Dwight: Texas Tango and the MSP Attack Vector

Ken “The Virus Doctor” Dwight from Houston Texas double-clicks into something we’ve discussed before – the bad guys are targeting MSPs as a channel to a customer portfolio. Dwight offers little known facts about the Texas MSP who was targeted and 22-cities were impacted with a ransomware scenario. You can also gain more visibility into this matter in a recent CRN article HERE.





Your chance to get intellectual (and a sneak peek) at Tobin Smith’s forthcoming (sure to be best seller) book. After 14-years at Fox News, Smith has a tell all book that is much more than just “that” with insights into the predatory psychological and emotionally manipulative powers of any major cable news network. This isn’t about right versus left but rather a guide to how the human brain responds to certain triggers to simulate endorphins. Maybe there are some business development lessons learned for all of us. A must watch teaser vid! After watching learn more about the book here:




Tran: We Provide an Efficient Integration with IT Glue

 Liongard’s Vincent Tran represents the spirit of the exposition hall at IT Glue’s GlueX 2019 conference in Scottsdale. This right-sized conference has a vendor hall that makes sense. Each sponsor somehow, someway truly integrates into IT Glue.

So this conference is about ecosystem. Tran shares the details on how Liongard’s solution brings order to documentation management saving the MSP time and ultimately allowing for better service delivery.




Is Analytics the Enemy of Innovation?

Compelling keynote speaker David Robertson directly answers my questions about analytics and dog food. I formulated this line of questioning after his completing business keynote at GlueX in Scottsdale, AZ. Here is the scoop on his keynote – read before watching the vid so you have the context.

Innovation doesn't always have to be disruptive to be effective. In fact, trying to push the limits too far, too fast, can be an outright disaster. Robertson, a Professor of Practice at the Wharton School, is a business expert . He's also the author of Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry. In the book, he explores the perils of "over-innovation" through the lens of LEGO, the iconic American toy brand. He provides an insider's look at how the company went from the brink of bankruptcy in 2003 to become the most profitable and fastest growing company in the toy industry today.

In 1999, Robertson recounts, LEGO hit a roadblock: People worried that toys like LEGO, Barbie, and Hot Wheels were becoming passé. To stay competitive in a market being overtaken by digital gadgets and video games, LEGO decided to deviate from what consumers expected of them. As Roberts divulged to Lavin, LEGO's foray into the theme park market was an "innovative" move that turned out to be high-risk and low-reward. They focused too much on the innovation itself and not enough on managing that innovation, he adds. Another miss was when the company released a line of toys that featured very little physical assembly. For anyone who has used LEGO products before, it's easy to see why consumers would be confused by the brand's dramatic change.

When talking to the keynote speaker about the shortcomings of LEGO's innovation strategy, he recalls a metaphor of a man strapping a jet engine to his car and trying—unsuccessfully—to steer the contraption around a sharp and unexpected curve. It's one thing to be innovative and keep customers on their toes. But if you try to innovative in markets that neither you—nor your customer—understands, you could end up going over the cliff. The important thing is that you provide both "the space [for staff] to be creative with the governance to guide," he argues. Further, he says that building families of innovation, where you build on the products you already have instead of always trying to create something brand new, is another of LEGO's winning strategies. In a world obsessed with the "next big thing" and highly disruptive innovation, sometimes it pays to approach innovation from a "brick by brick" approach. Build from what you have, and ensure that you are laying the foundation to manage those innovations long-term. It certainly worked for LEGO.




Mid-town Mr. Brown on SECURITY that MATTERS!

No SolarWinds Empower conference is complete with touching all the bases and that includes a security talk with Tim Brown, VP of Security, SolarWinds MSP. While a fellow geek, Brown is also something of a well-spoken character and has a way of describing security matters in terms of something we can all understand. Bottom line this time? MSPs are under attack and need to take security seriously. Catch Brown’s baseline recommendations at 1:30+ into the interview. And beware of “drive-bys” – ouch!
PS – why the mid-town nickname? Because the Empower event was held in mid-town Atlanta LOL!



Pagliuca, Five Things That Matter Most?

SolarWinds executive John Pagliuca, EVP, SolarWinds MSP reveals several things in this interview including an update on the conference demographic (a record 500+ delegates attended). His talking points:

1. Security
2. Automation
3. Monitor everything!
4. Open choice – ecosystem support for the MSP (e.g. added documentation)
5. Business support (e.g. MSP collateral)

Watch up to discover the depth that Pagliuca goes into each topic.




Knox UPDATE: One Month Later and Looking Forward!

Just over a month ago, we interviewed Colin Knox (Colin Knox, Director of Product Strategy, Passportal, SolarWinds MSP) at the CompTIA ChannelCon event and we caught up to him at SolarWinds Empower 2019. Spoiler alert: Knox launched his PassPortal solution at the 2011 SMB Nation Fall Conference (at the RIO in Las Vegas – YAY!). From there Knox defines what PassPortal “does” and what forthcoming integrations into the SolarWinds product stack you can anticipate!e.




Midwest Dental Practices Attacked Via MSP

Larry Doyle brought his friend William along this month as they joined us from Belfast, Northern Ireland. We discuss the absolute hottest topic in the MSP community today: Bad actors attacking MSPs as a channel to customer sites. This was a central theme at the recent SolarWinds Empower event and it’s a topic receiving significant coverage. In this case, our guest William, discusses several dental clinics that were compromised with malware via a single MSP! There is a strong security lesson here for everyone.




I want to HEAR from YOU!

As part of our journey around the SolarWinds Empower conference in Atlanta, we cornered Mav Turner who recently came from the mothership SolarWinds over to SolarWinds MSP. He takes a moment to lay out the organization structure and speak toward his ten-year SolarWinds career (built on his technical background with a Computer Science degree). Turner’s job is to listen with two ears and talk with one mouth (in that proportion) so he wants to hear from you. Leave a comment and he’ll get it!




 Digital Transformation: Winning Customers’ Hearts & Minds at Scale

A busy Erik Qualman, motivational speaker and best selling author, caught a few minutes with us at the SolarWinds Empower conference to talk about STAMP starting with “simple is hard” (an oft-quoted phrase here at SMB Nation). We also cover finding the balance between your offline and online presence. And we end with the notion of fully stepping into your story from the perspective of how you want to be remembered.




Call That Girl – Lisa Speaks to SMB Nation!

Community member Lisa Hendrickson recently returned home to Minnesota to start graduate school and continue to grow her thriving social community of technicians (known as “Call That Girl”). We play a round of “what’s your story” and that includes over ten books (including a best seller on social media). Fast forward and she’s grown a large LinkedIn following and YouTube (and don’t forget her 8,500 fans on FaceBook). But first and foremost, she’s a geek (she is a Microsoft Outlook expert) and shares her tales from the trenches.




Winner! Dan Foote wins MSP Technology Makeover Contest!

Celebrating ten years in business, Alaskan Dan Foote of DanTech is the grand prize winner of the SherWeb-backed SMB Nation MSP Technology Makeover Contest (2Q 2019). I spent a day with Dan and his growing team (his MSP practice recently doubled in size) in Anchorage, Alaska. While I was able to offer some business planning ideas, Dan is actually far along the MSP maturity continuum with an emphasis on customer care, security and targeting emerging sectors and existing professional services. Enjoy the interview and look for his “red shirt” at leading industry conferences in the Lower 48.




Banks: These Phising Stats will SHOCK YOU!

Rustin Banks lives and breathes the MSP experience all day every day for Washington DC-based DNS Filter. That’s because his entitie(s) are both an ISV and MSP. In this interview we look at current updates on phising sophistication – there’s something here for everyone with this update.




Liberman - Be an MVP MSP via MDF

Joshua Liberman from New Mexico shares one of the secrets to his success: investing forward into his relationships with technology vendors. Specially the use of Market Development funds (MDF) aka “making do funds” (a phrase Liberman coined). There are a couple steps you will have to complete with a vendor to secure MDF funds. Plus each vendor might have a different emphasis such as lunch-and-learns. Watch!




Coffee with Denis! Social Selling and Bluetooth

It wouldn’t be the dog days of summer without a chit-chat with contributor (and fellow MSP) Denis Wilson. He reveals his secret to social selling success to attract new clients (he’s grown a prospect base using these tactics. Then we get technical and talk about Bluetooth hacking. The Bluetooth standard is surprisingly unsecure and there is no impending fix according to Wilson. So is it a case of be like Harry and use tethered ear buds with your mobile phone? Listen up!




Dwight: Summertime and the Security Chat is Flowing Easy!

We caught up with a busy Ken Dwight before he flew up to an aircraft owner’s convention in Oshkosh, WI. Dwight chatted with us about a variety of topics including malware attacks on mobile phones, IoT device penetration. Bottom line: we discuss being early in technology rather than late. Enjoy this summer chat!




