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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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dandhjpgD&H Distributing recently announced that its Canadian division has moved to its third, and largest, location. The move took place on May 19th and allows the Canada division to have two times more space, while keeping the same backup systems that allows same-day shipping in the event of power loss.

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Pronto 6.10.2014With the help of 'Googling' and Internet research, consumers are more clued-up and savvy about products and services than ever before. On the Web they can get instant results and useful information to help them weigh up whether they want to get in touch and make a purchase. Instead of reaching out to customer services or sales reps for answers they may consider online reviews before they do anything else.

While technology is paving the way for exciting innovations, this tech jungle can pose a real challenge to the small to medium sized business with limited time and resources. The answer is to take positive steps that are not only going to help you survive, but thrive; helping you turn leads into quality clients.

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Autotask acquired by private equity firm

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autotask ceo-mark-cattiniMark Cattini, president and CEO of East Greenbush, N.Y.-based Autotask Corp., kicked off his keynote address at the Autotask Community Live conference in Miami this morning with the news that the professional services automation (PSA) vendor is being acquired by Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm.

The future ownership of the market’s leading PSA vendor has been a popular topic of speculation for months, with most industry experts betting on the company being picked up by an RMM player. Such a move would have been logical given the evolution of the RMM/PSA space over the past few years – including the marriage of LabTech to ConnectWise and the acquisitions of N-Able by SolarWinds, Level Platforms by AVG and Kaseya by an equity group.

The financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this summer, were not disclosed however Cattini did say that Autotask will continue to operate as a private company.

“We are still private and still independent,” he said, adding that remaining so will allow Autotask to “continue our mission of delivering smart IT to you. If you liked Autotask version one, you will love Autotask version two.”

He then said users could expect to see an accelerated product roadmap and increased innovation leading to “a bigger and better Autotask.”

With Cattani at the helm, Autotask has aggressively expanded its market reach, recruiting more partners in North America and opening sales offices in Chicago, Beijing, London, Munich and Sydney, Australia. All this despite the fact that many industry reports suggest the managed services market is cooling off with growth projections falling off.

In a prepared statement, Cattani spoke about accelerating the value Autotask delivers. “We are devoted to our clients’ ongoing success and are confident that our partnership with Vista will drive innovation and growth and deliver dynamic solutions as the traditional IT landscape evolves.”

“Autotask has a long history of dedicating itself to customer-centric solutions and has built a strong foundation for sustained, long-term growth,” said Alan Cline, Principal at Vista Equity Partners in the sme statement. “We are very pleased to be working with the Autotask team to expand and enhance the company’s solutions to help IT service providers more efficiently and effectively meet their clients’ changing needs.”

Autotask logo

Tagged in: autotask PSA PSA Tools
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The week that was – June 6, 2014

Posted by on in News

Your weekly roundup of IT news for the channel

LabTech creates App Exchange for RMM with open source Synergy Platform

LabTech-logoLabTech Software announced the launch of new capabilities that will allow third party developers – from software vendors and MSPS – to build onto the company’s RMM platform, customizing for the needs of their own businesses and potentially opening up new revenue streams. The Labtech Synergy Platform, which has been in beta for a year, will include fundamental APIs and an app exchange where MSPs and ISVs can sell the solutions they’ve developed to other users. “If you can imagine something in LabTech that you want to do, you can create it,” LabTech Software CEO Matt Nachtrab said at the Automation Nation 2014 conference in Orlando. “Anything you can imagine in LabTech you can turn into innovation.”

Staples takes pre-orders for new Microsoft Tablet

staples logoStaples is taking pre-orders for the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – the new 12 inch tablet that Microsoft is hoping will give a major boost its tablet business when it hits the streets June 20th. The Surface Pro 3, which will be priced in the $800-plus range, is driven by a fourth gen Intel Core processor and comes with Windows 8.1 Pro pre-loaded and includes the full Microsoft Office suite and a new Surface Pen. The target market is small businesses and students – users who might want a laptop-type experience in a more mobile form factor. According to research from research analyst firm Gartner, tablets based on the Windows operating system, make up about 2.1 percent of the global market – well behind Android (61.9 percent) and iOS (36 percent).

