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

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CodeLathe Announces Availability of FileCloud for AWS

Posted by on in News

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.”

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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:


typing shopWe’ve been retained by Microsoft to assist in forming an SMB advisory group of actual small business customers (NOT CONSULTANTS). The challenge is that most small businesses use an MSP or consultant to implement Office 365, which is fine. However, we are seeking to speak with small business customers directly, such as the small business owner who is a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) scenario.

Such small businesses might include an office supply store, a small real estate firm, a law firm, butcher, baker and candlestick maker. It could even be the typing shop pictured in this blog. If you are a computer retailer or consider your SMB MSP practice to itself be a small business, we’d kindly ask that you decline this polite offer.

Specifically, we are interested in having on going SMB advisory group that will:

epsonProjector brand Epson today announced CRN Test Center named the PowerLite 4855WU the 2014 Product of the Year in the “Office Equipment” category.

The PowerLite 4855WU is designed to display high-resolution, color-rich content and delivers 4,000 lumens of color brightness and 4,000 lumens of white brightness.

OpenMarket Announces Key Achievements

Posted by on in News

OpenMarketEnterprise mobile engagement leader OpenMarket today announced business, customer and product milestones, including increasing numbers of enterprise customers across the retail, education, financial and marketing services industries.

OpenMarket anticipates sending two billion new mobile messages and adding nearly 500 short codes within the next year. It also added support for US long codes and expanded its two-way global SMS connectivity to more than 40 countries.

bittitanToday, BitTitan announced that it has added Dropbox as a new source for its automated data migration solution, MigrationWiz. This added functionality is currently the only one of its kind in the industry. This enables users to move easily from Dropbox to OneDrive for Business or Google Drive as a more secure file-sharing option for corporations.

Geeman Yip, Founder and CEO of BitTitan, spoke about this in a recent release: “[…] this functionality is a huge business opportunity for our partners as it enables them to further grow their business by offering data storage in the cloud and the associated migration services that complement their existing mailbox and Office 365 migration practice.”

Goodness Time: Hour of Code Week is HERE!

Posted by on in Featured

hour of code hereQuickly – it’s time to move “fast fast” if you want to participate I the worldwide Hour of Code project. I wrote about its meaning here a couple of weeks ago. Bottom line is that you use pre-planned curriculums to deliver an Hour of Code lecture to students to get them excited about computer science and engineering! How cool is that?

Learn more here:


Ray Vrabel HeadshotBy Raymond Vrabel, Director, Technical Account Management, Continuum Managed IT Services

Part 10 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.

By now, you have likely heard of a term known as “The Internet of Things,” or “IoT.” Much like the terms “cloud” and “managed services” before it, the Internet of Things is poised to create new business opportunities for both current IT companies and start-ups. While it seems like IT executives are split 50/50 on whether IoT is a fact, or simply just hype, CompTIA recently published a research brief stating that IoT could be filled with new opportunities.

appriver-logo-emailwebsecurityexperts stacked2012All Mountain Technologies (AMT) recently signed on to resell AppRiver’s Office 365 to help maximize their customers’ technology investments.

“About half of the time, customers want to learn more about Office 365 and the ways it can increase business productivity and enhance bottom line,” explains Jonathan Zapp, director of sales and marketing at AMT. “The rest of the time, we recommend Office 365 to clients who use outdated services or hardware that’s reaching end of life.”

But it’s not just about the convenience of Office 365 and scalability of the service, says Zapp.  It’s about the customer – and reseller - experience.

By Bob Vogel, B2 Marketing

bob vogel augustThere are some basic things that both you and your clients can do that could have significant advantages for both of you.

For your larger clients that have IT budgets that they must “use or lose” this is a great time to help them use it. You know their environments, and what would be a really good asset for them to acquire now, while you have their attention and they have the money.