Fraser: Privacy via the Microsoft Trust Center in ‘365

Contributor Michael Fraser (CEO, Refactr) joins us for a security double-click. This month with discuss a range of topics that fall under the auspices of the Microsoft Trust Center: Audit and review, compliance plus a look at how data is protected, governance, data across all devices, clouds services, applications in Azure and more. Use cases discussed include audit existing services in Azure and then decide what needs to be managed, etc. A tip of the hat to compliance topics including HIPAA and such.




Kallhoff: Let Me Let You (the MSSP) Sleep Better at Night!

Defining what a Managed Services Security Provider (MSSP) is (hint: Kallhoff’s Infogressive company is SECURITY ONLY!). After a tip of the hat to it’s great partnership with Fortinet, Kallhoff share’s how SMB MSPs from both SMB Nation and Microsoft 365 Nation can work with him. It’s a build v. buy conversation. You can get to the same place as Infogressive in a few years and $1m+ or you can team with Infogressive to accelerate your MSSP transformation.




Fields – Our Most Technical Contributor is on the LOOSE!

We review enhancements to the standard Office 365 proper SKUs don’t easily reveal (and in some cases you need to purchase. Starting with Advanced Threat Protection, we move to discuss safe links, safe attachments and anti-phish policies. Hang on fast for this long play format (over 18-mins) but worth every second.




Asset Life Cycle Management is COOL!

Long-time community member Dan Wensley updates us on his whereabouts since the early Level Platforms days (kids won’t get that), his contributions to CompTIA and his new role as CEO at Warranty Master. Wensley asserts its about IT asset life cycle management and helping customers stay current and optimize spend. The secrets are in thie interview so listen up!




Let’s Talk MD101 Baby!

The man, the author and legend (and our contributor) Andrew Bettany joins us to talk about YET ANOTHER BOOK he has authored! This guy is nonstop and we’re lucky to have his attention. In this interview, we’re talking the new MD101 exam that is part of the MCSA for Windows 10 – this is for your desktop administrators. This is the second exam and builds upon the BASICS from Windows 10 MD100. Bettany shares that this is all about MANAGING modern desktops. Listen intently for the conversation(s) on AutoPilot, MSM and other Microsoft 365 product stack-isms!




 Bradbury: Revisiting Barracuda and it’s MSP Brand

At the recent CompTIA ChannelCon event, Harry interviews Neal Bradbury – Vice President, Channel Development – at Barracuda MSP. Bradbury sizes up the post-acquisition integration (Barracuda acquired Intronis) plus shares insights into how MSPs can make money while offering security to customers. Listen for insights into its recent email security study based on 600+ MSP interviews!




Black Hat: Harry’s Summary

WOW – first time and will repeat. This is a deeply technical conference that touches all the bases when it comes to security. While the floor was more customer friendly, there were partner managers in the different exhibitions that could speak towards making money with security services. Bottom line? Over 20,000 attendees and 500+ sponsors engaging in a deeply technical conference. See you next year!




Black Hat: Saving Time with Trustfi

Jason Green from Trustifi spends a few minutes with Harry at the recent Black Hat security conference to explain how to save time implementing email security. You could take many hours to do it yourself inside the Microsoft 365 family or you can engage Trustfi to do it for you and, ergo, your customers.




On the Road –Firewall Relevance

Contributor Larry Doyle has figured out an interesting way to take a summer vacation cycling across Europe yet still staying in touch with the Microsoft 365 Nation! (Full disclosure: his trip is partially sponsored by StorageCraft, a backup vendor) But the real story is Larry’s analysis about the need for a physical v. cloud-based firewall (or both?).




Fraser Capital One Hack and AWS’s Role

Contributor Michael Fraser (Refractr) lives in the world of cloud-based platforms and infrastructure so he’s deeply qualified to speak towards the recent well-know 100m record hack. Fraser puts it all into context that AWS is unlikely to incur liability for the Capital One security breach.




Security Awareness Training has the HOT HAND!

Contributor Denis Wilson talks about the importance of staff training as a first defense against the bad guys in the cybersecurity realm. It’s a surpsiingly profitable revenue opportunity to provide security awareness training to clients. And you’ll feel good along the way providing an incredibly valuable service to your client. The “process” includes several steps starting with short Web-based training resources followed by…you’ll have to watch the vid for the rest LOL!




My Feedback on DattoCon 2019

Contributor Larry Doyle jumps up to the Big Leagues this month with an infrastructure conversation that touches on hyper convergence, etc. It’s about using big tools to put it all into a single pane of glass. And Doyle explains the ease with which you can easily expand capacity with the right infrastructure.




 Liberman: I liked DattoCon!

Contributor Josh Liberman (Net Sciences) provides the dets on DattoCon with respect to product stack releases (e.g. a private cloud solution, etc.). Then he talks about the “Hallway 101” aspects of meeting/greeting fellow attendees. We also discuss maturity in the industry that is being dominated by a handful of big players (Datto, Kaseya, ConnectWise, Continuum for example).




New Security Startup from Longtime Player

Contributor Larry Doyle jumps up to the Big Leagues this month with an infrastructure conversation that touches on hyper convergence, etc. It’s about using big tools to put it all into a single pane of glass. And Doyle explains the ease with which you can easily expand capacity with the right infrastructure.




Infrastructure is Not Boring

Contributor Larry Doyle jumps up to the Big Leagues this month with an infrastructure conversation that touches on hyper convergence, etc. It’s about using big tools to put it all into a single pane of glass. And Doyle explains the ease with which you can easily expand capacity with the right infrastructure.




MD-100 Exam for IT Pros running Windows 10

Contributor Andrew Bettany takes the lead on focusing on the second leg of the Microsoft 365 product stack: Windows. Bettany has just shipped an exam cram on MD-100 and we’re the first community to interview him about it. This exam for IT Pros and MSPs focuses on planning, deployment and, to a lesser extent, on-going administration. If you’ve tracked Bettany, you know this is a must watch video.
Here is a peek at Bettany’s MD-100 book: Prepare for Microsoft Exam MD-100: Windows 10—and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of skills and knowledge required to deploy, configure, secure, manage, and monitor Windows devices and client applications. Designed for Windows administrators, Exam Ref MD-100: Windows 10 focuses on the critical thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the Microsoft Certified Associate level.




Lightening Round – Office 365 Security

Michael Fraser, CEO of Refactr and frequent contributor, is back for a lightening round update concerning security in Office 365. Topics this month include:

Restriction of physical data center access.
Ability to encrypt data at rest and over the network – a security nugget
No mining of data for advertising purposes
Regular data backups behind the curtain going on all the times (So do you need a third-party backup solution? The answer will surprise you!)

And much more in the interview (six more points)




Dwight: Dets on MSPs as Security Targets

Contributor Kew Dwight offers a deeper dive on MSPs as security targets by the “bad guys.” The whole point is that MSPs have been identified by ransomware hackers as attractive targets. This conversation with Dwight is based on his recent article on the same topic at MSP Insights. Spoiler alert – MSPs, as a channel (one to many clients) are just to juicy to the criminal elements. This interview has meat on the bones!




Passion Project To Help MSPs in a 365 World

Contributor Alex Fields, on to watch on the way up, has a heart. Much of his writing and analysis beyond his day job as an MSP engineering-type, concerns helping other MSPs and IT Pros be successful. It’s a winning formula as he builds his professional reputation (and you should imitate him!).
Now the good stuff – We review a recent content piece Alex wrote at his ITProMentor site called “Introducing the Office 365 Email Security Checklist” . We discuss the different steps – watch!




Azure is getting closer to SMB

Esteemed IT analyst Frank Ohlhorst weighs in on Azure. He shares a couple important points starting with Azure evolving as a service (more and more capabilities are being added all the time). About two minutes into the interview, Ohlhorst proclaims that there is a new focus on small and medium business (SMB) with Azure. Do you believe it or not? Watch and decide for yourself. Ohlhorst asserts that Office 365 Business SKU included elements that allow you to leverage Azure (e.g. instead of just the traditional one drive integration).




 Cryptojacking and FormJacking

A new twist on security conversations with these topics. Cryptojacking (also called malicious cryptomining) is an emerging online threat that hides on a computer or mobile device and uses the machine’s resources to “mine” forms of online money known as cryptocurrencies. It’s a burgeoning menace that can take over web browsers, as well as compromise all kinds of devices, from desktops and laptops, to smart phones and even network servers.
Like most other malicious attacks on the computing public, the motive is profit, but unlike many threats, it’s designed to stay completely hidden from the user. To understand the mechanics of the threat and how to protect yourself against it, let’s begin with a bit of background.
Formjacking is a relatively new form of digital information theft caused by hacker attacks on commercial websites involved in banking, e-commerce and other activities that collect customers' personal information.




 Bug Free Computing with Ken Dwight

Did you know that Microsoft 365 Nation contributor Ken Dwight is a published author? Dwight wrote a book (“Bug-Free Computing”) a decade ago that still has legs. Dwight shares for the first time that he wasn’t thrilled by the title (he wanted to have “safety” in the title). Back in the day, it was a best-selling book before the term malware was coined and widely used.