And in related news…

HP unveils Windows-based HP Pro x2 612 Tablet-Notebook

HP-logo2Hewlett-Packardhas announced the HP Pro x2 612, a full-featured Windows-based notebook with a detachable tablet screen. The new device, which is a major move in the fight for the notebook tablet market, features a 12.5-inch screen and comes with an HP Power Keyboard that gives the product 14 hours of battery life. The HP tablet will use Intel Core i3 and i5 processors with options for Intel Celeron and Pentium and will ship in early September. HP didn’t reveal pricing for the system however it is expected to sell for several hundred dollars less than the Surface Pro 3. While the HP product beats the Surface Pro 3 in all these areas, the biggest advantage it has in the SMB market may be the broad channel community that will be able to sell it. The Microsoft product is available only through select retailers (like Staples), from Microsoft itself and 10 Large Account Resellers.

Fonality launches New Partner Marketing Program

fonality-01Dallas, TX-based Fonality, a vendor of open-source VoIP and Unified Communications, announced Marketing 360 – a new partner marketing program that it hopes will help boost its channel business to hit 50 percent of overall revenue by the end of the year. Marketing 360 is an online resource that includes numerous new partner resources, incentives and marketing tools, including co-branded email campaign templates, monthly marketing webinars, sales presentations, and end user case studies and testimonials. This is just the latest of several changes Fonality has made to its partner program over the past few months. Other moves included a new compensation model that lets partners receive an up-front commission, in addition to monthly recurring revenue, on sales of hosted UC services so partners can pay off their salespeople quickly, and the Fonality Partner Exchange online community. Currently Fonality does about 45 percent of its business through the channel and has roughly 2,500 partners worldwide.

Amazon adds Windows Server 2012 R2 to AWS

Amazon web servicesAWS is shoring up the functionality of its cloud, this time by introducing its main rival’s own newest operating system – Windows Server 2012 R2. Offering Microsoft’s most advanced server OS eliminates a significant competitive advantage that Microsoft Azure enjoyed over AWS and levels the playing field between the two public cloud players. Windows Server 2012 R2 added new features and functionality to Microsoft’s popular server operating system including tiered storage capabilities through which the OS shuffles data between the fastest memory devices available on the system, improving overall performance. The new OS option will be available to all AWS customers, including those who fall in the Free Usage Tier, according to Amazon.

Yorktel acquires MultiSense, Expedite VCS

Logo-Yorktel-Tagline-RGB-LARGE.ashx Eatontown, NJ-based Yorktel, a global unified communications vendor, has acquired two video service providers increasing its market share in crucial industries: MultiSense Communications, a British firm with a focus on the health care vertical, and Expedite VCS, which delivers a solid public sector customer base including distance learning, corporate communications and telejustice. Yorktel’s VideoCloud delivers videoconferencing-as-a-service, with its cloud infrastructure situated mostly at Equinix data centers in the U.S., U.K. and Singapore. According to Greg Douglas, Yorktel’s executive vice president of sales, multipoint videoconferencing is a natural fit for health care and government – markets that mix demand for high quality face to face distance communications but have significant security demands. Last year Yorktel began offering channel partners white-label solutions and support, allowing them to resell videoconferencing solutions under their own brand. These new acquisitions will broaden the solutions channel partners can brand as their own, says Douglas.

WAN Op startup Aryaka expands global channel

Aryaka logoWAN optimization startup Aryaka is recruiting partners and expanding its global channel footprint while continuing to take aim squarely at chief competitor Riverbed Technology. Currently Milpitas, Calif.-based Aryaka does about 25 percent of its business through about 30 channel resellers, but the goal is to get as close to 100 percent as possible. The company also said it's received $10 million in Series D funding from existing investors InterWest Partners, Presidio Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures, bringing total VC investments to $64 million.

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Comptia logoIf you were wondering why Microsoft felt a need to “remind” everyone that they are a player in the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) market last week, you didn’t have to wait long. A couple of key EMM studies were released this week including interesting new research from CompTIA, which highlights potential business opportunities for solutions providers, and Gartner Group’s EMM Magic Quadrant.

The MQ provides a snapshot of the EMM vendor landscape, grading each vendor by completeness of vision and ability to execute and then labeling them – Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players – based on their capabilities. Fourteen vendors get some love from Gartner, from leaders MobileIron and IBM to niche players Tangoe and Landesk. Microsoft isn’t mentioned, despite making several EMM moves late in 2013 (The company has stated that it is confident it will be included next year).

