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SMB Community Podcast by Karl W. Palachuk

Podcasts for IT consultants and managed service providers in the SMB Community. By Karl W. Palachuk
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SMB Community Podcast by Karl W. Palachuk
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Now displaying: November, 2012
Nov 28, 2012

One of my favorite resources in the SMB community is Robert Crane – Directory of the Computer Information Agency. You can find him at CIAOPS.com.

I refer to Robert as a resource because he really is “the man to know” with regard to SharePoint. That includes the SharePoint services shipped with Small Business Server 2003, 2008, 2011, the free version from Microsoft, or the full-price product now available as a hosted environment.

SharePoint Operations Guide

SharePoint Operations Guide by Robert Crane

Robert maintains a massive resource library he simply calls SharePoint Operations Guide. See more information at SMB Books and CIAOPS.com. The SharePoint Operations Guide now includes a great deal of information on Office 365 and how you can integrate these products to add value for your clients.

Robert and I had a phone chat yesterday (Well, today in Australia).

Robert gives us some great ideas about how to make money with these new products. He spells out a wonderful analogy between technology consulting and shepherding sheep. Imagine that you have always tended a small group of servers (sheep). With modern tools you can now tend a much larger flock. So the next question is, how can we add value to the service we provide.

 

– Download the Interview with Robert Crane here.

Christmas Special:

Right now – through Christmas Day 2012 – the SharePoint Operations Guide is $50 off at SMBBooks.com. No coupons. No codes. Just add it to your cart. That means more than 2,000 pages of great information on SharePoint and Office 365 for only $249 USD.

Download this PDF to see a “Getting Started” document on the SharePoint Operations Guide, which gives and in-depth look at the contents: Getting Started

Check it out today.

🙂

Nov 26, 2012

AVG Announces Cloud Care

As I was wandering the floor at IT Nation, Jessica Turner from AVG stopped me to give me some information about the new AVG program: Cloud Care.

Then Austen Clark wandered up to hand me to AVG marketing goodies. I assumed he was an AVG employee, but he’s a very happy client of theirs and volunteered to hand things out. So I snapped this picture:

 

Jessica agreed to an interview. She brought me up to speed on the new AVG program and the revenue opportunities for MSPs. This service is provided on an as-needed basis with month-to-month payments. Includes anti-virus, content filtering, and remote IT services. We also went into deployment options, installation, their dashboard, how new users are added to the system, and more.

 

Download the Interview with Jessica Turner from AVG.
For more information on AVG Cloud Care, visit www.avg.com/cloudcare.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.

 


 

Side story: Jessica has a great sense of humor.

When I interview people, I take a picture of their badge so I get the name right, like this:

 

I asked Jessica if I could take a picture of her badge. She said yes. And as I focusing in I heard her say “Uh. I’m up here.”

I'm up here!

I’m up here!

 

 

🙂

Nov 19, 2012

As the IT Nation show was winding down, I talked to some guys from Continuum.

Joe Consolmagno is a Technical Account Manager for the Mid Atlantic Region. Raymond Vrabel is Director of Technical Account Management.

Continuum was at IT Nation to talk to partners about how they integrate with a variety software programs. In addition, they introduce a variety of products.

I asked Joe about the performance of Continuum worked during Hurricane Sandy’s visit to New York and New Jersey. The result was pretty impressive. The combination of Continuum and Datto made response to the disaster fast and easy.

In addition to “Continuum Vault” for disaster recovery, the performance of the cloud-based NOC was excellent. Ray mentioned that during the disaster, about 3,000 virtual servers were spun up in the cloud – many of them in advance of the hurricane just to make sure that companies would have no downtime.
Download the Interview with Joe and Ray from Continuum here.

For more information about Continuum, visit www.continuum.net.

 

For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.

🙂

Nov 19, 2012

I always like catching up with Dan Wensley from Level Platforms. Dan makes a point of starting out this interview with a ringing endorsement of the IT Nation conference.

LPI Working the CrowdLevel Platforms recently added helpdesk and NOC support for MSPs. The phones are answered in North America – primarily in Ottawa, Ontario. The key to success is the integration with clients’ existing RMM solution.

We talked quite a bit about the lessons from Hurricane Sandy and the power of cloud services during a disaster. Hurricane Sandy was a real test for how MSPs will react to disasters in the age of cloud-based management and disaster recovery.

Dan is proud of the performance of their NOC during the hurricane, and he’s confident that they will perform just as well in the next disaster.
Download the Interview with Dan Wensley from Level Platforms here.

For more information on Level Platforms, visit www.levelplatforms.com.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

My friend Nancy Hammervik is the Senior Vice President, Industry Relations at CompTIA. On November 9th she was awarded a Bronze Stevie Award as “Female Innovator of the Year – Government or Non-Profit – 11 to 2,500 Employees.”

