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

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Recent blog posts

By Casey Morgan, Marketing Content Specialist, StorageCraft

Managed service providers can often make a higher margin for servicing clients in industries with specific needs. The legal industry is not only an industry that’s growing by the minute (legal services generated $240 billion in revenue in 2007 according to the US Census), it’s also one that has very specific requirements and almost no flexibility when it comes to downtime. According to a study by the International Legal Technology Association, around 40 percent of all IT budgets in the legal industry have increased compared to the prior year. A 2010 CompTIA study also noted that six out of ten surveyed law firms expressed interest in managed services. MSPs who know how to handle these clients could be in a position to cash in on business opportunities as budgets and the needs for outsourced IT increase. But there are a few things MSPs might want to think about when it comes to the legal industry.

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Edgewater Networks, Inc. recently announced the expansion of is EdgeProtect Enterprise Session Border Controller series to include the EdgeProtect 4550. According to Edgewater Networks, this device was designed specifically for SMBs to provide a secure video conferencing solution within their workspace.

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NovusYesterday, Novus, LLC, an IP-based telecommunications Value-added distributor, announced that is has received the Microsoft Partner Network Gold Communications Competency for its work with Microsoft Lync.

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As the airplane from Seattle landed at the Tokyo Airport, Alan couldn’t help but smile at the thought of how much fun he would have with his son’s family in Matsumoto, a town three hours west of Tokyo. He had not seen his grandchildren for three years, and it was all Alan could do to contain his excitement when he received a text message—complete with a photo of his three beautiful grandkids—from his son saying they were eagerly waiting for him at the baggage claim area. When the flight attendant finally announced that the doors were open, Alan had to resist the urge to squeeze past the elderly gentleman ahead of him who was taking too long to dislodge his carry-on bag from the overhead compartment.

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FedEx Opens Its Small Business Grant Contest

Posted by on in News

FedEx this week announced the start of is small business grant contest, which will award a total of $50,000 to ten small businesses. There will be a grand prize of $25,000 for one small business, while four 1st place winners will receive $5000.00 each, and five 2nd place winners will receive $1000.00 each.

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Datto Receives “Best Channel Vendor Award”

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dattoDatto, Inc. recently announced that they have received the “2013 Best Channel Vendor Award” from Business Solutions Magazine. For these awards, the votes of over 4600 VAR subscribers were collected, and Datto was ranked alongside fellow providers on a scale of 0 to 5.Only the top 5% of each category received a “Best Vendor Award.” Datto reported that it earned a ranking of 4.39 out of 5, with high marks in the Channel Friendly and Product Reliability categories.

Tagged in: Award Datto VAR
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QualysGuard Consultant

Posted by on in Sponsored Posts

vert 2C logo tag csPerform scans accurately, with a low, predictable TCO.

QualysGuard Consultant gives you the industry’s leading cloud-based security and compliance solutions to use in your own vulnerability, configuration, and compliance assessments. With QualysGuard Consultant, you can scan, analyze, track, and report on issues throughout your clients’ networks, devices and web apps – all from a single web console.

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Are You Ready? 10 Tips to Be IT Weather-Ready

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By Brian Ferguson, Digium

Companies all over the United States are digging their offices out of the snow and employees are braving subfreezing, and often subzero, temperatures to get to work. Even with these extreme weather conditions in full force, there’s still time for you and your customers to make adjustments and winterize your offices. Winter storms and other year-round weather events cost companies millions of dollars every year in lost productivity due to failed IT infrastructure and bad planning. Here are 10 tips to help ensure that you and your customers are ready:

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Ad Layouts - 220 x 150 - ASMB Nation is very excited about the opportunity to bring events to you in 2014! Here’s a look at what the Emerging Technology Tour is all about:

What you get?

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jobsOkay, I’ll be the first to propose that no active living business person has been through what you and I have just experienced: the Great Recession. Think about it: considering the Great Depression, which started in late 1929 with the stock market crash, if today you were an active business person who is 80-years old, you were born on Monday, January 8, 1934. If you are a 90-year old business person, I question how active you are in day-to-day business today, not to mention that you probably would have had a lemonade stand in the later part of the 1930s (which I’ll discount as running a true small business).

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Community Corner: North Carolina User Group Forming

Posted by on in News

At symbolWe received news from Handy Andy Goodman that fellow SMB IT Pro, Dexter Southerland, is planning to start a new User Group in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area of North Carolina.

As of today, Dexter’s plan is for the group to be named: The Triad NC IT Pros for SMB & The Cloud User Group, and it will be composed of SMB IT Professionals who are looking to meet monthly for technical training and conversation. The group title is currently under consideration, however.

Here’s what Dexter needs from interested IT Pros:

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Brrrrr….Cold Calling!

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snowflake caltechThis was a softball (errr…snowball) if there ever was one. Long-time SMB Nation friend Ken Thoreson posted up a joke early today from his mid-Atlantic residence about the Polar Vortex engulfing much of the eastern US. It’s cold out there, and Ken says: “it’s a good week to make cold calls”. I couldn’t let that one slide by without a reply.

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Earlier today, Fora Financial announced the start of its “Project Small Biz,” a contest that will award $5000.00 to one small business. Fora Financial hopes that this contest will help them gain greater insight into what small businesses need in today’s competitive market. The organization, founded in 2008, has granted over $145 million to its 4000 customers.