Gartner defines EMM as the following:

“Enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites consist of policy and configuration management tools and a management overlay for applications and content intended for mobile devices based on smartphone OSs. They are an evolution from previous generation MDM products that lacked application and content management. IT organizations and service providers use EMM suites to deliver IT support to mobile end users and to maintain security policies.”

Gartner logoAccording to Gartner, an EMM suite provides hardware inventory, application inventory, OS configuration management, mobile app deployment, mobile app configuration and policy management, remote view and control for troubleshooting, execute remote actions and mobile content management.

The vendors:

Leaders: AirWatch, MobileIron, Citrix, Good Technology and IBM.

Challengers: SAP.

Visionaries: SOTI, Symantec and Sophos.

Niche Players: Blackberry, Tangoe, LANDesk, Absolute Software and Globo.

Gartner expects the EMM to continue evolving and thus posing challenges for vendors and service providers. “As enterprises' use of mobility becomes increasingly complex, their requirements to protect data and support users will become more complex as well.”

Meanwhile CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility found that while many organizations are pushing aggressively ahead with mobility programs, many are facing significant challenges – challenges that could mean major opportunities for service providers.

Key findings:

Among companies that provide mobile devices, 76 percent provide smartphones and 61 percent provide tablets, implying that many workers are operating in a threedevice environment.

More than 70 percent of all companies, regardless of BYOD stance, have made some level of investment in mobile devices and technologies.

There has been no significant progress in building formal mobility policies over the past year. Just 30 percent of companies have such a policy in place.

Security is one of the top challenges for companies, including the ability to centrally monitor and control security; and poor security implementation by end users.

Essentially, managing mobility – from procurement to management – is a major challenge for many organizations. CompTIA found that small companies are hampered by serious resources constraints, medium-sized firms have more resources but have to balance the needs of IT with the needs of users department and large firms have to deal with a high degree of complexity, with a large number of employees using a significant variety of devices. Alleviating these pain points could mean significant revenues for solution providers.

“Mobile devices get used heavily in employees’ personal lives, but there are enterprise aspects such as encryption, proper security settings and enterprise apps that require further and ongoing education,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA in a statement.

The Third Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study is based on an online survey of 400 business and IT executives in the United State who are directly involved in setting or executing mobility policies and processes within their organization. The survey was conducted in March 2014. More data from the study is available at http://www.slideshare.net/comptia/slideshare-charts-2014-mobility-study.

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VonageVonage recently announced that its President, Wain Kellum, is currently a finalist in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Awards for the US Southeast Region. Mr. Kellum is counted among 24 finalists in his region, and the winner is slated to be announced on June 26 at a gala event.

Tagged in: awards Vocalocity Vonage
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Intel 6.6.2014For a small business five years ago, meetings meant a lot of paperwork: documents to be shared with employees and clients, agendas, daily planners, presentation materials, the list goes on. All that paper–and preparation–would be used once, disposed of promptly thereafter, and inevitably forgotten in the shuffle of paperwork meant for the next meeting. The lifecycle of the information sharing that happened within the meeting was defined by the retention of physical documents. Luckily, a lot has happened in technology over the past five years and a small business owner is no longer restricted to antiquated methods of collaboration.

 

Even if you’re not using paper and a pencil to present documents and projects to business partners, bringing an older laptop to an important client meeting could still color some people’s perceptions of your overall plan and cause them to see your company as being outdated.

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bob vogel augustBy Bob Vogel, B2 Marketing

There’s nothing more inspiring than listening to true entrepreneurs with clear visions for their companies, and game plans for turning those visions into reality.

Dan McCoy is one such person, and I was lucky enough to catch him talking about his plan to literally “own” the IT Services market for Chiropractors within 2 years.

If you’d like to hear his 11-minute story, click here and I’m sure it will get you thinking about what market your company might own.

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MyersYesterday, San Jose, CA-based MSP, Myers Network Solutions announced that it has seen a significant year-over-year annual revenue growth of over 20% in 2013. The company cited the development of new partnerships, as well as the growth of its Cloud service offerings as the two main reasons for last year’s growth.


As it stands now, Myers Network Solutions has experienced revenue growth for the past seven years running. For 2013 specifically, the company formed partnerships with Datto and Star2Star. It was the partnership with Star2Star that allowed the company to expand its VoIP offerings to include cloud-based phone systems with desktop integration capabilities.

