FEATURE ARTICLES

EDITOR'S DESK

  • Rising Rates Of Fatal IT Myopia In The Channel
    Rising Rates Of Fatal IT Myopia In The Channel

    VARs and MSPs represent the channel’s eyes on the ground. There’s a weighty responsibility there that makes nearsightedness a very dangerous thing for the channel. Our VARs and MSPs need clarity of their customers’ vision, and the rest of the channel needs to stand ready to help that vision become the customer’s reality.

MSP Management: Big Expectations, Big Rewards

During a recent chat with ex-marine and current president of MSP Carolinas IT Mark Cavaliero, I made the mistake of asking him what keeps him up at night. “Nothing,” he said. “We’re running smoothly and I sleep great at night.”

Cloud Services Isn’t Ready For Primetime

And other misinformation observed by a managed services pioneer.

Jason Shirdon is VP of operations at Ease Technologies, a 53-employee managed services company in Baltimore. He’s been there since 1999, having joined the company when it was just seven years old and back when managed services wasn’t even a concept. Shirdon is in part responsible for the fact that managed services is far more than a concept today. Some five years before Karl Palachuk and company began advocating for the managed services business model in 2005, Shirdon was implementing it among Ease Technologies clientele. He and his colleagues at Ease just didn’t know what to call it back then.

A Startup Mentality For A 20+ Year Old Solutions Provider?

Darek Hahn, president and CEO of Dynamic Strategies Inc. (DSI), details the challenges of his company's shift in customer focus, sales strategy, and corporate culture. 

Inside A 50+ Employee MSP’s Employee Review Process

Russ Levanway, CEO of California-based MSP TekTegrity, recently let me pick his brain about how and why the company acquired four MSPs in the five-year period between 2010 to 2015. Like many solutions providers looking for ways to grow, TekTegrity used these acquisitions to expand its regional footprint and establish itself in new verticals. In the process, Levanway had to integrate differing cultures and a rapidly expanding headcount.

GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

  • High Impact Communication:  A Three Tier Approach
    High Impact Communication: A Three Tier Approach

    High Impact communication is essentially a dance that flows between participants. As in most dances, there might be awkward moments, as one develops a sense of their partner’s style, and more elegant graceful moments, when partners are in the flow of the dance. The inherent skills and mindsets of high impact communication are developed over time through intention, practice and embracing a three tier approach. This approach includes essential skills and mindsets to embody BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the communication.

  • When It's Time For A Small VAR To Tap Out
    When It's Time For A Small VAR To Tap Out

    Forrester analyst Jay McBain's life's work is analyzing the channel. When he recently told Channel Executive magazine that 40 percent of the channel is poised for retirement over the next seven years, it got us thinking about exit strategies (and acquisition targets, but that's a future story). Liz Harr, the subject of this Q&A on, Business Sustainability Planning, orchestrated an exit strategy of her own. Today, Harr is a partner at professional services marketing firm Hinge and a frequent contributor to VARinsights.com, but not long ago she was a reseller of Microsoft CRM and ERP software. Here, Harr shares some wisdom on knowing when it's time to exit, optimizing the valuation of your company, and minimizing collateral damage in the process.

  • Business Strategy - It’s About The Destination, Not The Journey
    Business Strategy - It’s About The Destination, Not The Journey

    Who really wants to take the long, slow, arduous journey to success when you have the option to take a more thoughtful, deliberate approach? The time to praise the journey is when it’s in your rear-view mirror not when you’re facing it head-on through the windshield. Life may be about the journey, but business is all about the destination.

  • A Balanced Approach To Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation

    Technology is essential to mitigate the risk of exposure to cyberattack.  Note that mitigate means to reduce or lessen in severity, not preclude.  It’s often difficult for IT service providers (ITSPs) to convince business owners that no one can guarantee complete elimination of cyberattack risk. Anyone with a computer connected to the internet is under attack. Your best option is preparation for the inevitable.

  • MSPs And Resellers Can Amplify Their Social Media Reach With Employee Advocacy

    Studies have shown that businesses are starting to increasingly rely on social media to help build brand awareness and drive the sale of their products and solutions. For example, according to a recent Forrester report, 98 percent of sales and marketing leaders see value in social selling in the short and long term, and 49 percent have already developed a formal social selling program. Many Channel companies would agree with the potential benefits of social media marketing, but they also acknowledge they’re a long way from realizing its full potential.

