're seeing a gap between what's available and the perception among small businesses that the lending environment has not improved. Even though traditional bank loans are difficult to secure, small businesses are still apt to rely on them."

parallels I cant wait pic edited 2Everyone has had the childhood experience of waiting (impatiently) in a running car outside the house for a parent before you can depart on a journey. I’d offer that’s the position Parallels found itself in recently with Microsoft. Instead of waiting for Microsoft to (finally) issue the APIs necessary for Cloud Solution Providers (CPS) to automatically provision Office 365 customers end-to-end, Parallels has innovated a, well, parallel provisioning tool. Announced last week at the respected Microsoft Hosting and Cloud Summit in Bellevue, WA, the solution will have general availability in Q2 2015.

So what is the CSP APS package? It’s for Office 365 and IT provides Microsoft CSP partners with a solution for automating customer on-boarding, service delivery, bundling related cloud services and building a reseller channel.  It’s a big deal.

 skykick iur breakFinally I can let the cat out of the bag. Seattle-based SkyKick has deftly inserted itself into Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS) and Silver/Gold Partner program motion as a benefit. I’m jealous. Many readers will recall our old SMB PC magazine, that we published for the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) in the 2007-2012 time frame. I tried for the first few years to have the magazine inserted into the quarterly Action Pack mailer, a feat that would have dramatically boosted our circulation. SkyKick has done the impossible and inserted itself into this motion in what I believe is the first occurrence of third party inclusion.

Parallel Lives: Company Spins out New Brand

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OdinThis one makes sense. Many people don’t realize that Parallels has two lines of work. Many know Parallels for its early role in desktop virtualization – primarily on the Macintosh platform. Most SMB IT Pros know Parallel’s other line of work – providing a cloud platform ecosystem. The two activities are distinct lines of work and it seemed the synergy, while it existed, was not a leading success factor internally.

So Parallels is splitting into two. The new “Odin” brand will house the company’s service provider unit and the cloud platform as we know it. The “Parallels” brand will host the cross-platform and desktop virtualization products.

logmeinLogMeIn, Inc . introduced today Rescue Lens, a video-aided support capability that will join the features of LogMeIn rescue in April 2015.

“Remote support has been a tried and true solution for tech service providers due to its ability to help companies quickly resolve issues, boost customer satisfaction and reduce costs. What’s impressive about Rescue Lens is that it opens the doors for virtually every type of service organization to realize the same benefits – to quite literally see and solve customer problems from anywhere,” said John Ragsdale, vice president of technology and social research for the Technology Services Industry Association. “In an industry looking to reimagine how we serve businesses and customers, innovation like Rescue Lens is a welcome breath of fresh air.”     

datacoreDataCore announced today client Colby-Sawyer College achieved its business continuity goals through use of DataCore SANsymphony-V.

Key benefits of its adoption of DataCore’s software-defined storage platform include performance and productivity gains, high-level redundancy to reduce downtime and lowered overall cost.

DashboardIt’s incredibly interesting to watch how large OEMs are pivoting into the world of Office 365. Such is the case with Dell’s diversified portfolio strategy to provide solutions, tools and services in addition to hardware. With roots back to its Quest acquisition, Dell has a migration solution that can be used with Office 365. To learn more about Dell’s migration play in Office 365, I sat down with Chad Lindley, Senior Product Manager, Office 365 Migration, Dell.

“The On Demand Migration for Email is really about ‘many to Microsoft’ platform mapping.” Lindley offered. “Based on Microsoft Azure, there are only a handful of screens that need to be completed to run the migration tool.” I then asked Lindley how the solution is being positioned. “So the solution set has a broad audience, depending on the solution itself. The one we are speaking about today was designed specifically for SMB market. Quest software has had a lot of migration tools, and we were trying to fill the hole in the SMB market.”

Unitrends logoUnitrends, an enterprise-level cloud recovery solution provider, announced today it was awarded a 5-star rating for the second consecutive year in The Channel Company’s CRN 2015 Partner Program Guide.

The Partner Program Guide serves as the directory for technology vendors that service solution providers or provide products through the channel, with 5-star partners comprising an elite subset of companies.

Microsoft LogoMicrosoft Corp. announced today its expanded global partnership with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Samsung plans to pre-install Microsoft services and applications on its portfolio of Android devices and will deliver business productivity apps including a new Microsoft Office 365 and Samsung KNOX Business pack.

