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Best Office 365 Vid Ever – Happy Holidays!

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office365 xmasThe one thing you can count on with Microsoft’s overseas subsidiaries is that outside the box creativity flows more freely that the good folks at the Redmond HQ (no offense guys). Such is the case one again. Microsoft Ireland has produced an Office 365 holiday video that is just frinkin’ good! Enjoy the sleigh ride on this one folks. Click here: http://youtu.be/-IIPuM6LHag

 

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SoftserveSoftServe , a software application development and consulting company, announced today substantial growth, including the addition of 500 employees and further worldwide expansion.

SoftServe increased its customer base by adding new clients such as Panasonic , Red Hat and PE International. It opened new development locations and sales offices in Europe, as well as relocating its U.S. headquarters to Austin, Texas.

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tellwiseSeattle, WA-based Tellwise recently announced the availability of its cloud-based sales acceleration platform, which is integrated into the Salesforce CRM. The new solution features IM, email collaboration and social media features to assist sales teams in following up with and assisting leads and closing sales.

Here are a few key features of the Tellwise Sales Acceleration and Collaboration Platform:

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Fred Studer Joins NetSuite as CMO

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Netsuite logoNetSuite announced today it selected a new chief marketing officer, Fred Studer.

In his position at NetSuite, Studer will oversee worldwide marketing initiatives and work to increase awareness and use of Netsuite’s cloud-based business management software.

"Fred's broad experience in enterprise and consumer technology, his innovative approach to marketing and his incredible enthusiasm are an ideal fit as NetSuite continues to lead the way forward in the market for cloud-based business software," said NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. "Being a passionate marketer myself, I am excited to be working with another marketer with such a creative and innovative flair."

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New CompTIA Research highlights the model’s acceptance and success

Seth Robinson CropBy Seth Robinson

Over the past five years, cloud computing has been a somewhat disruptive topic in the IT community. Early on, it was hard getting everyone to agree on a definition, and more recently, others dismissed it as a mere marketing term. At a minimum, the cloud concept has created a lively dialogue right from the point of its inception. In reality, it’s having a significant impact on businesses and transforming their operations. The recent 5th Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study from CompTIA confirms those observations and gives us a glimpse of what to expect in 2015.

That research breaks cloud computing into two groups: those using cloud for their own business operations — end-users — and channel firms that include cloud offerings in their portfolios. In both segments, some cloud confusion remains. By definition, all users should be consuming either public or private cloud resources (or both). However, 28 percent of cloud end users in the study didn’t select either option, leaving some question as to how familiar they really are with their existing cloud infrastructure. On the channel side, nearly every firm says they have cloud offerings, but the top challenge in moving forward is selecting the best business model, a foundational step.

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OT: XP and O365

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xp2 editedAs much of the world enters the holiday season, I bumped into a blog I didn’t think I’d ever write. It concerns Windows XP (yes – you read correctly). I am taking my last trip of the year, and find myself in Denver, CO staying at a business hotel. In the business center, I found that the public PCs are running Windows XP. Not only does this open the hotel chain up to extreme potential liability in the Post-Sony hacking era (imagine if your Gmail account, accessed from its browser, was infiltrated) because the world has been put on legal notice about end of support (EOS).

So that hotel motion got me thinking. What is the implicit opportunity to Office 365 for businesses still running Windows XP on the desktop? If you think about it – the opportunity is strong. When you are considering moving the desktop operating system to “get modern,” wouldn’t it be strategically prudent to consider upgrading the front office components of Microsoft Office to the latest and greatest version? And if that decision point is on the table, wouldn’t you want to use the new-new of Office 365 instead of the FPP SKU for Office 2013 Professional? I’d assert the answer is YES!

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airtightAirTight Networks today announced its preliminary 2014 results, as well as plans for growth in 2015. There are three key factors in the cloud managed WI-Fi provider’s plan: a shift in the sales model, new executive team additions and key industry partnerships. These factors, as well as the development of an analytics-rich partner application, earned AirTight Networks various industry awards in 2014, including the CRN Tech Innovator award and the NextGen Cloud Computing Award.

Let’s begin with AirTight’s sales model shift. Company representatives said that their organization has found success in the shift from a direct sales model to a channel-driven sales model. In fact, AirTight is on track to have 80% of all sales go through the channel in 2015. For international sales, this number is expected to be 100%.