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epsonEpson recently announced the debut of eleven WorkForce printer models designed for SMBs, SOHOs, and Engineers. These printer models all utilize the company’s next generation technology, PrecisionCore, which allows for a consistent print quality across the life of the device.

Tagged in: Epson printing SMB
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RapidfireRapidFire Tools, Inc. will be presenting at today’s Datto Partner Show, taking place in Las Vegas, NV. In particular, the company will have Mike Semel, President, Semel Consulting, who is one of the leading HIPAA consultants in the US, presenting an educational session on how to sell/price HIPAA Risk Analysis Reports.

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It’s no secret that providing wireless internet connections is a big deal for consumer businesses. Starbucks has made a lot of money selling overpriced coffee to students, businesspeople and wannabe-J.K. Rowlings because they can get free Wi-Fi by walking through the door.

But simply offering a hotspot connection is not actually as simple as buying an 802.11N router at Best Buy and plugging it in. There are several factors to consider and those factors have left an opportunity for the likes of Cisco Meraki and GoBig to create specialized devices and services that help businesses like restaurants, hotels, boutiques, spas, salons and even golf courses offer secure, reliable and useful WI-FI services to customers.

Today Comcast announced it is getting into the game too, launching a new offering for its Internet customers – the Business Wireless Gateway that not only delivers Internet connectivity, but does so with the added security of a dual band service that keeps critical back office operations separated from the riff raff.

“Today’s ‘main street’ small businesses want to offer Wi-Fi to their customers to get them in the store and keep them coming back, but concerns can arise from over security and how challenging it will be to set up and maintain a Wi-Fi network,” said Matt Davis, director of Consumer and Small Business Telecom Services at IDC in a Comcast statement.

“The Business Wireless Gateway from Comcast Business gives SMBs a single box solution to quickly set up both public and private Wi-Fi, with public access being managed and maintained over the Comcast network. This can alleviate security concerns because customers are not accessing the same Wi-Fi network that your employees are.”

John GuillaumeAccording to John Guillaume, vice president of Product Development, Comcast Business, the new service is targeted at SMBs with as few as three and as many as 100 users, “but anyone buying our high speed Internet product is eligible.”

The technology is also scalable with WiFi extenders going on sale later this month to expand the physical coverage area making campus service possible.

Regarding costs, Guillaume said, “The Business Wireless Gateway and Business WiFi are value added services that are included with our most popular Internet speeds – from 16 Mbps to 150Mbps – for no additional cost. We have an existing $9.95 equipment fee for Internet and voice customers and the device is included in that.”

So the cost for the basic level of plan, including Comcast Internet with 16 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed for up to three people, is $69.95 per month plus the equipment rental. The new offering will be sold through all of Comcast’s direct and indirect channels, so distributors like Synnex (one of Comcast’s largest channel partners) will be offering it.

This move isn’t a shocking one for Comcast. Like other cable and telecom providers such as Time Warner, Verizon and AT&T, the company has been targeting the SMB segment of the U.S. business communications market – which some analysts value at $20 to $30 billion – for expansion. The company will deploy SIP trunking capabilities by the end of the year, significantly enhancing its VoIP offerings for the larger end of the SMB market (Comcast Business has traditionally focused on small businesses) and potentially to larger enterprises in the future.

Moreover, Comcast Business recently softened the ground by sponsored research by market analyst firm Bredin Research that indicated small businesses got significant ROI , including better customer satisfaction levels and higher sales, from offering free WiFi than they did from other common patron-oriented conveniences.

Key findings:

  • WiFi is equally or more effective at making patrons feel welcome than other amenities such as magazines (94 percent), community bulletin boards (91 percent), candy (90 percent) or water (86 percent).
  • Nearly eight in 10 businesses offering WiFi (79 percent) say it helps keep customers happy while they wait. Sixty-five percent report it has encouraged repeat business, and 55 percent say it has brought in new customers.
  • More than half (55 percent) of businesses providing Wi-Fi believe it has resulted in higher sales per customer visit.