While this book reflects the world from a user point of view. Dwight goes deep in KLEZ, the first virus to extract money from afflicted parties. Dwight and myself (Harry) talk about what’s its like to self-publish a book.




Top 5 things MSPs do wrong

This contribution from Michael (MickyJ) Jenkin is very special. It’s a case of while the cat is away; the mice will play! Jenny and MickyJ filmed the rogue conversation while harry was gone. The content is a solid and the new format is worth the view alone!




 You are an MSSP whether you like it or not!

The always engaging Microsoft 365 Nation contributor Joshua Liberman is back with a view of the next security frontier(s) you’ll encounter in 2019. First up is internal vulnerability scanning. Second is device alerting. When Liberman speaks, people listen! In this interview he walks the viewer through the “processes” surrounding the above messages such as vulnerability scanning.

Because Microsoft 365 Nation is an independent community separate from Microsoft, Liberman takes advantage of the opportunity to recommend third-party solutions. Just after minute three, Liberman talks about outsourced firewall log reading.




 Success Computer Secret to Success – Community Book 4 U

This segment is a doozie – and there’s a free Microsoft 365 book on the other end of this video. Author Alex Fields, Success Computer Consulting, has written an amazingly technical book titled “Microsoft 365 Business Admin Guide” that we quickly do an overview of parts of the book (with this month’s contribution – future months will be a deep dive).

The parts of the book that we discuss are:

  1. Identity Management (e.g. Azure Active Directory)
  2. Device Management (e.g. Intune)
  3. Apps and Data Protection (this is the combo section that brings together the three legs of Microsoft 365). Spoiler alert – we discuss HIPAA



 Ohlhorst: Optimistic about online office suites

Contributor Frank Ohlhorst shares his monthly insights including a recent workflow conference (Workfront Leap) in Dallas that embraces the managed services providers (MSP) community. But then we drop into the good stuff!

The good stuff for May 2019 includes a conversation on Microsoft 365 automation. At a basic level, the modern office is evolving with online solutions (Ohlhorst views it as abstracting from the physical solution). He’s optimistic that the complete online office solutions now meet the same synergistic impact the our beloved Windows Small Business Server had a technology generation ago.




Dwight: MSPs are Malware Targets!

Ken Dwight – virus expert and contributor – weighs in on a newly revealed security attack vector: managed services providers (MSPs). He cites a specific attack that exploits the connection between two well-known ISVs in the MSP space. In all fairness – a patch was issued – but many folks haven’t implemented the patch yet. Boo hoo!

The conversation then shifts to discuss how the “bad guys” understand MSPs are a channel – hack just one and you potentially can do bad things to a portfolio of customers!




 Two Guys Disrupting Azure in SMB

The proverbial lost opportunity appears to have been found. Forever and a day, smart minds have struggled with how to right size Azure consumption for small businesses. Michael and Zack have done exactly that an a SMB Azure solution that is purpose built and already in production and deployed. Amongst all of our content, this is a top five interview and a must view.




 Andrew Bettany: Gamechanger or Gimmick

Many companies - Windows Autopilot is a modern ways for device deployment…in Andrew's words "…it's pretty cool." In this deep dive, we look at three main stages in the Windows Autopilot Process: (1) Purchase (Vendor), (2) Set-up (Administrator) and (3) User receives devices (End User). There is a brain teaser at the start of the second minute in the interview: how is the device ID created? You'll just have to watch to gain insights into the and much more.




 New Bettany Book!

Long-time MVP and MCT Andrew Bettany has just completed another book: “Exam Ref MD-100 Windows 10.” It’s his sixth book for Microsoft Press and is ready for pre-order on major book seller sites (wink-wink) and scheduled to ship in early June 2019.

A peek into the book?

Is an enterprise focused book that tackles deploying Windows 10 inside organizations. Learn about AutoPilot and listen intently as Bettany likes InTune! It’s all about using a cloud-based tools versus that old System Center tool.

Bettany connects the dots between small and medium business (SMB) and the enterprise space. You might be surprised to know that we have more in common than pulls us apart!




Wilson: Monthly Security Check-in

It’s a double hitter with contributor Denis Wilson this month. He’s on a tear publishing heaps of articles. Topic one is “Google Ads Now Steal Information” and topic two is “12 Email Clients Found To Have Serious Flaw.”




Issue of the Month: Bad Guys Targeting MSPs

According to contributor Ken Dwight, the bad guys are targeting managed services providers (MSPs) because, as a channel partner, MSPs have a one-to-many relationship with multiple clients. Simple math. Hack an MSP and gain access to, on average, potentially two dozen client sites in the small and medium business sector.

“Yes – this ransomware is starting to target us MSPs because it’s the door to a larger community of clients.” Shared contributor Michael Jenkin. “




Core Security in a Microsoft 365 World

I spent a few minutes with Davin Cooke, president of the Austin-area IAMCP right after the SxSW 2019 conference I Austin, TX. I said to Cooke – “Let’s talk security!” Cooke said SURE!

Cooke’s day job is the Director of Business Development for Identity Maestro – a Microsoft ISV partner that is MSP and CSP friendly. His solution set allows MSP and CSP partners to provide Identity Management as a Service (IMaaS). What the heck is that?

Cooke shares in this interview HERE that:

Identity management is core to any security framework

Solution specifics include these three pillars:

Delegating rights to service desk personnel without having admin rights
Automating workflow – e.g. human resources onboarding and dismissals
Logging, auditing and Monitoring

Plus a tip of the hat to the IAMCP trade group




SxSW Summary – Tip of the Hat to Security

At the recent south-by-Southwest (SxSW) conference in Austin, was never far from my mind and also how the broad Microsoft 365 product stack crossed over to many conference tracks. I quickly discuss security in the contest of Blockchain and Crypto! Join me and 200,000 people in 2020 for the next SxSW - let's have an M365nation beerfest!




Rodriguez: Helping MSPs with Security Marketing + IAMCP

This is an amazing interview with Rudy Rodriguez, Principal, Dunamis Marketing and Chairman Emeritus, IAMCP. Rodriguez is all about helping MSPs with marketing messages. Recent example of helping an MSP with a security marketing message, etc. His firm uses the  a "voice of the customer" approach.  

As Chairman Emeritus for IAMCP, he shared why M365nation members should join! Hint: Rudy mentors newer and younger partners...and shares the partner-to-partner (P2P) paradigm that is so powerful. The conversation ends with a STEM scholarship fund in place with Rudy's name.




On the Road: GDPR and Security One Year Later (Dublin, Ireland)

It’s been almost a year since the GDPR regulations kicked in and Larry Doyle, long-time managed services provider and Microsoft 365 Nation contributor, shares a very interesting update. Today Europeans are seeing the effect of GDPR 10+ months later, which is not a surprise as business behavior tends to lags regulatory and compliance deadlines (for example, I share the time lag in the tech community *after* the April 14, 2014 deadline for Windows XP support).

Doyle double-clicks down into how businesses are trying to secure and protect data – it’s all about what are the biggest priorities in the GDPR long-tail. Plus a tip of the hat to Windows 10 growth and BitLocker encryption round out this conversation that, at its core, is focused on GDRP compliance.




On the Road – SoCal and AXONTECH

Long-time MSP and technology professional in the Seattle-region, Sid Herron offers comments on why security matters. He is an expert in VDI and remote/virtual desktop computing. When Herron speaks, people listen and so should you!



MickyJ White Hat Security Topics

IT Pro Michael Jenkin shares top insights concerning security in a 365 world. Trends include malware trends included target phishing. Jenkin shares this is 100% targeting knowing things only you would know like your favorite wine (hint: your Facebook posts tell all to hackers). Catch the conversations about passwords being a concern and WordPress site vulnerabilities (hint: encryption).

 Listen to the interview HERE

Jenkin, Managing Director at Business Technology Partners Pty Ltd in Adelaide, Australia and long-time community leader (MVP, GITCA), has transformed into a security expert and a social media whiz. Beyond his community heart of gold – he has actively assisted law enforcement in his community using his cyber security expertise.




Security in the Silicon Valley

I recent visited a security ISV in the Silicon Valley surfaced a couple observations.

Hiring! Channel Account Managers (CAMs) and Partner Account Managers (PAMs) at security ISVs in in demand and being hired.

Vibe – security ISVs are profitable and flexing their muscle. How do I know? Upper scale lunch establishments are busy – a true sign of good times.




Post-Quantum Security

We carved out several minutes recently to speak with well-respected technology industry analyst Frank Ohlhorst (Magnum Consulting, NY, NY). Security is a pillar coverage area for Ohlhorst and he's already thinking way ahead about how quantum computers will be able to decrypt encoded data and what that means. Ohlhorst concludes with ideas for growing Microsoft 365 Nation



Sid Herron speaks about security

Long-time MSP and technology professional in the Seattle-region, Sid Herron offers comments on why security matters. He is an expert in VDI and remote/virtual desktop computing. When Herron speaks, people listen and so should you!



