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SMB Nation Blog

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

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SurveyHey folks, Harrybbb here! I am happy to announce that we have opened a short survey on Microsoft Satisfaction! It’s your time to shine and let us know what you think about the current and future direction of the company. We will have 3 questions, plus a comment box.

Want to chime in? Simply fill out the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2QSBBNJ One lucky respondent will win an Ooma device for business!

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Aislelabs Announces Channel Partner Program

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aislelabsAislelabs , a leading in-store provider of marketing and analytics programs, announced its channel partner program for service providers including VARs, distributors, technology system integrators, Wi-Fi MSPs, retail consulting firms and marketing agencies.

This partner program is designed to combine Aislelabs technology with partner expertise and knowledge, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

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GoDaddy Acquires Mad Mimi

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GoDaddyGoDaddy , the largest technology provider dedicated to SMBs, announced it acquired Mad Mimi in a deal that will expand GoDaddy’s product offerings.

Mad Mimi’s email marketing product is designed to help SMBs to create, send, share and track email newsletters. Its product will continue to be available as a standalone application, and GoDaddy and Mad Mimi intend to create a product using the Mad Mimi platform, planned to be available in 2015.

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Intermedia leading the cloud parade!

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harry and michaelSomehow, some way, I recently lost touch with Intermedia. My bad. It’s been very busy. For example, this hosting company recently acquired AccessLine, an SMB telecom, to round out its portfolio. As I spoke with Michael Gold (pictured), Intermedia’s President, recently, it was apparent that Intermedia is driving is success strategically. Returning to the telecom conversation, here is what I know to be true. A lot of the Office 365 or Office 365-like solutions in the market address one side of the aisle: information. But few hosting companies provide a capable voice solution. Intermedia has filled this with its AccessLine acquisition. When I last visited AccessLine a few years ago, it was bringing to market a capable business class phone system that filled the gap created by Microsoft Response Point’s withdrawal from the market. I liked the right-sized fit it offered the small business with its reliance on a traditional on-premises phone system to keep it simple.

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logicPDLogic PD announced a Wireless Communication Device Blueprint, an application guide for turning legacy equipment into wireless solutions.

“As the world becomes increasingly connected, users want their applications to be moved online for ease of use and increased operational efficiency,” said Jason Voiovich, vice president of marketing. “Under pressure, OEMs are often overwhelmed by the proposition of retrofitting their legacy equipment and overlook the upside of adding a renewable revenue stream that comes with networked devices. The Wireless Blueprint guides them through the process and identifies the opportunities.”

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Datapipe Acquires Layered Tech

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datapipeDatapipe, a cloud and managed services provider, announced its acquisition of managed hosting and cloud company Layered Tech. This acquisition will allow Datapipe to expand into the government sector with FISMA and FedRAMP compliant Federal cloud offerings and will fuel Datapipe’s growth in managed cloud services.

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Datto Grows!

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Robrae 2014I caught up with a busy Rob Rae at the CompTIA ChannelCon event recently to ‘check-in” with Datto. It’s a well-known success story in the SMB IT Pro community, as its wunderkind Austin McCord now has the community shining his shoes. And he, along with Datto, have earned their success the old fashioned way: hard work.

“We’re a business continuity company that’s always innovating,” shared Rob Rae, long-time SMB channel veteran and VP of Business Development. “We’ve always been a hybrid solution with replication to the cloud.”

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Sync, Not Backup

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syncservicesI’m seeing more and more people embrace what they consider to be ‘The Cloud’ to store their files, be it Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, or any of the other file syncing services out there.  Notice I say file syncing services and not cloud backup services.  These services have a lot of value and are very handy; I utilize them for work and personal life for sharing files, collaborating, or syncing across the numerous devices in my life.  That being said, they are not backup, and I run separate backup routines to protect important data.

I was at a get-together this weekend and the topic of backup came up.  I know it sounds like I go to some really exciting parties, right? But the subject came up because the host’s wife, who is a paralegal, mentioned that she was tasked with figuring out how to get some data off some older SDLT tapes.  When the discussion turned to occupations and I mentioned that I work in data-protection, she perked up and instantly asked me about the tapes and how she could get the data off.  I helped her with that task, which was no big deal, but her next comment caught my attention. She remarked how she didn’t understand why people still use tapes and backup software and why everyone doesn’t just put everything on Dropbox.  The simplest explanation that I could come up with on the spot was reliability, flexibility, and security.