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LenovoEMC px4-400d NAS - hero shot - 01 2014LenovoEMC recently announced the global availability of two new px4-400 models at the International CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV. The two models, LenovoEMC px-4-400r and px4-400d are network storage devices designed to offer up to 16TB (4 by 4TB) of protected storage space.

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positiveI’m all about living theology, and as a West Coaster, I’m open-minded and believe that people find their “source” in many different ways. I get that. But my “State of the SMB Union” is simple: stay positive. I’ll explain that in many different ways with this blog.

RR’s Facebook Post:

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SMB IT Focus: Joy Belinda Beland

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Joy Belinda BelandI was recently able to have a chat with Joy Belinda Beland, Managing Partner, LA IT Girl, LLC, about her involvement in the SMB IT Community and plans for 2014. Our conversation started with the basics: How long have you been in the SMB IT Industry?

Joy explained that she has been in business for 17 years, and she has been an active member in her local community for the past 10 years. She started her business, not as an IT consultant, but as a business consultant, and quickly learned the ropes of the IT world due to her tenacity and dedication to perfection.

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Earlier this week, Heavy Reading 4G/LTE, an independent telecom research organization, released the results of a report that show the importance of call quality to businesses. The main finding of the report is that, in 2014, businesses will begin to turn towards VoLTE and HD Voice to keep customers happy.

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LiveITYesterday, the Live Information Technology Consulting Group, LLC, a Fort Worth, TX-based managed services and cloud services consultant, announced that it has been named to the Microsoft Partner Network’s US SMB Champions Club.

The US SMB Champions Club is designed to acknowledge the hard work of Microsoft’s top-performing IT Consultants. LiveIT explained that most of the partners in the US SMB Champions Club are opting to take a “cloud first” approach to their consultancy.

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Earlier today, the Consumer Electronics Association, or CEA, released the results of a survey centered on the future growth of connected healthcare and wellness devices. The report, titled “The Connected Health and Wellness Market,” was conducted by CEA and Parks Associates, a respected market research organization.

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We just received news that SMB Nation Emerging Technology Tour sponsor, D&H, has generously picked up the event ticket cost for all attendees at the Silicon Valley, CA show on January 31, 2014! To register for this event, please visit the site at http://tour.smbnation.com/silicon-valley/ for the registration link and use the code: DandHTicket2014.

Here’s the agenda for the Jan 31, event:

Time

  Details

8:00 – 8:15

  Registration

8:15 – 8:30

  Welcoming Address

8:30 – 9:00

  Keynote

9:00 – 11:00

  Automation and Scalable Management with PowerShell (Part 1)
  Speaker: Jason Yoder

11:00 – 11:15

  Break

11:15 – 12:30

  Keynote Lunch

12:30 – 2:30

  Exhibit Hall

2:30 – 4:30

  Migrating your SBS Exchange to Exchange 2013
  Speaker: Dave Shackelford

4:45 – 6:45

  Standards and Procedures That Will Instantly Increase Your Profits
  Speaker: Karl Palachuck

7:00 – 9:00

  Automation and Scalable Management with PowerShell (Part 2)
  Speaker: Jason Yoder

Contact us at 206-201-2943 for any questions or concerns.

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Happy New Year from SMB Nation!

Posted by on in Featured

New YearThe SMB Nation Team would like to thank you for helping us make 2013 a great year! From Spring 2013 to Fall 2013, you were with us, and we thank you.

We look forward to bringing you an exciting ten-city tour and an SMB Nation Fall show that is more educational than ever in 2014! It’s a new day in the tech industry, and we are committed to staying by your side to offer in-depth training classes on the latest technologies you will use to further your business, as well as that of your clients!

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sbs boxesToday is the last day of 2013 and I’ve used the afternoon to organize some old author materials in my home office basement. I bumped into a bunch of Small Business Server (SBS) resources and it instantly occurred to me. Today is the end of life (EOL) for SBS. After tonight when the clock moves to 12:01AM and the year is 2014, you can no longer purchase SBS from any official channel (tonight is the OEM channel deadline).

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Samsung Announces 8Gb LPDDR4 Mobile DRAM

Posted by on in News

Earlier this week, Samsung announced the development of an eight GB, low-power double data rate 4 Mobile DRAM. According to Samsung, this is the first mobile DRAM device of its kind in the industry.

Key features of the Samsung 8GB LPDDR4 device include:

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Trend Micro Releases List of New Year’s Resolutions

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Trend Micro today released a list of five New Year’s Cyber Resolutions to help businesses and individuals have a safe and happy 2014. The driving force behind today’s announcement is the company’s prediction that digital threats will increase in both scope and sophistication next year.

The five resolutions released by Trend Micro are as follows:

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Community Corner: Beatrice Mulzer Ties the Knot

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BeatriceWe recently received news that former SMB Nation employee, Beatrice Mulzer, was married this past weekend. Beatrice served as SMB Nation’s VP, Operations between 2003 and 2007. She also served in training and writing roles within the company. In 2007, Beatrice left to start her career as a well-respected yoga instructor in Florida.

SMB Nation would like to wish Beatrice and her husband all the best!

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