“Many different types of customers – coffee shops, law firms, real estate offices, gyms, libraries and more – want to attract and retain visitors to their location and give employees the tools they need to be more productive. Wi-Fi can be critical on both fronts, and this device can help make that easy to manage,” said Guillaume, in a statement. 

comcast business logo

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Today, SHI International Corp announced that its President and CEO, Thai Lee, has been named to CRN’s 2014 Women of the Channel List, and that the company has been named as one of 2014’s Inaugural Power 50 Solution Providers. SHI International is currently the largest minority- and woman-owned business in the United States. In fact, SHI International reported that it has a 99% customer retention rate and that it had a $5 billion revenue record in 2013.

“I am honored to be included among so many impressive female leaders and successful business people,” said Thai Lee, in a recent press release. “Our customers give us a tremendous opportunity to serve them with the most cutting-edge solutions from partners that include the biggest names in technology. The tradition of excellence and success that SHI has established continues to drive the company forward, and I’m pleased to represent the entire company as a symbol of its success.”

A bit of background on the two lists to which Thai Lee was named: The 2014 Women of the Channel List is in place to recognize the accomplishments and overall impact of female executives in either solution provider, vendor or distribution companies. The Power 50 List is set to recognize a smaller set of female execs who are taking their company’s influence beyond its traditional sphere. Watch for Thai Lee, and the other 2014 winners in the June issue of CRN Magazine.

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Kaseya logoToday, Kaseya announced the release of Version 7.0, which offers enhancements to the company’s cloud, mobility management and core IT solutions. In particular, the 365 Command, Virtual System Administrator, Traverse, and Enterprise Mobility Management solutions were enhanced in today’s release. I was able to speak with Tom Hayes, Kaseya’s VP of Product Marketing, late last week, and he ran me through some of Version 7.0’s features.

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NovaStor’s recent release of a convenient backup solution for both physical and virtual machines, NovaBACKUP Business Essentials 16, responds the demand for an alternative to the complex and overpriced backup solutions on the market today.

But with all the companies in the marketplace offering products and services for data-protection,
why are resellers making the switch to NovaBACKUP as their backup solution of choice?

We take a closer look the reasons cited for joining the NovaStor ValueCREATE! partner program,
and the motivation for selling NovaBACKUP software over the competition.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Vertical Marketing

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Pronto 6.2.2014Most technology providers have built their business by working with every conceivable type of business. To adapt to changing service models, vendors and channel leaders are strongly recommending vertical focus. The advice is, in large part, based on the way customers search for technology solutions on the internet. Your potential clients are getting more and more specific, looking for service providers that understand their industry.

The great news is that a shift to an industry-specific focus doesn’t mean that you have to leave the rest behind. There is no reason to stop building your regional business through local targeting and face-to-face networking. But the internet has opened up the opportunity to build connections within industry communities that will expand your horizons and extend your business.

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Uber Allies with AT&T to Expand Coverage

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UberUber and AT&T recently announced that they have entered into an agreement which will allow Uber to greatly expand its coverage in the United States. As of this writing, Uber is in 60 cities, and has been able to cover 43% of the US population in four years (you may remember Harry’s article on his experience with Uber). The company is now switching its focus slightly from expansion in distinct cities, to general overall coverage in a campaign known as UberEVERYWHERE.

Tagged in: Alliance AT&T IoT Uber
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pwc logo

A new cybersecurity survey from PwC and CSO magazine makes for some chilling reading for U.S. businesses. According to the 2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey the rate of cyber attacks is increasing and the majority of U.S. organizations are falling sort when it comes to addressing them. In fact, 62 percent of organizations do not have the structure in place to prioritize security investments based on impact and risk.

The survey, through which CSO queried more than 500 U.S. executives, security experts and others from both the public and private sectors, was conducted by CSO magazine in collaboration with PwC, the U.S. Secret Service and the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Other key findings:

  •              Organizations detected an average of 135 security incidents over the past year.
  •              More than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents reported a security event in the past year.
  •              More than two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents who detected a security incident were unable to gauge its financial impact. For those who could, the average annual monetary loss was projected at $415,000 per organization.
  •             59 percent reported they were more concerned about cybersecurity threats this year than last year.
  •             34 percent said they had seen an increase in the number of security incidents in their organizations.
  •             Enterprise mobility is a massive hole. Only 31 percent of respondents have a mobile secuity strategy, while only 38& bother to encrypt devices. Only 36 percent employ an MDM solution.
  •              Less have half of respondents have an effective risk management program. Only 47 percent perform periodic risk assessments and only 24 percent have an objective third party assess their security program.
  • "Cyber criminals evolve their tactics very rapidly, and the repercussions of cybercrime are overwhelming for any single organization to combat alone. It's imperative that private and public organizations collaborate to combat cybercrime and gain intelligence about security threats and how to respond to them. A united response will prove to be an indispensable tool in advancing the state of cybersecurity," said David Burg, PwC's global and U.S. advisory cybersecurity leader, in a prepared statement.

