The SMB Market: A $1 Trillion Secret You Can't Ignore
After covering the IT industry for 12+ years, it's rare that I'm surprised by news announcements, industry studies, or other IT events. That said, it does happen, and here's a recent example that I'd like to share. A study by analyst group Gartner projects the SMB market to surpass the $1 trillion mark in IT spending by 2015, representing 44% of the total IT spend worldwide. With so many hot vertical markets (e.g. banking and finance, education, government, healthcare, legal, and retail) out there, this one market accounts for nearly half of all the IT spending!
Point/Counterpoint: Apple Integrators Take Issue With BDR Article
Apparently my previous blog article "Don't Let Apple Cripple Your BDR Business," which describes MSP Remote Technology Management's (RTM's) experience backing up Apple laptops and desktops hit a raw nerve with some of our readers. I received several emails from MSPs that believe there are several viable solutions available for tackling this problem. Following are a couple of highlights from the responses:
Will Neglecting Mobile Device Backups Be Your Downfall?
One of the hottest trends we've covered over the past year is the mobile device explosion. More specifically, we've talked about BYOD (bring your own device), the reality that your customers' employees are bringing their laptops and smartphones to work and using these devices both for personal and business purposes. This opens up a whole can of worms, starting with security issues and extending to your data backups.
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.
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.
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.
Don't Let This Delay Your Transition To Managed Services
One of the most common themes I see in the channel centers around a VAR's decision to become a managed services provider (MSP). So many see the value in it, but less than half actually take action to make that transition. And, of those who do, only a minority become successful. A few months ago, I wrote an article about underpricing being the #1 culprit plaguing many VARs-turned-MSPs. I recently came across one other problem many new MSPs face, which Steve Rutkovitz, CEO of Choice Technologies, summarizes as effective communications. "With managed services, there is a lot more communication required to be successful compared to what's required to be a break-fix VAR," he says. "In the past, IT skills were the big differentiator among channel competitors. Going forward, the VARs and MSPs that communicate more effectively will be the big winners."