The Stevie Awards were created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and business people worldwide. All organizations and individuals worldwide may submit nominations to the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. The Stevie Awards are given out by the American Business Association.

We talked about her role mentoring women in business and specifically women in IT.

Nancy deals with pretty much everything in CompTIA that deals with partners: Communications, education, and a lot more. Their goal is to be vendor neutral while providing education and opportunities for VARs and MSPs.
Download the Interview with Nancy Hammervik from CompTIA here.

For more information on CompTIA, visit www.comptia.org.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

Alan McDonald is President and CTO of Xilocore.

Alan McDonaldXilocore is a “business continuity and disaster recovery” company focused value added resellers. The develop entire disaster preparedness plans that can be added to managed service offerings.

In addition to simply having a business continuity plan, Alan talks about testing recovery systems on a regular basis.

He notes that the most successful partners for his product are those that focus their business around disaster recovery. And of course I made him answer some questions about their partner program.
Download the Interview with Alan McDonald from Xilocore here.

For more information on Quosal, visit www.xilocore.com.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

While at IT Nation last weekend, I grabbed Kent McNall, CEO of Quosal for a quick interview. This “killer combo” of products is one of the most impressive things I saw over the weekend.

Quosal's booth at IT NationQuosal was one of the highlighted products in Arnie Bellini’s keynote speech. Kent gave us some of the details about how Quosal connects the LabTech RMM to the ConnectWise PSA. We talked in some depth about the “possibility engine” in LabTech that triggers quotes from Quosal.

From little things like the need for RAM, all the way up to creating an automated proposal for replacing an entire server, the LabTech/Quosal combination can help you find opportunities among your clients that you might otherwise miss.

Quosal was written as an open application, so it works nicely with Autotask and other products in addition to ConnectWise. And with the LabTech integration it is very obvious that other RMM tools will want to develop a competing product as well.
Download the Interview with Kent McNall from Quosal here.

For more information on Quosal, visit www.quosal.com.

 

For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

One of the fun people I don’t get to see enough is Ian Watkins from the UK. He has been using ConnectWise for seven years.

Ian WatkinsI caught up with Ian as he was in line to get into one of the breakout sessions. So we recorded this podcast in the hallway.

He gives us his perspective on the data protection issues for companies in the UK and European Union. We also talked about other vendors — and some comments about the music at the event.
Download the Interview with Ian Watkins – ConnectWise user from the UK.

For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

While hanging out in the PacketTrap booth, the talk turned to an interesting product combination that surprised me. Geoff Parker from PacketTrap tells me that a number of partners came by the booth and mentioned that they use these tools together.

Geoff Parker PacketTrapHmmm . . . aren’t they both RMM tools? Well, yes, but they each have some outstanding features that makes them even better in combination.

This is a quick interview but very interesting.

Download the Interview with Geoff Parker from PacketTrap here.

For more information on PacketTrap, visit www.packettrap.com.

For more information on LabTech, visit www.labtechsoftware.com.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

Interview with Erinn Davis, Community Manager for ConnectWise, Labtech, and Quosal

Erinn Davis is one of the hardest working people I ran into at IT Nation. We grabbed an empty boardroom to talk about these three products and her role connecting with the community. The “Community Team” currently has 12 people. They manage all partner-facing activities at ConnectWise, Labtech, and Quosal.
Erinn Davis and Karl PalachukThese activities include facilitating user groups and working with social media. One person on this team is Holly Soule. I mention the Pinterest pages she manages. You can see a taste of this at http://pinterest.com/connectwise/look-learn/.

When we took the picture, the first shot didn’t capture Erinn’s hot shoes, so we had to redo this.

Download the Interview with Erinn Davis from ConnectWise, Labtech, and Quosal here.
For more information on LabTech, visit www.labtechsoftware.com.

For more information on Quosal, visit www.quosal.com.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 18, 2012

ChannelEyes is now in its second year and Jay McBain was on the floor at IT Nation to talk to vendors about connecting with partners.

Karl Palachuk and Jay McBainAccording to Jay, most MSPs work with an average of eight vendors, and yet they are overwhelmed with the information flooding from vendors to partners. Jay explains the mobile “Channel Candy” apps that ChannelEyes makes available for vendors to develop. Channel Candy apps will live on your cell phone/mobile device and be a direct communication system between vendors and their channel partners.

Jay gives us a great deal of detail on channel relations and how ChannelEyes is working to improve those relations.

Download the Interview with Jay McBain from ChannelEyes here.

For more information on ChannelEyes, everyone should visit www.channeleyes.com.