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Exclaimer team smallWow – it’s always great to hear from old friends as the holidays approach. Exclaimer, an SMB ISV, was a deep friend of the family in the mid-2000s with our parent company, SMB Nation. After a river boat ride in 2007 at Jeff Middleton’s IT Pro SBS migration conference, I even crafted a cover story in our SMB PC magazine. Time passed until today when I received this reach out. Long story short – this SMB ISV has deftly pivoted to Office 365 while sticking to the knitting. It’s a win-win. Read on.

Here’s a bit of background about Exclaimer, Ltd. It is based in the UK and it was incorporated in 2001. It has achieved the Microsoft Gold Application Developer Certification, and it has also received industry recognition for its Signature Manager Product line.

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Voxox Announces SMS Solutions Expansion

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voxox2Voxox today announced its SMS Solutions, an end-to-end wholesale offering, has extended its inbound SMS to delivery to Europe, adding U.K. telephone numbers and continuing to increase its outbound SMS service.

"SMS is a critical asset in streamlining communication between businesses and their customers,” said Bryan Hertz, CEO of Voxox. “We’ve seen great interest and growth in our wholesale SMS customer base, ranging from global consumer brands to major security and software companies. The unique combination of our fully redundant, carrier–grade network in the cloud, CLEC operations and award–winning service delivery platform has poised us for success in this arena.”

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storagecraft smallStorageCraft announced availability of the StorageCraft Plug-ins for VMWare and Microsoft System center, free for users of StorageCraft ShadowProtect.

The plug-in, used in conjunction with ShadowControl v2.5.1., monitors virtual machine backups and protection and can push-install a ShadowProtect agent to unprotected virtual machines.

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OpenPOWER Expands Membership in 2014

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OpenPOWERThe OpenPOWER Foundation is celebrating its one-year anniversary today. This organization, which features a not-for-profit community, is dedicated to the development of open source server technology. Over the past year, this organization has seen membership increase from 5 founding companies, to 80 organizations worldwide, including IT companies and universities. OpenPOWER most recently welcomed Avnet and Rackspace to its membership for the year.

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CarboniteCarbonite, Inc., a cloud and hybrid backup and recovery solutions provider, announced it will acquire MailStore, an email archiving solutions provider for SMBS. The acquisition is expected to close in Q4 2014.

"MailStore is a great fit for Carbonite, as both companies are committed to providing SMBs with powerful yet simple data protection solutions," Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali said. "In addition to offering email archiving to businesses worldwide with MailStore's existing solutions, Carbonite will integrate MailStore's robust full-text search and indexing capabilities into our product portfolio to help our business customers better manage, understand and leverage their data."

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axcientAxcient recently rolled out the beta of Release 6.4 for its Axcient Business Recovery Cloud. This new release features tech updates that increase failover by 9x and replication rates by 3x. I had the chance to speak with Axcient’s Director of Product Management, Daniel Kuperman, about this latest release, and to catch up with what the company has been doing for the past couple of years.

Like many of you, Axcient has taken the past two years to evolve. To be more specific, Axcient worked towards the development of a cloud-based solution for business continuity. The Axcient Business Recovery Cloud enables users to run the entire business in the cloud (for those of you with multiple locations) or as a cloud backup in the event of a disaster. A perfect example of this being the 60 mph winds and ensuing power outages in Western Washington State this past week. In an event like this, a user would just have to connect to the closest internet source (café, etc.) and they can work uninterrupted.

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WEBINAR TIMELet’s face it. You can’t get away from this conversation. It’s the “S” word: SECURITY and is consistently a leading objection to the use of Office 365. Time to hit this one head-on and call out the elephant in the room. This educational webinar, generously underwritten by Trend Micro, will arm you with the facts concerning security in an Office 365 world. New research will be presented (points to external resources). And you’ll discover threat management approaches along the way. Plus a wee bit of humor to liven things up (Q: What do you do if the Internet goes down? A: Go fishing!)

Details:

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GET IT Mobile Acquires Kinetic Minds

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getit logo-tagline22GET IT Mobile announced today Richard Kerris, a former Apple and Lucasfilm executive, will join its executive team as the Chief Marketing Officer through GET IT’s  acquisition of Kinetic Minds.

"We started working with Kinetic Minds to tap into their marketing and communications expertise, expand our product direction and gain better insights into customer needs from a broader set of markets," GET IT Mobile CEO Christopher Tanner said. "Richard's deep reservoir of knowledge, experience, creativity and industry influence have proven to be invaluable to us as we rapidly grow. We're very excited about the significant role he will play in our future."

The acquisition of Kinetic Minds will continue to catalyze GET IT’s growing need for product marketing and client services expansion. Kevin Hague, who co-founded Kinetic Minds with Richard Kerris, will serve as a technical adviser for GET IT.