"Great things happen when you converge services and devices," said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development, Microsoft. "Our partnership with Samsung is emblematic of our efforts to bring the best of Microsoft's productivity services to everyone, on every device, so people can be productive wherever, however and whenever they want."

go global2There are a couple of seats left to participate in an innovative pilot program this June. Titled “Working Vacations,” the program is akin to a student exchange program for Microsoft Partners and MSPs. The idea is that like-minded professionals from the Microsoft Nordic/Baltic region will be visiting for a one week period, spending a few days with YOU, the Puget Sound partner/MSP. This is by invitation only and we’re almost at capacity, so it’s essential you raise your hand to say YES!

Highlights

  • Intention: To engage in an exchange of best business practices between non-competing partners concerning contemporary Microsoft solutions. The program runs June 8-12, 2015.

Atera teamIn visiting with Gil Pekelman, CEO of Atera, I was struck by how this new market entrant in the established RMM/PSA space for MSPs wasn’t shackled by legacy roadblocks. Built from the ground up and born in the cloud, Atera is now available in the US as of today (March 23, 2015) at www.atera.com. The solution promises to be disruptive in the SMB space, especially the “S” sector.

Showing the “S” the love is the raison d’être for Atera. It’s able to offer a comprehensive IT server management tool for a fraction of the cost of the established RMM/PSA players. While legacy vendors are expressing disdain for the “little guy” in the SMB MSP community, that where Atera is intent on disrupting the market.

polycom logoPolycom, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced today expansion of their relationship through Polycom Roundtable, a new series of video collaboration solutions for Skype for Business.

The first device to be released in the RoundTable series will be RoundTable 100, a video solution for huddle rooms designed to allow SMBs to enjoy rich collaboration experiences through their Skype for Business account.

dandhjpgD&H Distributing announced today enhanced offerings to support K-12 education vertical resellers as Common Core standards increase the need for technology in the classroom. Its additional assets include increased training opportunities, resources and materials to increase VARs’ profit.

“The education market is unique. Complicated guidelines and government regulations have a strong influence on the VAR’s ability to capture business.  We work closely with our vendors to develop programs to support these VARs and present products that are expressly selected and priced for this market,” said Larry Staub, director of the D&H education division.  “It’s an area where resellers often require a lot of guidance and knowledge before they can compete.  But for those who prepare and stay informed on the latest technologies and developments, there are a lot of K-12 sales to be made.  We want our customers to be on that forefront.” 

PSO banner 220X150Members 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.

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.

relayr Champion of CODE_n15

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relayrThe winner of the coveted CODE_n award was announced last night by its jury at CeBIT in Hannover.

Berlin-based startup relayr won the award and a prize of € 30,000, with a business model paving the way to IoT for app developers. relayr’s “WunderBar” product allows software developers without electrical engineering knowledge to design applications that can access and analyse measured data.

bannersmall fall15With the belief of “Discere Faciendo” (Learn by Doing!), it’s time to register for the annual Fall conference. This year the conversations include Office 365, Windows 10 and Azure. The core conference is October 2-4 with a pre-day on October 1st. The details are at fall2015.smbnation.com.

I guess my thoughts are this. You have rebooted your way out of the recession. Done. So now it’s essential that you add fuel to the fire. There is a perfect storm brewing of:

Technology market research firm Infonetics Research, part of IHS, reported today LTE was key in pushing mobile infrastructure revenue to $46.8 billion worldwide, up 10 percent from 2013.

"We have consistently said that LTE was supposed to pull the entire mobile infrastructure market out of the funk, and so far it has. LTE revenue grew 69 percent in 2014 from the previous year," said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research. "That said, we've reached the peak of LTE buildouts on this planet, and we believe market dynamics will cause the mobile macro infrastructure industry to enter a long-tail decline beginning in 2016 until 5G eventually kicks in."

IBM Partner Program Talk with Dave Carlquist

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Harrybbb IBM 2At the recent IBM PartnerWorld, I was able to meet with Dave Carlquist, Vice President, Worldwide Channels, IBM Systems. We had a nice chat about the key demographic at PartnerWorld 2015, and the IBM partner program.

To start, there were1500 partner attendees at the recent PartnerWorld event in Las Vegas. Dave explained that the key audience at this particular event was the C-level executive looking to get more info on the bigger picture of today’s technology landscape. Dave also explained that the IBM Interconnect event, taking place here soon, will have about 4000 of the company’s technological partners.

“A big part of our strategy is about moving to value and selling value. IBM builds its partner programs around selling value,” said Dave in our interview.

With that quote, I’ll jump into the IBM partner program conversation. Dave mentioned that there were about 100,000 people certified last year through IBM’s partner program, on various solutions. For SMB partners, Dave said that IBM has a two-tier distributor strategy, so partners can get support from both the disty and IBM.

So how do IBM partners make money? Dave said that it depends on the solution sold, and that most partners see a bigger payout on the front end, as opposed to recurring revenue. If IBM partners sell both hardware and software, there’s an added bonus.

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