For vendors to view the mobile app, visit www.channelcandy.com.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.
🙂

Nov 17, 2012

Kim’s cloud display was very clever. In fact, it caught my eye and I had to take a picture. Then, of course, I turned on the microphone to ask what they do.

Kim Mann IntegralIntegral is a “full IT solution provider.” They were recruiting partners to resell their managed service offerings, including cloud services and hosting/colo services.

SSAE 16 SOC2 Audit Compliant. (See http://www.ssae16.org/ssae-16-reporting/ssae-16-type-2-reports.html)

Their channel program has no minimums and no quotas. They will help train you to sell their solutions, so they can help you with both sales and technical support.

Download the Interview with Kim Mann from Integral here.

 

For more information on Integral, visit www.integralsg.com.

 

For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.

🙂

Nov 17, 2012

I dropped by the Symantec booth at IT Nation and had some fun horsing around with Anne Stobaugh and Dal Gemmell. They brought me up to speed with some of the latest programs at Syamantec.

Dal Gemmell, Karl Palachuk, Anne StobaughAnne made a point that Symantec is trying to be very MSP friendly. They offer a monthly subscription buying program AND promised that you don’t have to worry about Symantec contacting end users! The monthly program is a buy-what-you-need model and great for cash flow.

A few products are available in this program either on-premise or in the Cloud, including End Point Protection and Backup Exec.

Dal focuses on that Endpoint Protection piece and says Symantec is totally supporting Windows 8 devices at this time. As he says, “In this business, if you don’t adapt quickly to change, you’re not going to be in business for very long.”

Symantec is also a big supporter of HTG. They support some groups directly and try to have a tight relationship. Their goal her is to stay tuned to what MSPs are looking for.

Symantec has an “MSP Specialist” team that focuses completely on MSP products and issues. You can contact the MSP team at … msp@symantec.com or call 855-210-1101.

Download the Interview with Anne Stobaugh and Dal Gemmell from Symantec here.

For more information on Symantec, visit www.symatec.com.

 

For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.

🙂

 

Nov 17, 2012
Karl with Jenna from Spam Soap

Karl with Jenna from Spam Soap

Jenna Chase is always in a good mood, and she really enjoyed the IT Nation vendor floor this year. We caught up with her on the last day.

Spam Soap is a cloud based email and security provider. Which means cloud-based spam filtering, archiving, encryption, and hosted Exchange services. Of course they’ll filter any email you need filtering, so you don’t have to be hosted with them.

Download the Interview with Jenna Chase from Spam Soap.

For more information on Spam Soap, visit http://spamsoap.com or Call 866-772-6688.

 

For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.

 

🙂

 

Nov 15, 2012

One of the vendors that seems to make every show is eFolder (www.eFolder.net). I talked to Booth Dude Tel Hulsy about the eFolder product and what they’re up to.

eFolder Crew at IT Nation

eFolder Crew at IT Nation

Ted’s big push is the eFolder/AppAssure combination that allows client systems to be imaged to the eFolder cloud. This gives them on-site data recovery plus cloud-based recovery options.

We also talked a bit about the explosion of data on client sites and how that affects backups. Ted explained a bit about eFolder’s de-duplication feature.

Other topics included . . .

– Why public cloud?

– How does the availability of bandwidth affect recovery?

– Running clients in the virtual environment in the cloud

– The “eFolder Continuity Cloud”
Download the Interview with Ted Hulsy from eFolder.

For more information on eFolder, visit www.eFolder.net.
For more information on IT Nation, visit www.TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit www.ConnectWise.com.

🙂

Nov 14, 2012

ConnectWise Goes Way Beyond PSA

I had a chance to sit down with Arnie and David Bellini near the end of IT Nation and get some insights into what they’re doing and where the company is going. Arnie Bellini is the CEO of ConnectWise and David is the COO.

Arnie Bellini, Karl Palachuk, David Bellini

Arnie Bellini, Karl Palachuk, David Bellini

As Arnie describes ConnectWise, their mission is to help you run your business better by bringing all of your “Silos of Chaos” into a common interface. Now, in addition to the features built into ConnectWise, they are building strong alliances with other products in order to take integration to a higher level.

Two of the coolest things I saw at the keynote were the “Marketplace” and the “Partner Kits.” You can check out the Marketplace at www.connectwise.com/marketplace. They list all of their all integration partners – about 400 in all. The Partner kits are available at www.connectwise.com/partnerkits and include quick-start kits for sales, helpdesk, human resources, and more.

Arnie is justifiably proud of their success with product integration. One of the coolest things he demonstrated in his keynote was the ability for Labtech to find problems and connect to Quosal so Quosal and automatically generate a sales opportunity in ConnectWise with a draft sales quote. At that point the sales team can fine-tune the quote, collaborate with the tech department, and get the quote out to the client.