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partner point newGood day, SMB Nation Community, and a very happy Friday! We received news from our contact at PartnerPoint, the Microsoft Partner Connection portal, that the website has been revamped with a cleaner look and a simpler search engine. Check it out at: http://www.partnerpoint.com/.

For those of you who are already members, take a quick moment to update your partner profile or check out the new Partner Resources tab for coupons, events and job listings on the new platform.

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ComLinked Sets New Path for B2B Networking

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Comlinked logoI recently had some time to speak with Richard Caballero, Founder and CEO of ComLinked Corp, about his organization and the methods they use to develop innovative solutions for SMB IT Professionals. I’d like to start with a bit of background on Richard, and finish with our discussion about B2B networking.

Richard, who is a 25-year veteran in the IT field and who spent 11 years with Hewlett-Packard in Canada, said that he went to the SMB sector because he saw a great need for SMBs to get the same quality solutions as their enterprise counterparts. To be more specific, Richard, who was in charge of recruiting thousands of resellers globally across his career, looked at the discrepancies between SMB companies, which comprise 95% of all NorAm businesses, and enterprise environment, and said “somebody needs to solve this issue.” He brought his extensive knowledge of both the reseller and vendor community to his startup, ComLinked Corp.

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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.

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CodeLathe Announces Availability of FileCloud for AWS

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CodeLathe announced immediate availability of FileCloud for Amazon Web Services, which will allow customers to host FileCloud in the Amazon cloud infrastructure.

“In contrast to managed public cloud enterprise file share and sync offerings, FileCloud hosted on Amazon infrastructure provides the best of two worlds: the complete control, flexibility, data separation, and customization of FileCloud; and the scalability, resiliency of the AWS infrastructure,” CodeLathe Chief Executive Madhan Kanagavel said. “Further, FileCloud costs only $25/user/year, which is 20 percent of the price of other managed EFSS offerings.”

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Manage EngineIT management company ManageEngine today announced immediate availability of the Zoho Reports integration as an add-on module for ServiceDesk Plus.

The Zoho reports integration allows ServiceDesk users to analyze their IT service desk data and create reports and dashboards.

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dandhjpgD&H Distributing recently announced that it saw 13.3% overall growth between May and October 2014, a number that is twice the industry average. This growth was driven by a number of factors, primarily server products, tablets, monitors, notebooks, and more.

To break it down further, D&H saw a 38% increase in the number of server product-related sales between May and October of this year. D&H reps said that this growth was related to notifications and educational campaigns focused on the SBS 2003 end-of-life deadline. Along the same vein, the sales of tablets, notebooks, etc. mentioned above was driven in part by the Windows XP end-of-life earlier this year. Additionally, D&H saw an increase in sales in its Education vertical, which the reseller attributed to national campaigns, such as Common Core, in addition to its own various webcasts.

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LogMeIn LogoEarlier today, LogMeIn, Inc. announced that its join.me solution has achieved integration status with the Salesforce CRM platform. This integration is now available via the Salesforce AppExchange and will work with any join.me enterprise account. This announcement is key for sales reps to avoid losing time between calls and a product/service demo.

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attachedapps Dec  2014SMB customers and the partners that serve them have an amazing variety of IT solutions to choose from these days. Along with so many choices comes a lot of confusion around which solutions are best: cloud vs. on-site vs. hybrid, apps vs. software vs. suites, subscription vs. long term licenses, less filling vs. tastes great. OK, so maybe not that last one so much, but you get the idea. If customers get too confused, they may just decide to forego making any decisions at all and just stick with what they’ve got, no matter how outdated or inefficient. That’s why one of the biggest competitors in the SMB IT space is “good enough”. Luckily, some vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing SMB solutions that are based on the concept of simplicity. One of our favorites is attachedapps.

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ReachlocalReachLocal, Inc., which provides online marketing for SMBs, announced it added third-party campaign result measurement and multi-location alert and reporting capabilities to its ReachEdge total digital marketing system.

Third-party measurement results are displayed in one dashboard and can be sorted and filtered by source. Multi-location support allows companies to organize and route information, alerts, notifications and leads to specific locations and people.

Multi-location support is available immediately in the United States, and third-party measurement is available immediately in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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globalization of SMBLong-time community member and well-respected speaker, Karl Palachuk, announced that he is starting a new webinar series on the “Globalization of SMB,” with a webinar scheduled for the last Tuesday of every month. The kickoff event will be Tuesday, December 30 starting at 9am PST, with special guest, Harrybbb.

Here’s a rundown of the series:

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