More From Guest Contributors

MSP WHITE PAPERS

  • The Path to MSSP

    One of the hottest debates in IT service management at the moment is whether or not to pursue “Managed Security Service Provider” (MSSP) status. This is largely caused by a lack of clarity over what the name means, whether it is beneficial to use it, or whether customers are even concerned about the distinction between MSPs and MSSPs. This report defines exactly what an MSSP is and identifies the existing opportunity for those who reach this standard. It also highlights the shortcomings of current service providers and how to overcome them.

  • Quarterly Threat Trends: Phishing Attacks Growing In Scale And Sophistication

    The last several years have seen a dramatic evolution in the sophistication of phishing attacks. While antiquated phishing tactics consisted of crudely constructed mass emails trying to snare as many victims as possible, today’s attacks are highly targeted, difficult to detect, and just as difficult to evade. Even more important, they’re pervasive.

  • Responding To Cyberattacks: Omnipresent Problem Puts Most Organizations At Risk Of Complete Shutdown

    New research by VIPRE Security reveals some serious gaps in the ability of organizations to defend against and respond to cyberattacks. The gaps threaten their survival in some cases, causing most IT managers (66%) to live in fear that a cyberattack would cause their business to shut down temporarily (44%) or even permanently (22%).

More MSP White Papers

FEATURED SUPPLIERS

  • SolarWinds Backup
    SolarWinds Backup

    When the disaster phone call comes, how will you respond? Whether it comes from a technology failure, a natural disaster, or just user error, SolarWinds® Backup restores business continuity fast.

  • VIPRE Security
    VIPRE Security

    VIPRE is the highest-rated, award-winning internet security product for channel partners and businesses worldwide. It consistently earns 100% block rates and zero false positives from AV-Comparatives, the world’s most widely-trusted independent antivirus testing authority.

  • Solarwinds MSP
    Solarwinds MSP

    SolarWinds® MSP delivers comprehensive, scalable IT service management solutions to empower MSPs of every size and scale worldwide to create highly efficient and profitable businesses that drive a measurable competitive advantage.

  • CompTIA
    CompTIA

    CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry.

  • ConnectWise
    ConnectWise
    ConnectWise is the leading business management solution designed exclusively for technology organizations, such as IT solution providers, MSPs, software companies, hardware/software resellers, and System Integrators.  

     

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MSP INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

  • Is WannaCry 2.0 In Our Future?
    Is WannaCry 2.0 In Our Future?

    It appears the recent WannaCry ransomware attack was only the beginning. Despite a UK researcher creating a kill switch that slowed the infection rate, we may be due for WannaCry 2.0.

  • How Better Reporting Spells Business Value For MSPs
    How Better Reporting Spells Business Value For MSPs

    Your customers want clear insight into the most important issues impacting their IT environments, and for MSPs, reporting offers a way to provide that critical information. But with today’s overflowing inboxes, not to mention text messages and other distractions, MSPs need to avoid adding to the noise and instead focus on providing the kind of reporting that creates business value.

  • Rethinking The Network Perimeter
    Rethinking The Network Perimeter

    “What are our cybersecurity protocols?” This question is one that has, undoubtedly, been top of mind for CTOs at numerous corporations and government agencies around the world in the wake of recent ransomware attacks. Given the hundreds of thousands of endpoint devices in more than 150 countries that were infected in the latest global attack, WannaCry, can you blame them? Hal Lonas, chief technology officer at Webroot, takes us beyond the sobering wake-up call that attacks like WannaCry bring, and discusses actionable advice companies should consider when fortifying systems against cybercriminals.

  • How To Hire The Right Salespeople
    How To Hire The Right Salespeople

    According to the employment firm Manpower, Inc., sales representatives were ranked in the top three of the hardest to hire positions in the U.S. in 2016. This is especially true in the managed IT services business. During the hiring process, the challenge is looking beyond a standout personality to see what lies beneath. How do you break through the surface to assess an applicant’s ability to close sales and help your business grow?

  • 2017 Business Cybersecurity Trends
    2017 Business Cybersecurity Trends

    We asked the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT analyst research and strategy company, to examine the challenges your business customers are facing as they take on malware and other cyber threats at network perimeters.

More Industry Insights