For your smaller clients that are doing well, they might be in a position where they will want to accelerate their spending in order to reduce their taxable profits this year. Here are two ways you can help them out:

First, as in the case with the larger clients, having them purchase some assets that you know they are going to need is a good way for the smaller client to bump up their expenses this year. As long as the individual items are under a certain limit they don’t need to be capitalized (have your client’s accountant give them the specific guidance because the rules do vary).

Emulex and Dynatrace Deliver NetPod

Posted by on in News

emulexEmulex Corporation and Dynatrace recently announced fully-integrated solution NetPod, which combines Dynatrace’s Data Center analysis with Emulex’s EndaceProbe Intelligent Network Recorders.

“NetPod is the result of more than a year of collaboration between Emulex and Dynatrace, motivated by demand from mutual enterprise and service provider clients,” explained John Van Siclen, general manager, Dynatrace. “NetPod uniquely understands application logic and user behavior for the leading applications, databases and middleware. This integrated solution closes the gap between network and application teams, giving them a unified set of insights to manage their digital channels and infrastructure.”

NetPod is designed to provide network teams with high-fidelity network and application transaction-level visibility and long-term packet storage. It also enables performance, scalability and predictability optimization of applications in the data center.

NetPod will be available in Q1 2015 from select Emulex and Dynatrace partners, and will be demonstrated this week in booth 334 at the Gartner Data Center Conference.

HarryB HeadshotThursday, December 11, 2014 10:00-11:00 AM PDT

Registration URL:

Presented by: Harry Brelsford, Founder and Chairman, SMB Nation, Inc.

With the end of the year here, it’s time to get strategic for 2015. Learn how top MSPs aren’t “A” students, but just consistently show up and suit up. In this 60-min webinar, Harry Brelsford shares another MSP secret that insures you will be consistently and predictably profitable. It’s a not about home runs and doubling your MSP revenues overnight. It’s about deploying this one reliable method that guarantees quarter-over-quarter double-digit growth regardless of your geography. And that’s all we’re going to say here. You simply have to attend this webinar to learn MSP Secret #5. One lucky US attendee will qualify to win one OOMA commercial phone system valued at over $250! If you only attend one more webinar this year – this is the one to ensure continued (make that greater) success in 2015.

bob vogel augustBy Bob Vogel, B2 Marketing

Most MSPs and IT service providers I know struggle with writing. For some reason, writing simply is not a core competency for most people who chose technical careers. And conversely, many great writers I know are luddites, and don’t know a mouse wheel from a cartwheel.

While this is certainly a generalization, it’s a documented fact that creative and analytical thinking are driven by different parts of the brain, and they are not often equally dominant in most people. It’s the classic “left-brain, right brain” schism.

That’s probably why most IT techs are great at fixing and maintaining networks, but they lack good writing skills, and they rarely document their work.

greg plumBy Greg Plum, PlumUC

By now you have certainly heard about the SaaS tsunami known as Office 365. With this new delivery model, Microsoft is enjoying its fastest selling software platform in history. Great news for Microsoft, right? Sure, but even better news for telecom and IT channel partners.

Lync Online, which is a component of many O365 licenses, is a powerful communications platform, offering presence, instant messaging, voice over IP (VoIP) calling, desktop sharing, and audio and video conferencing … all from a single interface.  Lync makes it possible to handle just about all of your communications through a single desktop client, with one exception — PSTN voice, the service that countless telecom providers, resellers, and agents have built their businesses around since the dawn of the telecom era, circa 1878.  Sounds like an opportunity to me.

Dell Logo smallDell today announced more than 10,000 customers worldwide now use the Dell KACE Systems Management solutions.

"Dell KACE systems management solutions have an extremely fast-growing and loyal base of customers who appreciate how easily and affordably they can simplify critical systems management and improve endpoint security," said David Kloba, general manager for Endpoint Systems Management at Dell Software. "In our most recent customer satisfaction survey, 81 percent of those companies that evaluate ROI report their KACE appliance paid for itself within three months."