Security Expert Jeffrey Graves: Pen Testing and More

 We caught up with a real do'er and go getter in Jeffrey Graves at a recent IT conference in Seattle. Graves is out there doing security every way every day - very impressive. His niche is penetration testing (pen testing) and his got the street cred to back up his statements.




Keith Nelson interview

We caught up with a busy Angus Robertson, CRO for Axcient, at the start of CompTIA’s ChannelCon 2019 event in Las Vegas. Today (Tuesday, August 6, 2019) at 10:45am, Robertson will be on a panel discussing vertical opportunities. In the interview we discuss sector rotation strategies including take a fresh look at growing verticals that Managed Services Providers (MSPs) might have missed.



 Wayne Small interview

Wayne Small, Correct Solutions (Sydney, NSW, Australia) discussed security topics including having security lunch-and-learns with clients. Learn more about Small HERE.



John Krikke and Bob Nitrio interview

Fast forward to 2:02 in this vid to catch security talk. John Krikke claims people won't pay for security but they need it - so you got to start with simple security and layer on additional security srevices as the client has an appetite. But don't be confused - he secret is touch love when it comes to security. Bob Nitrio talk DevOps and Community.

Learn more about Krikke HERE  and learn more about Nitrio HERE.




John Hill Interview

John Hill, TechSage Solutions (San Antonio, TX) leads all client engagements with SECURITY! He does this before even starting the managed services conversation. Listen to how Hill does a full security sweep at the start of a client relationship. Learn more about Hill HERE.



Social Goodness Pays Off!

Denver-based MSP Jack Smith (Initial.IT) launched a social initiative to give back to his community. He focuses on assisting not for profits and other social entities that align with his passions and beliefs. Take eight minutes to learn how you can be like Jack!



Thwarting the Technical support Scammers!

Regular contributor Ken Dwight has out done himself this month! He’s reached into his rich content library to share a topic that applies to everyone – you as an individual and as a Managed Services Provider (MSP). He’s condensed a long play presentation to distill the facts on how you can thwart the technical support scammers. This interview contains specific keystrokes, process and procedures.





Hard MSP by Day; Podcaster by Night

What an amazing journey it’s been for Marvin Bee. Having entered the technology consulting and services business organically (starting with after hours work), Bee has grown a successful practice in Southern Florida (automotive, legal and other verticals). Along the way he started to give back to the community with his popular Podnutz Pro series where he interviews thought leaders. We turn the tables on Bee and interview him. What you’ll take from this is that Bee has struck a balance in driving business success and giving back to the community.



Work Hard & Play Hard

Longtime IT professional and MSP Steven Church (Eugene, OR) plays as hard as he works. We found him at a recent “ESP sprint boat” race (Port Angeles, WA) where he charges around a short and narrow waterway course in front of thousands of spectators. Talk about leaving your weekday work worries behind! An interesting twist is that Church has engaged the SMB MSP sponsor community and is partially underwritten by AppRiver, a Cloud Services Provider (CSP). That alone demonstrates there are unique and interesting ways to work with your vendors to enjoy mutual success.

In the following figures, you can see this unique sporting endeavor!

Figure 1: An aerial view of the ESP spring boat race course.
Figure 2: Church and his navigator on the course.
Figure 3: Church continues his spring run.

If you’d like to watch the entire race, click HERE for the vid feed. Really cool! 




Podcast – Pax8 offers Security Insights

Pax8 isn’t your normal intermediary or distributor. The Denver-based firm thinks outside the pick and pack boxes. At the recent DattoCon conference, it announced a security solution set focused on end point protection. Shout out to security architecture and sandboxing so you can run a test bed, etc. As a bonus – this was recorded as a “Harry on the Ferry” podcast.




Marketplaces and other gizmos from GoDaddy

Turn on and tune in to this conversation with Greg Goldfarb from GoDaddy about recent announcement concerning marketplaces. SMB Nation managed services providers (MSPs) have increasingly been asking about the role of marketplaces in “our world” and while this interview takes a different approach, it does provide the context needed to fully embrace marketplaces where online sellers connect with buyers (over 50% of all transactions occur in marketplaces now). One approach is enhancements to the seller’s accounts to list on multiple new marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy, etc.). We also discuss with Goldfarb an acquisition – Sellbrite – a top multi-channel management platform. Watch the interview




MSPs should lead with COMPLIANCE!

In this impactful interview, Marc Haskelson, CEO of the Compliancy Group in New York, offers a fresh view to business development for managed services providers (MSP). Use compliancy matters such as HIPAA to open the door to new client opportunities. Then make it part of your technical domain expertise to establish a successful on-going business relationship with clients. Spoiler alert – your budding experience in compliancy isn’t just for health care. There are other sectors in the world!




On The Road: Get Your Messages Read Now! (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 

As part of our “On the Road” series, Let’s look at Message Pro - a 20-year old Florida-based company – with telephony roots that has built add-on applications.

“We allow businesses to text message their customers, patients, etc. with ease. The reality is that few people answer the phone today. But people typically view text messages instantly. We cut through the clutter and are way beyond appointment reminder(s) and other traditional business text.” Said Mark Herring, vice president of business development at MessagePro.




On the Road: Blog Passion Project and Profits (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Long time SMB technology player Rob Leon has reemerged in the South Florida area working with a larger MSP. His day job is to focus on helping small businesses do better with technology. But there is more to Rob than meets the eye.

For the past two years, Rob wakes up and does a daily morning blog: it started as a passion project and has led to profits. Leon explains how he has developed an audience and has built a reputation for his expertise in the following area: Get you tech right!




On The Road: San Francisco and Dropbox

What’s Ted Hulsy up to now? From SonicWall forward, Hulsy has been a friend of the SMB Nation family. Fast forward and Hulsy is Global Head of Channel Marketing (he just crossed one year in his gig).

Building channel ecosystem for the “business product” of Dropbox (everyone knows the consumer side). The company is growing one year later after its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and Hulsy speaks to that. More importantly, Hulsy shares the secret about how Managed Services Providers can make money. Finally – Hulsy emphasizes product integrations.



   Tech Tuesday  

Tech Tuesday Ramey from TechReputation com with Harry Brelsford on Northwest Digital NEWS NDN

ILong-time SMB Nation community member and managed services provider (MSP) Ramey Bell from TechReputation continues his conversation with the partner community via Northwest Digital News (NDN) on the Tech Tuesday segment!




Money Makers: Attach voice to data as a Managed Services Provider (MSP)

More goodness from our telephony community member SoundLine! We return for more wisdom from CEO Barrett Adams. This is a serious conversation about money! We hit is head-on about how MSPs can make money with a Unified Communications (UC) and telephony attach.

Watch the Adams interview where we dive into lifetime recurring revenue opportunities when you partner with SoundLine. Spoiler – SoundLine handles all the billing and sends the profits to you – the MSP!




Tech Tuesday Upcoming Conferences with Harry Brelsford on Northwest Digital NEWS NDN

Love ‘em or not – events *still* have a place in our small and medium business (SMB) technology space. Surviving the test of time – events are the one place to build professional relationships the old fashion way and you can “swipe right” in real time to grow your community contacts. In this Tech Tuesday installment on Northwest Digital News (NDN) you can watch HERE, I profile a few upcoming events I’ll be attending that are targeted to Managed Services Providers (MSPs) in the SMB Nation community. Secret: Networking at events the past 20-years has to be considered a success factor for me – so join me!



Check-in: Acronis

I catch up with a busy Pat Hurley, VP and GM/Americas at Acronis and we discuss baseball, F1 racing and a new October 2019 conference (Acronis Cyber Protection Summit).

Nuts and Bolts
A tip of the hat to the recent Ingram Cloud X conference that we both attended and valued the partner-to-partner conversation – aka Hallway 101.
SAPAS is not a Mediterranean dish but rather an Acronis data protection+security paradigm: Safety Accessibility Privacy Authenticity.
Integrations with ConnectWise and other security vendors.

Watch the vid to catch the full story.



   MSP to ISV  


In 1Q2019, I had the chance to speak with ServiceTree founder Paul Azad about his journey from MSP to ISV. Azad’s Melbourne Australia-based MSP practice, This Solution, was the basis for his creating a purpose build Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution that he has brought to America! You can watch the interview where we are joined by industry thought leader Carrie Simpson.




STARTUPS - Last Look at Ingram Cloud X and the Comet Competition

One last look back at the recent Ingram Cloud X conference concerns the Comet competition and the startup row on the trade show floor. Here are three favorites you need to know about!

Watch the interview with the following three companies.

According to Kurt Stump (CEO), this is a health care IoT – a remote monitor like bringing a physician into the field. The focus today for this San Diego, CA and Austin, TX-based company is military field medical monitoring focused today but looking to use Ingram Micro partners to expand into the private sector. Heads up cyclists – there is a monitoring play here for you too!