PwC also offered the following eight recommendations for combating cybercrime:

  •                    Assess risks associated with supply chain partners
  •                    Develop threat-specific policies
  •                    Enhance training and create workforce messaging to boost cybersecurity awareness across the organization
  •                    Ensure that mobile security practices keep pace with adoption and use of mobile devices
  •                    Hold third parties to the same or higher cybersecurity standards
  •                    Invest in people, processes and technologies
  •                    Perform cyber risk assessments regularly
  •                   Take advantage of information sharing internally and externally to learn about new cyber risks

“Despite substantial investments in cybersecurity technologies, cyber criminals continue to find ways to circumvent these technologies in order to obtain sensitive information that they can monetize,” said Ed Lowery, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division, U.S. Secret Service in a statement. “The increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and their ability to circumvent security technologies indicates the need for a radically different approach to cybersecurity: A balanced approach that, in addition to using effective cybersecurity technologies, develops the people, processes, and effective partnerships in order to strategically counter cybersecurity threats.”

The full survey is available for download here.

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The week that was – May 30, 2014

Posted by on in News

Your weekly roundup of IT news for the channel

Good news for MSPs: 61% of IT leaders plan outsourcing investments this year

american-digital-logoAccording to a new report from Elk Grove Village, IL-based IT solutions provider American Digital Corporation, 61 percent of IT leaders plan to invest in outsourced managed services over the next two years. The study – titled the "2014 State of SAP Report – was queried IT professionals in February and March and was primarily focussed on identifying the trends surrounding SAP use this year. American Digital is a prominent SAP partner. While IT leaders clearly have a level of comfort using MSPs for support, the news is mixed when it comes to handing over total control of their internal IT infrastructure. "Today we see companies comfortable with outsourcing application support, but many are still holding on to the infrastructure in-house," said American Bill Loupakos, Digital Professional Services Vice President in a statement. For example, 74 percent of IT leaders stated they will retain full control of their data centers while the remaining 26 percent will use some combination of internal and outsourced capability. As far as SAP findings are concerned: SAP HANA, SAP Mobile and Managed Cloud are the most in-demand SAP offerings and all are likely to be outsourced with only 29 percent of respondents saying they'll use in-house resources for SAP-related support.

Unitrends picks up cloud-based disaster recovery startup Yuruware

Unitrends logoColumbia, S.C.-based data protection and disaster recovery vendor Unitrends announced it has acquired Yuruware, an Australian start-up that is developing technology that allows easy disaster recovery using public clouds. According to Unitrends, the Yuruware technology gives users the ability to run virtual machines and virtual networks in nearly any public cloud, including Amazon Web Services and OpenStack clouds, with Microsoft Azure on the road map. Unitrends will use Yuruware's machine and network transformation capabilities – the ability to spin up a virtual machine in the cloud – to further build out its existing Reliable DR product line, which it acquired in December with the acquisition of PHD Virtual and which can already spin up a virtual machine in both physical and virtualized environments.

Microsoft: We Have MDM Solutions for Enterprises, Too

microsoft logo-100029828-galleryMicrosoft may not be the first name you think of when you think about enterprise mobility but wants to remind enterprise mobility management providers that it offers enterprise class mobile device management solutions. The software giant is in the process of publishing a series of how-to blog posts that highlight specific tasks required for successfully managing a client’s mobile assets. The new posts build on a series of strategic articles by Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Windows Server and System Center at Microsoft, which describe what it takes to be successful in enterprise mobility at a strategic level, including defining enterprise mobility, what's coming for enterprise mobility, what components are relevant to enterprise mobility and what enterprise mobility looks like in action.

You can find the first few blogs through the links below:

Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks found cyber defense consortium

Fortinet Logo PMS485Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks have partnered to create a cyber defense consortium which will use shared threat intelligence to help member organizations protect their customers from increasingly sophisticated cybercrime attacks. The consortium will provide a forum for collaboration on threat intelligence and sharing of preventative measures including:

  • Better cross-industry, cross-vendor threat intelligence
  • Better coordination of incident response
  • Better prevention of cyber attacks using advanced malware 

You can learn more about the consortium at www.cyberconsortium.org.