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windows-azure-logoThe difficulties keep rolling for Microsoft Azure. Many Azure services are down just days after suffering a problem that left users in the Japan East region without services and management portal log-in problems and performance issues in numerous other regions.

Additionally, last week saw a global problem with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online service. Visual Studio Online runs on Azure however, the company said that outage was the result of bugs in the app itself, rather than Azure.

The current outage started at 17:49 UTC, hitting Cloud Services and virtual Machines in multiple regions and has since expanded to Backup, Service Bus, Site Recovery, Azure HDInsight and Azure Mobile Services – all of which are experiencing full service interruptions in multiple regions.

According to the most recent update (6:12 pm ET/3:12 PT) on the Azure Status page:

"Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Service Bus, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Websites and StorSimple - Multiple regions - Partial Service Interruption

“Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC, a small subset of customers are experiencing connectivity issues to some Azure Services which may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile Services, StorSimple and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. Recovery continues underway across affected regions. Customers in many regions began to experience service restoration.”

Media inquiries to Microsoft are being met with polite “we-know-there’s-a-problem-our-engineers-are-working-on-it-don’t-call-us-we’ll-call-you” messages.

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markwinterPodcast II!

 

View my podcast interview with RapidFire Tools' Mark Winter below:

 

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GreenSQL Joins CSA

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greensqlGreenSQL, a provider of database security and compliance solutions for the cloud, has joined the not-for-profit Cloud Security Alliance, which has a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing.

GreenSQL protects customers from SQL injection attacks and unauthorized data access. Its solution camouflages and secures database applications and its Database Activity Monitoring independently monitors and audits all database activity both in the cloud and across traditional database platforms.

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Joan MoralesHey Folks, we're working on a new way to bring you our industry interviews!


Check out my first podcast below with Axcient's Joan Morales (pictured):

 

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Fujitsu logo 02Information and communication technology company Fujitsu today announced the availability of datacenter capabilities in New York and California; it also plans to open a third Tier III datacenter in Regina, Saskatchewan.

These datacenters will offer Fujitsu customers access to outsourcing and private cloud management services; a premier network, systems integration and application management services; and Japanese bilingual services, a benefit to Japan Originated Companies. Bilingual services are important to both JOC companies operating in the Americas and those hoping to globalize and expand into the Americas.

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bob vogel augustBy Bob Vogel, B2 Marketing

“Your best clients are someone else’s best prospects.”

That was one of the first notes that I jotted down while watching a recent webinar featuring noted IT Sales guru Gil Cargill.

Scary as it sounds, it only stands to reason that if you have any competitors in the market place, they are going to be looking for opportunities to steal your best clients – the larger ones that outsource some or all of their IT needs, pay their bills on time, and appreciate the value of outside experts.

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bob vogel augustBy Bob Vogel, B2 Marketing

I first met Shane Swanson and Eric Pepe when prepping them for an HTG webinar sponsored by RapidFire Tools.

Shane and Eric both wear two hats: one belongs to ARRC Technology, the thriving MSP based in Bakersfield, CA; the other hat belongs to CharTec, the innovative ground-breaking spin-off that trains other MSPs how to run their businesses better.

One of the many things the two organizations share in common is Network Detective, the industry's leading non-invasive IT Assessment tool. They also happen to be long-time HTG members, so it made sense to have them as guest presenters for the webinar.

To hear a short excerpt (less than 10 minutes) of that webinar featuring Shane and Eric, click here.

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vaultizeVaultize announced the beta release of its anywhere access connector for Google DriveTM for work, which will enable enterprise users to uniformly access edit and share corporate data across Google Drive, file servers and NAS from mobile devices. Built-in fully-integrated Enterprise Mobility Management and Data Protection and Data Loss Prevention capabilities are necessary to its end-to-end security.

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Florida Polytechnic University , Flagship Solutions Group and IBM announced a new supercomputing center composed of IBM high performance systems, software and cloud-based storage, to help educate students at the only state-sponsored Florida university dedicated solely to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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hotel blog 8.12Sticking with my summer vacation theme for this newsletter, and relating it to my current trip to the CompTIA conference and the D&H Distributing New England show, I can state that I found a secret way to save big money in lodging accommodations. And it’s not what you think.