And of course Arnie loves the partnership ConnectWise shares with HTG – the Heartland Technology Group. He looks at HTG as the group that’s going to push innovation in the IT support business.

. . . And there’s a lot more covered in this 12 minute interview.

Download the Interview with Arnie Bellini from ConnectWise here.

For more information on IT Nation, visit TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit ConnectWise.com.

🙂

Nov 13, 2012

One of my old friends Steve Noel talked to me about his role at Axcient and what the company’s up to these days. Steve is a Techno Sales Engineer at Axcient.

Steve Noel

Steve Noel

Axcient is a 100% Channel focused backup and BDR solution. Steven doesn’t describe their solution as “BDR” but he says, “We eliminate downtime.” Whether your systems are physical, virtual, or some combination of things, Axcient can back up your stuff.

Steve gives us a few notes on the new people who working at Axcient development. He promises that they have a lot of new developments in the funnel. Axcient is on a 6-week development cycle, so he expects some big changes very soon. Because the appliances are in constant communication with Axcient, they can increase functionality and update systems remotely and automatically. And of course quality assurance is very important in this process.

Steve also gave us some information on their integration strategies for LabTech, ConnectWise, and other products. In addition, they have a strong relationship with the HTG groups who were present at IT Nation.

Download the Interview with Steve Noel from Axcient here.

For more information on Axcient, visit http://www.axcient.com.

– – – – –

For more information on IT Nation, visit TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit ConnectWise.com.

 

🙂

Nov 13, 2012

I sat down with Larry Walsh, CEO of The 2112 Group at IT Nation.

The 2112 Group is an analyst firm that supports vendors in the solution provider community. They provide “leadership and best practices” for solution providers.

Larry Walsh the 2112 Group

Larry Walsh – The 2112 Group

On the topic of having vendors selling direct versus selling through the channel, Larry says that this has always been true. He explains how you differentiate yourself so the vendors’ practices become irrelevant.

On the question of how vendors can help get the right information to solution providers, he says “The channel is awash in content.” So he is not worried about whether solution providers will have access to information. But he argues that solution providers need to figure out what their business model is going forward. Once they do that, they can get the information they need from their vendors.

Download the Interview with Larry Walsh here.  (17 MB)

For more information . . .

ChannelNomics.com

ChannelNomics on Twitter and Facebook

lmwalsh2112 on Twitter and Facebook

– – – – –

For more information on IT Nation, visit TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit ConnectWise.com.

 

🙂

 

Nov 10, 2012

Kevin McGibben – CEO of LogicMonitor – met up with me at the ConnectWise IT Nation conference in Orlando Friday.

LogicMonitor is a “pure SaaS based IT infrastructure monitoring service.” We talked about what that means and why it is NOT an RMM tool. LogicMonitor discovers and analyzes everything at the hardware level and up through virtual environments and hosted services.

As a SaaS model, there is no on-premise tool. And because they deploy to any location at once, you can monitor everything from database performance in hosted environments all the way down to hardware at your colo facility.

The price is also very good . . . and very much in line with standard Managed Services pricing. Everything can be based on pure usage for you while you parcel out monitoring across all your clients. There is one master portal that you can customize.

Kevin McGibben

Kevin McGibben of LogicMonitor

In case you want to take a closer look and see if this is something you can integrate into your managed service business, LogicMonitor is happy to extend a trial to partners.

To get a better idea of the price point, please listen to the podcast:

Download the Interview with Kevin McGibben from Logic Monitor here.

For more information on Logic Monitor, visit LogicMonitor.com.

– – – – –

For more information on IT Nation, visit TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit ConnectWise.com

🙂

Nov 10, 2012

I caught up with Jason Samples from PacketTrap at the ConnectWise IT Nation conference in Orlando.

My first question was “What are you doing here?” PacketTrap has both a PSA and an RMM tool. Their RMM tool is an “agent/agent-less hybrid” that integrates fully with other PSA systems – including ConnectWise. So they are having good luck talking to their clients and prospects on the vendor floor.

Jason Samples from PacketTrap

Jason Samples from PacketTrap

PacketTrap offers trials for their tools. Jason recommends that you start with the RMM side. Once you’re comfortable with that, then they invite you to look at the PSA. They have a number of online training videos and we’re planning to do a webinar together in the next month.

Download the Interview with Jason Samples from PacketTrap here.

You can find out more about PacketTrap at www.packettrap.com.

– – – – –

For more information on IT Nation, visit TheITNation.com.

For more information on ConnectWise, visit ConnectWise.com.

🙂

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