Dell also compiled customers’ top 10 reasons for choosing Kace:

HP Snubs Small Business IT Resellers

Posted by on in Featured

Small Business Saturday (November 29th) was a day to both celebrate and do good business with your local small business on “Main Street.” As I wrote this, I was hosting a Small Business Saturday event at Bainbridge Technology Solutions, a local computer storefront reseller .

brandonSo time for some Small Business Saturday storytelling . Brandon Byron is the owner/operator of Bainbridge Technology Solutions. Earlier this year, Byron received notification from HP that it was terminating the wholesale motion of its printer ink to smaller resellers who didn’t meet a annual quota of $30,000 USD in sales. The same fate also awaited the stationary store on downtown “Main Street” (really known as Winslow Way) called Paper Products. The sales termination date was November 1, 2014 (or about a month ago). HP had a procedural exemption step called the “Small Town Exemption.” This was an appeals process that Byron undertook showing community need, demographics. He even submitted photographic evidence depicting the character of the community. Sadly his request “ask” was denied. Even sadder was Byron’s belief that HPs decision will lead to Paper Products closing as it has a greater dependency on its HP ink sales than Byron. He will survive with a diversified practice that includes managed services for local small businesses.

I continued my investigation by going up the food chain. Bainbridge Technology Solutions is a reseller partner for D&H Distributing, one of the top five distributors in the US. I reached out to D&H Distributing who confirmed the scenario but further declined comment. I get that but, translated, there was nothing D&H Distributing could do.

So what’s it all mean? Small town customers will likely purchase their HP ink from online retailers and LARs such as CDW. I found an interview from HP’s Steve Sakumoto, VP and General Manager, US Supplies Sales Organization in OPI magazine. It’s actually a good article you can read here. Basically, it amounts to brand protection from HP’s point of view. But it sits wrong with me when an enterprise business tries to unsuccessfully understand small business. It’s a different dialect and culture.

I’ll continue to pursue this story – stay tuned for updates. And please support your local small business IT services provider and reseller.

Novus logoNovus recently announced that it has added new Lync qualified solutions to its portfolio, and added qualified staff members to its team. This marks the next big step for the telecom/IP equipment disty in its goal to build a one-stop Lync services business.

The addition of qualified staff is the key factor in this phase of business development for Novus. As some of you remember, Novus achieved the Microsoft Network Gold Communications Competency in January 2014. The process for this was quite rigorous, and required the distributor to have its employees complete exams to become Microsoft Certified Professionals, as well as to complete sales/technology assessments and provide customer references. Ultimately, this resulted in a competent workforce, on which Novus can continue to build its Lync services portfolio.

Manage EngineIT management company ManageEngine yesterday announced the immediate availability of a sync agent for the latest version of ADSelfService Plus that automatically detects native password modifications of Windows accounts and synchronizes them with IT systems and applications.

This sync agent is designed to simplify the password-replacing process, reducing difficulty for end users and time for IT administrators.

Selling Managed I.T. Services continues to provide significant revenue growth opportunities for I.T. consultants and PC service companies. How big an impact do these solutions make on your business?

ALL survey respondents will be entered into a drawing for three $100 Amazon gift cards plus are offered a free subscription to ChannelPro magazine.

Take the survey/enter to win:

New Services Drive SMBs Cloud Growth

Posted by on in Sponsored Posts

CD-Logo-220x150The opportunity to serve small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) with cloud services is going to take off in 2015. As the scope of SMB cloud deployments grow beyond a single service, they will need their channel partners more than ever. 

The foundation has been laid in 2014 with initial deployments of cloud services like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and other solutions. From this beginning, SMBs will expand the number of services they use in the cloud. Their comfort levels and experience with cloud services continues to grow and the barriers to adopting new services are almost non-existent.  

IDG Enterprise notes in its 2014 Cloud Computing Study that 69% of respondents to its cloud survey say they have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud. That’s a great start and demonstrates the role cloud is playing in the market. With at least one service in the cloud, there’s nothing stopping businesses from exploring other ways to use cloud in their operations.

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