ESET allies with Ingram Micro for NA distribution of its cyber security solutions

eset-logoIngram Micro and Bratislava-Slovakia-based ESET have formed a strategic alliance under which the distributor will provide U.S. channel partners with access to ESET’s digital security products. The new alliance enables ESET – which is dedicated to the channel distribution – to offer a combination of products and services, along with a volume incentive program, flexibility for resellers in securing credit, and a facilitated process for securing quotes and placing orders. According to Eric Kohl, executive director, Advanced Technology Division, Ingram Micro, the alliance will make ESET’s full line of Endpoint Solutions for business will be available through the agreement while Ingram will support ESET’s penetration of the north american channel community with targeted marketing programs, technical support and financial services. “The need and demand for flexible and powerful security services is at an all-time high and we’re excited to team with ESET to bring greater choice, performance and value to channel partners throughout the U.S.“

CloudBerry Lab cloud backup enhanced with remote management in latest update

cloudberry logoNewport Beach, CA-based cloud backup vendor CloudBerry Lab has released an upgrade to its Managed Backup Service that will allow service providers to create and manage key backup and recovery processes remotely. The service is designed for MSPs and VARs who can use their own storage accounts at Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, or Windows Azure to provide branded cloud backup to customers. There is no charge to service providers for signing up for CloudBerry Managed Backup service and users get 2 GB of free cloud storage to evaluate the service.

Zoho updates remote support software, unveils iPad app

zohoPleasanton, CA-based business, collaboration and productivity applications provider Zoho has released an updated version of its remote support software. New features added to Zoho Assist, the company's RMM software, include a new file transfer window, a new HTML5-based technician console in Linux and Mac and a "Help Me" tab for live support. Designed for independent IT technicians, outsourced IT firms, remote PC repair service professionals and SMB IT support specialists, Zoho Assist is an on-demand, Web-based application that enables users to provide assistance on Linux, Mac and Windows platforms. The company also launched Zoho Assist for iPad, an app that makes it possible for users to:

  • Connect with IT professionals when they need help
  • Capture screenshots of a remote computer
  • Switch between multiple monitors
  • Take control of a remote computer

Follow this link to access a free 30-day trial

Acronis Disk Director 12 Updates Data Manipulation, Disk Management

acronis-logotypeWoburn, Ma.-based Acronis has released the latest version of its backup and disaster recover (BDR) solution: Acronis Disk Director 12. The company said the solution provides new features aimed at helping users organize hard drives for superior performance, while protecting and securing users’ data through the use of multiple volumes on a single drive.

The major new features available in Acronis Disk Director 12 include:

  • Partition management
  • Extended Windows support
  • Across-the-board PC support – Users can create Acronis bootable media (Linux-based or Windows PE-based) and boot into a recovery environment on a UEFI-based machine.
  • Improved recovery capabilities with Acronis Recovery Expert tool

Sophos delivers individual file encryption and anti-virus with new EMM solution

sophos-logoOxford-based IT security vendor Sophos has released the latest version of its enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution Sophos Mobile Control 4.0. According to the company, the solution is designed for SMBs who want to manage and secure content, applications and devices. The new release includes individual file encryption, integrated anti-virus and web filtering and also supports Apple, iOS, Google, Android and Microsoft Windows Phone 8 devices. SMC 4.0, which is available on premise or as a service, integrates with Sophos UTM, Checkpoint and Cisco to provide network access control and allows IT administrators to manage devices through a web-based management console or to create a self-service portal that allows users to perform several basic tasks like changing passwords, registering devices and reporting lost or stolen devices.

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We just want to reach out and let you know that this year’s Fall Conference is coming home to Redmond, WA! Join us September 26-28th, 2014!

Also,  save the day of September 29 for a post-conference bike ride with Harrybbb!

Keep watching this site for more news and information!

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dandhjpgEarlier this week, D&H Distributing announced the addition of a new site dedicated to its Education Resellers. This site, located at www.dandh.com/K12, features a number of resources, including new webcasts and white-label marketing materials.