According to Samantha Snabes, founder, re3D is about making industrial 3D printers – so you and your customers can make your own stuff on demand. Used $2m from pitch competitions and Kickstarter – its grown into a worldwide manufacturer.

The key is recycling plastics (e.g. water bottles) as an ecology play 9plus creating green jobs). This Austin, TX-based firm also participated in SxSW 2019 on the Interactive track.

Part of the startup aisle and the Comet competition, Isreal-based ITsMine is a cyber-security play. ITsMine founded in 2017 by group of experts to offer a new, unique, proactive approach for Data Loss Prevention (DLP) that requires no policies and no permanent endpoint agents while guaranteeing protection against internal and external attackers. ITsMine solves the DLP challenges using a fully automated solution with negligible false positives and without affecting employees’ productivity.
ITsMine is built from a team of cyber security architecture, experienced hackers, entrepreneurs, leaders and builders of global sales divisions from world leading vendors, and experienced software developers from IDF. Watch the interview with Kfir Kimhi, CEO.



   Book Review  

Book review Harry's Tech Tuesday on Northwest Digital NEWS NDN

Looking for some interesting spring geek reading? Several books are suggested here for SMB Nation members to consider. More importantly, the explicit act of reading and the power it brings you are reviewed. For example, reading an hour a day brings at least a half dozen benefits to you from sharpness, memory exercises and worldly insights. Also there are conversations about receiving book referrals from friends and why that is so important. Be the life learner!



Slater: Partners are STILL EVOLVING!

In a recent chit-chat at IT EXPO in Fort Lauderdale, FL, I pulled Michael Slater, Technical Solutions Manager (PBX, UCaaS) from his busy SherWeb booth to discuss evolving partner demographics.

The context was what was the basic demographic at the show but his insights extend further into the industry itself. For example, it’s all too easy to magnify the role of the pure play Managed Services Provider (MSP) where there is the perception that 100 percent of MSP revenue is from monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Such is not the case.

In the interview, Slater imparts that “…there is a legion of break-fix professionals that are used to selling on-prem products (data, telephony). We’re seeing IT EXPO attendees who never part of the cloud movement and now interested in learning more.” Slater shared.

Again – it’s all in the interview PLUS a tip of the hat to SherWeb cause marketing (I covered that HERE:



   Joash F  

On the Road: Freifield “I’m Back”

Well-known community member Josh Freifield is back running AXONTECH, his Southern California managed services provider (MSP) firm. After a two year hiatus where Freifield served a large MSP serving enterprise clients, Freifield is solidly back in the small and medium business (SMB) space for which is best known.

Long-time SMB Nation members will recall Freifield as one of the co-founders of the SMBTN trade association. Watch the vid E where I interview Freifield and, in his own words, he reintroduces his good self.



   Helping ISVs  

Helping ISVs manage partner programs better

TIDWIT is focused on digital interconnectivity of ecosystems. They are working with some of the largest brands: Microsoft, Accenture, CenturyLink…and some of the smallest. Simply stated, it’s a partner digital ecosystem that connects partners together in the ISV’s partner program.

In this interview, Will Yafi, founder of TIDWIT, pains the partner ecosystem picture as only the spoken word can do. I caught up with a busy Yafi at the recent Ingram Cloud X conference in San Diego.

Here is a peek at the topics we cover with respect to platform workloads.
• Content and Sharing
• Marketing automation
• Readiness and Learning
• Sales Enablement
• Technical Support

@IngramCloud @ThisIsCloudBlue #CloudSummitX #BeCloudAwesome




Transformation Defined - Axcient

Transformation R Us – Axcient at Ingram Cloud X
I’ve darn near met my match when it comes to Axcient in the reinvent/transformation category. In this interview with Jeff Cummings at Ingram Cloud X, the new Chief Revenue Officer for Denver-based Axcient connects a few dots. First – community members will be keenly interested in how the eFolder brand was folded into Axcient. Second – the new CEO comes from Webroot – that is just up the street north of Denver. Finally – we talk security and product stack plus roadmap.
If you haven’t check in with the Axcient/efolder community lately, this vid interview is for you!



   SxSW Tech Tue  

SxSW 2019 Tech Tuesday with Harry Brelsford on Northwest Digital NEWS NDN

A snapshot of the just completed South-by-Southwest (SxSW) 2019 conference in Austin, TX. After a recap of the events 30+ year history, the three main pillars are discussed (Interactive, Film and Music) then a double click down into a few of the business/technology tracks.. and the segment ends with sage advice on how to attend SxSW in 2020.




How to Be an MSP - Volume 1: Vertical Edition (Book Annoucement)

Announced at SxSW in Austin, TX! This book, Harry Brelsford's 21st publication, focuses on the HOTTEST VERTICAL MARKET in the US and Canada that demands robust and secure technology solutions yesterday from qualified managed services providers (MSPs) Further dets here:


   Women in tech  

Women in Technology

At the recent Ingram Cloud X conference, I made “Women in Technology” a pillar coverage area. There are important reasons for this – Ingram Micro has made it a solid pre-day session at it’s spring show. And more research is coming out that speaks towards the “Middle School cliff” for girls trying to get involved/stay involved in

Jennifer Anaya, VP-Marketing at Ingram Micro, speaks to the above issue plus much more in this interview sharing how she is supporting diversity in the workforce.

And you can attend our Women in Technology online event as part of our MSP Tech Talk series. It’s March 20, 2019 at 12:00pm (Noon – Pacific). Details are HERE.

@IngramCloud @ThisIsCloudBlue #CloudSummitX #BeCloudAwesome




Cloud Summit Ingram Micro 2019 Special Guest Mathias Bjorkholm Tech Tuesday on NDN

TechTuesday broadcast live from Ingram Cloud X in San Diego, CA today with a conference overview and hooks to Northwest companies. One start-up ISV, Pickit, is profiled as it's now working with Ingram Micro in its cloud market place.



Seattle ISV Pickit Launched Inside Ingram Cloud Market Place

If we’re anything at SMB Nation, we’re chippy! So it was a high honor and privilege to discover Pickit, a Microsoft 365/Office 365 gap filler ISV with attitude. It’s delivering a purpose built add-in that we can use at SMB Nation right here right now as a publisher. It’s about legally managing art and visual assets when creating stuff with the Office family.

Watch this launch vid with Pickit Founder and Co-CEO, Mathias Björkholm, shot on location this morning at the sold out Ingram Cloud X 2019 conference in San Diego, CA....

 Read More




Harrybbb's 21st Book Coming Soon!

Right here right now I’m happy to reveal that my 21st book is ahead of schedule and will be released next week at SxSW in Austin, TX. It’s my first book after a ten-year recharge and I’m fired up! Things have changed, and SMB Nation has led the transformation parade – this book reflects.

The book took two years of research on new vertical opportunities that you will learn more about at launch. Essentially, I’ve taken my best book ever, the SMB Consulting Best Practices, and updated it for a mature MSP world seeking the next great thing. You won’t be disappointed.

By-the-number, after the aforementioned two years of research, the book took 48-days to write (ahead of schedule) plus another couple weeks of production. And just to tease you – you’ll have to wait for the SxSW launch for the dets.

Thank you for your support over the years.



   MSP MakeOver  

MSP Makeover Contest Deadline: March 31, 2019

Hear ye! Hear ye! The MSP Makeover contest deadline is March 31, 2019. Complete two simple steps to participate i the contest. One luck SMB Nation managed services provider (MSP) wins a "Day of Harry" that includes a morning workshop and an afternoon sales call.

Watch the vid about the MSP Makeover content HERE.

Visit to discover next steps!



   On the rioad CA  

On the Road: Silicon Valley, CA

Reporting that the small and medium business (SMB) managed services provider (MSP) community’s sad demise are greatly exaggerated! On my recent trip to the Silicon Valley just south of San Francisco, I ZEROED on trying to get together with long-time community members for a few reasons. First and foremost was the storm of storms that presented severe traffic challenges – the winter of ’19. Second was a natural maturity within the community where monthly user group meetings have been replaced with social media-based groups and texting as the new togetherness. Finally the reality that life happens is slow walking into our cabal. Spouse health issues, focus on the family and outside interests have a dilutive effect on core community-isms. And it’s a nature act.



Meet SoundLine - SMB Nation's Telephony Partner

Having started in November 2008 in the early depths of the Great Recession, SoundLine Communications has not only survived and thrived. Today’s its crossed the ten year mark and is a small business serving the business community in the voice-over-IP (VoIP), telephony and Unified Communications space.

Watch our interview with Barrett Adams, co-founder at SoundLine about his business success (HERE). Full disclosure – SoundLine Communications proudly provides the telephony services for SMB Nation!



   Cyber Insurance  

First Look: Cyber Insurance Report for IT Pros and MSPs

Our favorite “thinking man” Peter Tsai (Sr. Technology Analytst, Spiceworks) carved out a few mins recently to discuss Spicework’s new study on cyber insurance. This is important to the SMB Nation community of managed services providers (MSP) who are on a death march to add more solutions to balance products/services typically delivered to clients via the monthly recurring revenue model.

