A Blog From The Editors Of Business Solutions Magazine A Blog From The Editors Of Business Solutions Magazine

Is Microsoft Going To Stick It To The Channel?

While attending the recent GFI Conference in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to talk to several VARs and MSPs. One trend I'm hearing a lot about has to do with Microsoft discontinuing support for its SBS (Small Business Server), starting in November of this year (which they announced back in July).  Continue Reading...

Take The Guesswork Out Of Managed Services Pricing

If you've attended any of the recently-held trade shows and partner conferences, or have been following this blog or our magazine for any length of time, you'll know that the notion of adopting a more services-centric business model is all the rage.  Continue Reading...

Here's A Method That's Helping Retail IT VARs Become More Profitable

One of the challenges I often hear about from retail IT VARs regarding switching to a managed services model is coping with the way money flows into their company. Many of you are used to getting large lump sums of money for your work as opposed to the smaller steady stream associated with recurring revenue models. The large lump sum might help in the short term and actually be a necessity to keep your business afloat, but a steady...  Continue Reading...

What Every MSP Ought To Know About CiS (Cloud-integrated Storage)

If there's one thing I think we can all agree about cloud computing, it's the fact that it's become a catch-all household term that's used to describe everything from the disaster recovery component of your backup strategy to the place where your MP3s are stored. Analyst group ESG released a market report, titled "Cloud-integrated Storage: Defining and Explaining a New Approach for SMB and Enterprise Storage." The...  Continue Reading...

The Easiest Way To Increase Your Recurring Payment Processing Revenue

During the course of my daily job duties, I speak with VARs about technology trends and opportunities that exist in the marketplace. Additionally, the rest of the Business Solutions team makes lots of outbound calls, first, to make sure you want to receive the magazine, and second, to learn more about trends and what issues you like reading about.  Continue Reading...

The Top 4 Criteria For Selecting Your Next RMM

I mentioned in a previous blog that Business Solutions is planning to feature a new type of editorial beginning with our January 2013 issue: product tests. I'm happy to report that things are underway, and we're starting to plan our first test, which will focus on RMM (remote monitoring and management) products. With the help of an MSP (who we'll reveal later), we'll be comparing several RMM products.  Continue Reading...

Retail VAR Warning: The Truth About PCI Certification

If you're a retail IT provider, you've probably heard about the PCI Security Standards Council's (PCISSC) new QIR (Qualified Integrators and Resellers) program, which involves training and certification to ensure you're able to install payment applications "in a manner that facilitates PCI DSS compliance."  Continue Reading...

Are You Ready For IP-Based Access Control?

For a couple years now, we’ve been strongly advising IT VARs to take advantage of the opportunity to sell their clients IP video solutions, which are dropping in price and increasing in capabilities. In a time when the economy still shows signs of weakness, seeing such strong potential for you is exciting.  Continue Reading...

Expand Your IT Business On A Tight Budget. Here's How.

Last week I was at ScanSource's annual partner conference. As opposed to previous years when the value-added distributor had separate events for each of its different business units, this year marked the company's 20th anniversary, calling for an "all divisions" celebration and educational event.  Continue Reading...

The Surprising Truth About Your Customers' Big Data Plans

If there's been one trend that's really come on strong over the past month, it's been big data. At last month's CompTIA Breakaway event, it was one of the four big trends talked about, and more recently at ScanSource's partner conference, which I attended this week, it was also one of the main topics talked about. As trade publications and the blogsphere continue to explode with big data coverage, be...  Continue Reading...

If You Don't Change Your Business Now, You'll Hate Yourself Later (Reader Mail)

Many of the articles appearing on this blog are promoted via various social media channels. The one medium which has been yielding some very insightful responses has been LinkedIn, specifically in our Business Solutions' VAR & MSP group. In response to my recent "The Death Of POS VARs" article, Morgan Moran, Director of Customer Experience at Kheelan Business Technologies, wrote:  Continue Reading...

4 Technology Trends Smart VARs Are Cashing In On

I recently attended ScanSource’s Partner conference in Greenville, SC. The value-added distributor celebrated its 20th anniversary. During the morning keynote session, Mike Baur, CEO, identified and Greg Dixon, CTO, expanded on four trends that are disrupting the IT channel:  Continue Reading...

Does Your POS Line Card Pass This Test?

If you're struggling to remain relevant in today's changing world of retail IT, it's probably time to take a look at the lineup of solutions you're offering. No longer is it adequate to simply sell a POS hardware bundle. Based on conversations I've had with successful profitable VARs and industry experts whose opinions I trust, here are the offerings that tomorrow's successful retail IT VAR provides. In no particular...  Continue Reading...

Shorten Your Hardware And Software Evaluation Processes Once And For All

Every year Business Solutions conducts a survey soliciting feedback from our readers on the topics they like reading about in our publication -- as well as the topics they don't like. This year's survey led to some surprising revelations, which are playing a key role in our 2013 editorial planning, which is already well underway. One thing you won't see as much of next year in the magazine are industry...  Continue Reading...

8 Killer Resources For Your Managed Services Practice

I've been doing a lot of blogging lately on the benefits and challenges of selling managed services. A lot of what I share comes from talking with managed services providers and getting their insights about what works and what doesn't. You can learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. Just in case you missed some of these posts, here's a roundup of the most recent 8:  Continue Reading...

Is Your Hybrid Managed Services Business Model Aggravating Your Customers?

As I've been talking with networking, storage, and managed services vendors and MSPs about trends they're seeing in the channel and getting feedback on Business Solutions' editorial coverage plans for 2013, I've noticed a common theme emerging to my question: "What are the top challenges MSPs are wrestling with?" Everyone I've spoken with is talking about the hybrid business model that's resulting from...  Continue Reading...

4 Managed Services Mistakes You Can't Afford To Make

One of the biggest challenges managed services providers face is coming up with the right pricing for their services. We've talked about the pitfalls of underselling your managed services (see "Do You Make This Common MSP Sales Mistake?"), but during my recent conversation with Bob Lawson, product director at GFI Software, he shared some additional mistakes -- 4 to be specific -- that any MSP would be wise to avoid. Here they...  Continue Reading...

RECENT COMMENTS