D&H noted some recent initiatives in the education space dedicated to helping schools update their technology. These initiatives include Microsoft’s “Shape the Future” campaign and the ConnectEd program, which is a parallel to the old E-Rate program in the 1990’s. In addition, the new Common Core State Standards policy specifically uses technology as part of its coursework. D&H is passionate about this vertical, citing it as one of the fastest-growing in the next few years. As part of the company’s mission to help its Education Resellers, D&H has added a major emphasis on education to its upcoming Mid-Atlantic Trade Show (June 26). This show will include an “Education Lounge” in which attendees can test the latest technologies and products in this vertical.

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MPT 5.30.2014New computers can be a big expense for small businesses, but old computers can cost your company in a number of ways too: necessary repairs, downtime for employees, and potential security risks to name just a few. Perhaps you’ve been putting off updating your staff’s computers, but there are five important reasons to stop delaying and upgrade soon.

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Ray Vrabel HeadshotBy Raymond Vrabel, Director, Technical Account Management, Continuum

Part 4 of a monthly blog series examining tips on how MSPs can work to break “bad” business habits that they might unknowingly fall into as a result of just wanting to get things done.

In the previous installment of “Breaking Bad,” I discussed how to maintain a healthy work/life balance. In this month’s blog, I offer tips on what MSPs need to look for when identifying and establishing vendor relationships. At first, researching and picking the correct vendor to mesh with your business model might sound like a daunting task – if you follow these steps, however, and watch out for the potential “red flags” that I outline below, you can find a vendor relationship that will be mutually beneficial for both of you.

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NComputing launches oneSpace public beta

Posted by on in News

NComputing-logoSanta Clara, CA-based virtualization provider NComputing has launched the public beta of its NComputing oneSpace workspace-as-a-service (WaaS) solution. The move cements the organization’s transformation from a hardware company to a cloud service-based software vendor.

Initially announced in February, oneSpace is built on NComputing’s vSpace virtualization platform and allows users to securely access applications and files through a unified workspace from whichever device they prefer, including iPads and Android tablets. Meanwhile the IT group has complete control over the workspace environment.

Unlike other desktop virtualization vendors, including Citrix and VMware, NComputing uses a Server Based Computing model rather than VDI – a difference that Dave Burton, NComputing’s Vice President of Global Marketing, says makes it better suited to SMBs. “VDI certainly has its applicability, especially for enterprises. But in the SMB a server-based approach is going to fit their needs better.”

To start with, adds Burton, the server based approach is simpler than VDI, and requires less storage and fewer licenses which reduces overall costs. Additionally the big VDI vendors have been focussed on the large enterprise market leaving the SMB space underserved. This has created an opportunity for NComputing, which is entirely focussed on the channel. Indeed, later this year the company will launch a more formal partner program, but Burton says the company is being strategic in the way it will do that.

“We aren’t looking to get to 1000 service providers in the next year, he said. “Instead we want to select service providers that expand our reach into markets or where they have specific expertise.”

This announcement builds on last week’s news that NComputing is making its first foray into the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) market. The DaaS solution – which, like oneSpace, is built on vSpace – is designed to simply and inexpensively enable service providers to rapidly deploy hosted desktops as a service to SMBs.

According to NComputing desktop virtualization is becoming increasingly important for SMBs who are looking for more efficient delivery and management of the corporate desktop. DaaS eliminates the need for the IT department to build and manage a desktop virtualization infrastructure, while enabling provisioning, scaling and management of end user desktops. Like oneSpace, the DaaS offering takes a server-based computing approach.

NComputing also announced that So-net Corporation, a member of the Sony Group, is the first NComputing partner to offer desktop virtualization based on its vSpace platform. So-net’s new DaaS offering for the Japanese market, called Virtual Desktop Service, is already live.

The NComputing oneSpace beta program is open to a limited number of participants in the US and Canada; with general availability of the platform expected by the end of June. To learn more and to sign up for the beta, visit http://www.ncomputing.com/products/oneSpace.

 

 

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MPlogo3Earlier today, MicroPower Technologies, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based surveillance device company, announced that it has been awarded the top honor in the Green Technology category at the first annual American Technology Awards.

MicroPower Technologies earned this honor with their solar-powered, wireless surveillance camera that can monitor between ½ and 2 miles, and work for 5 straight days in complete darkness. As a company, MicroPower has been working to help its customers keep on top of the technology trends while remaining sensitive to the environmental impact of new technology. You can read one of their white papers here.

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