In this interview with Tsai – we discuss several topics as well as peek into forthcoming Spiceworks research studies.

Topics covered include:
1. For those that don’t know Spiceworks and yourself – what is Spiceworks and who are you?
2. What is cyber insurance?
3. What is the story on the recent study you did?
4. At first blush, is the nearly 40% coverage rate a bit light or did that number meet your expectations?
5. What are the top three reasons companies don’t carry cyber insurance
6. What do you forecast the coverage rate to be in a year from now?




Future MSPs: Solutions, Not Products!

In this recent interview with Joel Maloff, Senior Vice President – Strategic Alliances/Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) at PHONE.COM, after proper introductions we give a tip of the hat to the good old days of being in IT service provider (organic customer referrals, could do it all yourself, etc.) and then…and then…we look forward to the future.


   Tech T  

ConnectWise Acquired; Autotask War Over; Business Good Guys

In this segment of Northwest Digital News (NDN) Tech Tuesday we explore this week's ConnectWise acquisition by Thoma Bravo, the end of the ConnectWise v. Autotask story line and a deeper conversation about good and bad guys finishing first in business.




MickyJ Speaks Security and Social

Talk about a blast from the past and the good old Windows Small Business Server (SBS) days! Michael Jenkin, Managing Director at Business Technology Partners Pty Ltd in Adelaide, Australia and long-time community leader (MVP, GITCA), has transformed into a security expert and a social media whiz.
In this podcast, we discuss virus protection and malware – part of his white hat effort to make information technology more secure in the small and medium business space (SMB). Jenkins is a managed services provider.




   Rob Leon  

Leon: MSP Passion Project = BiZDev

Rob Leon, well known in the managed services provider (MSP) and ISV worlds for over a decode has started a passion project to build his brand and further his business development efforts. It's a cross between technology advise and business topics that he writes as a blog every morning for the past two years. He has built an audience and made himself a brand. we can all benefit from Leon's insights in this video.





RECAP - IBM THINK 2019 Tech Tuesday with Harry Brelsford on Northwest Digital NEWS NDN

A last fond look on Tech Tuesday (Northwest Digital News) at the recently completed IBM PartnerWorld and THINK 2019 combo conference. special mention of IBM diversity with its woman CEO - a rarity in tech plus a shout out to Blockchain in agriculture. Toss in mentions of it's partner program and security efforts (Managed Security Services Provider). And we end with a look at HACKERS and a new comic book.





On the Road: StorageCraft

Long-time friend of SMB Nation, Mark Baird from StorageCraft, provides both personal and professional updates ranging from hitting deer while cycling to converged backup coverage from end-to-end with the StorageCraft solutions.





Frank Ohlforst - My Top Three Favorites at IBM THINK 2019

Well-respected industry analyst Frank Ohlhorst speaks with SMB Nation about three top favorites: Managed Security Services Providers (MSSP), Watson and AI and finally Blockchain. Ohlhorst is well-published and a long-time member of SMB Nation.





Did IBM just leap frog everyone in the MSSP race?

Sometimes you have to raise your head from the traditional SMB managed services provider world (trees) to see the forest. IBM has deftly asserted itself in the partner security realm with an at-market Managed Security Services Provider program unlike I've seen from other major players. I interview Johan Arts, VP WW Channels and Routes to Market, IBM Security to get the straight story.

This program is also good for SMB Nation MSP members seeking to redefine and relaunch their old school server-side careers as security experts.

Watch to the end as Arts also talks about inter-cooperation between Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. This is not a mis-print!





IBM's New Marketing for Partners

I speak with Jamie Mendez, Director of Global Partner Ecosystem at IBM at its recent THINK conference. Mendez outlines several new marketing solutions for partners including content assets, partner-to-partner connections and Value Package 2.0.





For the Win: Refactr and Michael Fraser

Perhaps best know for his $100k prize at a startup pitch contest at IT Nation 2018, Michael Fraser is an amazing individual in the SMB Nation community. His strengths are in the DevOps area and he's keen on bringing that thinking to SMB nation members who seek customer solutions and the ability to develop intellectual property (IP). This is both a thought leadership piece and a demo customized for SMB Nation - at the keystroke level. Don't miss!




   Tech Tuesday  

 How to Become an MSP and Computer Technology Consultant Tech Tuesday with Harry Brelsford on NDN

The start of an on-going series on HOW TO become a computer consultant and/or managed services provider (MSP) in the small and medium business (SMB) community. These tips and tricks are extracted from Harry Brelsford's SMB Consulting Best Practices book. Have a long cup of coffee and join the fun!




   Jeff C  

Report On the Road in Austin, TX (CMIT)

Don't miss this On the Road (OTR) segment in Austin, TX with Jeff Connally as he gives a major update on CMIT. Craftsman Capital has acquired CMIT. Connally will remain in the saddle and discover how this is really a franchise acquisition of MSPs. It's a fine distinction compared to how this was reported in late 2018 when the acquisition occurred.





Interface Seattle Technology Conference - Report

A look at the recent Interface conference in Bellevue - right in the heart of the high tech corridor. This show is for IT Pros and customers. A couple of our traditional SMB Nation managed services providers (MSP) had booth on the floor selling their solutions and services.





Flashback to NexGen - Nitrio and Krikke

A chat with community leaders Bob Nitrio and John Krikke at the recent NexGen conference in SoCal. These two are leaders in the small and medium business (SMB) managed services provider (MSP). community. Krikke shares security insights at 2:02 in the video.




   Rob Spee  

On the Road: Atlanta GA and Channel Journeys

Technology channel executive Rob Spee updates us on his own professional journey in the channel. That includes a new podcast series on his side. We also enjoy insights into what he thinks will happen in 2019.




   Ryan Becker  

On the Road in Dallas Texas: Hi-Tek Computing

We visit with Ryan Becker who focuses on the small and medium business (SMB) market plus the residential home market. Spoiler alert - Becker is your guy to assemble the drone you received as a gift over the holidays!





Cisco Embracing MSPs and SMB Partners?

 At the recent Cisco Partner Summit, Cisco held a half-day MSP summit. The idea is that the new management team is attentive to the SMB Partner who are managed services providers (MSP). While Cisco stick with it this time? Of course only time will tell.





Small Business Saturday contest winner!

Alice Stevenson at Geeks@Site is the grand prize winner of our first Small Business Saturday contest! Watch this vid to celebrate the excitement!





On The Road: Brian Keith in Bend, Oregon

Long-time technology professional and SMB Nation member BRian Keith from Bend, OR spends a few minutes updating the community with his past, present and future. He's carried the bag as a managed services provider (MSP) and is currently an IT Pro serving a large firm as a hleath care technology consultant. He is AWS certified so watch out world!




  Cyber Monday  

Cyber Monday 2018 Report

Join Harry Brelsford in Seattle as he breaks down Cyber Monday 2018. By the numbers, there was overall growth (oc course) but did you know there is an online shopping holiday in June that is 4x larger than Cyber Monday. Watch this vid to discover more.




  SMall Business Recap  

Small Business Saturday 2018 - Recap Report

Watch this Small Business Saturday (November 24, 2018) recap in this report by small and medium business (SMB) expert Harry Brelsford. There are several interview with small business owners and anlaysts participating in this popular annual event between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #ShopSmall





Cisco: Latest Unified Communications Effort

What goes around comes around – at least one or twice a decade. At the recent Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas, Cisco trumpeted that its back in the small and medium business (SMB) sector with its voice solutions. SMB Nation has historically had a long relationship with Cisco in the voice-over-IP (VoIP) area that is now more affectionately called Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

In this video, I report to you from the conference and wrap my arms around this topic. Discover if UcaaS is a “thing.”




  Jason Harrison  

On the Road: Nashville, NC and Jason Harrison

Long-time SMB Nation managed services provider (MSP) Jason Harrison from Harrison Technology Consulting reflects on over two dozen years in the technology field. We visit a snaopshot from the past: Small Business Server (SBS), Small Business Accounting (SBA) and Response Point. And we look to the future with Apple consulting and security. Onward and upward!




  Matt Elledge  

Colonel Matt Elledge: What? Me Worry?

Elledge was the featured speaker at Canon multi-function printer (MFP) product launch at SpiceWorld 2018 in Austin, Tx (October 2018)

In this podcast, Elledge speaks about creating buy-in inside your team. Based on four principles that helps leaders create TIME - so leaders can work on the business, not in the business.

I double-click down on his worry-free beautiful state philosophy that is a tenant in his book. "We tend to worry about the future and that's a gateway drug to depression, etc." Elledge stated.




  Eric Kron  

PODCAST: From Stu to Phising

At the recent SpiceWorld 2018 conference in Austin, TZX, I interviewed Erick Kron, a security awareness advocate at KnowBe4 – a well-respected phishing security solution vendor. We discuss it’s new Virtual Rick Office (VRO) Kron discusses how this is a whole new way of looking at your users security risk behaviors.