You probably expect me to point you to the Trivago “big data” site or the Priceline auction site to efficiently solve this problem to find the lowest cost hotel room that still meets your quality needs. Nope. Perhaps you think I’d send you over to AirBNB to take a walk on the wild side and stay in someone’s Manhattan rental unit. Nope. And you likely didn’t expect me to recommend you walk-in and accept the rack rate for a room at a hotel. That would most likely be the most expensive option of all.

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New research released by TrackVia revealed that IT departments are now embracing the BYOD and BYOA trends, since enterprise tools aren’t meeting employee needs and IT workers can’t stop the trend.

After surveying more than 1,000 U.S. workers and 250 IT department employees, TrackVia found that nearly half of all employees felt that company-provided tools weren’t meeting their needs, which is why more than half of the employees surveyed admitted that they bring their own apps and devices to work.

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Kaseya Acquires Scorpion Software

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Kaseya logoKaseya announced it acquired security and authentication provider Scorpion Software earlier this week. By integrating Scorpion Software’s AuthAnvil products into Kaseya’s suite of solutions, Kaseya will deliver the first comprehensive and integrated Security and IT Management as a Service solution.

Organizations must be able to provide employees with secure and simple access to necessary applications and information, yet they must be able to protect employee information and company data from unauthorized access.  Identity and access management is critical to MSP and IT departments faced with today’s security threats.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT

Registration: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/909075792

Please register by 11am PDT to allow for pizza delivery, see details below.

Presented by: David Maffei ,VP of Global Channel Sales, Carbonite, Inc., Rachel Cafarella, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Carbonite, Inc., and Harry Brelsford, Founder and Chairman, SMB Nation, Inc.

The cloud has become the go-to technology for a number of companies large and small looking for a simple yet effective data recovery solution. Some situations, however, call for fast, almost-instant data recovery that can only be found in an on-site offering. In this Channel Expert Hour webcast, Carbonite offers a first-hand look at the Carbonite Appliance HT10, a hybrid solution that combines the speed of on-site data recovery with the security of cloud integration to provide powerful protection at an affordable price. You’ll learn:

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Dell LogoDell Software has announced the release of its Dell Backup and Disaster Recovery Suite, a bundle of data protection services designed with SMB needs in mind for cloud, on-site and virtual configurations. I was able to speak with Michael Grant, a Dell Account Manager, who explained the development process for this latest suite.


To begin, Michael stressed that the Dell team went straight to the source, their customers, for their common problems faced, as well as any emerging needs they need addressed. What the Dell team found was that many SMBs are currently working with a “one size fits all” solution, but the reality is that their needs have been changing, and many of “one size” solutions force SMBs to either over pay or under protect.

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snom and Teliax Partner to Deliver VoIP Services

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snom LogoIP desktop phone developer snom technology AG and voice services and solutions provider Teliax announced at the ITEXPO West conference in Las Vegas that snom’s 7xx series desktop phones and Teliax’s VoIP management solution are interoperable.

“The entire snom line of IP telephones are very high quality and have a long history of reliability,” said Kerry Garrison, VP of Retail Operations at Teliax. “Completing interoperability with the snom line ensures that our customers will have an excellent experience when using these devices, enabling them to use the IVY platform with even more ease.”

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OOF!

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OOFOn my current business trip, with its stops at the CompTIA ChannelCon conference in Phoenix and the D&H Distributing New England show in Boston, I am well and truly OOF. Don’t get me wrong – I mixed in a wee bit of pleasure along the way, visiting MoMA in NYC to look at modern art. It even had geek art!

It was at MoMA that I stumbled upon the OOF painting (pictured) by master artist Edward Ruscha (American, born 1937). While Ruscha has his own interpretation of the OOF as a cartoon strip utterance, I know it as a geek term:

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WatchDox Introduces Cloud Content Connectors

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watchdoxEnterprise file-sync-and-share provider WatchDox announced the forthcoming availability of its Cloud Content Connectors, which will extend protection to files created or stored in cloud storage repositories. It will first offer its Cloud Content Connector for Google Drive.

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