Who's Going To Fund Retail's Shift To The As-A-Service Model?
One of the hottest topics at the recently-held RSPA INSPIRE conference was the services model. Understand, I'm not talking about offering services to your customers. Rather, I'm referring to combining your offerings (hardware, software, security, support, payment processing, remote monitoring, etc.) into bundles for which you can charge your customers a monthly fee. Let's call it POS-as-a-Service (or P-a-a-S?).
The Voices In Your Head Are Lying: IP Video *Is* For You
During a recent security-related conference, one of the speakers said to the audience that if they couldn't "speak IT" they wouldn't last very long in today's sales conversations. So true, however, I'm not sure if many IT integrators really understand how strong their position is -- or could be.
Don't Let Apple Cripple Your BDR Business
I just completed my write-up for our BDR (backup and disaster recovery) product test, which we'll share in the March issue of Business Solutions magazine. There were a couple of surprises that emerged from the test. One in particular was the Apple laptop/desktop backup test. The testers, Eric Brown, CEO, and Kevin Danis, technical manager, at Remote Technology Management (RTM), shared their personal experiences with this challenge. "We only have a couple of customers that use Apple computers, and we've only ever been able to back up their data by creating a workaround that's cumbersome at best," says Brown.
Here's Another Way To Justify The Cost Of IP Cameras
If you've got customers with junky old analog CCTV surveillance systems looking to upgrade to IP, but cost is a factor, you should take a look at 360-degree panoramic cameras. Why? Imagine one megapixel camera mounted in the center of a room that captures video in all directions. Unaltered, these cameras produce recorded video that looks like a mirror ball (i.e. a sphere of warped video). However, after image correction (de-warping the video) and splitting it in the VMS software, that one camera can produce the video capture equivalent of 4 separate cameras!
Does Your Customer's Video Surveillance Pass This Test?
While at the Mobotix partner conference earlier this week, attendees got a crash course in video quality. If you aren't hip to the latest in video surveillance, you might be in for a shock. According to Dr. Magnus Ekerot, CEO USA for Mobotix, 90% of today's surveillance recordings are in CIF format. That is, 288 lines of resolution. If you're wondering what valuable evidence you can capture at that resolution, it isn't much.
Do You Make This Costly Managed Services Error?
One of the conversations I have on a regular basis with VARs and MSPs entails finding out the secrets behind their double-digit growth -- especially in this difficult economy. This week I spoke with David DeCamillis, director of business development at Platte River Networks (PRN), a Denver-based IT solutions provider that's been in business since 2002 and started selling managed services less than five years ago. During my initial interview with DeCamillis, he shared with me several key changes his company made over the past couple of years, including bringing PRN's helpdesk support in-house and improving the MSP's customer response time -- all without charging its customers more money and adding only one new employee.
IP Video: A Technology You -- And Your Customers -- Will Love
Today, I spent the day surrounded by current and future Mobotix integrator partners. If you don't already know, Mobotix is a manufacturer of IP video cameras and related solutions. One thing that really struck me in speaking with various partners is that there's a definite level of excitement that comes across when they speak. I often don't find such enthusiasm when I talk with resellers of other technologies. So, what's different?
6 Reasons Why Tape Storage Won’t Die
Attend any BDR (backup and disaster recovery) webinar or training session, and you'd swear tape backup was about a week away from extinction. Statistics are cited about how tape is a leading culprit of data corruption. Plus, when you consider the fact that solid state storage is gaining traction in the enterprise, it seems even more believable that tape really could be on its way out.
Think All BDRs Are Equal? Think Again.
Here's a sneak peek into the testing that's currently underway on seven hybrid backup solutions, which will be featured in the March 2013 issue of Business Solutions magazine. I spoke with our tester, Eric Brown, CEO of Remote Technology Management, this week, and he shared some interesting feedback . "After testing StorageCraft and seeing how well their product performed and how much flexibility they offer regarding off-site backups, I could see where it would make sense for an MSP to rent storage space from a cloud data center and start reselling their own cloud services. Right now, we're considering using StorageCraft for some of our clients' laptops, unless one of the other software-based BDR vendors turns out to have a superior product." At the time of my call with Brown, he had yet to test Asigra, CharTec, KineticD, and Unitrends.
RSPA INSPIRE 2013 Day 2 Recap: The Reality Of A SaaS Model
Here's what you're looking at. Both charts depict a $10,000 sale. The cost of goods is $6,000. In the top example, after you pay out the commission and take out some other costs, the sale nets you $2,560 immediately. In the next two years, you'll get some additional revenue from maintenance. After it's all said and done, after three years, that $10,000 sale yielded $3,480.