“VRO can visualize individual risk behaviors and group risk behaviors.” States Kron in the podcast (ya’ just got listen up). “We’re using artificial intelligence ( AI) to develop and update the solution. Bottom line: we are using VRO to determine "who your next clickers are" and our partners can roll this out to clients today.” Said Kron.
And what’s the tie-in to Stu Sjouwerman, CEO at KnowBe4? Back in the 1990s and 2000s, Sjouwerman had the Win2K newsletter that was north of 500K readers. He often wrote about Small Business Server (SBS) and SMB Nation. So we’re thrilled at his latest success – well-deserved. And we’re now alone – Goldman Sachs recently made a BIG INVESTMENT in KnowBe4. Managed services providers (MSP) should consider such an investment.




  Welcome to SMB Nation  

Welcome to SMB Nation!

Please subscribe to our channel and participate in the SMB Nation community. Thank you!




Election Day 2018: Friebert Interview

Remember this guy? Just before election day, I caught up with Jonathan Friebert who is well-known in the SMB Nation community as the past director of Microsoft’s Voices for Innovation (VFI) – a non-partisan, political trade association charged with technology public policy advocacy.

Friebert has recently moved on from Microsoft and returned to Washington D.C. in a new role starting the government affairs operation for We cover off on that in the interview HERE but the real story is to reflect on how Friebert drove political involvement in the SMB Nation tribe, the MSP community, IAMCP and the Microsoft Partner Network (or what ever they call it now).

Rest easy – Friebert is doing just fine and welcomes your connection request at his LinkedIn profile here.

BTW – this interview was part of a walking tour of George Washington University where Friebert completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies.

  Frank Raimondi  

Raimondi: IoT Right Here; Right Now

SMB Nation friend Frank Raimondi (Intel SMB fame) has a new gig - helping Chargifi getting traction in the small and medium business managed services providers (MSP) partner community. Simple and practical - help SMBs provide a power up feature for customers seeking mobile phone juice. Add reporting and revenue opportunities and you have an IoT play.

  Paul Bay  

Paul Bay: SMB MSPs should "Reach Out"

Paul Bay, Executive Vice President and Group President of the Americas, Ingram Micro, discusses how Ingram Micro is responsive to the small and medium business (SMB) partner with its SMB Alliance – a subset of its reseller community. It's focused on resellers and managed services providers (MSP)

Bay suggests that “the small partner” like the typical SMB Nation member is to reach out. Ingram Micro is investing in SMB technology and encouraging partner-to-partner conversations. Bay also discusses how Ingram Micro’s rebranding over recent years includes providing business and marketing services. Catch Bay’s 2019 forecasts that there will be more consolidation and the continued growth of the “as a service” mindset.


Two Minutes with Robinson: Uncomfortable!

Years ago when knights were bold, and telecom owned the gold, a wise man (the publishers of Telecom Reseller) shared that you should be disturbed when you attend a professional conference. Fast forward the movie and Kirk Robinson, SVP & Chief Country Executive of the U.S., Ingram Micro intimated

a similar line of reasoning at the Ingram One conference in Washington DC (October 2018).

In this quick hitter interview here, discover how Robinson believe you should extend beyond your professional comfort zone to become “uncomfortable” as a tactics to push yourself.


Tiffani Bova's "Growth IQ" book discussed

In this interview, Tiffani Bova shares insights into her life's work as an anlalyst and IT executive about how business grow and go. I particular Bova imparts knowledge about companies that stall at a certain duration or revenue level. This was part of her apperance as a keynote speaker at #ONEIngram.


Save changes Small Business Saturday Contest with SMB Nation

Watch this important vid on how SMB Nation members can participate in the Small Business Saturday (November 24, 2018) as a managed services provider (MSP), reseller, and partner. Just a few easy steps and one person wins a generous AMEX pre-paid card for a holiday shopping spree!

Learn more here:

  Report from Office 365  

Report from Office 365 Saturday!

Bo Woronowicz, community leader and the power behind Office 365 Saturday at Microsoft Redmond speaks. He presents the context of the event plus other similar events worldwide: Barcelona, Ottawa, Leicester, San Juan, Cincinnati, Reston, Calgary, Ahmedabad and many more coming up!

Listen until the end - the prizes at the complimentary event are worth the time commitment over the day alone!

Learn more here:

  New Website Security  

New Website Security Report - Patch 'em up folks!

Join me as I interview Tony Perez (General Manager and Vice President of GoDaddy’s Security Product Group) and his new small business website focused on security. Spoiler alert – it’s all about the managed service provider (MSP) maintaining trust with the small business.

Perez and team’s ” Small Business Website Security Report “ Small Business Website Security Report report takes a double-click look at GoDaddy’s security research and analysis of over 65,000 infected

website cleanup requests from small business customers across the globe, as well as a survey of very small businesses (between one and five employees) on their experiences and perspectives on security. Think of this as BIG DATA goes small.

In the interview, and the report you can download here, some of the key finding are:

• Of the 1000 very small businesses surveyed, nearly half reported suffering a financial loss due to hacking. One in 8 say the loss was greater than $5000.
• Three in 10 small businesses who suffered a cyber breach reported they had to inform customers and clients.
• It’s not enough to clean up compromised files, hackers regularly create ‘backdoors’ on a compromised website, so they can secretly re-enter a platform even after a file cleanup.
• Malware/computer viruses and phishing are the most common types of attack and can target any aspect of a business.
• Of the 65,000 global website cleanup requests, half involved outdated software on the most commonly used platform and tools, WordPress and its content management system (CMS).

Download the full report here.

  Todd Marinos  

VendorView: Educating Office 365 Users with Brainstorm

Todd Marinos from Brainstorm asserts his educational solution focused on Office 365 makes his firm a change agent. He asserts there is a value proposition to getting folks to use Office 365 better, faster and further! Seen here at SherWeb Accelerate 2018 in Montreal.


VendorView: Nerdio at SherWeb Accelerate 2018 - Montreal

Nerdio's Pete Langass and Tony Cai were vendors at the recent SherWeb Accelerate conference and share insights from life on the floor! My question about if managed services providers (MSP) are ready for Azure and a tool to provsion and managed are answered by these gents!



Well-known small and medium business (SMB) speaker Karl Palachuk presented his 25 rules at the recent SherWeb Accelerate18 conference in Montreal. Beyond the standard stuff, Karl speaks toward the initmacy of this conference and how SherWeb kindly offered attendees his managed services provider (MSP) book.

Standard stuff: "Success doesn't just happen, you need to make it happen. Renowned speaker, author and one of the pioneers of Managed Services, Karl Palachuk provides an insightful strategy workshop on the most important principles for driving a profitable MSP. Sharing his experiences and best practices in delivering IT services, he reveals 25 unbreakable rules for success."

  Andy Higgins  

Vantage point: Interview with Andy Higgins, attendee at SherWeb Accelerate 2018

In this report, I interview Andy Higgins from Dripping Springs, TX. He flew north to Montreal to attend the SherWeb Accelerate 2018 conference and offers insights from the floor. In particular this event was impactful in providing insights into how to better his IT consulting practice. Watch to end as Andy has to take off to a business opportunity meeting.


SherWeb's Office Protect security solution launched

Office Protect – SherWeb’s New Security Solution
Discover how SherWeb’s new Office Protect security solution, launched at Accelerate18 in Montreal, is another arrow in the quiver for MSPs to better serve customers. There are three key components:
1. Office 365 security policy configuration and settings – made automatically for the MSP against the client instance based on best practices.
2. Monitoring – simplified presentation of monitoring activity
3. Show value – using Office Protect allows MSPs to continuously engage in the fine art of show on-going value to clients
I’m joined by Guillaume Boisvert, Director – Product Management at SherWeb who was kind enough to speak English ‘case I don’t know French!


Sennheiser SDW 5000 Review

In this interview, a busy Thies Monk, Sennheiser executive, speaks towards the SDW 5000 solution set for telephone headsets, etc. You can read the entire review here:

  Muscular Portfolio  

Beat the Coming Bear Market: Muscular Portfolios

Bestselling Windows Secrets author Brian Livingston has more secrets to share - in the financial technology (FinTech) area. His new book, Muscular Portfolios, is here and advises you that, yes, computers are smarter than emotional humanoids. Learn how Warren Buffett-style investing methods allow you to beat the street with Papa Bear Portfolio, Momma Bear Portfolio and Baby Bear Portfolio strategies.


Spiceworks: 2019 State of Future Workplace Tech

I interview Peter Tsai, rock star analytics dude (@supertsai) who works for @spiceworks. We chatted at the #SpiceWorld2018 conference in Austin TX. Hint: biggest IT spends at the enterprise-level in 2019.

  Browser Wars  

 Browser Wars: Edge v IE

Long-time SMB Nation tribal member Fred Pullen (all the way back to the TS2 days) lays out the conversation for Microsoft Edge v Internet Explorer 11. Hey - the both ship with Windows 10. Do you need both? Which is more secure? Answers to these questions in more in our interview at Microsoft Redmond recently.


 Review: SyncroMSP solution for MSPs

Watch my review and lab testing of this right-sized professional services automation (PSA) and remote management and monitoring (RMM) tool for Managed Services Providers (MSP) in the small and medium business (SMB) space. It's simple yet complex. You can download my full product review here:

  Joe Moore  

Moore: Bring your Techs to Microsoft Ignite NEXT YEAR

Long-time SMB Nation member Joe Moore - known for attending every single major Microsoft conference - has insights into the five day Microsoft Ignite conference.Bottom line: Tech execs should bring a techie with 'em to get maximum value out of this confab. Will Moore repeat? Watch and learn. And we'll make this the last word on Microsoft Ignite 2018 from Orlando FL from SMB Nation!

  matt Glickman  

Coming to the SMB sector: Big Data

At Microsoft Ignite - I engaged in a convesation with Matt Glickman, an executive at Snowflake - about BIG DATA and connecting it all via warehousing, etc. If being a continous learner in the SMB Nation community means you should challenge yourself by stretching your mind - this is the interview for you.

  Wes Haire  

Interview: MSP Wes Haire from Sybersolutions

Not everyone sees the value in attending conferences and workshops. But dont't tell that to Wes Haire - a New England MSP - who recently attended the ChannelPro SMB Foorum in Boston. Haire underscored the intimae and authentic nature of the SMB partner community. Enjoy the interview with Harry Brlesford.

  Ryan Walsh  

The new distributor model: "Un-distributor" - Interview with Ryan Walsh (Pax8)

I caught a few moment with Pax8 channel chief Ryan Walsh at the recent GlueCon conference in Scottsdale, AZ. In this segment, you'll hear Ryan speak towards the "broken distribution" model in information technology (IT). Walsh is on a mission to disrupt IT distribution and he shares his strategic insights. I offer he's really thinking about the "un-distributor" and looking for ways to create relevancy. Enjoy the view.


SolarWinds EmpowerMSP attendee MiaCate Kennedy I

A quick end-of-conference chat with two-time attendee MiaCate Kennedy I from Spokane, WA. Kennedy is on the management team of ABC Office Equipment and helps direct its MSP solutions practice.

  constant contact  

Radical MSP Digital Marketing

We are all evolving as MSPs in the channel. Discover how an industry-leading, intuitive marketing solution for small to medium sized business (SMB) that has been offering primarily email marketing as SAAS since 1995 has been radically updated. It might be a great time to see how adding the solution as a VAR tool can help your clients and you grow.

  Marco Muto  

Wrapping Up EmpowerMSP: Muto “I am a GEEK!”

As a wrap up to the SolarWinds MSP EmpowerMSP 2018 event, I interview newly arrived SolarWinds MSP executive Marco Muto. Muto was "acquired" when his firm, Trusted Metrics, was purchased in early July 2018. He offers a fresh view into his role and his roadmap. He is just under 90-days into his gig and has clearly hit the ground running.

  Robert Stephens  

IoT: Interview with Robert Stephens - Geek Squad founder


Podcast: IoT Musings with Robert Stephens – Geek Squad Founder After delivering a rousing keynote at the SolarWinds Empower conference (Scottsdale, AZ), I spent a few minutes with Robert Stephens – the founder of Geek Squad. His speech detailed his journey from bicycling computer repair guy to car-based Geek Squad to its corporate acquisition by Best Buy. I was more interested in his final speech topic, the Internet of Things (IoT), and how managed services providers (MSPs) and IT Pro, technicians et al could make money. Listen to this podcast and you will leave with his futurist insights. A couple of points from his speech and the podcast interview include: “No Geek Squad for IoT” Augury - installs sensors in industrial machines “Screw taking care of printers and computers” “Sensors are like SHAZAM for industrial clients” “Augury measures sound wave...sound deviates” Future: *Not automation...its anticipation *Natural act: monitoring *3D Printing: cost of sensors will be low...say printable… *Imagine what kinda of customers could you have today that you don't have


Return of the Intel NUC

Myron Morgan, ASI (distributor), shares insights into the imprvoed Intel "Network Unit of Computing" (NUC) small form factor computer. SMB Nation used one of these to drive the 2014 WW tour on Windows and Office 365. Interviewed at the recent ChannelPro SMB Forum in Boston, MA.

  Tech Efficiency  

8 Ways to Take Control of Your Technician's Efficiency

With a focus on the internal operations of an MSP IT servcies business, this "How To" lecture presents eight dimentions on to to both take control and improve your technician's efficiency.

  kaseya acquires rpaid fire tools  

Inside Scoop: Rapid Fire Tools acquired by Kaseya

Harry catches up with Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola at the GlueCon conference in Scottsdale AZ to discuss the recent Rapid Fire Tools acqustion in the MSP partner channel sector. Voccola is on the record saying the acquistion is accretive and additive to contribute to top-line revenue. He is not prediction layoffs of consolidation.

8 ways to take control of your business  

8 Ways to Take Control of Your Business!

Discover eight ways to use the right support tools to take control of your technology practice, your MSP entity, your IT shop. Hosted by long-time IT Pro Harry Brelsford, this educational presentation speaks to channel partners, MSPs and IT Pros seeking to run their own businesses better and thus provide a better customer experience.

  How to Protect Your Email Identity  


How To: Protect Your Email Identity

 A chat with David Hughes, CEO of, on the one simple trick you can use to reduce spam, protect your email identity and catch unsavory players who pass along your email address to vendors, etc. This is a rare MUST WATCH vid.

7 ways to take 

7 Ways to Take Control of Your Customer's Experience

 Join Harry Brelsford as he shows you HOW to use 7 ways to take control of your customer's experiences. Focused on Managed Services Providers (MSP), consultants, Value-Added Resellers (VAR), resllers and IT Pros, this is an important business lesson for technology professionals serving customers and clients.


Top 3 Takeaways from ChannelCon18 with Karl Palachuk

Leading author and speaker in the Managed Services Provider (MSP) community, Karl Palachuk, shares top insights into the recently completed CompTIA ChannelCon 2018 conference.


MSP Tech Talk Summer 2018- Health Care IT Vertical: Cannabis

Are you looking for the next great thing? Take a fresh look at the legal cannabis market (in ten states and growing). The net-net on the new-new is that this is a completely legitimate business that is cash-heavy and technology dependent. It’s akin to the pharmacy business with respect to compliance and other workflows. Meet a real MSP who is capitalizing on the cannabis opportunity already. Plus you’ll be schooled on the nuances of this business including the seed-to-sale supply chain, the differences between states, etc. Leave this webinar with an understanding on how the cannabis opportunity can be part of your MSP portfolio moving forward with ready-to-rock technology solutions.

Online Marketing   

MSP Tech Talk Summer 2018-Online Video Marketing:

Online Video Marketing: Six Essential Principles of Success.

Everyone recognizes the power of creating captivating, compelling messaging with video. Thousands of dollars are routinely spent in script writing, video recording, and editing during the creation of a professional looking end product. Yet, despite the great potential of video, most of the attempts to compete online with a video marketing strategy fall short. Unlike traditional TV, Radio, or print media advertising, online video has its own set of rules. Understanding the six principles of successful online video changes everything. Tune in on July 18th and learn how you can start implementing these online marketing essentials in your organization today.



HOW TO: Take your MSP Business to the Next Level!

Well-respected Managed Services Provider (MSP) business coach Manuel Palachuk shared his secret sauce at the recent CompTIA ChannelCon 2018 (#channelcon18) conference in Washington DC. Hint: Culture. Second hint: Agile Service Delivery! Also learn how Manuel was a day-to-day IT professional how elevated to being an in-demand speaker and strategy guy.




Newbie MSP - CompTIA Workforce Training Outreach

John Cooper left his job of 18+ years as a security guard in the summer of 2018 to become a technology Managed Services Provider (MSP) working for a channel partner orgazination (headed by CompTIA board member Nathan Archer). Cooper is benefiting from the workforce outreach efforts provided by CompTIA - he was interviewed while attending CompTIA's ChannelCon18 conference in Washington DC (August 2018). Enjoy this happy story!




FinTech: Brian Livingston Muscular Portfolios

Learn HOW TO make consistent financial portfolio gains with your hard earned wealth from best selling author Brian Livingston of Windows Secrets fame. In this interview, Livingston discusses his new portal, newsletter and forthcoming book, all called "Muscular Portfolios" and easily explains sophisticated technology-based financial investment frameworks (simple models called Papa Bear, Momma Bear and Baby Bear).


How To....make money with voice with Robert Cooper (Wildix) at CompTIA ChannelCon 2018

Harry Brelsford (SMB Nation) speaks with Robert Cooper (Wilddix) at CompTIA ChannelCon 2018. The BASIC QUESTION: How to MAKE MONEY with Voice technology. Warning - money maker secrets embedded inside!